Unique naval unit that replaces the Bombardment Vessel line for China. Is slower and weaker, but substantially faster and cheaper.
|Prereq:||Build time||HP||LOS||Attack||Attack speed||Movement|
|Cost||Created from||Armour||Weapon range||Specialty|
A very strange vessel, the Lunchuan is a unit that is powered not just by sails, but by paddle wheel power as well. This is achieved by the use of paddle wheels operated by marines on board, who by treading on the wheels move the ship forward when the sails are not in use. With such a configuration the Lunchuan is capable of some very good speeds, whilst sporting decent hitpoints and armour. In fact, as far as escort vessels go, this is the best escort vessel until the Imperial Era when European-style Steam Corvettes appear in the game.
If Lunchuan are so good, then why shouldn't we build a whole fleet of them, you ask? The answer lies in many factors. For one, the intricacy of the design (for a pre-industrial unit) means that much Timber and time will be necessary to launch one — perhaps even more than required for a simple sailing vessel. Secondly, the Lunchuan may be larger than most ships but it is still only capable of carrying swivel guns, so while it might be more powerful than say, a Yacht, it is still very weak if it is attacked head-on by other heavier ships. Even European Frigates will have a field day blasting it out of the water. Finally, the Lunchuan is larger than most escort ships, so it is very vulnerable if it is attacked by Fire Vessels. Nevertheless, it has the same amount of armour as a Galleon, so you can use this unit to support assaults against lightly-defended areas and to "fix"enemy ships in place so as to pelt them with cannon shot from your War Junks.
- Powerful heavy ship with increased rate of fire, built to attain surface marine superiority.
- Has +1 armour and a few more hitpointsand higher rate of fire compared to Man of War.
The Song dynasty of China had an interest in the building of efficient automotive vessels known as "paddle wheel craft" or "wheel ships" (Chinese: "lunchuan"). Such boats had been known in China perhaps since the 5th century CE, and certainly by the Tang Dynasty with Li Gao's successful paddle wheel warship design. In 1134 CE the Deputy Transport Commissioner of Zhejiang, Wu Ge, had paddle wheel warships constructed with a total of nine wheels and others with thirteen wheels. However, there were paddle wheel ships in the Song that were so large that 12 wheels were featured on each side of the vessel.
This design was so effective that it was still in use even in the 19th century against British forces during the Opium Wars, and they also had peacetime uses as well. The Arab or Persian Commissioner of Merchant Shipping for Quanzhou, the Muslim Pu Shougeng (who served from 1250–1275CE) noted that paddle wheel ships were also used by the Chinese as tugboats for towing.
- Cog and Galley, Chinese Paddle-wheel ships