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First siege Unit of the game.
- 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
The Catapult is the first siege weapon available, extremely useful when assaulting early enemy cities. It fires large projectiles (usually stones) which shatter upon impact and lay waste to enemy stationary defenses, although they're not that effective against moving smaller targets.
Like all but the most advanced siege machines, the Catapult is slow to set up and fire, losing 1 Movement Point in the process. Also, it is extremely vulnerable to enemy melee attack and too bulky to use natural terrain defenses, so it always should be supported by other units when it's in the field. Use it exclusively for sieges, and NEVER move it into range of the enemy city by itself! One city ranged attack, plus one shot from a garrisoned Archer unit may destroy it!
The exact date of the invention of the catapult is uncertain, but Greek armies were known to have employed them as far back as the third century BC. Catapults use energy stored in twisted rope or bent wood to hurl missiles a great distance. They are quite inaccurate, but can be deadly against big or slow targets - forts, for instance (which are fairly large and don't move at all). Generally catapults were transported in pieces, then assembled at the field of battle. Occasionally they were constructed on the spot by engineers. The last catapults to see battle appeared in World War I, used by the French to hurl grenades at the enemy trenches.