(Punico-Iberian War Boat)
Lembos icon
Unit type War boat
Base cost 60 Wealth Wealth, 30 Food Food, 40 Timber Timber
Ramping cost 1 Wealth Wealth, 1 Food Food
Creation time Fast
Hit points Trifling
Line of sight Poor
Movement speed Record breaking
Attack strength Nuisance
Attack range Mediocre
Armour Reasonable
Population cost 1 Population Population
Created at Estaleiro
Upgrades from  ???
Upgrades to
Available to Parthian IconNabataean IconSabaean Icon

A boat of Indian design, the Dhow is a light war boat employed by the Middle Eastern factions, alongside the Lembos for the Parthian and Nabataean factions. It might be as weak as the Germanic Xorixeulom, but don't be fooled — it is the fastest unit in Kings & Conquerors , and also has some decent armour, making it very deadly when used in large groups for hit-and-run attacks. The swift movement and turning speed of the Dhow means that large numbers of ships are required to challenge supremacy of the seas from the factions that sport them.

For the Nabataeans and Parthians, Dhows can be a very useful unit if teamed up with other ships — use the strength and hitting power of the Lembos to counter medium ships by sheer numbers, deploy Fire Rafts to attack enemy heavy vessels, and finally use the Dhows to hit undefended targets and scour for enemies building Docks. The Sabaeans don't get the Lembos and may be a bit naked as Dhows are quite fragile, but the fact that they can spam-build these units easily from the Dock whenever they place one down means that on open-water maps, a Dhow fleet can be constructed quickly and rapidly. Just remember that like all War Boats, Dhows have an attack penalty versus buildings, so if you see your enemy having Watchtowers , keep your Dhows as far away from them as possible.

If you are tired of facing Arab piracy everywhere and your foe is harassing you incessantly using Dhows en masse, then remember that your best bet is to train skirmishers, archers or Scorpiones and to get out light ships as soon as possible, particularly if you are playing as the Celtiberians or Romans. Don't bother trying to hunt down every Dhow, but deprive your opponent of areas to build them. The best place to build your Docks would be an area which is very defensible, ie a narrow stretch of water or a long river-like channel, since you can easily seal off the area using siege weapons or ships. Once this is done, then begin summoning Lemboi and Trieres-type vessels to protect and patrol the area, then bring in heavy ships to then rush your enemy's naval installations. Because the Dhow like most War Boats has mediocre range, it is actually very easy to defeat using massed missile units from the land, so protect your Peasants or Slaves as they go about building your Docks and your defences, whilst you batter down your enemy's own to prevent any more Dhows from being built.


The word "Dhow" is neither of Indian or Middle Eastern origin, but is actually Swahili, and is a catch-all term used in the Anglophone world to describe a variety of sailing ship frequently used in the Indian Ocean since time immemorial. It is not known when exactly the Dhow was first introduced to the Middle East, but there are clues to how long it has been cruising in the Indian Ocean. A Greek sea captain or merchant who wrote in the first century CE reports the use of small sewn boats off Zanzibar and off the southern coast of Arabia, and these ships have proven to be cheap and economical enough to have continued their existence well into our day.

Like many ships of the Hellenistic Age, they were rounded at both bow and stern, and also used the ancient method of stitched planking as described by Marco Polo: "they were twine and with it stitch the planks of the ship together. It keeps well and is not corroded by sea-water but it will not stand well in a storm." Dhows tended to carry one or two sails, and contrary to popular belief, did not originally carry the triangular or lateen sail — that was introduced much later by the Romans. Instead, Dhows of that time usually sported either square-rig sails, or long trapezoidal sails. Despite their historical attachment to Arab traders, Dhows or jahazis (in Iranian) are essentially an Indian boat, with much of the wood for their construction coming from the forests of India, although in Yemen and Africa timber from the acacia tree was also used in their construction.