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In Depth Units guide

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Nuke_Exchange, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Hi, This is my first Post here. Be gentle.
    This is list of all combat units in the game, With uses, counters and strategies.
     
  2. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Ancient\Classical Era
    The Ancient era favors the defender. Wars tend to be short; but a early victory multiplies itself over the ages.

    Scout
    Requires Hunting
    Str 1; Mov 2
    +100% Vs Animals
    Can Only Defend, Better Results from Tribal villages.
    The Scout, scouts. It defeats animals with ease. Expect it to die when Barbarians appear. Kill for experience. It's better to start with a scout than with an warrior. Easier early exploration. 'Better result from Tribal Village' means the hostile Barbarian spawning village is rare indeed. Can also be used as an support medic (If you get that promotion)
    Obsolete as soon as barbarians appear.

    Warrior
    No Requirement
    Str 2; Mov 1
    +25% city defense.
    Basic defensive and exploratory unit. If you start next to the Inca, build these instead of archers. Can hold it’s own against Early Barbarians; until Axemen appear. Useful for a Early Harrasment.
    Counter with the archer, Axemen
    The Archer obsoletes this.

    Quenchua
    No requirement
    Str 2; Mov 1
    +25% City defense
    +100% vs Archery units
    Incan Unique Unit
    Bassically a Warrior with a bonus against archers. No to be underestmated; Quenchua rushes are crippling. This unit takes longer to obsolete than the warrior. But overall, it got a short shelf life. Don't invest too much on it.
    Counter with Spearman, Chariot.
    Obsolete with the advent of the chariot.

    Archer
    Needs Archery
    Str 3; Mov 1
    1 First strike
    +50% City defense
    +25% Hill defence
    Pure Defensive unit. Archers fortified on a hill city can be difficult to dislodge. Good investment, Not obsolete until the Middle ages. Beware: many UUs have abilities against them.
    Counter with Quencha, Immortal, War Chariot, Horse Archer.
    Obsolete with the longbowman.

    Skrimisher
    Needs Archery
    Str 4, Mov 1
    +50% City defense
    +25% Hill defence
    Mali Unique Unit.
    Archer with extra first strike and Str. Solid Defensive unit.
    Counter with Immortal, War Chariot, Horse Archer
    Obsolete with longbowman

    Chariot
    Needs Horses, The Wheel
    Str 4; Mov 2
    Gain no Defensive bonus.
    The first Offensive unit you get. (If you have horses) Death to Warrior, Quecha and Barbarians. Good Scout and pillager too. But don't build too many; the Horse Archer is round the corner.
    Counter with Spearmen, War Elephant, Phalanx
    Obsolete with the appearance of Horse Archers.

    War Chariot
    Needs Horses, The Wheel
    Str 5; Mov 2
    Gains no Defensive Bonus.
    Immune to first stike.
    Can Withdraw from combat (+20% Chance)
    Egyptian Unique Unit.
    Good Offensive unit. Immunity to First Strikes means a edge against Archers; Withdrawal from combat means more chances of survival. The Extra Str helps too. Not obsoleted by the Horse Archer.
    Counter with Spearman, War Elephant, Phalanx.
    Obsolete with the War Elephant or Knight.

    Immortal
    Needs Horses, The Wheel
    Str 4, Mov 2
    Can Withdraw from combat (+30% Chance)
    +50% vs Archery units
    Persian Unique Unit.
    Good Rush unit; Can utterly destroyed an empire if he has no Speamen. I've done it. Also good at Surviving combat. But... pass.
    Counter with Spearman, War Elephant, Phalanx.
    Obsolete with Horse Archer.

    Spearman
    Requires Copper or Iron and Hunting
    Str 4, Mov 1
    +100% vs Mounted units
    Defensive unit. Effective against all Mounted units in this Era. Fortify one in each city. Useful thoughout the age.
    Counter with Swordsmen, Axemen
    Obsolete with the Pikeman

    Phalanx
    Requires Copper or Iron and Hunting
    Str 5, Mov 1
    +100% vs Mounted units
    +25% Hill defense
    Greek Unique Unit
    Excellent Defensive unit for those Hill Cities. Replacement for the Archer in most situations. The Extra Str is a bonus.
    Counter with Swordsmen, Axemen
    Obsolete with Pikemen

    Axeman
    Requires Copper or Iron andBronze Working
    Str 5, Mov 1
    +50% vs. Melee Units
    Choice Defensive unit. Can also be on the Offensive. Pretty Multi-role and long lasting. Can't do much against Mounted units, so mix with Spearmen.
    Counter with Horse Archer, War Elephants
    Obsolete with the Maceman

