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pineappledan 4UC report card thread


Aug 9, 2017
Alberta, Canada

I thought I would post a separate thread where I quickly review 4UC's components by 3 criteria:
Theme: Their historical importance, how important I feel portraying that thing is to the identity of the culture overall, etc.
Mechanics: The gameplay feel of that component. How complex is it. How difficult to implement. How nicely does it play with the rest of the kit
Uniqueness: Unique components should be unique. The ideal component is one that replaces a base component that nothing else replaces, and unlocks some sort of playstyle or approach to the game that is novel to that civilization.
Spoiler America :

Overall grade: B+
Perfectly happy with their bonuses. They help America do America things while also feeling special in their own way.

America - Monitor
Theme - B. America, for its time as a world power has been primarily a naval power. This should be reflected in the game somehow. The use of an ironclad to fulfill that roll. The roll as a harbor defense unit that IRL monitors fulfill is not properly expressed by the unit, because limiting their deep ocean movement would have hobbled the base ironclad too much. The defensive aspect is expressed in the damage reduction and bonus CS to adjacent cities, however.
Mechanics - A. DLL integrated, kinda. Its city defense bonus uses a sql ability that is currently broken, so if the DLL simply worked as advertised it would be.
Uniqueness - A. Unique naval units always get bonus points, because there are so few of them relative to land units. There is only 1 other unique ironclad, and it is a very aggressive unit, while the monitor has bonuses on defense. You could make this UU even more unique by making it a unique unit class that specializes in littoral combat, but I think that would come at the cost of usefulness.

America - Ranch
Theme - B. It represents more of that manifest destiny from the UA, both visually and mechanically, which is great. The pioneer early unlock ability also has that Homesteaders appeal and works well for making you feel feel like you can push into an expansionist midgame. It's a bit anachronistic though.
Mechanics - B. Doubles down on the UA and kind of forces your hand, because it force-steals any pastures in range of your cities. If you weren't actively antagonizing your neighbours before this well you are now. Though if you weren't setting out to do that, why did you pick America as a civ to begin with?
Uniqueness - B. Medieval UB and already stacked up on Poland. Kind of mid as far as uniqueness. Unlocking a normal unit an era early is pretty unique though
Spoiler Arabia :

Overall grade: C
Arabia's kit is too tightly focused around the UA to the detriment of the existing UB and UU, nevermind the addition of 2 more ones. The Hashemite just doesn't work on a design level because of how it is the same upgrade line as the camel archer. I am overall unhappy with these components, but I think the base kit is at least 60% to blame for that.

Arabia - Hashemite
Theme - B. The bright spot of this unit. It's a post-independence Arab nationalist symbol that is Arabian, with no Iranian or African inclusions. Barring anything else it is Arab.
Mechanics - D. Totally DLL integrated, which is nice, but doesn't stand out or enable some new playstyle. The Camel archer upgrades directly into it, which is a major problem
Uniqueness - C. The only light tank in the game, but doesn't do much to stand out.

Arabia - Bimaristan
Theme - C. It's alright for theme, but the name and a lot about the institution has Persian influence. It fits with that tall religious Arab playstyle and doesn't rock the boat too much
Mechanics - B. This was where the yields on faith purchase bonus originated and then that got ported into the main mod. This used to be a really special and interesting bonus that has been watered down by the addition of many new things. It's still ok, but a lot less special than it was 6 years ago.
Uniqueness - B. Shares a base component with Korea, another tall science-y civ. Doesn't add much to round out the Arabian playstyle, because the Arab kit is such a closed loop that is so focused on the UA mechanic to the exclusion of everything else. Doesn't leave much space for a new UB to contribute. Overly unique? Not really, but that's the base civ's fault for being such a narrowly focused design, and not 4UC's
Spoiler Assyria :

Overall grade: C+
Good components overall that help Assyria with its militaristic focus, but are badly impacted by their overlaps with Babylon.

Assyria - Iron Chariot
Theme - A. Many major military innovations can be traced back to Assyria. One of them is siege tactics, as shown by the siege tower, and another is the invention of shock cavalry. With the Iron chariot, Assyria has something to portray this major contribution to military tactics.
Mechanics - A. The Iron Chariot has a mechanic for strategic resource management that gives a bonus for having the necessary SRs, but then also lets you build units in excess of that cap. This is an innovative system that is easy for both players and AI to use, more forgiving than the standard SR system. Adding chariot movement, but a large extra bonus in open terrain makes the Assyrians a massive range of power in open or rough terrain that mirror's Assyria's history of aggressive expansion in open land.
Uniqueness - B. It's a unique horseman, which is shared with the Huns, and doesn't push Assyria outside of their early component unlocks, so not terribly unique in that respect. However, Assyria doesn't really have a convetional UU without the Iron Chariot, so it shapes how early wars work with Assyria in a major way.

Assyria - Lamassu
Theme - A. The Lamassu is a major motif within Mesopotamian art and architecture, and I'm happy with its portrayal here.
Mechanics - B. It's fully DLL integrated and gives a unique mechanical advantage that allows you to rush military early without jeopardizing your chances of a religion. It's not really breaking the bank on originality, but does an adequate job.
Uniqueness - F. There is 1 other unique wall and it's another Mesopotamian civ no less: Babylon. I think the Walls of Babylon were always a lame excuse for a UB idea, but the overlap is unmistakable

Spoiler Austria :

Overall grade: D+
Another case of a badly overcentralized kit damaging any potential design space for more UCs. Austria's marriage mechanic is just too powerful on its own; any new components have nothing to do except get out of its way. Augmenting it further would just make an already OP civ even more unbalanced, so the only thing to do is give some tangential bonuses that would be useful for some other victory path that you're never going to take, because Austria is just way too overoptimized for the Cultural/Diplomatic victory path.

Austria - Grenzer
Theme - B. Knowing relatively little about Austria, but given it is one of the least militaristic civs in the game currently, this allowed for a fairly blank slate upon which to choose a new UC. The Grenzer appeared, to my eyes, to be the most relevant and interesting unique unit choice available for Austria, showcasing the constant border conflicts against the encroaching Ottomans and how that shaped Austrian military organization and institutions for centuries later.
Mechanics - F. Overall I would say I am unhappy with how this unit turned out. I think the concept is interesting, but scaling flat CS is not a great bonus that is both hard to tune and hard to convey. I'm left at a loss as to what would make the Grenzer reflect its unique place in history while also feeling like a fun and unique addition to Austria's existing kit.
Uniqueness - C. It scales its base CS off the marriage mechanic, which is unique enough, but I don't know if it really feels like a Grenzer. Fusilier UUs are fairly easy to come up with, and it feels a bit like this unit is squatting on a coveted unit slot that a more interesting UU could occupy right now. It also is stacked closely with the unique Hussar, giving an oddly large power spike for a non-military civ.

Austria - Standschutzen
Theme - D. Knowing relatively little about Austrian history myself, I'm not sure if what we came up with here is particularly emblematic of Autstria. It served more for the realities of the mod, and the choice was dominated more by what we needed to avoid than what we wanted to portray. Still, the UB portrays something of Tyrolean, Alpine Austrian history and culture which is neat, since the UA and UB are very focused on Vienna, and the two UUs are from the Eastern march.
Mechanics - D. It's a CS ally scaler and some military unit production. None of this really helps Austria with their victory pursuit, but Austria is so overpowered it didn't feel right to give them anything that is actually helpful.
Uniqueness - B. It is an arsenal replacement, which is totally unique and far removed from the Austria's other renaissance components.

Spoiler Aztecs :

Overall grade: A-
The Aztecs have a fun game plan and are one of the most interesting civs from a design perspective, with how their UA incentivizes short wars against weak opponents. There are lots of ways to synergize and compliment this playstyle, and I am very happy with how 4UC augments it further.

Aztecs - Otomi
Theme - A. This is an absolute slam dunk as far as I'm concerned. The current placement of the Jaguar is anachronistic in a way that feels like wilfull misinformation. The Mexica didn't even arrive into the Altiplano until the 12th century. The Otomi are named after a people who were in the area for thousands of years prior to that, but still exist within the Mexica historical record as both a military society and a polity within the empire.
Mechanics - B. The Otomi is taking over the base VP jaguar slot and so the fact they don't do anything too different is intended. Fully DLL integrated, of course. retaining the anti-barb bonus after upgrade is kind of neat though.
Uniqueness - B. The only unique Warrior, and a uniquely powerful early game tool.

Aztecs - Telpochcalli
Theme - A. The Telpochcalli is a very interesting aspect of Aztec culture that I have wanted to get in the game. One of the earliest examples of a public school in history.
Mechanics - B. Stacking yields and XP on golden age start is a perfect combination with the Aztecs' unique GA trigger from wars.
Uniqueness - B. As a unique barracks it is stacked with Ikanda. If we wanted, we could move it to Library and it would be more unique. Might even fit the theme better.

Aztecs - New Jaguar
Theme - B. Much improved compared to its old position as a warrior
Mechanics - B. a SR-free Last hit machine. Fills the old SR-free niche of the Maori warrior, but much better because it's on a militaristic civ that is much more focused on bottom tech and much more likely to mass-produce them. DLL free, which is nice.
Uniqueness - B. Longsword replacement is ok, there are 2 others with Samurai and Chewa. It is uniquely spammable in a safe way, because the tercio it upgrades into also has no SR requirement.

