Missing Units in BTS


Jan 9, 2007
I'm sure we're all glad that new units were added in BTS. But are there still historically important (and game worthy) units not yet included in the game?

First for me is the early gunpowder using bombardment weapons. It seems glaringly strange that my riflemen are accompanied by catapults, just because I haven't run up to Steel yet. But even for the first generation of musketmen, gunpowder siege weapons accompanied them. This needn't be much better than a catapult, as it ignored walls/castles as a gunpowder tech unit.

Modern air units get little coverage. No biplanes for the dawn of flight -- early air combat wasn't that effective, and the airship stats might work for them, with tweaks. Rocketry should yield jet fighters, the first and second generation types through the cold war era, with the advanced flight model being an advanced jet fighter. A strategic jet bomber would be nice to bridge the gap between the WWII era bomber and the stealth craft.

The Airship is too good for its tech. While recon balloons might not be quite so cool, they were used for decades before self-propelled, steerable airships came along.

Naval war is missing something in the modern era as well. Between ironclad and destroyer, you had coal-powered predreadnought battleships (slow and powerful precursors to the WWI era ships, though some saw service in that war) as the big bosses of the sea. Destroyers were never the dominant combat ship. Armored Cruisers filled a middle role, fairly powerful major warships, faster than battleships but not as tough.

Then there were torpedo boats, which were the original reason for having destroyers. While mainly built for coastal defense (and thus functionally replacing the ironclad's role in the game), torpedoes made them a serious threat to much larger warships, even battleships were sunk by them.

Submarines were initially another sort of torpedo boat, with the ability to submerge. The WWI era were slow and clumsy in many ways, forced to run on the surface much of the time. This was made up for by the difficulty in killing them with the weapons of the era. Destroyers really came into their own as a category defending against torpedo boats and submarines, using their speed and weapons to protect fleets.

The submarine in the game is more like a WWII era vessel. The ability to operate long periods submerged developed, as well as effective sonar (for destroyers to hunt them with).

The game's attack submarine fills a missing role nicely, but their prey -- missile submarines -- are sort of absent. We have them, but they are just the original submarine with the ability to fire missiles. Ballistic (tac nuke) missile submarines are completely different -- much larger, generally faster, always nuclear powered, better armed -- from the WWII sorts. Moreover, in the real world diesel (oil) powered submarines remain in use, as cheap alternatives to attack submarines.

A downside of adding more industrial or modern era units is that there aren't enough techs to give them a long lifespan in the game. Another way to say this, though, is that the technological progress in the modern era is fast and furious, obsoleting things as soon as they are built. Now, for computers, this is definitely true :) But that doesn't mean we can't live with the same effect in the game.

A perennial issue with new units is AI use of them. I'd like to think that the AI can adapt to units which have a clear role and are the best fit -- most units in a general category tend to work like that, with the newer models clearly better than the old. Simply having more generations to upgrade/develop through shouldn't matter that much.

If you like wars, it is nice to have the tools to fight them with historical tactics and feel. The right unit for the right era helps.
How about the old hand cranked gattling gun! We can make it start with all four first strike promotions!
I have one word for you, just one word....


Yes dogs - they were used for warfare by so many nations for such a long time... where are they in the game?
Why can't we have chemical and biological weapons in the game...It seems there is no problem in poisoning mass of general public but you can't poison enemy troops...absurd!
what about siege rams? surely this siege unit was used frequently to knock down gates and walls.
I agree witha ll your points, most notably with the need for an early Bombard cannon between trebuchet and iron cannon.

One that comes with Gunpowder and Metal Casting, only requires copper, ignores walls and castles and is just a little stronger than the trebuchet.

Also Caravels and Galleons should require gunpowder- they have cannon aboard, after all. Perhaps a medieval catapult-and-arrows galleon to bridge the gap between trireme and caravel (which is, you have to admit, a pretty big gap).
I agree witha ll your points, most notably with the need for an early Bombard cannon between trebuchet and iron cannon.

