Attack bonuses Edit
- Archers ×2.5
- Buildings ×2.5 (for Shennong Fire Lance only)
- Ships ×2.5
- Area damage (for Shennong Fire Lance only)
God bonuses and upgrades Edit
Nü Wa reduces wood and gold cost by 10%.
- Medium Castle Soldiers, Heavy Castle Soldiers, and Champion Castle Soldiers all increase attack by 10%, LOS by 1 and hit points by 10%, 15%, and 20% respectively.
- Levy Castle Soldiers and Conscript Castle Soldiers reduce training time by 20%.
- Copper Mail, Bronze Mail, and Iron Mail decrease hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Copper Shields, Bronze Shields, and Iron Shields decrease pierce vulnerability by 10%.
- Burning Pitch increases crush attack by 3.
- Draft Horses increases movement speed by 20%.
- Engineers increases attack by 25% and attack against walls by 35%.
- Jade Rabbit (Chang'e) increases movement speed by 10%.
- Dragon Scales (Ao Kuang) increases hack armor by 10%.
- Celestial Palace (Xi Wangmu) reduces training time by 20%.
- Golden Peaches (Xi Wangmu) increases HP by 20%.
Note that Fire Lances do not get bonuses from Armory weapons technologies, but it gets attack bonus from the Engineers technology.
The Fire Lance functions similarly to the Atlantean Destroyer, as it is a human unit that is effective against buildings. It is not as heavily armored, but it moves slightly faster, and can attack from a decent range (though not one as impressive as the Greek Gastraphetes). It is the only anti-building unit the Chinese have access in the Heroic Age, and is not as good at taking fortifications down on its own, due to its lower attack stat. As compensation, it costs less resources and occupies less population, so the Fire Lance is easier to mass and can be quite effective in groups.
Fire Lances are also the only true anti-archer unit the Chinese have access to, as they deal +50% bonus damage to them. Against anything with a melee attack however, they are highly vulnerable. Fire Lances have a minimum range and infantry or cavalry units will easily push them back. Therefore, like siege weapons, they must be accompanied by units that can counter those. As it is also considered a human unit, it is vulnerable to the instant kill abilities of some myth units.
The good pierce attack also make Fire Lances quite effective against infantry. With Chang'e's Jade Rabbit technology and Draft Horses Fire Lances get a total speed of 5.2 m/s. With that speed they can outrun almost every foot unit of the game which make them quite useful for raiding and may be combined together with cavalry.
To counter Fire Lance, one should not use anti-archer units such as Peltasts, Slingers, and Turmae as the Fire Lance is not considered an Archer; it is a Siege Weapon. One should use fast units or units with bonus damage against Siege Weapons, like Raiding Cavalry and Spearmen that deal +100% damage, Prodromoi and Katapeltes that deal +150% damage, or even Villagers that deal +100% bonus damage.
Tale of The Dragon Edit
- Initially, Fire Lances have 80 hit points, 8 pierce damage, 10 crush damage, and 150% damage against archers. With patch 2.7, they have 65 hit points, 4 pierce damage, 12 crush damage, 250% damage against archers, and Burning Pitch adds +3 crush damage.
- Initially, Shennong's Fire Lances have a splash area of 3 and 400% bonus damage vs buildings. With patch 2.7, this is reduced to an area of 2 and 250% bonus damage.
- Shennong's Fire Lances and Sitting Tigers are actually different units from those trained by Nü Wa or Fu Xi (due the area damage ability). This is evident in the Scenario Editor where two units named Fire Lance can be placed, and if this is done, double-clicking units of one type in-game will not select units of the other type.
- The Fire Lance was first introduced to the public in the He Bo teaser behind some Chu Ko Nu and Halberdiers.
- Its appearance is extremely anachronistic, as gunpowder wasn't invented in the Antiquity, but in the Middle Ages.
- The unit's anti-archer role might have been inspired by the Fire Lances unit of Rise of Nations, another well-known RTS.
- The Fire Lance cannot be garrisoned inside buildings.
“The fire lance was perhaps the first employment of naphtha among singular infantrymen on a large scale. Prior to this naphtha was an agent used primarily for incendiary bombs and siege warfare.
The fire lance is essentially a primitive hand-cannon attached to a long spear which ejected a projectile and a jet of fire for several feet. Originally designed to shoot small poisoned darts or other projectile points from a bamboo tube, they were one-shot weapons issued to give spearmen an edge in hand-to-hand combat against other spearmen. However, as technology improved the cannon became its own effective weapon, and the lance disappeared: the gun was born.”—In-game help section