Naval units

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This page deals with the the individual naval unit types. For information on the recruitment and maintenance of navies see navy. For naval combat mechanics see naval warfare.

There are four basic classes of naval units available (Heavy ship.pngheavy ships, Light ship.pnglight ships, Galley.pnggalleys and Transport.pngtransports) with each class specialising in a particular role. Additionally, the Golden Century.png Golden Century DLC provides a fifth class: the flagship.

Properties

Each ship class has several distinct properties which affect combat performance:

Hull.pngHull Strength
Represents the durability of the ship.
Sailors.pngSailors
The number of sailors required to crew the ship.
Icon ship cannons.pngCannons
Determines the damage done in combat.
Icon ship speed.pngSpeed
Refers to the tactical movement speed of the unit in battle only (hence this is not map speed), which is supposed to affect the naval positioning rating of the fleet during battles, and thus determine if a ship will or will not be attacked during a round of naval combat - effectively impacting the chance of disengagement. This is distinct from the strategic movement speed of the unit between different sea zones on the map.
Engagement width.pngEngagement width
Determines how many spaces a ship occupies in the engagement width of a naval battle.

Additionally, light ships have a unique property:

Trade power.pngTrade power
Represents the potential trade power value of this ship if ordered to protect trade in a particular trade node.

Movement speed

The speed values listed for naval units in-game refer to their tactical movement speed in battle only (hence, their ability to outrun or evade the enemy during battle - if faster they may fail to engage and the enemy will "miss"; affecting their survival chance). The strategic movement speed determines how fast a ship can travel between sea zones on the map; this is not shown in-game and can therefore lead to confusion (for example, that galleys are faster than other ships - which they are not).

Fleets will always travel at the strategic speed of their slowest ship. Hence, you could use light ships to lead your fleet and catch the enemy while waiting for your main fleet to engage, or be sure to keep galleys separate from your main fleet if you want the main fleet not to be held back.

Ship type Tactical speed Strategic speed
Heavy ship.png Heavy ships 5 6 - 9
Light ship.png Light ships 10 10 - 15
Galley.png Galleys 8 4 - 5
Transport.png Transports 5 6 - 9

A flagship with the Flagship Modification standardized signal book.png ‘Standardized Signal Book’ modification increases the strategic speed of all ships within the fleet by 1.

Note that the blockade impact of a ship (the amount of trade power it steals when blockading) is also equal to its tactical speed value. Therefore light ships are best at blockading (10 per ship) and galleys next best (8 per ship).

Leader-based modifiers

An Admiral.png admiral or Explorer explorer increases the movement speed of the fleet they are attached to by +5% for each point Naval leader maneuver.png maneuver skill.

Leader traits

The Accomplished Sailor trait for naval leaders gives Movement speed.png +10% movement speed to the fleet which the leader commands.

Travel time

The travel time between two sea zones is determined by:

with the final value rounded up to the nearest integer. The distance between two sea zones can be found by selecting a naval unit and reading the tooltip that appears when the mouse is hovered over another sea zone or port. Note that the formula above may slightly vary between certain sea zones.

Durability

Ship durability icon
Ship Durability measures how much of a beating your Navy can take in battle before sinking below the sea. The higher it is, the better.

The durability of a ship determines how much damage a ship takes from incoming fire. For example, a 10% durability modifier would mean that a ship would lose 9 sailors instead of 10 sailors during battle (does not affect damage from attrition). A ship's base durability depends on its Hull Strength. Hence, see Hull Strength as equivalent to Damage Resistance (the damage suffered being directly proportional to the number of cannon fire it receives).

Durability is one of the most underrated yet important factors in naval warfare. Both formulas to calculate hull damage (and hence the strength of your ships) and morale losses use durability as the denominator. This means that it one can drastically reduce the overall damage and moral losses of ones navy by pursuing high durability. The simplest methods would be to research the 4th Quality idea and implementing the "Letters of Marque" policy from Offensive & Exploration.

