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In-Depth Guide to Offensive Wars (in progress)

Discussion in 'Strategy Section' started by amateurgamer88, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unit Composition V

    Medieval Era vs. Medieval Era

    Wars start to become rather interesting once you and your enemy are both in the Medieval Era. In my opinion, there's a role for all the units unlocked in the Medieval Era, though one unit is rather weak for this era. There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was when you were in Classical Era. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Castles.

    Land heavy map:

    First, I want to stress that blockading cities is still a viable option, maybe more so since Castles actually make cities quite a tougher to capture unless you have certain unit compositions. Whenever you have a chance, blockade the city as it will make life a lot easier. However, you should never attempt this when you risk losing units as it's rarely a good trade to lose a unit. Let's see some compositions and bad names I give them.

    Rush Approach:

    With any rushes, mobility is key. Therefore, your army composition depends heavily on high mobility units like Knights and Heavy Skirmishers. As I have stated before, these two units are extremely powerful and, when used properly in the right circumstances, they can devastate the enemy ranks while greatly minimizing damage taken. Of course, Knights and Heavy Skirmishers aren't enough unless the terrain really help (like allow multiple of your Heavy Skirmishers attack enemy city with impunity). You also need two other units to support this strategy. You need Crossbowmen for their Medic I or or even Medic II. If you have been warring quite a bit before this scenario, then some of your Knights might even have March. March Knights with Medic Crossbowmen can ensure that they last fairly long on the battlefield without needing to withdraw to friendly territory. You also need Trebuchet to help take down cities.

    Why do I call this a rush? Speed is of the essence here if you want to maximize the damage early on. Before the AI is ready for the war, you send your units to quickly weaken their ranks. The idea is to weaken the enemy piecemeal without taking too much damage yourself. If successful, your Trebuchet can basically attack enemy cities with impunity since you cleared most of the enemy resistances and the AI is struggling to replace the units you just eliminated. While it's possible to use this composition for a dragged out war where you whittle enemy bit by bit as you fight their main forces across a front, there's a better strategy I'll highlight below.

    Attrition Approach I:

    For the first attrition approach, you can use the composition above but you need to throw in a couple of Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen. Why? You don't want your mounted and ranged units to take hits and, with good defensive terrain, Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen can actually last somewhat long, especially if they're adjacent to Medic Crossbowmen that can also support by attacking. Do note that you want to do this on friendly territory since you can heal more and boost the survivability of the melee units. Since your main contingent of units are Knights and Heavy Skirmishers along with some ranged units, your unit supply is very limited so you can only get a couple of melee units. What will you pick? This depends on the enemy composition. If the enemy is focusing mostly on Knights, then Pikemen will be more beneficial. If the enemy uses Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen composition (like in situation where the AI has a Spearmen UU or Swordsmen UU so they outnumber mounted units), then Longswordsmen are the better bet. If you went Authority, then you might as well get the Landsknecht as it's basically a combination of the two units and can be bought with full experience as opposed to taking up production. The advantage of this over the other attrition approach is that, once you find an opening in the enemy ranks, you can break through it quickly due to the mobility at your disposal.

    Attrition Approach II:

    The second attrition approach is more fitting for the attrition name. Here, you have largely melee units like Pikemen, Longswordsmen and/or Landsknecht as your main front line. Then, you have Heavy Skirmishers and Crossbowmen providing the main damage to lessen enemy unit counts. With proper terrain and rotation, you can potentially not lose any units despite the AI throwing a lot of units at you. With rotation, it's basically you switching a healthy unit and withdrawing a wounded unit. The idea is to keep all of your units alive while your opponent is growing weaker as time passes. Rotation works best when you are defending since you have Roads to help get maneuver your units. Rotation can work in enemy territory but it's tougher as Roads can make a big difference in how quickly you can get units rotated. Now, this approach is more viable when you don't have as many Horses so a more mobile force isn't as feasible. Unlike the approach above, the push will be slower due to limited movement of your units. What I generally like to do is maintaining a strong front line while keeping an eye out for Hills that allow my Crossbowmen to support and rough terrain that allow my Heavy Skirmishers to work their hit and run tactics.

    Attrition Approach III:

    This third approach sees fewer melee units and more ranged units. The success of this approach depends very heavily on a number of things like promotions, terrain and other factors important to war. For example, maybe you have a bunch of Crossbowmen with Indirect Fire that allow them to attack at a relatively safe position. The terrain might offer a few choke points so you need fewer melee units to hold the line. You might also have UA that give your units the ability to lay a heavy beating on the opponent whenever they try to get closer. Generally, this approach isn't advised as exposed ranged units don't have the best survivability. However, this can be quite fun to use in certain situations and quite rewarding if you can pull it off. This approach does require kiting so be ready for quite a bit of micromanaging and planning ahead with what actions you units take.

    Water heavy map:

    Naval warfare in Medieval Era is quite a bit different from Classic due to the Caravel. In the Classical Era, all naval units are restricted to only Coastal tiles. While some tricks can allow your Triremes cross Ocean tiles, their movement is still very much limited. Caravel changes all that by having the ability to end its end on Ocean tiles as well. Ironically, their ranged counterpart, Galleass, cannot do so. Therefore, Caravels have undisputed dominance in the Medieval Era. Despite this dominance, Caravels are still unsuited for taking cities. Even with sufficient promotions that gives them bonuses when attacking cities, Caravels are still poorly equipped to handle the damage output of defending ranged units and the city itself. However, they are well suited in forming blockades so their contribution still cannot be underestimated.

    Regarding the composition, there will likely be a heavy emphasis on Caravel. Galleass can be useful if most of combat happens near the Coast. However, they will require protection or enemy Caravel will easily deal with them. This is probably the only time where a naval ranged unit isn't quite worth it due to how much babysitting they requiring. A full composition of just Caravel can certainly work given their maneuverability and dominance of this time. Even with Amphibious assaults, it's far better to have Caravel escort embarked units.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  2. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unit Composition VI

    Renaissance Era vs. Medieval Era

    Renaissance Era is quite different from the previous eras in that only one tech that you beeline for has a direct impact on the short term. The other techs are really designed for the longer term. While the other techs are designed for the long term, they can actually be quite powerful depending on your policy and victory condition. Most importantly, you and any AI that first enters Renaissance Era will unlock a spy for all civs except England (who starts with a spy) or those that went Statecraft and already unlocked spies due to lots of :c5culture: Culture output. Spies do play a major role in the game from this game onward.


    Banking has three major roles that cannot be overlooked. First, it helps you defend against enemy spies with the building, Constabulary. This building slows down enemy spies operating in your cities and thus improving your chances of killing enemy spies. Why is this important? Let's say you are in the lead with techs and the AI decides to send spies to your capital. Without proper defenses, those spies will do a lot of harm in addition to stealing your technology. With technology stolen, your enemy can catch up and what might be originally a big advantage can easily disappear. As a warmonger, our goal is to keep snowballing and not give our neighbors a chance to rebound. Letting them steal important techs can do exactly that so we must do whatever we can to stop them from ever catching back and causing issues. Of course, Constabulary alone isn't enough. You also need a defensive spy in your capital, preferably fully promoted from being a diplomat in a foreign capital city. You needn't about spy defenses in other cities until later.

    Secondly, Banking unlocks the advanced actions for spies like sabotaging Wonders and assassinating Great People. These new actions, along with stealing techs, make spies quite powerful for their time. If you are beelining for Metallurgy, then you can actually use offensive spies to steal other techs you might be delaying due to the desire to have a stronger military. In the meantime, you are also slowing the enemy down which helps you over the long run. Offensive spies becomes quite a bit more powerful with Banking so, if you are going for Statecraft, the focus on spies might not be a bad in getting further ahead. In addition, spies gives you intel on the enemy cities so those can give you a good idea what technology your enemy produces and what defenses are in the immediate vicinity of the cities.

    Finally, Banking also unlock Banks (who would've thought?). Why am I bringing Banks? First, you need :c5gold: Gold to wage war while still maintaining a strong economy. Banks can do that fairly assuming you haven't neglected other similar buildings like Markets and Custom Houses. Secondly, the Banks makes it so that 15% of :c5gold: Gold spend is converted into :c5science: Science. This means that, whenever you invest in a building/Wonder and purchases units, you get some :c5science: Science. While this might not seem like much, it can add up and, if you have a lot of spare gold, you can actually shave off a turn or two for your technology on standard pace. If you went Authority, then purchasing units like Landknechts also gives your :c5science: Science a pretty big boost. Shaving off turns for techs can widen your lead over your opponents and your advantage becomes more and more pronounce.

    Printing Press:

    This is a long term investment if you are going for Diplomatic Victory or a short term benefit if you can use it to your advantage. The Globe Theater isn't going to help your warmongering much as it's more geared towards Cultural Victory (CW) or civs that benefit a lot more from Golden Ages (GA). What can have a pretty impact is becoming the Host of the World Congress (WC) by discovering Printing Press first and discovering all the civs. Even if this is temporary when you lack sufficient delegates to stay and/or, chances are, your warmongering made you lots of enemies as well, you can pass a couple of resolutions that can help you.

    First, there's the Casus Belli that decreases warmonger penalty faster and lowers your unit maintenance, both of which can help your war machine by making it possible to war more frequently without antagonizing all your neighbor and fielding a larger force without hurting your economy too much. Secondly, you have the Treasure Fleet that can help your navy if you are playing on a water heavy map. Give your naval units, with a few exceptions, extra :c5strength: CS, extra sight and the ability to repair outside of friendly territory can make a huge deal in naval warfare if you can win gold and grab the Grand Canal. Thirdly, you have the City State Sanction that hurts AI that rely on Statecraft or CS allies while also allowing you to conquer CS with less penalty overall. Finally, there's the Endowment for the Arts if you are behind in policies because you've been focusing heavily on :c5science: Science. Overall, the extra delegate from being the host can really impact the short term or, if you are going diplomatic, the long term.


    This tech can accomplish two things. First, it unlocks the Chichen Itza Wonder that extends your GA. Longer GA means more yields overall and that can help you catch up to the leader or snowball even more. The Wonder is great for tall civs but it's generally a good option for all options if available. Secondly, we have the ability the embark units on Ocean tiles. While it's true that Caravel unlocked from Compass can already do so, this tech makes it possible to invade another continent or settle new lands that are yet to be claimed. While situational, this tech can have a big impact in the right circumstance. Will you go for this tech often? Unless you need longer GA, then Astronomy won't be a priority compared to other Renaissance Era techs.


    For warmongers, this tech can have an enormous impact. While I'm not discussing UA specifically in this section, I should mention that 4 UA are unlocked by this tech and 3 of them belong to a warmonger civ. If you play one of those civs, then you know for certain that this tech will be prioritized. Even without a UA, Gunpowder is still quite powerful since it unlocks two units: Tercio and Cannon. Tercio is solid in holding your front line as it doesn't require any resources and has bonus against cavalry. In addition, they are upgraded from both Longswordsmen and Pikemen so you don't have to worry about which unit to build. Then, you have the Cannon which are extremely powerful for its time. Castles becomes available around the time Trebuchet is unlocked but there are no such measures against Cannons. Unless your foe goes Fealty, then Cannons will quickly drop a city's health to red if left to attack with impunity. Finally, Gunpowder unlocks the Himeji Castle that gives your units bonus :c5strength: CS in friendly territory and extra :c5strength: CS for all cities. A stronger defense means that you can more effectively launch a counteroffensive after devastate the enemy offensive by using all your advantages as a defender. For warmongers, this tech is usually high on the priority given the tools that it unlocks.


    This tech can be interesting as it can be quite impactful in some situations and has limited benefit until later. First, Chemistry gives 2 :c5science: Science to Citadel so, if you have been on the offensive a lot leading up to this point, then you will have quite a few Citadels and, as a result, a slight science boost. It's not an enormous boost but it will add up over time. Secondly, this tech is very important if you largely have plantation luxuries, specifically Tobacco, Tea and Coffee. In addition to the +1 :c5gold: to plantation from the tech itself, the Grocer that's unlocked by the tech gives :c5gold: Gold and/or :c5production: Production, two yields that are quite good for a warmonger. Finally, we have the Wonder, The Learning Tower of Pisa, that's more geared for the long term. More Great People like Great Scientists and Great Writers can have profound impact but they won't be felt later after you popped a few for academies and great works. The free Great Person can quite nice as it gives you more options to either make up for weakness or push your snowballing.

    Medieval Era vs. Renaissance Era


    If the AI gets Banking as its first tech in the Renaissance Era, then you have little worry about. While it does unlocked advanced actions for the AI spies, the odds of the AI spies targeting your city is quite low unless you are literally second in tech. If you are second in tech, then you probably won't lag behind much in military techs. In my opinion, there's little to worry about as Banking is the least threatening out of all five techs. Ironically, I do notice AI at times beelining for this tech in my game.

    Printing Press:

    If the tech leader is also aiming for diplomatic victory, then this tech can be problematic, especially if the AI is also doing very well religiously and grabbed Global Commandments. The ability for the AI to shape the game in some fairly big way can be dangerous. Luckily, the AI isn't always the brightest in terms of what resolution it proposes but there will be times when the AI hinder you as a player in the long run by proposing and passing a resolution you'd rather not pass. In addition to World Congress, this tech also unlocks the Globe Theater. If the tech leader is going tall and went Artistry, this Wonder can give the AI a fairly bit boost and start snowballing more at this point. While more threatening than Banking, this tech is more situational and can actually be beneficial to the human player as it lets you meet all the AIs to get discounts for tech if you are behind.


    The most immediate impact of Astronomy is the Chichen Itza. Certain civ benefits from GA more than others while a snowballing civ can get an even bigger lead. I've seen more AIs in my game beelining Chichen Itza than any other Wonder that's unlocked when you first enter Renaissance Era. Given the yields you can get from longer GA, this Wonder can make the snowballing AI very dangerous. If you have a chance to take this Wonder, you should do so. However, an AI with a large advantage might not even give you a chance of stealing it.


