An Army is a collection of Units grouped together so that they occupy a single Tile on the game map and can be moved around as a single entity. However, when engaged in combat, Armies deploy each of their Units individually.
Armies have access to several actions that they can perform on the world and on each other, but some of them are available only if a specific Unit is part of the Army.
An Army is only able to move if all its Units can move, but can see as far as any of its Units can see.
The Units possess a set of attributes common to all of them:
In addition to the common stats, the Units are split into different types:
In addition, Units have:
Units have access to a set of actions accessible by clicking on the Unit’s portrait in the Army Management panel:
Certain Narrative Events and other gameplay circumstances can apply temporary effects to Units which have an impact on the values of their attributes and the actions that they and their Armies have at their disposal. Look out for these: they will appear on the Unit card.
A Unit, and by extension an Army, has a certain number of Movement Points to spend each turn. For an Army, this Movement Point allowance is equal to the lowest value from amongst its Units; Armies move at the speed of the slowest element. Each Movement Point allows a Unit to cross a single Tile of open terrain. Difficult terrain costs more to cross, and some actions consume some or all of a Unit’s Movement Points. You can hover over a Tile to see how much it would cost for a regular Unit to cross, but bear in mind that the cost to cross a given terrain type may be lower for certain specialized Units.
Entering a river consumes all of a Unit’s remaining Movement Points unless a friendly District is built on top of it, or a road crosses it. Once a Unit is located on a river Tile, traveling up and down the river will only cost one Movement Point per Tile regardless of any other terrain that might be present.
To Embark and explore the seas, or to Disembark on new lands, a Unit must not have spent any Movement Points this turn and doing so consumes all the Unit’s Movement Points. Embarking onto or Disembarking from a Harbor only costs one Movement Point, however. Harbors are vital for staging amphibious operations!
Similarly, to enter an enemy’s Fortifications a Unit must begin their turn next to the walls, and must spend all of their Movement Points climbing over them.
Most early Naval Units cannot stay too long on the open ocean; if they end their turn on a deep-water Tile they will become “lost at sea” and will take damage or be destroyed at the end of each subsequent turn unless they return to coastal waters.
Hostile Armies and Units exert a Zone of Control over surrounding Tiles: detouring around a hostile entity is a lot more expensive, in terms of Movement Points, than it usually would be given the terrain type.
Units, and their Armies, reveal the terrain type and the contents of Tiles within their Vision radius, assuming that they have a clear Line of Sight. Terrain elevations and mountains can both hide entities from view, so generally speaking you’ll see further if you climb to a higher vantage point.
Units can only see the contents of adjacent Forest Tiles, so an Army positioned at the edge of a Forest can see out of it without being seen: perfect for ambushing. However, Units can see Tiles on the other side of a Forest if they have a sufficiently high vantage point.
Armies not participating in a Battle still provide Vision over Tiles that are part of a Battle area, and Units and Armies involved in a Battle can see Tiles inside and outside of their battlefield except during deployment.
While most Units can see almost, if not as far, as they can move, early-game Naval Units can move further than they can see. This makes exploring the open ocean particularly risky, as you can’t be sure whether you’ll be able to make it to an as-yet-undiscovered shore!
Units can become invisible thanks to their Special Ability or a temporary Status can only be detected by adjacent opponents, so an Army containing only invisible Units can only be seen by Empires which move one of their Armies next to it. Invisible Units also aren’t shown in the user interface when opponents select your Army unless, as before, they have an Army on an adjacent Tile. This can lead to nasty surprises!
During battle Invisible Units cannot be seen or targeted unless they are detected by an adjacent Unit or following an Attack. Once detected, Invisible Units remain detected until the next time they move.
In case you do not want to manually control an Army, there are a few options to automate or put aside an Army. These can be toggled on and off via the Army Management panel.
When this mode is activated the AI will take control of the Army and explore the world, trying to collect Curiosities along the way.
The Army will be considered occupied until the end of the turn, so you will not be prompted to move it.
You will not be prompted to move the Army again until an enemy enters its Vision.
The Army will be considered occupied until all of its Units have recovered their Health, at which point you will be prompted to move it again.
Armies can interact with the world through different actions, listed below. These actions are available via the Army Management panel.
