Air units in Civ 6 are too powerful, yet badly coded


Jul 29, 2020
Air units in civ 6 are very powerful. To the point that if you have them and your opponent doesn't, you've probably won the game even if they are ahead of you in unit power. However there are some problems that I'd like fixed:

1.) Deployed fighters are easy to forget to use. Most units require you to give them orders every turn or specifically tell the unit to sleep/defend so you don't have to do this. Fighter planes on the other hand only ask for orders when they are not deployed. They have a sleep option when landed that works like all other units, but once deployed they are effectively already asleep. I deploy fighters to get extra range to attack or move with, or better sight to target enemies with, and yes occasionally to defend an area, but in all those cases I want my fighter to remain in my list of units I cycle through before I end my turn. I end up having to manually click through the names of each fighter plane in my army every turn to make sure I didn't miss anything and it's quite annoying. This would be easy to fix too. deployed fighter craft should have a sleep button, just like non-deployed fighters do. If they are sleeping then use the current logic. If they are deployed but NOT sleeping then require them to get orders before you end your turn just like every other unit in the game. Deployed is not the same thing as a land unit defending, it's an offensive operation to gain sight and range.

2.) The AI doesn't seem to use air units very much. On Deity level I commonly have to use spys to prevent the enemy from winning a science victory, yet those same enemies that are researching future tech like mad.... don't have a single airplane. They have lots of land units and a bunch of naval units, but I've only come across a couple of airplanes, (maybe 15% of deity level opponents have built fighters?)

3.) The AI doesn't use airplanes effectively. The AI is pretty bad at combat in general, but I've found their airplane usage is just atrocious. If I have units in their sight range, (including airplanes in Aerodromes) the fighters will attack them... however if I have my planes in cities instead of aerodromes the AI is happy to let me bomb the hell out of them and blow up all their units without ever responding. They never deploy their fighters to defend anything, and they don't even send their fighters to attack my cities when nothing else is in range. They just wait for me to slowly whittle down their city with my biplanes despite having a jet fighter stationed there. They also don't seem to attack with bombers at all, (and rarely even build them.)

4.) The AI doesn't use anti-air effectively. I've seen a couple of anti-air units produced by the AI... but I've never had a problem deleting enemy units with my fighters. The AI should produce lots of anti-air units to combat my masses of fighters... yet they only seem to produce a couple randomly, and never send them specifically to counter airplanes.

5.) Planes on the ground act weird when defending. Most units sitting in a city are invulnerable and slightly raise the defense of the city. This works fine for land units, but it's a bit jarring when compared to how planes operate in an aerodrome. When a plane is in an aerodrome it can be targeted directly by enemy planes and flies out to intercept them on the way to the aerodrome. When a plane is in a city, it just sits there and can't be targeted. I'd expect the highest health fighter plane available would intercept any air-based attack on their landing strip, (be it an aircraft carrier, a city, an aerodrome, or even the city an aerodrome is owned by.) Currently the plane doesn't defend a city it's in, and you can target the low health plane to kill it off in an aerodrome. Neither of these make sense.

6.) Bombers never get hurt on attack runs. If I send a bomber out on an attack run and the target has anti-air defenses, my bomber appears to take damage... but when I check it's health it's still 100%. This might have been a bug that was fixed, but as anti-air defenses are so rare, I'm not sure it has. Also the urban defenses animation acts like they fight back against aircraft, but don't seem to actually do any damage. Urban defenses should probably do some damage to aircraft, (but not as much as they do to land or bombers would become too weak.) This means I've never seen the point of the final promotion for bombers as it talks about being able to do something when damaged.... the only time bombers get damaged is if I send a fighter to attack them while they rest in an aerodrome.

7.) Once planes exist, they are so good at deleting enemy units that ground troops of all kinds, (including ones from eras later than planes) are effectively useless. The enemy in my current game had 7 helicopter corps march together on my cities. I had barely gotten urban defenses and my cities were sitting at 60ish defense rating. My 3 fighter planes took out all of the helicopters before I lost a single city. Bombers have a penalty attacking land units. It should be doubled and the original penalty applied to fighters attacking land units. Or, alternately allow land units to fight back against planes, (poorly without an AA unit, but at least do something.)
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