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Game Info[]

Unique naval unit of the Korean civilization. Replaces the Caravel.

  • Special abilities:
    • Cannot Enter Deep Ocean
    • No Extra Sight (1)
    • No Withdraw Before Melee (Unit may NOT withdraw when faced with melee attack)
  • Special traits:
    • Extra strength (36 vs. 20)


The Turtle Ship is an early incarnation of the Ironclad for tactical purposes, and is best used to defend coastlines. Thanks to its high Melee strength Combat Strength, it can easily fight off enemy Caravels and even Frigates. Its main drawback is that, unlike the Caravel that it replaces, it can't roam around the oceans, which means that the Koreans have to wait until they get Frigates to start exploring other continents.

Civilopedia entry[]

These large, armored warships of the Choson dynasty played a crucial role in the defense of Korea during the Japanese invasions of the 16th century. Typically crewed by an equal compliment of soldiers and oarsmen, the Turtle Ship provided an aggressive close-assault ship for the Korean navy. Designed to strike fear in the enemy, each Turtle Ship featured a carved dragon figurehead on its bow, said to have emitted a cloud of sulfurous fumes to disguise the vessel's approach. Unlike the familiar designs used by sailing ships of the period, the Turtle Ship had no upper deck. The top level of the ship was covered in iron spikes to prevent boarding, with the oarsmen and soldiers segregated onto separate decks below. Armed with up to two dozen cannons and other small projectile weapons, the Turtle Ship was a dangerous foe for the unprepared navies of Korea's enemies.


  • The Japanese gave these ships names like mekurabune (盲船, "blind ship"), and a popular Japanese play of the later Edo period called them bokkaisen (沐海潛, "sea-bathing diver"), describing them as demonic ships which General Katou Kiyomasa (general of the contemporary invasion force) has to defeat.
  • The first time these ships were used was in the Battle of Sacheon against the Japanese in the Imjin War, led by Admiral Yi Sun-sin.


Related achievements[]

Turtle Power
Turtle Power
As Korea, sink an Ironclad with a Turtle Ship.
Taken from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise.
This is a difficult achievement in 'normal' play as the Ironclad is only available for a short time and requires the player to have both Iron and Coal, therefore the AI doesn't build many Ironclads. Also, the achievement is not available in multi player mode. One recommended 'shortcut' is to build an Ironclad yourself and 'gift' it to a City State and then declare war on that City State.
Civilization V Units [edit]
Civilian Archaeologist BNW-onlyCaravan BNW-onlyCargo Ship BNW-onlySettlerWork BoatWorker
Land military Anti-Aircraft GunAnti-Tank GunArcher (Atlatlist GodsKings5 clearBowman1Slinger1) • ArtilleryBazooka BNW-onlyCannonCatapult (BallistaSiege Tower BNW-only) • Cavalry (Berber Cavalry BNW-onlyComanche Riders BNW-onlyCossackHussar GodsKings5 clear) • Chariot Archer (Hand-Axe BNW-onlyHorse Archer GodsKings5 clearWar ChariotWar Elephant) • Composite Bowman GodsKings5 clearCrossbowman (Chu-Ko-NuLongbowman) • Gatling Gun GodsKings5 clearGiant Death RobotGreat War Infantry GodsKings5 clear (Foreign Legion) • Helicopter GunshipHorseman (African Forest Elephant GodsKings5 clearCataphract GodsKings5 clearCompanion Cavalry) • Infantry (Pracinha) • Knight (Camel ArcherConquistador1Keshik1Mandekalu CavalryNaresuan's Elephant) • Lancer (Hakkapeliitta GodsKings5 clearSipahiWinged Hussar BNW-only) • Landship GodsKings5 clearLongswordsman (Berserker1Samurai) • Machine Gun GodsKings5 clearMarine GodsKings5 clearMechanized InfantryModern ArmorMobile SAMMusketman (JanissaryMinutemanMusketeerTercio1) • ParatrooperPikeman (Impi BNW-onlyLandsknecht) • Rifleman (Carolean GodsKings5 clearMehal Sefari GodsKings5 clearNorwegian Ski Infantry1) • Rocket ArtilleryScout (Pathfinder BNW-only) • Spearman (Battering Ram GodsKings5 clearHopliteImmortalPictish Warrior GodsKings5 clear) • Swordsman (Kris Swordsman BNW-onlyLegionMohawk Warrior) • Tank (Panzer) • Trebuchet (Hwach'a1) • Warrior (BruteJaguarMaori Warrior1) • XCOM Squad BNW-only
Naval military BattleshipCaravel (Nau BNW-onlyTurtle Ship1) • CarrierDestroyerFrigate (Ship of the Line) • Galleass (Great Galleass BNW-only) • GalleyIroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer GodsKings5 clear (Sea Beggar GodsKings5 clear) • SubmarineTrireme (Quinquereme GodsKings5 clearDromon GodsKings5 clear)
Aircraft Atomic BombBomber (B17) • Fighter (Zero) • Great War Bomber GodsKings5 clearGuided MissileJet FighterNuclear MissileStealth BomberTriplane GodsKings5 clear
Religious Inquisitor GodsKings5 clearMissionary GodsKings5 clear
See also Great PeopleSpaceship Parts
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.