This article will describe the intricacies of combat and combat-related activities in Humankind.


Armies can engage each other in combat with or without diplomatic status being in the war.

War and War Support[]

Main article: War

Battle Mechanics[]

Tactical Map[]

Once an Army encounters an enemy Army, a section of the world map will be marked out as the battlefield - called Tactical Map - and both sides will get to deploy their Units within this area.

All the battles, whether land battle, sea battle, or sieges, will always happen in a Tactical Map. Only artillery or aerial bombardments can be carried out without a Tactical Map, but they will be much less effective than within a Tactical Map.

After a Tactical Map is unfolded, it will spawn a Flag, also known as Commanding Tent, for the defending side. Battles and Tactical Maps will only end, if all the enemy units is killed, if the Flag of the defender has been taken and held, or if the overall Battle Rounds of a battle runs out.

  • The "turns" in a Tactical Map, called Battle Round, is separated from the in-game turns outside the Tactical Map. Each battle can have 3-5 Battle Rounds within an in-game turn; if the battle is not concluded during these 3-5 rounds, it will continue to the next in-game turn. How many Battle Rounds a battle will have in total is depends on the size of the battle.
  • All the combatants including potential reinforcements cannot leave the Tactical Map unless the battle is concluded.

Engaging an enemy Army from different directions results in different Tactical Map layouts. The player can preview a Tactical Map for the confrontation before confirming and entering the battle.

It is possible for the AI to attack you just as you are issuing an attack order, since the strategic map is played in simultaneous turns. In this case tactical map layout will be different from your intended preview.


Bringing Units from outside the Tactical Map to participate in the battle is called Reinforcement. If there are too many new units that join in a battle from the outside, the Tactical Map will expand in order to fit them, and the total number of Battle Rounds will increase as well.

The ability to reinforce a battle is not unlocked from the very beginning. Instead, every empire needs to research the Organized Warfare technology to unlock this ability.


Once a battle begins, all Armies of both players inside the battlefield will join the fight. The battlefield may even expand as a result, as it scales with the number of Units in the battle. If they have researched the Organized Warfare technology, players can even move additional Armies into the battlefield to reinforce their Army. Units that block a reinforcement tile receive 20 damage per each combat round.

Battles can last over multiple turns and each turn provides 3 combat rounds. During a battle each Unit in the fighting Army can be controlled separately. Using the Terrain of the map, such as high ground, can influence the battle. To win a battle, the player either must kill all the enemy Units on the battlefield or capture/save the defenders flag until the battle ends (maximum 5turns).


To besiege a City move your Army to any tile directly linked to the Main Plaza and attack the City. During a siege, no defender's Army can move in or out of the City. Additionally, Trade Routes are broken, positive statuses are removed, and exploited tiles no longer produce any FIMS. Finally, a Stability malus is applied. As the defender, you can choose between surrendering the City, enduring the siege, or launching a sortie. Enduring a siege is the default choice if you pass the turn while being besieged. However, subject to technologies, traits, and the attacker's Units you'll lose approximately one Militia Unit every turn, and the attacker will progressively construct their Siege Weapons.

As the attacker, you can choose between maintaining the siege, launching an attack, or retreating -- the latter leading to the destruction of any of your Siege Weapons. Maintaining a siege can be very useful. Every turn that the siege continues, the defender's Militia -- the army automatically generated to defend the City -- becomes weaker and loses Units. While undertaking a siege, you can also construct Siege Weapons. These weapons are unlocked through the Organized Warfare technology and can be improved by other later technologies. Siege Weapon Units will either be added directly to the besieging Army or to the reserves if it's full. Siege Weapons can target and destroy City walls. City walls make it harder for an attacker's Armies to get inside the City, since they need to use all their Movement Points to move onto a fortified tile. Additionally, being behind City walls gives a significant Combat Strength bonus to any affected Unit. To win, destroy all the opponent's Units or protect the flag until all battle rounds have been completed.


