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Civ IV Colonization Combat Promotions

The combat system in Civ IV Colonization has changed a lot from the classic version of Colonization, most notably with the implementation of unit health and experience points. Players familiar with the Civ IV combat system will find themselves right at home. For those not familiar with it, here's a short summary:

(Skip down to Promotions)

In the 1994 version of Colonization you either lost or won a battle, there was no in-between. That has now changed with the unit health system. It's still possible to completely destroy units, in fact this is often the case when you lose a battle. Some units though, may manage to withdraw from a battle. They suffer great damage, but at least they live to fight another day. Victorious units may also suffer damage depending on how tough a battle is. Units have the ability to heal, which is best done in a friendly settlement or with a Surgeon present on the same tile.

Units gain experience from winning battles. Experience is measured by experience points (XP). When a unit reaches a certain level of XPs, it receives a promotion. When it reaches the next level required, it receives another promotion, and so on. Promotions specialize units and make them stronger, for example they may provide attack/defense bonuses, increased movement or visibility range, the ability to heal other units faster etc. The ability for units to heal and attain promotions will, over time, make some of them great assets to your overall military force.

After reaching a specific amount of total XPs (from all combats) your colony will produce a Great General. Attaching the Great General to a unit will provide an instant boost of 20 XPs to that unit if it is the only unit occupying the tile. If there are multiple units occupying the tile, each unit gets an equal share of the 20 points. In addition, units led by a Great General get access to special promotions.

Unit stacks
Another important factor to consider is unit stacks, meaning the combination of units on the same tile. When the enemy attacks a tile with multiple units on it, the computer will automatically pick your strongest unit for that battle. Having a unit with the Charge and Formation promotions would make it stronger in combat against both Dragoons and Cannons. It's not easy to attain numerous promotions for a single unit, and so one way to achieve a similar effect would be to stack two units together, one with Formation and one with Charge.

The same would be true for terrain bonuses, and of course having at least one Surgeon would benefit that stack greatly when it's time to lick one's wounds.

Combat Odds
Example: Combat odds

How combat works
When your attacking unit is active, right-click and hold the pointer over a hostile unit. The odds of you winning that battle will become visible in the lower left corner of the screen. The odds are determined by:

Your unit's strength + modifiers
Enemy unit's strength + modifiers

is the unit's base strength minus any damage it has suffered. For example, a fully healed Dragoon has a strength of 4, while a somewhat injured one might have a strength of 3,5.

are unit-specific bonuses, terrain bonuses, promotion bonuses, fortification bonuses, and bonuses from rebel sentiment. They are listed as %. Modifiers are added together and then applied to the strength. In other words, a unit with a strength of 4 and two modifiers (+20%, +25%) would get: 4 x 1,45 = 5,8 total.

Unit-specific bonus
This refers to a bonus for a specific unit type. For example, Dragoons receive +50% vs cannons and have a 30% withdrawal chance, but they receive no defensive bonuses. The King's Regular receives a +25% settlement attack bonus, but it receives no defensive bonuses.

Terrain bonuses
Terrain bonuses, if applicable, derive from the terrain of the defending tile. Hills provide a +25% defensive bonus, forests +50% and forested hills +75%. Keep in mind, however, that some units do not receive any defensive bonuses.

Promotion bonuses
Bonuses from promotions, such as +10% strength for Veteran 1 or +20% settlement defense for Minuteman 1. A full list of available promotions follows below.

Fortification bonus
When you fortify a unit, it gets +5% per turn for a maximum of 25%. Units behind a Stockade, Fort or Fortress get defensive bonuses from those buildings.

Rebel Sentiment bonuses
When defending a settlement against the King's forces during the War of Independence, your units receive a bonus related to the overall Rebel Sentiment in your colonies.

To sum it up, it is vital to know the different units' strengths and weaknesses. Learning which units to use in different circumstances, and thinking ahead when promoting units, may just be the deciding factor and lead your troops to victory.

Available promotions (Civ IV Colonization version 1.01)

  Name Bonus Requires
Amphibious Amphibious No combat penalty for attacking from ocean
No combat penalty for attacking across river
Bomb I Bomb I +20% settlement attack  
Bomb II Bomb II +25% settlement attack
Bomb III Bomb III +30% settlement attack +
Canister Shot I Canister Shot I +20% vs. gunpowder units  
Canister Shot II Canister Shot II +25% vs. gunpowder units
Canister Shot III Canister Shot III +30% vs. gunpowder units +
Charge Charge +25% vs. siege weapons
Explorer I Explorer I -1 terrain movement cost  
Explorer II Explorer II +1 visibility range
Explorer III Explorer III +1 movement
Can use enemy roads
Formation Formation +25% vs. mounted units
Grenadier I Grenadier I +20% settlement attack  
Grenadier II Grenadier II +25% settlement attack
Grenadier III Grenadier III +30% settlement attack
+10% vs. gunpowder units
Leadership Leadership Gains +100% experience from combat
Led by Great General Lead by Great General Promotions not available to other units  
Looter Looter +50% gold from pillaging  
Minuteman I Minuteman I +20% settlement defense  
Minuteman II Minuteman II +25% settlement defense
Minuteman III Minuteman III +30% settlement defense
+10% vs. melee units
Mountaineer I Mountaineer I +15% hills attack
+15% hills defense
Mountaineer II Mountaineer II +25% hills attack and defense
Double movement on hills
Mountaineer III Mountaineer III +35% hills attack and defense
Can attack multiple times per turn
Navigation I Navigation I +1 visibility range  
Navigation II Navigation II +1 movement range
Navigation III Navigation III +1 movement range +
Ranger I Ranger I +20% Forest/Light Forest attack
+20% Forest/Light Forest defense
Ranger II Ranger II +25% Forest/Light Forest attack and defense
Double movement in Forest/ Light Forest
Ranger III Ranger III +30% Forest/Light Forest attack and defense
Can attack multiple times per turn
Skirmisher I Skirmisher I +10% withdrawal chance  
Skirmisher II Skirmisher II +20% withdrawal chance
Skirmisher III Skirmisher III +30% withdrawal chance +
Solid Shot I Solid Shot I +5% settlement bombard damage  
Solid Shot II Solid Shot II +10% settlement bombard damage
Solid Shot III Solid Shot II +15% settlement bombard damage +
Surgeon I Surgeon I Heals units in same tile extra 10% per turn  
Surgeon II Surgeon II Heals units in adjacent tiles extra 10% per turn
Surgeon III Surgeon III Heals units in same and adjacent tiles extra 15%/turn
Can heal while moving
Swamp Fox I Swamp Fox I +20% marsh and jungle attack
+20% marsh and jungle defense
Swamp Fox II Swamp Fox II +25% marsh and jungle attack and defense
Double movement in marsh and jungle
Swamp Fox III Swamp Fox III +30% marsh and jungle attack and defense
Can attack multiple times per turn
Veteran I Veteran I +10% strength  
Veteran II Veteran II +10% strength
Veteran III Veteran III +10% strength
Veteran IV Veteran IV +10% strength
Heals extra 10% per turn in neutral lands
Veteran V Veteran V +10% strength
Heals extra 10% per turn in enemy lands
Veteran VI Veteran VI +25% strength +

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