Civilization V Customisation Wiki

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[]

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
IconPNG Antrustion
Flag antrustion
The Franks (Clovis I)
  • +14% Strength Combat Strength (16 vs. 14)
  • Yields Gold Gold if garrisoned in a conquered city
  • Yields FaithIcon Faith if garrisoned in a founded city
Azd'Uman Warrior The Umayyads (Al-Walid I)
  • Doesn't require Iron Iron.
  • When it captures a City, a free Mosque is built in that City (not retained when upgraded).
  • +1 Strength Combat Strength for every three Religious Buildings in the Empire (max. +10 Strength ).
Bakil Highlander Yemen (Arwa al-Sulayhi)
  • May claim adjacent desert or mountain tiles while fortified; tiles acquired this way yield +1 Food Food.
  • Hills do not slow the Bakil Highlander's movement.
Gallia (Vercingetorix) (LastSword)
  • -24% Production Production Cost (57 v. 75)
  • Does not require Iron Iron
  • If Iron Iron is available, +2 Strength Combat Strength
Unitflag battleaxeman
The Massagetae (Tomyris)
  • Unlocked at Horseback Riding
  • Requires no Iron Iron
  • Gains extra Strength Combat Strength for every used Movement Point of adjacent units
The Vikings (Ragnar Lodbrok)
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • +1 Strength Combat Strength per 15HP lost
Unitflag birkebeiner
Norway (Haakon IV)
  • Double Moves Movement in Snow, Tundra and Hills
  • +20% Strength Combat Strength in Hills
  • Immune to Snow Attrition (ExCE)
Bordweall Kent (Aethelbert)
  • More Strength Combat Strength
  • Fights better in defense
  • More effective against melee units
  • Requires no Iron Iron
Chonnonton War Band
Neutral Nation (Tsouharissen)
  • +3 Strength Combat Strength, +25 Production Production, +25% attacking bonus, -10% defending penalty
  • Upon being trained, may spawn a source of Flint.
  • Can upgrade to a Musketman for free when on a source of Flint upon researching Gunpowder.
Cohort Judea (Herod)
  • Does not require Iron Iron to be built.
  • +33% Strength Defense against Ranged attacks.
  • Generates Gold Gold when garrisoned in cities following your Religion Religion or FaithIcon Faith in cities not following your Religion Religion.
Elephantarch Bactria (Demetrius I)
  • Has 4 Moves Movement Points.
  • Each Moves Movement point spent before attacking increases the Elephantarch's Strength Combat Strength by 10%
  • Starts with additional XP based on the amount of Food Food produced in its home City.
Epilektoi Argos (Pheidon)
  • Does not require Iron Iron, but halts city growth while being trained.
  • Gains +25% Strength Combat Strength when stacked with a civilian unit
  • May be disbanded in friendly territory while at peace to increase the nearest city's population (up to three times per city).
Unitflag falxman
The Thracians (Sitalces)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength when attacking
  • -25% Strength Combat Strength when defending
IconPNG Fiann
Flag fiann
The Gaels (Niall)
  • Grants Greatperson Great Writer points to the Capital when pillaging tile improvements, more if the tile contains a resource
  • May use enemy roads
  • May not pillage roads
Unitflag handaxe
Francia (Charlemagne)
  • +33% Strength Combat Strength vs Melee units
  • Does not require Iron Iron
Unitflag gadrauht
The Goths (Alaric)
  • Heals double when pillaging a non-road Improvement
  • Starts with the Drill I promotion
Gaisgeach Alba (Alexander III)
  • Begins with the Amphibious promotion.
  • Yields +1 Production Production for each level earned when garrisoned in a City constructing Buildings.
Unitflag galatianguard
Galatian Guard
The Ptolemies (Cleopatra)
  • 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
Geoguth The Saxons (Widukind)
  • Does not require Iron Iron.
  • Moves Moves through forests at twice the rate.
  • Whenever an Enemy Religious Unit begins their turn in your territory for the first time, receive Production Production toward a Geoguth in the nearest city.
Hadzab The Mayans (Lady Xoc)
  • Removes heresy when promoted adjacent to a city.
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength when fighting in forest or jungle tiles.
Unitflag hellenisticelephant
Hellenistic Elephant
Bactria (Eucratides I)
  • Combat bonus vs Spearmen
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • +15% Strength Combat Strength vs fortified and wounded units
IconPNG Hemangi
Flag hemangi
The Yali (Wimayuk Wandik)
  • Does not require Iron
  • If promoted while on a neutral tile with a resource, claims that tile
Hendinos The Burgundians (Gundahar)
  • +42% Production Production cost (115 vs 75).
  • -1 Strength Combat Strength (13 vs 14).
  • +2 Moves Movement on Forested Hills.
  • Adopting Social Policies causes the unit to be promoted, regardless of experience.
  • While at war, one Hendinos may be upgraded into a Great General.
Huskarl The Swedes (Erik)
  • Begins with the XP normally granted by a Runestone even when the city is not in a 'We Love the King Day', or otherwise double.
  • Receive a free Huskarl when a Great General is spawned.
Khevsur Warrior Georgia (Tamar)
  • Double Moves Movement in Hills.
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength in rough terrain.
Knight of alcantara
Knight of Alcantara Leon (Alfonso IX)
  • Recieves twice as much strength against ranged and mounted units while next to a river.
  • While at War, may claim the Enemy's citadels and fortresses for a small sum of Gold Gold.
  • +1 Strength Combat Strength.
  • More expensive than the Longswordsman to train.
Kris Swordsman
Indonesia (Gajah Mada)

Mataram (Sultan Agung)

