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This article is about the ship 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 and can only be shipped from the Home City.

In the Definitive Edition, Ironclads are also available to Federal Americans (United States and Mexicans), instead of the Frigate and the Monitor. They can be trained at the Dock once the Industrial Age is reached.


Ironclads are swifter and faster-firing Monitors 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, they are merely average at both roles. Both ships outperform 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 abilities[]

  • Long-range bombardment attack Long-range Bombardment Attack: Fires a single mortar shell to the target from a range of 80 which does 200 (1,000 against buildings, 200 against Docks and Ports, 100 against artillery, 40 against villagers) siege damage in a radius of 6. 60 seconds cooldown.
  • Passive ability block Block (passive; requires the "Hulks" Home City Card for the United States): Gives the Ironclad a 25% chance to block an incoming attack, causing it to deal no damage.


The Ironclad upgrade is only available to the United States and Mexicans.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
Ship's Howitzers Ship's Howitzers 400 wood
400 coin
Upgrades Ironclads to Heavy Ironclads (+25% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Imperial navy Imperial Floating Batteries 1,500 wood
1,500 coin
Upgrades Ironclads to Imperial Floating Batteries (+50% hit points and attack); requires Ship's Howitzers

Civilization differences[]

  • (Definitive Edition) Federal Americans can train Ironclads and upgrade to Heavy and Imperial.
  • Indians and Japanese can get one (and only one) Ironclad by allying with the Portuguese at the Consulate, which provides the Expeditionary Fleet shipment that ships an Ironclad.


Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ships, infantry and buildings close to shore
Weak vs. Artillery especially Culverins, defensive structures
Hit points Armor Plating Armor Plating (+50%)
Byzantine legacy Byzantine Legacy (+15%)
Tar kilns Tar Kilns (+10%)
Attack Carronade Carronade (+25%)
Som ajuran engineers Somali Ajuran Engineers (+20% multiplier vs. Frontier fortification)
Line of Sight Town Watch Town Watch (+3)
Train time Immigrants Immigrants (-10%)
New Mexico Immigration New Mexico Immigration (-10%; United States only)
Cost Mapuche Ad-mapu Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Golden liberty Golden Liberty (-5% coin cost)
Other Expeditionary Fleet Expeditionary Fleet (ships 1 Ironclad; Indians and Japanese only)
Merritocracy Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Oresund customs Öresund Customs (generates 0.55 coin/sec.)
Penalties Coffee Trade Coffee Trade (-10% speed; Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]

Click for a list of Home City Cards related to the Ironclad
Some cards are highlighted with:
Green TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team
Purple Shipment that can be sent an INFINITE number of times
Blue Shipment that arrives fast (5 seconds)


Card Description Age HC level
British Home City 3 (Advanced Dock) Advanced Dock Docks get +100% attack and heal ships 85% faster; warships' train time -33% (also +1 Villager for the Indians)
Age I tech tree aoe3
Spanish Home City 5 (Improved Warships) Improved Warships Warships get +25% hit points and attack (also +2 Uhlans for the Germans; +1 Hindu Villager for the Indians)
Age II tech tree aoe3
Team improved warships TEAM Improved Warships Warships get +10% hit points and attack
Age II tech tree aoe3
British Home City 5 (Naval Gunners) Naval Gunners Warships get +20% attack
Age III tech tree aoe3
British Home City 5 (Offshore Support) Offshore Support Warships get +20% attack, +2 Line of Sight and range (also +2 Uhlans for the Germans)
Age II tech tree aoe3
Indian Home City 5 (European Cannons) European Cannons Warships get +15% attack, +2 Line of Sight and range (also +1 Hindu Villager for the Indians)
Age II tech tree aoe3
Spanish Home City 5 (Admiralty) Admiralty Dock warship technologies cost and research time -60% (also +2 Uhlans for the Germans; +1 Hindu Villager for the Indians)
Age II tech tree aoe3
  • "Advanced Dock" is not available to Africans.
  • "Improved Warships" is not available to the Chinese, Lakota, and United States.
  • "TEAM Improved Warships" is available to the Chinese and Maltese.
  • "Naval Gunners" is available to the British, French, Italians, Maltese, Russians, Swedes, and United States.
  • "Offshore Support" is available to the Aztecs, Germans, Inca, Maltese, and Ottomans.
  • "European Cannons" is not available to Europeans and Native Americans.
  • "Admiralty" is not available to Africans and Native Americans.


