|This article is about the technology in Age of Empires II. For the ship in Age of Empires III, see Ironclad (Age of Empires III).|
Ironclad is a technology in Age of Empires II: The Forgotten that is unique to the Teutons and can be researched at the Castle. Once researched, it increases the melee armor of siege weapons by +4. Players must keep in mind that while rams' and Siege Towers' displayed melee armor value is 0, it is actually -3 and -2, respectively, so researching Ironclad gives rams a total melee armor of 1 and Siege Towers a melee armor of 2.
Siege engines are normally very weak against melee units due to a number of factors. First, all but Rams have a minimum range, and Rams deal very little damage to anything that isn't a building or a siege unit. Secondly, siege units are among the slowest in the game, and can't separate themselves even from infantry if they get up close. Because of these disadvantages even a Villager can deal with single siege units. With Ironclad researched, siege units can even survive an ambush or if a couple of melee units break through the lines and get close to them. The benefits from Ironclad are higher than full Blacksmith armor upgrades against melee damage and cancel out the bonus damage from the upgrades found in the same building.
To a lesser extent, Ironclad can help rams survive against a few ranged units that also deals melee damage on top of their normal pierce damage, like Chu Ko Nu, Kipchak, and Scorpion. Even though these units deal only 0 melee damage, against rams with their negative (-3) armor, it can make each projectile that hits the ram deals an additional 3 melee damage instead.
The player must keep in mind that the bonus armor by no means lets their siege units act out on their own. It gives to the player some time to react if they get targeted and protects them from single units, but they should still be backed up by an army, preferably on the back of it.
Siege weapons with Ironclad researched in conjunction with Teutonic infantry and cavalry can make up for the theme of "Slow but armored and unstoppable force" and be one of the most dangerous forces to face off.
The African Kingdoms
- In the beta, this technology gives +5 melee armor.