These modifiers increase the durability of any type of ship:

Ship durability.png Conditions
+20%
  • as Emperor of china icon.png Emperor of China and active ‘Promote Naval Officers’ degree
+10%
  • with a ruler with Navigator ‘navigator’ personality
+5%
  • with a naval leader with ‘Ironside’ personality
  • with ‘Mughal Diwan’ government reform and assimilated Britsh culture group

Ideas and policies:

Ship durability Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+10%
  • Norwegian traditions
  • Japanese idea 4: Maritime Legacy
  • Korean idea 4: Geobukseon
  • Fully Naval
+5%
  • Danish traditions
  • Estonian traditions
  • Mahri traditions
  • Quality idea 4: Corvettes
  • Al-Haasa idea 6: A Modern Navy
  • Galician idea 4: Galician Shipyards
  • Khmer idea 7: A Modern Khmer Navy
  • Madyas idea 7: Expand the Shipbuilding Sector
  • Mori idea 6: Itsukushima
  • Chosokabe ambition
  • Humanist-Naval: The Naval Inspection Act
  • Maritime-Offensive: Hold the Weather Gauge
  • Offensive-Exploration: Letters of Marque

There are also many modifiers from decisions, events and missions that affect ship durability.

Heavy ships

Heavy ship icon
With the exception of closed waters like the Mediterranean the man 'o war or the ship of the line is the prime combat vessel.

Ship-for-ship, heavy ships are by far the most powerful in combat. However, they are also the most expensive, especially in terms of maintenance. This makes them the combat ship of choice for rich nations that dream of naval supremacy. They also take up 3 spaces in the engagement width instead of the regular 1.

Combat ability

These modifiers increase the power and effectiveness of heavy ships.

Heavy ship combat ability.png Conditions
+10%
  • with ‘Dutch Republic’ government reform
  • with a naval leader with ‘Naval Gunner’ personality

Ideas and policies:

Heavy ship combat ability.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+20%
  • Naval idea 6: Oak Forests for Ships
+15%
  • British traditions
+10%
  • Butuan idea 6: Protect the Coastlines
  • Date idea 5: Red Seal Ships
  • English idea 1: A Royal Navy
  • Spanish idea 4: A Spanish Armada
  • Majapahit idea 6: The Majapahit Armada
  • Alaskan ambition
  • Genevan ambition
  • Innovative-Maritime: New Naval Tactics

There are also many modifiers from decisions, events and missions that affect heavy ship combat ability.

Types

The sequence below being Hull Strength, Cannons, Strategic map speed, and Sailors (sailors being the proxy for Ship Strength).

Diplomatic technology.png Name Hull.png Icon ship cannons.png Icon ship speed.png Sailors.png Description
3 Early Carrack 30 40 6.0 100 The early carrack was the first European vessel which could sail on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. The design of this late medieval ship combined the features of Germanic longships and Arabic merchantmen. It was less maneuverable than the caravel, but because of its larger size, it could carry provisions for long voyages, cargo for trade, and guns for self-defense.
9 Carrack 35 50 6.5 300 The design of the carrack, a late medieval ship, combined the features of Germanic longships and Arabic merchantmen. It was less maneuverable than the caravel, but because of its larger size, it could carry provisions for long voyages, cargo for trade, and guns for self-defense. Some carracks such as the English vessel Henri Grâce à Dieu weighed more than 1,000 tons, had large fore and aft castles, and could be considered as the greatest warships of their time.
15 Galleon 45 60 7.0 450 A large, usually three-masted sailing ship originally designed as a warship but later on used primarily for trade and commerce.
19 Wargalleon 60 80 7.5 600 The war galleon was a large galleon outfitted for war. It was larger and more heavily armed than the regular galleons, and served as protecting escorts to galleon fleets. The Spanish treasure fleets were made out of galleons and war galleons.
22 Twodecker 75 100 8.0 750 A two-decked battleship normally equipped with 60 to 90 guns.
25 Threedecker 90 120 9.0 900 A large battleship equipped with three gun decks, usually holding more than 100 cannons.

