Just a quick question - does anyone know when Praetorians become obsolete (ie, you can no longer build them). I'm currently playing a game as Rome and it's now 1655AD, and I have gunpowder, rifling, but I can still build Praetorians, Macemen, etc...
I feel half like I'm cheating, switching my economy to gold and upgrading them to riflemen, cheap in terms of hammers and I can get city raider
Kind of a weird coincidence, I've been looking through old posts of mine from old threads and I actually re-read this thread about an hour before you asked your question.
What I said back then:
I could be wrong, but I think some of the better UU's don't go obsolete at the same time as the units they replace. I seem to remember playing as Rome one time and finding out that I could upgrade Praets to Maces or Rifles. So if I wanted to keep building 845 Praets instead of 870 Macemen, I could.
I don't have the game on this computer, so I can't access the Sevopedia and find out for sure, but Praets upgrade to Maces, or Rifles, or Grenadiers. Normal Swords just upgrade to Maces, end of story, but since Praets are as strong as Maces the game lets you skip them and go straight to Rifles.
As a matter of fact, I think you can still build Praets all the way up to Infantry- if you don't tech MilSci. Just like you can still build Warriors until you have Axes and Spears. If I'm not mistaken, you need Rifles and Grenadiers to obsolete Maces. So, if you avoid MilSci, then right up until Assembly Line you'll have Praets, Maces, and Rifles all still available to build- then Infantry wipes them all out. I guess Firaxis was trying to say that if the Roman Empire hadn't crumbled, then you would have had legions of elite Italian swordsmen fighting Napoleon's armies.
All this is guesswork on my part, but based on the fact that you've teched Rifling and still have Praets available, it makes sense to me...
This is probably the same for Samauri too.
So long as MilTrad isn't researched, then you can build them up until Infantry is available, if you want the Free Drill1 promotion and the ability to give your units CR promotions.
I noticed something similar with Quechas.
We can build quechas even though axeman & spearmen are available and copper or Iron is hooked up.
It was a good thing too, because the Quecha had better odds than an axeman vs Babylonian Bowmen and is cheaper to replace.