|Research Points Needed|
|Leads To||Military Syllabus|
This long blade has a ring which fits around the outside of a musket barrel, allowing the weapon to be fired while it is attached.
The ring bayonet serves to turn a musket into a short, and rather heavy, pike. This is considerably more threatening to enemies than using the weapon as a clumsy club in a hand-to-hand fight. The bayonet is a push fit, and it is the tightness on the ring around the bayonet that keeps it in place, most of the time. Ring bayonets can be pulled off in the heat of combat by becoming wedged in enemy flesh, and they can be pushed back along the barrel. They are, however, a considerable advance over the plug bayonet.
There is some dispute over the origin of the ring bayonet, and it may be the case that several military men in different countries developed it at almost the same time. Its advantage over the plug bayonet - the user could still give fire - made sure that it was popular. A ring bayonet would not offset from the barrel, making it awkward to reload a musket with one fitted.
The Ring Bayonet is an upgrade over the Plug Bayonet. Instead of requiring manual attachment, Ring Bayonets always come attached, permanently granting a +3 melee bonus. Unlike plug bayonets, ring bayonets attached on muskets do not prevent them from firing, adding flexibility to infantry both as ranged and as melee troops. On the downside, ring bayonets reduce reloading skill of all bayonet-equipped troops by 5, so depending on their playstyle players may find ring bayonets actually detrimental. Once Socket Bayonets are researched, they replace Ring Bayonets. Socket bayonets have all of the benefits of bayonets with none of the drawbacks, so even those inconvenienced by ring bayonets may find researching ring bayonet worthwhile in the long run. Even if melee is rarely used for infantry, research Ring Bayonet is practically required for progressing further down the tech tree.