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This article is about the naval vessel in Age of Empires III. For the technology in Age of Empires II, see Ironclad (Age of Empires II).

Ironclad. Advanced armored warship.
—In-game description

The Ironclad is a military ship in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs that is unique to revolting European civilizations which can send them as Home City cards (as well as the United States in the Definitive Edition).


Ironclads are a faster and swifter firing version of a Monitor with diminished range, line of sight and hit points (versus a fully upgraded Monitor). They are a mixture between the Frigate and the Monitor; as a result it is merely average at both roles. Both ships out perform the Ironclad in their specific roles. Its reduced range puts it within firing range of Culverins, Light Cannons, and Hand Mortars along a shoreline, along with the usual Mortars and Morutaru artillery units. The Ironclad, like the Monitor, will be helpless in naval warfare unless supported by other ships as even a few Caravels or Privateers can severely damage the vessel.

Though it is fast for what it is, the Ironclad is still much slower than the majority of other warships and will have a hard time catching fleeing ships. This weakness can easily be exploited by an enemy who constantly rotates cheaper, lower hit point vessels back and forth from Docks (for purposes of repairs) while fighting the ironclad and its support fleet.

Special ability[]

Long-range bombardment attack.png Long-range Bombardment Attack: Fires a single mortar shell to the target from a range of 80 which does 200 (1000 against buildings) siege damage in a radius of 6. 60 seconds cooldown.

Civilization differences[]

Further statistics[]

As Ironclads are unique to revolutionary European civilizations, only technologies that their base civilization have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ships, infantry and buildings close to shore
Weak vs. Artillery especially Culverins, defensive structures
Hit points Armor Plating.png Armor Plating (+50%)
Attack Carronade.png Carronade (+25%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)

Home City Cards[]

As Ironclads are unique to revolutionary European civilizations and the United States, only their base civilization's cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables (for the revolting player themselves, non-TEAM cards will only be applied if they are sent before revolting):


The WarChiefs[]

  • The Ironclad cannot be trained, but it can be sent as a shipment from the Home City by any revolting European civilization.

Definitive Edition[]

  • With the introduction of the United States, it has also become trainable from Docks by them.
  • It can be sent as a shipment from the Home City by some revolting civilizations.



Around the middle of the nineteenth century, warships armored with iron plates emerged as the dominant naval vessel during conflicts across the globe. In the U.S. Civil War, the Monitor class of steam-powered warships was developed.

In March 1862, the legendary first battle of true Ironclads occurred, pitting the U.S.-built Monitor against the Confederacy's Merrimack. After a four-hour struggle, the battle ended inconclusively with the Merrimack withdrawing to deeper water. Even though neither ship emerged victorious, this day heralded the end of the age of wooden warships.