The combat in CivIII is given a needless veneer of complexity by the inclusion of all the modern units. This creates frustration and dissonance for those who expect a modern tank(for whatever reason) to just run over a bunch of half-naked savages carrying stone hatchets. Rather than pretending to have a fleshed out combat system, CivIII (and most certainly CivIV) should dispense with the unit variety and upgrading and go with a radically simplified sytem. Instead of having archers, ironclads, tanks and bombers you would have armies, ships, tanks and planes. These "protounits" would represent the combatants of each age. Thus, an army in the prehistoric era would denote a group of unarmored men carrying spears. The same army during modern times would represent a battalion of riflemen with support personnel. Combat would be resolved via a coin toss like sytem, with the game designed to randomly choose either a one or a two. If the number chosen is one, player A wins, and player B's unit is completely destroyed. If a two is the result, player B wins and A's unit is destroyed. The crucial difference between units is movement: armies and tanks move one and two spaces on land, respectively. Ships move one space on water squares(and only water squares), while airplanes can move one square over any terrain. Terrain bonuses would be eliminated, as these are both unrealistic and add more pointless complexity to already intricate algorithms. This method of resolving the game's battles would actually prove universally beneficial. The AI would be easier to code/modify, as all that would be required is instructions to produce "x number of armies," "y number of ships," and "z number of airplanes." Then instruct the AI to just start shoving them toward the opposing players. Those who enjoy the military experience would have the pleasure of fighting wave after wave of AI units which(being on a completely even footing with the human player at all times) would provide insurmountable competition. Those players dismayed at the present combat system would at least have the comfort of knowing for certain that the playing field will remain even regardless of how far ahead they are in the tech race.