Saw something like this in the one of the sidebars, it was Civ5 modding forum I think. Thought it could be fun here. Please pick what unit you feel has the most impact when you access it. You may choose to evaluate based on scenarios beyond the scope of the poll too (beeline/monopoly on the unit, fighting from behind, etc.) if you wish, after all flexibility is part of what makes some units better than others, just please make sure to express what makes it so. Due to the nature of some units supporting another, up to two choices if you feel so inclined. My votes are for War Elephants, just edging out the Cannon. Elephants are tied to the availability of Ivory, but few units are as effective as early or for the cost. 60 hammers gets you an 8 power unit that can counter promote Shock vs Spears and do decently in the open, stops any cav units cold up to Knights, and act as some of the best clean up units in the game after siege has done the dirty work, with that impressive amount of base power. They may even be upgraded to Cuirs directly if you wish to start with an earlier elepult attack and follow through later with a rapid deathstroke. In their own window of access, which is fairly early (Contstruction + HBR and good to go!), they are almost unmatched in impact except for maybe some UU scenarios. Maces, with their CR promos and anti-melee to ignore pikes, are more effective in the same role of supporting siege to attack cities, but come much later at CS + machinery. I'm sure there's good reason they're seen as newbie friendly Cannons can, as the adage goes. They represent a gigantic spike in power, what you can effectively accomplish goes through the roof when you snag Steel -- suddenly Rifles and Infantry are squishy enough to take on in cities and stacks in the open are easily ravaged, city defenses melt in a turn or 2 tops. Problems are solved by just bringing more cannons to throw at things. Being more than double the power the previous tier unit in the siege tree will do that. I would rate the magnitude of the power spike you get from cannons higher than anything else in the game (one exception: nukes) but as they do come along 3/5 of the way through the tech tree, I would argue their overall impact is not as much a clear cut winner when other strategies can make their plays earlier. Still extremely good, especially combined with the Rifleman (even just Musket) mass draft.