Card Description Age
Gran Colombia Home City (Ironclads) 2 Ironclads Ships 2 Ironclads
United States Home City (Rhode Island Militia) Rhode Island Militia Ships 10 Veteran State Militia and 5 Militiamen; Caravels, Galleons/Fluyts, Frigates, and Ironclads get +10% ranged attack per garrisoned State Militia and/or Militiaman (up to +60%); turns all Crossbowmen/Longbowmen/Pikemen into State Militia; State Militia replace Crossbowmen, Longbowmen, Pikemen, and Halberdiers at Barracks and Forts, and can be upgraded to Guard


Card Description Age HC level
Shivajis tactics TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3


Card Description Age HC level
Japanese Home City 3 (Cheaper Unit Upgrades) TEAM Sengoku Unit upgrades cost -20%
Age IV tech tree aoe 3


Card Description Age
Maltese Home City 2 (TEAM Knights of the Round Table) TEAM Knights of the Round Table Ships 1 Hospitaller for each Town Center owned by the player; all units get +2% hit points
Age I tech tree aoe3


Card Description Age
Mexican Home City 2 (TEAM Mariachi) TEAM Mariachi For the next 30 seconds, military buildings work 400% faster and units get +10% speed
Age I tech tree aoe3
Federal card colegio de san nicolas Colegio de San Nicolás Ships 500 XP; units get +4 and buildings (except Walls) get +8 Line of Sight; sees what enemies can see for 20 seconds
Age II tech tree aoe3
Federal card national servant National Servant All units get +10% hit points; Padre healing 200% faster
Imperial Age
Central America Home City (Tehuantepec Route) Tehuantepec Route Sells all Sloops, Steamers, Frigates, Ironclads, and Privateers, returning the resources spent to train them
United States Home City 5 (1 Ironclad INF) 1 Ironclad Ships 1 Ironclad
Rio Grande Home City (1 Ironclad) 1 Ironclad Ships 1 Ironclad
United States Home City 5 (1 Ironclad + 1 Steamer) 1 Ironclad + 1 Steamer Ships 1 Ironclad and 1 Steamer
Texas Home City (Texas Navy) Texas Navy Imperial Men-'o-War and Ironclad upgrades are free


Card Description Age
Portuguese Home City 5 (Naval Infantry) Naval Infantry Caravels can train Crossbowmen, Ordinance Riflemen (if available), Pikemen, and Halberdiers; Monitors and Ironclads can train Musketeers, Cassadores, and Grenadiers (if available); Frigates can train all Barracks units; Battleships can train all Barracks units and Grenadiers; Caravels, Frigates, Monitors, Ironclads, and Battleships now tagged as recruiting ships
Age III tech tree aoe3


Card Description Age HC level
Russian Home City 5 (Cold Water Port) TEAM Cold Water Port Warships cost -15%
Age I tech tree aoe3


Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition) TEAM Spanish Inquisition Ships 1 Inquisitor; all units get +10 Line of Sight
Age II tech tree aoe3
Spanish Home City 5 (Armada) Armada Warships get +20% hit points and +2 Line of Sight; Caravels can now train infantry units; Frigates can now train cavalry and artillery units; Monitors can now train Mortars; Battleships can now train infantry, cavalry and artillery units
Age III tech tree aoe3

United States[]

