UU/UB's and Wonders for map type, map speed and tech trading type


Dr. Draftingstein
Oct 19, 2022
Hey all, I've been doing a lot thinking about which each UU and UB is good depending on map settings (map type, speed, size, etc) and game settings (full tech trading, no brokering, no teching trading, raging barbs, unrestricted leaders, etc).
Kmod and Full of Resources map script is also for consideration.

When considering Raging Barbs, it is assumed that the Great Wall is disabled via the World Editor.

I am going to go through each UU, then each UB in alphabetical order.

Ballista Elephant: A unit that attacks other mounted units before spears and pikes. Very strong in Kmod since the advanced ais always have mounted units (knights, elephants and HA's) that are prime picking for Ballista Elephants after a collateral catapult impact.

Berzerker: King of Archipelago. Pairs best with Toku who can whip walls and castles when capturing coastal cities.

Bowman: Best Raging barb uu. Does best with Qin Shi, since you can build the mids and library rex while fending off raging barbs.

Camel Archer: ??? You should have always acquired iron by the time you research guilds.

Carrack: Strong on high sea level Big and Small (huge map size). Works best with Roosevelt with Colossus and Great Lighthouse , since you can whip courthouses while spamming cities on uncharted locations. Bonus if you also built or captured the Temple of Artemis. The ship is virtually unkillable by triremes and gallies as well.

Cataphract: Insanely strong UU in no tech brokering, particularly for Elizabeth played like a financial leader while using the philo trait to bulb her way to cataphracts, then conquering and switching to a specialist economy with constitution. The added effect of the hippodrome always her conversion to a specialist economy since each increment of the culture slider has twice the effect.

Cho-Ku-Nu: Absolutely whacked out UU in its era. Should be rushed via engineer bulb (hangings gardens + forge for industrious as Qin Shi, simply a forge for Philo as Sitting Bull). Guaranteed kill on whoever your first victim is. Strongest with no tech trading.

Conquistador: Strongest on standard Pangea maps with full tech trading + great merchant money bomb to upgrade promoted knights/elephants.

Cossask: Strong UU on hemispheres or continents with no tech trading. Essentially to rush them before enemy has rilfes. Guarantees conquest of your continent.

Dog soldier: Best harass and choke unit. Two squads of two dogs + two spears will pillage any neighoring AI in the stone age. Since the AI is stuck on archers, a catapult + swordsman follow will take their cities. If no iron, promote two totem pole archers with cover+strength for each swordsman you would have made otherwise.

East Indiamen: A galleon that is 50% stronger than other galleons during its time. Total naval dominance. Best on Arch. It is assumed you will lib astro.

Gallic Warrior: Good for soaking catapults with anti siege promotion and chilling in wooded hills in enemy Ai territory on Kmod. Not much else going for this.

Holkan: Pairs well with Native America partner in team game, since you can both get dogs and holkans without needing bronze. King of choking in team games.

Hwacha: My favorite UU in no tech trading games. Enjoy your free win.

Impi: What a spearmen should be have. You can kill the mounted pillager on the edge of your border, without it dying to a counterattack.

Jaguar: ??? It's a UU that's worse than its already situational Swordman.

Janissary: Toku's favorite UU in No tech trading Best on Pangea or Lakes on a huge map size.

Keshik: Good for smacking ais. Must oracle horseback riding. Like the Numidian, it works best with Augustus.

Landsknecht: Only good on Standard Pangea maps with Boudica with full tech trading on Marathon. Aggressive + Charismatic + Trebs + Cover promoted longbows for stack protection and garrisoning captured cities.. Makes for nasty snowball against your nearest neighbor. The hordes of AI elepult armies becomes worthless if you promote half your landies to anti siege. You should aim to strike the AI target before they get Civil Service

Musketeer: Good UU for Sitting Bull assuming be bulbs towards guilds with no tech brokering, then self tech gunpower. Adds a strong component to a Cuir breakout. Best on standard pangea maps with full tech trading (similar to Conquistador), while stronger since the musketeers provide stack protection from pikes, while also being able to fortify captured cities (which Toku can 1 pop walls and castles in with a free city defender and strength promo on the musketeer).

