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Unit Class Overview

Prodigal Son

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This is a general guideline on unit availability and roles as the game progresses. Some civilizations have variations in unit strengths, attributes and might miss some unit classes but this topic aims to give an average overview on how the game works.This is a work in progress and many of it's parts might change.

Village Phase

Players might choose to skip Village Phase military and go straight for the Town Phase, relying on palisade defenses or withdrawing to the Civ Center for protection if attacked.


- Spearmen (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png50 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png15 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png1 ) are the only military unit available in the Village Phase, reflecting the dominance of Hoplite-style (and generally melee) tactics early in the game's timeframe. This also makes balancing easier than having civs start with different combinations of unit types. Spearmen can be used defensively or to rush the opponent. Later on they are still usefull as average line infantry and a cavalry counter.

Town Phase

A variety of possible units and strategies starts to become available at this point.


- Skirmishers (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png30 post-12675-0-86259800-1447455819.png40 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png1 ) become available, as an easy to mass ranged support unit and a threat to Spearman-only armies, as the introduction of Peltasts and other light troops brought the end of Hoplite dominance. They also counter other melee infantry units and War Elephants later in the game.


- Archers (post-12675-0-86259800-1447455819.png30 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png20 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png1 ) fill a better all around ranged support role compared to skirmishers due to their superior range, but take much longer to train and are very weak if caught in melee, especially vs cavalry. Upgraded with fire arrows they become a semi-siege weapon in the late game.


- Pikemen (post-12675-0-86259800-1447455819.png50 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png20 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png2 ) are a slow hard-hitting anti-melee unit, exceptionally strong against cavalry. They will easily overcome Spearman, Melee Cavalry and often Swordsman armies, but are in need of support against more varied forces. Out of the three melee infantry types, they are the most vulnerable to missile fire.


- Light Cavalry (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png100 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png3 ) present a viable option for raiding and countering ranged (and later siege) units. A good farming economy will be needed to mass them, so they will probably come in small numbers till later in the game. Other melee units and especially Spearmen and Pikemen will easily defeat them if they reach them.


- Cavalry Skirmishers (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png60 post-12675-0-86259800-1447455819.png40 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png3 ) are effective in hit and run tactics, especially vs support units like Villagers and Traders, but are vulnerable to Light Cavalry and melee infantry if they get caught.

- Defense Towers become available as an early form of defense.

- Additional Civil Centres can be constructed, allowing expansion.

- Light Warships become available, kickstarting naval warfare.

City Phase

Most of the tech tree is unlocked at this point.


- Swordsmen (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png40 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png40 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png2 ) are unlocked as a general purpose infantry unit with high base attack.


- Slingers (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png30 post-12675-0-52777500-1447455830.png30 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png1 ) provide excellent ranged support and counter other ranged units but are helpless if caught in melee, especially vs cavalry. They have the longest train time among ranged infantry types.


- Heavy Cavalry (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png70 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png80 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png3 ) are tough and expensive general purpose melee units, almost only threatened by anti-Cavalry units.


- Camel Riders (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png60 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png40 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png2 ) are a great counter to cavalry but generally weaker against infantry compared to horse cavalry .


- Cavalry Archers (post-12675-0-86259800-1447455819.png60 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png50 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png3 ) are very effective in hit and run tactics, but are vulnerable to Cavalry and melee infantry if they get caught.


- War Elephants (post-12675-0-60570700-1447455845.png200 post-12675-0-48598100-1447455854.png75 post-12675-0-59881200-1447455838.png5 ) are costly beasts with a good siege ability and devastating against most melee units, but relatively weak against massed skirmishers and anti-cavalry units.

- Chariot Archers are ranged anti-melee units, weak to other ranged units.

- Rams, the first Siege Units become available.

- Fortresses become available as an advanced form of defense.

- Medium Warships become available.

- Most Unique Units and Mercenaries are unlocked.

Imperial Phase

The entire tech-tree is unlocked at this point.

- Some Unique Units and Mercenaries are unlocked.

- Advanced Siege Units become available.

- Heavy Warships become available.

Edited by Prodigal Son
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  • 2 weeks later...

When did you play it? Currently I'm halfway through rebalancing many things, with civs and units at different/inbalanced states. However, more units got an increase on train times than a decrease, and maybe the opposite on resource costs. The goal is having some units spammy and weak, some non-spammy and strong, and some in-between. It's among the things aimed at further unit differentiation, certainly not ready yet though. Early units, especially ranged, tend to be more weak and spammy in general.

Btw I found a function for your beloved tavern:). Not far from it's original one but it gets a new meaning with houses unable to train workers now. I'm still thinking on if I should let this as a celtic bonus or look for equivalents for other civs as well. The thought is having mini CC-like structures, buildable in owned territory and limited to one, with their limit going up by building extra CCs. It should fit with booming strategies, while the limit, cost and their inability to attack will balance it.

Edited by Prodigal Son
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I downloaded it on Nov 17 and didn't update since then. Was indeed unsure if it is time to discuss balance stuff already.

Thanks that you care about the tavern :) However i googled for taverns, only to find that they were originally Roman buildings, and dk now why Gauls faction got them. But this will belong to Celts thread.

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