Land trading unit.
- Establish Trade Route (Route must run over land from one city to another.)
- Change Home City (After selecting a city and waiting a turn, allows different trade routes to be made.)
|Base Range||With Caravansary||With Combustion||With Caravansary & Combustion||With Roads*|
|Arabia||15||22||25||37||(Range * 2) + 1|
|Others||10||15||20||30||(Range * 2) + 1|
* Applies only if an unbroken road extends from the Caravan's home city to its destination. The maximum achievable Caravan range is 75 for Arabia and 61 for other civilizations.
The Caravan is the first trading unit in the game, appearing very early in the Ancient Era. Research Animal Husbandry to unlock it, along with your first Trade route option, then build a Caravan to establish trade with your neighbors. In Brave New World, Trade Routes are essential to keep your Gold balance positive.
Caravans may be based in any city, be it land or coastal, and can establish Trade Routes with other cities on the same landmass. So don't base a Caravan on a small island - it won't be able to trade with anyone! In such cities, use a Cargo Ship instead.
Note that you may only build (or purchase) trading units if you have free Trade Route slots available.
Starting in the Atomic Era, the Caravan will have the graphic of a truck.
Be warned that the Caravan, as a civilian unit, is defenseless and will be destroyed if any hostile force raids your Trade Route! Protect it as best you can, especially from the Barbarians! They move 2 tiles at the start of each turn, regardless of the presence of roads or railroads.
From time immemorial traders have used beasts of burden - from horses and mules to camels and llamas - to engage in long-range commerce. The first historical records of caravans date to around 1000 BC when camel trains brought gems, precious metals, incense and spices up the west coast of Arabia, linking India with Egypt, Phoenicia, and the Mesopotamian empires. Many caravan routes, such as the famous Silk Road from China to the Middle East, shaped history as surely as wars and beliefs. Although largely supplanted by motorized transport, pack caravans still operate across such inhospitable terrain as the fringes of the Sahara and Gobi deserts.