    If there's a tech you have to wonder about, then it's AI getting Gunpowder. With access to both Tercio and Cannon, the AI now has a pretty strong arsenal. Remember the Knights that were so dominant in Medieval Era? Well, Tercio can really shut them down and, depending on the civ, some AI might have a ton of them. For instance, AIs that UU that replaces Longswordsmen and Pikemen will have a lot of Tercio. As a result, the AI will have a pretty strong front line while those Cannons will make short work of your cities if you can't reach them. A strong composition of Crossbowmen and Knights can help you defend quite well but it will be tricky if you let the AI get this tech advantage over you.


    Like Astronomy, Chemistry is only dangerous if the AI really benefits from the Wonder. The Leaning Tower of Pisa can help Tall civs that's going specialists focused. If you neighbor can get more Great Scientists, then you are certain the AI will get more ahead in tech as time goes on. If the AI also went Artistry, then the civ will get plenty of Great Works to pull even further ahead. Overall, this tech can be situational but, letting an AI that can put it to good use get it with impunity, you have some bigger problems to worry about.

    To be continued...
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  3. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unit Composition VII

    Renaissance Era vs. Renaissance Era

    Depending on the era, wars can change dramatically in the Renaissance Era. While all units unlocked in this era have a role, one unit does seem weaker than other units (more will be discussed below). There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was when you were in Medieval era. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Castles.

    Land heavy map:

    With land heavy map, you aren't likely to build a navy unless you want to defend your coastal city that are vulnerable to naval assaults. If you composition consist of mainly land units, then the composition will be very important. A poorly assembled composition will stop your expansion ambitions very quickly, especially on higher difficulties when mistakes are far more punishing. Without further ado, let's continue with the different composition you might use.

    Mobility Approach:

    As the name suggests, mobility is the key here. Therefore, your composition consists of mainly Lancers and Cuirassier due to their ability to cover large distance quickly. Once again, you should be using their hit and run ability to whittle down the enemy until you can deliver the finishing blows. Ideally, you have multiple wars prior to this moment so your Lancers, upgraded directly your Knights, will have promotions like March that greatly improve their survivability. If you can withdraw your Lancer back into friendly territory after each attack, then you will inflict a lot of damage on the enemy. However, these two units are still lacking in terms of their damage against cities. Therefore, you still need Cannons to devastate cities that only possess Castles. Use your mobile core to steadily crush the enemy opposition before you send in your Cannons to take cities.

    Ranged Approach:

    It's possible that your composition isn't very cavalry heavy. It might be consisting of mostly front line units and quite a few ranged units. This composition is quite useful if you have terrains work in your favor. Either there are lots of rough that help give your front line units lots of defensive bonuses or you have units or UA that lets you take advantage of the terrain that are hindrance to your foes. For instance, the Inca movements can move on Mountain tiles and that can be huge edge if you are fighting on mountainous terrain or choke points. For this composition, you will need quite a few Tercio as they will serve as your front line. If this front line collapses, then your entire offensive will be forced back. Of course, you need a good balance of ranged and melee units and that requires experience. Musketmen who have lots of promotions can really help with your offensive and, if your Cannons went down the Field promotion line, then their contribution cannot be overlook either. This approach is a slower approach than the Mobility Approach but you are playing it safer if you can rotate your wounded melee units to keep the front line strong. For those who enjoy methodical approach to war, this approach might be more comfortable since you are finding weakness and exploiting them a step at a time.

    Attrition Approach:

    Unlike the previous approaches, this approach focuses on the defensive initially and rely on a lot of planning ahead due to the composition varying. Essentially, you want a composition of all of your available units depending on a number of factors. If there are lots of rivers that hinders the enemy advances, then you can have lots of ranged units Musketmen and Cannons. If the terrain is flat and you have a good road system, then Lancers and Cuirassiers might be better since they are mobile and can withdraw back to safety after their attacks. Even good placements of Citadel(s) can play a critical role by forcing the enemy into a meat grinder where their numbers will eventually be whittled down. If you are using rough terrain or Citadels, then you will need Tercio to hold down the front line. The goal of this approach is to use attrition to weaken your foe and then capitalize on your enemy's weakened position.

    Water heavy map:

    Unlike naval combat in the Medieval Era, Renaissance Era naval combat is a lot more balanced and does require you to have a better composition to deal with threats. We will look at two scenarios that you will face. The first one is a defensive approach while the other is the naval dominance approach.

    Defensive Approach:

    This is called defensive approach because your goal is to defend your coastal cities. You don't care much about dominating the seas because it's not necessary. However, you want your coastal cities to be safe from enemy assaults. With the birth of Frigates and lacking defensive buildings stronger than Castles, your coastal won't last long unless you make sure to bolster your defenses. For this approach, you won't need a lot of supply cap allocated to your navy. You just need a melee ship, in this case the Corvette, in every coastal city. For me at least, I go down the dreadnought line because it gives my ship more HP and its purpose is to take damage when the city is hit while the ranged unit can hit enemy naval units with impunity. Of course, you can also go for a more offensive strategy with that Corvette but this is quite risky and losing the Corvette can be problematic to your defenses.

    Naval Dominance Approach:

    To achieve naval dominance, you will allocate a lot of your supply limit to your navy. There are two situations where you may want to do this. First, you might have dominated your half of the hemisphere but there's a serious competition on the other continent. The only way to stop that competition might be war and you won't able to do so without a strong navy. The other situation is a map that's water heavy and you needed a navy to keep you alive or your conquest ambitions alive. To continue strengthening your navy makes sense as a strong navy will decide the victor of the game.

    In such a scenarios, you will need a more balanced approach when it comes to your naval composition. Corvettes are quite powerful melee units while Frigates can easily tip the naval engagements in your favor if used properly. Frigates can't take direct hits from enemy Corvettes while Corvettes that can't reach enemy Frigates will find their health whittled down. Since naval units cannot heal outside of friendly territory except for certain promotions and Wonder, whittled down ships take longer to recover before they can reengage the enemy. Since both Corvette and Frigates can move on Ocean tiles, then it's possible to have naval engagements far from friendly territory and such engagement requires a lot more thought behind positioning, promotions and overall strategy. For those who want fun naval engagements, this is certainly the era when naval engagements can be quite fun.

    To be continued...
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  4. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unit Composition VIII

    Industrial Era vs. Renaissance Era

    Industrial Era was once, in my opinion, a very unbalanced era for naval warfare. Recent changes to a naval unit has made naval warfare much more balanced. However, the land combat is also changing drastically due to two units that really change how warfare plays out. Here, the side with a technological advantage will get a fairly big boost while those who lag behind will punished. While this is true in most cases, the Industrial Era does unlock some powerful tools. I will be covering more than the technology you will need to unlock Industrial Era as three other technologies can have a huge role in your war.

    Scientific Theory:

    You don't want to go for this technology unless you are going tall and feel safe against your neighbors or have such a massive scientific lead that taking this technology won't see you fall behind in military techs. Public Schools gives your tall cities quite a bit of :c5science: Science while unlocking Archaeologists once you researched Archaeologists. The Zoo gives you a nice boost to your :tourism: Tourism. Unless you are going for Science or Cultural Victory, you don't want to go this route since warring will get you ahead, especially if you went Authority and have unlocked or is going for Imperialism. For warmongers, I don't recommend this unless you want a challenge or your UB is unlocked with this tech (though even that UB is pretty bad).


    Railroad is a weird tech as it's pretty situational. First, you need railroads built by your Workers before you can give your cities extra :c5production: Production. In addition, railroads also improves your Villages and Towns so, if you have a bunch of these already, then you should reap the benefits. Building railroads takes time and doesn't really benefit your war efforts since it doesn't boost your movement on them and the extra :c5production: Production takes time before you unlock it. Then, you have the Neuschwanstein, a Wonder that needs to be built in a city within 2 tiles of a Mountain tile. What this Wonder provides is happiness to your happiness which you no doubt possess after your hopefully conquests. If you have went Fealty, then Castles provides 2 :c5happy: Happiness and that's not insignificant. Why do you need all the extra :c5happy: Happiness? If you want to take more cities and be able to handle :c5unhappy: Unhappiness, then this will solve the issue. Overall, this tech is situational and only research it if you know you'll grab the Neuschwanstein. Otherwise, you have better techs to research unless this Railroad is a prerequisite for a later tech.

    Steam Power:

    Steam Power is more important for warmonger that are going for naval dominance than those looking dominate the continent or Pangaea. The reason for this is due to the strategic resource, Coal. Coal is largely used by Ironclad which is also unlocked in the Industrial Era. Coal is also important as it's required for buildings like Train Station and Seaport, the latter can be a huge production boost to navy building and is unlocked by this technology too. In addition, a strategic monopoly of Coal also gives +1 :c5moves: Movement to naval units and that's a pretty big deal. If you have been conquering cities leading up to the Industrial Era, then you are almost guaranteed Coal strategic monopoly unless you are unlucky. Steam Power benefits land wars in two ways. First, it allows the constructions of Tran Station by making Coal discoverable which provides a gold boost. Secondly, it unlocks the Zeppelin which is a great scouting tool. Until this point, only the Incan can place units on Mountain tiles. Zeppelin can hover on mountains and give you very important information on the enemy unit positions to make better informed decisions.


    Rifling really changes warfare on land because many cities that might be seen as fortresses before are suddenly possible to take down. Prior to Rifling, all siege units lack Indirect Fire unless they get the promotion and that takes a long time. The Field Gun unlocked by Rifling starts with Indirect Fire promotion which opens up a lot of doors. Even if there are mountains mostly surrounding a city, your Field Gun can still open fire on it as long as it can get within range of the city. Terrain also plays a lesser in hindering the Field Gun from firing so it can contribute more to combat. This makes going down the Field promotion line a lot more viable now. You also get Fusiliers that are your new front line unit. It'\s survivability is higher than the Tercio and, in the recent update, there are talks of increasing their :c5strength: CS so they'll be slightly more tankier. Finally, you also get access Arsenal which allows your cities to attack 3 tiles away and have Indirect Fire as well. This means that, if you have been aggressive, your cities might also contribute to your siege of a nearby enemy city. The city can hit pretty hard so don't underestimate its contribution.


    While the tech does provide you with Factories and Palace of New Westminster Wonder, we will only discuss the Ironclad as it's the main reason why you are rushing this tech for your wars. The Ironclad is a upgrade from Corvette but it's such a powerful improvement from Corvette. Given that Corvettes have a :c5strength: CS of 36 and Ironclad have a :c5strength: CS of 55, you already see a huge difference in terms of strength (almost 50% increase) and that's not taking into account of the extra bonus from promotions. Not only are Ironclad a handful to handle with Corvette but Frigates are going to have a worst time by doing less damage overall and one hit means losing most of the Frigate's health. There's also the bonus against cities that can be helpful if you want to take the city slightly faster. If you want naval dominance, then Ironclad is certainly one of the tools you don't want to miss out on.


    Dynamite is another tech that can really change how your wars are fought. It helps both land and naval warfare as it provides a unit for each. For land, you have the Gatling Gun which is quite a menace for its time. It 47 :c5rangedstrength: RCS is a huge deal compared to the Musketmen's 31 :c5rangedstrength: RCS. It also possesses the Covering Fire promotion that, while reducing the Gatling Gun's effectiveness against fortified units, cities and armored units, gives it +20% :c5strength: CS when defending and reduces enemies' :c5strength: CS within 2 tiles of the Gatling Gun by 15%. Those can be the difference of your Gatling Gun holding down a position long enough to crush the enemy offensive or eliminate an enemy with one less ranged shot so you can maximize your damage against the enemy. Gatling Gun is certainly a big threat and getting it before your enemy can be a game changer in certain situation.

    Next, we have the Cruiser, Until recently, this naval unit has 2 range which makes it stupidly powerful. Its range is lowered to 1 now but it's not to be underestimated. While it no longer can clear out a beachhead as effectively for your land units to disembark largely unscathed, the Cruiser can still help you achieve naval dominance, Against a foe with Ironclad, this can be quite difficult as careful positioning is required. Yet, Cruisers with Logistics can even force Ironclad to withdraw after a couple of hits because they are literally glass cannons. Against a coastal city, those Bombardment promotions can come in real handy and, with extra movements from promotions, policies and other sources, you can force the enemy ranged to move next to the Coast tiles where they can be dispatched with ease. Cruisers are still a major threat and even losing a range hasn't changed that.

    Military Science:

    This technology can play a critical role if you have the production to back up what's unlocked. First, you have the Brandenburg Gate that gives your newly built units more experience which isn't something to be scoffed at. At this stage of the game, the extra promotion can make a huge deal, especially if you stack up buildings like Order. If you went Authority and got Alhambra, then your melee units will get fourth promotions on the Drill promotion line as soon as the unit is built. Having experienced units can make your wars more smoothly, especially for your ranged units that take longer to get new promotions. In addition, the extra supply cap is nice to have if you need both a strong army and navy. Once you also build the Military Academy also available through this tech, then your units will get plenty of experience to give you a further edge. Given that humans normally make better promotion decisions than AI, then you will a better quality units to fight your biggest threats.

    This tech does unlock Cavalry but, in my opinion, this unit isn't great. The reason for that is due to the rise of Field Guns and Gatling Guns. Field Guns have Indirect Fire so Cavalry can't take advantage of rough terrain like Hills anymore. Do note that rough terrains like Forests are largest nonexistent at this stage of the game so there are even less advantage for the Cavalry. Gatling Guns also hit way harder so, in the battle of ranged units, a Cavalry stands no chance against the Gatling Gun. There might be a place for the UU that replaces Cavalry but there are certainly better options overall.

