The Cannon is a Siege unit available in the Renaissance Era.


A cannon is a big tubular gun that uses gunpowder or other explosive to send a projectile a long distance at a high rate of speed originally invented in China in approximately the 12th century AD. The Mongols were early adaptors of the cannon, using them to great effect in China and Korea. It's likely that the Mongols introduced cannon to the Islamic world, and the Europeans learned of it from the Muslims. The earliest cannon were huge, unwieldy dangerous affairs that often exploded when fired, making them as big a menace to their firers as to their targets. But by the Renaissance the quality of metal casting had advanced enough to create smaller and far more reliable guns that could be pulled into battle by teams of horses or mounted aboard ships.

King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden revolutionized the use of field artillery, employing large numbers of smaller and lighter pieces that overwhelmed slower and heavier enemy guns. He also pioneered the use of canister shot against infantry, for which foot soldiers everywhere probably cursed his name.


The Cannon is an important mid-game siege unit, the first one to use gunpowder as propellant. Their power is significant, and their cannonballs are sufficiently strong to punch through the strongest medieval-era city defenses with ease. Although its technological principles are radically different from earlier siege units, Cannons are still heavy and bulky to move, still need to prepare before firing, and they prove unreliable against moving targets, so they suffer from all negative sides of their earlier predecessors.

Use Cannons primarily in sieges, or as Ranged weapons from well-defended fortified positions.

Unique Unit Replacements

Icon Unit Civilization Abilites
Unitflag farsakhcannon
Farsakh Cannon
The Mughals (Akbar)
  • -57% Combat Strength (8 vs 14)
  • +40% Ranged Strength (28 vs 20)
  • Can only move when at full health
  • Starts with the Cover I promotion
  • +62% Production cost (300 vs 185)
Unitflag garrisonartillery
Garrison Artillery
Canada (Lester B. Pearson)
  • Can build Forts and repair Improvements
  • Receives defensive terrain bonuses
  • No combat bonus vs Cities
  • Starts with the On Guard for Thee! promotion
    • Deals double damage inside a Fort or Citadel
Unitflag greatbombard
Great Bombard
The Turks (Mehmed II)
  • Available "earlier"
  • -20% Combat Strength (11 vs 14)
  • +28% Production cost (237 vs 185)
  • +1 Range (3 vs 2)
  • +350% Combat bonus vs Cities (vs 200%)
Unitflag parrottrifle
Parrott Rifle
America (Lincoln)
  • +100% Combat bonus vs Cities (vs 200%)
  • +50% Combat bonus vs Land units
  • +10% Defense for adjacent units when in a Fort or Citadel
Toopchi icon
Toopchi The Afsharids (Nader Shah)
  • Does not need to set up to attack
  • Defensive penalty
  • Starts with the Bombardment I promotion
  • Can acquire Air unit promotions

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