• Civilization 7 has been announced. For more info please check the forum here .

Any chances of gunpowder and above ranged unit?


Apr 22, 2012
Is there any chance of adding some sort of gunpowder and modern ranged unit, like snipers in Balanced Sniper Mod? I've been using it, but it's been long since it was updated, and it causes some incompatibilities. Personally, I think that it's one of the units that vanilla game lacks. What do you think about it?
I also think it's a bit of a shame that they disappear. I suppose it's to keep combat somewhat different in different eras, but I don't find it as fun to give missions to planes as I find positioning archers.

I think Thal has experimented with this - wasn't there a time when one of the regular modern units had a ranged attack? If so, was there a reason it didn't work out?
The Gods and Kings expansion will have more ranged units (gattling gun and machine gun). :)
Wow! Didn't know about this one! However, I bet none of us want to wait two months for it :)
Yep, the ranged non-siege line (Archer -> Crossbowman -> ...) will no longer merge with the Gunpowder line in Gods & Kings.

As far as we know, it'll be Archer -> Composite Bowman -> Crossbowman -> Gatling Gun -> Machine gun, with both of the two new ones having range 1. A good summary of G&K info is at http://well-of-souls.com/civ/civ5_expansion.html :)

edit: Thanks, rfxmills!
We are committed to this now, but I would have preferred something like "field artillery/mortars" (range 2) and "heavy artillery/siege artillery" (range 3). It would have better captured modern warfare. IRL MG's seldom outrange infantry rifles by much, if any...on the battlefield, it is the MG's firepower (throw weight of lead) that sets them apart, not range. (And yes, grogs, I know all about Ma Deuce.)

I wish it were easier to mod units, I'd do it myself and be done with it. :old: :badcomp: :lol:
Archers and Crossbowmen should be range 1 with slightly less pathetic defense stats... perhaps range 2 after setting up like Siege units.

I'm okay with some abstraction for the purposes of gameplay (i.e., Crossbowmen and Gatling Guns having the same range), but implementing ranges that are orders of magnitude apart in the other direction. [Google tells me a decent archer has an effective 30 yards or so, while a machine gun's is more like 1,200 yards.]
I agree... automatics provide suppressive fire, not range. The inaccuracy of automatics can give them lower effective range than semiautomatics or bolt-action firearms. Civ will actually reverse that with the +1 range promotion. It doesn't make much sense. You have a good idea about mortars.

The scale of battlefields changes over time; I'm fine with that.
Another idea for units that should be ranged (Rifles, Guns, Tanks...) but only have range 1 could be a kind of "ranged strike" ability which denies melee units (Warriors...) a defensive action when attacked. So an attack over 1 tile would end in a save attack. Of course, the decimated melee unit may retaliate in his or hers turn and the fighting would resolve normaly.

This also means that archers and crossbows could finaly have a ranged attack of 1.
Of course, there could be no really save attack anymore for early ranged units versus fortified barbarian camps in the forest or hills, but on the other hand, this doesn't feel really wrong for me.
One problem with making rifles/guns/tanks ranged is ranged units can't take cities. It also changes field warfare since we don't occupy the hex of a defeated unit. I think the current ranged-melee balance is good. I just feel that "machine guns" are an unrealistic name for a lategame ranged unit... the name "mortars" would be better.
Agreed with Thal. Machine guns are a defensive unit. They would make the most sense as some kind of 'city garisson'. The idea of them being used for offense, to weaken units before the infantry come in... it just doesn't feel right. But that being said, the same goes with archers and crossbowmen, and plenty of other units don't exactly fit their historical usage, so, it's nothing to lose sleep over.
Perhaps you misunderstood my intention. I don't wanted Rifles, Guns, Tanks, and so on to be ranged units in the common term. In fact I would like to see Archers and Crossbows losing their "2-tile ranged unit feature" (because Rifles don't have that).
This would allow these units to take cities for they are no vanilla ranged units anymore.

To compensate the loss of being able to fire from a quite save distance (or a second line) I suggested a fix promotion/ability to all these units with bows, rifles (...) which enables them to still strike rather save versus melee units from one tile to the other.
The attack should hinder melee units from retaliation - but I don't know if this can be implemented.
Personally I think that modern units should be both ranged and melee and have two separate values. (or one value with modifiers for each). The relative melee value of traditional "ranged unit" being much less than a standard melee unit.