Note that the blockade impact of a heavy ship (the amount of trade power it steals when blockading) is also equal to its tactical speed value, being 5 per ship.

Light ships

Light ship icon
Small, fast and maneuverable, the light ship excels in the role of commerce defense. Wherever your light ships go, merchants who fly your flag will feel safe.

Light ships can increase a country's trade power in a certain trade node and thereby the trade profits by protecting trade, and are also ideal for exploration due to their speed (as long as they are not slowed down by other ship types in the same fleet). This makes them a prime choice in times of peace. However, they perform poorly at war: they cannot stand up to heavy ships or galleys in combat.

Combat ability

These modifiers increase the power and effectiveness of light ships.

Ideas and policies:

Light ship combat ability.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+25%
  • Veronese ambition
+15%
  • Alaskan traditions
  • Cham traditions
  • Ferraran traditions
  • Icelandic idea 4: Armed Merchants
  • Moluccan idea 6: Alliance with the Papuans
  • Arakanese ambition
  • Holstein ambition
  • Maritime-Plutocratic: The Protected Shipping Lanes Act
+10%
  • Hamburger traditions
  • Pattani traditions
  • Somali idea 6: Corsairs of the Red Sea
  • Sumatran idea 3: Spice Pirates

There are also some modifiers from decisions, events and missions that affect light ship combat ability.

Types

The sequence below being Trade Power, Hull Strength, Cannons, Strategic map speed, and Sailors (sailors being the proxy for Ship Strength).

Diplomatic technology.png Name Trade power.png Hull.png Icon ship cannons.png Icon ship speed.png Sailors.png Description
2 Barque 2.0 8 10 10 50 The Barque was a small sailing ship, originally used for trade. Adapting these for warfare provided a smaller and faster alternative to the larger carracks.
9 Caravel 2.5 10 13 11 75 The caravel was a small, very maneuverable ship which could sail with a high precision on long discovery journeys. Although designs varied, a caravel had a foresail, a square mainsail and lateen mizzen. Its smaller size limited the number of guns on board, but it also meant that this light ship could explore shallow coastal waters and estuaries. Vasco Da Gama, Cabot, Columbus and Magellan used caravels during their late 15th century and early 16th century voyages.
15 Early Frigate 3.0 12 15 12 100 With the increasing overseas trade, there was a need for a fast escort vessel to provide safe journey. The early frigates were developed for this. They were smaller, leaner ships of war with one gun deck, and provided protection from piracy in dangerous waters.
19 Frigate 3.5 16 20 13 125 As time passed, the frigate evolved. It became larger and heavily armed, sometimes with two gun decks. The frigate's combination of speed and firepower meant that it could outrun any ship with more guns and outgun any faster ships. The fleet built by the Commonwealth of England in the 1650s consisted almost exclusively of frigates.
23 Heavy Frigate 4.0 20 25 14 125 Two decked vessels normally carrying about 40 guns.
26 Great Frigate 5.0 24 30 15 150 A larger type of frigate, carrying additional guns.

Note that the blockade impact of a light ship (the amount of trade power it steals when blockading) is also equal to its tactical speed value, being 10 per ship.

Galleys

Galley icon
The shallow draft of the galley gives it poor sea keeping on the high seas, but in enclosed waters the oar powered galley is the prime warship.

These cheap ships are ideal for fighting in inland seas (e.g. Mediterranean, Baltic, Sea of Japan, Chinese coast), where they have a +100% combat ability bonus while also allowing 3 times as many ships to fight at once compared to heavy ships, making for a stronger fleet at a significantly lower price. On non-inland sea they retain a +50% combat ability bonus when fighting on coasts. However, they are far quicker to sink due to the smaller hull size and lack of defensive bonuses, will take up much more naval force limit, and move across the map only slowly. In deep waters, they will only slightly outperform light ships.