Aztecs - Huey Teocalli
Theme - B. A unique religious building doesn't feel like a particularly deep or interesting cut, but it is still the only unique Grand Temple. The religion of the Aztecs is prominent with their UA giving faith on kills, so it is consistent.
Mechanics - B. The enhanced yields on kills during Golden Age reinforce that you need to keep warring. more more more. Win wars as fast as possible and then start new wars. The yields reward for golden ages is is a good way to communicate that intended playstyle through the mechanics.
Uniqueness - B. No other Grand Temple UB in the game. While there are uniques that do similar things there is nothing that does it quite like the Huey Teocalli. The uniqueness has been somewhat marred by the addition of the Teocalli as a faith building in the main mod, but it's still ok in that respect. It communicates a clear playstyle and intent which is all you could want from a UNW.

Spoiler Babylon :

Overall grade: A-
Given the restrictions inherent to adding historical components to an early culture like Babylon, I am pretty happy with the result. The mechanics added to Babylon are novel, but still approachable.

Babylon - Sabum Kibitum
Theme - A. It's as good as we can get w.r.t. Babylonian representation
Mechanics - B. The SK gains additional CS for every 2 levels it grows. It's a fairly straightforward bonus, but gives a powerful incentive to keep these legacy UUs alive throughout the eras. Simple, yet effective.
Uniqueness - B. With the pictish, the immortal and the hoplite, this is the 4th spearman UU. It's probably the weakest one of the 4 to start, but its unique XP mechanic, growing stronger with more levels, makes it fairly unique still.

Babylon - Etemenanki
Theme - A. The great ziggurat of Babylon is a great addition for historical representation
Mechanics - A. Basically a global bank building that gives yields in 1 city. It is a neat addition to Babylon's emphasis on gold investment and doubles down on their existing emphasis on strong infrastructure while also reinforcing the tall, capital-centric focus
Uniqueness - S. It's pretty unique. There is 1 other national monument, but it's St. Mark's which is a glorified dummy building that acts as a prerequisite to the real UNWs later. The Etemenanki's unique mechanic is familiar, but different enough that it feels totally transformative for the civ. I am very happy with it.

Spoiler Brazil :

Overall grade: C-
The mix of a UU that I am very happy with, paired with a UB that I am very unhappy with. The Amazonas is interesting and fun; the Sambadrome is a boring stat stick with a 1-time WLTKD trigger.

Brazil - Amazonas
Theme - A. This is the most important ship from the most important battle of the most important war that Brazil has ever engaged in. I don't think Brazil has anything in its history more iconic or worthy of depiction.
Mechanics - A. On kills this unit refreshes its attack charges. This is a reenatctment of the decisive ramming action that the Amazonas carried out against multiple boarding craft in the battle of Riachuelo. It's unique, yet pretty easy to grasp, and gives a colorful incentive for aggression. thumbs up.
Uniqueness - A. Bonus points for boats, those are rare. Only 1 other unique ironclad: the Monitor

Brazil - Sambadrome
Theme - F. This is just the building where the UA takes place. It's completely redundant.
Mechanics - D. It synergizes with the UA, but it's overall pretty weak and really boring.
Uniqueness - D. This was designed in a time period where Brazil was an uncontrollable winning machine. After several rounds of nerfs the base kit has come under control, and what was intentionally made as a useless space-filler for a civ that didn't need any help is left severely lacking.

Spoiler Byzantium :

Overall grade: B+
Byzantium has a solid UU addition and a passable UNW. The UNW is better in concept than in execution; the specific abilities something to be desired.

Theme - S.
The more I have read about Dromons the more impressed I am by the Byzantines and their shipbuilding. These craft were truly ahead of their time, and couldn't be more perfect as an emblematic unit for Byzantium.
Mechanics - A. I really want an actual DOT effect for these, but the Greek fire debuff placer is serviceable in its current form. (reduces max HP and healing for 2 turns)
Uniqueness - A. There are no other Liburna UUs in the game, and certainly nothing in the game that poses such a unique early threat in ship-to-ship combat.

Theme - A.
Great Theme. very important cultural institution to the Byzantine empire, worthy of portrayal.
Mechanics - D. I'm much happier with the idea of the Hippodrome in the game than the actual mechanics we came up with. The WLTKD and global WLTKD yields are boring and similar to other civs like Indonesia and China.
Uniqueness - C. It is a unique circus maximus and that is unique. Furthermore, I can't think of a more appropriate unique replacement for this base building in world history. However, outside of a synergy with Theocratic Rule, I have never felt this UNW adds much of a new dimension to Byzantium. That is understandable since their entire kit is so malleable, we had to be careful not to give them a kit that pushed them in any direction too hard.

Spoiler Carthage :

Overall grade: B+
Carthage's uniques are both style over substance. The concepts are much more interesting on paper than in-game, but they are interesting. The Suffet is unique to play with, totally unlike anything else in the game, but hampered by how naval pathing prevents disembarking like a normal GGeneral would. The Tophet is a very interesting, albeit a bit edgy. The most recent congress session stole one of its unique mechanics leaving it impoverished and in need of a glow-up.

Theme - A.
This unit is a fun historical reference and has abilities that directly reference Carthage's historic victories where they outmaneuvered and outflanked the Romans handily. It's good fun.
Mechanics - B. The unit has some very interesting mechanics, able to morph between a GAdmiral and a GGeneral form gives it lots of cool interactions. However, the inability to disembark except on canals and cities is a serious imperfection. It makes amphibious assaults harder with Carthage, because it can be difficult to get your GGenerals onto different landmasses.
Uniqueness - S. Well it certainly is unique. There are 2 other GGenerals, but no other GAdmirals exist in the game. And no other transforming units. It has some very interesting situational utility and the ability to confer ZOC to nearby units puts a new spin on maneuvering units in combat

Theme - B.
For a unique building, the Tophet is pretty dark. It references an unseemly aspect of Carthaginian culture, their penchant for child sacrifice. Despite this, it's a great icon, and it's a pretty lurid, interesting thing to learn about. I don't hate it, it's just not as celebratory of a unique component as perhaps it ought to be.
Mechanics - D. The current bonuses to unit purchase make no sense for what the building is. They are also kind of boring.
Uniqueness - C. As a unique shrine it is early enough that it feels almost like a part of the UA. But in this ultra-early slot it doesn't do anything that feels transformative for the civ. If you are going to have a building this early it feels like it should matter more for your game plan. Once again I don't hate it, but there is a lot of potential here that is untapped

Spoiler Celts :

Overall grade: A-
Cool components with cool abilities. Possibly a little too good in human hands, but I have personally always felt like playing as the Celts is like playing up 1 difficulty level. Maybe others feel differently, but I think the 4UC components help the Celts feel powerful in a way that is missing without the extra components.

Theme - A.
Good theme, representative of the breadth of Celtic culture, unlike the Ceilidh hall which is specifically Gaelic. It's just doing a better job being something Celtic than anything else in the base kit
Mechanics - B. It's honestly a bit too strong. A little overtuned. However the base kit has never made me feel that strong.
Uniqueness - B. Unique improvement always rates highly for me. In the end it is just a GPTI though, and might actually make your map less diverse, because what could have been 4 different GPTIs might be replaced by 1.

Scythed Chariot
Theme - B.
They're kind of fun as a concept. The Romans actually got chariots from the Celts and this is a fun nod to unique Celtic battle tactics. Overall though, they aren't super iconic. The main reason we added them was because this was the best place to add AOE on move, and the theme came second
Mechanics - S. This UU was designed from the ground up to facilitate using the AOE on move ability that is already implemented in the DLL. This is what it is for, and it does that perfectly
Uniqueness - A. It has the mechanical aspects down, and the theme is enough to support it. Overall it is a fun little contribution to the overall Celtic kit. thumbs up.

More coming soon
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Spoiler China :

Overall grade: B+
China’s components were designed in a time when the civ was a juggernaut. The civ has been been largely brought back under control over the years but is still very strong. The power of the base kit doesn’t leave much room for designing something too useful or synergistic, because it would just push China back over the edge. Instead, we opted to add diplomatic bonuses which adds a new dimension from China’s more generalist/cultural civ package. I think it works well enough.

- B. Maybe not the most emblematic historical artifact from all of China’s vast history, but the Red Junk is certainly iconic. Zheng He’s voyages are legendary historical mythmaking.
Mechanics – C. The Kowtow ability generates influence with the CS that owns the tile it occupies. This is fine enough for a unique mechanic or a human player but would require bespoke AI for the computer player to grasp. It’s also passive to just park a unit somewhere and get a reward. It would be better if it were some sort of 1-time action like the Nau’s exotic cargo, except it gave influence instead of XP.
Uniqueness - A. Bonus points for a unique boat. Those are rare. Unique enough idea of a diplomatic frigate. Tilts China into a new diplomacy direction which is interesting.

Examination Hall
Theme – S.
A depiction of the Chinese imperial examination system is such a major part of the history of China and the wider region, it is utterly bizarre it was left on the cutting room floor in favor of “paper maker”
Mechanics - B. The UB gives GPPs on birth. This combines with China’s large growth bonuses and helps convert that back into Great works for more WLTED triggers in guild cities. A neat little bridge component.
Uniqueness - B. No other Chanceries in the game. GPP on birth are familiar to players because of other yield on birth mechanics, but with a little twist.

Spoiler Denmark :

Overall grade: B-
There is a debate that needs to happen as to whether Denmark is really “Denmark” or if they’re just “the Viking civ”. The 4UC team ultimately split the difference with viking and 1 non-viking component. I think we did well enough, but I could be convinced otherwise with respect to the UU if people preferred we went another direction for the UU.

