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Tech Support
AI & Tools
Patch Notes

The Vanilla Enhanced Mod (Vem) remains close to vanilla while providing more challenging gameplay decisions, where everything has a useful and interesting purpose. Most vanilla balance adjustments in Firaxis patches originated here.



  • Opportunities happen throughout history to enhance or reform your empire.
  • Better strategic resource placement and unit usage.
  • More challenging combat with rewards for combined*arms forces.
  • Ships are more important.
  • Harder and more rewarding barbarian attacks.
  • Balanced the various wonders, specialists, buildings, and units.
  • AIs spend gold more intelligently and compete for citystates.
  • AIs conduct diplomacy and war more intelligently.
  • AIs start with fewer early economic bonuses, and get stronger in the late game.


  • A.I. leaders have more distinct personalities.
  • Capturing city*states gives an instant bonus equal to 50 turns of alliance.
  • Citystates provide a finite supply of food/culture split among the empire’s cities, instead of an unlimited amount.
  • Automatic difficulty adjustment built into Open Borders and Research Agreements.


  • Each policy tree has multiple paths for different circumstances, instead of a “best path.”
  • Commerce and Autocracy trees are much more valuable.
  • 6 policy trees required for Utopia, and policy costs lowered slightly to compensate. Everyone can get a few more policies.
  • Combat with the Honor tree is more challenging, but more economically rewarding.


  • Coastal cities are more valuable.
  • Villages (trading posts) are more useful, especially with the Sailing tech.
  • Natural wonders are more useful and placed more intelligently.
  • Rivers yield gold only when improved.
  • Units move slower in Desert and Snow. Several promotions offset this.
  • Technological buffs to improvements are more spread out.
  • Some citystates appear on mainland on the Continents Plus and Pangaea Plus maps.


  • Doubled all health, damage, and healing. This should allow more fine-tune control of damage. Details. 3 hp/turn healing in unowned territory (was 2).
  • Conquest Victory requires owning all capitals and 30% of the world’s land (was 0%). Details
  • -25% combat penalty when using more strategic resources than available (was -50). (This is mainly to help the AI when we pillage all their resources.)
  • Embarked units all now have a 15 defense rating (similar to vanilla Songhai’s units).
  • Unit supply cap changed to: 10 + numCities + population/8 (was 10 + 2*numCities).
  • Similar to Civ 4, choosing promotions restores 20% health. Details
  • Removed the 100% instant heal promotion
  • The “no promotion saving” advanced setup option defaults to disabled.
  • When a city is captured the probability of a building surviving is:
    • 0%: courthouse, defense buildings, factory, power plants (all unchanged).
    • 50%: library (was 0), gold buildings (were 0), happiness buildings (were 100).
    • 100%: all other buildings.
  • Added Vanguard Class. Only units with medic promotions available. Bonus with friendly units adjacent. 25% defence bonus. Lower maintanence cost and combat strength than contemporary units.
    • Scout
    • Levy
    • Skirmisher
    • Light Infantry
    • Paratroopers
  • Warriors
    Obsolete at Iron Working.
  • Chariot archer class
    Can move after attacking, like all other mounted units.
  • Archers and Mounted Archers
    Have -50% attack strength against Ships.
  • Crossbows
    -1 non-unique Crossbows.
  • Polearms
    Spearmen, Immortals, Pikemen, and Landsknecht have a bonus on defense (25%), and a lower bonus against mounted units (50%, was 100%)
  • Siege
    Weaker against land units (-50%, bonus versus city 50%). Do not require iron.
  • Swordsmen and Horsemen
    Higher base strength (12). +10% vs Cities for Swordsmen and Longswordsmen.
  • Lancers
    Lower cost and defense penalty, with a bonus on the attack.
  • Anti-Air and Anti-Tank Guns
    Lower cost and increased defense.
  • Bombers and Stealth Bombers
    Lower damage (40, 65 respectively)
  • Nuclear Weapons
    Cannot be purchased.
  • Upgrade Paths
    • Scouts → Levy → Skirmisher → Light Infantry → Airborne
    • Spearmen → Pikemen → Musketmen → Riflemen → …
    • Trireme → Caravel → Frigate → Destroyer
    • Ship of the Line → Ironclad → Battleship → Missile Cruiser
    • Fighter → Jet Fighter
    • Bomber → Stealth Bomber

Unit Training and Maintenance

  • Unit Attributes
    Unit attributes which are not a Unique Unit special ability now apply only to the unit they appear on.
    For example, Artillery upgraded to Rocket Artillery won’t require set-up to fire. This is an innate attribute of the weapons they use (towed artillery pieces) that does not carry over when upgraded to a self-propelled chassis. What does carry over is training (player-chosen promotions like accuracy, logistics, etc) or Unique Unit special abilities.
    UU bonuses are untouched because civilization balance is partially designed around those bonuses persisting when upgraded.
  • Purchasing
    The purchase cost efficiency of units is now slightly higher than most tier 1 buildings (like Barracks).
  • Maintenance
    Unit maintenance is now specific to each unit type, and depends on both the cost and strength of the unit (or ranged strength, whichever is higher). Air, naval, vanguard, and worker units have discounts on maintenance. Settlers and great people cost no maintenance.
  • Upgrades
    Higher upgrade costs. In vanilla it’s rather easy to buy an army and keep it around the whole game, without much reason to actually build units (much less structures like the Forge and Arsenal). The goal is to shift things slightly so it’s desirable to upgrade the most experienced units and replace the rest through traditional training practices.


  • Naval vessels take less damage from other ships, and have a strength only slightly less than their land siege counterparts.
  • Pre-Industrial ships have a range of one. Barbarian ships start with the Range promotion.
  • Ship of the Line
    A Renaissance battleship that requires Iron and is available for all leaders. (England has the Steam Mill instead.) 25/25 Strength/Ranged, moves 4
  • Caravel
    Reduced the sight range bonus.
  • Frigate
    Increased sight range, lower cost and damage (15/15). Does not require Iron
  • Ironclad
    Stronger (40/30), faster (5), uses Iron, and may move into Ocean tiles.
  • Destroyer
    Lower sight range and movement speed (7)
  • Battleship
    Higher defense (80) and movement speed (6)
  • Submarines and Nuclear Subs
    Combat bonus vs Capital Ships, and can acquire the Survivalism promotions (improved defense and healing).
  • Carrier
    Higher defense (70)


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