- Common abilities:
- Evasion (50)
- Special traits:
- Blast radius (2 tiles)
- Nuclear Fallout
The Nuclear Missile is an upgraded version of the Atomic Bomb, and the ultimate weapon of the warmonger. The nuclear warhead is delivered by a guided missile rather than a bomber plane, which makes it almost impossible to stop (short of destroying the unit that carries it before it is launched). It must be stationed in any city you own or aboard a Nuclear Submarine or Missile Cruiser. With a range of 12, a Nuclear Missile will heavily damage cities and destroy all units within its blast radius of 2 tiles. The missile itself is consumed in the process.
Unlike Atomic Bombs, Nuclear Missiles will utterly destroy cities with a Population of 6 or less (5 if the city has a Bomb Shelter, 4 in Brave New World), removing them from the map and leaving City Ruins in their place. However, they are unable to destroy cities that cannot be razed, so original capitals and city-states will be safe from complete destruction.
Be aware, however, that the Nuclear Missile does not distinguish between friend or foe, and will damage or destroy any units within the radius of its explosion regardless of their allegiance. Hence, if the area of effect of the blast includes territory or units owned by a city-state or civilization, it will be considered a declaration of war against the unit's owner. This may prove especially problematic when you nuke a city only to accidentally nuke other civilizations' units, especially if the civilizations in question have been friendly to you. Therefore, it is better to use Nuclear Missiles as your last line of offense.
Nuclear Missiles carry one or more warheads containing hydrogen bombs, each capable of destroying a city. Capable of carrying their deadly payload halfway around the world, nuclear missiles are the single deadliest and most terrible weapons ever created. At present there are no practical defenses against nuclear missiles: once launched, barring a miracle, the target city is dead. In addition to the immediate destruction caused by the huge explosion, nuclear explosions poison the land, sea and air for generations to come. Errant wind can carry the deadly nuclear fallout for miles, poisoning the land and killing people across a continent. It is fairly insane to use them on an enemy that one shares a planet with, unless it is to forestall that enemy from using them on oneself.
- There are technologies that have been developed to stop long-ranged ballistic missiles, such as the Arrow 3 and precision weapons mounted on naval vessels. Their effectiveness in a nuclear attack, however, remains uncertain since no nuclear weapons have been launched on someone since the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.