Indiamen Icon
Belongs to All Western factions
Crew 54
Guns 12
Firepower 26
Range 400
Accuracy 40
Reloading skill 30
Hull strength 1938
Speed 14
Maneuverability Low
Tech requirement None
Produced from Trading Port or higher
Cost 600 SP/Unavailable MP
Upkeep 50

An Indiaman is a ship type in Empire: Total War.


The Indiaman is an armed merchant ship, strongly built for the trade routes between Europe and the East. It is not a warship, but can defend itself in need.

The Indiaman is a three-masted, square-rigged sailing ship of some 1000 tons displacement. Although work for the relatively small crew is hard, there are compensations: they can trade goods in their own right, and make excellent profits by doing so.

Unusually for a merchant ship, an Indiaman carries cargo, passengers, and a good number of guns. Intended to sail from Europe to the other side of the world and back carrying valuable – sometimes priceless – cargoes, these ships have to be able to defend themselves. The passengers expect some creature comforts, being both officers of the owning trade companies and assorted “gentlemen” seeking their fortunes in foreign parts.

Historically, East Indiamen resembled ships of the line, both in their general configuration and paintwork. At the Battle of Pulo Aura (1804), the ambiguous appearance and aggressive handling of a squadron of British Indiamen completely humbugged the French admiral, Charles-Alexandre Linois. He withdrew in the face of “superior” forces. Commodore Nathaniel Dance, of the British Company fleet, received a knighthood and a handsome reward for his cunning.

National navies purchased Indiamen and converted them into troopships or warships.

General InformationEdit

Indiamen are the default trading ship for all Western nations. Compared to their Eastern counterparts, Indiamen are much more durable and have lower upkeep, but have weaker firepower per cannon and are more expensive to build. Of all the trading ships, they have the lowest upkeep, making them the most profitable ships for trading in the long run. These ships are not meant to fill a combat role, as they don't have enough cannons to even duel with a sloop.

Indiamen can engage in trade, generating revenue when placed at the trading theaters. The amount of money made is usually substantially higher than upkeep costs, so investing in indiamen can substantially boost income. However, they are vulnerable to pirates and hostile navies and so must be guarded if they are to continue serving their function.

Light Ships BrigGalleyLight GalleyRace-Built GalleonSloopXebec
Frigates 24-pounder FrigateAdmiral's Flagship, 5th RateCarronade FrigateFifth RateRazeeSixth RateUSS Constitution
Ships of the Line Admiral's Flagship, 1st RateAdmiral's Flagship, 3rd RateFirst Rate Ship of the LineFourth Rate Ship of the LineHeavy First RateHMS VictorySecond Rate Ship of the LineThird Rate Ship of the Line
Trade Ships DhowFluytGalleonIndiaman
Other Ships Bomb KetchRocket ShipSteamship