I find the Jaguar rather an underused UU and wanted to give it a try in my last few Immortal games. Now, I am convinced that it really is a horrible UU. So I am proposing a way to fix it. Once we have consensus, I want to send Firaxis an e-mail with hopes of them making Jaguar better. Here is the poll: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=6380966 The conclusion I reach at the end of the article is the following, read the article for a detailed analysis: Improve the woodsman II and/or III skill by improving the city attack odds of Jaguars; ie. give attack bonus when attacking cities. Right now, Woodsman III is not a warmonger trait. It has to be something like Guerilla III with %50 withdrawal chance and +%25 hill city attack. Something like %30-50 CityRaider in addition to the already good combat skills + 2 Free Strikes and +%50 Jungle Attack. Look at Brennus or Brennus and Boudica. Their UU is very similar to the Jaguar of the Aztecs, so let's compare the two swordsman-based racial units. Praetorian of the Romans is also a swordman based UU. I will also add the basic swordsman unit to the comparison to get a better idea what is won and what is lost with the special UU skills. Lastly, comparison of the 4 units must take into account under which circumstances they come to play, the map type, and the actual usage of the swordsman unit in human vs. AI battles. How important is being resourceless for an UU? Jaguars production does not require Iron to be hooked up, but at what cost? Iron is plently on most maps types, especially in most commonly used climate types. In most of my Immortal games on Pangea Temperate climate maps, almost all AIs had Iron in their proximity. I opened many maps with the world editor and almost all have Iron somewhere not further than 8-10 squares of the starting location. Furthermore, the AI rarely searches for IronWorking first and does not know the location of the Iron before you do. Hence, the probability of him settling the Iron is rather low. Even if it settled the Iron by chance, you still could do an immense archer or chariot rush to capture the Iron city and switch to swordman-based unit production. Therefore, the only good things about not requiring Iron are: 1) No need to research the wheel to hook up the Iron. A minimal plus considering you will need Wheel technology anyway to hook up other resources and to grow your city. 2) No turns wasted in hooking up the Iron with workers. Hooking up Iron would mean: a) settling your city near the Iron (you would have settled near the Iron anyway to take advantage of the +3 hammer bonus, so it makes little sense not wanting to settle near the Iron) b) Time required to build the mine=12 turns in Marathon (again negligible, you would have mined the Iron anway to take advantage of the hammer production bonus) c) hooking up with roads, approximately 6-12-18 turns with a single worker. I am only counting the time lost connecting the Iron to one city, because you would have connected the 2 cities with roads anyway to create a trade route. In conclusion, while on theory being resourceless might sound historically correct, cool, and good looking, in CivIV practice, being resourceless is an extremely poor bonus, definitely not worth in explaining why some UU gets a strength reduction. P.S. The Gallic warrior unit can be built with both Bronze and Iron, thanks to MadScientist for pointing this out. I believe same reasoning on being resourceless can be applied to Gallic warrior as well. Being built with Bronze as well as Iron is not a particularly important skill for an UU. When do humans use Swordsman units against the AI? Combat comparison during the siege of the AI capital. To make a solid comparison between the different swordsman units, we must consider the uses of the swordsman. Well, obviously to beat the AI you need to capture their cities, in particular their highly populated capital. Sitting in forest and jungles nearby the enemy city will not lure the defenders out. Now that the AI has gotten smarter with the 3.13 patch and its slavery usage, to capture highly defended cities, City Raider promotion has become ever important. While it might sound cool to block the enemy forest production tiles, the reality is if you have upgraded Woodsman II for the speed bonus on your jaguars and parked your large stack of Jaguars near enemy capital quickly, with only 5 strength and no upgrades on CityRadier I&II due to your promotion choice of Woodsman II, you will suffer much larger casualities than the CityRadier I&II promotion path. Furthermore, it makes little sense to use Jaguars on a desert/foodplain filled surrounding. Their usability is limited to forest&jungle rich environments. It is very common for the AI to chop the forests around its capital, thus you won't have much advantage in attacking. Well, if the city raider promotion path is so much better at city raiding compared to the Woodsman promotion path, then what that is the point of choosing the 5 strengh Jaguar instead of the regular Swordsman unit? Crippling their economy might some of you say, but fact is when you try to cripple the economy of 1 AI with a huge stack outside of your cultural boundries, you end up crippling your economy more than theirs. Besides, the AI you are attacking probably is not the only AI out there. You want to finish off the war as soon as possible and start building on the new land you acquired. Take for example a basic fortified archer at enemy capital. I will also add the city cultural defense or walls bonus, because bringing catapults would make the Woodman II quick sneak through forests useless. More important is that you will need expensive techs to start building the catapults. Bringing spies could work, but again has the disadvantage of Alphabet requirement. In most of my Immortal games, I delay Alphabet and get IW first in order to locate the iron and produce a sizeable army. (+40% Cultural Bonus(or +50% Walls bonus) +50% Unit City Defense+25% Fortification defense- (+10% Jaguar City attack))=%105 I am not even counting the first strike on the archer. If the Jaguar has an extra promotion, say CityRaider I, then the %105 would go down to 85. 