Special Unit Attacks are offensive engagements which are different from Standard Attacks. SUAs utilize unique weaponry or another tactic in order to reduce vulnerability to counter-defense. This advantage comes at the cost of not being as offensively deadly. Yet throughout history, SUAs had deadly results when tactically combined with joint maneuvers and other unit compositions.

MP2 Units with Special Unit Attacks[edit | edit source]

Unit Attack Type Combat
















All Standard Attack to death 1+tired 1 all
Phalanx1 Rumble 3Fortified.png 5/9 1 1
Archers Volley 2Fortified.png 1 5/9 7
Legion Pilum 1 @ 1 2 2
Siege Ram Attack City Walls 1 1/9 1
Siege Ram Ram Fortress 4 @ 8¾× 1 5/9 1 all
Zealots2 Skirmish 3 1 5/9 4
Marines3 Bazooka 3Fortified.png 1 5/9 2 1
Zeppelin Bomb 4 2 2 1
Battleship Bombard 3 5 4 1

= unit can stay fortified while making the Special Unit Attack.

  1. Phalanx:
    • Cannot be transported, must be on native Land terrain.
    • Must be Fortified OR have not moved this turn, to be able to Rumble Attack.
  2. Zealots
    • Can only Skirmish Assault while under leadership of Theocratic government and in domestic territory.
    • Can Skirmish Assault conquered cities which still have Foreign National populations.
  3. Marines cannot Bazooka attack unless V2 "Hardened" or higher.

Rumble Attack[edit | edit source]

Rumble attacks represent a dug-in and well-shielded Phalanx in formation. Its "turtle shell" makes it impervious to counter-attacks. It is nowhere near as deadly as chaotic hand-to-hand combat and mixed mêlée fighting, for either side: only a small frontal or side portion of each unit's company is engaged. On the other hand, this tight formation can slowly and inexorably push with little to no damage to itself, as long as it keeps its "fortified formation" intact. MP2 represents these characteristics by making Rumble attacks a) engage against one unit only b) require the Phalanx to be fortified OR to not have moved, prior to doing the attack -- or in other words, able to be a slowly advancing threat each turn, possibly in staggered progress with multiple Phalanx units. The threat of a Rumble is often more effective than the Rumble itself, since it helps you to claim and hold a position. The Move Cost and Min. Moves of the Rumble Attack are tactically set to allow two separate Rumble engagements against any single unit coming to an adjacent tile; or one Rumble with the option to have decent remaining moves to retreat and regroup after causing minor damages.

Volley Attack[edit | edit source]

Volley attacks represent the Archer's historic and celebrated ability to hit targets from long range while avoiding hand-to-hand combat. From a greater distance, the attacks are not as deadly; but a rain of arrows from the sky can compromise, pester, and lightly damage armies much more numerous in size: The bigger the army, the easier for an arrow to find a target. Volley attacks are good for softening the approach of attackers such as Horsemen, Chariots, Warriors, Crusaders, and Catapults. They are not as effective against units with armor and shielding. Committing to a long showering of arrows from the sky is also a commitment to stand in place while enemies can either flee or charge. MP2 represents all these characteristics by a) Limiting combat_rounds to 2, b) Requiring a move cost of 1 5/9 -- barely enough to either approach and fire, or fire and make only a small retreat, c) having the attack access a high number of Max Targets, up to 7 on a single tile.

Pilum Assault[edit | edit source]

Pilum assaults were an annoyingly effective secret to Rome's military success. A small and unimpressive javelin, the pilum, is thrown to deliberately hit the enemy's shield. The pilum is designed to penetrate the shield -- not to pierce and injure, but rather, to get stuck and be impossible to remove. A long javelin stuck in a shield makes it useless. A front line of disciplined enemy soldiers in formation were ready to do their practiced combat drill, but now they're an exposed line of soldiers who are about to meet Legions wielding shorter swords which are superior for tight close combat... The Legions also still have shields! FCW represents the mechanics of the Pilum Assault by giving Legions 1 round of combat at a 2x attack bonus. In other words, a high chance of doing 1hp of damage to unsettle the enemy and change the odds. The Pilum Assault may affect up to 2 enemy units and potentially kill them (if they only had 1hp.) Pilum Assaults can't be done while transported, nor to Cities/Bases. The pilum assault takes one move point, leaving another move to do a full attack. It can be done with only 1/9 move point, but of course, this would be a "tired attack" at a penalty.

