"Warships must be not too broad of a form so as to be hindered in movement; yet at the same time they must not be so weak so as to be damaged by ramming by enemy vessels."

Leo VI the Wise, Tactica Ch XIX.4

Lanternas: Vital statistics

Unit type

Super heavy ship

Built/trained at


Damage and weapon type

Brutal; explosive shell



Production cost

  • Pop cost: 3
  • Resource cost: 40 Ore; 40Log; 1Book
  • Ramp cost: 2 Ore; 2Log


  • Extreme
  • Medium LOS

Unit move and creation speed

  • Unit movement speed: medium
  • Creation speed: rather slow

Unit HP

Rather high

Technological requirements

Factions available

All, except:
Japan China England Norse Portugal
French Scotland Burgyndy Serbians Spain

Although only marginally better as regards to armour, speed and hitpoints to the cog, the strength of the lantern galley ingame is in fact its armament. With its complement of long-bore, forward-facing guns known as sakers, the lantern galley has the strongest non-siege, non-suicide attack available to many ships. A fleet of lantern galleys bearing superguns is as fearsome as the cost required to maintain them — only nations with a strong degree of centralisation of power may arm and deploy such weapons of mass destruction, due to the need for a professional rower corps (and possibly impressment when rowers become costly). Lantern galleys are the favourite units of Sicilians and Andalusians, because of the lack of political penalty incurred in furnishing their super-light corsairs.

Bear in mind that while lantern galleys may have powerful guns and are long enough to outstrip war cogs, they have one enemy. That enemy is the fire ship, and so a fleet of war galleys must always have barque-type vessels on its flanks to cover them. It is also to be noted that Carracks, while outranged by a lantern galley's firepower, have the benefit of enhanced armour and toughness as well as more accurate multiple guns, thus making the odds between carracks and lantern galleys somewhat more evenly matched. In such cases, the best technique for a lantern galley would be for it to fire its guns, and then move to make way for another rank of lantern galleys to open fire. Nevertheless, the firepower and of lantern galleys means that they are excellent at taking out castles — a sufficiently huge fleet will easily reduce a castle to rubble.

Historically, although cogs were relatively mobile, the ongoing post-mediaeval arms race demanded more guns and more powder to load them, outstripping the capabilities of cogs. The lantern galley was thus a stopgap version for many nations until larger vessels such as frigates or galleons could be discovered. Even so, the galley's ability to move independent of the wind meant that it was guaranteed a very long shelf life, and even the introduction of larger and more spacious vessels such as carracks (which proved their worth over Indian and Egyptian galleys at Diu) didn't prevent the galley from distinguishing themselves at Lepanto in 1571 or at Gangut in the Baltic Sea in 1714. Indeed, the last battle fought where galleys were brought out to face the foe was at the Siege of Copenhagen during the Napoleonic Wars.

Unit summaryEdit

  • Super-heavy ship with very, very powerful attack and range but poor rate of fire, best siege ship in the game, but can serve in a naval engagement if properly escorted.
  • Glass Cannon — Although a Lanternas may have the best range and most destructive firepower as regards to heavy ships and is fast, it suffers from poor constitution and attack speed issues. Deploy your Lanternas in waves, so that one group can cover the other, especially if facing carracks.
  • Fire Hazard — As with ships like cogs and roundships, the Lanternas is vulnerable to fire ships.
  • On Stranger Tides — Not all factions build Lanternas galleys: Asians build War Junks and South Sea Barques, while European factions along the North Sea and Bay of Biscay instead build carracks, which are slower in movement but have better hitpoints. The difference between them and the lanternas however is rather marginal.
  • Starboard to Port — Portugal's carracks are comparable with lantern galleys, but exceed the latter as regards to speed and performance, and do not require Absolutism.