I have always liked the Haelmarians. In my opinion they have one of the most balanced troop tree in the game. They don´t excel at anything but they don´t have weak points either. What bothered me was the fact that, to make the best of them, it required too much micromanagement, and I´ll explain what I mean.
Their pikemen are really good, not only to stop cavalry but also against infantry. But like any pikemen, they are extremely vulnerable to ranged units. Through many battles I´ve seen them piling up casualties, and I don´t like to lose that many men. I´ve tried to form them along musketeers and colonials, but the Warband engine, even though they form a single line, keeps them separated which prevents them from really supporting each other. I tried to merge them through positioning and, while it works, not only it takes too much time to do so properly but it´s impossible if the AI charges from the beginning.
Then I realized that, among musketeers, there was one unit that was quite capable of fending themselves in melee and I wasn´t using as ranged. The nordmen. So after a bloody battle I went to Sveavald and hired 40 nord infantry, trained them to musketeers and set them as infantry. What a difference!
I found a small army of Vaegirs (barely 300) trying to burn Norrkop, I let them do it (I didn´t want to engage them in a village scene) and then when they move to the next I attack. I formed the troops with my 20 haelmarian musketeers along several colonial regulars at the top of a hill, the nord pikemen (25) and musketeers (15) in between and 20 colonial dragoons on the flank.
The Vaegirs did the usual "move ahead and to the right" attack and their first wave was tore appart by gunfire (half of them died, the other half routed). The second wave though managed to reach my infantry and the result was excellent. The pikemen kept the enemy infantry and cavalry away from the musketeers while those either kept shooting to protect the pikemen from archers and strelets or engaged with their axes with deadly efficiency. When I saw too many enemy ranged units in front of our lines I sent the dragoons in to drawn their attention and kill some.
The battle ended with 4 death men on our side (damage set to full), 3 of them dragoons and 2 wounded. Which are usually the kind of casualties I get with Kaiserlicher troops and way below the ones I get with Swadians and the Lion Throne wackos.
Have you tried something similar? Perhaps with other nations?
TL;DR: Haelmarians pwn using nordmen musketeers set as infantry along pikemen,