Who has the best Unique Units?


Jan 16, 2002
Nottingham UK
Any thoughts on which Unique Units have proven to be the best overall (taking every consideration into account) so far?
I'm a big fan of both Immortals and Samurai, as that's about the time I feel like 'extending my sphere of influence' shall we say. The Samurai's Defence of 4 is also a large benefit when the Civ I attack deceides to counter-attack too.
I think the biggest waste of time units are F-15 (pain in the arse) and Man-O-War (gets sunk by Ironclads more often than not). Jaguar Warriors have proven to be fairly dross aswell - they tend to run away more than they win (oooh, look at those fierce jaguar warriors, I'm soooo scared - pansies!)
Panzers are nice, good stats, outflanks your enemies, plus Blitz capabilities. COundn't be better.
And f-15's aren't that bad, but you do need to have a great time to use them. set your AI's to build tons of air units and you'll see what I mean.
I like War Elephants. They have relatively good ADM and when you get a Golden Age from them it is about the right time (for my style of play)

Lamest would be the F-15 - totally useless.

I used to like Jag Warriors but when you win the resulting Golden Age is way to early.
My personal favs are the legion and samurai. W/ legions, they can effectively defend cities into the Early Middle Ages and they're effective attacking from terrain that gives a good defensive bonus (don't even bother screwing w/ a legion parked in the mountains unless you have to).
I like samurai for almost the same reason, good defense for their time frame, but since they're mobile, attacking knights and calvary can only get away over that samurai's dead body. Also if those knights and calvary use up their movement points just to get in my territory, then I'll just activate a samurai and go on the offensive (hell even calvary isn't invincible, esp when on the defensive) and then return to the city. I only upgrade a handful of samurai to calvary because I use samurai to defend cities as soon as I get them and until I get riflemen.
Never been the Romans, so I don't know what Legionaries are like. What're their stats? (Sorry I'm at work currently and can't get hold of the manual or play a game for a few days now).
Depends on your playing style. I am always very fearful if I start next to the Persians. The immortals with an attack of 4 is no contest for any other ancient units (unless your the Greeks or Romans), because all other units have at best 2 defend. So in the ancient era if you are on the offensive go with Persia, if your more into peaceful expansion and defense go with the Greeks or the Romans. In the Middle Ages the Russians with the Cossaks, or the Japanese with the Samarai looks tempting, but haven't tried them yet.

I play Huge pangea maps, and have only played America and Babylon (Bowman suck!) I think I'll try the Germans next, those panzers come about the time I have all my cities fully built with all the improvements and I'm looking to demolish a neighbor.
Never been the Romans, so I don't know what Legionaries are like. What're their stats? (Sorry I'm at work currently and can't get hold of the manual or play a game for a few days now).

Well, the manual is outdated if you have v1.16f, alot of units values have been changed. Not sure if this is correct, but according to the manual:

Legionary: 3/3/1

Maybe I will re-think my thoughts on the Legionaries, they are good at either offense or defense.
My fave units are Panzers -- tanks are already unstoppable when you get them, Panzers are absurdly unstoppable.

Samurai are awesome. As strong as knights, and better defense than knights AND cavalry. Their defense is the same as a musketman. Incredibly useful unit.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the amazing usefulness of the Chinese Rider. Only UU in the game that gets 2 stat bonuses, and incredibly useful -- think of them as middle age panzers (not middle age tanks, middle age PANZERS)
Big groups of Mounted Wariors will dominate other civs
until Knights come along. At least on Regent and Monarch level. Pick Iroquois, go straight for The Wheel-->Horseback Riding, secure some horses and start pumping out Mounted Warriors.
Once you have 10-20, attack your first civ. Typically I can
take out two civs before Chivalry is discovered. Mounted Warriors
have major advantages:

1) They can retreat like horsemen. This means that a big group
of them can go on extended campaigns through enemy
territories with minimal losses. It also means your elite
units might survive longer to create more leaders.

2) They get 2 move so they can swiftly strike through territory
and also pick off slow enemy offensive units, like
swordsmen, before they can use their offense.

3) They get a 3 attack rating, as good as swordmen.
Spearman/Swordman defense=2.
Immortals get attack = 4, but if they loose, they are dead,
whereas MWs might live to fight another day.

4) They upgrade to knights or cavalry.

5) They have a cool war-cry when they go up a rank.


1) They trigger an early golden age. But, a lot of games are
determined in the first big war.

2) defense=1. So they are vulnerable to counter attack. The
key is to pick off those offensive units before they get to you,
and stay in big stacks on defensive terrain so you can
quickly counter-counter attack. You can also combine
them with spearmen if you have the time.

I also like Immortals, Hoplites, and War Elephant (because
you don't need horses or iron and they look cool). But
once I tried Mounted Warriors I was hooked on Iroquois.
I agree with cepyn, Chinese riders just plain rock. Immortals and Roman legions are also quite impressive in their time period.