Combat ability

These modifiers increase the power and effectiveness of galleys.

Galley combat ability.png Conditions
+20% as Tengri Tengri with Norse.png Norse as secondary religion
+15% with Free Oarsmen.png ‘Free Oarsmen’ naval doctrine
+15% with a naval leader that has the Galley combat ability.png ‘Ram Raider’ trait
Galley combat ability.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+25%
  • Naval idea 2: Improved Rams
  • Venetian ambition
+20%
  • Aragonese traditions
  • Barbary Corsair traditions
  • Cebu traditions
  • Hosokawa traditions
  • Ionian traditions
  • Tunisian traditions
  • Berber idea 7: The Brothers Barbarossa
  • Cypriot idea 6: Repel the Corsairs
  • Italian (cU) idea 3: Mare Nostrum
  • Kitabatake idea 4: Kuki Suigin
  • Knights Hospitaller idea 4: Reconquista of the Sea
  • Moroccan idea 4: Defend the Coastline
+15%
  • Kono idea 5: Rule Over the Inland Sea
  • Maritime-Quantity: Streamlined Galley Production
+10%
  • Naxian idea 1: Maritime State
  • So idea 2: Wakou Tradition

Types

The sequence below being Hull Strength, Cannons, Strategic map speed, and Sailors (sailors being the proxy for Ship Strength).

Diplomatic technology.png Name Hull.png Icon ship cannons.png Icon ship speed.png Sailors.png Description
2 Galley 8 12 4.0 60 With roots back to the ancient ships of the antiquity, the galley remained the prime choice for Mediterranean naval warfare until the 16th century. The galley was primarily propelled by oars, usually about 25 pairs manned by up to three men each. This meant that they were less dependent on wind gauge compared to sailing ships, and their maneuverability made them a feared adversary. Eventually, the galley went out of regular use with the introduction of more advanced oceangoing men-of-war, but remained useful in shallow waters until the 18th century.
10 War galley 10 15 4.0 75 The war galley carries the same number of guns as a normal galley but has a larger hull.
14 Galleass 12 18 4.25 90 The galleass was an adaptation of the large merchant galley to counter the increasing use of man-of-war. Larger than the galley, the galleass had about 32 oar pairs, each oar manned by up to five men. As an answer to the men-of-war's armament and higher sides, the galleass had forecastles and aftcastles and gundecks above the rowers. This extra weight meant that they also had to rely more on sails, and were slower and less maneuverable compared to galleys. Like the galley, the galleass went out of regular use with the introduction of more advanced oceangoing men-of-war, but remained useful in shallow waters until the 18th century.
18 Galiot 16 24 4.5 120 The galiot used both sails and oars to navigate, and carried up to fifteen guns.
21 Chebeck 20 30 4.75 150 A small, two or three masted vessel widely used in the Mediterranean from the 16th century onwards.
24 Archipelago Frigate 24 36 5.0 180 A two masted, cannon bearing vessel for shallow waters, which was brought into use during the mid 18th century.

Note that the blockade impact of a galley (the amount of trade power it steals when blockading) is also equal to its tactical speed value, being 8 per ship.

Transports

Transport icon
Everyone knows that soldiers simply cannot magically turn into boats, the transport ship is a vessel specially built to move armies from A to B on the High Seas.

Each transport can carry only one regiment (of any type), regardless of the regiment being at full strength or not. Though reasonably durable compared to light ships and galleys, they lack the firepower of combat ships, and should generally seek to avoid combat situations. An exception to this is a late-game western transport fleet fighting against much less advanced foes, where technology differences give transport ships a more evenly-matched fight against even the enemy's heavy ships.

Combat ability

The combat ability of transports is not modified by the base game.

Types

The sequence below being Hull Strength, Cannons, Strategic map speed, and Sailors (sailors being the proxy for Ship Strength).

