- Special abilities:
- Heal 50 Damage If Kills a Unit (Non-Barbarian)
- Combat Bonus When Attacking (+25%)
The Janissary is a very dangerous unit, designed to always be on the offensive. Similarly to the Jaguar, a much earlier unit of the Aztecs, it will heal when it destroys a unit, but it also receives a combat bonus when attacking. Its heal ability also heals 50 HP upon killing a unit instead of the 25 HP for the Jaguar - albeit with the caveat that the Janissary's ability does not work against Barbarians.
Time your major offensives around the time the Janissary becomes available for a major advantage over your enemies and push until you've reached all objectives of your campaign! The Janissary's bonuses are promotions, and will be retained by any Janissary upgraded into a Rifleman.
Janissaries were members of an elite corps in the army of the Ottoman Empire. Created in the late 14th century, the original Janissaries were Christian youths (often slaves from the Balkans) who were converted to Islam and then drafted into the Ottoman army. The original Janissaries were forced to remain celibate (which might help to explain their ferocious fighting spirit), but this was eventually relaxed. As the years passed, the Janissaries gained huge political influence in the Empire, engineering frequent palace coups in the 17th and 18th centuries. But as their influence grew they became tradition-bound and stubborn, refusing to update their weapons and tactics to keep pace with the rest of the world. In 1826 they were forcibly disbanded and replaced by more modern Ottoman troops.
Debatably, the Ottoman Janissaries were the first musket-armed troops in human history. Though the Chinese invented gunpowder, the smallest gunpowder weapons they had were essentially bazooka-sized cannons.