Attack City Walls[edit | edit source]

One of the most notorious attacks of all time is also the simplest. A large ram shielded from arrows and boiling oil has a massive mechanically powered ram inside it that cracks and breaks open large walls, while defenders attempt to set it on fire, crush it with boulders, etc. Much drama comes down to a simple flip of the coin over who will survive, the ram or the wall. In capitals, city wall defenses have double protections, which reduces the chance of success to 1 in 4..

Ram Fortress[edit | edit source]

Siege Rams can ram a Fortress perimeter also. Game mechanics think a Fortress is either there or not there. So the best way to emulate a real siege with back and forth damage, combat, and repairs, is to emulate "damage" to the Fortress via HP-loss to all units inside (up to 40% per turn). Their defense strength then exactly tracks the defense strength they'd have if Freeciv server were able to adjust for partial damage to a Fortress that varied over different sections of the Fortress. Meanwhile, HP-healing of the units (40% per turn for stationary fortified units), emulates resistance, healing, and repairing of Fortress' damage over time. Units inside who are involved in attacks on outside tiles would lose most of the 40%, representing exposure to the outer siege assaults of the more weakened perimeter areas through which they fight. Units inside who defend against normal attacks coming immediately after a Ram Fortress attack, will experience between a 0% and 80% reduction of their Fortress bonus, accurately representing the Fortress is still there, and that it's more compromised in some quarters than others. While this is an admittedly counterintuitive way to represent a Fortress siege, all these factors actually make the best possible mathematical emulation and actual expected results that would unfold over the course of a long siege, were it possible in Freeciv server to partially damage walls and have the defense bonus partially re-adjusted to reflect that.

Skirmish Assault[edit | edit source]

Skirmish assaults represent the tendency of numerous fanatical faith-based fighters in their own homeland, to know the roads, terrain, streets, ways of life, and all the ins and outs of their nation, which they take advantage of to effectuate any kind of opportunistic attack to degrade occupying forces. MP2 represents these characteristics by: a) requiring this attack to be done inside the homeland, b) allowing these attacks as infiltration on recently conquered cities with subversive insiders, c) setting Move Cost, Max Targets, and Rounds, to balance the parameters and strength of the attacks to be decently realistic and fitting to this type of attack.

Bazooka Attack[edit | edit source]

Bazooka attacks represent highly trained professional Marines equipped with elite weaponry. Grenade launchers, bazookas, RPGs, and other weaponry are used by Marines to soften and degrade their opponents, making opportunities for other tactical follow-up. The combination of elite bonuses to movement, Transport bonuses, the ability to by-pass unreachable Air units, high vet bonuses, and the Bazooka Attack, all combine to gives Marines many tactical possibilities. The Bazooka attack requires a minimum V2 vet level. MP2 represents the possibility for these attacks to cause fatal casualties when done multiple times or used on already softened/degraded units.

Bomb[edit | edit source]

Unlike other air units, the Zeppelin gets an SUA because of the unpreparedness of early ground units to cope with the very first air units. Attack strength and combat_rounds are set to reflect these characteristics. Low attack strength means more advanced units are likely to be unscathed or only scratched up a little. Yet 4 combat_rounds will make these attacks more effective against weaker targets who are unprepared for this new kind of attack from the air.

Bombard[edit | edit source]

Bombard attacks represent the supreme range achievable by the ultra-massive guns mounted on Battleships. Though the shots usually have a single focused target, at long range they are less effective and less accurate, spreading a little less damage over a little greater area. Other rulesets struggled to find a cost-effective balance to Battleships because of the terrible opportunity cost of entering them into mortal combat where, even if they win, the amount of light damage suddenly makes them vulnerable to cheaper units which render Battleships into a cost-attrition loss. The Bombard attack of the Battleship seeks to balance this somewhat by reflecting the Battleship's much greater range and ability to engage other ships before their own guns are in range. Move Cost, Min Moves, and the potential to kill already softened/degraded enemies, were all balanced together to bring back the true flavor and tactical advantages of a ship whose range and deadly force create a "bubble zone of fear" around the ship.

Special Unit Defense[edit | edit source]

Some units can do Special Unit Defense against Special Unit Attacks. An SUD is simply a retaliatory SUA. It's an "equal and opposite reaction."

This may happen where there is tactical symmetry: ranged attackers vs. ranged defenders. For example: Archers doing a Volley Attack against Archers endure a retaliatory Volley Attack. Both the attacker and the defender are symmetrically engaged in the same action. Both units use their Attack Strength. The following units are able to do SUD:

Unit Combat


Archers 2
Catapult 4
Cannon 5
Artillery 6
Howitzer 7
Helicopter 3
Battleship 3

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