Nau (Civ5)

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Game InfoEdit

Unique unit of the Portuguese civilization. Replaces the Caravel.

  • Common abilities:
    • Extra Sight (1)
    • Withdraw Before Melee (Unit may withdraw when faced with melee attack)
  • Special abilities:
    • Exotic Cargo: May Sell Exotic Goods when adjacent to a foreign tile to gain gold and XP based on distance from capital, but only once.
  • Special traits:
    • Extra movement (1)
  • Actions:
    • Sell Exotic Goods: This unit will sell its cargo, earning 20xGold5 Gold and XP. More will be earned for selling farther from your capital. This may only be done once with this unit.


The Nau is a naval melee unit that replaces the Caravel and is skilled at exploration. When it is in a tile next to land owned by another civilization or City-State you are at peace with, it may perform a one-time trade mission (Sell Exotic Goods) to earn gold and XP. The farther the land is from your own capital, the greater the bonus, so it is best to use on distant players. Use this unit to explore the map and uncover the locations of other players.

With Mercantilism (from the Commerce policy tree) and Big Ben, one is able to earn gold by buying a Nau, performing Sell Exotic Goods in a nearby foreign city, and deleting it in home territory. The profit is at least 70 20xGold5 Gold, though it varies depending on the distance between the player's capital and the Nau's destination.

Historical InfoEdit

As the Portuguese extended their explorations and trading ventures further along the African coast and to the Far East, they needed a larger, sturdier ship capable of long voyages. The Nau, often referred to as a "carrack" or "Indiaman" by the English, evolved from the square-rigged cog widely used for commerce in the late Middle Ages. The design was perfected by Portuguese merchants in the late 1400s; the Nau came to be a three- or four-deck ocean-going vessel with three or four masts, with a broad beam stable in the high seas of the Atlantic, and capable of carrying provisions and cargo for a lengthy trip. It had a rounded stern and a high forecastle incorporated into the bow, the first ocean-going vessel with such. Its large storage holds meant that it could traverse great distances between landfalls, making it a mainstay in the Portuguese merchant fleet. The Nau would be supplanted by the Galleon on the ocean trade routes by the 1600s.


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