- B. Another viking thing. Is that okay? I don’t know. We could have opted for something a little later in Medieval and gone for a Likedeeler caravel replacement instead, or something else entirely. As long as it’s not the ski infantry.
Mechanics - B. Another early unlock UU? Here the early unlock is meant to allow you earlier deep ocean exploration in the vein of Leif Erickson et al, but that’s more Icelandic and not specifically Danish. The move after attacking is a perfect fit for the longship, which were bidirectional so they could be beached for an attack and then pulled back out to sea without turning.
Uniqueness - B. It gets a pass because it’s a boat, mainly. The moving after attack, early unlock, and city bonus are not particularly interesting new toys

Theme - A.
I have it on good authority from our former resident Dane that this is a very Danish institution and a very good thematic fit, which is why he was so motivated to add it himself.
Mechanics - C. Pretty much just lots of yields and no strategic resource requirement. The food on terrain mirrors the extra sea food bonus on runestone. Otherwise, it’s not particularly interesting.
Uniqueness - B. Not many other Industrial UBs and no other Agribusiness.

Spoiler Egypt :

Overall grade: A-
I decided that Egypt needed something to break it out of the ancient era and give it something from later than the Assyrian conquest. This will be somewhat controversial, but I think it is necessary to give Egypt something outside the first few eras.

- A. If you are going to portray something from Egypt after the fall of the Ptolemaic kingdom, it has to be the Mamluks. This component is from the Ayyubid period when Cairo was the center of the Islamic world.
Mechanics - A. The Mamluk recovers movement after attack, guaranteeing it can always move after attacking. This makes them great alpha strikers and very good at cycling hits. The unique mechanic is simple in concept but it transforms the way a player can use their cavalry.
Uniqueness - B. It’s a lancer and I could come up with scores of possible UUs for this slot instead. It’s not overly unique as a component, but the unique mechanic carries it well.

Theme - A.
The Nilometers were first created in the old kingdom and remained in use well into the Islamic era. They tie Egypt into the Nile, rivers and food that are so important to the geopolitical history of Egypt.
Mechanics - S. The food on river tiles is a perfect match for Egypt and the nile. I always resented Aztecs for squatting on this bonus when there was a far better thematic fit for it elsewhere. The food from golden ages is also something that helps Egypts existing kit feel more consistent. The bonus wonder production from the UA is too situational and unsupported by the rest of the kit.
Uniqueness - A. There is 1 other UB in the well/watermill complex – the Buffalo Pound – but I think it is more than acceptable for 2 UBs to share 2 base buildings, especially because they are quite different.

Spoiler England :

Overall grade: B+
I am very happy with the UB; I am not so happy with the UU. The Steam Mill is an absolute must-have, unambiguously the greatest contribution of the English to the world. The Longbow is a menace. You mileage will vary depending on how much you think raw power equates to uniqueness

- B. It’s a medieval English unit, and we already have the White Tower. It was a vanilla component so it is what was on hand.
Mechanics - C. +1 range and a bonus vs mounted means the longbow is a beast. I have been stopped cold by these units as Mongolia and have borne a grudge against them ever since. I haven’t played with them, but playing against them feels almost unfair.
Uniqueness - C. They are just really strong. Is that unique? There is only 1 other unique crossbow, and there aren’t many other units that have more range.

Steam Mill
Theme - S.
The English started the industrial revolution. If you are going to have them playable in the game you have to mention that somewhere. If you know nothing else about the English it should be that they brought the world into the industrial age.
Mechanics - A. Early and coal-free factories that dump a huge amount of GEngineer points into your cities. Factories in all your cities is very thematic and kicks England into high gear for the end game. Is it too powerful? Maybe, but I repeat: England ushered in the Industrial Age. If this is too powerful then the rest of the kit should be nerfed. HungryForFood, in a fit of inspiration, decided to code the GPP for building completion after a specified age. So not only is this a totally unique mechanic, it’s also DLL integrated already.
Uniqueness - S. Totally unique mechanic, totally unique base building. Makes you feel like you’re about to turn into the workshop of the world. 10/10

Spoiler Ethiopia :

Overall grade: A+
Ethiopia’s extra components are better than the base components, full stop. The 1 thing holding back Ethiopia’s 4UC kit is the overlap between the 2 different infantry UUs, but the 4UC one is better and the base VP one is the one that should change.

- S. The Chewa were the Ethiopian equivalent of knights. A central institution of Ethiopian medieval society. The Shotel the UU model uses in-game is an iconic and uniquely Ethiopian scythe-sword. Nothing else looks or fights like these men in world history.
Mechanics - A. This is where the plague promotions started. Chewa is the daddy of the entire plague promo system. Boarding party has the bonuses it currently has because the Chewa had them first. Is it totally amazing and unique now? Not anymore now that the main mod has so thoroughly copied 4UC’s homework, but that’s the only reason this isn’t an ‘S’.
Uniqueness - C. There are 2 other unique longswords. At the end of the day, The Chewa does not massively alter how you would use these infantry units. Furthermore, the unit is hurt by Ethiopia’s other UU – the Mehal Sefari – having the same combat line, so the two can upgrade into each other. However the Mehal Sefari is not as important or cool as the Chewa. The MS is the inferior unit; it should change, not this beautiful boy.

Monolithic Church
Theme - B.
It is a bit strange seeing these structures, which are specific to a single province of Ethiopia, but they are one of the first things people think of when they hear “Ethiopia”
Mechanics - S. The mono church gains yields on the same triggers as the free techs from the UA. It has brilliant synergy and coherence with the rest of the kit.
Uniqueness - S. It’s a unique improvement with a unique build prerequisite, a gorgeous model, and a unique yield progression that ties in with the UA. I think this component sets the bar for excellent components

Spoiler France :

Overall grade: A
Straight A student. France’s kit is vastly improved by 4UC, and has some room outside of Napoleon’s personality to showcase more French eras and movements. This is the perfect example of how 4UC allows us to cover more ground than 3 component slots will allow.

- A. There are dozens of possible French UUs in the nation’s long and bellicose history, but there are only a handful of nations that could credibly have a unique WW1 era fighter. The best candidate for such a unit is France by a wide margin. France pioneered many of the military applications of flying vehicles and was the first nation to ever have an air force separate from the army and navy.
Mechanics - A. The unit is fairly straightforward. No oil requirement, extended intercept range, and can attack 2 times per turn. This represents the unmatched speed of the SPAD fighters, which had the most powerful engines and top speed of any WW1-era fighter. The SR-free ability allows France to spam these supply-free units, which stacks with the French UA's bonus for owning military units
Uniqueness - A. It’s the only UU in an entire domain.

Theme - A.
The French Salon is an iconic part of French renaissance history.
Mechanics - A. The bonus per theme in the city is a unique incentive that incentivizes stacking as many themes into 1 city as possible. A much more organic and flexible version of the Vanilla UA’s incentive to put every theme in the capital.
Uniqueness - A. Good uniqueness. Museum replacement is unique. All of the different combinations of GW you could set in a museum have unique names. The building is full of flavor and careful consideration.

Spoiler Germany :

Overall grade: A
Germany’s 4UC components make Germany far more well-rounded. The UB in 4UC upgrades the UA unit gift mechanic in an important way, keeping it relevant into the late game. The UU gives back that late game war machine that was taken away when we gave the unique tank to the order ideology.

Krupp Gun
- C. Featuring a unique artillery piece for Germany probably feels like a left field pick compared to any number of German military units we could have picked. There are few civs that could be said to have iconic 20th century artillery pieces, and Big Bertha fits the bill. Germany took one for the team, so to speak, by being a civ that historically has had a kit that facilitated a large late game military power spike, so it is something people are comfortable with. There is a multitude of things Germany could have had instead, but only a few civs could fill these late game military slots like Germany can.
Mechanics - A. The unit has 2 unique mechanics: global power bonus for all other Krupp guns for each attack a Krupp gun makes in a turn, and the ability to pillage fortifications by killing the defending unit. This changes Germany’s late game military tactics to reward relentless artillery barrage. The pillage on fort idea has come up multiple times in congress, so there is energy around this idea, but I think a UU ability is the perfect place for it.
Uniqueness - S. Totally unique base unit, 2 separate unique mechanics, makes you feel like you’re about to unleash Verdun on your opponent.

Theme - S.
Beer. The German UB is Beer.
On a more serious note it would not be an overstatement to say that Germany was the main character of the 19th century intellectual phase of the ideological struggles that erupted into violence in the 20th century. The beer halls and gardens of Germany figured prominently into this history.

… Also we’re talking about Germany and beer.

Mechanics - B. The mechanics are tangentially linked to the ideology choices and the unit gift mechanic of the UA. This UB breathes life into the unit gift mechanic, which now has to compete for relevance against much stronger, faster, and more efficient diplomatic units. The 4UC component is a necessary mid-game upgrade to keep Germany’s UA ability relevant.
Uniqueness - A. No other unique windmills, and fairly well-spaced from Germany’s other components.

Spoiler Greece :

Overall grade: A-
The sore spot for Greece’s extra components is the Klepht’s specific bonuses. I wonder if the Klepht couldn’t just double the CS ally combat bonus and call it a day? The Parthenon is rad and the number of Greek world wonders in the classical era is absolute cancer. I see giving the Parthenon as a national wonder to Greece as an absolute win.

