"He prepared ships so that, if it were necessary to fight, the Romans would be ready."
— John Cantacuzenus, 14th century Byzantine general and author
Unique medium naval unit available to the Byzantines; substantially stronger than Dromond but cannot be upgraded to more powerful War Galley later on.
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Don't be fooled by appearances — although the Dromonas looks very similar to a Dromond, it is in fact the original prototype for the Dromond for most factions, especially in the Christian west. Embodying the best techniques of late Roman engineering and military science, the Dromonas is a powerful medium-strength unit capable of posing a menace on the high seas to any foe who dares to mock the might of Rome and her servants. In most ages until the Imperial Era, the Dromonas is a menace on the seas if used in tandem with the Naphta Vessel — use the Naphta Vessels to burn down the enemy's capital ships, then use the Dromonas to protect them from the lighter ships of the foe. Try not to use them against shore fortifications or even enemy artillery however — they are just as lethal as any of your foes' heavy vessels in turning your Dromonas fleet into toothpicks.
- Taking Enemy Fire — The increased accuracy of a Dromonas' missiles and speed make her good for raiding and defending against fireships. On the other hand, her low cost makes the Dromonas ideal as a decoy unit to keep your heavier ships intact.
- Burning Desires — Escort your Dromonas fleets with Naphta Vessels to wipe out stronger vessels, leaving the Dromonas to take out the enemy's light shipping.
The dromonas was a later development of the liburna, a light type of vessel used by the Romans ever since the days of the Caesars. Contrary to more ancient models, a dromonas did not ram enemies, but instead used a wooden beak or spar to break enemy oars, thus disabling the ship and making it easier to board. The term "dromonas" was derived from the Greek suffix "drom-" (lit: run), meaning a "runner" or, in later Italian parlance, a "corsair", capable of good speeds at sea, while being sturdy enough to run down smaller prey. This term found its way into other languages, becoming "dromon" or "dromond" to represent large ships build in the Byzantine style, as well as those warships which were meant to replicate the performance of a Greek dromonas.