Now that the spring patch has boosted the 3 medieval UUs of Norway, Georgia, and Japan, I thought it might be time to finally make a post I've been thinking about. A lot of discussion on the same units occurred before the full patch notes dropped; I'm feeling lucky! I can't lose! For starters, it's good to be quantitative in a topic full of numbers. Let me make some remarks on unit lines in general. It appears to me that the game was originally designed on the following principles: Unit strength, within a class, increases by 10 per era Unit classes have semi-persistent characteristics to shape a contemporary battlefield The first is not necessarily intuitive unless you actually start charting out unit strengths. The second becomes apparent once you've charted. I'm primarily going to focus on things relating to unit strength and not movement/ZoC, an entirely separate topic. Down the rabbit hole we go! First, let us look at the unit classes themselves and see if we can ferret out that +10 strength per era. And the raw data for the graphs: Now, before you kids get uppity about me tossing out colorful shapes all willy-nilly, let me explain: The Y axis in every graph is combat strength. The blue shape in the backgrounds is the trend line for the unit class. It's a line sloped at 10 strength per era. The axis is spaced by era, the units themselves are named. I consider the atomic and information era to be the same because no unit has an atomic and information era representation (other than maybe air units?) I included a few unique units because people often suggest filling in gaps in the unit tree in certain spots. Unique units all have the same characteristic: they have the template of a base unit, plus special attributes. So from this, "Khevsur" is really a "Longswordsman" (to borrow from Civ5) with a hills bonus. Redcoats and Gardes Imperiale are really "Rifleman" units with continent based bonuses. Domrey=Trebuchet, Rough Rider= 'Cuirasser', Malon="Lancer." As can be seen, the 10 strength per era rule is almost perfectly followed. The two types of deviations: Ancient era units and the "post industrial shift." Ancient Era units: there's 3 units that seem to buck the trend without bucking the trend. To me, that's the slinger & warrior, as well as the archer. The slinger and warrior are available to everyone, turn 1. They are almost "proto-ancient" units, and they seem to share the attribute of -5 combat strength from a 'regular' ancient era unit. Archers, to prevent from being either totally useless or completely OP, sort of straddle the ancient and classical eras. For this reason, they sit right between that 20 and 30 ranged strength that the trend line suggests. The post industrial shift refers to, essentially, artillery becoming dual field/siege units, and mounted forces becoming armored (tanks.) As I'll touch on later, Heavy Cav goes from being essentially +3 strength over contemporary footmen to becoming armored beasts with a +10 strength advantage, although mech inf. close this gap a little. Melee is pretty consistent through the ages, though. Now that I think I've established the +10/era relationship, let's look at all these units in aggregate and see if we can't divine some class-specific characteristics. What a mess. Do you like tables? I like tables- let's look at a table of the raw strengths and a table of deviations from a trend line! Now that's a little more enlightening. What conclusions can we draw? Well, the average deviation is -0.5. That tells me this trend line- the "contemporary unit" - is a pretty snug fit. Melee: these boys seem to fit almost perfectly. They are the standard unit of civ6, so this isn't surprising. My note about warriors/slingers is why i think they are at -5. Swords were 35 strength on release (they never changed the legion or Ngao with that patch - hence Ngao is stuck at 35.) In the late game, I think they were intended to slip a bit so tanks and other units could be viable against all infantry armies. Anticav: These guys really get the short end of the stick. Not only are pikes terrible, but AT units stink as well- their bonus only matches them to armored units, it doesn't give them a strength advantage! HeavyCav: early on they have +3 strength as a sort of "top dog" perk. Which is fine- historically these units did trample everyone underfoot. Later they get bumped up when other units - melee, anticav, and ranged- fall behind, making them incredibly dominant for their production cost. LightCav: I'm not sure why this class exists at all, but they go from having one unit in the first part of the game (Horseman) that is just incredibly strong, to being about -3. I guess as "light" cav intended for raiding, they can withdraw from harm, so that's not so bad. Ranged: if we recall my point earlier about archers, it looks like ranged units all have -5 strength vs their contemporaries. Except machine guns, which are the red headed step child no one wants to fix, it seems. They are mostly obsoleted by air units and artillery late game, though. Ranged units all universally feature a melee strength 10 points below their ranged strength. This means they take 50% more damage from melee attacks. Bombard: Bombard units fit well early game, then become doom engines at the end. I think this is intended to give them a use case over bombers, and keep late game warfare form being stagnant. Note that bombard units feature -12 melee strength vs their bombard strength, with artillery and rockets having -20. This corresponds to taking 62% and 125% more damage from melee attacks, FYI. Okay, so, that's how unit strengths stack up. But these units also cost production, which certainly comes into play. Let's dig into that now. I'm repeating what I did in this post . Read it to understand methodology. The gist is that given strength & cost, two units can be compared to determine how efficient an upgraded unit is over its precursor. The important point about strength is that in combat, +X strength means both +Y damage dealt and 1/Y less damage received. So strength confers advantages on two sides of the coin- hence a unit that had +17 strength does double damage and takes half, resulting in 4x the combat effectiveness. "+17 strength, you say? That's what an Army formation gets, but it only costs 3 units for the power of 4?!" Exactly- that's why Zulu is OP and military academies are extremely powerful production structures. Anyways, let's go back into the land unit lines: All unique units are compared to their predecessor, but in all cases except the khevsur, the next base unit is compared to the earlier base unit. E.g, tanks are compared to knights and not rough riders. I compare muskets to khevsurs because the recent patch. A few other points: Before the patch, the khevsur was at 0.69 efficiency. It was literally worse than building swordsmen. This was the only case in the game of an efficiency of less than one. They are now worth building, although they aren't brutally better than swords are- perhaps fair for most civs not having medieval melee. Samurai now stand at 1.47 efficiency compared to swords. They are basically less mobile knights that upgrade on the melee line. If pikeman were buffed to 45 strength and 180 cost, getting a similar treatment to what the other Military Tactics units got, then they would have a 1.79 efficiency score. IE, they wouldn't totally suck. Crossbows might also need a cost reduction, although the power of ranged suggests they are okay. For those who are wondering, if buffed pikes would make knights to vulnerable, consider this: Pikes would be as effective against knights as muskets are. Given that you need to grab a leaf tech, I think that's fair. Knights still would hit melee, ranged, and bombard units incredibly hard. Knights need a counter that actually counters them properly- instead of forcing those without iron to wall up and watch the crossbow bolts ping off their chivalrous armor. ~~~~~~ Wow, what a long winded post. Please, share what insights you glean, things that just seem off playing through the game that may have a basis in the data presented here, or anything else that comes to mind!