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Game Info[]

Unique siege unit of the Roman civilization. Replaces the Catapult.

  • Common abilities:
    • Bonus vs Cities (200)
    • Limited Visibility (-1 visibility range)
    • May Not Melee Attack
    • No Defensive Terrain Bonuses
    • Must Set Up to Ranged Attack
  • Special traits:
    • Extra strength (8 vs. 7 Melee strength, 10 vs. 8 Ranged strength)


The Roman Ballista is the strongest ranged unit in the Classical Era. It is a siege unit that must set up prior to being fired and has limited visibility by itself. Regardless, it's considerably stronger than the Catapult, which it replaces. The use of Legions can greatly increase the effectiveness of the Ballista, as well as the use of mounted units like the Horseman. Using the Legion's unique ability to build roads, you can greatly reduce the travel time of Ballistae as you move them towards enemy cities. Even without the Engineering technology, a Ballista on a road can move one tile, set up, and fire within the same turn (effectively mirroring the actions of an Archer). Ballistae are useful for siege and combat, and are the strongest units to use in city garrisons against rival armies before the Trebuchet.

Civilopedia entry[]

The Roman Ballista was an advanced catapult that fired stones or wooden missiles at the enemy. Constructed of wood reinforced with heavy iron plates, the ballista was surprisingly accurate in the hands of trained operators. It had a maximum range of perhaps 500 yards, but its practical range was significantly shorter, especially against a fortified position. Julius Caesar used them to great effect in his German and British campaigns.

Civilization V Units [edit]
Civilian Archaeologist BNW-only.pngCaravan BNW-only.pngCargo Ship BNW-only.pngSettlerWork BoatWorker
Land military Anti-Aircraft GunAnti-Tank GunArcher (Atlatlist GodsKings5 clear.pngBowmanSlinger) • ArtilleryBazooka BNW-only.pngCannonCatapult (BallistaSiege Tower BNW-only.png) • Cavalry (Berber Cavalry BNW-only.pngComanche Riders BNW-only.pngCossackHussar GodsKings5 clear.png) • Chariot Archer (Hand-Axe BNW-only.pngHorse Archer GodsKings5 clear.pngWar ChariotWar Elephant) • Composite Bowman GodsKings5 clear.pngCrossbowman (Chu-Ko-NuLongbowman) • Gatling Gun GodsKings5 clear.pngGiant Death RobotGreat War Infantry GodsKings5 clear.png (Foreign Legion) • Helicopter GunshipHorseman (African Forest Elephant GodsKings5 clear.pngCataphract GodsKings5 clear.pngCompanion Cavalry) • Infantry (Pracinha) • Knight (Camel ArcherConquistadorKeshikMandekalu CavalryNaresuan's Elephant) • Lancer (Hakkapeliitta GodsKings5 clear.pngSipahiWinged Hussar BNW-only.png) • Landship GodsKings5 clear.pngLongswordsman (BerserkerSamurai) • Machine Gun GodsKings5 clear.pngMarine GodsKings5 clear.pngMechanized InfantryModern ArmorMobile SAMMusketman (JanissaryMinutemanMusketeerTercio) • ParatrooperPikeman (Impi BNW-only.pngLandsknecht) • Rifleman (Carolean GodsKings5 clear.pngMehal Sefari GodsKings5 clear.pngNorwegian Ski Infantry) • Rocket ArtilleryScout (Pathfinder BNW-only.png) • Spearman (Battering Ram GodsKings5 clear.pngHopliteImmortalPictish Warrior GodsKings5 clear.png) • Swordsman (Kris Swordsman BNW-only.pngLegionMohawk Warrior) • Tank (Panzer) • Trebuchet (Hwach'a) • Warrior (BruteJaguarMaori Warrior) • XCOM Squad BNW-only.png
Naval military BattleshipCaravel (Nau BNW-only.pngTurtle Ship) • CarrierDestroyerFrigate (Ship of the Line) • Galleass (Great Galleass BNW-only.png) • GalleyIroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer GodsKings5 clear.png (Sea Beggar GodsKings5 clear.png) • SubmarineTrireme (Quinquereme GodsKings5 clear.pngDromon GodsKings5 clear.png)
Aircraft Atomic BombBomber (B17) • Fighter (Zero) • Great War Bomber GodsKings5 clear.pngGuided MissileJet FighterNuclear MissileStealth BomberTriplane GodsKings5 clear.png
Religious Inquisitor GodsKings5 clear.pngMissionary GodsKings5 clear.png
See also Great PeopleSpaceship Parts

GodsKings5 clear.png Valid only in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only.png Valid only in the Brave New World expansion pack.