Special Units in Rise of Kingdoms are specific to a Civilization. Each of these Special Units have unique stats and are much stronger than their regular counterparts.
Archer Special Units
|Royal Crossbowman||Regular Unit||5||220||216||212|
|Elite Janissary||Ottoman Empire||5||227||216||216|
Cavalry Special Units
|Royal Knight||Regular Unit||5||220||212||216|
|Elite Teutonic Knight||Germany||5||221||222||216|
Infantry Special Units
|Long Swordsman||Regular Unit||4||192||192||187|
|Royal Guard||Regular Unit||5||220||212||216|
|Elite Throwing Axeman||France||5||221||212||227|
Which is better?
Take Longbowman of Britain and Janissary of the Ottoman Empire. Longbowman has all of the bonus stats go into Attack and Jannisary is a hybrid between Attack and Health. In a perfect world, this shouldn’t make any difference as their overall stats are the same. However, Janissary is the better unit here because of the Ottoman Empire Civilization bonus of 5% Archer Health, 5% Active Skill Damage, and 5% March Speed, whereas Britain only has 5% Archer Attack and no other combat buffs.
The same goes for Legionary, Throwing Axeman, and Samurai. Rome has better Civilization Buff for Infantry than France and Japan. i.e 5% Infantry Defence vs 3% All troop Health and 3% All Troop Attack, however France and Japan’s Cavalry and Archer are much stronger than Rome because of that.
This is just a comparison of the base stats of the units without any buff other than Civilization buffs. Comparing them with every possible buff without the actual combat formula is a Herculean task as there are multiple unknown variables and rng into play.
While it’s nice to have a special unit, it shouldn’t be a deciding factor when choosing your Civilization. Consider your role in your Alliance/Kingdom and your priorities before choosing a Civilization, special units are just a bonus.
If you need help choosing a Civilization, check out our Top 3 Civilizations guide.