Artillery units are the class of military units with long attack range. Up until the Progressive Era, they are usually the last unit unlocked in an age and have the lowest attack, defense, and speed out of all same-age units, but the longest attacking range.
Their low attack makes them rather ineffective against light and fast units from the age, and only moderately effective against heavy units. They attack most effectively against short-range units, and the AI will generally favor attacking ranged units to remove them from the field as quickly as possible.
Having low defense makes them extremely vulnerable to attack, being nearly defeated in just one hit. Their only passive defense bonus is against heavy units, who will usually be defeated before they can even cross the battlefield to attack them. But because a unit's attack power drops as it takes damage, artillery may be unable to effectively deal damage even if it should survive an attack. To aid this problem somewhat, artillery units begin to get a defense bonus against ranged attacks starting from the Late Middle Ages and onward.
Finally, their low speed means that they will always be the last units to move in a given round of battle. This can allow other units to move into more favorable positions before they have a chance to attack, and also makes it very difficult for artillery to escape from or avoid being attacked.
All that being said, artillery has the significant advantage of being able to attack enemy units from the very first turn, requiring very little movement, if any, to be in attacking range, and being safe from all but other artillery units for at least the first turn. Because of their range and subsequent ability to take out or at least injure many units before they're ever in danger of being attacked, artillery units are very popular and relatively easy to use. An army of 8 artillery units is commonly used when attacking neighbors and even against opponents on the world map.
When facing an army that contains artillery, it is wise to counter them with either your own artillery units, or a combination of light and fast units. Ranged unit is ineffective as they often are defeated before they are able to attack.
Once a player begins using and facing the Progressive Era's (and beyond) units, battles change significantly, with a much greater emphasis on terrain and unit bonuses. Due to their low stats, artillery should primarily be used to combat only units they have a bonus against, as they will be very ineffective against other units from this point forward.
*In update of version 0.17(19.9.2012), Terrain gives a scaling bonus with unit strength.
|BA||Stone Thrower|| 3 2|
|IA||Ballista|| 4 3|
|EMA||Catapult|| 6 3|
|HMA||Trebuchet|| 9 4|
|LMA||Cannon|| 13 4|
|CA||Field Gun|| 14 6|
|+10||+18||Field Gun Camp|
|INA||Breech Loader|| 18 9|
|+15||+22||Breech Loader Factory|
|PE||Rapid Fire Cannon|| 23 12|
|ME||Mechanized Artillery|| 32 35|
|Mechanized Artillery Factory|
|PME||Rocket Artillery|| 45 35|
|Rocket Artillery Factory|
|CE||Missile Artillery|| 50 70|
|TE||Microwave Blaster|| 70 85|
|Microwave Blaster Factory|
|FE||Rail Gun|| 160 140|
|Rail Gun Range|
|AF||Plasma Artillery|| 180 140|
|OF||Turturret|| 170 160|
|VF||Rocket Troop|| 300 200|
Deployed Units: 2-3 Artillery Units, 3-4 Light Units, 2-3 Heavy Units.
If there is fast unit, position all of the artillery units close to each other. Then use all of the heavy and light units to position them exactly around the artillery units, so that there is no space left for attacking the artillery units. Then, once the fast units are destroyed, send the light units out in front followed by the heavy units. Use the light units to destroy ranged/artillery units that are left. Once all of those are defeated, let the light units fall back behind the heavy units and don't use them again. Then use the heavy units to clear out the light units and the artillery units to clear out the heavy units.
Deployed Units: 2-3 Artillery Units, 3-4 Light Units, 2-3 Heavy Units, 0-2 Ranged Units.
Deploy the artillery units in position about a quarter of the map from your initial position to get effective attack range. Ranged units deploy 1/2 way across map. Both melee classes stay in their advantaged terrain in front of both ranged classes to get defense bonus. The main damage output would be contributed by both short range class and artillery class, and both melee classes are served as defense to distract enemies attacks and clear the on coming melee units. Same as above, the cavalry class has the highest priority to be eliminated. Followed by ranged classes as they can ignore the melee units to attack your ranged units.
Deployed Units: 8 Artillery
It may seems risky but still not impossible. It is only suitable for late ages artillery units as they have longest attack range and the enemies without fast units or mounted archers. It is effective against popular military combination as there are ranged units and both melee classes. Artillery units can stay in the initial position to have chance to launch attacks but it is recommended to move to hills to get attack bonus if hills is not far away from the initial position. Ranged units class has the highest priority to be eliminated, followed by artillery units class then light units class then heavy units class.
Deployed Units: 6-7 Artillery Units, 1-2 Fast Units, 1-2 Light Units
This strategy is extremely effective, especially if the non-artillery unit is the strongest unit of your army. The fast unit/light unit(s) are probably going to die in this one, but it is better to waste 1 light unit than it is to waste lots of artillery units. It is the job of the fast/light units to draw the opposing army away from the artillery. This can be especially effective if your light unit has the ability Stealth, allowing it to hide. This will force not only melee units to chase it but ranged units as well, because they have to attack from an adjacent field. Lead the opponent on a wild goose chase with your 1-2 diversion units while the artillery pound them repeatedly. The addition of "diversion units" allows this army to eliminate opponents with fast units, unlike the Pure Artillery strategy mentioned above. You may lose some artillery, but casualties will be lighter than Pure Artillery.