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Heavy First Rate (ETW Unit)

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Heavy First Rate (ETW Unit)
Class Over 1st Rate
Unit Size 300 men
Weaponry 118 guns
Melee Attack
Ranged Attack
Charge Bonus
Region Global
Recruitment Cost 4040
Upkeep Cost 1010
Turns to Build
Unit Limit
Building Requirements Steam Drydock
Technology Requirements None
Attributes Broadside

Heavyfirstratethumb.pngFor some navies big is never quite big enough! This oversized “first rate ship of the line” is more a floating fortress than a mere battleship.


This 120-gun (or larger) “first rate” is larger than a normal ship of that class, and far more powerful than a simple count of guns would imply. The ship carries 32-, 24- and 18-pounders on its decks, and wherever possible heavier guns replace the standard cannon found on a normal first rate. The result is a very expensive, very powerful, very prestigious warship, but one that can have limited utility. Few nations can afford the expense of building and crewing such a vessel, or can operate it far from shore facilities for very long. Its sailing qualities might be charitably described as “lubberly”: this is not a ship for chasing down enemies. All these drawbacks are secondary to its massive firepower and intimidating presence: this is a ship for dashing enemies to very small pieces!

Historically, only the Santísima Trinidad, a Spanish “super battleship” of four decks and some 136 guns, ever fought in action. Constructed as a three-decker she was enormous at 120 guns, even before her reworking. She fought at Cape St Vincent (1797) and Trafalgar (1805), and foundered after the latter battle in a storm while being towed away as a prize. The American USS Pennsylvania (ordered 1821; completed 1837) never saw action, and the US Navy destroyed her in 1860 to keep her out of Confederate hands.


Simply put, the massive Heavy First Rate is the slowest and most heavily armed ship available. Although they can fire devastating broadsides, and have great hull strength, heavy first rates are very easily out-maneouvered. They are also very expensive to build and maintain.


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