The Falconet is a simple yet capable artillery piece, which is important because of their early accessibility and impact on early battles, due to its bonus against infantry that combines well with its area damage and versatility. Sent early into the Fortress Age, they can allow friendly infantry to quickly turn the tide of battle. They are usually used in small groups, such as the early 2 FalconetsHome City Card.
Each shot deals 300 damage to nearby infantry, which are usually packed very densely. Limbered, the unit is also quite fast for artillery, keeping pace with infantry, and can reposition along with an army between battles. Falconets can be easily countered with the Culverin, which is effective against other pieces of artillery. They are also weak against cavalry and should be protected by nearby heavy infantry or ranged cavalry, or placed behind obstacles like walls.
Despite their anti-infantry properties, they are not designed for heavier tasks such as destroying enemy buildings. For example compared to the Mortar razing a town, the equivalent-era upgrade to Field Gun will do half their damage, for more than the same cost. If the battle drags on, Heavy Cannons or unique equivalents (such as Rockets or Great Bombards) may prove useful.
Together with Culverins, Falconets are the second lightest and second cheapest cannon in the game that is available to the European civilizations (the first is the Organ Gun).
Asian civilizations can get Falconets by allying with British and Spanish at the Consulate, which provides armies and technologies that includes Falconets listed below. Unlike their regular counterpart, these Falconets are automatically upgraded in the Industrial Age and the Imperial Age (see here for the exact values).
Falconets were among the smallest artillery. They weighed about 280 pounds, had a six-foot barrel and used about a pound of powder to fire a one pound shot. Still, the small quantity of powder (relative to larger artillery pieces) was enough to make a properly braced Falconet fly back up to 10 yards when fired.