3strength on Archer*(1+1.05)=6.15 vs 5.5 strengh Jaguar through Combat I 3strength on Archer*(1+0.85)=5.55 vs 5.5 strengh Jaguar through Combat I Approximately %40-50 winning chances not counting the first strike, similar odds if the Jaguar has CityRadier I promotion as well. To win at such odds against a capital city of 5-7 defenders, you will need to bring at least 15 Woodsman II Jaguars and expect to lose more than half of them, significantly crippling your conquest advance. Adding Woodsman III to the mix would not change the odds much either, because as discussed earlier, Woodsman III is not a great skill at city capturing. Now let's compare the Gallic Warrior. Take Brennus for example, because both Montezuma and Brennus are spiritual. Celtic leaders are also charismatic, a multitask trait, highly superiour to the warmonger only aggressive. To simplify things and make this discussion easier, I would argue that there is no difference between the regular Swordsman unit and the Gallic Warrior when capturing cities assuming if both of them are CityRaider I&II upgraded. A Gallic Warrior with City Raider I&II reduces the AI city defenses by %50. %105-50=%55. 3*(1+0.55)=4.65 effective archer strengh vs. 6 of the Gallic Warrior. 5.55 effective archer strength vs 5.5 Jaguar or 4.65 effective archer strength vs 6 of the Gallic Warrior. The odds of winning are much higher with the Gallic Warrior, not only that, once a few battles are won, due to the Charismatic trait, some Gallic warriors will gain lvl 3 city raider quicker than the Jaguar counterparts, making further conquest much easier through -100% city defenses. Now, lets have a final look at the praetorian, because some might argue Jaguars are not to be used at city capturing, some might say they are good a forest ambush and pillaging. Praetorians have an effective combat 3 promotion when they are produced. 6+2(%33 strengh increase=combat lvl III). They don't have the +10% city attack bonus, but it is really negligible assuming you will upgrade your praetorians to CityRaider II&III anyway. Their base strength makes them a much more versatile unit than the Jaguar, because core strength gives good fighting odds at all battle situations. Vs an archer during city siege, Praetorians get approximately 4.65 vs 8, a ridicilously good odd compared to the poor jaguar. Since your win/loss ratio will be very high with Praetorians, you will get a quick General and begin to have a large CityRaider II&III upgraded army very early on. Then, you can capture any commerce rich capital you like and force the AI to capitulation. You also don't have to search the techs necessary to build Spies or Catapults. Here is further data for the comparison: Production cost: Hammers required (normal speed): Jaguar-> 35, Gallic Warrior->40 Praetorian->45 Swordsman->40 Hammers required (marathon speed): Jaguar-> 70, Gallic Warrior->80 Praetorian->90 Swordsman->80 Conclusion on cost discussion: With the same hammer production of 5040, you can produce 72 Jaguars, 63 Gallic Warriors and Swordsman, or 56 Praetorians. To make more sense out of these numbers, I will scale them to my average army size near 2000-1000 BC. I can produce 14 Jaguars, 12 Swordsman, or 11 Praetorians with the same hammer production. The fact jaguars are slightly cheaper than Praetorians or regular Swordsman is not enough to compansate for the fact that less of them will be able to win during a city siege; therefore leading to less number of CityRaider II&III promoted troops. Once you have a limited number of good city attackers, your advances will be severely crippled. Your economy will not be able to recover as quickly, because you will be forced to support your huge number of losing Jaguars. Oh, I forgot to add that each extra Jaguar costs 1 more gold to the treasury. Basically, while it might be cheap and you can mass them rather quickly, once you start losing your huge hammer investment during AI capital siege, you will realize Jaguars are one of the worst UUs in the game. Strength: Jaguar-> 5, with Montezuma's aggressive trait and free Combat I promotion 5.5 Gallic Warrior->6, Celtic leaders are Charismatic leading to easier promotions. Boudica is even Aggressive making Gallic Warrior a 6.6 strength unit Praetorian->8, +2 strength for a total of 8 (basically a %33 strenth bonus, effectively a Combat lvl I, II, and III bonus) If perceived as 3 seperate promotions, this 33% increase in strength makes understanding why Praetorions are much stronger. The %10 city attack bonus is lost, but Praetorians are teched for City Raider II&III anway, making the loss of bonus unimportant. Swordsman->6 Special promotions: Jaguar-> Woodsman I, +10% CityAttack, Gallic Warrior->Guerilla I, +10% CityAttack, Praetorian-> Roman leaders are Imperialistic, thus with an early Great General and Barracks, you can start producing CityRaider