I noticed there's no review on the Russians as yet, and in here the rating for the Cossack as a unique unit remains low (3rd tier, if I remember correctly). I believe, therefore, that this detail of the War Academy is grossly out of date. I don't think I am qualified as a player to give a full fledged civ review on the Russians. The most recent and most successful game I had playing as the Russians, the pesky Dutch beat me to infantry and was mass-producing it like nobody's business, giving even my armies of Cossacks a lot of pauses in the mostly mountainous warzone of the English and Portuguese lands. But I shall highlight the advantages I had playing as Russians, especially armed with Cossacks, that I observed - just to give my point of view on a matter that has been overlooked for some time. To begin with, the Russians, being scientific and expansionist, make an excellent early game civ. Fast exploration and, as a consequence, a more rapid and certain expansion, coupled with cheap libraries to stretch those borders make a huge early empire very possible. Personally, I don't like managing a huge (and usually backward) early empire, so I would usually get to decent size quickly and capitalize on the early culture boost that cheap libraries allow. Playing as Russians, I would build up my infrastructure to a respectable level under Monarchy with constant (but not too often) warring to expand my borders a little and to weaken neighbours before I get Military Tradition. By the time I was training Cossacks, I had a good number of universities (the lower cost of which I find a great bonus) up and running. Now I move on to the jeune premier - the Cossack. Previously, the Cossack was a 6/4/3 unit, making it a respectable defender, but did not render it much more useful as an offensive unit that it is. In C3C, however, the Cossack is a 6/3/3 unit with a blitz ability. This gives the Russians an early version of the Panzer! The cavalry often has hit points to spare after one round of attack, but only the Russians can make use of this. This translates to a horde that can increase its capability by as much as 1.5 times. 30 Cossacks can attack like 45 or even 50+ cavalry, making them a powerful horde. This ability of the Cossacks also translates to a less tangible but nevertheless present advantage - the creation of GMLs. Because the Cossack can attack up to 3 times a turn, the chances of them getting promoted to elite are a lot higher. This in turn leads to higher chances of generating leaders. In my last game, more than half my Cossacks were elite and Cossacks alone were responsible for the appearance of 7 leaders. Of course, for this to happen, many wars need to be fought. Once I had Cossacks, I was fighting most of the time. I totally defeated the respectable Spanish empire, taking all but one island city and moved on to trying to weaken the powerful Dutch. My empire doubled its size and I was rushing all my small wonders with the leaders I had, including an Iron Works that almost immediately transformed an unproductive, corruption-laden town to a productive centre. At this point of time, it's worth mentioning that, true to Russian history, the huge empire I had won was best served by Communism, which I switched to once I got it. With the Hoover Dam on the way, the Dutch can look forward to being totally eclipsed productively in the long run. If only I can quickly end this burdensome war against the seemingly endless waves of Dutch infantry. But, on hindsight, this is exactly where the downside lies. To make full use of the Cossacks, you must not be left behind in the tech race and must use them as soon as possible. If you get them early enough, you can totally obliterate the enemy's defending musketeers. Against riflemen, they are still good, but you will need proportionally a lot more Cossacks. Up against infantry, however, their effectiveness is reduced drastically. With a defense of 10 against the Cossack's offense of 6, the infantry is a very tough nut to crack. Most of your Cossacks will retreat with 1 hit point (if they do not die, which really sucks) and this diminishes the chance of using their blitz ability. You will need to create armies of them, which renders their advantage redundant. This circumstance necessitates the acquisition of Military Tradition as soon as possible. Once you get it, you have to start mass-producing the Cossacks. The more you get them early the better. One good strategy is to use them first against an enemy who is most likely to get infantry before the others to slow him down and crush his power. If you let the enemy get Replacable Parts early (like i did with the Dutch), consider your advantage against him forfeit. If only they gave the Russians some sort of Russian winter advantage As an expansionist civ, the Russians tend to slow down after the initial land grab phase. The only other go you have at turning a close game in your favour is with the Cossacks. The scientific trait can help you get there more quickly, but should you fail to make great use of this advantage, it could break your game.