- A. Anyone thinking this is some “diversity pick” for Greece doesn’t know their Greek history. The Klephts and Armatoloi are central to the Greek national struggle and their modern identity. The idea of the struggle of the philhellenes to support a nascent Greek independence movement is actually captured really well by the % combat bonus that is already inside the UA.
Mechanics - C. Thematic but overcomplicated. The philhellenism promotion could stand to be looked at. It’s definitely a good thematic idea, but the bonuses that are in place are computationally intense for relatively little payoff.
Uniqueness - B. This is the only unique Commando in the game with 4UC. They have strong thematic ties, good art, and unquestionable relevance to Greek history. The only question is if any of this comes across with the current unit or if it’s just a slightly better version of a generally unpopular unit.

Theme - S.
I like how this makes 1 less Greek world wonder in the classical era; we are positively drowning on them. I like how the stacking gold yields portray the function of the parthenon better than the base game’s bonuses to the same building.
Mechanics - A. I like how the Parthenon is a grower, not a shower, giving a stacking bonus that snowballs throughout the game.
Uniqueness - A. I like how it’s the only unique scrivener’s office boosting diplomatic actions in a way that nothing else in the game does. I like how it’s a permanent snowball that brings to the center the Delian League and the tenuous financial ties that kept the Greek political unit functioning.

Spoiler Huns :

Overall grade: B-
There is not much historical material to work with for the Huns. We pretty much made components of the only things that are attested to in the historical record. It turned out well enough, for what it is worth.

- B. The Tarkhan were minor clan leaders. As a result, their bonuses are centered around support.
Mechanics - A. pillage bonus is a reverse of the AOE damage on pillage that already exists. This bonus was originally conceived when Huns had the unit conversion on kill bonus that resulted in lots of badly damaged units polluting your front line. This bonus was designed to make those sacrificial meat shields a little meatier. Even without that UA synergy, I think the ability is still pretty neat. The migration ability is pure flavor. It has its uses, but could just as well be dropped. An early unique horseman is already a pretty big advantage without them also allowing you to settle faster.
Uniqueness - A. There is only 1 other unique horseman and it’s a fully aggressive chariot unit, rather than a support unit. This unit’s unique ability is a major advantage when trying to siege down or keep momentum on an early war.

Theme - B.
The Six horns council, or Ulticur, is the key commonality between the Hunnic culture as it appeared in Europe in the 4th century and the Xiongnu that terrorized Han China for centuries before that. The putative link between Xiongnu and Hun rests entirely on this political institution.
Mechanics - C. The UB gives passive income from city-states that are afraid of you, happiness for each war you are in simultaneously, and a few other goodies besides. It amplifies Huns’ existing war and happiness bonuses, but little else.
Uniqueness - C. The bonuses are relatively minor and don’t create any meaningful decisions in my own tests with the civ. Still, they are appreciated.

Spoiler Inca :

Overall grade: C-
I’m unsatisfied with how we were unable to move much of Inca’s unlocks back further into the tech tree despite how the empire only began in the 15th century. The current UU is bad. The current UB is of central historical importance but is hard to translate into gameplay in a satisfactory way. Overall the whole 4UC kit comes up short.

- F. Chasqui were not warriors. They were a messenger system. They have the UU slot because they are recognizable and have the requisite art assets.
Mechanics - D. support scout with bonuses in owned territory is antithetical to an early recon unit. Unlike the Maori Warrior, they are not a Scout AND a self-sufficient warrior, they are a scout OR a support unit. The free medic and bonus movement in friendly unit feel bad to use.
Uniqueness - B. Support scout unit is an interesting idea, but executed in a mediocre way. The theme is weak and awkward.

Theme - B.
Qullqa were central to the entire Andean imperial system, preceding the Inca by centuries. It’s a shame the central function of these storehouses is so thoroughly undermined by the terrace farm giving way more food to the Inca than a regular civ. It otherwise makes the key function of a nationalized system of rations and crop insurance a bit moot.
Mechanics - B. This is the better spot for the bonus for city connections. Rome built roads, sure, but the Inca built them like it was going out of style. The link to Machu Picchu world wonder is also nice. The starvation immunity is a very cool and thematic ability; it just is a shame the Inca aren’t a little more food insecure.
Uniqueness - A. The unique granary is strong and unique, and has the potential to open up different approaches to city management in the right terrain. The component’s design is somewhat hamstrung by the rest of the civ though.

Spoiler India :

Overall grade: C-
India’s 4UC bonuses are serviceable and nothing more. The entire civ as a monolithic concept is a sham, so that might be why I feel this way, but the representation of Indian culture and history cannot be contained by a single civ; any attempt to do so is going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. The only remedy I can think of is to center the entire Indian kit and Gandhi at its helm onto the British Raj, and give them Sepoys, Ghurkas, cantons, etc. Obviously we didn’t do that.

- C. Archers play a central role in some of India’s founding texts, and is the highest form of martial art in Indian tradition. However, the unit portrayed here is somewhat amorphous. If the unit was meant to represent the Aryan invasion then it should be on a chariot, but we can’t do that because that would upgrade directly into the Naga Malla. The choice for an Archer replacement was dictated by the fact that we had no new unique archer in 4UC and only 1 in the base game.
Mechanics - D. The unit is too strong. Archers are good normally, and this unit has a lot going on. Yields on kill are everywhere, and we have the Pictish warrior already giving faith on kills in this same era. I have been a dissenting voice w.r.t. doubling the yields on barbarian kills on both this unit and the Pancerny since 2017. I have kept them in the mod out of respect for the now departed contributor who designed them, but I don’t expect them to survive integration if it goes through.
Uniqueness - A. The Dhanurdhara was picked because it was a unique base component. It has a unique XP on kills and yields on level that is tied to the unit level instead of a building. It might be Too unique, with too much going on for such an early unit.

Theme - D.
The India blob is a product of Mughal and British imperial rule binding an entire subcontinent together into a singular identity. The Qila is a vanilla component that seems almost cute in contrast to the colonial violence it implies. I would contend that any component that tries to bind India into a single identity is going to be either a fiction, an aberration, or belong to an invasive other and be unrepresentative of the indigenous population. In the Qila we have the latter.
Mechanics - C. stacking defense paired with defense to yield converter is cool and good. This gives India a feather-soft incentive to wonder whore. Otherwise it's just a stronger castle that doesn't offer much else aside from base yields
Uniqueness - C. The castle is one of the most commonly modded UB slots in civ 5. Despite this there is only 1 other unique castle in VP: the Barbican. The Qila is just a slightly better castle that gives more culture. It isn’t special or transformative.

Spoiler Indonesia :

Overall grade: A
I have no complaints about Indonesia’s 4UC additions. They are flavorful, beautiful, useful, and cement Indonesia as an island expansionist civilization. The UI in particular adds naval character that was strangely missing from Indonesia’s base VP kit. Overall I think Indonesia’s 4UC additions are a little better than their base VP ones.

- A. Indonesia should have always had a naval UU. So here it is.
Mechanics - A. Early frigate with Galleass stats. The full naval game comes early for Indonesia. It’s a fun unique angle, and it works well enough. The unique Cetbang promotion is basically here for flavor. It has a circumstantial use when garrisoned in a city, giving Indonesia some desperately needed anti-siege, but otherwise is there as a soft reminder than Indonesia invented the breech-loading cannon.
Uniqueness - B. The Djong works within the conventional unit framework and takes advantage of the naval transition from coast-only to full ocean movement to deliver a unique progression through that evolutionary stage for Indonesia. It is by no means groundbreaking, but it works.

Theme - B.
The Kampong is not really attached to Javanese and Majapahit history, but representative of the Sama Bajau. T
Mechanics - S. This component is clean. The placement is spammable and still totally unique. The bonus is straightforward, and it combines with Indonesia’s pre-existing UA/UB bonuses to put more conquerable yields onto the map. It also adds pillageable tiles for invaders to use, helping make Indonesia more of a yield pinata. With their unique luxuries and now their unique naval improvement, Indonesia has an enormous economic engine… If they can keep it.
Uniqueness - S. It’s a unique improvement. It has an easy but unique build prerequisite and it looks great.

Spoiler Iroquois :

Overall grade: B+
The Haudenosaunee components are a major corrective for their historical character and time period. The UU resolves the anachronism of the entire kit unlocking in Classical while the new Tadodaho adds that diplomatic and political angle, fleshing out the Iroquois and adding a diplomacy focus to the kit that was otherwise mostly focused on war. The major shortcoming of the 4UC additions is the Prowler’s specific bonuses, which are somehow uninteresting and really frustrating to play against at the same time.

- A. A component from European contact and the Beaver Wars, and pushing Iroquois history into their actual time period. This is a good corrective for the theme of the Iroquois kit overall.
Mechanics - C. In the right terrain the Prowler is uncounterable. The combination of woodland road movement, firing through rough terrain, and withdraw on melee attack makes it almost impossible to lose a Prolwer even if you try. While hilarious, it might be too much.
Uniqueness - C. Musketman replacements are common. There are 2 in base VP already. This is another case of a ranged UU that has raw power as its unique angle.

Theme - S.
Unique great person that hearken back to the birth of the 5/6 nations confederacy. This is a central institution of Haudenosaunee political life.
Mechanics - A. Very interesting bonus of giving permanent yields from the tile it is expended on. Fun to use, and interesting.
Uniqueness - A. There are no other Great Diplomats, and there is only 1 other civ that gives stacking yields from diplomatic missions, but they do it a different way. The only shortcoming of this unit is that the Iroquois don’t have much more than the basic diplomacy tools for generating them.

