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I've noticed a recurring problem whenever I play Civ V. I usually send out one or two Scouts to explore and upon researching Optics, I find that these Scouts don't receive the Embarkment promotion so they can't cross sea tiles. However, every Scout that I create after researching Optics has Embarkment.

My work-around thus far has been just deleting the Scouts I have out to be replaced by new Scouts. Is there something I'm doing wrong such that my Scouts aren't receiving the Embarkment promotion or is this "by design"?

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In order for a unit created before Optics is researched to receive the embarkation promotion, it needs to first return to its home territory (doesn't have to be a city; entering your own domain should suffice) or stations itself in one of your allies' city-states. Once there, it can then embark/disembark wherever it wants to.

Interestingly I can't seem to find this in Civpedia, but as Rilgon has mentioned in the comments, it is mentioned by your advisor when you research Optics.

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    I can confirm this from personal experience. When you research Optics, your advisers even tell you as much. :) Aug 22, 2012 at 0:38
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    Note that an allied city-state counts as your domain in regards to unit upgrades, for those units that tend to get lost in the weeds. Aug 22, 2012 at 19:40

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