Ranged combat (Civ5)

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Some units' weapons allow them to attack the enemy from far enough that he's unable to retaliate. They shoot at the enemy, and all he can do is quiver in fear. This is Ranged Combat. 

There are both Land and Naval units capable of Ranged Combat. Check the list at the end of this article. 

Ranged units statisticsEdit

Any unit that can engage in ranged combat has some special statistics:

  • Ranged Combat strength - This is an alternative to the normal Melee strength stat and is used when the ranged unit attacks. Note that when it defends (when it's under attack by another unit), the Ranged unit will use another stat - Combat strength!
  • Range - This is the distance, in tiles, within which the ranged combat unit can attack the enemy. The Ranged unit needs to be within this distance, and to be able to 'see' the target in order to attack.

Rules of engagement for Ranged unitsEdit

Line of SightEdit

Generally, a ranged unit must be able to "see" its target in order to be able to fire at it (with the exception of units with the "Indirect Fire" promotion). A unit cannot see a target if a blocking terrain object is between the two - a mountain or hill, for example, or a forest tile. A unit can always see into adjacent tiles, even if it contains blocking terrain, but it cannot see objects in tiles past the blocking terrain. Note that flying units can see over blocking terrain, because of their vantage point. Also, units on Hills can see over blocking terrain most of the time (because of their 'vantage point') - the only exception is if the blocking terrain itself is on hills.

Finally, individual sight range may also affect the ability to attack. Most Ranged Units' Sight range is at least equal to their Range, which allows them to always use their full range to attack. A notable exception are Siege units, which usually have Sight range of 1, while having Combat Range of (at least) 2. Thus, for example, a Catapult left on its own won't be able to use its full range, because he won't be able to see far enough! However, if a tile is 'seen' by another unit, and is within the Range of a Siege unit (and also it has clear Line of Sight), the Siege unit will be able to attack it.


A Ranged unit may attack any unit within its Range radius with impunity. Ranged combat strength is compared to the target's Combat strength, bonuses apply, and the damage the target suffers is determined. If the target is destroyed, the tile where it was remains unoccupied.

Note that when applying bonuses related to terrain, the tile of the target is what determines them. For example, an Accuracy promotion bonus will only work if the target is on Flat terrain; while a Bombardment bonus will only work if the target is in Rough terrain. Defensive terrain bonuses also apply for the target, and the attacking unit may not use any Formation bonuses.


When a Ranged unit is attacked by Melee unit, the stat used for comparison with the enemy's attack is Combat strength, NOT Ranged combat strength! As a rule, Ranged units have weaker Combat strength than Ranged CS, which automatically makes them more vulnerable when attacked (since they always use their CS when defending). Make sure to take this into account!

On the other hand, when a Ranged unit is attacked by Ranged unit or enemy's city, the stat used for comparison with the enemy's ranged attack is Ranged combat strength, in this case, NOT Combat strength.

Ranged attacks allow your army to deal damage without endangering themselves. They are an essential part of your army from the very beginning to the end of the game. Make sure to learn how to use them well, and defend them.

Ranged attackersEdit

The following units are able to perform ranged attacks :

Ancient eraEdit

Classical eraEdit

Medieval eraEdit

Renaissance eraEdit

Industrial eraEdit

Modern eraEdit

Atomic EraEdit

(Not in vanilla)

Information EraEdit

(Not in vanilla)

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