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Units are the mobile agents of a civilization, those that can move in the world and do whatever is needed to spread that civilization's influence.
Civilization VI follows most of the established traditions of the series when it comes to units, but it also offers some refreshing new features. Unit models are a little different than they were in previous games, featuring larger models with more exaggerated features, and generally fewer (but more detailed) character models per unit. Their animations are also much better than before. For example, melee units have special 'finishing moves' which are played when they destroy enemy units.
Producing Units Edit
Units are produced (trained) in Cities, via their Production queue, or alternatively they can be Purchased instantly with Gold or Faith. Purchased units appear immediately, while produced units take several turns to appear (according to the amount of Production points they require currently). However, while Produced units are ready to move immediately after spawning, Purchased units need to wait for the next turn.
There's much more to producing units, of course. For any unit except the most basic ones from the Ancient Era, to become available, you will need to develop your technology, or your Civics. And then, there are some units which may only be purchased with Faith, or only if the city has a certain District, or with any number of other restrictions. For more information on how exactly the production process goes, visit the City article, or refer to individual unit's articles.
Unit training can be accelerated via Militaristic City-States. The Capital of your Empire gains a +2 Production bonus from every such City-State where you have at least 1 Envoy. All other cities which have an Encampment (including the Capital, if it has one) will gain +2 Production bonus from every such City-State where you have 3 Envoys, and another +2 Production if you have 6 Envoys. The bonuses are valid for all types of units, military or civilian.
Unit maintenance Edit
Units need to be maintained with Gold. Each unit beyond the most basic ones (Warrior, Slinger) takes certain amount per turn, for food, clothing, weapons, tools, wages etc. The Gold needed is automatically discounted from your Treasury each turn, you don't need to do anything in this respect. However, don't let your Gold flow turn negative, and your Treasury empty! If this ever happens, you risk units disbanding on their own, until money balance for your civilization is again achieved..
Unit maintenance prices are different for each unit, but in general go up the more advanced the unit is. Note that maintenance prices for Corps or Armies (and respectively Fleets and Armadas) are not much higher than for normal units of the same type! This makes it worthwhile forming these advanced formations from a purely economical standpoint: you spend less Gold for maintaining an army which consists of less units of greater individual strength.
In Gathering Storm most late-game units also 'consume' strategic resources each turn ( Coal, Oil, Aluminum or Uranium), which amounts to a specific type of maintenance. Note that Corps/Armies and Fleets/Armadas still consume the same amount of resources as an individual unit of the type, which makes it even more advantageous to maintain a lesser number of these more advanced formations, instead greater number of simple units of the same type.
Unit types Edit
Units in the game may be divided into many classes, but there are only four main types:
- Military units - these are the units which may attack the enemy military and cities. They are used exclusively in combat, and for reconnaissance. Military units are able to defend the tile they occupy, and also any Civilian or Support unit which shares their tile, preventing their capturing or destruction.
- Civilian units - these are the units which perform a variety of economic actions for your civilization, and cannot attack. Great People are also Civilians. Civilians cannot defend themselves, and are Captured by (that is, they switch to the civilization of) any enemy unit which is able to enter their tile! The only exception are Great People - they are clever enough to avoid capture and run away to your nearest city instead.
- Support units - a brand new class in the game, Support units are part Military, part Civilian units. Their main purpose is military, so far as they are used in combat; however, they themselves cannot attack, and are vulnerable to capture as Civilian units. 'Captured' Support units don't switch sides; they are instantly destroyed instead.
- Religious units - these are the units with religious functions, used mainly to spread, or defend against, Religion, which is very important in Civilization VI. Religious units move independently and can mix with (that is, occupy the same tile as) all other classes of units, except of course Religious units belonging to other nations. That is to say, Religious units form a completely independent layer on the map. However, Military units which are in the same tile as they, and belong to a nation you are at war with may use a special action and destroy instantly the Religious unit!
As per the "One unit per tile" rule, each tile may only contain one of the above units per type. So, a single tile may contain one Military, one Support, one Civilian and one Religious unit. This is also valid for District tiles and for City Centers. For example, you cannot have both an Archer and a Warrior in the city tile, but you may have an Archer and a Battering Ram (which is a Support unit), as well as a Great General (which is a Civilian Unit). This rule also affects Purchasing: you cannot Purchase a unit which will appear in a tile already occupied by another unit of the same type. So, for example, if you have a Warrior in your City Center tile, and you wish to purchase an Archer from that same city, you will be unable to do so: you will need to move away the Warrior first. This rule may be circumvented if the city has an Encampment, or a similar production District, where the relevant units may also appear.
