Admiral's Flagship, 3rd Rate (ETW Unit)
Overall, the “74” (from the number of guns carried) or “third rate” is a very practical vessel. With a crew of around 700 men, it has enough firepower and resilience to survive most battles. It can deliver a horrendously effective broadside from its 32-pounders (on the lower deck), 18-pounders on the upper deck and 9-pounders in the upper works. It also has enough space to house an admiral and his busy staff in some comfort, even if the ship’s officers have to sacrifice their living space.
Historically, many admirals and commodores chose 74s to be their flag vessels. In the 18th Century “commodore” was not a formalised naval rank, but an appointment as a “temporary fleet commander”. Appointing a commodore allowed the navy to choose any talented or well-connected captain, no matter how junior, for command. Admiral was usually a rank that any captain, no matter how useless, could reach if he lived for long enough!