Numidian Calv: Best for Augustus. Pump a settlers. Make the oracle with his industrious trait and get horseback riding. Whip two per spammed city while chopping. Enjoy free win. Works on all map types and settings. Trash tier UU if not oracled, god tier if oracled: You'll get hosed by elephants and horse archers (especially on kmod).

Panzer: Very strong UU on huge marathon with no tech trading on Pangea or Lakes. Strongest with Frederick (one of Germany's leaders to boot), since he can whip factories. Bum rushing the Kremlin for super factory whips and overflow into coal plants is recommended. State property also highly desirable during Fredericks conquering phase.

Phalanx: Stalin's favorite with the mids. Go police state and pump these til the cows come home. They can't die in rally to chariots. Chop libraries and switch to rep after your two nearest neighbors are dead.

Prats: Broken UU, no discussion needed.

Quencha: Another broken UU, no discussion needed.

Recoats: Toku's favorite UU with tech trading.

Samurai: Good for Alexander on a standard size Pangea map with no tech brokering. Bulb and trade techs well to get them away ahead of the ais.

Skirmisher: Good in Kmod where Ai's archer rush you on a turn by turn basis in 3000 BC. Also strong in raging barbs with promos.

Vulture: Boudica's favorite UU.

War Chariot: Pericles favorite UU. Capture as many cities as possible around and spam scientists. The creative trait will push the borders asap allowing you access the food resources and allows you to whip libraries. The philo trait will net you many scientists. No tech brokering recommended.


Apothecary: Always good for industrious leaders with hanging gardens. A suggested cheese it to reload every turn for the +2 health random event in the early game. With the hanging hardens, apoth and +2 health event, you'll have no issues transitioning into the industrial age. Worthless UB on full of resources map script since you'll have plenty of health resources. Industrious + Expansive is the best leader traits for this (Bismarck).

Assembly Plant: Again pairs well with both native german leaders (like the panzer). Frederick gets faster GE's when most needed (usually for statue of lib, three gorges and Eiffel Tower on a huge pangea or lakes map), while Bismarck has the additional health bonus from being expansion to increase his engineer count earlier than Frederick, while also preparing to wonder whore the modern wonders. Full Tech Trading + Pacifism switch recommended for both leaders to grab all late game wonders.

Ball Court: Good UU for whipping missionaries (+3 happy). Favors Gandi on Huge Archipelago maps in Kmod while stealing all the religions. Have one city Whipping Gallies. Whip Order: Whip the Ball Court, overflow into missionary, whip the missionary, you now have one extra free missionary, then whip third missionary. Same for the gally city. You'll have a +120-150 gold Shrine by 1000 AD. Disable tech trading to ensure your religious monopoly.

Baray: Good for all philo leaders. Trash with Sury. Best with no tech brokering.

Citadel: In no tech trading games, this UB is insane. Works best with Gengis Khan. Chop the great wall and bait wars within your borders. With his imperialist trait + Gwall, you'll have a ton of great generals. Combined with the citadel you'll have +3CR raider +3 Collateral Trebs + his aggressive trait for Formation Pikes, CR3 maces and Shock Xbows. Without a doubt the most reliable leader+UB combo in the game on no tech trading if you secure the Great Wall and farm GG's.

Cothon: Roosevelt's favorite UB on Big and Small with Snaky Continents. Get all three water wonders (ToA, Coli and Great Lighthouse, recommended to oracle MC). If you manage to snag a religion, it will spread very fast from a coast city in Kmod. Works best with full of resources map script.

Dike: Broken UB on any water map. Favors Elizabeth who has hammer issues since she's running two competing traits.

Dun: Best raging barbs UU, trash otherwise.

