Steam Cannon
Tactical SteamCannon
Race Dwarves
Req. Town Buildings Miners' Guild
Construction Cost Icon Production.png 180
Upkeep Cost Icon Gold.png 4
Icon Food.png1
Unit Properties
# of figures Icon SingleFigureUnit.png 1
Moves Icon Movement Ground1
Ranged Attack per figure Icon Ranged Boulder.png 12
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 2
Resistance Icon Resist.png 9
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 12
Unit Abilities

Ability Quiver Ranged Attack x10

Ability Mountaineer Mountaineer

The Steam Cannon is a type of Normal Unit. This unit is unique to the Dwarf race, and may only be created at a Dwarf town, for the Construction Cost of Icon Production.png 180. The town must already contain a Miners' Guild for this to be possible.

The Steam Cannon is an upgraded version of the Catapult, though there are several differences between the two units. It has a strong Ranged Attack that is effective against virtually any target - even well-armored ones - but won't cause too much damage overall. Sadly, it is much more expensive than a Catapult and lacks the Catapult's Long Range and Wall Crusher abilities, but makes up for this by being available much earlier than any Catapult, and by being highly-Resistant to magic. Like other Dwarf units, the Steam Cannon can also cross all mountainous terrain as easily as other units cross Grasslands, but it struggles when crossing Grasslands.

Steam Cannons require an Upkeep Cost of Icon Gold.png 4 and Icon Food.png1 to maintain. Failure to pay these costs will result in the unit being disbanded automatically.

Unit Properties Edit

Physical Description Edit

The Steam Cannon is a large mechanical device, designed to hurl boulders at great speeds and to great distances. It is comprised of a wheeled wooden platform topped with a heavy steel barrel. Water is boiled in a separate tank, forcing steam into a closed compartment at the bottom of the barrel. As the steam builds up, a large boulder is loaded into the barrel. When sufficient steam has built up, the chamber is suddenly opened, and the steam is released up the barrel, pushing the boulder with great force. The boulder's weight and speed mean that it can cause severe damage to anything it hits.

In real life, various kinds of steam cannons were designed and possibly even used several millennia ago, but the required precision and mechanical issues prevented them from becoming as practical as Catapults. Steam also lacks the required energy to propel heavy projectiles with any decent speed, and with the advent of gunpowder it was no longer necessary to explore steam as a propellant.

The Steam Cannon is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit.

Attack Properties Edit

The Steam Cannon possesses only a Ranged Attack, with a strength of Icon Ranged Boulder.png 12. This allows it to deliver, on average, about Icon Damage.png 3.6 points of Damage per attack. Due to its strength, this attack is pretty much guaranteed to do at least some damage to most enemy units. On the other hand, with only a single Icon Figure.png figure, its overall strength is limited, and does not improve very well with Icon Experience.png Experience. It is still much more likely to cause damage to enemy units than a group of Bowmen.

Unfortunately, Steam Cannons lack the accuracy of Catapults, and thus suffer To Hit penalties when firing at targets beyond 2 tiles away. This decreases damage proportionally with distance, and means that Steam Cannons work best when the target is already very near.

The Steam Cannon may use its Ranged Attack up to 10 times in each battle. Note that the Steam Cannon completely lacks a Melee Attack: while it can initiate such attacks against enemy units, it will never cause any damage to them. It will also deliver no damage when Counter Attacking.

Defense Properties Edit

The Steam Cannon possesses a Defense score of Icon Defense.png 2 - common among Normal Units. It can deflect about Icon Damage.png 0.6 points of Damage from any damage source, on average. This is barely enough to protect it from anything but the weakest attackers.

Coupled with the Steam Cannon's Icon Hits.png 12 Hit Points, it still has about as much survivability as a unit of Spearmen or Swordsmen, and can survive some combat against enemy Normal Units. Remember of course that the Steam Cannon does not inflict any damage during its Counter Attack, so there's little point to allowing it to engage enemies in Melee combat - it serves no purpose and will usually lead to the Steam Cannon being destroyed sooner or later.

Steam Cannons are crewed by Dwarves, and thus enjoy very high Resistance to magical effects. The Steam Cannon has a Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 9, which means that most Curses and Special Attacks will struggle to have any effect on it. With only one Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level, the Steam Cannon becomes immune to several such effects, and will become immune to a wider variety with each additional level.

Other Properties Edit

Steam Cannon move at a slow speed of Icon Movement Ground1. They cannot move across Ocean or Shore tiles, and thus are restricted to land.

Most Dwarves possess the innate ability of Mountaineer. This theoretically allows the unit - as well as any other unit stacked with it - to move across specific types of rough Terrain at a cost of only 1 Movement Point per tile. This includes Mountain tiles, Hill tiles, and Volcanoes. Unfortunately, Steam Cannons are too slow to exploit this, unless their Movement Allowance is increased in some way.

On the other hand, the same ability also increases the cost of moving across Grassland to 3 points per tile. Normally, Steam Cannon move too slowly to feel any effect from these increased costs, since they can only move one turn per tile by default anyway. However, if their Movement Allowance is ever increased, the slow movement through Grasslands will clearly be felt.