    Renaissance Era vs. Industrial Era

    Scientific Theory:

    While you might pose no threat to your neighbor if you went this tech first, the same cannot be said about the AI. The AI can very easily go for Archaeology following this tech to get to those Archaeologists. If your biggest threat is going for CV, then you know that time is working against you. The best answer to an AI going this route is to go for military techs to have a massively stronger military than your competition. If you are quick or not that behind, then you might be able to attack before the AI gets Arsenal that makes its cities noticeably harder to take. Ideally, you won't be too far behind in tech because it will get worse if you still cannot close the gap.


    Unless you really want the Wonder, then your competition going for Railroad probably isn't your biggest worry. The AIs, especially on higher difficulties, usually have no issue with gold at this point so buildings like Train Stations aren't going to have that big of an impact. AIs going for CV might also go for this tech for the Hotel but Scientific Theory is probably those AIs' best option. Overall, an AI going this route isn't the most dangerous so you can continue going for your military techs.

    Steam Power:

    This tech can give your competition a pretty decisive edge if you are competing for naval dominance. Assuming that your competition went Statecraft or is warmonger, then getting Coal Strategic Monopoly is going to be fairly easy and that extra movement, along with Imperialism opener, can give AI naval units a lot of movements. For those familiar with naval combat, you know that extra movements can make a big difference either in crossing an ocean or get better position overall. Luckily, the AI still isn't great with positioning so you just have to \worry about your enemy reaching your front yard sooner.


    Rifling can give your enemies some powerful tools. The Arsenal is probably the biggest obstacle in your way if you're going for naval dominance as those cities are much harder with your Frigates while the extra bombardment range for the city makes your Frigates within range of the city. The extra :c5strength: CS of the cities also make them tougher to take until you unlock units like Ironclads and Cruisers. Then, there are the Field Guns that can make certain city locations nearly impossible to overwhelm without hefty losses. The Indirect Fire really makes the Field Guns a dangerous weapon if the terrain is in favor of your enemy. What might have been hindrance to the enemy can suddenly be the enemy's greatest asset. Finally, you have the Fusiliers which aren't to be underestimated. They are noticeably stronger than Tercio and will be tougher meatshield to beat than Tercio. If your dangerous neighbor got this tech, you better be ready for some difficult wars and it's usually not a smart idea to attack until you unlock your own Field Guns.


    This tech can make your naval combat a lot tougher given how strong Ironclads are. The AI usually have quite a few of these melee naval units and they can easily crush your Corvettes and Frigates. If you noticed your target possessing these units, it's not advisable to declare war unless you have full confidence in your abilities and you have the numerical advantage. Otherwise, it's far better to be patient to wait for a better time to strike. On higher difficulties, you must remember that you need to use all the advantage and minimize what your enemy possesses that can give it an edge.


    If your enemy has unlocked this tech, then I suggest you hold off on war for both the land and the seas. The reason for that is the Gatling Gun and Cruiser. These two ranged units are really dominant for their time, especially the Gatling Gun which the AI will certainly use for devastating effects in defense. Even the newly unlocked Fusiliers you get from Rifling will easily be cut down by enemy Gatling Guns. As for navy, Cruisers are no joke as they can hurt your Corvette badly if you can't reach enemy Cruisers. Overall, wars should be postponed when these techs give your foes a noticeable advantage you can't ignore.

    Military Science:

    Unlike Dynamite, the AI that gets this tech isn't as dangerous. While the extra promotion is a headache, you, as a player on high difficulty, is familiar with fighting foes that has units with more promotions from the very beginning. Cavalry just doesn't have the same threat as Gatling Gun and no one should lose sleep of not getting the Brandenburg Gate. Overall, this tech isn't going to give the AI an advantage it doesn't boast already.

    To be Continued...
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  5. tommytoxen

    tommytoxen Warlord

    May 7, 2012
    wow nice guide, thanks :)
    amateurgamer88 likes this.
  6. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unit Composition IX

    Industrial Era vs. Industrial Era

    Industrial Era is certainly an era when ranged units really shine with one exception. While all units unlocked in this era have a role, one unit lack a key role that makes it very relevant unless you actively made that unit more useful or if the unit is upgraded from a UU or is the UU. There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was but changes might be made to accommodate the new tools unlocked. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Arsenals.

    Land heavy map:

    First, I want to stress that blockading cities becomes more important as time goes, especially when your foe has Arsenals, completed Fealty policy tree and/or built the Red Fort, Certain unit compositions becomes more vital while some units becomes rather obsolete until a later era when a much better version of them appears. Whenever you have a chance, blockade the city as it will make life easier as it makes taking cities possible within a reasonable amount of time. However, you should never attempt this when you risk losing units as it's rarely a good trade to lose a unit. At this stage of the game, it's actually, in my opinion, easier to defend than attack so you need think through your decisions or your army will be decimated. Let's see some compositions and bad names I give them.

    Ranged Approach:

    When I said that ranged units dominate this era, I'm not kidding at all. The melee units you have available are Fusiliers and Lancers, the former doesn't have a lot of survivability against ranged units while the latter is from an era ago. If your army composes of mostly Gatling Guns and Field Guns, then you have plenty of firepower. While Gatling Guns can serve on the front lines, they are better at supporting a handful of Fusiliers with their Medic II promotions. The idea with this approach is to lure your enemy into your defensible position where your ranged units can decimate enemy forces over time. Ideally, your units get enough promotions to get the really important ones like extra range for your Field Guns. Don't forget that Indirect Fire makes your Field Guns more versatile so you actually have more option that can keep them safe while shoot at enemy with impunity.

    Patience Approach:

    For those who want to play it safe and aren't dealing with massive enemy numbers on higher difficulties, there is an approach where you can be patient while you hurt the enemy economy until you are ready to move in. This approach focuses on you keeping a strong defensive units of mostly ranged unit, preferably Field Guns due to their ability to get both extra range and Logistics if you go down the Field promotion line. I recommend Field Guns because they already have Indirect Fire so they need fewer promotions to be very devastating. Then, you use your mobile core of Lancers to pillage enemy tiles to slow them down and increase their WW. This approach requires a lot of patience and lots of planning ahead as poor positioning can get your mounted units killed very easily. Do note that you can also use Zeppelins if it has lots of promotions since its survivability is much higher. The idea is hurting your enemy bit by bit through pillaged tiles and WW while your ranged units gets the promotions they need to attack enemy units and cities from afar with almost impunity.

    Defensive Approach:

    This approach requires similar patience as the approach above but we are assuming that you already have a pretty large force. Basically, you are using Gatling Guns on the defensive where they thrive the most. Use them to mow down the enemy before you make a major offensive push on the enemy. This approach sees less Field Guns because their damage against enemy units pales against Gatling Guns and you want to mow down the enemy units as quickly as possible. You don't want the war drag on to the point where WW is hurting you as well. For this approach, the proper use of Forts and Citadels are very vital. Therefore, it makes your previous wars important too since, at this point, the AI will have placed Citadels and you can get them for free by capturing cities that already have them within their border. Unlike the Ranged Approach, you will need more Fusiliers to hold down those Forts and Citadels. While it's true Gatling Guns can do pretty well if garrisoned, you want them for damage and not damage soakers.

    Aggressive Approach:

    This is a play style that's very high risk and isn't recommended for most games. Those meeting the one or more of these factors can try it for fun. You either have a massive military advantage in term of quantities than you opponents, your melee units are very mobile and/or ignores ZoC due to policies/tenets/UA, your Ancient Era policy tree is Authority and/or your neighbor is fighting on another front so you know resistance will be weak when you declare war. This approach requires a lot of melee units like Fusiliers to push aggressively into enemy territory while they serve as both meat shield and bait. They take damage from the enemy while also forcing enemy units to appear from the fog of war so you can devise a strategy to deal with those with your Gatling Gun. Meanwhile, your Field Guns are basically just there to take out cities as soon as possible so the Siege promotion line is recommended. As you can imagine, you can lose a lot of melee units due to this but, if successful, you'll hit the enemy so hard that the AI won't be able to react. For those who completed Authority, you will get a strong melee unit next era that you can purchase with :c5gold: Gold so your Fusiliers are expendable.

    Water heavy map:

    Like Renaissance Era, Industrial Era naval combat is a lot more balanced and does require you to have a better composition to deal with threats. We will look at two scenarios that you will face. The first one is a defensive approach while the other is the naval dominance approach.

    Defensive Approach:

    If you have no intention of dominating the seas, then you need to make sure your coastal cities are well defended. Preferably, you have settled the cities in a position where they are difficult to take by sea. However, this isn't always possible if you take cities from your neighbors and the AI sometimes settle on questionable locations. You need three key things to defend those cities well assuming that you did what you could for the positioning. First, you need a Arsenal which allows your city to bombard 3 tiles away. This is very important given all the extra movements from Imperialism opener and Coal strategic monopoly. You need to be able to inflict damage every damage or the enemy will whittle you down eventually. Next, you need a Ironclad in each of your coastal cities to help inflict damage on enemy melee ships that get too close and hopefully take the damage when the city is attacked. Finally, you need a handful of ranged units. Cruisers can be very threatening so, if you have a few units that can attack enemy Cruisers, then they will drop your city health to red pretty quickly. Do be careful with your position or those Cruisers will devastate your land units as well.

    Naval Dominance Approach:

    If there are other civ(s) challenging you for the seas, then you will need a balanced composition. You generally need more Cruisers than Ironclads but, with the recent changes to Ironclads that made them stronger, the ratio is more 3:2 in favor of Cruisers. The idea is that your Ironclads not only serve as scouts and meatshields at the start of the engagement but they will also chase down enemy Cruisers once you get through enemy Ironclads. The Cruisers are there to break holes in enemy ranks so your Ironclads can wreck havoc in the enemy's formation. To go into more details, naval promotions have to be discussed but that will be saved for another post. Out of the three approaches here, this is probably the most balanced and require a diverse amount of promotions to cover a number of weaknesses.

    Siege Approach:

    If you are certain you have naval dominance, then this approach might be better suited for you as it will let you take main objective like cities faster. This approach requires more Cruisers than Ironclad where the ratio is approach 2:1 or even more in favor of Cruisers. The idea is to use your Cruisers to take down cities faster while a handful focuses on whittling down enemy land units to ensure less resistance once the city is taken. Since Cruisers lost their 2 range recently, the enemy can still field a land force to resist but, against overwhelming Cruisers, they are at your mercy while you just direct the battles at enemy territory. Do note that this approach only works if you know you can siege without being challenged at sea. Otherwise, your Ironclads won't be sufficient to protect you from enemy forces and your Cruisers will be forced to withdraw.

    To be continued...
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    Legen likes this.
  7. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unit Composition X

    Modern Era vs. Industrial Era

    Modern Era brings in a pretty big change to combat with the new tools available to your arsenal. Ideally, you had caught up in tech or have taken the lead in technology at this point. Lagging behind at this point can be dangerous given the tools that's available to your foes. If you aren't properly prepared, you will find yourself fighting wars that can heavily in the advantage of the foe. Being behind has never been so dangerous than this era. Of course, the same can be said if you lead in this era and use your military to crush the enemy.


    This tech is useless for warring civs unless you went for the Freedom Ideology as the Statue of Liberty is unlocked here. I won't go into details about this until we get to ideologies.


    This tech provides a number of benefits to a warmonger. First, you have the Stock Exchange that gives you more gold if you are struggling to get a solid GPT at this point to maintain your large military. Empire State Building is useful due to a free Great Person of your choice. If you have a lead and want to take an even larger lead, then getting a Great Scientist to get :c5science: Science isn't a bad idea. Next, you have the Coal Refinery which can be so important depending on your situation. Sometimes, the maps might not work in your favor and Coal is hard to come by. Coal is needed for Factories, Seaports, Train Stations and melee naval units so it's a strategic resource you definitely need to keep your war machine going. Finally, we have Aluminum revealed and this strategic resource is very important for a couple of reasons. It's both needed for some pretty powerful units and, with strategic monopoly, you get +5 HP healed in addition to what you get before. Having units healing up faster at home and more in enemy territory to live longer can both be very valuable, especially if you have Goddess of Protection, a promotion from a unit upgraded long ago, Fountain of Youth or Medic ranged units to help.


    Corporation is a interesting tech because it can provide very powerful bonuses if you get first choice of it. Since you are likely expanding through war all this war, you should have monopoly for a couple of luxuries so your options should be more than a few. While none of these really help your wars in the short term, the one that really stands out is Hexxon Refinery which provides you additional strategic resource scaling with franchises and extra :c5production: Production for units needing Oil, Aluminum and Uranium. As a warmonger, this tech isn't extremely important as the bonuses you get from it might pale against the benefits you can reap can conquering enemy cities.

    Replaceable Parts:

    If you went Order as your ideology, then this tech is very useful since it unlocks the Motherland Calls which gives you a free policy and allows your spies to cause more unrest and rebellion. The tech also unlocks the Rifleman which is pretty strong, especially with the recent bonuses to infantry units. For civs that went Authority, you also get access to Foreign Legion which is definitely stronger than Riflemen, especially in foreign territory. The ability to spend gold to purchase Foreign Legions to get full experience when you have Alhambra, Barracks, Armory and Military Academy is pretty amazing as you get a level 4 promotion like Blitz and Stalwart immediately.


    This tech is very important for both short term and long. For the short term, it unlocks the Landship which gives your Lancers something to upgrade to. Remember that Lancers are unlocked late Renaissance Era and they aren't great in Industrial when their survivability is very low. The Landship gives your highly promoted Lancers a chance to shine, though you must be careful as Landship can still be taken out quite easily if you're not careful. Then, we have the Minefield which's the arguably the best defense against enemy navy due to how much movement it hinders for enemy naval units. If you aren't dominating the seas and want to make naval defense easier, be sure to build this in all of your coastal cities as you should have plenty of Iron at this point due to your expansions. Of course, this tech also reveals Oil that's necessary for Landship and many important units that are unlocked in this era. The extra experience you gain from strategic monopoly of Oil is a great benefit too.