Card Description Age
United States Home City 5 (1 Ironclad INF) 1 Ironclad Ships 1 Ironclad
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
United States Home City 5 (1 Ironclad + 1 Steamer) 1 Ironclad + 1 Steamer Ships 1 Ironclad and 1 Steamer
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
US Home City 5 (Hulks) Hulks Upgrades Ironclads to Hulks, which get +1 build limit and a 25% chance to block all incoming attacks
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
Federal card corliss steam engine Corliss Steam Engine Iron Horse cost removed and available in any Age; Steamers available in the Commerce Age and Ironclads available in the Fortress Age
Age II tech tree aoe3
Federal card indiana mobilization Indiana Mobilization Ships 1 Carbine Cavalry for each shipment sent so far this game including this one; unit train time (except Heavy Cannons), technology research time, and age-up time -10%; costs 250 food, 250 wood
Age III tech tree aoe3
Federal card annapolis naval academy Annapolis Naval Academy Ships 1 Sloop with 6 Minutemen; Sloops, Steamers, Frigates, and Ironclads get +10% ranged attack per garrisoned Minutemen (6 max.)
Age III tech tree aoe3
Federal card connecticut shipwrights Connecticut Shipwrights Artillery train time -25%, building build time -35%, and warships' train time -50%
Imperial Age
Spanish Home City 2 (2 Heavy Cannons) Bushnell's Sapper Corps Ships 3 Heavy Cannons; Ironclad build limit +1
Imperial Age
  • "Corliss Steam Engine" is available upon selecting the Rhode Island Federal State.
  • "Indiana Mobilization" is available upon selecting the Indiana Federal State.
  • "Annapolis Naval Academy" is available upon selecting the Maryland Federal State.
  • "Connecticut Shipwrights" and "Bushnell's Sapper Corpsis" are available upon selecting the Connecticut Federal State.


3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs[]

  • Ironclads cost 500 wood, 500 coin, give 100 XP when trained or killed, and have a train limit of 3.
  • The Ironclad cannot be trained, but it can be sent as a shipment from the Home City by any revolting European civilization.

Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Although it is not listed in the patch notes, with update 23511, Ironclads cost 500 wood, 600 coin, give 110 XP when trained or killed, and have a train limit of 1.
  • Although it is not listed in the patch notes, since update 23511, the Long-range Bombardment Attack does 100 siege damage against artillery.
  • Since hotfix 24632, the Long-range Bombardment Attack does 200 siege damage against Docks and Ports and 40 against villagers.
  • With the introduction of the United States, it has also become trainable from Docks by them and later by the Mexicans.
  • 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.