Spoiler Japan :

Overall grade: A
This is another case where I feel the 4UC components do a better job of portraying real Japanese history than the base components. The Dojo and Samurai, while they work very well with the VP kit, are flattened, essentialized and radically distorted versions of the real historical thing they are meant to portray and I think the 4UC components stack up very well compared to them.

- A. This unit was consciously designed as a synecdoche for the Japanese empire by the real life Japanese Admiralty. It is the most powerful warship ever constructed. This unit was made to be in civ.
Mechanics - A. Its position on the tech tree and the sheer power of the unit are intended as a game-ending super-unit in the vein of a naval giant death robot. The Yields on construction and yields on kill that it bestows to the enemy are symbolic of the Yamato’s poetic and nationalistic import, how the empire deliberately set the Yamato as a personification of the Empire.
Uniqueness - S. The strongest and best battleship ever to be created has no equal or even pretenders. It’s the kind of historical unit that feels as though it was asking to be made into a video game.

Theme - B.
The UB is a reference to low art and culture in Sengoku era Japan.
Mechanics - A. The culture on internal trade route completion is a reference to Sakoku, giving an incentive for Japan to forego international trade in favor of internal trade. The bonuses on great Writer/Artist/Musician birth are a reference to the flowering of a distinct Japanese identity in these times of isolation. It also synergizes with the GWAM generated by the UA nicely.
Uniqueness - B. There is 1 other Unique Opera House, the Sambadrome. However, the Sambadrome sucks and the Kabuki rocks.

Spoiler Korea :

Overall grade: B-
Perfectly serviceable, but nothing fancy. Entirely DLL integrated, which is nice. The UB does such a good job of extending Korea’s components into the Industrial Era, I wish we had something to move Korea’s exceptionally long and stable history to earlier than the medieval era.

Turtle Ship
Theme - A.
An old vanilla component that is re-used for VP. The Kobukseon is a piece of Korean history that Koreans themselves are very proud of, but I don’t know if another Imjin War-era component is necessarily what the doctor ordered, instead of something that harkens back to an older period like the goguryeo.
Mechanics - B. DLL integrated and the shallow draft ability that the Galleass has now. For the most part the UU is a massive stat stick.
Uniqueness - B. Bonus points for being a ship. Here the uniqueness actually hurts them; they have a uniquely bad movement restriction, but have a massive CS in return.

Theme - A.
The Chaebols have completely taken over modern Korean society and I think with a slot in 4UC they could bear some mention.
Mechanics - C. Thoroughly undermined by the global self-yields to factory which were added after the Chaebol was designed.
Uniqueness - B. No other unique stock exchange exists in the game. Chaebols are powerful and add the potential for a wide Korean strategy, with global culture, gold, science and production (with factories) for each city on empire. Their uniqueness would be greatly enhanced if they were some sort of unique corporation, but that risks becoming too special, and hard to balance. Corporations are already horrendously unbalanced as is, without a civ also trying to modify them in some way.

Spoiler Maya :

Overall grade: B-
The choices for component design vary in quality, either a strong theme with bad mechanics or a weak theme with good mechanics. I lay part of the blame on the Maya’s base kit which is just not very good or interesting. A UI that just gives yields and nothing else, and a UA that gives some free great people on an arbitrary turn timer. Maya’s base kit needs to be better so 4UC can be better too.

Theme - C
. Information on Mayan combat is sparse. The Holkan unit is somewhat anachronistic, but the alternative would necessarily have been something that would have invited more direct comparisons with the Aztec UUs
Mechanics - A. The guaranteed culture and science we came up with is pretty special. This makes the rewards for ruins better in a consistent way; a better version of the Shoshone ability.
Uniqueness - S. No other pathfinder UU. No other units that augment ruins like they do. Transformative for the ultra-early game as Maya.

Ball Court
Theme - S
. This component is, from a historical standpoint, a must-have. The Mesoamerican ballgame needs to have some representation in the game.
Mechanics - D. Much less happy with what we came up with for the building’s actual bonuses. The Katun Ahaw promotions are much too complex. The instant yields on the same trigger as the free GPs fall flat.
Uniqueness – C. The Arena slot has some stiff competition, but if any civilization can claim priority over the slot it is either the Romans with their massive cultural emphasis on the Ludo, or the Mesoamericans with their ballgame.

Spoiler Mongolia :

Overall grade: A-
With the exception of the Black Tug’s theming, the Mongol additional components add a lot of flavor and fun mechanics. We opted to give them a mounted melee unit, because we wanted to showcase how the Mongols employed lancers in many of their most important victories. We also felt a unique skirmisher would have been too hard to balance with the UA’s bonuses. Overall, both are welcome additions that add an interesting new angle to the Mongols.

Black Tug
Theme - C.
Couldn’t come up with a particularly good name for the unit, and the Khan already is carrying a tug in his model. Could rename the unit to Mingghan and change the unique promotion name to something more generic. A mounted UU in medieval gives appropriate timing for a Mongol military power spike.
Mechanics - A. Pillage CS bonus is an old Danish combat bonus, and the XP on pillage is an old recon unit bonus. Both of these bonuses are now unique to this unit and DLL integrated, making them a pillaging monster.
Uniqueness - S. Unique pillage bonuses on a not-so-unique body, even more unique with the changes to the Danish kit. The Mongols have no other conventional UU, so the unique knight feels like a very welcome addition for a medieval power spike on a warmonger civ.

Theme - S.
The oral law code of the Mongols issued during war time. It’s more like a unique policy than a building or wonder, but I guess that makes it pretty unique.
Mechanics - A. Gives a broad unit production bonus, like Denmark, but in addition, For each city you control on empire it lowers all needs. So if you have a large enough empire, Needs reduction overpowers the empire size modifier and that Frees the Mongols to have a very large, low maintenance empire. This ‘Rule through fear’ ability is very appropriate for the Mongols.
Uniqueness – A. It is a completely unique building class and as such it does stuff that is quite unique.

Spoiler Morocco :

Overall grade: B+
Morocco’s bonuses are all very late, which I think is fine considering how solid their UI is. They have a generalist gameplay style and I ultimately couldn’t find a way to leave that alone while still adding anything of interest, so I added a small bonus for Cultural victory to match their incentives towards Diplomatic victory. Now Morocco has 2 small nudges in 2 directions.

Theme - A.
The corsairs of the Berber Coast were so iconic they have made it into the Ottoman kit twice now, even though they aren’t really Ottoman. They are an integral part of North African military history.
Mechanics - A. A bonus on pillage feels like something that is such a natural fit it should have already been added to the game ages ago
Uniqueness - B. Bonus points for being a ship that is specialized around pillaging, which is a unique angle. The ‘ignores borders’ bonus might be more irritating and unfun than it is unique. At a certain point morocco necessitates eliminating him from the game because he will pillage everything, and that might not be ultimately desirable

Theme - B.
The Riad is a distinctive peristyle garden from North Africa. It is commonly used in manner homes which have been made available for public consumption with the Arrical of the French.
Mechanics - C. The stacking bonuses for era and buildings in the city is kind of unique, because the building has no innate yields. However, it is functionally just yields per turn. Tourism on purchase is kind of interesting, but because Morocco had no overt victory pursuit (aside from a small diplomacy incentive) I don’t know if we made the right choice by tilting them cultural.
Uniqueness – B. No other hotels, and nothing gives the kinds of bonuses it does. But it’s not my best work.

Spoiler Netherlands :

Overall grade: A-
Good thematic and mechanical tie-ins, but the UU is a bit mechanically weak.

Theme - A. Medieval Burgher levy that defeated french professional knights and inaugurated the infantry revolution. It’s a pretty neat historical tidbit.
Mechanics - C. Supercharged melee versions of the city adjacency bonuses that already exist on the chu ko nu. At 10% the adjacent unit combat bonus is kind of pointless. I think we can drop that.
Uniqueness - B. Not many unique pikes, and the berserker is far more aggressive while this unit is very defensive.

Theme - S. The unique constabulary we deserve. Actual thematic tie-in to the base building and an integral part of Dutch artistic and political life in the Dutch Golden Age.
Mechanics - A. Gives a bonus in all cities for each monopoly you control, which pairs very well with the UA trade ability, giving an extra bonus outside of the monopolies themselves to trade for resources up to the cap, and more strategically than just getting as many as possible for the UA yields.
Uniqueness – A. Much better thematic and mechanical tie-in to the constabulary than the base VP’s unique constable.

Spoiler Ottomans :

Overall grade: B+
Doubling down on Ottoman's peaceful UA with pure warmonger components, The tersane adds a naval dimension to Ottoman's kit while the Great Bombard expands on the siege bonuses to create a truly terrifying super-unit. Very fun additions that round out an already interesting kit.

Great Turkish Bombard
Theme - S.
The unit that conquered Constantinople and ushered in the Renaissance. A must-have unit for the Ottomans.
Mechanics - A. The self-damage is thematic and adds an interesting tactical dimension. The overwhelming power at unlock is just plain fun, and while the drawbacks are severed it doesn’t prevent a good player from getting some very satisfying hits off with the gun.
Uniqueness - B. It’s a really big cannon. At the end of the day it is just a direct upgrade over the standard cannon with a strict unit cap. Bonus points for being a unique siege weapon though

Theme - A.
Adds back some of that naval flavor from vanilla, but in a way that emphasizes Ottoman shipbuilding rather than the use of North African vassals.
Mechanics - B. Functions almost like a Polish Ducal stable with an improvement model.
Uniqueness – S. Adds a unique improvement, which gives a huge benefit for generating Great Admirals, which I have usually feels anemic to me. The Tersane is a welcome boost to Ottoman’s naval power which makes them a rounded, omni-competent military civ.