    Industrial Era vs. Modern Era

    I won't go too in depth here because there's one pattern that I noticed in all of my games. The AI will always go to Corporation as its first tech in Modern so they aren't a military threat immediately. Afterwards, they will either go for Biology and Electricity or Replaceable Parts and Combustion. From my experience, you should have enough time to catch up or surpass the AI in military techs if you focus on them. If you are still lagging behind at this point, then you will need a war before the AI unlocks better units as you can still deliver a finishing blow. While having units from Industrial doesn't give you an even playing field, better promotions and positioning should give you the edge you need.

    Modern Era vs. Modern Era

    This is where things get interesting since Modern brings rise to several powerful tools and composition can change quite a bit depending on a number of factors. We will have to assume that you have sufficient resources as you have been conquering quite a bit leading up to this point. Your composition will naturally change if you are short on certain resources like Oil but a warmonger going Autocracy rarely runs out of the resources needed to build the core of one's military.

    Grind Approach:

    This approach works best when you completed the Authority Policy Tree. The idea is that you get a bunch of Foreign Legions and use them as your front line. You have ideally acquired Alhambra so your Foreign Legions get Stalwarts the moment they are bought in your capital. The Foreign Legions will serve as the front line where they will push into enemy territory. Due to their high :c5strength: and bonus when fighting in foreign territory, these units will be difficult for the enemy to get rid of so they will serve as great meatshield at the very least or strong front line to break holes in enemy lines. With the recent changes to Riflemen, you have a decent meatshield in them as well if you didn't go Authority. Then, you have Machine Guns supporting behind the Foreign Legions/Riflemen and finally Artillery, with 3 range, behind Machine Guns. With proper positioning, you can inflict a lot of damage very quickly and, from my experience, the AI just doesn't know how to respond properly due to how tough your front line is and how devastating your back line is. Note that you will need some Anti-Aircraft Gun sprinkled in if you don't want enemy air units destroying your forces in a couple of turns.

    Bombardment Approach:

    This approach relies heavily on your Artillery. The idea is that you will have a bunch of Artillery that were upgraded from Field Guns with lots of promotions including extra range. Therefore, you have two layers of melee units like Riflemen and/or Foreign Legions while your third and fourth lines are just Artillery to take full advantage of their range. You will use just Artillery to rain hell on the enemy and, with their promotions, they can devastate enemy while being difficult to take out being in the back end. Of course, you will need Anti-Aircraft Gun to protect them from air but, with the number of Artillery you'll field, chances are the cities won't last very long and it will be largely a bombardment simulation to see how quickly you can crush enemy forces and take cities.

    Air Superiority Approach:

    This approach sees you focusing on something entire different as air units just becomes available in the Modern Era. Depending how much supply you have and how much oil you control, your air force might vary in size. From my experience, a generally large swath of territory should get you enough air units for a single city. As for supply cap, that can be tougher to manage as you won't wait until this era to get units so you might have disband some units if you desperately need the cap for air units. This approach can be quite powerful if you know how air combat and interception works. With sufficient knowledge, you can actually force out interception from the enemy and then use your remaining air units to devastate the enemy. At one point, the Fighter class is pretty decent at dishing out solid damage. Now, you will want to mostly Bombers for either city bombardment or enemy units annihilation. If your opponent has little or no answer to air units, then you victory will be mostly assured as the AI will struggle to fighting aganst your faces.

    Pillage Approach:

    Another approach might not result in a lot of cities, if any, captured but the goal is to slow down the enemy and hurt them badly. This approach requires a highly mobile force composing of Landships and Light Tanks to do hit and runs while pillaging enemy tiles. Then, you also make good use of your Paratroopers by sending them behind enemy lines once you know it's somewhat safe and pillage improvements including roads. By cutting off city connections and pillaging tiles, your enemy will be hurting in happiness and, as WW racks up, you can be sure that the AI won't be liking the unhappiness too much. If done properly, you can cripple the enemy economy so the AI will struggle to put up a resistance. Therefore, your few Artillery can shell away at the enemy until city fall. In addition, you will want to prioritize enemy strategic resources because those will weaken the enemy units as they cannot heal. This approach is quite slow but, once the AI has a crippled economy, it's only a matter of time before you get what you desire like many cities to add to your empire.

    Rush Approach:

    This approach relies heavily on mobile units like the pillage approach but the idea is riskier with bigger rewards faster. This approach requires you to strike the enemy at multiple locations since the standard long line of units doesn't benefit Landships and Light Tanks too much. Preferably, you went Autocracy and had unlocked Lightning Warfare that gives your Landships an extra movement along with more :c5strength: CS when attacking. Your goal is to attack at multiple points and force the AI to make sub-optimal choices. Usually, the AI will focus more of its forces to defend its capital so, if you can pressure the capital, the AI will foolish move units away from the front lines which is the opening you can use to take those outer cities. Since most, if not all, forests are removed at this stage of the game, the terrain will be quite flat and, other than rivers, your mobile units will do quite well as long as your positioning is extremely risky.

    Note that I won't be going over compositions for the later eras because I very rarely have wars at this stage of the game. For my Emperor difficulty at least, the game is usually won or has ended so I'm not certain how to best build your unit composition. If people want to hear my theoretical, I can do it if I have a few people posting that they want to see it. Otherwise, I'll continue with other topics as this one did take a long time.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  8. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Important Promotions I

    Promotions can make a huge difference in combat. There are certain promotions that are especially important as they can turn the tide of battle if you have a couple of units with these promotions. I'm still not sure how I'm going structured this topic but it's going to be separated into land and naval promotions. For certain promotions, I'll just discuss the promotion line as opposed as every single promotion. Let's start with the land promotions since this will be on our mind from the very start of the game. Note that I will separate the promotions into generic ones and those from UU and UA.

    Below are the color codes:

    Scouting Melee Mounted Armored Ranged Siege Naval Melee Naval Ranged Submarine Carriers Fighters Bombers Air units

    Land promotions:

    Scouting Promotions:

    Trailblazers promotion line:

    This promotion line lets your Pathfinder move around very quickly through rough terrain by having double movements through Forests, Jungles, Desert and Snow. It also gives you ignore ZoC which can be quite handy in avoiding barbarians. Given how important intel is in the early game, the ability to know where your neighbors are and the best settling spots can make all the difference between a solid start or an uphill climb from the very beginning.

    Survivalism promotion line:

    This is the other option if you don't pick Trailblazers. Maybe there are too many Barbarians and you want your Pathfinder to survive. After all, losing a Pathfinder will cost you more intel than not having the best movements around the map. This promotion is safer of the two while the other promises greater rewards for greater risk. What's amazing about Survivalism is that it lets your Pathfinder heals every heal regardless of actions and that greatly improves its survivability not only against barbarians but also in enemy enemy territory if you want to pillage enemy tiles.

    Scouting promotion line:

    This promotion line is unlocked through Trailblazer II or Survivalism II. It provides you with more vision for the first two promotions and extra in the last promotion. Overall, this lets your Pathfinder/Scout be very effective in gathering info on enemy unit positions and use that as an advantage in war. While it's very useful in wars, it also helps you uncover more of the map faster while be the first to meet some CS that happen to require you get more vision range to spot.


    Unless they changed it, I'm pretty sure this promotion is available to Zeppelins and, to my knowledge, isn't available to any other units. This promotion is very powerful since the purpose of your Zeppelins is to gather intel on your enemies while preferably in enemy territory like a hard to reach Mountain tile when your enemy isn't Inca. The experience gain isn't much but it will start to add up as wars usually take awhile. If you can get Scouting promotions on your Zeppelins, then you can get a lot of intel while your foes can do little to nothing about it.

    Melee/Gunpowder promotions:

    Ambush promotion line:

    This promotion comes pretty late as it's only unlocked once you researched Combustion. In my opinion, this is an average promotion that requires a number of situations to make it a bigger priority than some of the other promotions. First, it's pretty good when your Riflemen have to face off against enemy Landship. With only 5 more :c5strength: CS and no defensive bonuses, the Landship will struggle in terms of both offensive and defensive combat against the Riflemen. If you add Foreign Legions into the equation, then Landship is practically neutralized. While the same can be said about Infantry and Tank, you must remember that Infantry serve as more of a meatshield role at this point with all the deadly units like air units and ranged units. Therefore, attacking isn't advisable when it can weaken your front line and potentially jeopardize your chance to push onward to enemy cities. Overall, this promotion has too small of a window to utilize properly and the extra :c5strength: CS from attacking, into rough terrain no less, on a unit that's geared more defensively just makes this a sub-optimal promotion.


    This promotion is quite situational but it will be required in certain cases. For battlefields where rivers are very numerous, this promotion can be very useful. In the late game, this promotion with Lightning Warfare allow your Gunpowder units to move swiftly without rivers being a hindrance. The elimination of penalty attacking across river is nice as well but it's such a small change compared to other modifiers you'd get up to this point. Attacking from sea is less viable since your units should have full health when they disembark or they would be destroyed by the defending forces. Overall, this promotion has its uses but it's certainly not a priority in most games.

    City Assault:

    This promotion is mostly useful in the early game when city :c5strength: CS is mostly low and you want to use your Melee units to take cities more effectively. This is especially useful when you got Statue of Zeus and want to take a bunch of cities in the Ancient Era. Later on in the game, this promotion, like Ambush, isn't as useful since you want your Melee to survive longer. This is largely the case when you would rather use your Melee units to blockade enemy cities as opposed to attacking and inflicting very little damage overall.


    This promotion is also useful in the early game and some portion of the mid-game unless you are facing certain civs. Those are the periods when it's useful due to the existence of Forests/Jungles. The later the game goes, the less likely the AI has any left and that makes the extra movement of the Woodsman less effective overall. The +10% :c5strength: when defending on hills is also pretty small and will be more noticeable early in the game rather than later when you get more modifiers to your units. Against certain civs like Iroquois due to UA or Brazil due to UI, you might have more Forests/Jungles to work with but, overall, those are quite situational and you should take this promotion under some consideration if other promotions can help you more.

    Archer promotions:

    Accuracy promotion line:

    This promotion is available both Archer units (archers/skirmishers and their upgrades) but, in my opinion, it's a lot less useful on the mounted units due to a couple of reasons. First, you pick this promotion to unlock the Medic promotion line and stationary archer units with 2 range is better at supporting other units while your mounted archer units is better utilizing their mobility as opposed to stay stationary as a weaker support. Secondly, the stationary archer can also get extra range after Accuracy III while the mounted archer cannot. That makes this promotion line a lot less enticing for mounted units that should focus their promotion on the promotion line. As for when you go for this promotion, it's advisable to have a good balance unless you have certain UU like Slingers and Cho-Ko-Nu where the decision is pretty obvious.

    Barrage promotion line:

    This is the other choice for your Archer units but, as I said above, it's more preferable for your mounted archer units since it does lead to Logistics that gives them quite a bit more damage output, especially if you play as the Mongols. Unlike Accuracy that gives you more damage against enemies with 50+ HP, Barrage gives you more damage against enemies at or below 50 HP. Both have their situation and logistics can be quite powerful as range will. This promotion line does lead to Cover promotion line at Barrage I as opposed to Accuracy II but I'm not sure how sure people take the Cover promotions. There are better options and your Archer units usually should be avoiding damage. However, Cover promotion line does give your Archer units quite a bit more longevity so it's something you can consider if your foe has lots of ranged units due to UU.

    Coup de Grace:

    This promotion isn't likely the first promotion you get after Barrage III but it can be useful in finishing off the enemy wounded units at or below 50 HP. This can quite useful on mounted archer units since they don't usually have Accuracy so their strength lies in weaken or killing enemy low health units that might be harder to chase down. Overall, this is a pretty niche promotion that can acquired once you get Logistics and have no other better options to get. It's not a bad promotion but, for me at least, it's pretty meh overall.

    Parthian Tactics:

    This promotion gives your ranged mounted units 1 extra movement and the ability to ignore zone of control. Given how late this promotion becomes available, it's pretty situational as it depends on whether or not your ranged mounted units are still relevant and the terrain you are warring in. Flat terrain can see this promotion being quite powerful with hit and run tactics but there are too many factors affecting how effective this promotion can be. This is becomes through the Accuracy promotion line which isn't, from my perspective, as good as the Barrage promotion line. If you do go down this route, there's also another promotion that might be more valued than this promotion.

    Tank Hunter promotion line:

    This comes much later in the game and I believe it's available to both Bazooka and Helicopter Gunship. As the title suggests, this promotion line focuses on defeating enemy armored units. How strong is it? Considering the number of tools available to you at this point and Helicopter Gunship having a bonus against armored built into the unit, I see this as pretty niche and most people won't even have to contemplate if they want this promotion or not.

    Siege promotions:

    Siege promotion line:

    This promotion line is mainly focused on taking down enemy cities and it does a pretty good job. I was a big fan of the Field promotion line because it eventually leads to some strong promotions. However, the Siege promotion line is strong from the very start so picking it for your Catapult can see enemy cities fall quite quickly. This, combined with Volley, can inflict some heavy damage on the enemy cities. Yet, you might consider finishing the promotion line to get the extra range that can come in handy. Of course, the extra range is only useful if you get Indirect Fire for free as it's available for free for siege units starting with the Field Gun.

    Field promotion line:

    This promotion is mainly focused on taking down enemy wounded units. Note that you do less damage to a full health enemy than a wounded unit so it's usually important to weaken the enemy first. If you want the siege unit to do good damage to cities, then Volley is available after Field II promotion. However, the strength of this promotion line is that it leads to both extra range and Logistics. It also provides splash damage which, if used properly, can be devastating to enemy ranks, especially on higher difficulties where there seems to be an endless number of enemy forces. I normally take this promotion during Industrial Era when my units get more promotions once finished because, in my opinion, Siege promotion line shines in the early and mid game while the Field promotion line shines late game.


    This promotion gives your Siege promotion line units more damage on enemy cities while making your Field promotion line more versatile. Volley might be your fifth promotion for your siege units on Siege promotion line while sixth promotion for those on Field promotion line. Both depends on the situation as you need to gauge what you need for your wars. This is pretty solid promotion but, as it's fairly situational, you won't take it every time you have it available.