    Horse Archer
    Requires Horses Horseback Riding & Archery
    Str 6, Mov 2
    Gains No defense bonuses
    Immune to First Strikes
    +50% vs. Catapults
    Successor to the Chariot. Good against Archers, due to it's First Strike Immunity. Purely Offensive. Good unit, just don't fight Spearmen. Effective at pillaging and if need be, scouting.
    Counter with Spearmen, Phalanx, War Elephant
    Obsolete with Knight

    Keshik
    Requires horse Horseback Riding & Archery
    Str 6 Mov 2
    1 first strike
    Doesn't receive defensive bonuses
    Ignores terrain movement costs
    +50% attack vs. Catapult
    Mongolian Unique Unit
    Pretty much a Horse Archer. But it's a exellenct Scout and Pillager with it's ignore terrain cost ability.
    Counter with Spearmen, Phalanx, War Elephant
    Obsolete with Knight

    Swordsman
    Requires Iron and Iron Working
    Str 6, Mov 1
    +10% City Attack
    Mutli-Role, Long lasting unit, can defend, but it's better on the offensive. Can hold it's own against everything but Axemen, Praetorians and War Elephants. A must have unit.
    Counter with Axemen.
    Obsolete with Macemen

    Praetorian
    Requires Iron and Iron Working
    Str 8, Mov 1
    Roman Unique Unit
    Increadible unit. Disputably the best UU. It's a trade off for the +10% City attack for +2 Str. It works; only Axemen can fight Praetorians. It's Multi-Role and long lasting too. An Army of then Steamroles over practically everthing.
    Counter with Axemen.
    Obsolete with the Maceman.

    Jaguar
    Requires Iron Working
    Str 5; Mov 1
    +10% city attack
    +25% jungle defense
    Aztech Unique Unit
    Insane. What else to expect from motezuma's UU? Traded off 1 Str for +25% Jungle Defense... Still, if for some reason you got to defend a Jungle, this is the unit for it. It's worth sky rockets if you don't have iron.
    Counter with Axeman
    Obsolete with the Maceman

    Galley
    Requires Sailing
    Str 2, Mov 2
    Can transport up to 2 units
    Cannot enter ocean spaces
    First Naval Unit you get. Pretty pointless exect on archipelago. Can Pillage Water improvements, Transport units to nearby island or for a suprise attack.
    No Counter; Build more Galleys!
    Obsolete with the Galleon

    Catapult
    Requires Construction
    Str 5, Mov 1
    No defense bonuses
    Causes collateral damage
    Bombards city defenses -15%/turn
    A siege weapon; without it you can't attack a well defended city. It weaken's it defenses and damages the defenders. Suicide attacks to soften opposition is a good tactic. Keep producing these; the cannon arrives in the industrial age. A must have.
    Counter with Horse Archer, Keshik
    Obsolete with the Cannon.

    War Elephant
    Requires Ivory and Construction
    Str8, Mov 1
    No defense bonuses
    +50% vs. Mounted Units
    Powerful unit; Purely offensive. Can destroy other mounted units and pretty much everything else. War Elephant+Praetorian=Conquest. If you have ivory (Which is reasonably rare) prepare to invade and conquer some neighbor. Spearmen can stop these Juggernaughts.
    Counter with Spearmen, Phalanx
    Obsolete with the appearance of Pikemen
     
  3. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Medival Era
    The first Major wars happen in the Middle Ages. If You don't have iron; I suggest sucking up to Everyone. Then when you reach the Industrial age...
    Vengance is all about timing.


    Explorer
    Requires Compass
    Str 4, Mov 2
    Better results from Tribal Villages
    Can only defend
    Ignores Terrain Movement Cost
    Starts with Guerilla & Woodsman I
    Promote to Woodsman II for extremly fast Scouting. Still useless against Barbarians. I don't recomend building these. Can also be used as a support medic.
    Never Obsolete

    Longbowman
    Requires Archery & Feudalism
    Str 6, Mov 1
    1 first strike
    +25% City Defense
    +25% Hills Defense
    Longbows are the only unit you can build with a resourse. I sugest upgrading those archers quickly and make a push for Iron. Can destroy even Praetorians. When this appears it's high time to prepare to upgrade.
    Mix with Pikemen for a powerful defense.
    Counter with Knight
    Obsolete with the invention of Gunpower

    Crossbowman
    Requires Iron, Machinery & Archery
    Strength 6, Movement 1
    1 first strike
    +50% vs. Melee Units
    The counter for Macemen. Fortify with Pikemen for a flexible defense. Also good at dislodging fortified Pikemen. Powerful if Knights haved appeared yet.
    Counter with Knights
    Obsolete with the invention of Gunpower