IMO, the least useful UUs are F-15 and Manowar.
I personally like units with the higher offensive values because I am a warry type of player. The Iriquois mounted warrior is very good for those early wars and it helps you get that big empire early (big empire= less trouble w/ SRs). I also like the German Panzers. Tanks are great but extra fast tanks help you hit your enemy's weak points effectively.

The other unit I've encountered was the bowman, I wasn't impressed. It replaces the archer and pretty much the spearman. I might sort of like it, but it's attack sound is just soooooo anoying :aargh3:
An extra bonus for the samurai is that it doesn't suffer the penalty mounted units have when fighting pikemen. A drawback is that if you build horsemen, you can't upgrade them until cavalry comes along.

I haven't played the Iroquois yet, but the mounted warrior is a good unit. I know that much.

The Babylonians may as well not have a UU, unless the player wants to trigger a GA with the bowman. Still, the Babylonians have the best attributes in the game. The scientific/religious combo is great.

Speaking of junk UUs... check out the musketeer. I've only played as France once, I think I built about 2 musketeers.
Yeah the musketeer sucks... But I think France hae the best combo of attributes: industrian/commercial, so that outweights it... ofcause that is also depending on how you play...
Jaguar Warriors and Impi :)

  • oThey don't need any resources to build..
    o Can be built straight away (or with bronze working for Impi)
    o Move fast so can retreat and move long distances in a time when other units cannot
    o Cheap to build (use with speed to swarm other civs)
    o Has a better chance of getting a leader quicker than any other Civ since you have lots of UU.
    o Golden Age sooner with both Civs (millatiristic)
I like Jaguar Warriors for the following:
  1. Turns the Aztecs into expansionist (well almost) because of the good movement and usually takes only 5 turns to build in the capital at the start of the game.
  2. I hate it when the golden age happens too early. A golden age in despotism is very wasteful. I create spearmen and horsemen instead and the JWs just making up the numbers (for happiness etc).

    Normally I don't plan the game with the extra strength the special unit in mind.
Originally posted by OneInTen

AFAIK, no such bonus exists in civ 3.

In a sense, the "bonus" does exist, but in an indirect way. Pikemen recieve and additional 10% defensive bonus on top of the bunch of other normal defensive bonuses against MOUNTED units. The samurai however falls under the catagory of FOOT SOLDIER so it does not have to deal w/ that extra 10% that knights, riders, and war elephants have to deal w/ (I think the war elephant is mounted). Once again, the samurai are a unit I love to send up into the mountains and attack from. The AI building cities next to mountains is just begging me to take them w/ minimal loss, lol.
The Impi is a nice one too. Build horsemen and team impi w/ them and go to war early. I would like the War Chariot, but it's really only useful if mountains aren't nearby and most of the earth is flat. If that's the case, then they work as dirt cheap horsemen. Build a horde of them and just storm cities.

Jag-Wars (Jaguar Warriors) suck unless your neighbor is like a couple squares away and you go to war asap. It takes a good number of them to take out a spearman eating up unit support, so they become great for scouting and that's about it.

F-15 are nice, but they come at a time where you really shouldn't be relying on them (except to intercept bombers/fighter). Your're probably churning armor and mech inf. by couple turns or even each turn by then and can wisk them into enemy territory immediately w/ railroads. Now if they made the stealth fighter a UU...it'd really be late, but I use stealth more than I use fighters, at least in modern age. Late Industrial I have bombers and fighters (send fighters in first, then bombers)

Bowmen/Musketeer units aren't great because of the simple fact that a units offensive power means little if anything when on the defensive. Don't believe it, try attacking calvary, they aren't jack when on the defensive. Attack a longbowmen, they'll be on their back faster than a $2 whore. Since these two units are defense oriented, they shouldn't be used for offense, but they get an offensive bonus.

The 4 defensive given to Cossacks allow them to be stand alone units in their time, but unlike the samurai, they cant be used as city defenders for a long period of time as you should be getting Nationalism soon after. However, considering 1) how powerful calvary is at storming cities and 2) the weak defensive normal calvary has, the Cossack is a nice UU.

Man-o-Wars suck, but that is because the timeframe it enters and the fact that Civ3 naval warfare blows in general. Unless I'm playing an Archipelago, after galleys (to explore) the only ships I build until battleships and transports are galleons (soldier transports).

Already made my pts on Legions. Never played Chinese, so can't talk about how effective or useful it is. Made pts on samurai. Never played as Germans either, I'm usually bored by the time tanks come by though. By then my empire is huge and to be honest, I find having my infantrymen w/ artilery waiting for backup camped outside a city fortified w/ their own infantry more interesting than plowing through w/ tanks, but that's me.

The hoplite is nice too considering how early they're available and how long they are useful once built. Also good for defending that stack of swordsmen/longbowmen when on the offensive and once a city is seized, if has it's defender in place.
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