    Mounted/Armored promotions

    Charge promotion line: (Mounted, Armored)

    This promotion line is available through Shock II and it's a solid promotion line due to what units usually get it. This promotion gives a small bonus when attacking on flat terrain and a larger bonus when attacking a wounded unit. For high mobility units like Mounted units, this is good for picking off enemy units and withdrawing to safety quickly. For Armored units, this promotion is equally useful since they are used to punch holes in enemy lines and proper order of attacks like initiating with ranged units can speed up the process of breaking the enemy front line and quickly crush the enemy main forces.

    Shared promotions:

    Medic: (Melee, Ranged)

    Drill promotion line: (Melee, Mounted, Armored)

    From my experience, this promotion is absolutely vital to Melee units while not as useful for mounted units. For armored units, it's heavily dependent on your situation and what your intentions are. For Melee units, this promotion leads to Cover I sooner so, if your opponent has lots of ranged units, it can keep your Melee units alive longer. Then, it also leads to Blitz and Stalwart, both solid promotions for Melee units. The former allow you to attack and pillage/withdraw while the latter just keeps your Melee units alive longer so the supporting ranged units can inflict more damage. This promotion and the promotions you unlock from Drill III is especially good for Foreign Legions but we'll go into detail in a future post. For mounted units, this promotion is pretty awful as penalty against cities make the promotion weaker while Blitz and Stalwart are weaker so mounted units are more hit and run units and lack defensive bonuses to make full use of defensive promotions. For armored units, Blitz can be quite powerful while taking cities is quite viable overall.

    Formation promotion line: (Melee, Mounted, Armored)

    This promotion line can be pretty useful given what it provides you. Since this is only unlocked through Drill II, this only makes the Drill promotion line even better. Starting Medieval Era, mounted units become more numerous and more threatening. The bonus against mounted units is quite good and, if you can keep the Melee unit alive, it can also do well against enemy armored units. The extra bit of bonus when defending in open terrain doesn't hurt either. If your opponent is spamming a lot of mounted units, this promotion can give you a lot less headache and, once you unlock Fusiliers, then your Melee units will be pretty difficult to kill if done properly.


    Overrun: (Melee, Mounted, Armored)

    At the time of this edit, Overrun was changed to have more flanking damage and do 10 AOE damage on kill. This makes this promotion more useful than before but overall pretty situational. If you have this promotion on Mounted or Armored, it's useful in blowing holes in enemy lines assuming you don't get bogged down by ZoC. For Melee units, the unit, by using full effectiveness of the promotion, can be in a bad situation. I still see this promotion as a Mounted/Armored promotion as it's still more ideal for mobile units. The only exception might be if you go for the Lightning Warfare tenet in Autocracy which gives your Melee units extra movement and ignores ZoC.

    Shock promotion line: (Melee, Mounted, Armored)

    This promotion is better utilized by mounted and armored units since both March and Overrun are stronger with units that have more movements. This is due to extra movements allow you to flank the enemy easier and that's the key strength of shock. However, this becomes weaker and weaker heading into the later game where both sides boasts large number of units and positioning becomes much harder. Note that Shock I is available to Swordsman and Longswordsman from the very beginning but, as it's not the strongest on Melee units, that might be a small added bonus.

    Stalwart: (Melee, Mounted, Armored)

    While March is very powerful for mounted units, Stalwart is very powerful for Melee units. The extra defensive bonus can be very strong if your Melee unit is in rough terrain or on a Citadel. With proper support from Medic ranged units, you can expect your Melee unit to last quite a long time if they are positioned at a key choke point or safe from enemy ranged fire. This isn't as useful for Mounted/Armored units since they get no defensive bonuses. Overall, there's just this split where Shock promotion line is better for Mounted/Armored and Drill promotion line is better for Melee.

    Firing Doctrine: (Ranged, Siege)

    This promotion can be useful in the eras where ranged units become more dominant like the Gatling Gun in the Industrial Era. The ability to inflict more damage to a full health enemy is pretty powerful when you need to, at this stage of game, whittle down enemy forces until you are can reach enemy cities. Is this a priority compared to some other promotions? I still see Indirect Fire and extra range more important as they are more useful. In addition, the new promotions on Fusiliers and later Melee units can counteract this promotion somewhat so it's not as effective as before. As for siege units, this is a more interesting promotion. It's available through the Siege promotion line so it's a tool for you to deal more damage to enemy units despite your siege unit geared to take down cities faster. I think it can be useful in wounding enemy units so your Field promotion line siege units can deal more damage.

    Indirect Fire: (Ranged, Siege)

    This promotion isn't available to mounted ranged units due to 1 range while it's readily available to siege units starting from Field Guns. Therefore, this promotion is really for your stationary ranged units and it's available through both the Accuracy and Barrage promotion lines. Depending on the terrain, this promotion might be useful for the Barrage promotion line. It's definitely worthwhile for your Accuracy promotion line units after they get the extra range as it makes them more versatile, especially when it's available on a unit like Gatling Gun that can shred all of its enemies. It's not advisable to get on your siege units before Field Guns as you will waste a promotion but there are certain situations where it can win you the early and basically decide your game there and then.

    Infiltrators: (Ranged, Siege)

    This promotion is unlocked after Barrage III and Field III. Therefore, it's available to siege units, stationary and mounted archer units. It gives you extra damage in enemy territory and against wounded enemies. Overall, it seems like a nice addition to deal with the reduction of damage from promotions like extra range and Logistics. Otherwise, it's not a big priority as you aren't losing much without it and the fourth promotion is far too valuable to lose out for this promotion.

    Naval promotions:

    Naval Melee promotions:

    Boarding Party promotion line:

    This promotion is one of the two paths you can pick for your naval melee units. This is the more offensive of the two promotion lines and it also offers some useful utility like healing outside of friendly territory and more movement and sight. When you acquire Boarding Party III, you can reduce the enemy movement by 4 which basically cripples that unit's ability to flee or contribute to combat. This promotion line turns your naval melee unit into more of a glass cannon but, if used properly, it can be very powerful. Boarding Party itself just limits enemy naval unit movement but the promotions it leads makes it far more interesting.


    This promotions is available through Dreadnought II and it's, in my opinion, a bit awkward. First, it grants you more defensive bonus that scales with number of adjacent enemy unit. Usually, it's a bad idea having a lot of enemy units due to how flanking works. Therefore, the defensive bonus doesn't justify the situation to take this promotion. Then, we have the inflict more damage to enemy units adjacent to the unit killed. The issue is that the ships going for Dreadnought promotion aren't usually used for offensive purposes so this bonus seems out of place and go against the idea of Dreadnought ships lasting indefinitely if you position them properly.


    This promotion is arguably one of the better promotions that you can unlock through Dreadnought III. The ability to reduce all damage by 5 might not seem like much but this can be the difference of the naval melee unit surviving or not. If it survives, it can easily put the enemy ships in a bad positioning so you can pick them off with your own ships. The extra healing means the ship can rejoin the battle sooner and contribute more in holding the line while your glass cannons can inflict damage. Usually, this is the first promotion I get after Dreadnought III because it's useful in a lot of situations can boost the survivability of the ship by more than what the 5 might indicate.


    This promotion is unlocked through Boarding Party II and works well with the Boarding Party promotion line. Given that this promotion is available through the offensive promotion line, it promotes better positioning and using flanking to boost damage against enemy ships. The heal is also nice since it allows your ships to operate more effective without needing to return to friendly territory to heal as often. If you enjoy and are good at microing your naval melee units, then this promotion will be very rewarding when you do it properly.


    This promotion is very awkward overall. First, it makes your naval melee unit more susceptible to enemy naval ranged attacks and, given that this promotion is available through the Boarding Party promotion line, it means that your ships have even less survivability. Then, it removes 2 :c5moves: Movements for enemy units adjacent to the promoted unit at the start of the turn. To maximize its benefits, the ship must be surrounded by enemies which is ill advised. Unless you have an overwhelming advantage when it comes naval battle, this promotion isn't going to be on your list of promotions to pick. For my games, I don't think I ever picked this promotion and probably never will unless it's improved.

    Naval Siege:

    This promotion isn't very useful until you get to Ironclad and onward because those naval melee ships get their bonus against cities from the very start. Therefore, the extra :c5strength: CS from this promotion will make them hit pretty hard if you crushed the enemy navy and don't expect too much resistance on land. Otherwise, this promotion lets your ships park outside enemy territory where they can take hits pretty well if the naval melee unit also has Vanguard and/or Dauntless. There's certainly a time and place for this promotion but it's usually not something you get early on unless you have a decisive advantage in naval military techs.

    Navigator promotion line:

    This promotion can be quite powerful if used correctly. Originally, I didn't a good purpose for it but I slowly realized how valuable its utility is. There are two major benefits of the promotion. First, it can be great for exploration in the early game. If you get a Trireme and have a few early wars to get this promotion as soon as possible, then you potentially have a unit that can cross oceans to discover the other continent. This might not be always possible but, if you can do so, it will give you a significant tech advantage due to the discount from more civs discovering the same tech. Secondly, it can give you a better chance to strategize better how to wage war by giving you more information on enemy fleet location and strength in addition to, terrain dependent, enemy land force deployment. These information can greatly help you better position your units and react to enemy resistance.


    This promotion works well with the Boarding Party promotion line it unlocks with (through Boarding Party II). First, it gives you gold equal to the CS of the defeated enemy ship so that's a bit of extra income each turn if you have a powerful navy. The chance for withdrawal might seems small but it can really disrupt the enemy due to enemy naval melee units using up their movements due to ZoC and unable to inflict the damage previously planned or the carefully planned flanking bonuses suddenly vanished. This isn't my first choice of promotion but it can be a fun one if you have promotion to spare.

    Press Gang:

    This promotion is extremely situational as it relies on sea improvements which are fairly rare. While it's nice to pillage without using a movement and heal fully, you can do so a few time before the unit has to withdraw. This is another promotion that's best taken when you have no other promotions left and just need something that can keep your naval melee in combat quite a bit longer.

    Naval Ranged promotions:

    Bombardment promotion line:

    This promotion line has recently been nerfed but it's still a solid promotion overall. The ability to take enemy cities faster is certain a big bonus, especially if you have at a tech advantage or on par with your enemy. This is definitely the case starting with Frigates and onward as you have windows of opportunity when you naval units can hit quite harder as the cities aren't as well defended. During these windows of opportunity, you can actually weaken city very quickly and use that to speed up your conquering spree if you are dominating the seas. Usually, I only have a handful of my naval ranged units get this promotion while the majority get Targeting because, if you have naval supremacy, the fall of the city is only a matter of time.


    This promotion is available through Bombardment III and it's a very powerful promotion. It adds more firepower to your ranged units when their focus is already taking down cities. When you start adding up the bonuses against cities, each volley can hurt a lot and cities cannot survive very long under these sorts of attacks. This is usually why I only have a handful of naval units going for Bombardment promotion line leading into Broadside because a handful can usually get the job done without compromising your ability to dominate the seas.

    Shrapnel Rounds:

    This promotion is also available through Bombardment III and it's quite useful as well. It's more situational since it does depend on your foe and whether or not you foe possesses a lot of land units to defend against a naval attack. The ability to weaken or even outright eliminate enemy land units can make taking and holding cities much easier. White it's true that Targeting promotion line is better suited for dealing with enemy units, this promotion makes it so your Bombardment promotion line units aren't totally useless against other units.

    Carrier promotions:

    Armor Plating promotion line:

    This promotion line certainly helps improve the survivability of the Carrier but it should be a last resort. Since both the Carrier and the air units it carries take a lot of time to replace, it's usually not wise to let it get attacked. Ideally, you have enough escorts to protect it from both ranged and melee units. In addition, the extra defenses doesn't make the Carrier more useful in combat. There's also another promotion line that's far more useful as it provides some immediate benefit to your naval combat, especially with the latest changes to air units.

    Flight Deck promotion line:

    This promotion line is arguably the bread and butter of your carriers. Each promotion allow your carrier to carry one more air unit which makes it more powerful on the sea and, of course, a bigger target. With the recent changes that make air units not require supply and oil being fairly abundant overall, the extra room means that you can gain air superiority from the sea as opposed to needing a city on another continent to get started. A powerful navy in the late game will require at least a few Carriers with this promotion line since air units can determine the outcome of the naval combat.

    Submarine promotions:

    Wolfpack promotion line:

    This promotion line is the bread and butter of the Submarine as it provides them with powerful bonuses. The extra damage when attacking and extra movements can make Submarines quite powerful if you indeed have a pack of them operating as scouts and picking off enemy units. However, this promotion line doesn't necessarily improve the survivability of this unit due to how dangerous Destroyers are. Effectively, Submarines are meant for hit and run strategies and this promotion line really fits that role. However, you still need a good naval composition to dominate the seas.

    Shared promotions:

    Blockade: (Naval Melee, Submarine)

    This promotion is useful for a naval melee unit but pretty useless for a submarine unit. Unlocked through Dreadnought III, it gives more defenses against ranged attacks and gives you the ability to steal gold from attacking cities. First, I'm unsure if the latter even procs for submarines since theirs is a ranged attack. Secondly, submarines aren't made to attack cities due to their major penalty attacking cities so the gold will be so minimal that the promotion isn't worth it. Thirdly, submarines aren't built to take damage so, if they are taking damage from enemy ranged units, then you are playing them wrong. For naval melee units, this promotion might be a priority but it can be useful as it makes them tankier against enemy naval ranged units and cities. The attacking aspect is nice but certainly not something you'll be attempting unless you have a few other promotions that can maximize the damage you can inflict on enemy cities.

    Dreadnought promotion line: (Naval Melee, Submarine)

    This promotion line is certainly very viable for naval melee units and, like Blockade promotion, it isn't suited for the submarine either. For naval melee units, this makes them very difficult to take out so they make great front line units defending your naval ranged units and carriers. Unlike the Boarding Line promotion line, this promotion line is designed more for the defensive and it can do quite well. Conversely, the submarine isn't designed for this sort of combat as just Destroyers can wreck them with ease.

