The Caravel is a Naval melee unit available in the Renaissance Era. It is the first naval unit able to cross deep ocean.


The caravel was a small, seagoing vessel used in the 15th century to explore the world. Originally created at the order of Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, other nations were quick to spot the caravel's qualities and created their own copies of the useful craft. Usually of some 20 to 30 yards in length and sporting two or three lateen-rigged masts, caravels were light and shallow-drafted, making them perfect for exploration of unknown coasts and rivers, boldly going where bigger craft feared to sail. They were also remarkably seaworthy ships and could survive the worst that the Atlantic could throw at them. Two of Christopher Columbus's three vessels - the Pinta and the Niña - were caravels (the larger Santa María was a carrack).


In the early Renaissance Era naval and orientation technology finally develop enough to allow vessels to enter open ocean. The Caravel is the first naval unit in the game capable of doing that. Depending entirely on sails, this vessel is much more stable and compact and is ideal for exploration, thanks to its larger sight radius (which, unfortunately, doesn't carry over when the unit is upgraded). The Caravel ushers in the era of geographic discoveries, allowing you to finally explore and make contact with the rest of the world.

Caravels are primarily meant for exploration, not battle; they're armed with short-range cannons which make them a melee naval unit, slightly more powerful than a Galleass. Their maneuverability allows them to retreat before enemies attacking in melee. With its large sight radius, its relatively high strength, and a special promotion that allows it to evade enemy melee attacks, the Caravel is perfectly suited for exploring and revealing as much of the map as possible while staying out of danger.

Finally, you can use Caravels to attack and take cities (although there is another Renaissance Era unit - the Privateer - that is better suited for those purposes). Still, remember that its combat strength is usually not enough for major battles, especially against later Renaissance Era ships.

Unique Unit Replacements

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Unitflag baghlah
Oman (Saif bin Sultan)
  • Begins with 1 Experience for every 3 Gold produced by the empire (up to 30)
  • Has additional Movement and Sight
Unitflag dhow
Kilwa (Ali ibn al-Hassan)
  • Unlocked at Compass
  • +1 Movement
  • Heals 15 HP per turn outside friendly territory
  • -16% production cost
  • -4 Combat Strength
Goelette Acadia (Beausoleil)
  • Costs less to produce
  • Combat bonus against weakend units
  • Can construct Fishing Boats
Unitflag kadatpadai
The Chola (Raja Raja I)
  • Receives a combat bonus when adjacent to Barbarians
Poland (Casimir IV)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength in the Coast
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength vs. embarked Land Units
  • Chance of producing an additional Kaper upon defeating an embarked Land Unit
Portugal (Maria I)
  • Can perform a one-time Trade Mission to earn Gold and Experience
  • +1 Movement
Turtle Ship
Korea (Sejong)
  • +80% Strength
  • Cannot enter deep ocean
  • No extra sight or melee withdrawl

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