Naval Melee unit |
The Korean unique unit. (Replaces Caravel)
Quick - Regular - Epic - Marathon
The turtle ship is the Korean unique unit that replaces the caravel. It is a heavily-armored naval unit of the Renaissance Era that is extremely difficult to kill. However Turtle Ships cannot enter ocean hexes.
Since it's slower than the Caravel it replaces, and can't enter Ocean tiles, this unit is best used to defend your coastlines. Due to its high Combat and Ranged Strength, it can easily fight off enemy Caravels and even Frigates (which have a Combat Strength of 30 and a Ranged Strength of 15).
The Geobukseon (거북선, "Turtle Ship") was a type of large warship belonging to the Panokseon class in Korea that was used intermittently by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty from the early 15th century up until the 19th century.
The most famous use of Turtle ships were those led by Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin, accounting for numerous victories against Japanese naval forces that supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi's attempts to conquer Korea from 1592-1598, cutting off terrestrial invasion forces' naval supply route from Japan and buying Korea enough time to amount a counterattack. Admiral Yi is credited with upgrading pre-existing plans for this ship and building them just in time before the surprise invasion, and with these he carved an immaculate victory record. But there were never enough Turtle Ships to become a ship-of-the-line on their own at the time, and the main naval force still was composed of Panokseons equipped with long range cannons. Turtle Ships are thus sometimes exaggerated for their contributions to the war effort, as the Turtle ships often worked to support Panokseon or draw fire away from them. Supporting this, the Battle at Myeong-Ryang was won with no Turtle Ship but with 13 Panokseon, capably defeated on their own 133 Japanese ships, which with rear ranks' transport ships containing terrestiral forces, numbered over 300.
Yi's version of turtle ships were heavily equipped for ranged combat: with at least five different types of cannon from those firing grapeshots to man-sized wooden bolts. Their most distinguishable feature was a dragon-shaped head at the bow (front) that could launch cannon fire or flames from the mouth. Each ship was also equipped with a fully covered deck that was shielded to deflect cannon fire (thus the turtle's back shape), and with iron spikes (sometimes concealed with hay) to discourage enemy men from attempting to board the ship for melee, which was the main naval tactics of the time around the world and for which the Japanese naval forces centered and were seasoned for. However, along with a flat bottom hull advantageous for steering on the spot and a specially resilient pattern of wooden planks and wooden nails used to build the ship, these designs allowed the Turtle Ships to strike deep (or crash!) into Japanese ships (because Japanese ships weren't sturdy enough to carry enough cannons to sink ships), and were strongly imprinted into the invadier's minds. Names like "mekurabune (盲船, "blind ship")" were given, or in a popular Japanese play in the later Edo period as the "bokkaisen (沐海潛, "sea-bathing diver")" described as a demonic ship which General Katou Kiyomasa (of the contemporary invasion force general) has to defeat.