    Indomitable: (Naval Ranged, Submarine)

    This promotion is one of those which you hope won't be used. Available after Targeting III and Wolfpack III, it's available to both naval ranged units and submarine units. It provides more defenses against attacks and allows the unit to ignore the Boarded effect from naval melee unit's Boarding Party promotion line. Once again, it's not very useful on a submarine as it's pretty much done for if it's spotted by enemy destroyed. The extra defenses might allow it to survive the initial engagement but any followup battle will sink the submarine unit. As for the naval ranged units, better positioning and proper screens are far more effective than this promotion. Overall, this is a promotion for naval ranged only and only in situation where all the other good and okay promotions are taken.

    Pincer: (Naval Melee, Submarine)

    This promotion is available through Boarding Party III for naval melee units and, according to civilopedia, also available to submarines. The ability to ignore ZoC is pretty powerful as it allows you to better position units for more flank damage or withdraw a unit that would otherwise be trapped. The extra flanking is stronger on the water than on land because flanking is a bit easier to achieve on the water. However, 10% boost to flanking still seems small considering how much work is needed to reach this promotion. Overall, you pick this promotion for the ignore ZoC and the flanking bonus is just a bit of icing on top. This promotion is okay and can be good on a scouting unit that needs to get away in a hurry.

    Supply: (Naval Melee, Naval Ranged, Submarine, Carrier)

    This promotion might seem useful at first glance but I don't think it's as good as one might think. First, I'm unsure if Medic I and II actually helps and, if they do, you usually lack a unit to get that promotion as Medic promotions are pretty useful unless you have multiple units with Supply. Then, this promotion is available after promotions like Bombardment III, Wolfpack III and Boarding Party III to name a few and there are better promotions to take at those points. Overall, this promotion is literally one of those you can go without unless you have no other okay promotions to go with. It doesn't help that there are other promotions like Treasure Fleet that can do the same thing without wasting a precious promotion.

    Targeting promotion line: (Naval Ranged, Submarine)

    This promotion line is solid for both naval ranged and submarine units. For naval ranged units, it's a choice between this promotion line and Bombardment promotion line depending on what you need for your wars. For submarines, you are likely to start this promotion line at your fourth promotion because Wolfpack promotion line is just too good to ignore. This promotion line makes your units anti-units and it does a very good job, especially once you unlock Logistics which is extremely powerful. Proper order also matters between this promotion line gives more damage against enemies with less than 50% HP. This is indeed a very powerful promotion line that, at times, is just superior than Bombardment in every way.

    Air promotions:

    Fighter promotions:

    Ace Pilot promotion line:

    The Ace Pilot promotion line is one of the two promotion lines available to Fighters. This promotion line focuses on extra :c5strength: CS when intercepting which, at first glance, seems great. However, it seems to only apply when your Fighters intercept enemy Bombers where a normal interception can already do a pretty insane amount of damage where an enemy Bomber can be one-shotted. If the enemy air sweep, then this promotion line actually doesn't trigger (need will confirmation from other players) so it's actually quite situational. Overall, I don't see a huge need for this promotion line unless I'm behind in techs (rare at this stage of the game) and need to deal with more advanced Bomber units.

    Air Ambush:

    This promotion supposedly gives Fighters more damage against Armored units. However, the civilopedia is awkward in that it states the promotion is available to Fighters while is unlocked through Siege II. To my knowledge, Siege promotion line is only available to Bombers unit so I'm not sure how it's unlocked. In addition, the relatively recent changes to Fighters and Bombers makes Fighters weaker against land units so this promotion isn't worthwhile unless you have promotion to spare.

    Air Repair:

    This promotion, unlocked through Dogfighting II or and Ace Pilot III, is very useful as it's basically the air equivalent of March promotion without the malus. Since it's available only to Fighters, this promotion is sorely missed by Bombers. Regardless if you are intercepting or air sweeping, there are plenty of chances of your Fighters taking damage and this promotion ensure that they are in combat longer. With the recent change of fewer air units stationed in cities, a Fighter that's operational longer can be a huge asset.

    Air Supremacy promotion line:

    This promotion line gives Fighter units more :c5strength: CS against air and Helicopter units. I don't think it applies to Helicopter units unless a Fighter actively attacking a Helicopter unit applies the bonus (need confirmation on this). The bonus against other air units is (need confirmation for this as well) likely applied during interception and air sweeps. One allows you to inflict more damage when intercepting enemy air units while the others allows you to take less damage from enemy air unit interceptions. This promotion line seems pretty decent as it's not situation as it should apply both to interception, air sweep and possibly even attacking enemy units. Note that, while I say promotion line, Air Supremacy I is given automatically to Fighter units so only Air Supremacy II is unlocked through promotions.

    Dogfighting promotion line:

    This promotion line is useful in more situational conditions due to the new changes that greatly limit the number of air units you can station in a city. It might still be useful for those Fighter units you station on Carrier but air sweep isn't helpful if you simply lack the room to make good use of your Bomber units until you build Airports. Overall, this promotion line does help you deal with enemy intercepting Fighter units as this promotion gives your Fighter units bonuses while no promotion help the enemy Fighter unit. There are cases to use this promotion but it's not a priority anymore. The only blessing is that this promotion line unlock Air Repair sooner than Ace Pilot promotion line.


    This promotion is unlocked through Dogfighting II or Ace Pilot II. It provides +1 Interception and +1 operation range which are both useful in the past. With fewer air units stationed in each city, the need for more interception has greatly diminished, especially when AA guns can do the job just fine. The extra operation range is nice but it's benefits are situational since, with the use Citadels, your air unit's impact might not even be felt. Overall, this promotion has lost its main uses due to the recent change but it's not completely useless.

    Bomber promotions:

    Air Logistics:

    This promotion is the air equivalent of the Logistics promotion for land units. It's unlocked through Air Targeting III or Siege III. This promotion is very solid if you know the enemy has no AA measures as it allows Bombers, with the right promotions, to devastate the enemies. Otherwise, it's really hard to make use of this promotion as you might not get a second attack after being intercepted. Mostly, this promotion is ideal for defending where the enemy might not have as much AA capabilities.

    Air Penetration promotion line:

    This promotion is unlocked through Air Targeting II and I'm unsure how well it works. The promotion states that it increases the chances to evade air interception. If you complete the promotion line, then you get 50% which's a flip of a coin. Those aren't great odds as replacing a Bomber that got this many promotions is normally a costly one. Maybe this promotion stacks with the Stealth promotion of the Stealth Bomber but that comes way too late. Overall, this promotion line is good for those who want to gamble but horrible for those who wanted promotions that provides more reliable benefits.

    Air Targeting promotion line:

    This promotion line is designed for, as the name suggests, dealing with enemy land units. I usually go for this promotion line because Bombers just don't well against enemy cities, especially the coastal cities where the enemy might even have a naval unit that have a chance to intercept your Bomber. This promotion with Air Logistics can be extremely powerful in whittling down your enemies if they don't possess any AA as, with limited room in your cities, you probably won't have the Fighter unit to help air sweep to make sure it's safe for your Bombers do what they do.


    This promotion is unlocked through Siege II and seems like a good choice with the recent changes to air capacity in cities. Usually, an interception sees a Bomber outright destroyed or very nearly so. This promotion, if it works as the texts says and reduces damage taken by 50%, a Bomber could badly survive an interception and fight another day. This might be a good situation where you didn't properly air sweep an area and won't have to pay dearly for it. It's, in my opinion, one of the better promotions for Bombers but its requirements for Siege II still seems awful.

    Siege promotion line:

    This promotion line line is available for the Bomber from the very start but I don't see purpose for it. First, you usually have better units at taking cities like Artillery at this point of the game. Secondly, the Bomber can take quite a bit of damage and, with limited range, it might not even reach cities. Overall, this promotion line seems pretty redundant overall and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you are really ahead and just want to experiment with promotions.

    Shared promotions:

    Range: (Fighter, Bomber)

    This promotion is available through Dogfighting II, Interception I and Siege I and provides +2 operation range for your Fighter and Bomber unit. The extra operational range does make them more useful since Citadel use should be very common and, if your air units cannot reach enemy units, then their contribution will be a waste. Overall, this promotion is just okay right now because air units are so niche at the moment. Maybe we'll see them useful one day.

    Mixed shared promotions:

    Blitz: (Melee, Mounted, Armored, Naval Melee)

    This is a great promotion for units that have more than 2 movements. The logic behind this is that your unit can attack and withdraw following the attack so such a highly promoted unit doesn't run the risk of being lost. For Naval Melee units, this promotion is especially useful since you can reposition your units and maximize the damage inflict on the enemy fleet upon first contact. While it's nice on a Mounted or Armored unit, they can already move after attack so Blitz isn't as stellar. If your Melee units have extra movement like a UU or going for Lightning Warfare tenet in Autocracy, then this can let you push faster against the enemy while keeping your unit safe.

    Mobility: (Melee, Mounted, Armored, Naval Ranged, Submarines)

    This promotion provides one extra movement which has its moments. For those who have used Lightning warfare, then you know that extra movement on a Melee unit is quite powerful. Even Mobility doesn't gives your Melee unit ignore ZoC, that extra movement allow your army to be far more mobile and plugging holes in your front line can be done easier, though preferably without losing your Mobility Melee unit. For Mounted and Armored, the extra movement can allow them to pillage an tile or withdraw to safety if necessary. Naval Ranged can withdraw easier despite Boarding Party effects since they have more movement to use. This used to be very valuable when Naval Ranged units can move after attack but that's likely gone for good. As for Submarines, they still excel in hit and run tactics so this promotion has its uses. Overall, just pick this promotion depending on the situation as it can be quite powerful if used properly.

    Air Defense promotion line: (Melee, Ranged, Naval Melee, Naval Ranged)

    This promotion line is, in my opinion, a pitiful promotion line. It's not that good unless your enemy air units targets the unit with the promotion and generally those units that have access to the promotion line don't even do a good job downing enemy air units. Note that this doesn't reduce the damage taken from enemy air units but rather do a bit more damage to them. There are always better promotions to take than waste time on these promotions. It's far better to ensure that interception is ideal and go from there. I don't recommend this promotion line unless you run out of promotions and just take this for fun.

    Logistics: (Ranged, Siege, Naval Ranged)

    This promotion is almost a must have when it becomes available. The only situation where you debate about taking it or not is when you also have extra range unlocked for your siege units or indirect fire for your stationary archer units. The promotion reduces your overall damage but the ability to attack twice is so powerful as we can see in the UU that comes with Logistics. In addition, certain UA becomes stronger like the Zulu one where less experience is needed for promotion and damage gets stronger with each hit on the same target for France. This promotion can make mounted archers quite strong but, with the recent nerf to their movement, it's not as good. Usually, this is a very good promotion to go as it just make your unit that much stronger. This promotion is unlocked through Field III, Barrage III and Targeting III.

    Interceptor promotion line: (Melee, Carriers, Fighters, Naval Melee)

    This promotion line used to have its uses but the reduction of air units in the city makes this pretty irrelevant. Only two units are needed for interception duties and that's usually naval or land units as air units are too few to waste on this. The ability to 100% intercept the enemy air units can neutralize most, if not all, air threat. This promotion line is basically overkill until you get it on units like Anti-Aircraft Gun or Mobile Sam.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    chicorbeef likes this.
  9. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

    Dec 26, 2017
    I often promote Pathfinders/Scouts into Medics, it's the easiest way to get a Medic I-II unit early on which can be very helpful in wars. Sometimes, if I get a second Pathfinder out and I have a ruin-upgraded Scout or something, I will have 1 Medic I-II Scout and another full Survivalism (no Medic) scout, and I'll have them support each other.
    cammcken, vyyt and amateurgamer88 like this.
  10. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

    Mar 22, 2018
    From my experience with similar write-ups for other games, it's nice to add a little colour-coding to this kind of analysis:

    Drill (Melee, Mounted)


    but in doing this I see that the standard editor doesn't allow color, so it's more manual work... You can copy-paste my BBcode though if you want.
    vyyt, Hektor and amateurgamer88 like this.
  11. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Important Promotions II

    Here we will discuss about the promotions that are available through buildings, UU, UA and WC projects. If any of these promotions overlap with the promotions in the first section, then I won't be covering them. Note that you might not always have control over what you get for some of these promotions. However, you will still want to know how to use them properly.


    Indonesia has a UU called the Kris Swordsman. This UU, when built, has a special promotion called Mystic Blade. This promotion gives the Kris Swordsman a random promotion from a list after its first combat. What's great is that this promotion doesn't use up your normal promotion so you can still go down the Drill or Shock promotion line. The list of promotions is below (Note: I haven't seen all of these promotions so I'm not sure if they are all achievable):


    This promotion gives the Kris Swordsman +30% :c5strength: CS when attacking and +5% :c5strength: CS when defending. Obviously, this promotion is geared more towards offensive approaches which can make an Authority Indonesia quite strong as you can heal after killing an enemy. While melee units aren't in a great spot in offensive, this is a nice promotion to have if you use the terrain to your advantage as you can quickly deplete enemy forces by going quite offensive and gaining promotion much faster. The small boost to defending can be a big deal in rough terrain so it shouldn't be overlooked either. This is one of the better promotions to get for the Kris Swordsman.

    Ancestral Protection:

    This promotion gives the Kris Swordsman +30% :c5strength: CS when defending and +5% :c5strength: CS when attacking. This is clearly the opposite of Ambition but is far more useful if you can keep your Kris Swordsmen alive into the Fusilier when they get a bigger boost to their survivability in addition to more promotions like Stalwart. The fact that the defending bonus occurs anywhere makes this a versatile promotion. I can certainly see a unit with this promotion being nearly impossible to kill on Citadels once you get Stalwart and Cover II as those defensive bonuses are too tough overall. This is the second best promotion that you can get for most situations.