Diplomatic technology.png Name Hull.png Icon ship cannons.png Icon ship speed.png Sailors.png Description
0 War Canoe 4 1 2.0 20
2 Cog 12 4 6.0 50 A one masted trading vessel originating from northern Europe.
10 Flute 15 5 6.5 60 A cargo ship developed in the Netherlands in the 16th century, it was built to maximize cargo-space and crew-efficiency. And it became one of the most commonly used ships in the 16th and 17th century. The standard design wasn't armed but when needed it could be armed with cannons and serve as auxiliary vessels.
13 Brig 18 6 7.0 70 A fast and highly maneuverable ship, favored by both merchants and for military use.
17 Merchantman 24 8 7.5 100 A large cargo vessel used for transportation of merchandise.
22 Trabakul 30 10 8.5 90 A slow, but reliable cargo ship, built wide, compact and with good storage.
26 East Indiaman 36 12 9.0 100 Merchant ship belonging to the East India Company.

Note that the blockade impact of a transport (the amount of trade power it steals when blockading) is also equal to its tactical speed value, being 5 per ship.

Flagship

Flagships are unique ships that give special bonuses to all ships in fleet with them. A nation may only have one flagship of their own (not counting captured flagship which lose their bonuses but keep their name and icon). A flagship can be any combat ship type (non-transport). When building the flagship, the nation chooses up to three special abilities for the flagship. Each special ability increases the maintenance cost of the ship. Nations must have 1500 sailors worth of active ships before their navy is large enough to be allowed to build a flagship.

+5Yearly prestige.png for sinking another nation's flagship in combat

+10Yearly prestige.png for capturing another nation's flagship in combat

All flagships have the following modifiers:

Icon ship cannons.png +50% Flagship cannons
Morale of navies.png +50% Flagship morale
Ship durability +100% Flagship durability

The cost of flagships is affected by the following:

Flagship cost Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
−50%
  • Ferraran idea 7: The Ferraran Arsenal

Flagship modifications

Some special modifications are only available to the indicated countries.