An Army can claim an unoccupied Territory by creating an Outpost there. Doing so incurs an Influence cost that depends on:
You’ll need to wait for the Outpost to be completed: the speed will depend on the amount of Industry that the surrounding Tiles yield. Outposts placed by a larger Army also get a head start; the more Units in the Army, the less time you’ll need to wait.
Armies can be ordered to Attack any visible enemy Army, resulting in a . Unless your opponent Retreats, fighting is likely to occur!
While you’re able to attack Armies that stray beyond their borders, you’re not allowed to attack Armies on their home soil unless you are at war with their Empire. Note that an Army can always attack an adjacent target, even if its constituent Units have exhausted their Movement Points. At the start of a Battle, Units participating in an Attack have their Movement Points set to zero.
A City has Fortifications, and these prevent Armies from simply entering and ransacking; it must be Besieged, Assaulted and finally Occupied. You can Besiege a City by targeting any of its walled Districts with the Attack action, but attacking a City works a little differently from attacking an Army: the resulting Battle begins with a special phase called the Siege phase before deployment occurs, and this phase can last for multiple turns. A City that is under siege produces fewer resources and is hermetically sealed -- nothing gets in or out, except for Reinforcements.
During a Siege, the Defender’s Militia Units will gradually abandon their posts. Meanwhile the besieging side will slowly construct Siege Weapons, if unlocked. The Defender should launch a Sortie or send for Reinforcements quickly to avoid losing their City!
Armies that have Embarked can’t besiege Cities, but they can launch an amphibious Assault directly from the ocean!
Armies can be ordered to Cut Down Forests to provide Industry to a friendly City. The Industry collected increases over the Eras. Meanwhile the time required to complete the action depends on the Combat Strength of the Army; the stronger the Army, the faster it will clear Forests.
Cutting Down Forests in another player's Territory is possible only when you are at w with them. Cutting Down a Forest in the same Territory as a C provides progress towards the creation of your besiegers’ next Siege Weapon.
Armies can Ransack certain inhabited Tiles on the map such as Districts and Encampments. Ransacking means looting and pillaging it, recovering resources (typically Money) and either leaving it in ruins or destroying it entirely.
Any Army can Ransack a Tile, provided it is permitted by the terms of the diplomatic relationship between the Army’s Empire and the possessing Empire. Ransacking will take a set number of turns that depends on the Combat Strength of the Army and the Fortification value of the targeted Tile. Once the number of turns has passed, the Tile is destroyed, and resources are awarded to the ransacking player.
At the end of the Industrial Era, aircraft will enter the arena. There are two main families of aircraft that can be built once the player has constructed an Airfield in one of their Cities:
Fighters can patrol Territories adjacent to those their Airfield is located in, providing Vision and protection against enemy aircraft. Patrolling Units will automatically interfere with any hostile Airstrikes that target Tiles within protected Territories, destroying the enemy Bombers and potentially preventing them from dealing any damage.
Both Fighters and Bombers can be ordered to strike an enemy Army or District to support Units in battle. No matter the chosen target, Airstrikes deal damage to all Units and buildings in a small area, including Districts and Trading Posts, be they friend or foe.
When performing an Airstrike your aircraft may take damage from air defenses or aircraft that are patrolling the target’s Territory. Both sides’ Fighter aircraft deal damage to each other, but can also destroy participating Bombers, so make sure you bring along an escort.
Note that you’re not allowed to target Empires’ capitals with an Airstrike unless you have the “Imperialists” Civic.
Once you have a Missile Silo, you can build missiles of various types. They are a simpler type of Air Unit that can only be used to perform Airstrikes (like Bombers). Unlike Bombers, however, missiles can’t be intercepted by enemy air patrols and are always destroyed when used.
Missiles can’t be moved on the map; they are attached to their Missile Silo from where they will be launched.
Building Nuclear Weapons is a complicated process.
Completing additional Nuclear Tests will increase the range of your Nuclear Weapons and will eventually make an even more powerful version of the Unit available to you. Note that you need to be at war with everyone your Nuclear Weapon will impact, and that you’re not allowed to target other Empires’ capitals unless you have the “Imperialists” Civic.