Military units in Age of Empires III
Common/shared units
3Icon48px Age of Empires IIIExplorer aoe3de Explorer · Militiaman de Militiaman · Crossbow aoe3de Crossbowman · Pikeman aoe3de Pikeman · Halberdier de Halberdier · Musketeer icon aoe3de Musketeer · Skirmisher aoe3de Skirmisher · Grenadier de Grenadier · Hussar aoe3de Hussar · Dragoon aoe3de Dragoon · Cavalry archer portrait aoe3de updated Cavalry Archer · Falconet aoe3de Falconet · Culverin icon aoe3de Culverin · Mortar de Mortar · Heavy cannon de Heavy Cannon · Caravel aoe3de Caravel · Galleon aoe3de Galleon · Frigate aoe3de Frigate · Monitor aoe3de Monitor
3WCIcon48px The WarChiefsWarrior de Warrior · Horse art de Horse Artillery · Petard aoe3de Petard · Spy aoe3de portrait updated Spy · Native canoe aoe3de Canoe · War canoe aoe3de War Canoe · Ironclad aoe3de Ironclad
Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition*Captured mortar aoe3de Captured Mortar · Sloop aoe3de Sloop · Steamer aoe3de Steamer · Battleship portrait Battleship
Age3DE Icon The African RoyalsLevied spearman portrait aoe3de Levied Spearman · Levied bowman portrait aoe3de Levied Bowman · Levied gunner portrait aoe3de Levied Gunner · Javelin rider aoe3de Javelin Rider · Desert warrior portrait aoe3de Desert Warrior · Desert archer portrait aoe3de Desert Archer · Desert raider portrait aoe3de Desert Raider · Battle canoe portrait aoe3de Battle Canoe · Cannon boat portrait aoe3de Cannon Boat
Unique units
Flag BritishDE BritishLongbow aoe3de Longbowman · Ranger portrait Ranger · Rocket de Rocket
Flag DutchDE DutchRuyter de Ruyter · Fluyt aoe3de Fluyt
Flag FrenchDE FrenchCuirassier de Cuirassier
Flag GermanDE GermansGermans landwehr portrait Landwehr · Doppel de Doppelsoldner · Uhlan portrait aoe3de updated Uhlan · War wagon de War Wagon
Flag OttomanDE OttomansOttomans bashibozuk portrait Bashibozuk · Janissary aoe3de Janissary · Ottomans azap portrait Azap · Nizam icon Nizam Fusilier · Ottomans deli portrait Deli · Ottomans abus gunner portrait Abus Gunner · Ottomans humbaraci portrait Humbaraci · Great bombard de Great Bombard · Spy ottoman portrait Muhbir · Spahi de Sipahi · Galley aoe3de Galley
Flag PortugueseDE PortugueseOrdinance rifleman portrait Ordinance Rifleman · Cacador de Cassador · Organ aoe3de Organ Gun
Flag RussianDE RussiansStrelet de Strelet · Russians rekrut portrait aoe3de Rekrut · Russians poruchik portrait aoe3de Poruchik · Cossack de Cossack · Oprichink de Oprichnik
Flag SpanishDE SpanishRandelero de Rodelero · Lancer portrait aoe3de updated Lancer
Flag AztecDE AztecsAztecChief AoE3DE Aztec War Chief · Eagle scout aoe3de Eagle Scout · Coyote runner aoe3de Coyote Runner · Otontin slinger Otontin Slinger · Puma spearman de Puma Spearman · Arrow knight de Arrow Knight · Eagle runner knight de Eagle Runner Knight · Jaguar prowl knight de Jaguar Prowl Knight · Warrior priest de Warrior Priest · Skull knight aoe3de Skull Knight · Tlaloc aoe3de Tlaloc Canoe
Flag IroquoisDE HaudenosauneeIro warchief aoe3de Haudenosaunee War Chief · Aenna de Aenna · Tomahawk de Tomahawk · Forest prowler de Forest Prowler · Kanya de Kanya Horseman · Musket rider de Musket Rider · Ram aoe3de Ram · Iro mantlet de Mantlet · Light cannon de Light Cannon
Flag SiouxDE LakotaSx warchief aoe3de Lakota War Chief · Cetan de Cetan Bowman · Club warrior de Club Warrior · Wakina de Wakina Rifle · Axe rider de Axe Rider · Bow rider de Bow Rider · Rifle rider de Rifle Rider · Tashunke de Tashunke Prowler · Tokala soldier portrait updated Tokala Soldier
Flag ChineseDE ChineseShaolin master aoe3de Shaolin Master · Shaolin monk aoe3de Disciple · Sentry cn jp de Sentry · Irregular cn jp de Irregular · Chu ko nu aoe3de Chu Ko Nu · Qiang pikeman de Qiang Pikeman · Changdao de Changdao Swordsman · Arquebusier de Arquebusier · Steppe rider de Steppe Rider · Keshik de Keshik · Iron flail de Iron Flail · Meteor hammer de Meteor Hammer · Flamethrower de Flamethrower · Hand mortar de Hand Mortar · Flying crow de Flying Crow · Fire ship aoe3de Fire Junk · War junk aoe3de War Junk · Fuchuan aoe3de Fuchuan
