Idea for new War Canoe unit

With the introduction of the Dromon, American civilizations are the only civs in the game without access to any long-ranged siege ships to bombard the shoreline. The War Canoe would be an answer to this, while distinguishing itself from the Cannon Galleon and Dromon.

It fires a flurry of five arrows, with the main projectile dealing only 3 base damage and each secondary one dealing only 1. Because of the low base attack, it is ineffective against other ships, but can be decent at raiding shorelines and taking out villagers. However, like the two existing siege ships, its main specialty is against buildings. The main arrow deals +100 damage vs buildings, and the secondary arrows deal +3 vs standard buildings each. The difference between the bonus damages is that the secondary arrow damage is not reduced by Masonry and Architecture, each granting 3 bonus damage resistance, while the main arrow damage is. This means that War Canoes will always deal a guaranteed 106 extra damage against buildings, which is considerably less than Cannon Galleons and Dromons, but not inconsiderable. To offset its lesser bonus damage, it would be cheaper and also fire considerably faster.

The War Canoe would have a base range of 11, same as a Castle with Bracer, but its attack and range can be upgraded by Fletching and Chemistry like Galleys and NOT Siege Engineers, meaning it ends with a total of 14 range and 7 attack, 1 less range than an Elite Cannon Galleon. However, it does not have any bonus damage against ships, so it is rather poor against them. It doesn’t have any minimum range, unlike the other two siege ships, but if it has to engage that close, it will be destroyed anyway, so such a trait isn’t that useful.

A special thing about the War Canoe projectiles is that they are always flaming, even without Chemistry, which can intimidate your opponents and make them think you have Chemistry when you don’t.

The American civs are currently abysmal on water without any means to safely bombard the shoreline, and while current civs like the Aztecs would still be terrible, they wouldn’t be lacking any basic options that the other civs have anymore.


I don’t know much about precolumbian siegecraft, did they have catapults ? Some ship-mounted catapult, a design that would be possible with their tech even if not done historically, may be more credible than some arrows magically causing 100 damage points (why these arrows and not the ones from regular archers or ballista bolts from ships, on top of fire arrows being in practice quite garbage IRL ?)

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I went with arrows because I wanted to do something distinct. In my Oceania concept, I had already come up with a ship that throws a single stone, and ones that launch multiple stones are just the Dromon.

Would something like that do? Although not Aztec, at least Nahuatl.


How is this thing supposed to work ? Raise the log then drop it to throw some rocks ?

All the rocks, in a continuous barrage.

The range would then be dreadful. I see it used as city defence, a grapeshot just behind the gates, but not a siege weapon.

Maybe these “arrows” are actually incendiary javelins? Several pre-Columbian powerhouses like Aztecs also featured elite warriors that launched feathered javelins of similar type(just like their Mayan"forefathers"):joy::joy::joy:

The problem with incendiary arrows is : every arrow and even scorpion bolt already looks incendiary when you research chemistry. Not with heated shot though.

Even then, flaming arrows (that are quite garbage IRL anyway) wouldn’t do anything to stone structures. And on top of that, one of the least bad way of making flaming arrows work was using gunpowder, which meso civs didn’t have at the time.

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TBH I’m okay with American civs having poor navies and even think it’s good to preserve some key weaknesses (historically and gameplay-wise) rather than filling every gap in the design space with some compensatory unit or bonus. If water was several times more popular and a key contributor to a civ’s overall win rate, this would be more necessary. CGs/Dromons are nice to have, but are usually not a necessity even on water maps in the way that trebs are on land.

I definitely wouldn’t complain if they added graphics for such a unit, but I would consider it best implemented as a sort of easter-egg unit like the Xolotl Warrior, mainly for scenarios, or perhaps available under an unusual set of conditions in standard games. But I’d much prefer a more realistic large war canoe that acted similarly to a galleon, longship, or caravel rather than a dubious dromon alternative that brings back “Obsidian Arrows” for water. Could work for civs that had a notable naval presence - especially Incas, Chimus, & Polynesians.

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My own idea for Oceania civs involved the Drua being a Cannon Galleon replacement, as that’s a distinct type of ship used by Pacific islanders. However, if only the Polynesians were present and not other Oceania civs, then they could get the War Canoe.