One that comes with Gunpowder and Metal Casting, only requires copper, ignores walls and castles and is just a little stronger than the trebuchet.

Nice idea, there is too much of a gulf between trebs and cannons. However, you think they should ignore walls and castles? Walls and castles are already barely worth the effort, they should have a longer lifespan I believe. Perhaps gunpowder units shouldn't simple ignore walls, but receive a lesser detrimental effect when attacking them? Is it really realistic that a Musketman doesn't care whether a city has walls?
Adding more units does not help. You will create the effect of Empire Earth where too many units are incorporated, leading to a dramatic decrease in gameplay.

about biplanes, there was this other post some time ago indeed where it was proposed to dispose the zeppelin and make it a biplane instead... great idea.
i think a biplane to counter the zeppelins would be a good addition

many people seem to agree that the navies in bts are still lacking. a few more units there wouldnt go amiss (especially subs sorted out)

a bombard cannon would be nice

biological and chemical weapons would be nice with AC style diplo penalties for civs which commit the atrocities

assassins to kill enemy spies
I agree that too many units would just make it even more hectic trying to upgrade and everything. But also, at least three units do need to be added.

1. A bombard. Available with gunpowder, requires iron, and is a bridge between cats, and cannons

2. Jet bomber. A bridge between the WW2 bomber in the game, and the stealth. IRL, WW2 has been over for 60 years, but the US is the only country with a stealth bomber. But do the Russians still use prop bombers? Some, but most are jets. Stealth should also be moved back more. I frequently see stealth bombers at the same time as modern armor in Civ. But all of NATO has modern armor IRL, but not stealths.

3. Special Forces. A really late game unit that is stealth, can infiltrate cities/destroy buildings and can paradrop and do amphib, but are horribly expensive to build and maintain (5x normal upkeep cost?), maybe even have a 3 unit cap like missionaries.

Also change the airship to biplanes. PLEASE! Zepplins sucked as bombers in WW1!

EDIT: Ok, make it 4 units. Add Bio/Chemical weapons like from the Next War scenario.
^ Pretty much says it all, though I wouldn't care for chemical/biological agents in the epic game.
It does seem to need more units. I've made myself a mod to play on. It has bombards that come in with gunpowder (early cannons were developed earlier than hand held muskets). The ironclad has been edited with a HMS warrior skin and called ironclad frigate (the existing ironclad is ok if you're american, but as a european, we didn't really use ships like that). Then there is an armored cruiser thats comes in with a new tech machine tools. Then a dreadnought that needs a new tech Turbine engines and artillery. The armoured cruiser upgrades to a new unit cruiser that comes in with industrialism. There is also a new early destroyer, which is like a torpedo boat and comes in with combustion, the existing destroyer comes in with radio now (destroyers were developed primarily as an anti-sub ship, so I don't think they should be around before the thing they counter). Then there is a new tech Jet engines that comes between flight and adv flight that allows a new jet bomber and the jet fighter. Stealth fighter are a new unit that comes with stealth and there is also a transport helicopter and assault ship to carry them that come with advanced flight and can only carry marines - I find it extends their usefulness a little because they become so maneuverable.

I think these changes make the game more interesting in the industrial and moder eras, which still seem to be over too fast, even with BTS
^ I would only say two are really needed

1. Bombard (Gunpowder, Engineering) 6+50% v city, Iron or copper, 12% bombard, 90 hammers [upgrade of Trebuchet and Catapult]

2. Special Forces (Advanced Flight, Composites) 24 Paradrop 6 +Amphibious +Woodsman I + Guerilla I, Move 2 Ignore move cost, 210 hammers [upgrade of Marine, Paratrooper, and Explorer]

A key problem would be adding too much. More =/= Better
but three more that I might add

3. Nuclear Bomber, same as bomber possibly a bit more expensive, but requires Uranium and is a nuclear weapon (move ICBMs up to Satellites, they obsolete it, and Tacs up to Composites)

4. Televangelist,(Mass Media) replaces missionary, can't move but can missionize any eligible city in the world with Open Borders; cost 100 (same limitations as a missionary, Monastery/Org Rel. required

5. Corporate Jet (Advanced Flight) replaces Executive... same Idea as the Televangelist; cost 200
Here's my take on it in more detail:

1. Add the Bombard. Cannons were used long before steel came around (the siege of Constantinople in 1453 being a dramatic display of their new power.) It could be available with gunpowder and engineering and require bronze/copper or iron to be built.