SO a Tank could shoot 2 hexes and/or assault into another unit. An infantry unit could shoot 1 hex or assault into the hex of another unit.

It became absolutely neccessary once armies learned to hide in fox holes and trenches to bomb the crap out of them to soften them up, lay down a base of fire, and assault the position. So setting up machine guns to set up a base then moving in with the infantry on the assault is standard practice.

Modifiers for being Dug In would have to make "Shooting" less effective...

Why wouldn't a unit of archers be able to move into a city that has no defense and take it? They may take more casualties than a unit of swordsman but heck if the city is damaged that much then it doesn't matter.
IRL MG's seldom outrange infantry rifles by much, if any...on the battlefield, it is the MG's firepower (throw weight of lead) that sets them apart, not range. (And yes, grogs, I know all about Ma Deuce.)

You're right - which is why in G&K MG's don't out-range Rifles at all. Their "range" is the same as melee units: i.e., no range at all. What they have in common with ranged units is that they can't take possession of a tile. I see this as appropriate since, as you said, MG's provide stationary additional firepower.

Personally I think that modern units should be both ranged and melee and have two separate values.

Sure, in a different game. Civ isn't about that sort of military tactical complexity - never mind the AI!
One more point - history has shown that tanks (and even mech infantry when still mounted) cannot take urban areas. You need dismounted (leg) infantry to do that.

Given the nature of tank combat's evolution since WW1, I'd say there is a good argument to be made that Civ V tanks could evolve into 2-hex ranged units which cannot by themselves take cities. They would have offensive and defensive value, but only as far as penetration of lines and as standoff units. Put a tank in a city and it is a sitting duck. (Ask the Russians about their tank and mech infantry losses in Chechniya for a recent example.)

Thal, I'd like it if you would consider this idea for VE...that second generation and later tanks actually have range, and not be melee units. They cannot and should not take cities - not without leg infantry to occupy the objective.

This way you can replicate the tank battles of the Russian fronts and Western desert, with tanks taking on targets at range, even overrunning exposed infantry they have suppressed by long range fire.

Anti-tank units, on the other hand, would have very limited defense against infantry melee attacks (and be quite vulnerable to range 2 mortars), but would possess a staunch stand-off defense against tanks. So while the tanks and anti-tank units duel at range, the infantry has to approach the city on foot while being exposed to city defensive artillery.

The idea would be to make the player use these units in concert with one another. A city defended by an infantry unit, with an anti-tank unit on its adjacent outskirts to defeat tank long-ranged fires, would be one tough nut to crack - as it should be.
When has history shown that, out of curiosity?

Tanks were used by Germany in WW2 to effectively 'roll over' much of Ukraine. Partisans in villages and cities stood little chance against a Tiger tank, whereas they could easily cause at least some damage to a group of infantry.

The issues in Chechneya are quite different. I think it's fair to say that if the Russian motive was simply to control the area, they could easily do so.

'Taking over' a city and merely having a military presence in it are different things.
You're right - which is why in G&K MG's don't out-range Rifles at all.
Ranged units can get the +1 range promotion, giving machine guns higher range than rifles.

Mobile units do have a vs-city penalty, which simulates it to some extent.
About the ranges of units, I'd prefer the ranges from classic games like Battle Isle 2, which is/was surely a much more combat game than civ 5 is, but I think the geographical proportions could be compared.
So it does not really matter that infantry has a shorter range than tanks if a hex has several kms in diamter.
I am fine with all the unit ranges in civ 5 except the Archers and Crossbows, which should be reduced to 1 imho.
Hexes in Civilization games do not represent a fixed distance. A hex in the ancient era is less than a hex in the modern era. Compare horsemen to mechanized infantry:
  • Horseman
    10 mph endurance riding speed.
    4 hex movement.
  • M113 APC
    42 mph endurance speed.
    3 hex movement.
If hexes were a fixed distance, mech infantry would move 17 :c5moves:! Also consider map size. If hexes are a fixed distance, units move faster on small-sized maps than large ones. Battles in the ancient era also take 50 years, and the modern era 6 months. Modern era units require half a year to travel between two adjacent cities.

The only way any of this makes sense is if hexes represent flexible/abstract values in time and space depending on context. Details like archer range cannot be completely reconciled with other aspects of the game, regardless of what range we give them.
Top Bottom