Civilian units, such as the Settler or the Builder cannot defend themselves against attacks. Thus, if an enemy military unit enters their tile, they are captured and forced to serve them. Unlike Civilization V, Settlers may also be captured by other civilizations (they don't turn to Workers!), and may be used to found cities for their new masters. Great People, however, are too valuable and resourceful to let themselves be captured after they've given their allegiance to a civilization - when threatened by an enemy they will retreat to their civilization's nearest city.
Unit actions Edit
All units in the game may perform some kind of action, even be it only moving. Thus, Movement is the first major statistic of a unit, and the only one that is shared by all units in the game, regardless of their type (with the exception of the Trader and the Spy, whose movement rules are special). As usual, a unit may only perform an action if it has Movement Points left for this turn. Some actions may also require more than one Movement Point, or even the entire turn to be performed, so a unit that has already spend some, but not all of its MPs may not be able to perform this action in this round. Also, there are many actions (for example the Attack action) which exhaust all remaining MPs - after performing such actions, a unit will have to terminate its round.
Automatic actions may be scheduled (as is the case of a multiple-turn Move order), and they will get executed in subsequent turns by the AI, unless you change the order, or unless an obstacle appears which makes the execution of the action impossible. For more details on movement, check here.
Traders and Spies are always based in cities, and perform missions during several turns. They can receive new commands only when their missions finish.
Finally, some units, for example most Great People, have special Abilities which can only be activated in certain locations. When you have the unit in question selected, look for white-framed tiles in the game world (if this unit has only one possible special action), or, look for special icons in tiles, which suggest where you can use specific actions. For more information on this, check the individual units' articles, where you will see all Actions they are capable of; also check the Combat article for common combat actions.
All unit actions may only activate contextually, depending on what tile the unit is on, or next to. For example, a Missionary's Spread Religion action will only activate when he is next to, or in a city; or a Builder's Construct a Quarry action will only activate when it is on a tile containing a valid Resource, for example Marble. All other actions the unit may otherwise perform will appear grayed out.
Unit command tab Edit
The Command Tab, found at the bottom right part of the UI, is the information center for both units and structures in the game. Here are displayed all vital statistics of a unit, such as current Health, Combat Strength, etc. All actions the unit may perform are displayed on top of, or to the left of the tab. Common actions, such as Move or Attack, are displayed above the tab. So are Special actions, if they are the only other action a unit may perform. For example, the Activate button of any Great Person is found above the command tab, although this action is far from common (it activates this Great Person's special Ability).
In case the unit has many different actions possible (the Builder, for example, has many actions possible), there is a special extension which is found to the left of the command tab. Note that sometimes there are yet other actions of the same unit (Harvest, for example), which may be considered special, but are displayed above the tab! So, if you don't find an action where you expect it, look carefully in both possible locations.
Hovering over the unit's portrait will bring out a tab listing all special effects affecting this unit at the moment. This includes innate bonuses (such as the Swordsman's Bonus vs Anti-Cavalry class), bonuses acquired via training and Promotions, and temporary effects acquired from Wonders or Great people.
Exploration and sight rules Edit
As in most strategy games, the world is hidden until you survey it. And even then, all parts of the world which aren't directly seen currently by you or your allies are hidden by the so-called fog of war, which only shows terrain features and known immobile structures, such as cities. In Civilization VI the fog of war takes the very stylish form of an ancient hand-made map!
Visibility of the world is provided by all your cities (for up to 1 tile away from their current borders), and all your agents - be it normal units or Trader and Spy units (yes, even the Trader reveals the world while moving!). City-states of which you are Suzerain provide visibility for three tiles (counted from their City Center tile), besides the visibility of all their units. The same is valid for Allied nations, when your Alliance reaches the necessary level.
Note that many terrain features act as obstacles which limit the visibility of a unit - the so-called Line of Sight. For more info on how this works, go here.
Unit obsolescence and upgrades Edit
With technological development, units from earlier Eras gradually become obsolete, and are replaced by a newer, more deadly version with more modern weapons and armor. As before, if you are in the middle of producing a military unit when you discover the tech which makes it obsolete and replaces it with the more modern version, the production process automatically switches to the newer unit. In some cases, some specific units aren't replaced at all - they just disappear, as the passing of Eras extinguishes the need of them. This is the case, for example, with the Battering ram, when city defenses become so advanced that the Ram cannot circumvent them anymore.
