Civilization V Customisation Wiki

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
JFD ItalyCaioDuilio
Unitflag caioduilio
Caio Duilio Class
Italy (Umberto I)
  • Requires twice as much Coal Coal (2 vs 1).
  • -50% Production Production cost (125 vs 250).
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength when fighting against other Ironclads.
Canhoneira Brazil (Pedro I)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength versus Land Units and Cities.
  • -25% Strength Combat Strength versus Naval Units.
  • Requires Iron Iron instead of Coal Coal.
  • Possesses a Ranged Attack.
Company Steamer Sarawak (James Brooke)
  • Along with abilities of the Ironclad, can improve resources on adjacent coastal tiles, yields Gold Gold upon doing so in your own territory and grants Influence Influence if done in city state territory.
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
El Plata-Class Argentina (Domingo Sarmiento)
  • Does not require Coal.
  • +1 Moves Movement (4 vs 3).
  • Embarked Land Units that start on the same tile as this unit have doubled Moves Movement on Coast.
Hydra Greece (Eleftherios Venizelos)
  • Gains +5 Strength Combat Strength and +1 Moves Movement for every prior upgrade.
  • Heals for free when starting near Greek cities, former Greek cities, or Atolls.
Kotetsu Icon
Kotetsu Flag wiki
Ezo (Enomoto Takeaki)
  • 20% lower Strength Combat Strength
  • 40% lower Production Production cost
  • Not slowed in Ocean tiles
  • Begins with Supply and Boarding Party I
  • Does not require Coal
Hawaii (Lili'uokalani)
  • Can enter rival territory.
  • Begins with bonus Movement based on the city's CultureIcon Culture.
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
Panserfregat Denmark (Frederick VII)
  • Cheaper and weaker than the Ironclad, but available earlier.
  • Yields +2 CultureIcon Culture whenever it starts its turn in owned territory.
  • Upgrading Units to the Panserfregat provides Goldenage Golden Age Points.
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
JFD PortugalSurveyYacht
Survey Yacht Portugal (Carlos I)
  • +1 Sight.
  • -4 Strength Combat Strength (41 vs 45).
  • May be upgraded with Recon-based promotions.
  • Double Moves Movement in Ocean instad of Coastal tiles.
  • Does not require Coal Coal to be constructed.
  • May work any unimproved Sea Resource to generate a burst of Science Science.
Yangmu Korea (Gojong)
  • -5 Strength Combat Strength (40 vs 45).
  • Has no Strength Combat Strength bonus against Cities.
  • Spawns with each Cargo Ship trained.
  • May attack twice when stationed on or adjacent to a Traderoute Trade Route.


Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Hilda Garde Lindblum (Cid Fabool IX)
  • +384% Production Production Cost (960 vs. 250)
  • +1 Moves Movement Speed (4 vs. 3)
  • +11% Strength Combat Strength (50 vs. 45)
  • Requires 1 Coal Coal and 1 Iron Iron
  • Hovering Unit: Can move freely on land and sea tiles.
  • Can travel through any terrain without movement penalty.
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