- Common abilities:
- Evasion (50)
- Special traits:
- Blast radius (2 tiles)
- Nuclear Fallout
An Atomic Bomb is the first weapon of mass destruction in the game. It's represented by a bomber plane, so it works the same way as an air unit and can be based in a player-owned city or aboard a Carrier. It can move from base to base or attack a target within its range of 10 tiles.
When it detonates, an Atomic Bomb will damage cities and hurt units within its blast radius of 2 tiles, and will kill any unit on the tile it hits, including aircraft and civilian units. All improvements within the blast radius are destroyed (as if Pillaged), and the tiles become radioactive (affected by fallout). The bomb also reduces (kills) approximately half of the Population of a target city, down to a minimum of 1. This can be reduced by the construction of a Bomb Shelter in the target city. The bomb is automatically destroyed when it attacks.
Since the Atomic Bomb is delivered by a bomber, it is supposed to be possible for an opponent with sufficiently strong anti-air defenses (e.g. Anti-Aircraft Guns and Mobile SAMs) to shoot down the plane that carries it. However, due to a bug that has been present since the game's launch, the bombers that drop Atomic Bombs cannot be intercepted. Therefore, the best defense against nuclear strikes is a good offense: either nuke your opponents before they can nuke you, or cut off their Uranium supplies to prevent them from building and using weapons of mass destruction.
The early atomic bombers were no different from other heavy bombers, except of course for their payload. The "Enola Gay," which carried the atomic bomb to Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, was an American B-29 bomber, as was the "Bockscar" which dropped the second on Nagasaki three days later. In the period since the war the nuclear powers developed special "strategic bombers" to carry the nuclear weapons deep into enemy territory. These craft can fly a very long range at very high altitudes and are equipped with sophisticated jamming and anti-missile technology. The latest strategic bombers include stealth technology, making them even harder to destroy before they can drop their deadly payloads.
- The plane that carries the Atomic Bomb is based on the American Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the model of plane designated by the United States to carry the first two atomic bombs to their respective targets in Japan. The bomb itself is designed in the likeness of the "Fat Man" model, the second bomb dropped on Japan during the Second World War.