  • After its first battle, receives a random, unique Promotion
  • (Mataram Only) Passively gains Gold gold in enemy territory.
Unitflag kyundaw
Kyundaw Conscript
Burma (Anawrahta)
  • 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
Rome (Augustus Caesar)
  • +21% Strength Combat Strength (17 vs 14)
  • Can build Roads and Forts
IconPNG LegioRegia
Flag legioregia
Legio Regia
Holy Roman Empire (Otto I)
  • Gains +15% Strength Combat Strength when beginning its turn stacked with a religious unit
  • Generates Greatperson Great Artist points when capturing cities
Lundwiga Wessex (Egbert)
  • Gains extra combat strength depending on your Gold Gold income
  • Generates Happy local Happiness in the city it starts its turn in.
Unitflag maccabee
Israel (David)
  • +20% Strength Combat bonus on flanking attacks
  • Kills yield FaithIcon Faith
Mohawk Warrior
The Iroquois (Hiawatha)
  • Does not require Iron Iron
  • +33% Strength Combat Strength in Forest and Jungle
Nobatian Swordsman
Unitflag nobatianswordsman
Nobatian Swordsman
Makuria (Merkurios)
  • +20% Strength Combat Strength in friendly territory
  • When garrisoned, causes Traderoute Trade Routes with the city to produce +2 Gold Gold
IconPNG NzappaZap
Flag nzappazap
Nzappa Zap
Luba (Ilunga Sungu)
  • Generates Greatperson Great Artist points from kills
  • Cities captured by a Nzappa Zap do not enter Resistance Resistance
MC GaulUE1
Unitflag oathsworn
The Gauls (Vercingetorix)
  • +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%)
Petulantes flag
Rome (Julian)
  • Begins with more XP based on the city's Local Happiness.
JFD JuliusPraetorian
Praetorian Rome (Julius Caesar)
  • +10 Production Production Cost (85 v. 75).
  • +3 Strength Combat Strength (17 v. 14).
  • May be stacked with a Great General for a 15% Combat Strength bonus.
  • Earns Goldenage Golden Age Points from kills equal to 100% of the enemy's strength if beginning its turn stacked with a Great General.
Prajurit Sunda (Prabu Siliwangi)
  • Does not require iron.
  • Gain 1 XP per turn when stationed on Farm tiles.
  • Gain 1 XP per turn when stationed with a worker. (Effects stack)
IconPNG Quangariecha
Flag quangariecha
The Purépecha (Tariácuri)
  • Can be used, once in its lifetime, to claim neutral Hill tiles
Qurubuti Assyria (Ashurbanipal)

(When Tiglath-Pileser III's Assyria is installed)

  • Initimidates (-15% Strength Combat Strength) nearby enemy units whilst beginning its turn garrisoned in the Capital Capital or a former Capital Capital.
  • Does not require Iron Iron to be trained.
Rhyfelwr The Silures (Caratacus)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength when defending in rough terrain.
  • Receive a Unique Promotion after entering Combat for the first time that allows the Unit to ignore terrain costs.
  • May build Forts at double the speed of a worker.
Samogitian Warrior Lithuania (Gediminas)
  • -2 Strength Combat Strength (12 vs 14).
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength in Forests.
  • When beginning in a Forest, heals an extra +5 damage.
  • Does not require Iron Iron.
Shark-Tooth Swordsman Abemama (Tembinok')
  • Doesn't obsolete until the Modern Era.
  • Is trained with additional combat strength depending on the culture output of the city and the era.
  • Passively gains experience every turn.
Tomahawk Warrior The Iroquois (Hiawatha)

(When Chrisy15's Revision is installed)

  • Makes ranged rather than melee attacks
  • Does not require Iron Iron
  • Ignores Zone of Control
  • Starts with the Woodsman promotion
Vexillatio Rome (Marcus Aurelius)
  • Generates +1 culture when garrisoned in a captured city.
  • Receives 10XP bonus for every great work present in the city which produces it.
Wasay Axeman Igorot (Aliguyon)
  • It, and any stacked units, may cross Mountain tiles after the first Greatperson Great Engineer is earned (not lost upon upgrade).
  • Heals itself and stacked units from Mountain attrition damage at the start of the turn (not lost upon upgrade).
Xingar-Yir White Huns (Toramana)
  • Has less strength (8 vs 14)
  • Produces Gold Gold if promoted next to a mountain, and Goldenage Golden Age points if promoted in territory not originally owned by you.
  • Receive a free Xingar-Yir when conquering a city that has a Guild or National Wonder.
  • Requires Iron.


Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Tatau Warrior The Rakyat (Citra)
  • Does not require Iron Iron to build.
  • Gains +33% more Experience from combat per Social Policy Tree unlocked.
Unit Types
Ancient Era
ArcherChariot ArcherScoutSpearmanTriremeWarrior
Classical Era
Composite BowmanCatapultHorsemanSwordsman
Medieval Era
Renaissance Era
Industrial Era
ArtilleryCavalryGatling GunIroncladRifleman
Modern Era
Anti-Aircraft GunBattleshipCarrierDestroyerGreat War BomberGreat War InfantryInfantryLandshipMachine GunSubmarineTriplane
Atomic Era
Anti-Tank GunAtomic BombBazookaBomberFighterHelicopter GunshipMarineMobile SAMParatrooperRocket ArtilleryTank
Information Era
Giant Death RobotGuided MissileJet FighterMechanized InfantryMissile CruiserModern ArmorNuclear MissileNuclear SubmarineStealth BomberXCOM Squad
Civilian Units
ArchaeologistCaravanCargo ShipInquisitorMissionarySettlerWork BoatWorker
Great People
Great AdmiralGreat ArtistGreat EngineerGreat GeneralGreat MerchantGreat MusicianGreat ProphetGreat ScientistGreat Writer