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"Then ten of the twenty cannon hidden in pits behind the line of bushes belched thunder and fire ... Where there had been a division of highly disciplined charging cavalry there was now a charnel house of twisted corpses and mutilated men."

— David Gemmell, Stormrider

In game[edit]

Culuering ico.png
Culverin — Vital statistics

Light gunpowder artillery unit.

  • Strong versus infantry.
  • Weak versus siege weapons, melee units.
Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrades to
Bombardment Fortification
100 14 40 4s
Basilica tap4 ico.png
Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Wealth.jpg: 60;
Timber: 60;
Knowledge: 60
Wealth.jpg: 15;
Timber: 5


None 2–16

Poland Venice England France Turks Wales.jpg Mongolia Papal States Saracens China Russians Burgundy Holy Roman Empire Spain Hungary Moors Portugal Sicily Serbians Scotland Armenia Norse

Overall strategy[edit]

As artillery, the Culverin performs more or less the same as a Springald, being used primarily to blast apart large concentrations of units. Woe betide the player who tries to use archers against Culverins! however, bear in mind that there are many counters to the culverin: lowly Trebuchets fire more slowly but have much better range, making them useful in destroying your hard-earned money (or metal?) worth of Culverins. Equally, like all siege weapons, Culverins are vulnerable to a melee foe which is lucky to come near enough: a Culverin may have lower minimum range compared to a Springald, but it is still vulnerable to cavalry taking advantage of its blind spots.

Units aside, Towers and other buildings can be attacked with Culverins, however this is not advisable because the Culverin isn't that efficient in taking them apart. For Serbia and Mongolia, Culverins are the only gunpowder artillery available — they will have to make do with a combination of Trebuchets and Culverins in the Imperial Era in order to get by.

The Turks, living in between Asia, Europe and the Middle East, have learnt the secret of gunpowder from Asia and gunsmithery from the Europeans, and have created a superior artillery piece. This piece, the Ocak Cannon, is cheaper and easier to build, meaning that once this upgrade is purchased, Turkish armies can be easily supplied with light artillery very quickly, making the Turks the eminent gunpowder faction among all Muslim factions.

Unit summary[edit]

  • Field Guns — As light-moving artillery, Culverins are highly effective against massed infantry.
  • Rush Crush — Culverins however are vulnerable against point-blank attacks, so watch out for enemy melee cavalry and keep them well-defended at all times.
  • I Don't Like To Slay Alone — Heavy siege weapons will destroy your Culverins, so be wary. You might want to bring your own Trebuchets and/or Bombards to deal with them.
  • Master Gunners — Portuguese Culverins have +3 LOS, +1 max range and an attack bonus versus large targets, such as ships and war elephants.
  • Ocak Cannon — The Turks can upgrade Culverins to a superior artillery piece, known as the Ocak Cannon. This light artillery is cheaper and faster to build, thus meaning that the Turks can achieve light artillery superiority fairly quickly.


Until August 2021, there was a bug (resulting from a fault in the Extended Edition veresion of Rise of Nations) which prevented Culverins from having attack bonuses versus their intended targets. This issue has since been fixed.


Gunpowder first emerged in China possibly around the Tang period, eventually reaching Europe in the 13th century with the oldest European account of a formula being a letter from Francis Bacon to Pope Clement IV in 1267CE. A German cleric, Albertus Magnus described a formula of four parts saltpetre to one part charcoal and one part sulphur as early as 1275CE.

As an instrument of war, its first application was as handheld grenades, but eventually it was discovered that if loaded into the bottom of a vessel of considerable robustness, it could be used to launch a projectile outwards through its mouth. These were the first guns to be created and as mediaeval knowledge of chemistry and engineering advanced, so did the size of the projectiles and the weapons that fired them.

Subsequently, the mediaeval cannon developed into a thing of many parts. Iron strips were placed round a wooden cylinder and welded together Two layers of iron hoops were then forced over the strips to hold them in place and seal any gaps. The wood was then burnt out. Whilst this method of manufacture allowed for larger weapons than the first rudimentary castings, they were still almost as dangerous to their operators as to the enemy, as they often blew up.