A Battering Ram is a slow, weak piece of siege equipment available from the 13th century. It is virtually immune to arrow fire, and can take a few trebuchet hits as well. However, it falls pathetically quickly to melee units. Rams carry attack bonuses versus buildings and other siege weapons, and the Battering Ram can carry 4 foot soldiers and upgrade to the Capped Ram.
Available to: All
Built at: Siege Workshop
Cost: 160 Wood, 75 Florins
Type: Siege Weapon
Armor/Pierce Armor: -3/180
Garrison: 4 foot soldiers (not peasants, priests)
Special: +125 vs. buildings, +40 vs. siege weapons.
If you think you saw a negative armor armount, you're right. Rams have negative 3 melee armor. This is possible, and it means all units dealing melee damage have +3 against them. Galleys, which do melee and pierce damage (although the pierce damage is what's counted), thus do unusually well as ram busters. Anti-siege bonuses add to this, and some units actually have additional bonuses against just rams! All of these stack.
What would siege equipment be without rams? Rams in this game have two main purposes: busting down buildings and knocking out siege equipment. Their unusually low melee armor means rams should ALWAYS have an escort. ALWAYS. Otherwise, a precious investment of 160 wood and 75 silver will be down the drain.
A ram's high pierce armor and melee attack means they can be used to frustrate ranged units, most of whom have minimum range. They can carry troops, especially melee ones, useful for ambushes. The extra troops gives the ram an attack bonus, a speed bonus, and protection. Under attack? Pop them out and repel it. Rams are surprisingly versatile considering their ostensibly single purpose.
A battering ram is a siege engine originating in ancient times and designed to break open the masonry walls of fortifications or splinter their wooden gates. It was used, too, in ancient Roman mines and quarries to attack hard rocks.
In its simplest form, a battering ram is just a large, heavy log carried by several people and propelled with force against an obstacle; the ram would be sufficient to damage the target if the log were massive enough and/or it were moved quickly enough (that is, if it had enough momentum).
Later rams encased the log in an arrow-proof, fire-resistant canopy mounted on wheels. Inside the canopy, the log was swung from suspensory chains or ropes to maximize its impact power.
Rams proved effective weapons of war because old fashioned wall-building materials such as stone and brick were weak in tension, and therefore prone to cracking when impacted with sufficient force. With repeated blows, the cracks would grow steadily until a hole was created. Eventually, a breach would appear in the fabric of the wall—enabling armed attackers to force their way through the gap and engage the inhabitants of the citadel.The introduction in the later Middle Ages of siege cannons, which harnessed the explosive power of gunpowder to propel weighty stone or iron balls against fortified obstacles, spelled the end of battering rams and other traditional siege weapons.