Spoiler Persia :

Overall grade: A-
I am very proud of the new UI, but less satisfied with the UU. I think the Immortal holds back Persia's kit from having stronger theme and more interesting components overall. I think we could give the whole civ better historicity and more engaging UUs if we axed the Immortal entirely. In the meantime, the Qizilbash does an adequate job of rounding out the unique unlock timing and adds the appropriate amount of mounted emphasis.

Theme - B.
The Persians invented heavy cavalry, so it is paramount they have a unique mounted melee unit. Ideally, I would have given them a unique Aswaran Horseman UU, but we didn’t want to give them a 2 UU ancient era power spike, in light of all the many later Persian eras and dynasties. Also, we didn’t have the confidence to drop the Immortal UU.
Mechanics - C. Yields on pillage and the ability to faith purchase the unit without a belief. Pretty ho-hum bonuses all-in-all.
Uniqueness - D. Not particularly unique. Not particularly game-changing or interesting to me, at least.

Theme - S.
The square garden design gets its recognition with this UU. The Persians created the modern idea of a planned, managed botanical garden space and that bears mention somewhere given how influential persian architecture is.
Mechanics - A. Extra yields on golden age is a natural fit for Persia, especially with how baseline GA mechanics already give a flat yield on tile. The new mechanic is approachable and still novel. The stacking GPP bonus for cities working a charbagh ties it into the garden mechanics and gives Persia an interesting tall bonus that combines with their extra specialist slot and gold for specialists.
Uniqueness – S. Looks great, and is a 4UC-exclusive UI, custom-built for the mod.
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Spoiler Poland :

Overall grade: B+
Poland’s existing civ kit has a UA that gives a strong, but also amorphous bonus. Meanwhile it has a UB that mainly boosts the power and production of mounted units while they also have one of the strongest mounted melee units in the game. With the 4UC components, we continue this trend by giving efficient military infrastructure and another mounted UU. It is what Casimir would have wanted.

Theme - A.
The Towarzyzs Pancerny was added to the game by our resident Pole, Adan_Eslavo. The theme is very strong with the rest of the Polish kit, which uses the component slots to emphasize a militaristic, mounted focus while the UA gives a powerful, flexible bonus
Mechanics - B. A fairly tanky skirmisher. No muss, no fuss. The Ducal Stable wraps around this unit so we had to be careful not to go too far. I personally do not like the double yields on barbarian kills; it seems particularly irrelevant on a medieval unit.
Uniqueness - C. Mechanically this unit is extremely orthodox and conventional, but it is still acceptably strong.

Theme - C.
The Barbicans that adorn the walls of several Polish cities are architecturally striking and beautiful. Suitable for theme but it’s not something as necessarily emblematic as we could hope for
Mechanics - A. The free armory is a huge bonus. Really makes a splash when you build it, like getting a good sale at the supermarket (god I am old). The ranged power is thematically strong
Uniqueness – A. It feels unique without being game-warping. The permanent ranged attack bonuses on both the city and the garrison also pack a satisfying punch if you are in a scrape.

Spoiler Polynesia :

Overall grade: B+
For both of Polynesia’s additions, we chose things that were emblematic of the entire pan-polynesian culture rather than for specific islands. The Marae and Vaka Nui are both depictions of cultural elements found on most or all island nations, unlike the Moai of Rapa Nui and the Maori warriors of Aotearoa. While the specific mechanics are a bit undercooked, I am happy with our choices from a thematic perspective, to such a degree that I think we outdid the base components in that regard. However, because we picked things that are Pan-Polynesian, that invariably meant the components all come early, and I am not too pleased with how the kit is fully unlocked by early classical.

Vaka Nui
Theme - S.
Meaning “Big Ship” in a putative proto-polynesian language, the Vaka Nui represents the large catamarans used for colonization, migration, and trade throughout the Pacific.
Mechanics - B. The unit moves the ability to build fishing boats without expending a work boat from embarked melee units onto a unit with work boat AI and extends the ability to oil wells. This unit was drafted before the military unit improvement abilities were fixed, and represented my attempt to get Polynesia to actually use these abilities. There will be hurdles to making computer players use the Vaka Nui offensively, and not to over-produce them, but they still will be useful defensively.
Uniqueness - S. Unique fishing boat co-opted into a military support unit – a GAdmiral lite – is very unique.

Theme - S.
The Marae, or Malae, are meeting places for Polynesian communities that are found in all extant cultures. They are the most consistent cultural institution, and are especially prominent in Maori culture where they formed the nucleus of anti-colonial and indigenous rights organizations.
Mechanics - D. They give a bonus on building completion. They come really early so there isn’t much wiggle-room for really expressive bonuses unless they cut into the UA.
Uniqueness – C. The yields are a strong early game boost but fade into the background quite quickly. There are no other unique councils at least.

Spoiler Portugal :

Overall grade: C+
The thing that I have gleaned from my casual perusal of Portugal’s history is that Brazil, Spain, and Portugal all being separate civs is extremely unhelpful. In culture, historical entanglements, and warfare these three are virtually inseparable, and nowhere is that more clear than with Portugal. This nation has been militarily and politically irrelevant since 1755. Outside of the creation of the Carrack/Nau, and the reconquest of Portugal from the Moors by the Crusaders – a subject thoroughly covered by the existing religious mechanics – Portugal’s military may as well have not existed. The paucity of things about Portugal worth depicting puts us in a bad spot for making extra components for them, but we did the best we could.

Theme - C.
A light infantry trained by the English from Portuguese recruits to try to slow Napoleon down a bit. It didn’t work, and as far as candidates for unique light infantry go, the Cacadores score far below the Scottish Highlanders, Rangers, Zouaves, Jaegers, Grenzers, and Chasseurs, all of which are highly decorated a memorable infantry divisions that were met with far more success.
Mechanics - C. A random recon stem promotion is also given to the unit on level up. This means that newly-trained cacadores are usually much better than upgraded veterans, because they will get 2-3 free scout promotions in addition to their ranged promos. This mechanic is unintuitive in how it punishes highly-promoted old units and rewards training new recruits. It is also extremely, brutally strong if you manage to get the right mix of free promotions, which is outside of player control.
Uniqueness - B. Well it certainly doesn’t lack for uniqueness, that is for sure. No other unique Gatling Guns, and nothing that gives free promotions like the Fighting Cock mechanic.

University of Coimbra
Theme - C.
This is just the oldest university, and for more than a century the oldest university in Portugal. It is neither the oldest, the largest, nor the most prestigious university in Europe, but is at least very influential within Portugal.
Mechanics - A. The UNW gives gold on tile reveal to all naval units 1 tech before the Nau opens up deep ocean exploration. The Age of Discovery ability doubles down on Portugal’s naval exploration and trade theme. The Admiral movement restoration bonus is like a naval version of Sweden’s massive military bonus on GG birth, but unlike sweden, Portugal’s GAdmiral bonus triggers on expend. If this is not suitable for the AI it could be moved to be on birth like the Swedish one, but for now I like the control this gave Portugal on this relatively more niche ability.
Uniqueness – B. It is a UNW that gives some standard UNW bonuses, but also has some very interesting tricks up its sleeve. Overall I am very happy with what UoCoimbra brings to the table.

Spoiler Rome :

Overall grade: A+
The 4UC components fix Rome’s kit by giving a proper incentive to conquest that is not provided by the existing Colosseum. The Villa, as is true of all UI, incentivizes expansion and conquest. The Fornix gives both a large up-front reward and a modest, but permanent and stacking bonus for each player you eliminate. The only thing standing in the way of design perfection is technical execution; Rome’s current design is mired in incomplete code and technical drawbacks related to spawning a resource with an improvement.

Theme - A.
Technically this UU could be appropriate for Greece, Macedon, or Rome, but the ballistae are most emblematic of the Romans, who built the biggest and strongest torsion engines and perfected their battlefield use.
Mechanics - A. The ballistae were known first and foremost for their accuracy, which is reflected by us dropping the siege inaccuracy malus from them. The movement bonus is a bit clunky, but serves to make Ballistae very dangerous when properly supported.
Uniqueness - B. The Ballista fills a unique roll within an early Roman army, unlocking close to their other powerful UU, the Legion. Because the ballista has RCS to match a Composite Bow, no siege malus on attack, and can move + shoot in all terrain when supported by a Great General, they can function as an early composite bow, filling all of Rome’s ranged attack needs early. This saves Rome the additional complexity of training archer units, and they can focus on a sword rush supported by siege instead. Furthermore, both the Legion and the Ballista can get to the battlefield faster when supported by a GGeneral. The Legion can complete roads much quicker, while the Ballista can move faster. As long as you can manage to get 1 or 2 GGenerals up, you can bring Rome’s war machine to bear much faster than contemporary classical armies.