Flag IndianDE IndiansBrahminDE Brahmin · Sentry IN de Sentry · Irregular IN de Irregular · Rajput de Rajput · Sepoy de Sepoy · Gurkha de Gurkha · Urumi de Urumi Swordsman · Sowar de Sowar · Zamburak mansabdar de Zamburak · Mahout de Mahout Lancer · Howdah aoe3de Howdah · Flail elephant de Flail Elephant · Siege elephant de Siege Elephant
Flag JapaneseDE JapaneseIkkoIkkiDE Sohei Archer · Sentry cn jp de Sentry · Irregular cn jp de Irregular · Yumi archer de Yumi Archer · Ashigaru de Ashigaru Musketeer · Samurai aoe3de Samurai · Naginata de Naginata Rider · Yabusame de Yabusame · Flaming arrow aoe3de Flaming Arrow · Morutaru de Morutaru · Daimyo kiyomasa aoe3de Daimyo · Tokugawa aoe3de Shogun Tokugawa · Yamabushi aoe3de Yamabushi · Shinobi aoe3de Shinobi · Fune aoe3de Fune · Atakabune aoe3de Atakebune · Tekkousen aoe3de Tekkousen
Flag IncanDE IncaInca-war-chief-icon-aoe3 Inca War Chief · Chasqui-icon-aoe3 Chasqui · Jungle-bowman-icon-aoe3 Jungle Bowman · Plumed-spearman-icon-aoe3 Plumed Spearman · Chimu-runner-icon-aoe3 Chimu Runner · DE Bolas Warrior Icon Bolas Warrior · Huaraca-icon-aoe3 Huaraca · Inca Maceman Icon Maceman · Chincha raft aoe3de Chincha Raft
Flag SwedishDE SwedesCarolean Carolean · Hakkapelit-icon-aoe3 Hakkapelit · Leather-cannon-icon-aoe3 Leather Cannon
Flag American act3 aoe3de United StatesUs general aoe3de General · Us marine aoe3de Minuteman · State militia aoe3de State Militia · Regular aoe3de Regular · Sharpshooter icon aoe3 Sharpshooter · Carbine cavalry aoe3de Carbine Cavalry · Gatlin de Gatling Gun · Quaker gun icon Quaker Gun · Gunslinger aoe3de Gunslinger · Cowboy aoe3de Cowboy · Owlhoot aoe3de Owlhoot
Flag MexicanDE MexicansGeneral mx portrait General · Padre aoe3de portrait Padre · Insurgente portrait Insurgente · Soldado portrait Soldado · Emboscador portrait Salteador · Chinaco portrait Chinaco · Desperado portrait Desperado · Vaquero portrait Cuatrero · Bandido portrait Bandido
Flag Ethiopian aoe3de EthiopiansRas portrait aoe3de Ras · Oromo warrior portrait aoe3de Oromo Warrior · Gascenya portrait aoe3de Gascenya · Shotel warrior aoe3de Shotel Warrior · Neftenya portrait aoe3de Neftenya · Sebastopol mortar portrait aoe3de Sebastopol Mortar · War dhow portrait aoe3de War Dhow
Flag Hausa HausaEmir aoe3de portrait Emir · Fulani Fulani Archer · Raider aoe3de portrait Raider · Lifidi knight aoe3de portrait Lifidi Knight · Maigadi aoe3de portrait Maigadi · Xebec portrait aoe3de Xebec
Flag ItalianDE ItaliansItalians pavisier portrait Pavisier · Italians bersagliere portrait Bersagliere · Italians papal guard portrait Papal Guard · Italians schiavone portrait Schiavone · Italians papal lancer portrait Papal Lancer · Italians papal zouave portrait Papal Zouave · Italians papal bombard portrait Papal Bombard · Italians leonardo tank portrait Leonardo's Tank · Galleass portrait Galleass
Flag MalteseDE MalteseAlain icon aoe3de Grand Master · Hospitaller portrait Hospitaller · Maltese sentinel portrait Sentinel · Hoop thrower aoe3de Fire Thrower · Order galley portrait Order Galley · SPC Fire ship aoe3de Fire Ship
Revolution Revolution
Barbarystates rev barbary warrior portrait aoe3de updated Barbary Warrior · Bolivar icon aoe3de Bolivar · Californio portrait Californio · Cetbang aoe3de Cetbang Cannon · Oruc Reis Icon Corsair Captain · Berber arquebusier aoe3de Corsair Marksman · Cruzob avenger portrait Cruzob Avenger · Cruzob infantry portrait Cruzob Infantry · Comanchero icon aoe3de Cuerudo · Rev france eclaireur portrait aoe3de Eclaireur · Filibuster aoe3de Filibuster · Gatlin de Gatling Gun · Comanchero icon aoe3de Gaucho · Comanchero icon aoe3de Jagunço · Java spearman aoe3de Javanese Spearman · Comanchero icon aoe3de Llanero · Militia Officer portrait Militia Officer · Comanchero icon aoe3de Morochuco · Mounted Granadero Portrait Mounted Granadero · Colonial militia aoe3de Revolutionary · Us volunteer icon Revolutionary Sharpshooter · San martin portrait San Martin · Covered wagon aoe3de Trek Wagon