Combat Statistics[]

Each Unit possesses stats which describe its strength in combat. These stats may be modified further by factors such as veterancy, terrain bonuses or other special bonuses. There are several stats important to combat:

  • Health − Each Unit has 100 points of Health. Each attack it suffers brings its Health down, and when its Health reaches 0, the Unit dies.
  • Combat Strength − This defines the general strength of the Unit (for all types).
  • Range − It defines which tiles around the Unit's position they may attack. For example, a range of 3 means that the Unit may attack all tiles up to three away from its position.
  • Movement − Movement points are consumed when Units are directed to move across terrains. The default consumption can be modified by Roads, Cliffs, Rivers, enemy zone of control, etc. Units can attack even if they have no movement left.
  • Vision Range - Determine how many tiles away a Unit can see, this is subject to line of sight rules.
  • Detection Range

Combat modifiers[]

  • Crossing river: -3Combat Strength
  • High ground: +4Combat Strength
  • Defending: +2Combat Strength
  • Fortification: +6Combat Strength
  • Rear attack: +4Combat Strength
  • Wounded: -1Combat Strength (under 66% health)
  • Seriously wounded: -2Combat Strength (under 33% Health)
  • Friendly unit: +1Combat Strength (each adjacent Unit )
  • Building cover: +4Combat Strength
  • Tree cover: +4Combat Strength (only applies on defense)
  • No line of sight: -4Combat Strength

Unit class modifiers[]

See also: Unit Trait
  • Anti-Cavalry: +8Combat Strength (only against mounted Units)
  • Trample: +4Combat Strength (only against weaker Units)
  • Unstoppable: +4Combat Strength (only against stronger Units)
  • Charge: +3Combat Strength (only against not adjacent Units)
  • Guardian: +3Combat Strength
  • Inner Sea Mastodonte: +11Combat Strength
  • Ramming: +4Combat Strength
  • Piercing: +5Combat Strength
  • Phalanx: +1Combat Strength
  • Tactical Superiority: +3Combat Strength
  • Bastion: +3Combat Strength
  • Mandate of Heaven: +3Combat Strength
  • Anti-Colonialism: +3Combat Strength
  • Poison: -2Land Movement and -1Range
  • Vulnerable in close-combat (Ranged): -5Combat Strength
  • Siege battle (Siege Mastery): +3Combat Strength
  • First round (Champion): +4Combat Strength
  • Enemy District (Ransacker): +4Combat Strength
  • Different religion (Proselyte): +6Combat Strength

Damage and Healing[]

The damage calculation is linear and only based on the Unit’s Combat Strength. The modifiers not impacting the battle itself directly only modifies the Combat Strength of the participating Units. Below is a table that shows the range of damage a Unit will take, depending on how much stronger it is compared to the attacker. Units that have a much higher combat strength will take less than the regular 5-25 damage (this is to prevent weak ranged units like Archers from doing high damage to modern units).

Damage taken depending on Combat Strength differences:

Show/Hide table
Strength Difference Min Damage Max Damage Median Damage
32 to UNKNOWN 5 15 10
16 to 31 5 20 12.5
4 to 15 5 25 15
3 7 25 16
2 9 25 17
1 11 25 18
0 12 28 20
-1 15 30 22.5
-2 19 32 25.5
-3 22 33 27.5
-4 25 35 30
-5 28 39 33.5
-6 30 42 36
-7 34 46 40
-8 37 51 44
-9 40 55 47.5
-10 43 58 50.5
-11 46 62 54
-12 49 66 57.5
-13 53 72 62.5
-14 65 85 75
-15 80 100 90
-16 and below 100 100 100

Unit whose armies are considered to be in supply will heal every turn. This amount is 20 health per turn, but the heal speed can be increased by wonders and Legacy Traits. Certain Units such as Neolithic Tribes will always heal but will heal even faster when in supply. It also possible to pay a Money fee to heal a Unit to full health instantly as long as it is in friendly territory. Upgrading a Unit also come with a full heal free of charge.

Units are in supply when they are in your territory, or an allies, including vassalage.


When an Army is standing on a tile that is valid target, they may use the Ransack army action to begin ransacking the tile. Ransacking takes several turns. Upon finishing, the owner of the ransacking Army will gain a reward, and the pillaged tile will be destroyed.