Basic Strategy Edit

The Steam Cannon is the only Ranged Attack unit available to the Dwarf race, and provide a strong Ranged Attack that is capable of damaging heavily-armored opponents. While it is also useful against other units, the Steam Cannon does not deliver a great amount of damage, and must fire repeatedly in order to kill virtually any target.

The Steam Cannon is more likely to inflict at least some damage to a well-defended opponent than a whole group of Bowmen. This is thanks to its high Ranged Attack strength, which can overcome high Defense scores. This is often best used against enemy Heroes and Fantastic Creatures. Unfortunately, because the Steam Cannon is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit, it is NOT likely to cause more damage to small, Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure enemy units than a group of Bowmen would.

Due to lacking any form of Melee Attack, the Steam Cannon should always be escorted by other units who will provide it with protection. A Steam Cannon might be able to take out an entire enemy Normal Unit before it closes the distance, but will struggle to fend off any healthy unit. Several Steam Cannons concentrating their fire against a single target are a lot more threatening, but still can't do much if the enemy manages to close in for Melee combat.

Steam Cannons are more expensive than Catapults, but then the Dwarves have high Icon Production.png Production output to begin with, and should not find it too difficult to produce them en-masse. Furthermore, Steam Cannons become available very early in the game compared to Catapults, requiring only a Miners' Guild. This is necessary if the Dwarf armies are to have a Ranged Attack component supporting them.

Note that Steam Cannons lack the Wall Crusher ability. They are not useful for bringing down enemy walls!

Ability Overview Edit

Ability Quiver Ranged Attack x10 Edit

  • This unit may use a Icon Ranged Boulder.png Ranged Boulder Attack instead of a Melee Attack up to 10 times in each battle. Once the unit's ammo is expended, it must resort to Melee Attacks.

Ability Mountaineer Mountaineer Edit

  • This unit may move through any Hills, Mountain or Volcano tile at a rate of 1 Movement Point per tile.
  • When this unit is stacked with other units, the entire stack may move through these tiles at a rate of 1 Movement Point per tile.
  • On the other hand, traveling into Grassland tiles costs this unit and its stack exactly 3 Movement Points.

Experience Table Edit

The following table illustrates how Steam Cannons improve as they gain Experience. Any properties that are not listed here do not improve with Experience in any way.

Level Icon Level Name EP Ranged To Hit Defense Resist Hits
Experience 0 Recruit Icon Experience.png 0 - Icon Experience.png 19 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 12 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 9 Icon Hits.png 12
Experience 1 Regular Icon Experience.png 20 - Icon Experience.png 59 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 13 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 10 Icon Hits.png 12
Experience 2 Veteran Icon Experience.png 60 - Icon Experience.png 119 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 13 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 3 Icon Resist.png 11 Icon Hits.png 12
Experience 3 Elite Icon Experience.png 120 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 14 Icon ToHit.png 40% Icon Defense.png 3 Icon Resist.png 12 Icon Hits.png 13
Experience 4 Ultra-Elite Icon Experience.png 120 * Icon Ranged Boulder.png 14 Icon ToHit.png 50% Icon Defense.png 4 Icon Resist.png 13 Icon Hits.png 13
Experience 5 Champion Icon Experience.png 120 ** Icon Ranged Boulder.png 15 Icon ToHit.png 60% Icon Defense.png 4 Icon Resist.png 14 Icon Hits.png 14

* To achieve this level, either the Warlord Retort or the Crusade spell must be in play.
** To achieve this level, both the Warlord Retort and the Crusade spell must be in play simultaneously.

Average Damage Output Edit

The table below details the average amount of damage that a Steam Cannon unit will deliver with each type of attack, based on Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level. It can be used in comparison to the target's Defense rating to figure out the chance of hurting that target.

Select weapons:
Level Icon Level Name Melee Ranged * Thrown Breath
Experience 0 Recruit
Experience 1 Regular
Experience 2 Veteran
Experience 3 Elite
Experience 4 Ultra-Elite
Experience 5 Champion

* This column assumes a Icon Ranged Boulder.png Ranged Boulder Attack at a distance of 1-2 tiles from the target. Beyond this distance, Icon ToHit.png To Hit penalties apply that can severely reduce Icon Damage.png Damage output.<img src="Icon_Melee_Normal.png"><img src="Icon_Melee_Magic.png"><img src="Icon_Melee_Mithril.png"><img src="Icon_Melee_Adamantium.png">

Acquisition Edit

Steam Cannons are unique to the Dwarf race, and thus may be produced in any Dwarf Town.

A town must contain a Miners' Guild to be able to produce Steam Cannons. Should a town lose an existing Miners' Guild, it can no longer produce Steam Cannons until a replacement structure is built.

The Construction Cost of this unit is Icon Production.png 180.

Steam Cannons may appear for hire as Mercenaries. They may already have some Experience on being hired, and several units may be hired simultaneously. Hiring these units requires a certain cost in Icon Gold.png Gold that depends on many different factors. Steam Cannon Mercenaries have the same Upkeep Cost as a normally-constructed unit.

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