"[...] their abode is the Fire; whenever they desire to go forth from it they shall be brought back into it [...]"

— Qur'an, 32:20

Fire Vessel: Vital statistics

Unit type

Light ship

Built/trained at


Damage and weapon type



Production cost

  • Pop cost: 1
  • Resource cost: 60Coin; 30Log
  • Ramp cost: 1Coin


  • None
  • Poor LOS

Unit move and creation speed

  • Unit movement speed: fast
  • Creation speed: fast

Unit HP


Technological requirements


  • Darkage
  • Com1 Pecunia


  • Operatio

Upgrade of Fire Barque

Factions available


A very fast and destructive unit, the Fire Vessel will leave any unwary opponents severely burned. These units, packed with all matter of incendiary materials and in some cases explosives will give even the mightiest galleys and carracks reasons for fear despite the powerful armament of their guns.

However, as awesome as the destructive power of so small a unit may be, it still has many drawbacks. Firstly, it must touch its target. Any admiral who beats a hasty retreat before your units, fast as they may be, can reach, won't be affected. Secondly, fire ships are fast enough to outpace their target - namely heavy galleys and sailing vessels - but it won't perform as well as it normally would, against light ships, whose better rate of fire (especially with brigantines) will put it down immediately. Lastly, it is an anti-ship weapon: it will not work against units in port, although it can harass your opponent into keeping his ships bottled up in port. Fire Vessels are a must-have in port defence - do not leave a Castle by the water without Fire Vessels garrisoned in a nearby dockyard.

In contrast with other factions which are forced to use Fire Vessels, the Byzantines have an even better unit: the Cheirosiphon Vessel (cheirosiphon meaning "hand-siphon" in Greek). This unit, although with a limited range, can set units and structure around it ablaze without endangering itself, and has by far the best attack in the game.

Because ships in the Middle Ages were built primarily of combustible materials (wood, cloth, hemp, and pitch), fire was a devastating weapon against them. Ancient mariners devised several ways to set enemy ships on fire. The simplest was to fire flaming arrows or ballista bolts on an enemy ship. Next most useful were flaming grenades, something like modern Molotov cocktails, filled with a combustible liquid like oil. Most intricate were flaming firepots suspended from the bow of a ship by a pole. When the pole was positioned over the deck of an enemy ship, the pot was dropped, shattering it and spread burning liquid over the deck.

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