Name Effect Gold Icon.png Maintenance Available for
Mass Load Cannons icon
Mass Load Cannons
However many cannons the enemy believes we have, we must have twice as many. No ship has ever sunk from having too many cannons.
Icon ship cannons.png +50% Cannons on flagship 0.5
Spanish Mass Load Cannons icon
Spanish Mass Load Cannons
However many cannons the enemy puts on their flagship, we must have twice as many. No ship has ever sunk from having too many cannons.
Icon ship cannons.png +100% Cannons on flagship 0.5
Trade Route Map icon
Trade Route Map
Keeping detailed collection of maps of our trade routes up to date is challenging, but worthy of a flagship sailing with our trade fleet.
Ship trade power.png +1 Trade power per ship in fleet[note 1] 0.25
Portuguese Trade Route Map icon
Portuguese Trade Route Map
The shortest distance between two points on a map is a straight line, but a Portuguese trade route is a close second.
Ship trade power.png +2 Trade power per ship in fleet[note 1] 0.25
Command Aftercastle icon
Command Aftercastle
Outfitting the ship with an aftercastle will provide better accommodations for our captain and the valued members of the crew.
Morale of navies.png +5% Fleet morale 0.5
Dutch Courage icon
Dutch Courage
Our people are famous for their courage, so much that we export it in liquid form.
Morale of navies.png +10% Fleet morale 0.5
Improved Crow's Nest icon
Improved Crow's Nest
With a flagship like ours, the enemy will see us coming. We just have to make sure we see them first.
Engagement width.png +3 Engagement width 0.5
Mortars icon
Mortars
Long-distance siege weapons won't be very efficient against other ships, but they will greatly boost the threat we pose to land structures.
Blockade impact on siege +1 Fleet blockade impact on siege 1
Standardized Signal Book icon
Standardized Signal Book
Coordinating a fleet is no easy task, but established standards for communication is a first step to doing it flawlessly.
Icon ship speed.png +1 Fleet movement speed 0.5
Hull Sheathing icon
Hull Sheathing
Even the greatest ship is eventually done in not only by war, but by the ocean itself. A metal sheath will ensure our flagship lasts.
Ship durability +50% Flagship durability 0.5
Portuguese Navigators icon
Portuguese Navigators
A Portuguese navigator will not only get you to the most distant undiscovered shore, but also, if the winds will it, get you back.
Colonial range.png +100 Fleet exploration range 0.5
Portuguese Bombardier icon
Portuguese Bombardier
Naval barrages are a special art form, and no one masters is better than our bombardiers.
Movement speed.png −40% Fleet naval barrage cost 0.5
Spanish Grand Armada icon
Spanish Grand Armada
Spanish ships are made to survive sailing the oceans of the world, and those which sail with our flagships even more so.
Naval attrition.png −30% Fleet attrition 0.5
Spanish Treasury Convoy icon
Spanish Treasury Convoy
When your wealth is floating on ships, one of your main problems is pirates. Pirates primary problem should, accordingly, be us.
Hunt pirates.png +100% Fleet hunt pirates efficiency[note 2] 0.5
Integrated Marines icon
Integrated Marines
Every soldier who gets on a ship can't be a marine, but there can be enough on our flagship to make a difference.
Movement speed.png −33% Movement speed on and off ships 0.5
Portuguese Fusiliers icon
Portuguese Fusiliers
Our fusiliers must be ready to attack from a ship as if it was land, because Portugal's fleet is an extension of the country itself.
  • Movement speed.png −66% Movement speed on and off ships
  • Movement speed.png +2 Combat penalty when landing[note 3]
0.5
Flag Officers icon
Flag Officers
Flying a flag marking your rank on a flagship is a great source of pride for many officers, encouraging bravery and ambition.
Movement speed.png +1% Monthly chance of admiral skill gain on mission 0.5
Scandinavian Flag Officers icon
Scandinavian Flag Officers
With our dependency and access to the trade that flows through The Sound we have a great source of seasoned seamen to recruit as professional officers to make up the core of our navy.
Movement speed.png +3% Monthly chance of admiral skill gain on mission 0.5
Spare Jolly Roger icon
Spare Jolly Roger
Our ship usually flies the flag of its homeland, but there is nothing wrong with having a more menacing flag for special occasions.
Privateer efficiency.png +25% Fleet privateer efficiency 0.5
Captain's Log icon
Captain's Log
To keep a record both for their country and for history, our captains will maintain a logbook as they boldly go where no ship has gone before.
  • Prestige from naval battles.png +100% Fleet prestige from battles
  • Naval tradition from battles +100% Fleet naval tradition from battles
0.5

Notes:

  1. 1.0 1.1 For all ship types, not only light ships.
  2. Cannons count twice for hunting pirates.
  3. This effectively removes the landing penalty.

Overall ship type comparisons

Ignoring modifiers, the most import factor determining the outcome of a battle is the relative difference between Hull Strength (equivalent to Damage Resistance) and the number of cannons firing on it. The damage suffered is directly proportional to the number of cannon fire it receives.

Therefore, in the table below an Early Carrack applies 2:1 damage (40 cannons vs 20 hull strength) to another Early Carrack than say the 1.5:1 damage (12 cannons vs 8 hull strength) of a Galley to Galley interaction. Note that one heavy ship takes up three engagement width relative to other ships so cannot be compared directly to the other types (for example, it takes approximately 6 galleys to reach parity when fighting a heavy ship).

Note that sailors is the proxy for "ship strength" in the battle view that shows the percentage strength - the number of sailors left alive - of each ship engaged in battle.

The sequence of the columns below being Hull Strength, Cannons, Strategic map speed, Sailors. The sequence of the rows being the order of the engagement priority in an ongoing naval battle to try and populate the fleet's full engagement width until the limit is reached, the order being Heavy ships, Galleys, Light ships, Transports.

