- Common abilities:
- Bonus vs Cities (200)
- Limited Visibility (-1 visibility range)
- May Not Melee Attack
- No Defensive Terrain Bonuses
- Must Set Up to Ranged Attack
- Special traits:
The Roman Ballista is the strongest ranged unit in the Classical Era. It is a siege unit that must set up prior to being fired and has limited visibility by itself. Regardless, it's considerably stronger than the Catapult, which it replaces. The use of Legions can greatly increase the effectiveness of the Ballista, as well as the use of mounted units like the Horseman. Using the Legion's unique ability to build roads, you can greatly reduce the travel time of Ballistae as you move them towards enemy cities. Even without the Engineering technology, a Ballista on a road can move one tile, set up, and fire within the same turn (effectively mirroring the actions of an Archer). Ballistae are useful for siege and combat, and are the strongest units to use in city garrisons against rival armies before the Trebuchet.
The Roman Ballista was an advanced catapult that fired stones or wooden missiles at the enemy. Constructed of wood reinforced with heavy iron plates, the ballista was surprisingly accurate in the hands of trained operators. It had a maximum range of perhaps 500 yards, but its practical range was significantly shorter, especially against a fortified position. Julius Caesar used them to great effect in his German and British campaigns.