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Game Info[]

Powerful naval melee unit of the Modern Era. Upgrades from the Ironclad, Privateer.

  • Common abilities:
    • Interception (40)
    • Attack vs Submarines (100)
    • Can See Submarines
    • Withdraw Before Melee (Unit may withdraw when faced with melee attack)


The Destroyer is a Modern Era multipurpose naval melee attack unit designed to defend your fleet from all new dangers of modern combat. It is small and agile, but at the same time it packs quite a punch in naval melee combat. It is especially useful against submarines thanks to its sonar systems, which allow it to detect them from afar; and its depth-charges, which can destroy them even though they're under the water. It also has radar systems that allow it to effectively intercept airplanes, although the interception range is not as big as land-based units.

It often acts as an escort to embarked units, Battleships and Carriers when in range of enemy planes and subs. It is quick, giving it a promotion that gives it a good chance to withdraw to the rear before an enemy naval melee attack can occur.

The Destroyer is a vital counter to the new Modern Era naval weapon - the Submarine - and should be developed ASAP (via Combustion) when your civilization is in danger of entering hostilities with a naval power. Its main use is to patrol the seas, using its fast movement to uncover and attack submarines, and to escort your main fleet of Battleships and Carriers (and later Missile Cruisers), passively defending them against air attacks. It is also the only naval unit in the late game capable of melee naval combat, and thus capturing cities.

Civilopedia entry[]

A destroyer is a 20th-century ship designed for patrol, escort, anti-air and anti-submarine duties. The earliest destroyers were light vessels not well-suited for oceanic cruises unless accompanied by "tenders" carrying additional fuel. By World War II the destroyers were fast, maneuverable and carried enough weaponry and supplies for long-range missions across the world's oceans.

For weaponry, destroyers carried anti-aircraft guns, light anti-ship guns, torpedoes and depth charges. They often accompanied carrier groups, patrolling the waters around the more valuable and larger ships for submarines and providing anti-aircraft cover as well. They escorted supply convoys and patrolled harbors and coasts as well. Duty aboard a World War II destroyer was dangerous indeed; during the war over 220 British, American, Australian and Canadian destroyers were lost, mostly to aircraft attack.


The hull number of the ship in the image (DD-443) belonged to USS Swanson, which the image does superficially resemble.