- Steam Engine
- Can Bombard Sea Units
The Ironclad is an improvement on the Ship-of-the-line. A wooden vessel attached with iron plates for defense, it combines the power of sails with a steam engine. It can Bombard naval units, as well as Attack and Ranged Attack.
Ships-of-the-line dominated the seas in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. This nearly three-decade reign was brought to an end, as wooden warships reinforced with iron armor began to prove themselves in naval combat the world over. These ships, called ironclads, were first employed by the French in the Crimean War, leading to a naval armor and armaments race between the French and the British. Both the Union and the Confederacy employed ironclads in the U.S. Civil War. The Monitor and the Merrimack were undoubtedly the most famous ironclads, fighting the first engagement between ironclad ships in history.
When, early in the Civil War, Union forces abandoned the Norfolk Navy Yard at Portsmouth in Virginia they scuttled the powerful steam frigate Merrimack. Confederate forces raised it, converted it to an ironclad and renamed it the Virginia. On March 8th, 1862, the Virginia, commanded by Captain Franklin Buchanan attacked a Union blockading squadron at Hampton Roads sinking or scattering the entire fleet of wooden ships. The Virginia sustained trivial damage in the conflict. The next day, however, the Union ironclad Monitor, built by John Ericsson and commanded by Lieutenant John L. Worden, challenged the Virginia, now commanded by Lieutenant Catesby Jones, to a duel. Although the four-hour conflict resulted in a draw, it revolutionized naval warfare. Ironclads ruled the seas until the development of the battleship in the 1890s.