Theme - A.
The Triumphal Arches of Rome have left an indelible mark on European architecture. These monuments are emblematic of Rome’s engineering prowess and military achievements.
Mechanics - A. After the 1st one, a Fornix can be built 1 additional city for each civ you eliminate. On a standard game that is 16 city-states and 7 major civs, so 23 chances in total. With stacking global building bonuses and a free Great Writer for each Fornix, this gives the extra incentive that Rome has been needing in order to validate conquering city-states.
Uniqueness – S. A unique Heroic Epic whose main ability is being able to be built multiple times. That’s very unique. The unique requirements for additional Fornices are tied into the UA perfectly, giving a much-needed additional incentive for conquering the easiest prey for giving additional Fornices: City-states. When combined with the Villa, The Fornix gives the Tourism and Great Works Rome needs to make a transition into a cultural victory path.

Theme - S.
Rome was an agricultural slave-state, focused on massive plantation-based agribusinesses called latifundia. At the center of these estates was the villa. This is a depiction of the beating heart of Rome’s economy.
Mechanics - S. In combination with an empire that pacified the shores of the entire Mediterranean Basin, Rome created a system of internal trade routes which fed the capital city, until it grew so large that no city in history surpassed Rome in population until London, England in the 18th century. The global food per villa on empire depicts this masterfully. The adjacent yields on farms and plantations likewise depicts the creation of large agricultural estates that span multiple tiles. In effect, the tiles surrounding the villa become its latifundium. The Fig planting ability is mainly there to guarantee that thematic link with at least 1 adjacent plantation
Uniqueness – S. So many unique things about this improvement. It gives global yields, which no other improvement does, and it places a resource on the map, unlike anything else. In all respects I think it is a slam dunk. The only drawback is that, because it places a resource, we have to make the improvement permanent so that players can’t abuse the ability to spam them on the same tile to plant multiple fig tiles.

Spoiler Russia :

Overall grade: C-
Russia’s components are really, really strong and really straightforward. What you see is what you get. No frills, no new strategies, just brute strength and base yields.

Theme - B.
One of Russia’s unique contributions to military sciences was in field artillery. The licorne was one of the earliest examples of a field gun, exceptionally mobile and innovative.
Mechanics - B. High RCS, can move after attack, and no movement penalty in foreign lands. Without adding any actual movement bonuses, the Licorne is significantly easier to use and more dangerous than a standard field gun. The licorne makes Russia exceptionally dangerous as a mid-game neighbour.
Uniqueness – B. It gets a bump for being a siege unit, but besides that it is a raw RCS and mobility bonus with no conditions. Between the higher RCS and the large bonus vs infantry, the Licorne punches holes through opponents in a way that makes it similar to my criticism of the Longbowman: Your opinion on uniqueness will depend on how unique you think raw power with no drawbacks is.

Theme - C.
Pogosts represent rural Russian administration. There is not much to say about them except they are an institution that has survived centuries. Thematically they aren’t flashy, but it works.
Mechanics - C. Growing yields on tech increase and a bonus to villages. Neither bonus adds much pizzazz; it’s an earlier version of the same bonus the Stock Exchange gives. However, multiple tech enhancements to a building is something I had to implement via lua because the existing table that is supposed to handle this function is only capable of adding 1 tech boost. This component can be seen as a feature request to make this table more functional.
Uniqueness - F. There is already another customs House, the Hanse, and the comparison between that and the Pogost is unflattering. The Pogost is a flat yields machine that gives no new incentives other than slightly altering your tech priorities.

Spoiler Shoshone :

Overall grade: A
Not quite perfect, but both components fit the Shoshone play style, both thematically and mechanically. Nothing to complain about.

Yellow Brow
Theme - A.
The Ohamupe, or Yellow Brow, were the most prominent military society of the Shoshone, performing a key warfare and policing duty for their tribes. These military societies were a prominent part of plains tribes life, taking slightly different forms in various other groups like the Cheyenne, Blackfoot, and many more. One distinctive part of these military societies that developed prior to European contact is the ritual of no-retreat combat. In the famous instance of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers, the warrior would literally hammer a peg into the ground with a leash, and fight from his position until he was either killed or the peg was removed by an ally. With the Shoshone Yellow Brows, a similar ritual was performed surrounding a war leader who would plant his staff, and all other men would defend him to their dying breaths, or until the head warrior removed his staff from the ground.
Mechanics - S. A defensive unit and gains a higher defensive bonus while fortified. This is a perfect match for Shoshone’s aggressive turtle style of warfare. These units hold their ground well, especially in combination with defensive tile bonuses and tick damage from encampments.
Uniqueness - B. Tercio is not a very unique base unit, but the thematic and mechanical links with the culture are so strong it is more than acceptable.

Buffalo Pound
Theme - B.
The Shoshone weren’t the most prominent users of buffalo pounds, but they did use them and we have no other representatives of a Great Plains culture who would fit better. Any other alternative for these people would probably be some slight variation of a tipi.
Mechanics - A. The Buffalo Pound gives additional yields in the city for each UI you place on a tile owned by that same city, whether or not it is being worked. Because Shoshone expands so fast, you will have a lot of tiles outside working range, so this UB gives some economic incentive to build encampments beyond their defensive utility. This addresses a gap in the existing kit.
Uniqueness – B. Well/Watermill is already covered by the Nilometer, but a 2 building mutually exclusive pair can have 2 different UBs just fine. The mechanics are a perfect match for the Shoshone.

Spoiler Siam :

Overall grade: B
A strong and unique UU, but a thematically weak, and overly-complex UB. The Baan Chang is very powerful, but I feel it misses the mark and has too many things going on.

Sier Morb
Theme - C.
It’s not a particularly noteworthy part of Siamese history and the unit did not, in fact, have much success in real life. The Sier Morb cannons failed to protect Bangkok from a French invasion, however they do bring in the aspect of a rapidly modernizing Thailand which I think is worth portraying.
Mechanics - A. The large incentive for attacking without moving is a very interesting and fun mechanic. It is rewarding to hit units for the large damage bonus, and makes hitting stacks of units a priority.
Uniqueness - S. It’s Morbin’ time! The unit adds a new dimension to ranged combat, emphasizes anti-naval defense, which is a unique spin on siege UUs, and spreads Siam’s power curve out. Also bonus points for being a siege unit. It’s the complete package.

Baan Chang
Theme - C.
The Elephant camp depicts the use of elephants in manual labour; specifically in the forestry industry. It’s not a super-strong thematic link, and could be generalized to most of south and southeast Asia.
Mechanics - B. This building returns Siam to a forest orientation, with bonuses to lumber mills. The building also gives yields for units and resources from city-states. These bonuses compound with the extra CS yields already given by Siam’s UA, but creates a priority for CS with strategic resource deposits and militaristic CS, who now give an additional burst of instant yields in addition to their unit gifts.
Uniqueness – C. No other unique workshops, but the new UB offers minimal new mechanical interactions on a civ that already doesn’t have a lot of unique mechanics going on. Maybe that is a good thing, since the civ offers more passive steroids over standard diplomatic play?

Spoiler Songhai :

Overall grade: A-
The UU is of much lower quality than the UB. The combined power spike of the two UUs together is a bit too much, and the specific bonuses that the Sofa adds are very complex. The Gumey adds an important trade dimension to the Songhai kit that I feel is a major gap in the current kit.

Theme - B.
Slave soldiers that were a mainstay of Mandinka warfare. A consistent institution in both the Mali and Songhai empires.
Mechanics - C. A combat aura that is specific to 1 unitcombat within range of the Sofa. An High complexity ability relative to the payoff.
Uniqueness - B. A unit-specific GGeneral aura is not all that interesting to me, but fits the unit well thematically.

Theme - S.
Adds a trade dimension to the Songhai which is sorely lacking in the current kit. The Songhai controlled the trans-saharan trade until their destruction at the hands of Morocco. Even before that, their core cities around Goa and Djenne were some of the last stops before the caravans crossed into open desert. A bonus for trade, and specifically land trade is paramount to present a rounded view of the Songhai.
Mechanics - A. Sleek trade bonus, giving a super-village route/TR bonus onto the city tile itself. The main hurdle for this building is I had to implement the +1 gold to all luxuries via a dummy building just so the EUI text wouldn’t swallow the whole screen.
Uniqueness – A. Only 1 other caravansary UB, but the Burial tomb is thematically weak and also sucks. I just wish the icon was better.

Spoiler Spain :

Overall grade: A-
Spain’s components are almost solely based on the most immediately recognizable Spanish cultural artifacts that would be recognizable to a non-spanish audience. The themes are strong and they have the unique mechanical tools to match.

Theme - B.
Technically not a type of boat, but rather the term for a fleet. Most famously tied to the failed invasion of England in 1588. Perhaps a bit ignominious for a unique unit, but definitely popular and recognizable. This also gives Spain a boat at the height of their power, and combines with their ability to faith purchase naval units.
Mechanics - A. Has extra CS when at full hp. This can make alpha strikes with an Armada very powerful, but also makes them highly susceptible to ranged attacks, which can steal their thunder. They also get free boarding party and GAdmirals on kills. This emphasizes Spain’s naval doctrine which emphasized boarding actions in contrast to the English who favoured smaller boats and gunnery. Ultimately it was the latter that carried the day, and marked a shift in military tactics as cannons continued to improve.
Uniqueness - A. The mechanics of the unit not only encourage you to play like the Spanish, but also make the enemy play like the English. Spain wants to adopt an overwhelming force to capitalize on your alpha strike advantage and the enemy wants to kit your ships, at least initially. The unit synergizes with the UA, and has excellent thematic and roleplaying bonuses.

