"Let the hull be of medium thinness, that the ship be capable of agility in movement and at the same time be solid and robust to repulse the foe."

Leo VI the Wise, Tactica Ch XIX.4

Dromon: Vital statistics

Unit type

Light ship

Built/trained at


Damage and weapon type

Low; arrow



Production cost

  • Pop cost: 1
  • Resource cost: 30 timber; 30 food
  • Ramp cost: 1 food


  • Low weapon range
  • Good LOS

Unit move and creation speed

  • Unit movement speed: fast
  • Creation speed: fast

Unit HP


Technological requirements

Factions available


The Dromond is the starting ship available to all players. As the only ship available for "line duty" in the early game, dromonds are useful for one thing, and that is to destroy enemy civilian shipping, as well as attack enemy land units from the sea and perform scout duties (although some players may prefer to use fire rafts to the same effect). The only threat to dromonds would be Viking-style longships, which are heavy unique unit ships which are accessible in the Dark Age to some factions, but a fleet of dromonds and fire ships should work well to keep them at bay.

Dromonds are also relatively cheap enough to be used to act as floating "walls" to protect heavier and slower vessels, such as carracks and tower ships, from fire ship attacks - not only are their missiles more accurate, but they are also capable of outrunning them, given that fire ships must close in before they can use their suicide attack to sink their quarry. They, however, are not meant to be used against heavy ships themselves. In the mid-term game, factions will have had access to heavy ships such as the roundship, which can make short work of dromonds and so you should upgrade your dromonds to barques once the resources are available.

The term "dromond" was an Anglo-French derivation of the word "dromon", coming from the Greek word "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. Contrary to more ancient models, dromonds 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. Dromon-type craft were popular to the communities that maintained contact with Byzantium (and were based off the more advanced Byzantine dromonas), although longships, based off a design used by Nordic tribes, were more popular throughout the North Sea and Baltic regions.

Unit summaryEdit

  • Basic light ship, best used for taking out unarmed targets and patrol duty.
  • Taking Enemy Fire — The increased accuracy of a dromond's missiles and speed make them good for raiding and defending against fire ships. On the other hand, their low cost makes them ideal as decoys for fire ships.
  • A Warm Welcome — As dromonds are weak against heavy ships, complement your Dark Age fleet with fire ships to keep enemy longboats and roundships at bay.
  • Planned Obsolescence — Upgrade your dromonds to barques once resources are available.
  • Dromonas— The Byzantines do not build Dromonds, but instead maintain the Dromonas which is in fact the original prototype; the Dromond itself being a weaker and less efficient counterfeit.