I&II troops right from the start. However, Praetorians don't get the +10% CityAttack bonus other swordsman based units get. Swordsman-> +10%CityAttack. According to this following strength and usability comparison, praetorians are overpowered with an effective %33 strength bonus at 8 strength. They should have Combat I&II bonus instead and keep the +10% City Attack bonus other Swordsman get. Consequently, they would lose some of their versatile strength and be more balanced. But such change would create the problem of extending the intended high strength to all eras of the game, since the combat I&II bonus will carry after upgrades. Praetorians should probably be 7 strength(%15 strengh increase) and regain their +10% CityAttack bonus. Furthermore, the synergy of City Raider promotion with the already high strength of Praetorian is what makes it so powerful. In order for other UUs become as successful, the synergies of the alternative promotions to the CityRaider Promotion must be as strong as the synergy of the Preatorian CityRaider II&III synergy. Since in most games the turning point revolves around capturing critical cities, it makes sense to include city attack enhancing promotions to lvl III Guerilla and Woodman promotions. For example, %50 withdrawal is a great promotion for lvl III Guerilla. A similar approach should be taken with the Jaguar Woodsman II&III promotions. Right now, Jaguar promotions are not aimed for city conquest. Jaguar potential promotions: Woodsman lvl II, +30% on Jungle&Forest Defense, double movement on Jungle&Forests. Woodsman lvl III, +2FirstStrikes,%15healing of units in same tile, and %50 Jungle&Forest attack (basically nullifying the terrain defense bonus so you can attack enemy SOD stacks in the jungle&forests as well. Unfortunately, when you attack cities, this bonus is useless since when a city is settled jungle or forest are automatically chopped. Even if jungle or forests were not automatically chopped, it would have little sense, because the AI could chop the city main square and make the lvl III forest&jungle bonus useless when attacking. Compare this attack bonus to the bonus Celtic Warrior gets at Guerilla III. +2First Strikes are cool skill, but definitely not as strong as %50 withdrawal change the Gallic Warrior gets. Healing is great as well, but they won't increase your odds of winning battles. Compared to the Gallic Warrior, the Praetorian or even the standard Swordsman, the reduction in strength to 5 cannot be compansated by the +15% healing rate. They will only make the regeneration 2-3 turns quickler, you will lose actually more amount of units when attacking the city due to the strength reduction. Gallic Warrior potential promotions: Guerilla lvl II, +30 on Hills defense, double movement on hills Guerilla lvl III, +50 Withdrawal chance (great offensive skill that will cut your loses by %50), and +25% Hills attack( basically when you attack a unit on the hill, his terrain defense bonus is nullified) Some cities are settled on hills or some maps have more hills than others, thus Guerilla lvlIII is a great offensive skill, an alternative to perhaps even City Raider I and II. Still, unless specifically aiming to target a city on hills, I would rather go with the regular CityRadier I,II&III upgrades, since it makes a more versalite unit for later on. SUGGESTIONS TO FIX THE JAGUAR: Well, if the goal is to fix the Jaguar by bring it to a similar level at least to that of Gallic Warrior, his strengh in attacking cities must be increased. The simplest solution I can think of would be to increase the basic +10% City Attack bonus by %20 to atleast %30. Or maybe even give a free City Raider I promotion, but it could be abused quite easily, by massing huge numbers of CR III promoted Jaguars and upgrading later to a strong CRIII maceman army. Alternatively, all Jaguars should start with Combat lvl I&II. Having both combat lvl I & II would make them effectively a 6 strength unit. This fix does not make much sense, because it makes no reason to reduce UU strength to 5 only to increase it later with combat I&II. It also has the risk of extending the combat II advantage to other eras through units upgrading. Thus, making the Jaguar a 6 strengh unit just like the Gallic warrior sounds like a better idea than giving a Combat II promotion. The usage of swordsmen in human vs. AI battles in mainly in capturing cities, thus I am more symphatetic for solutions that will make the Jaguar a better City Raider. Having a low strength also definitely limits Jaguar life span and usability. Compared to Praetorians which have a life span of about 2000 years minimum, Jaguars become pretty useless after Feudalism due to Longbowman. If somehow their skills at city raiding were improved, even despite their low 5 strengh, they still would be a preferred choice at higher levels of CivIV play. Thus, my final suggesting is the following: Improve the woodsman II and/or III skill by improving the city attack odds of Jaguars; ie. give attack bonus when attacking cities. Right now, Woodsman III is not a warmonger trait. It has to be something like Guerilla III with 50% withdrawal chance and +25% hill city attack. Something like +25% CityRaider in addition to the already good combat skills + 2 Free Strikes and +50% Jungle Attack. Let me know what you think of, and I hope Firaxis can finally fix this Jaguar issue. Edit: CityRaider I gives +20% attack bonus, while CityRaider II gives +25%. Some math in the article was pointed out to be slightly inaccurate.