Theme - S.
What could be more Spanish than bullfighting? What could be more emblematic of Spanish culture, dating to from pre-roman Iberian Celts all the way up the the modern day? There is no doubt in my mind that this had to be Spain’s 2nd civilian component.
Mechanics - B. The WLTKD bonuses are mismatched to the theme, in my opinion. However, I wanted this UB to be more than some yields on pastures. The public works project ability gives Spain something to do with the building, and the WLTKD instant yields give Spain players altered incentives. That is something any good UB should bring to the table.
Uniqueness – A. Nothing else augments public works in the game. There are also no Zoos. This UB has a ton of unique qualities.

Spoiler Sweden :

Overall grade: C-
I don’t think we got it right with Sweden. Sweden is hemmed in by being the “Not-Viking” civ right now, but it is still a warmonger. The Hakkapeliitta is not even Swedish, really. The Bastu is the seed of a good idea, but the bonuses it currently has are all over the place.

Theme - C.
This unit is more Finnish than Swedish, but they did fight for the Swedish Empire. It mainly gets a pass because it was already a vanilla component. Personally I would have opted for a viking component like a Jarl or some sort of Varangian, but we need to have a conversation about whether Denmark and Sweden are “The Viking Scandinavian civ” and “The Not-Viking Scandinavian civ”, respectively.
Mechanics - D. Big heal on kill with a bonus vs wounded. Personally I don’t think this adds much to the Swedish kit; they already have the Carolean in the same era that also has a big AOE damage bonus on kills, so I don’t know what this unit is doing. I just followed the lead of the main mod, who designed the current Hakka’s bonuses.
Uniqueness - D. Unique lancer. Lots of these already, with Persia, Poland, and of course Ottomans waiting in the wing with their Sipahi CS gift. The bonuses are not particularly innovative, and they clash with the existing unit, which uses the same trigger for something more unique. This component is upstaged.

Theme - A.
Dry heat baths are emblematic of Scandinavian culture, albeit the Finnish saunas are more internationally recognizable. The Bastu are found throughout Sweden. We have accounts of them from the earliest christian missionaries all the way up to the modern day. Like bullfighting is for Spain, sweaty dudes sitting in a little room and hitting each other with leafy branches is peak Sweden.
Mechanics - D. Bonuses on tundra and lakes and additional food on golden ages. This component’s bonuses need a rethink. We intended to help Sweden a bit with growth in the early-mid game so it could reap the benefit of the pop scalers that eventually come with the Skola later on. The specific way we went about that I now feel was a bit wrongheaded.
Uniqueness – C. No other baths in the game, but the yields on specific terrain, the yields on birth, and the golden age bonuses are all scattershot. The building does too many different things to feel like it has much of an identity.

Spoiler Venice :

Overall grade: A+
There is no civ that, on paper, benefits more from a gameplay perspective from 4UC than Venice. In base VP, Venice has no military UU, and no military bonuses to speak of unless it picks 1 of 3 possible unique wonders. The Venetians also have a unique great person and no consistent way of making more of them vs a base civ. Persia can build more GMerchants more consistently than Venice can. The UUs and UB that 4UC adds to Venice address inconsistencies and shortcomings of the Venetian kit that could not be seem to be fixed with only 2 component slots.

Great Galleass & Fusta
Theme - A.
The Great Galleass is a base component, and it always seemed a bit silly to give Venice a slightly larger version of the exact same base unit and call it a unique. However, we rectified that by pairing it with the Fusta, a smaller galley that was used to police trade routes and ward of pirates. The combination of the two supplements the GGalleass’ otherwise lackluster theme.
Mechanics - S. Venice is the only base VP civ with no military bonuses whatsoever, unless you pick the Venetian arsenal. The Great Galleass and Fusta fix that by making a double-barrelled 2-in-1 unique component. The Great Galleass provides conventional power while the Fusta, which is both supply and maintenance free, provides affordable map coverage, allowing Venice to maintain a presence over the shipping lanes.
Uniqueness - S. No other unique component is 2 different units at once. It doesn’t even need to be a ship to be one of the most distinct UU designs in the game, but it is also that.

Banco Giro
Theme - A.
The history of accounting and finance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but banking was invented in northern Italy and it was specifically the Venetians who formalized many of the methods and theories of bookkeeping and debt instruments that are still in use today. The Banco Giro was one of the oldest and longest-standing national banks in existence until Napoleon shut it down. This component pays homage to that legacy.
Mechanics - A. The base VP kit gives Venice a unique great merchant, but their only additional means of generating GMerchants is a free 1 at the Trade tech and 2 extra slots IF they pick the Rialto District as their wonder. Does that not seem odd to anyone else? The Banco Giro rectifies this by not only giving Venice an unconditional merchant slot, but also adds a % yield to GPP converter.
Uniqueness – B. No other unique banks in the game and nothing that converts yields into Great Person Points. The component offers no new incentives, but fills a gaping hole in Venice’s current kit.

Spoiler Zulu :

Overall grade: B
Zulu didn’t need much more help with warfare, so the 4UC team opted to use their warfighting bonuses to provide some cultural and economic benefits. The InDuna gives a little extra XP on expend, but is otherwise a purely economic boost over the base GGeneral. Likewise, the Iziko is a pure culture battery that turns war stories into global culture across your empire.

InDuna & Isibaya
Theme - A.
The InDuna were warchiefs that organized the Ibutho of fighting men under their command. The Isibaya are commonly known as Kraals in English, militarized compounds for living and cattle protection. The Zulu culture and economy was centered around the cattle herds, which is noticeably absent from the current kit.
Mechanics - A. Great General that gives a large sum of XP to the unit it is stacked with when expended, and plants a cattle resource under its unique citadel replacement. It’s pretty flashy, but perhaps a bit style-over-substance. The adjacency bonus for other cattle resources does give the Zulu a slightly altered priority for placing their citadels, if you are in a position where you can be a bit more flexible with where you need your citadels.
Uniqueness - B. The abilities and components are interesting and unique, and the historicity is good. However, This is the Third Great General replacement, in addition to the Khan and the Suffet.

Theme - D.
It’s a bonfire. The centrality of the Iziko to Zulu life does not strike me as particularly different from any other culture, who all have strong attachments to firekeeping, stories, and music. We tried to give the Iziko a bit of flavor from South African philosophy of Ubuntu, but I don’t think that comes across.
Mechanics - B. A global version of the Dojo yields from leveling up. As would be expected the Iziko scales a lot with the number of cities in your empire. The unique bonus is undeniably potent in combination with the Zulu UA; no other bells and whistles required. The fact you have to divert all the way up to Drama and Poetry to get this culture engine on the Zulu, of all people, is interesting enough.
Uniqueness – C. Not that unique, and there is already the Greek Acropolis/Gymnasium with a similar culture for warfighting bonus on the Amphitheatre slot.
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Mechanics - B. Doubles down on the UA and kind of forces your hand, because it force-steals any pastures in range of your cities. If you weren't actively antagonizing your neighbours before this well you are now. Though if you weren't setting out to do that, why did you pick America as a civ to begin with?
Currently it's ok because the AI doesn't know you're stealing tiles from them. I bet there will be complaints when it's DLL integrated and every neighbour starts hating your guts at the same time.
You don't have to buy tiles from neighbours as America to play them well.

Not really, but that's the base civ's fault for being such a narrowly focused design, and not 4UC's
The design is on all Historic Events, not just Great Person generation. You get way more triggers from trade routes than GP birth, even with the self-feedback loop.
For me personally I had to bring up the thread about 3/4 UC along with this to remind myself what all the components do. I see that you updated the OP in that thread recently quite a bit, is everything there current?
Currently it's ok because the AI doesn't know you're stealing tiles from them.
I’m pretty sure they do actually. The lua command that steals the tile does notify the victimized AI
This is an interesting way to look at things. Can't wait for the rest of them.
Disagree on Tophet being boring. Carthage has multiple perks to generate gold, and this building letting you convert gold into culture is pretty cool.
I really like America's homestead, allowing them to push into the West (or any other land available) much more efficiently than other civs. Combined with the UA, it also encourages you to conquer and resettle, should you choose to go domintation. That's not super-unique, but still rare.
I live in Austria so I can give a little bit of information on what I think should be it's UC. Considering it's Maria Theresa that you play as, theoretically you are the Holy Roman Empress making landsknechts a more fitting unit than for Imperial Germany. They were originally employed by the Habsburg emperors, not a unified German state. As for the UB, doing something with the Military Order of Maria Theresa would be fitting.
Combined with the UA, it also encourages you to conquer and resettle, should you choose to go domintation.
How? All production you get from building that is local and will be gone if you raze.
I’m pretty sure they do actually. The lua command that steals the tile does notify the victimized AI
I don't see anything like that in the DLL CvPlot::setOwner.
Don't know if you have forgotten it, or plan to add it later, but Celts description has one funny part - "Uniqueness - B. Text"
I agree on the Chasqui, both thematically and mechanically it feels kind of wrong. As I recall, Hinin's rework mod replaced it with a Royal Guard-esque Longsword UU, might be worth looking there for inspiration?
It was this
Spoiler :

UU2 replaced by a Longswordsman replacement
UU2 - Pakayok (replaces Longswordsman)
Unlocked at Construction
(instead of Steel)
184 :c5production: Production cost (+15%)
Doesn't require Iron

22 :c5strength: CS
2 MP / Vision

Sun Sentinel - +2 Vision ; +5 hp when healing ; +15% CS against wounded Units

So it looks like it was more expensive and had a very early unlock which is a bit zany.
The Chasqui was changed to a promotion given by the UB which replaced the UI. The Terrace Farm was moved to be available to everyone (!)
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