Rivers may appear amidst all kinds of terrain, and tend to make narrow bends. The speed penalty and the increased damage units receive while crossing them makes rivers, and their crossing, a matter of serious strategic consideration.

Rivers are a strategic terrain feature found on some maps. They cannot be built upon and have two negative effects on troops:

  • Units crossing a river move at half the speed.
  • Units in a river take twice as much damage.

Unlike Ocean, Docks cannot be built on Rivers, and even if connected to Ocean, no ships can navigate through Rivers, therefore, no Naval warfare can take place.

Use rivers to your advantage by building Cities and Forts in a way that an enemy attacking it has to cross the river or stand in it. This will give your fortifications or units more time to deal with the attackers and make them much more vulnerable.

In turn, when attacking an enemy city, line up your army in a way that the enemies attempting to defend the city will have to cross the river to get to your siege weapons.

Remember, a city that is surrounded by rivers may provide strategic elements that should be considered. Enemy units may not want to stand on the river, especially when there is a Redoubt or some other fortification in place. However, it can also be a double-edged sword; for instance, if a large battle ensues close to a river, the defending troops might be more easily brought into it, nullifying the river's defensive advantage and even becoming a crippling disadvantage.


  • If your units have to cross a river, be sure to check the area of nearby enemy troops and quickly traverse through the river.
  • If there is a battle occuring in or nearby a river, it is possible to attack the enemy when they are crossing or are occupied.

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