The Ironclad is a Naval Melee unit available in the Industrial Era.


Although visionaries had been dreaming of machine-powered armored vessels as far back as Leonardo da Vinci, ironclads first saw widespread use in the American Civil War in the mid 19th century. The first true ironclad battle was in the American Civil War in 1862, between the Union's Monitor and the Confederacy's Virginia (also known as the "Merrimac"). The battle raged on for four hours, with both vessels' cannon hammering away at each other to little effect, and the fight pretty much ended in a draw. However, the effect of the battle on the world was profound. In a single morning of inconclusive fighting these ponderous and clumsy vessels - able to move against the wind and mostly impervious to the cannon of the day - made every world's navy obsolete.


Ironclads are the first steam-powered warships available and the heralds of the new era of engine-based naval warfare. The Ironclad is purely a combat vessel: relying on very thick armor and powerful short-range cannons, they are harder to kill than any sailing vessel and their combat strength is much higher than that of sailing ships. These qualities prove especially useful when assaulting coastal cities of the era, whose defenses simply cannot deal with the Ironclad's thick armor.

Their main drawback is their slower speed in ocean tiles when compared to the Renaissance Era ships. Use them primarily for in-shore defense and to assault cities.

Unique Unit Replacements

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Unitflag caioduilio
Caio Duilio Class
Italy (Mussolini)
  • Starts with the Coastal Raider I promotion
Unitflag defender
New Zealand (Seddon)
  • Ignores enemy zones of control
  • +25% Combat bonus when within 3 tiles of a friendly city
  • +1 Sight
  • No bonus vs cities
Unitflag monitor
America (Lincoln)
  • May be built as a Melee or Ranged (28 Strength) unit
    • Melee: Starts with the Medic and Supply promotions
    • Ranged: May indirect fire and has +100% Combat bonus vs cities, but must set up to attack
  • +14% Production cost
Unitflag steampacket
Steam Packet
The Manx (Illiam Dhone)
  • +20% Production cost
  • Does not require Coal
  • May carry Aircraft
  • May Sell Exotic Goods for Gold and Experience
  • No combat bonus vs cities

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