Lancers themselves already counter hand infantry, making skirmishers and crossbows a bit redundant; they are actually weaker vs the rest, i.e. massive muskets, hussars, dragoons and artilleries.
I had done a test of lancers with pikemen, but pikes used up the wood and are weak in late game even with upgrades. Not that decent vs non-cavalry.
Rodeleros are extremely fast to catch horses including dragoons and other ranged units. And now I put it into test.
Shipments are important, in my order villagers, food, gold, fort, TC, medicine, lancer upgrades, ATP (not rush), ...
Difficult point: advance to industrial. Once I got there and upgraded lancers / rodelero to guard and it was kinda safe.
Artilleries not my favorite. In fact, advanced arsenal can raise the siege attack of imperial lancers to 40 *1.3, which is no oprichnik but better than light infantry. Beating buildings other than fort is okay.