The number of turns that it takes for an Army to ransack a tile depends on the Combat Strength of the ransacking Army. The higher the Combat Strength, the faster the ransacking will be, and the lower the Combat Strength, the slower it will be. There are several sources that will increase or decrease the Combat Strength of a ransacking Army; these will effectively decrease or increase the number of turns needed to finish the ransack. These sources include:

  • Goths' Legacy Trait Nimble Pillage: +4Combat Strength from ransacking on Army
  • Ransacker Unit Trait: +3Combat Strength when ransacking
  • Army Wages Civic Plundered Wages option: +4Combat Strength from ransacking

If an Army's ransacking is interrupted (for example, if the Army is involved in a battle, if the Army is moved, or if the ransacking action is canceled), the progress towards ransacking will still be saved. As long as an Army (which could be the same or a different Army) continues the ransack before the end of the turn, the ransack will continue where it left off.

Upon finishing the ransack, the owner of the ransacking Army will obtain a reward. If the ransacking Army is composed of Nomad Units, the reward will be Food for the ransacking Army. Otherwise, the reward will be Money. There are several sources that may increase or decrease the reward from ransacking. These sources include:

In addition to the reward, the target of the ransacking will be destroyed. If the target was a District, a Ruins will be left in its place. If an Outpost or Administrative Center is destroyed, its owner will lose their claim on the Territory. Any Districts inside of the Territory will stop producing resources. If a Main Plaza is destroyed, the entire City will be destroyed, removing all Infrastructure and any Population that was inside of it. Normally, a Main Plaza cannot be ransacked; attempting to do so will instead initiate a Siege. However, an Empire is capable of ransacking the tiles that they own, and a Main Plaza can be ransacked by its owner in this way.

There are several potential targets for ransacking. These include Sanctuaries and similar Unit spawn points, Outposts (both establishing and established) and Administrative Centers, and Districts (including Main Plazas). An Empire may ransack any targets inside of neutral Territory, Territory claimed by an Outpost, Territory owned by the ransacking Empire, or Territory owned by an Empire they are at war with. However, attempting to ransack the tiles inside of another Empire's City (including the Cities of a Vassal) will prompt a declaration of war.

Ransacking any distric or the trade post within a territory will destroy all passing trade routes (including your own) and trigger diplomatic grievances.


After a Unit has attacked another there is an option for the Unit attacked to retreat or resolve combat (the players decide how manually or automatically). If you select retreat the Unit attack will take an immediate movement action: to retreat from the combat. When retreating Units have 1.5 their normal movement points. A Unit made up of only Knights retreating will move 9 hexes. It can not take another move action this round.

Additionally the retreating Unit will gain the status 'Retreating'. Retreating lasts two rounds. When a Unit has the status 'Retreating' it can not retreat again. Additionally at the start of a round if a Unit has 'Retreating' it can only use half it's movement points. A Unit made up of only Knights that starts a turn with 'Retreating' can only move 3 hexes.

A Unit that has 'Retreating' can not retreat from combat a second time.

Tactical Map: Rear Attack[]

A rear attack is always a melee attack. It grants a +4 bonus to the melee attack of the Unit attacking from the hex to the rear of the targeted infantry Unit. In a smaller skirmish the ability to recognize when a rear attack can be made can be significant. But the rear attack is best exploited in a larger battle. Because the most consistent way to apply multiple rear attacks is to utilize attacks from different angles/sides. When a melee infantry Unit is attacked from any direction other than it's forward facing 60' it rotates it's front face to the direction it was attacked from. Attacking a melee infantry Unit with either a ranged or melee Unit will cause the attacked Unit to change it's facing towards it's attacker - thus potentially exposing it's rear to an attack. Utilizing ranged attacks to allow an infantry Unit to make a rear attack on the melee Unit targeted is the safest tactic.

Testing: This appears to be a bonus granted only to melee infantry Units when they attack another melee infantry Unit.

Testing: Rear attacks can only be made when attacking a melee Unit with a melee Unit - Cavalry with their ability to ignore zone of control don't have a rear hex. Further testing on late game ranged infantry units is still necessary as they still have a zone of control.

Testing: It's possible rear attacks can only applied on enemy Units which do not have an adjacency bonus of at least 1.

Tactical Map: Flanking[]

Flank: In Humankind a unit is flanked (melee only) when an attacking unit has an allied unit on the opposite side of the attacked unit.

Currently flanking bonuses can be gained when the unit attacked is flanked by a unit divided by a cliff face.

Currently flanking bonuses can be gained when the unit attacked is flanked by a non-melee unit.

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