    Enemy Defection:

    This promotion gives the Kris Swordsman a 50% chance to heal 10 HP when turn ends in enemy territory. This is an interesting promotion since, if you have good terrain that allows you to rotate your Melee units around, then this might be the promotion for you. If you get Fountain of Youth and some Medic II ranged units, then this promotion can get your units back in battle capabilities very quickly. This promotion might even allow one of your Melee units hold out indefinitely adjacent to a city as it's extremely hard to kill with the right promotions like Cover II. This promotion can be situational but those situation can make this amazing.


    This promotion gives the Kris Swordsman the ability to award combat bonuses to nearby units like a Great General. As a result, this unit can hang back to provide the maximum assistance to your units. This is especially nice when you need to use your Great General for a strategic Citadel. The only downside is that this unit cannot stack with other units like the Great General so positioning can be tougher. Overall, a single Kris Swordsman with this promotion can help make up for the shortages of Great Generals and possibly give you the edge to win a war decisively.


    This promotion is arguably the best promotion available to the Kris Swordsmen, especially since their change that gave them Cover I. This promotion provides +30% :c5strength: CS when defending and +20 HP when healing. This is a better version of Ancestral Protection as it focuses on defending and the extra HP healed is incredible. Immortals are very powerful as it is but this is even better than that. If you can get a couple of these Kris Swordsmen and keep them alive long enough, they can actually be extremely to take out with their many promotions and Medic IIs supporting them. If you get lucky, you can get a couple of this promotion and you won't have to worry about replacing your front line as often.


    This promotion is a high risk high reward as it heals all damage if the Kris Swordsmen kills a non-barbarian unit. As we all know, the heal after kill from Authority is quite useful as it improves the survivability of your melee and mounted units if you go for a kill. However, the heal might not be sufficient to keep the unit alive if the enemy can easily retaliate. While this promotion can potentially heal more, it still doesn't mitigate the risky of you losing a unit to get a single kill. On high difficulties, trading one unit for another unit is generally a bad decision regardless. Therefore, this might suit certain very risky playstyles but it's definitely not one of the better promotions.


    This promotion gives the Kris Swordsmen +1 :c5moves: Movement and the ability to attack twice. Basically, it's a better version of Blitz and can be quite useful if you have a playstyle revolving around rotating your units. For example, your Kris Swordsman is on the front line and adjacent to an enemy unit. You can attack and withdraw up to two tiles to get to safety without being retaliated upon. Even if you don't use the attack twice a lot, you can always use that extra movement to reinforce the front line quicker or withdraw whenever necessary. This can be useful at times and, since it's basically a free promotion, it's not a bad promotion to have.

    Sneak Attack:

    The worst promotion available as it just gives the Kris Swordsmen extra bonus (20%) for flanking attacks. We all agree that Horsemen do flanking attacks better because they can withdraw. With Kris Swordsmen, this promotion sees them not having the survivability to make the best use of their promotion, especially when their free Shock I became Cover I. This promotion is hopefully never obtained as it just lacks a good place. If there are changes to be made, this promotion should be the first to fixed.


    Japan has a unique building called the Dojo and, once completed in a city, all melee, mounted and armored units built in the city gain the Eight Virtues of Bushido promotion. This promotion, like the Mystic Blade, grants a random promotion after combat from another list of promotions to be listed below. All of these random promotions differ except for the fact that they all possess the: [Increased :c5strength: based on unit damage] and [+10 HP when you destroy an enemy unit]. The former shared trait is no different from the Ironside promotion for finishing Imperialism where the unit gets stronger after taking damage.


    This promotion provides the unit the ability to give adjacent units +5 HP when healing. Basically, it's a Medic I promotion without the drop in :c5strength: CS when defending. I also believe that this promotion stacks with Medic promotions you can heal a reasonable amount of HP by properly positioning a unit with this unit. While this isn't the strongest promotion, it can be useful since not all of your melee/mounted units will be properly deployed. With the recent change to Cover I given to melee swords units, this promotion can definitely provide more longevity to your units to the dismay of your enemies.


    This promotion provides the unit a +15% :c5strength: CS when attacking. This promotion is nice for mounted and armored units since they are better suited for hit and run tactics. This isn't even that bad for the Japanese UU, Samurai, but later melee units will suffer since offense isn't on their mind. Overall, this promotion is quite situational and isn't the best for most of your units. At least you get more heal from kills so that can certainly work in your favor.


    This promotion gives the unit a +15% :c5strength: CS when outside friendly territory. This is quite useful since Japan benefits from wars and fighting in enemy territory happens for a good portion of their game. Since this isn't just a modifier for attacking or defending, then it's far more versatile than Courage where you can use it for offensive or defensive purposes. Overall, this is a rather useful promotion that can make your units extremely dangerous in foreign territory and one of the better promotions available to Japan.


    This promotion gives the unit a +15% :c5strength: CS within friendly territory. It's the opposite of Honor and has its uses as well. Maybe you are forced to fight a defensive war where the unit is stronger when defending against hostile threats. Maybe you are fighting a two front war and just needed to hold one side while you crush the other side. This promotion makes defending even easier since you have more factors in your favor. If you can get Wonders like Himeji Castle, then you will be one of the most difficult foe to deal with when you're on the defensive.


    This promotion gives the unit a +15% :c5strength: vs Melee and Gun Units. It's quite specific in what it does and is better than Courage but weaker than Honor and Loyalty. The issue lies in that Melee and Gun units usually have a bonus against Mounted/Armored units so the extra bonus isn't very helpful. Then, your own Melee and Gun aren't likely to engage the enemy counterpart head on and could encounter enemy Mounter/Armored unit to which they have no bonus against at all. This is quite situational but it can give your front line units a bit more survivability to last a bit longer.


    This promotion gives the unit a +20% :c5strength: against wounded units. It's quite useful given that all these promotions provides a +10 HP from kills. The extra :c5strength: CS helps with lessening damage so that, while the unit still benefits more :c5strength: CS from lost health, it also gives your units a better chance to come out with more health after the kill, especially if you went for Authority. Overall, this is a very useful promotion that actually works well for any units that take the promotion and helps you clean up enemy wounded remnants more easily.

    Self Control:

    This promotion gives the unit a +15% :c5strength: when defending. It's geared towards a more defensive approach that suits the melee line units that will have hold the line. This bonus exists for both friendly and enemy territory so you won't have to worry about that. This won't be very useful for Mounted units but it can be helpful for Armored units. Overall, it's a solid a promotion for those units that have to tank enemy damage while you make your way to enemy cities.


    This promotion gives the unit a +50% experience gained from combat. This might be great for certain units and not too stellar on others, depending on one's playstyle. This is especially powerful on the Samurai who gets Quick Study that only makes them level up even faster. For me, the extra experience is very useful on melee units who, once they get promotion like Stalwart, can be extremely hard to deal with. If you went Authority and got Foreign Legions with plenty of promotions to begin with, they can become a monster. For mounted units, they can be kept alive more easily and their hit and run tactics lets them level faster than their melee counterparts. If these units survive until they are Tanks, then you have some amazing units for combat.

    The Zulu

    The Zulu has a special promotion for their melee and gunpowder units once their UB, Ikanda, is built. This promotion is Buffalo Loins and leads to two other promotions, Buffalo Chest and Buffalo Horn, that make Zulu units stronger. Buffalo Loins is needed for Buffalo Chest which is then needed for Buffalo Horn. Normally, this is an issue since getting promotions is quite tough so three extra promotions can be a challenge. Luckily, the Zulu UA sees them needing 25% less experience to get promotions so this isn't so bad.

    Buffalo Loins:

    This promotion provides +5% :c5strength:, 25% increased flank attack bonus and +5% defense against all ranged attacks. The +5% :c5strength: and flank attack bonus basically sees this as a weaker version of Shock due to Shock giving +10% :c5strength: and flank attack bonus. The +5% defense against all ranged attacks isn't that bad either. It might not be as good as Cover I's +25 defense against all ranged attacks but it can help early on, especially when you're facing Archers with Spearmen. Overall, this is an alright promotion that requires you to get the next two promotions to really stack the bonuses.

    Buffalo Chest:

    This promotion provides +5% :c5strength:, 25% increased flank attack bonus and +5% defense against all ranged attacks. Basically, it's the same as Buffalo Loins, thus doubling the bonuses. While 10% :c5strength: isn't quite felt at this point, the flanking bonus should be as 50% is quite a bit. If you can move your melee units properly, then you can get some really powerful benefits. The +10% dfense against all ranged attacks is still just alright but it's an added bonus that doesn't require you to get Cover I. Overall, the two stacked promotions are alright at this point and really needs the next promotion to truly shine.

    Buffalo Horns:

    This promotion provides +1 :c5moves: Movements, 25% increased flank attack bonus and +5% defense against all ranged attacks. While it doesn't provide anymore :c5strength: to your unit, the extra movement is very powerful. For those who fought against Persia when it had a Golden Age, you know that the extra movement allows those melee/gunpowder units to do a lot more. Here, you have a promotion that allows you to get the extra movement with a single promotion. At this point, you have a total of 75% increased flank attack bonus and +15% defense against all ranged attacks. Essentially, you almost have the bonuses of Cover I and do the same amount of damage from flanking as getting Shock I, II and III. For me personally, I don't find it very useful to go down the Shock line as the Drill line is better with Blitz to take advantage of 3 movements and Stalwart to keep your units alive longer to make better use of flanking damage. While March seems nice, it's still overall a better promotion for mounted units. Overrun can be fun but it wouldn't be extremely viable until you get the Ignore ZoC from the Autocracy tenet and that comes quite late in the game.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  12. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    War Weariness (WW)

    War weariness is a major factor to take into account when warring against your enemies. You cannot neglect this as it's both your biggest problem and biggest weapon in prolonged wars. I will be discussing about basic mechanics of WW and how I use this to my advantage against the AI, especially on higher difficulties (up to Immortal).

    Factors that increase WW

    The most obvious source of WW is the length of the war. It doesn't matter if you fought against the AI or not. They could be on another continent and no battles happened between the two sides. You can still get WW if the war lasted long enough as the AI wouldn't accept a white peace otherwise. However, your WW will increase much slower since there are no other factors to speed up it's increase. The second major factor is combat itself. Not only do you get more WW from losing cities and units but you also get WW from units taking damage. You get more WW from damage taken by attacking than when defending. While the initiative is great for winning wars, it also puts you on a timer as you cannot war indefinitely (or can you...?). There are other factors found here that also apparently increases WW but I barely notice them having much of an effect so I won't be discussing them at all.

    Factors that decrease WW

    WW starts decreasing the moment your war ends. If you are in multiple wars, then exiting one or two wars might still see some WW remain. Once all of your wars end, then your WW will decrease rather quickly and wouldn't cause you much of an headache. During your wars, you do have UA (the Hun's) or social policies like Honor in Authority that helps reduces your WW, though I'm unsure if this reduces the WW you gain from the war or the overall the max cap of the WW you can obtain. However, these reduction do help and shouldn't be overlooked.

    Penalties of WW

    WW has a big impact on your happiness. The happiness system has been going through a lot of changes but the impact of WW still remains the same. The more WW you have, the more unhappiness you have. If you don't have sufficient happiness to work with, then the WW will drag your happiness low enough for cities to rebel. This is the problem with prolonged wars as the WW can get to rather high levels and poor management can see unhappiness be your biggest enemy. Since you get WW when you fight defensive wars as well, then you aren't safe when you aren't the aggressor either. This is an added consideration for happiness when you manage your cities and a key one, especially when you are the aggressor.

    While happiness is important, it's also very important to note that, as WW increases, your unit supply also drops which greatly hinders your ability to use the full might of your military. It's important to have sufficient units at the start of your aggressive war because, once WW settles in, you won't have the unit supply to build more or replenish as easily since, once your unit supply is negative, you will suffer a penalty to your production. If you can get away with less units, it can do wonders. However, the higher difficulties will force you to maximize your units because you will need them all to crush your enemies.

    Benefits of WW

    There are benefits to WW since the AI suffers it like you. Therefore, you will need it to help convince the AI that it should either peace out without bothering you further or force it to peace out on your terms. Making the AI peace out quickly is more useful for defensive wars where you have little to gain from a prolonged war. Forcing a more favorable peace terms with the AI is what we seek when going on the offensive. Since the AI experiences WW like the humans, then it will suffer the same penalties and those penalties can have a much bigger toll on the AI. You must remember that the AI usually has a much bigger force, especially on higher difficulties, so you must grind through more enemy force before you can reach their cities. I'm unsure about Deity but it's possible to eventually crack through enemy defenses on Immortal, though you will still face a constant stream of enemy units as the AI can replenish fairly quickly compared to you. There are windows of opportunities for you to strike at the cities and take those for yourself to weaken the AI permanently.

    Why does the prolonged wars benefits the human player? Generally, human players are less likely to lose units while prolonged wars means that their units get lots of promotion to be very threatening. The AI is more likely to lose plenty of units and will eventually struggle to replenish them. If you are losing too many units, then you need to play smarter to avoid all those losses because it's not a good trade. Chances are you need to play less risky and focus fire if your cities aren't threatened. Otherwise, it's better to wounded many AI units so they will withdraw and disrupt their attacks. Overall, it's a grinding game where you weaken the enemy enough to strike at their cities. Note that more roads and proper use of both Forts and Citadels can help you whittle down the enemy units a lost faster.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  13. azum4roll

    azum4roll King

    Jul 17, 2018
    I don't think you'd get any WW even if the war lasts 500 turns if there's no damage done on both sides. Time seems to be a multiplier.
  14. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    I think you do as it has happened in my games where a war between me and an AI saw both sides unable to reach one another. In the scenario where there aren't any WW, then what convinces an AI to peace out with you? It has no incentive to exit a war it's not losing or suffer any penalties.
  15. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Unique Abilities (UAs)

    We will discuss about the UA that help you in wars. Some of them might not affect directly but they can help you drastically in the timing of your war. There will be mention of the Unique Units (UUs) of the civs as they are sometimes tied to the UA in some ways. Overall, I will go down the civs in alphabetic order and will probably cover most of the civs unless their UA just doesn't affect war enough to be worth mentioning. I also won't mention UAs or aspects of UAs that benefit from war since it doesn't help your wars, though it does give you a pretty good incentive to go to war.


