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The Bireme is a unique naval melee unit of the Phoenician civilization in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. It replaces the Galley.

  • Common abilities:
  • Special abilities:
    • Prevents friendly Traders within 4 tiles from being plundered as long as the Traders are on a water tile.
  • Special traits:
    • Higher Strength Combat Strength (35 vs. 30).
    • Higher Moves​​ Movement (4 vs. 3).


Since the Galley (or overall, any naval melee units in Civilization VI that are not under Harald Hardrada) has a really limited scope of usage in battle, the Bireme, which is a version of the Galley with improved stats, also serves mostly the same purpose: defending and scouting. If you are playing on a water-dominated map where there are several cities whose City Centers are adjacent to multiple Coast tiles (at least 2, ideally 3 or more), you can wage an all-out war just by using a group of Biremes themselves with little resistance thrown back at you, due to the Bireme's improved stats compared to the regular Galley. Otherwise, the only offensive purpose this unit can serve is occasionally plundering some Trade Route Trade Routes, which does not happen often and you surely do not want to cause a ton of Grievances Grievances just for that.

Similarly to the Mandekalu Cavalry, the Bireme can protect Phoenician Traders on water, but it is unrealistic to be able to move this unit around to follow the Trade Route Trade Routes, especially considering the "legion" of cities Phoenicia will have, their discounted unique Harbor, the Cothon, and even more Trade Route Trade Routes from the Government Plaza. It is a mechanic that is just "there" without any practical implications.

Civilopedia entry[]

A bireme is a rowed vessel with two banks of oars for rowers arranged in upper and lower decks and armed with a bow ram. The Phoenicians were the foremost shipbuilders of the ancient world and are generally credited by most archaeologists and historians with creating the bireme design, even though the word “bireme” is Latin. The Phoenicians were also perfectly willing to build warships for anyone with ready cash, whether the Greek city-states, or the Persians, or any other Mediterranean power.

Naval engagements in the ancient world consisted of trying to run down the other side's ships with a bronze-wrapped bow ram while avoiding being rammed in turn, or getting entangled in a sinking ship and being dragged to a watery doom. Ancient sources use adjectives like “chaotic” and “frenzied” and “terrifying” to describe these naval battles, which seems entirely justified. Archaeological evidence attests to a common practice of painting eyes on the bows of many ships to ward off evil.


Civilization VI Units [edit]
Civilian SettlerBuilderTraderArchaeologistSpyNaturalistRock Band GS-Only
Land military AT CrewArcher (Hul'che1Pítati Archer1) • ArtilleryBarbarian Horse ArcherBarbarian HorsemanBombardCatapultCavalry (CossackHuszár GS-OnlyLlanero1) • Courser GS-Only (Black Army GS-OnlyOromo Cavalry1) • Crossbowman (Voi Chiến1) • Crouching TigerCuirassier GS-Only (Rough RiderWinged Hussar1) • Field Cannon (Hwacha R&F-Only) • Giant Death Robot GS-OnlyHeavy ChariotHelicopterHorseman (Hetairoi1) • Infantry (Digger1) • Keshig R&F-OnlyKnight (Mandekalu Cavalry GS-OnlyMamlukTagma1) • Line Infantry (Garde ImpérialeRedcoat) • Machine GunMalón Raider R&F-OnlyMan-At-Arms (Khevsur R&F-OnlyBerserkerSamurai) • Maryannu Chariot ArcherMechanized InfantryModern ATModern ArmorMountie GS-OnlyMusketman (ConquistadorJanissary GS-Only) • Nihang1Pike and Shot (Carolean GS-Only) • Pikeman (Impi R&F-Only) • Questing Knight4Ranger (Highlander R&F-Only) • Rocket ArtillerySabum Kibittum1Saka Horse ArcherScout (Okihtcitaw R&F-Only) • Skirmisher GS-Only (Warak'aq GS-Only) • SlingerSpearman (Hoplite) • Spec Ops R&F-OnlySwordsman (Hypaspist1Immortal1LegionNgao MbebaToa GS-Only) • TankTrebuchet (Domrey1) • Vampire3VaruWar-CartWarrior MonkWarrior (Eagle WarriorGaesatae1) • Zombie5
Naval military Aircraft CarrierBattleship (Minas Geraes) • Caravel (Nau1) • DestroyerFrigate (De Zeven Provinciën R&F-OnlyJong1) • Galley (Bireme GS-OnlyViking Longship) • IroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer (Barbary Corsair GS-OnlySea Dog) • Quadrireme (Dromon1) • Submarine (U-Boat)
Aircraft BiplaneBomberFighter (P-51 Mustang) • Jet BomberJet Fighter
Support Anti-Air GunBattering RamCultist3Drone R&F-OnlyMedicMilitary EngineerMobile SAMObservation BalloonSiege TowerSoothsayer2Supply Convoy R&F-Only
Religious ApostleGuruInquisitorMissionary
See also Great PeopleHeroes
1 Requires DLC2 Apocalypse mode only • 3 Secret Societies mode only • 4 Heroes & Legends mode only • 5 Zombie Defense mode only

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.