The Dutch are a civilization with many economic bonuses.
The Dutch have the unique ability to build banks, which generate coin automatically. This allows them to lessen the amount of Settlers needed to collect gold from mines or plantations, in addition to that their factories can be set for food or wood production as banks will cover the coin production. Only 4 banks can be built initially, but can be increased to 10 with use of shipments from the Home City and Excessive Taxation. Coin production from the bank can increase with the level 25 card Tulip Speculation, increasing production by 15%. Banks can be fortified with the Dutch East India Company card, increasing health by 100% while reducing Food and Wood costs by 15%.
The Dutch have three infantry, two cavalry and five artillery units. Their infantry consists of Pikemen, Halberdiers and Skirmishers, the Halberdier being allowed to upgrade to Royal Guard status, the Nassau Halberdier. Their cavalry consists of Hussars and Ruyters, the Ruyters being allowed to upgraded into Royal Guard status, the Carbineer Ruyter. Unlike other anti-cavalry, Ruyters also deal bonus damage against artillery, making them highly mobile yet weaker Culverins. However, as artillery has high ranged resistance, it would be better to have a group set to melee mode to counter this resistance. In addition, like the Russian Cossack, Ruyters only take up one population and as a result, be amassed quite quickly. Artillery consists of Grenadiers, Falconets, Culverins, Mortars and Heavy Cannons. Due to their access of the Grenadier unit, the Dutch have good siege potential in the early stages of the game.
To compensate for their lack of a ranged infantry unit during the Colonial Age, the Dutch are able to train Skirmishers during that time. This is impossible for other civilizations unless they are allied with the French who have TEAM Colonial Skirmishers.
The Dutch's unique church upgrades consist of one economic and two military researches. The Coffee Trade research allows players to construct two more Banks, however all military unit speed will drop by 10%. Their other two military researches allow for the sending of 30 Guard Musketeers and 5 Stradiots. In other cards, the TEAM Coehern Mortars increases all mortar damage by 20% for the players on that team.
The ease at which the Dutch are able to gain coin, combined with their usage of fewer settlers relative to other civilizations, also makes them well suited to heavy usage of Mercenary units from Home City shipments or the Saloon/Dance Hall. If enough banks are made with factories set on coin with settlers harvesting from plantations or mines, gold can be obtained much faster which is helpful when researching upgrades and training pricey coin units such as artillery.
They are also a strong naval civilization - their Fluyts are both cheaper and more damaging than equivalent Galleons (albeit with less hitpoints), allowing them a significant advantage over most other civilizations, especially when combined with their many related home city cards.
The Dutch do not have many early infantry, lacking Crossbowmen and a Musketeer equivalent (apart from the Church-provided Stadhouders), so their only reliable anti-cavalry infantry, that will work well in end-game situations will be their Halberdiers. In short, they have a harder time defending against raids in the early game, with a well-coordinated attack of Hussars and anti-infantry infantry being able to potentially defeat the Dutch in early game (a fact made even worse by the fact their Settlers cost Coin, and a loss can literally cost much).
Still, their armies are mainly effective against cavalry as their Royal Guard units are designed to fight large cavalry armies. The Dutch do not have many upgrades to boost their units' stats and can be weaker compared to other units like the French who have many unit upgrade shipments for their units.
Dutch settlers also are paid in Coin and not in Food, making them have a slower economy as other civilizations do not need to worry about Coin until the Colonial Age, where it is required to upgrade into the Fortress Age. In addition, they have a cap of 50 rather than 99 Settlers, although it is unlikely the player will need that much Settlers in a game. However, their banks nullify the use of coin producing settlers as they should have more than enough coins to the point where only food and wood would need to be focused on for units.