Those units which become obsolete, but are replaced by a newer version, may be Upgraded. For this to be possible, they have to be in Friendly territory, need to have at least a fraction of a MP left, and you need to have certain amount of Gold. If producing the next-level unit also requires a Strategic resource, you will also need that in order to Upgrade to it. The resource amount required is 1 count prior to Civilization VI: Gathering Storm; after that you will need the same amount you would normally need to produce the next-level unit, unless the unit you're upgrading also required the same resource (in which case you don't need any). A special Upgrade button will appear on top of the unit's Command tab, and become active whenever all conditions for upgrading are met.
The Gold price for Upgrading a unit is set and usually reflects how much its strength will go up, but in general upgrading tends to get more expensive in later Eras. However, if a unit has been combined with others to form Corps or Army (and respectively Fleet or Armada for sea units), then its Upgrade price will also go up - double for Corps or Fleet, triple for Army or Armada. This is also valid for Resource upgrade costs in Gathering Storm.
The Professional Army Military Policy will reduce by half all Upgrade prices prior to Gathering Storm. After the Late Antarctic Summer Update upgrade-related policies have been split up: Professional Army now offers Gold discount only, while the new policy Retinues offers resource discount only. The latter Force Modernization combines the effects of the earlier two.
Upgraded units preserve all their Promotions and experience. Except in some special cases, they also inherit all special abilities previous units had - for example, a Knight will inherit the Heavy Chariot's Ability to Ignore enemy Zone of Control. However, Special abilities of Unique units are not passed on (unlike in Civilization V).
Units don't Heal on upgrading.
Earning experience and Promotions Edit
As usual, military units may acquire Experience and rise in levels. Most units only get Experience Points (XP) when entering combat - whether by attacking, or by being attacked. Eventually, they reach thresholds which allow them to rise to the next level and earn a Promotion. For more info on how exactly this works, visit this article.
Naming units Edit
After a unit earns enough experience to earn 2 Promotions (that is, achieve level 3), it also earns the right to receive a unique name! Look for an icon that looks like a feather in the unit's command tab and click it to type the new name of the unit, or to select a randomly generated 'special' name. .
Civilian Units Edit
Civilization VI introduces an unparalleled variety of Civilian units, with many different uses. Some of them, like the Settler and the Builder are essential to your development, and available right from the start of the game. Others, like the Religious units or the Archaeologist, have more specific uses, and can be Purchased and used only under special circumstances - look up the tooltips, or, in last case - the Civilopedia.
Finally, the Great People have become more specialized than ever, every single one of them being completely unique, with unique Abilities, and even their own Biography! All Civilizations now compete with each other to attract these unique Great People, introducing a very different dynamics in this aspect of the gameplay.
Civilian units cannot defend themselves against enemies. If an enemy Military unit manages to enter their tile, they are either Captured, and start serving another civilization, or they are instantly destroyed. This is why the game introduces the new Escort mechanics, whose specifics you can find here.
Great People are an exception to this rule. They are resourceful enough to escape if an enemy threatens them, and retreat automatically to your nearest city.
Finally, after the Fall 2017 Update Religious units now move in their own layer; that means that they don't mix with either Military, Civilian or Support units in the same tile. This makes it possible for them to move even more freely in the world! Note that enemy Military units may still destroy them instantly, but this doesn't happen automatically upon entering the tile anymore - now military units need to use the special action 'Condemn Heretic'.
Using Civilian unit's Abilities Edit
Civilization VI offers an unparalleled variety of tools for the statesman to use. This is largely thanks to multiple individual Abilities of Great People, which differ wildly one from another. For example, some Abilities create Units on-the-fly, while others give permanent bonuses to some units, while others yet give bonus to Cities or individual Districts.
But even the most basic Civilian unit, the Builder, now has many Abilities, including the possibility to Harvest Basic Resource, as well as terrain Features!
The game also makes a change in how Civilian units are used. Namely, most can now be used only for several actions, after which they disappear. This notion is even represented graphically - each Civilian unit now has as many members as there are charges left in it. So, for example, a Builder with three charges will have three characters displayed, while one with a single charge left will only have one character.
Although this system is hardly new, the fact that it is now used for the most basic things in the game changes radically how you think about Civilian units use - in most cases you won't be caring about them all the time, just until you move them to the right place where you want to use their abilities.