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Units are people or vehicles that you can move around the map and use to explore, fight your enemies, and perform other tasks for you.

Each unit has four components: class, weapon, armor, and (optionally) a device. New components can be unlocked as you research technologies, and then mixed-and-matched as you choose to create your own unit designs. Once you have created a design, you can construct units using that design.

Units also have traits, which the game uses for damage and movement modifiers. All units are light or heavy, and biological or mechanical. In addition, all units have either the ground, airborne, waterborne, or amphibious trait. Units that don't list a movement trait are always ground units. Choosing weapons that receive a bonus against the enemy's traits, while using units with traits that the enemy's weapons are weak against, is optimal.

Class[ | ]

A unit's class primarily determines its movement, but also controls how certain combat modifiers are applied to it and what sort of weapons it can equip. The basic classes available for combat units are:

Class Traits Movement Power Speed Sight
Agent Light, Biological Ground 1 4 2 24 1
Trooper Light, Biological Ground 2 2 2 8 1
ATV Light, Mechanical Ground 2 3 3 12 1.5
Tank Heavy, Mechanical Ground 4 2 2 16 2
Watercraft Heavy, Mechanical Water 4 4 2 16 2
Aircraft Light, Mechanical Air 2 6 2
Mech Heavy, Mechanical Ground 8 2 2 32 4

* Mechs do not benefit from roads

All of the above stats are for the Colonization Era. In the Mechanization Era, you can unlock units that are similar, but have twice the combat strength and construction cost; in the Transcendence Era, you can unlock units with four times the combat strength and construction cost.

In addition, there are several special classes of civilian non-combat units, which have no later-era equivalents:

Class Traits Movement Speed Sight
Colonizer Heavy, Mechanical Ground 2 2 32 1 Founds cities
Former Heavy, Mechanical Ground 2 2 16 1 Alters terrain features
Transport Heavy, Mechanical Water 3 2 * * Ferries ground units across water

Weapon[ | ]

A unit's weapon provides bonuses to penalties when doing combat against certain types of opponents and/or increases the unit's overall combat strength. Some weapons allow special attacks.

Non-combat units (colonizers, formers, and transports) cannot be equipped with weapons.

Armor[ | ]

A unit's armor increases a unit's overall combat strength, but also causes a proportional increase in its construction cost.

Device[ | ]

Units can optionally be equipped with a special device. Devices provide a variety of different benefits, but most also increase a unit's cost.