    Cho-Ko-Nu
    Requires Iron, Machinery & Archery
    Str 6 Mov 1
    2 first strikes
    Causes collateral damage
    +50% vs. Melee Units
    Chinese Unique Unit
    Superb Unit. Collateral damage means distributive Damage to a whole stack. Powerful against 5+ Stacks. The extra first strike also helps. Fortify with Pikemen for a Flexible and powerful defense.
    Counter with Knights
    Obsolete with the invention of Gunpower

    Maceman
    Requires Copper or Iron, Civil Service & Machinery
    Str 8, Mov 1
    +50% vs. Melee Units
    Theoretically can still be built without Iron; you could use Copper. It's primary use is to crush Pikemen and make the road safe for Knights. Offensive unit.
    Counter with Crossbowman, Cho-Ko-Nu, Knight
    Obsolete with the invention of Gunpower

    Samurai
    Requires Iron or Copper, Civil Service & Machinery
    2 First Strikes
    +50% vs. melee units
    Macemen with First Strike. This guy eats Pikemen for Breakfast. Use to clear the way for the Knights.
    Counter with Crossbowman, Cho-Ko-Nu, Knight
    Obsolete with the invention of Gunpower

    Caravel
    Requires Optics
    Str 3, Mov 3
    Can transport one of the following: Scouts, Explorers, Missionaries, Spies, or Great People
    Can enter rival territory without an Open Borders agreement
    Strange Unit. If for some insane reason your attempting a Naval invasion; keep those Galleys. it can't transport military units. You may want to keep this to the mordern age as it can spy and scout Rival territory and is an excellent way to get around for those missonaries. Isabella furious with you? Convert her with this. But I always Junk this.
    No Counter; build more Caravels.
    As a military unit, Obsolete with the Frigate; as Scout Unit, Never.

    Pikeman
    Requires Iron and Engineering
    Str 6, Mov 1
    +100% vs. Mounted Units
    The answer to Knights. Defensive unit. Mix with Crossbowmen or Longbowmen for a good defense. A elite Pikeman can defeat raw Cavalry anyday

    Knight
    Requires Horses, Iron, Horseback Riding & Guilds
    Str 10, Mov 2
    Immune to first Strikes
    Gains No defense bonus
    The most powerful unit in the Middle Ages. It's appearance depends on the Map; as it requires both Horses and Iron. On Tundra areas it is rare. A must have unit. Can Mow down everything but Pikemen (Watch out for War Elephants too!) If your opponent doest have the Iron to build to Pikemen; use this to mop the floor with them.
    Counter with Pikemen, War Elephant
    Obsolete with Cavalry

    Camel Archer
    Requires Horses, Iron, Horseback Riding & Guilds
    Str 10, Mov 2
    Immune to first Strikes
    Gains No defense bonus
    Can withdraw from Combat (30% chance)
    Unique unit for Arabia
    Knights that last longer. Which mean they get more expreinced... It needs Maceman\Crossbowman support against those Pikemen.
    Counter with Pikemen, War Elephant
    Obsolete with Cavalry

    Conquistardor
    Requires Horses, Iron, Horseback Riding & Guilds
    Str 12, Mov 2
    Immune to first Strikes
    Gains No defense bonus
    +50% vs Melee Units
    Spanish Unique Unit
    Incredible unit... A contender for top UU. A knight with +50% against Macemen and Pikemen. Oh, and
    +2 Str... Which means Pikemen only have +50% vs them now! Which works out as 9 vs 12. Knights that defeat Pikemen, cool...
    War Elephants are still a threat, 12 vs 12. All this doesn't mean use them against Pikemen. They are far too expensive to risk. (120 Hammers vs 90 Hammers for normal Knight) Still, with a good factory city...
    Counter with Pikemen (En masse) War Elephant
    Obsolete with Cavalry
     
  4. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Renaisance
     
  5. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Industrial Age
     
  6. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Mordern Age
     
  7. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Horse Archers are also a good counter against Axemen.
     
  8. carn

    carn Warlord

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    When you say "obsoletes with" its not obvious whether you mean "cannot build anymore" or "is not worth building anymore".

    Afaik war elephants can still be built after pikeman appear and would have some rare uses, e.g. war elephant would be best to attack a stack of knights and crossbowmen.

    Phalanxes are certainly still useful after pikeman, because 1 str less +25% hill defense for -40% price can be good.

    Carn
     
  9. ColonelSanders

    ColonelSanders Chieftain

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    I've not been playing the game long so summaries like this are very useful to have. Your article provides a nice counterpoint to the many resource management guides.

    Andy
     
  10. punchandpie

    punchandpie Warlord

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    Good stuff so far.
     
