These invaluable soldiers are armed with muskets and hold carrying bags containing small bombs that can be hurled at the enemy's ranks.
Explosive grenades are one of the oldest types of gunpowder weapon, and one of the most dangerous to use. Grenades are a simple cast iron ball, with a fuse sticking out of the top. Fuses are notoriously unreliable, and grenadiers can die as their own bombs explode prematurely. Yet no matter how terrifying grenades are for the throwers, they are infinitely worse for the targets! Grenadiers see themselves as elite, and occupy the place of honour at the right of the line on parade. They have good reason: only large, brave men become grenadiers, because it takes a big chap to throw one properly. Even their uniform makes them look bigger thanks to the pointed grenadier’s cap; a tricorne gets in the way of a good throw.
Historically, grenadier regiments and battalions began as ad hoc assault forces. All line infantry regiments had grenadier companies; collecting these sub-units gave commanders a useful group of heavily armed, aggressive and skilful soldiers. Grenadier companies remained in line infantry regiments after the creation of grenadier regiments, but they abandoned grenades. Instead, each grenadier company became a “heavy mob” of the biggest and strongest soldiers in a regiment.
Grenadiers are a specialized support troop. Like Line Infantry, grenadiers are armed with muskets. They have half the manpower of a line infantry regiment, and so have much less staying power and cannot simply substitute line infantry; however, they have superior melee statistics than line infantry and great to use in breaking up enemy lines. The grenadiers' signature ability, however, is their ability to throw grenades: short ranged, powerful explosives that have a dramatic effect on enemy morale. Grenades may sometimes be tricky to use, but they can be a great factor in winning engagements.
Grenades do not explode when thrown into water; however, they do mostly explode in rainy weather.
Prussian grenadiers benefit from a slightly higher charging bonus, a better reload speed and better morale, yet are cheaper than average grenadiers with no weaknesses compared to their standard counterparts. Russian grenadiers have better attack, morale and charging bonuses, making them more dangerous in a melee; however, they have poorer defense and far worse reloading skill. They are the cheapest grenadiers in Empire: Total War, however. Spanish grenadiers are largely identical to standard grenadiers, but are much cheaper to train and maintain.
Grenadiers are some of the only units in the game that differ among factions in more ways than a simple palette swap. Among the playable factions, Great Britain, France and Austria's grenadiers wear bearskin caps, while those of the United Provinces, United States, Poland-Lithuania and Sweden wear black mitre caps, instead.
Spain, Prussia, and Russia all have unique grenadier skins to complement their unique statistics.