The Swordsman is a Melee unit available in the Classical Era.


First appearing during the Bronze Age, the earliest swords were little more than extra-large daggers. It wasn't until the development of iron forging (in approximately 1200 BC in Europe) that swords became viable combat weapons. The earliest swords were short and sharp, designed primarily for stabbing. Further advances in iron-work allowed bigger swords, and by the Middle Ages monstrously-long and heavy two-handed swords could cleave through all but the toughest armor.


The Swordsman is the most powerful standard melee unit during the early game, much stronger than the Spearman and Warrior. Armed with the first forged weapons and armor, the Swordsman can soak up quite some damage and as such are very useful as a first line of defense and when attacking early-era cities. A player that has Swordsmen can decimate large lines of Spearmen or Warriors very quickly.

Swordsmen are particularly vulnerable to mounted units, as all bar the Chariot Archer can move after attacking, getting a hit and moving away so the Swordsman can't retaliate. Also, keep in mind that you'll need Iron resources to train Swordsmen.

Unique Unit Replacements


Art by LastSword

Bataroas - Gallia (Vercingetorix) (LastSword)

  • -24% Production Production Cost (57 v. 75)
  • Does not require Iron Iron
  • If Iron Iron is available, +2 Strength Combat Strength

Art by TarcisioCM

Battle-Axeman - The Massagetae (Tomyris)
Unitflag battleaxeman

  • Unlocked at Horseback Riding
  • Requires no Iron Iron
  • Gains extra Strength Combat Strength for every used Movement Point of adjacent units

Art by LastSword

Berserker - The Vikings (Ragnar Lodbrok)

  • +1 Moves Movement
  • +1 Strength Combat Strength per 15HP lost

Art by Firaxis

Birkebeiner - Norway (Haakon IV)
Unitflag birkebeiner

  • Double Moves Movement in Snow, Tundra and Hills
  • +20% Strength Combat Strength in Hills
  • Immune to Snow Attrition (ExCE)

Art by Janboruta

Falxman - The Thracians (Sitalces)
Unitflag falxman

  • +25% Strength Combat Strength when attacking
  • -25% Strength Combat Strength when defending

Art by Firaxis

Francisca - Francia (Charlemagne)
Unitflag handaxe

  • +33% Strength Combat Strength vs Melee units
  • Does not require Iron Iron

Art by Firaxis

Gadrauht - The Goths (Alaric)
Unitflag gadrauht

  • Heals double when pillaging a non-road Improvement
  • Starts with the Drill I promotion

Art by Janboruta

Galatian Guard - The Ptolemies (Cleopatra)
Unitflag galatianguard

  • May move after being purchased
  • Turns Experience into CultureIcon Culture if disbanded
  • While within 2 tiles of a Ptolemaic city, gains +100% Experience and +15% Strength Combat Strength

Art by TarcisioCM

Hellenistic Elephant - Bactria (Eucratides I)
Unitflag hellenisticelephant

  • Combat bonus vs Spearmen
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • +15% Strength Combat Strength vs fortified and wounded units

Art by Firaxis

Kris Swordsman - Indonesia (Gajah Mada)

  • After its first battle, receives a random, unique Promotion

Art by Sukritact

Kyundaw Conscript - Burma (Anawrahta)
Unitflag kyundaw

  • Gains +3 Strength Combat Strength and heals +2 HP while inside or adjacent to cities
  • Increases to +4 Strength Combat Strength and +3 HP adjacent to enemy cities

Art by Firaxis

Legion - Rome (Augustus Caesar)

  • +21% Strength Combat Strength (17 vs 14)
  • Can build Roads and Forts

Art by Leugi

Maccabee - Israel (David)
Unitflag maccabee

  • +20% Strength Combat bonus on flanking attacks
  • Kills yield FaithIcon Faith

Art by Firaxis

Mohawk Warrior - The Iroquois (Hiawatha)

  • Does not require Iron Iron
  • +33% Strength Combat Strength in Forest and Jungle
Nobatian Swordsman

Art by Sukritact

Nobatian Swordsman - Makuria (Merkurios)
Unitflag nobatianswordsman

  • +20% Strength Combat Strength in friendly territory
  • When garrisoned, causes Traderoute Trade Routes with the city to produce +2 Gold Gold
MC GaulUE1

Art by Janboruta

Oathsworn - The Gauls (Vercingetorix)
Unitflag oathsworn

  • +7% Strength Combat Strength (15 vs 14)
  • Upon death, grants the 'Battle Fury' promotion to adjacent allies, giving +10% Strength Combat Strength per Level earned by the Oathsworn for 10 turns (max +50%)

Art by Janboruta

Samogitian Warrior- Lithuania (Gediminas)
  • -2 Strength Combat Strength.
  • +33% Strength Combat Strength in Forests.
  • When beginning in a Forest, heals an extra +5 damage.
  • Can be built without Iron.

Art by Janboruta

Varangian Guard - Byzantium (Alexios)
  • Does not require Iron Iron.
  • May only be purchased.
  • Begins with a random promotion.
  • If purchased during a Goldenage Golden Age, begins with +15 XP.
  • Unlocked at Mercenaries.

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