  11. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    If you know the cost to build could you put that in too, since relative cost often affects a unit's worth?
     
  12. Zombie69

    Zombie69 Emperor

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    In multiplayer on packed maps, it's better to start with a warrior than a scout, because if you start with a scout, someone can attack you with their starting warrior and exterminate you before you can do anything about it. And you can't even do the same to them since your scout can't attack. In single player games, i agree that scouts are better.

    For me scouts are never obsolete. A good scout with medic can last until the very end of the game. It will never die because it will never be the unit that defends in your stack.

    You should specify what you mean by rush. You won't take any cities with warriors. I would say "useful for early harassment", this is more accurate.

    Why would you want to counter warriors with spearmen? By the time you have the metal to make spearmen, you can make axemen instead, which are much better at facing warriors.

    Watch out, it's quechua, not quencha. You've made the same mistake in the archer section as well.

    Same point as above regarding counters. Much better to counter them with axemen than spearmen, and they come just as early.

    I find quechuas useful all the way to longbowmen. No way quechuas are obsolete at chariots, unless you're using quechuas alone, but it's never a good idea to use only one kind of unit anyway. As long as there are archers around, quechuas remain useful.

    You forgot the best non-UU counter to archers : swordsmen. Better than horse archers, and much better than war chariots. Axemen are also much better than war chariots at countering archers, and about as good as horse archers because of city raider promotions. War chariots shouldn't be in the list at all. It's better to use them as pillagers than to attack cities head on with them.

    Sending a war chariot against a skirmisher is pure folly. Even a horse archer is a bad move. Even axemen can't hurt them. Even sworsmen, the best city raider unit, have trouble. I would say the only counter to skirmishers is the catapult. Without some, don't even try.

    You should mention that their main use is pillaging.

    The extra strength and immunity to first strike makes them something normal chariots aren't : decent city attackers. You're still better off with axemen and swordsmen though.

    Indeed, this is an actual rush unit, in that it can actually take cities.

    Agreed.

    This unit can also actually turn into a decent city attacker because it has access to city raider promotions and is pretty cheap.

    Horse archers are a more probable counter than war elephants.

    Swordsmen also counter them somewhat because they are cheaper and get defensive bonuses.

    Same comment as above regarding swordsmen.

    Should develop city raider promotions above all else.

    Axemen are only a semi-counter. Praetorians still win 1 on 1 versus them, but when facing Praetorians, it's the best you've got. War elephants work better but are more expensive.

    Arguably the worst UU in the game. Still, you should mention that they don't require iron, which is really their only advantage.

    They can also be countered with swordsmen, horse archers and war elephants, though not as effectively as with axemen.

    This is not the first naval unit you get. The first one is the work boat. Don't underestimate the mighty work boat! I've once circumnavigated the map with them! They're perfect for early exploration since they're cheap, and you don't need to worry about them becoming obsolete, as you know you'll need them somewhere eventually.

    The caravel counters the galley, with more strength and more movement. It can't transport troops, but it's a better fighter.

    You can attack cities without them if (1) you attack early enough or (2) you use praetorians.

    You should mention that ivory is pretty rare, so don't expect to get access to war elephants in most games, and don't expect to be facing a lot of them either.
     
  13. Barruk

    Barruk Chieftain

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    Not my experience. There's ivory close to me in about 75% of the games I play. I use elephants effectively as offensive juggernauts all the way until musketmen.
     
  14. Zelda's Man

    Zelda's Man A Link to Something

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    Scout may kill wolves easily, but they will have trouble versus bears. On easy levels I think they get extra bonuses versus animals, but on upper levels bears will often kill them.
     
  15. Elponitnatsnoc

    Elponitnatsnoc Master Debater

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    Don't forget about crossbows as a counter for axemen. They have a bonus against melee that doesn't get canceled out by the axemans melee bonus because crossbows are ranged.
     
  16. Mathemagician13

    Mathemagician13 Chieftain

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    Another note about War Elephants, is that they are not a terrible choice if you're caught against Calvary and don't have riflemen yet.
     
  17. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    I mean it has no more concievable use.
    War Elephants are too expensive to use at such mediocare odds. And pikemen slaughter them.
    Point. But it's low str is a downer.
     
  18. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    By then you'll have Macemen. And crossbows are Medievil unit.
     
  19. Nuke_Exchange

    Nuke_Exchange Chieftain

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    Thanks. Edited what I thought was right.
     
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Its true, I'm not sure how useful the crossbowmen is overall. Its slightly cheaper than a maceman, but you get a whole lot more power out of the maceman. And I'm not really sure if the first strikes from a crossbowman make up for the huge strength difference between it and the maceman.
     

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