Military Engineers are another type of Builder, focused on military and infrastructural improvements. Unlike other support units, Military Engineers are active, not passive, participants in the game. Their use isn't immediately apparent to any but the most skilled commanders, who know the value of a good road leading close to your target, or a well-placed Airfield far from your cities, which your air force can use as a base for attacks. What's more, Military Engineers have both offensive and defensive uses:
- Building roads through terrain which will slow down your army is now more important than ever. And if it so happens that the Traders haven't happened to pass through this exact location, the Military Engineer is your only option.
- Forts are great defensive structures, especially for a defensively-playing civilization. But any Civilization veteran should know this.
- Airfields become very important when conducting offensive operations away from your main territory, especially on other continents. Conquered cities don't offer all the slots for air units that they did in Civilization V, and a quick Airfield solves the problem of where to house bombers that are a long way from home.
Historical Context Edit
Military engineers – as opposed to “combat” engineers who are crazy enough to rush into battle carrying tools and explosives rather than weapons – are tasked with building fortifications and other structures and creating and maintaining lines of supply and communication. The most victorious armies of the past – Roman, Chinese, Ottoman, British, etc. – all had superior military engineering units, to which much of their success was owed, both for protecting their own troops and knocking down the enemy’s defenses. Just ask the Gauls at Alesia (52 BC) or the Zealots at Jerusalem (70 AD). Following the fall of Rome in the west, military engineering – like just about everything else – entered a “dark age,” not to be revived until the mid-Middle Ages, when once again sieges were prevalent. By the end of the age, military engineers were again an integral part of any victorious army. Throughout the Napoleonic, Crimean, various civil and world wars, military engineers were divided into ever-more specialties. These days, a military professional needs a degree in civil, electrical, mechanical, architectural or even environmental engineering to be given the chance to build things ... or tear them down.