2. Add a Jet bomber unit (similar to the B-52) between flight and stealth. These would be very long range, but not have the stealth capability. Stealths would also be bumped up in cost to reflect the distinction.

3. Change the Zeppelin to a WWI-style biplane, or have it require combustion or the steam engine to push it back.

Now, as for nuclear bombs, let me say that I've always been dismayed that Civ never included airplane-deployed nuclear weapons, like Little Boy from the Enola Gay. Some may argue that this isn't necessary, but don't forget that it adds another dimension both of realism and that ever-elusive element of "fun" to the game. Very rarely these days do we get suggestions that do both.

Long-range bombers carrying nuclear weapons were part of the Cold War standoff and immensely important in the deterrent of owning such WMDs. Even if several were shot down by enemy SAMs and fighters, everyone knew that at least one bomber would always make it through. In the game, this would add another layer to the tactical nuke / ICBM duo: ICBMs and Tactical Nukes can be shot down by SDI, but these bombers wouldn't be. However, they COULD be intercepted by traditional flak and jet fighters, meaning you'd have another way of attacking and defending from nuclear attack within the current framework.

Trouble is, creating another unit just for this... well, less is truly more sometimes. Perhaps we could simulate the manufacture of atomic bombs in a different way, and then create a new mission just for bombers, the "nuclear strike" mission, sort of like in C3C's WWII in the Pacific, for those of you who remember that. Maybe not the best solution, but it's doable.
a hidden nationality guerrilla is missing

how much fun it will be to harass your opponents with weak unit attacks and not declare war. of course there is the challenge of the AI doing it to you. but hey it will better replicate whats going on in places like iraq where external countries send semi-related forces to fight you without war being declared.

for the jet bomber, i'd prefer that it has blitz to bomb an additional one or two times and then really increase the stealth bomber distance. cruise missiles with hidden nationality to do punative actions would be nice too.
I thought that a good idea would be to allow a player to use a Great General to create a -Rogue General-

It could be done by adding the general to a stack of troops (where they all split the 20xp) but added as a Rogue general instead of a warlord.

Any troops in the stack which recieve xp from the general would thereby become rogue units acting as Privateers on land, and affording the owner plausible deniability for their actions... ie. their nationality would be hidden.

Penalties might be that these units cannot enter a city (friendly or otherwise) meaning that any city capture results in razing.
In Civ3 I added a gun carriage and siege mortar - but that was also to partially fill in weapons for civs that didn't have a particular resource, a gun carriage was a little weaker than the cannon but didn't need the resource.

If it wasn't so EFFIN HARD to add anything to Civ4, I'd still be doin it...

I like the idea of a mortar/bombard . It looks really weird now attacking a city with trebs and gunpowder units.

I'd like a special forces unit to which marines and paratroopers could upgrade, possibly with the abillity to go on mountain peaks.

To me there's a glaring hole between galleons and transports, Ships of the Line and Battleships. I'd like to see steamship transports and coal-fired pre-dreadnought battleships bridge that gap.

Long range jet bombers.
Couple of naval units like :

Uboats , cold-war subs , moder era subs , SSBNs.

Ticonderogas,cruise ships,patrol boats,AEGIS,old battleships like Bismark , old and modern Destroyers....to summarize a real working navy.

I find very good the idea that someone highlighted in previous posts to switch Zeppelins with WWI fighters. A10 would be a nice touch like overcrafts.
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