Diplomatic technology.png Name Hull.png Icon ship cannons.png Icon ship speed.png Sailors.png Description
3 Early Carrack 20 40 6 100 The most powerful of the four types, with more Hull Strength, Cannons and Sailors but requiring 3 engagement width vs one for the other three types. One of only two types, the other being galleys, built for battle. Like transports it has the weakest blockading power of only 5 per ship.
2 Galley 8 12 4 60 The second most powerful of the four types. One of only two types, the other being heavy ships, built for battle. Most powerfully the total damage it deals the enemy is doubled (+100% damage bonus) in inland seas, and half more (+50% damage bonus) on the coast. Although galleys have a low cost to high cannon ratio, as well as the highest cannons:hull strength ratio (1.5:1), what makes fleets of them poorer choices relative to heavies is (i) the large relative sailor pool they require to operate monthly and (2) naval force limits - whereby a heavy ship may be better use of a slot for attack and a light ship more useful for trade power/blocakding. Galleys have the second best blockading power of 8 per ship. Galleys are the slowest ships in-game and worsen over time; at the start they are 33% slower than heavy ships and by late game they are 44% slower - nearly half.
2 Barque 8 10 10 50 The third most powerful of the four types. Unlike heavy ships and galleys this is not meant for battle, however, it is able to be a light "skirmisher" fleet. Notably it is the only ship that can be used to enhance trade power in a node (each barque adds +2 trade power to a trade node). As the fastest ship (two thirds faster than heavy ships) it can be used during warfare to catch-up runaway enemies and delay them while the main fleet catches up to engage in the battle. Light ships have the best blockading power of 10 per ship - double that of heavy ships or cogs.
2 Cog 12 4 6 50 The transport is the weakest ship type of the four and not meant for warfare at all. Each transport ship can can carry one land unit across water tiles. Remarkably it can take relatively more damage to its hull than either galleys or light ships but it has almost no cannons to attack. Like heavy ships it has the weakest blockading power of only 5 per ship.

Strategy

Strategy The below is one of many player suggested strategies for Naval units. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.

Please refer to naval warfare for full details. However, the combination of naval units, admiral skill and the impact of engagement width can be summarised as follows. Generally speaking in a naval battle one could assume that:

  • The fleet with the larger engagement width (assuming they fill all of it with ships) should win (remember both fleets suffer a -20% reduction in width when near the coast)
  • Higher engagement width means one can send more high cannon ships into battle to apply maximum damage to the hulls of the opposing ships
  • All ships up to the full engagement width will fire at the opposing ships
  • The key is to have maximum cannons firing at minimum hull strength, so for example a large line width of cannon-laden heavies firing at a narrow line comprising a few transports
  • The quickest way to ensure the highest engagement width is to send a high manoeuvre admiral into the battle, receiving +10% width for each pip (up to 6) of manoeuvre (note that if you send multiple admirals the one with the overall highest pips will lead the fight, so make sure to only send the high manoeuvre one)
  • Choosing between a high fire and shock pip admiral or one with high manoeuvre to go into battle it is typically better to go for manoeuvre to get the higher engagement width.
  • Heavies are best to send into battle to fill the engagement width (remember they take three slots each), unless fighting in an inland sea where its best to fill the engagement width with galleys that receive a +100% to final damage done. If not an inland sea, or the open sea, the near coast final damage bonus for galleys (+50%) helps, but is typically not enough to offset the power of heavies
  • It is best not to use light ships and transports in battle. However, if one's engagement width is fuller than the enemy's then any additional cannons from light ships and transports will materially shift the fleet damage done in one's favour
  • Towards the tail end of a large existing battle when there may not remain sufficient heavies and galleys to fill the engagement width any more, feeding fresh high-morale light ships and transports from a tile next door into the battle each few days can significantly shift the battle to a quick victory
Mechanics

Ideas and Policies Idea groupsNational ideasPolicies
Ages and Institutions AgesInstitutions
Innovativeness and Technology InnovativenessTechnology