Feitora: I personally play with the customs house and feitora at half their hammer cost in the XML, otherwise neither is worth building. Decent UB with that XML change.

Forum: Good UB for philo leaders, again favoring elizabeth's competing traits.

Ger: Obviously good for a Keshik Rush. Synergizes very well with that UU. Very powerful with Augustus.

Hamman: Overall a good UU, no matter the settings.

Hippodrome: Broken UB for philo leaders. With cataphracts you should have a free win in no tech brokering.

Ikhanda: Strong UU for it's native leader, Shaka. Also strong for Hammurabi who can bolster it with courthouses (recommend CoL via oracle with conquering early game).

Madrassa: Strongest UB for Hatti for religious monopoly in Kmod, equal with gandi's ball court. Hatti has a bonus to building it.

Mall: No tech trading, full of resources map script, then good for all leaders. Beeline superconductors along the way. Kremlin + whipping recommended to get cheap so it pays for itself immediately for Finicial leaders.

Masoluem: Good UB on all settings. Adds happiness while reducing WW.

Mint: Good UB for all industrious leaders, broken for HP.

Odeon: Always an asset in a culture war.

Pavilion: Arguably broken for cultural victory. Definitely Surry's favorite UB.

Rathuas: Best UB in the game on Huge maps. God tier (broken) on full of resources map script with corporations. Frederick of Holy Rome or Roosevelt of Holy Rome are the best picks if basing your playstyle around this UB on water map.

Research Institute: Strong UB for all philo leaders on full of resources + no tech trading + Kmod (ever seen +30 food sushi/mills with this UB?)

Sac Altar: Strongest on small maps. Whip and win.

Salon: Another power house for it's native leader leader Loius when pushing a cultural victory.

Seawon: A great UB on all settings, arguably broken for philo leaders in full tech trading.

Shale Plant: Never understood why this UB gets so much hate. It adds 10% hammers, the very damn thing you need when transitioning into the hammer economy. Try with mining INC. Great in all settings.

Stele: Ridiculous UB for its very leader Zara.

Stock Exchange: Good on all settings for all leaders.

Terrace: Lious's favorite UB. Combine with stonehenge and city spam in Kmod for smothering cultural pressure.

Totem Pole: Another UB that gets a lot of hate. God tier in raging barbs. God tier in the unmodded game on Aggressive AI (since the stock AI suicides into longbow castle turtles). Best paired with Chicen Itza and statue of zeus in the unmodded game. You can rot all AI's to 1 pop war weariness. Also also you to build and upgrade ultra promoted crossbows into machine guns (don't research rifiling to retain Chicen Itza bonus) to continue the Statue of Rot (Statue of Zeus). You should be at war with all civs early on.

Ziggurat: Elizabeth's favorite UU with the great wall. Enjoy free win with broken EE. This allows her to use both her traits in synergy instead of in opposition.
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I don't think jaguar can be so bad under every condition. At least it's a resourceless choke/steal unit and sword isn't a very important unit.

Camel archer not only doesn't require iron, it doesn't require horse as well. Though yes your point is valid, in most games you have both horse and iron at that point. Still, it's a slightly better knight.

I don't understand or agree with every comment. Why do you must Oracle Keshiks?
I don't think jaguar can be so bad under every condition. At least it's a resourceless choke/steal unit and sword isn't a very important unit.

Camel archer not only doesn't require iron, it doesn't require horse as well. Though yes your point is valid, in most games you have both horse and iron at that point. Still, it's a slightly better knight.

I don't understand or agree with every comment. Why do you must Oracle Keshiks?
Because they hit like a mack truck if you do. I'll chop every forest and whip to oracle it. Also buys you setup time for the Gers.

I've also noticed that Kmod Ai's attack you the moment you start researching horseback riding as mongolia. The oracle circumvents this.

Speaking of Kmod, the "better ais" also begin spear production when you begin research horseback riding. So the oracle catches them with their pants down in two ways.
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I know nothing of kmod (and am not interested), so can't comment on that.
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