Heavy Galley

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Weak galleys will be joined together,
False enemies the strongest on the rampart.

—Nostradamus, Quatrains (Century IX)

In game

Galley ph ico.png
Heavy Galley — Vital statistics
Heavy Galley

Unique Venetian siege ship, capable outranging even Castle Age castles with no fortification upgrades on them, but can also be used against enemy ships and infantry.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrades to
  • High Mediaeval Era [2];
  • Level 1: Caravan Train Commerce
180 16 18 3.6s


Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Timber: 80;
Ore.png: 80
Ore.png: 2
2 Estaleiro.png 3 2–16
  • Moderate attack bonus versus buildings.
  • Poor turn speed.


Overall strategy

This siege unit is capable of launching bolts at fortifications, easily outranging even Castle Age castles with no fortification upgrades on them, and in a pinch can easily decimate enemy ships and infantry. However, because they are mighty complicated units, they do take some time to construct at home, and their movement speed leaves a great deal to be questioned. Do not train these units on their own, as tempting as it may seem. Build a fleet of Barques and War Galleys, as well as fire vessels, to escort them around - the hefty power of the Heavy Galley will allow it to cover your light ship fleet if facing enemy heavy vessels, while the speed of the Barques will allow you to intercept enemy fire vessels with ease before they cause too much damage.

Unit summary

  • Biggers Isn't Always Better — Although very powerful, Heavy Galleys are difficult to build and are very slow, compared to Roundships.
  • Familiarity Breeds Contempt — Do not leave Heavy Galleys unattended — accompany them with other vessels to protect them since their only real enemy is other warships.


Throughout its lifetime until its decline, Venice's fortunes were both made and broken at sea. Naval superiority helped it weather the attacks of other nations, most notably the Turks, Byzantines and Saracens; perversely, a lack of naval power resulted in capitulation to Napoleon in 1798. The chief workhorse of Venetian power was the galley, and these came in different sizes, all utilising littoral currents and cutting-edge technology to create a vessel that was highly versatile and suitable for Mediterranean sailing. For almost the whole of the Mediaeval era, Venetian shipping would dominate the eastern Mediterranean and help the Venetians found colonies in Italy, Greece and the Balkans.