    The American UA has two aspects that are really helpful. First, you have the +1 Sight for all military land units including your Pathfinder unit. That extra sight allows you to get more intel on the enemy units and positions to better strategize against the AI. I believe this also applies to siege units so those units don't need anyone to spot cities for them. The second part is the ability to purchase tiles owned by the enemy. This is very expensive but the payoff can be enormous. Buying a strategic tile means you can put down a Citadel and grab even more territory. Since Citadels cannot built adjacent to one another, this ability allows you to push further into enemy territory and advance in ways other civs can only dream of. Don't forget that you can also steal enemy Citadel to turn their advantage against them.


    The Assyrian UA is another one of those UAs that gives you a really big incentive for going to war and taking cities. Free tech if your enemy has a technology you don't have or a big boost to your science are both really solid reasons for going to war. What makes this UA great is that it helps you snowball really quickly and that can be a massive advantage as you pull away in the mid and late game.


    The Byzantine UA guarantees a religion and you can pick any beliefs regardless if they are picked or not. This gives Byzantium a lot of versatility and, as a result, you can go for beliefs that benefits wars more to get the most synergy. Note that this doesn't apply to Reformation beliefs so unfortunately beliefs like Crusader Spirits aren't readily available when you want them. However, there are some powerful synergies that make wars easier like extra experience from Order.


    The Carthaginian UA is one of the best in the early game and it can help you snowball in a number of different ways. The gold you get from finding cities can be used for either infrastructure or for military. Early wars can be noticeably easier when your military is more powerful than your neighbors. Stronger infrastructure means that you are in a better position to get ahead and strike during the mid-game with a tech advantage.


    The Chinese UA is great for early wars. While the Carthaginian UA allows the player to get a larger military sooner, the Chinese UA allows the player to maintain a larger military from the extra gold. Since the bonus also applies when you take a city, expansion through war can also provide a lot of gold to your coffers and, as a result, help you snowball by focusing on infrastructure after a victory in wars. Since the gold aspect of the Chinese UA gets weaker over time, it's wiser to use it to your advantage in military and/or infrastructure to get as much snowballing as possible early in the game.


    The Danish UA is designed for wars. First, embarked units have 1 extra :c5moves: Movement while units only use up one :c5moves: Movement when disembarking. Regardless on land or at sea, it's very important to have mobility because, if you can outmaneuver your opponents, then you will dictate how battles play out and initiative is that important.

    Secondly, all melee land units gain the Viking promotion (No :c5moves: Movement point cost to pillaging, +25% :c5strength: CS on pillaged tiles and +5 HP when healing in neutral territory). Pillaging for free means that you have more options available, especially when your melee units have 3 movements (Berserker) or ignore ZoC (Lightning Warfare). The extra :c5strength: CS is always nice, especially when it works well with your kit since pillaging plays such a big impact on your gameplay. The extra healing is only relevant early and mid game when there are still enough neutral territory but that's fine since, as a warmonger, you want to start snowballing early and mid-game.

    Third, all melee naval units gain the Longboat promotion (No :c5moves: Movement point cost to pillaging, +15% :c5strength: CS on coastal tiles and heal twice as much HP when healing in coastal tiles). Since naval units have more movements, the free pillage costs only becomes more important as it allows you do crazy maneuver when your ships can handle Ocean tiles. The extra combat :c5strength: CS is most powerful early and mid-game but it's still a nice boost in the late game if you were hugging the coast. The biggest bonus is the healing since ships are usually out of commission due to needing to heal after taking too much damage. The fact that your ships that return to combat sooner makes you a deadlier naval power as you can reinforce faster than the enemy and, as a result, put a lot of pressure on your foes.


    The English UA can both directly and indirectly affect your wars. Indirectly, their spies play an integral part in stealing technology from your neighbors to ensure that you stay competitive against your foes. This can be taken advantage in two approaches where you either focus on non-military techs and steal military ones or vice versa. This ensure that you either stay on par in military or you can go on conquests without missing out on some solid non-military techs. Directly, the English can command a powerful navy due to less unit maintenance for naval units and 1 extra :c5moves: Movement for naval and embarked units. I mentioned the importance of extra mobility in combat and less unit maintenance means you can field a larger navy or army depending on your needs.


    The French UA is arguably one of the best, if not the best, UA for warring. Regardless of what composition you go for, you will need ranged units. Therefore, this UA will always be relevant as the bonus applies to each successive attacks. Defensively, this is really nice as it allows you to inflict more damage than otherwise as even city bombardment is considered one of your subsequent attacks. On the offensive, you can rip through enemy lines with proper positioning. Most important, this is incredible when you have siege units with Logistics. You can attack in an order to neutralize the maluses you get from some of your promotions and your siege units will hit that much harder. Overall, it's such a powerful ability in all cases and gives you an edge that your enemy only wish they have. Of course, there's also icing on top as you get GW,GA and GW points from taking cities so your kit is very solid indeed.


    The Greek UA can give you some solid boost to your units if you play your cards right. You can get friendly or allied status with CS if you complete quests like clearing barbarians and each of those CS gives you a noticeable boost in the early game. If your neighbor has a city near a CS, then you can actually heal your units there as you get the same healing bonus as in friendly territory and continue maintaining a lot of pressure on your neighbor. If you focus on CS more than usual, you'll probably have your full combat bonus due to all the CS you are friendly and allied with.


    The Indonesian UA is actually pretty solid for wars and gives you good benefits for capturing cities. All three luxuries that could spawn give additional gold which you might lack as a warmonger due to the larger military you are fielding. Clove monopoly gives you the happiness to handle more cities while Nutmeg gives you additional production to build both an army and infrastructure faster. Let's not forget that these extra luxuries can also give you more happiness to make expanding much easier. In addition, you get more luxuries when you conquer cities so that's more of a reason to expand. Overall, this UA promotes a wide playstyle and it can be very powerful if done properly.


    The Japanese UA is interesting in that it doesn't help you with combat but it's amazing in the preparations of war. Normally, a civs going for wars have to sacrifice other yields to do so so, unless they win decisively in wars, they will fall behind compared to other civs. The Japanese UA makes so that defensive and military buildings also provide :c5faith: Faith and :c5culture: Culture which allows the civ to somewhat keep up and use war to snowball from there. This is especially powerful when you get Goddess of Protection to maximize the yields you can get. There's also the really nice incentive of GA/W/M points from getting Great General and Great Admirals which makes warring, not necessarily taking cities, quite beneficial.


    The Mongolian UA is very interesting in that they are geared towards both their neighbors and CS. With neighbors, the extra movement and ignore ZoC for their mounted ranged units make them a headache to play against on more maps. If the territory is wide open, then they could easily utilize hit and run tactic without the opponent being able to retaliate very well. With rough terrain with the exception of forested hills and desert hills, these mounted ranged units are a nightmare to chase down. Meanwhile, Mongolia could puppet CS through heavy tribute which not only gives them lots of yields but also could give Mongolia a good staging area to launch an attack on the enemy capital. Overall, you can snowball quite quickly as soon you take a few CS and get access to mounted ranged units.


    The Persian UA doesn't seem like it's much but, when used properly, it can be extremely powerful. When you have a Golden Age, all of your units gain one extra :c5moves: Movement and a +15% :c5strength: CS bonus. The CS bonus is more relevant early game as it's a pretty massive boost, especially to the Persian UU. Meanwhile, that extra movement is given to all your units. Melee units with 3 :c5moves: Movements can maneuver much easier while siege units with that extra movement can actually move once in enemy territory and still attack afterwards. While the limitations is that you need a Golden Age to make use of those, you can find ways of using the UA to get more GA and as a result take more advantage of your bonuses.


    The Russian UA does less for actual combat and more for your army composition. At times and depending on your settings, you might not have enough strategic resources to get the ideal army composition. With Russia, this might not be the case even if you only one source as you get double the amount. 6 Iron becomes 12 Iron while 2 Horses become 4 Horses. This can make it easier in getting a well balance army and use that to crush your enemies who might lack sufficient resources.


    The Songhai UA makes Songhai extremely dangerous. Usually, rivers are great features in defending you against enemy attacks as they slow or even stop enemy advances. With Songhai, this isn't the case with the War Canoe and Amphibious promotions which allow Songhai units move faster along and across rivers. This means that Songhai units actually move more efficiently with rivers around and they turn rivers from the greatest obstacles to the best advantage against any enemies. The triple :c5gold: Gold from pillaging Encampments and Cities also help solve the gold issues for Songhai early on when income isn't optimal and some extra gold can go a long way.


    The Spanish UA makes Spain an incredible warmonger because it allows the civ to purchase naval units with faith. Spain is know to have a lot of faith and the ability to buy your faith not only frees your city from building naval units but also gives them full experience. On a water heavy map, this UA can be extremely powerful as it gives Spain to replace ships much easier while making good use of the momentum to overwhelm the enemy in numbers on the seas.


    The Swedish UA is basically made for warring. Land melee units get a +20% :c5strength: CS when attacking which isn't something to scoff at, especially early game when that bonus is pretty massive and is a difference between crushing the enemy and stalemate. Next, siege units gain +1 :c5moves: Movement which means that they can maneuver better in enemy territory. Usually, siege units are very cumbersome in enemy territory but this change really makes them dangerous as they can move into enemy territory much easier. After that, we have the birth of a Great General healing all units and giving them all +15 XP as well. It's not very easy to time early game but, once you get to Industrial Era, you have incredible power at your disposal and can use it to turn the tide of the war against your enemies. Finally, Great Generals provides an additional +15% CS making them even more valuable as a whole. This UA is just screaming out war so you should fully utilize it.

    The Aztecs

    The Aztec UA definitely encourages warring since you get more yields by killing enemy units. These yields can be quite a bit if you also go Authority since you can get :c5culture: Culture, :c5science: Science, :c5faith: Faith and :c5gold: Gold. The :c5gold: Gold and :c5faith: Faith from the UA not only help with finding a religion which can be an issue for warmongers but also help fund a larger military and use the kills to expand your army more to snowball from there. The UA also gives you a GA if you have a favorable war (25+ warscore) which is amazing as you can use your GA to prepare for the next war. Basically, you rinse and repeat to enjoy very lengthy GAs to keep your momentum going.

    The Huns

    The Hunnic UA encourages a specific but at times fun strategy when it comes to war. First, you receive 50% less WW while your opponent gains 50% more WW than usual. This means that a dragged out war will often benefit you more than your opponents. In addition, your mounted and armored units have a chance to capture units they defeat. Therefore, you are basically swarming the enemy and increasing their WW to unbearable amounts. Against the AIs, this is quite effective since you can turn your enemy's numerical advantage against them by massively increasing their WW. For those who enjoy an attrition style war, this civ is certainly for them.

    The Iroquois

    The Iroquois UA provides two important ingredients to successful early wars. First, you have extra mobility in forests/jungles and there are lots of those early game. Secondly, you have the Woodsman promotions in addition to extra combat bonus within 3 tiles of a Natural Wonder. This means that your melee units can not only move faster in forests/jungles but are also harder to kill while your ranged units could move easier to get into good position to pick off enemy units or take the city itself. Usually, you'd be pretty unhappy if your neighbor stole your Natural Wonder. Now, you make them pay dearly by fighting more effectively around that city. Overall, this UA isn't too impressive but you must take in account the UU of the Iroquois to truly see their strength.

    The Shoshone

    The Shoshone UA allows the Shoshone to expand fairly aggressively which the civ then use to strike against any enemies. First, your settled cities get extra borders so, if you forward settle your neighbors, you might actually steal some vital tiles like Horses and/or Iron. Secondly, your land units get a combat bonus in friendly territory. This essentially means that you can whittle down the enemy faster on the defensive so you can start taking enemy cities sooner. If you play with ruins, the ability to choose your bonuses means that you can cater those to what you need to get a much bigger advantage against your enemies.

    The Zulu

    The Zulu UA is emphasize a really snowball playstyle. You normally go Authority so you will actively go for Tributes. The Zulu UA makes the tributes easier and you get more yields which can potentially get you a larger military much faster. Then, your melee and gun units have lower maintenance so your gold income doesn't suffer as much. Finally, your units level faster due to less experience needed which means that you will have high quality units faster to further speed up your conquests. Overall, the kits is really good for warring since you want to snowball as soon as possible.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  16. cerk

    cerk Chieftain

    Jan 26, 2019
    Um... about that, replace the citadel with a random improvement. Then pop a citadel at where you really wanted one.
    Moochamoola likes this.
  17. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    Technically, what I said wasn't wrong either. I also don't do this because it's too gamey and the AI doesn't do it. There are ways for players to abuse the mechanics but it doesn't seem right.
  18. cerk

    cerk Chieftain

    Jan 26, 2019
    I didn't mean to say that you were wrong. And you would know about it I guess playing on a few difficulty levels ahead of me. I was just putting this out there. I guess the instructive tone wasn't very helpful.
  19. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

    Aug 24, 2018
    I think it's more of my playstyle and I don't like to recommend something I don't like doing myself. Your suggestion isn't wrong if you want to maximizing your advantage against AIs. I personally don't mind the instructive tone because there are still many things I don't know. I can always improve.
  20. JLazeZ

    JLazeZ Chieftain

    Nov 21, 2019
    After the guide's done maybe there could be an "Extra Tactics & Info" section at the end. To show things mentioned like turning your starting Pathfinder into an early Medic, Removing Citadels for placement, or the about to be added "GG/GAs give a boost equivalent to hills to all cities within their aura".

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