Ships of Althanas


[top]The Xebec




Specialty: Close hauling, Speed, and Maneuverability

Weaknesses: Can not weather an open ocean storm, and has very little stamina for an extended battle.

Crew Complement: A hundred to three hundred and fifty; one captain, five lieutenants, ten midshipmen, and the rest are landsmen to rated seamen.

Guns: eighteen to thirty six, eight-to-eighteen pound broadsides; zero-to-two, long four-to-twelve pound bow/stern chasers; zero-to-eight, one-to-two pound swivel guns.

Description: For any captain wanting a fast ship, there are very few that could surpass the Xebec. With its shallow draft sharp bow and stern, and its enormous sails, this lateen-rigged ship is as nimble as a gazelle. It is characterized by three masts, with each mast having a single oversize yard arm complete with a large sail and a short bowsprit. For its size it has an incredibly large crew the large crew is needed because the large lateens can be furled and the yards removed from the masts and replaced with more traditional square rigged sails to sail more efficiently beam or broad reach or running with the wind but needs a large crew to do all this with any speed. This ship can sail circles around just about any other ship of comparable size. Its down fall however is with everything done to make it so fast it sacrificed durability in short it has a glass jaw and will suffer heavily in any sustained ship battle a captains best strategy with a Xebec would be hit and run tactics or complete surprise and overwhelming force.

Historic Example: Spanish privateer El Gamo.


[top]The Junk




Specialty: Speed, low man power needs, can fire incendiary rockets

Weaknesses: Lower maneuverability, ineffective at close hauling, no keel.

Crew Complement: twenty-five-to-seventy-five; one captain, one-to-three lieutenants, and one-to-five midshipmen, with the remainder being able seamen and a few rated seamen.

Guns: 6-18, 4-8 pound broadsides, 0-2 long 4 pound bow/stern chasers. 5-20 incendiary re-loadable rockets.

Description: A beautiful and exotic ship, the Junk is one of the most efficient in history, having been in use for nearly two thousand years. With its lower tumblehome the junk could house only a few guns; rather than trying to add more guns the junk with it open weather deck can be fitted with incendiary rocket launchers which can be used with great effect against enemy ships. Not only is the junk uniquely armed but it is also incredibly fast when sailing with the wind having a shallow draft and being constructed with soft woods rather than the traditional hard woods making the junk lighter. Finally the lugger sails make setting an maintaining a press of sails a simple process requiring a minimal crew to run a junk compared to more traditional ships of similar size. The same attributes that make the junk incredibly fast and easy to sail also causes it problems. First there is no keel and when combined with its construction from soft woods makes it incredibly flexible and hard to control even with a large rudder the junk tends to get pushed around by the wind. This is further compounded by the lugger sails which work great sailing with the went abaft or at the ships side but with their shape makes them poor at sailing into the wind or close hauling.

Historic Example: The Empress


[top]The Galley




Specialty: Speed/ Maneuverability with out wind, overwhelming vanguards, experienced sailors not needed.

Weaknesses: Manpower heavy, potential for over half of the crew to turn on you, very few guns.

Crew Complement: 200-400 1 captain, 1-3 lieutenants, 1-3 slave drivers, 100-200 seamen, 100-200 slaves at the sweeps.

Guns: 2 long 18 pound bow chasers, 2-4 long 24 pound stern chasers.

Description: An older type of ship but still used among the more barbarous populations of Althanas. A direct descendant of the trireme's and the ancestor of the Xebec this ship is a resilient vessel that was easily adapted to the use of guns. To propel the ship through the water the galley uses both sails typically one to two masts with a single lateen rigged sail each and sweeps. Each oar was manned by at-least two slaves chained to them. To keep the slaves in check slave drivers would walk the center board and lash any slave not being attentive to his oar or just because and to keep the slaves from out numbering the crew and taking over the ship the crew complement had to be as large or larger than the amount of slaves on board. This makes boarding actions and taking prizes a breeze with nearly overwhelming odds in the galley's favor. This also means that the galley can not make as long of voyages as similar sized strictly sailing ships. The trick is to be able to get close enough to another ship to board it with out being raked by broadside over and over again with out being able to shoot back.

Historic Example: None provided as of yet.


[top]The Brig, Brigantine and Hermaphrodite Brig




Specialty: Easy customization, no other real strengths or weaknesses

Crew Complement: Fifty to seventy five; one captain, three lieutenants, ten-to-twenty five vanguards men, remaining ordinary to rated seamen.

Guns: Ten to eighteen; four-to-eight pound broadside guns.

Description: Brigs are not technically ships. Ships by definition have three vertical masts, while a brig merely has two vertical masts. That being said a brig is quite the formidable sailing vessel. It has been used by military's, pirates, bounty hunters, merchants, privateers, and just about any one else who would want a cheap to maintain, fast, formidable vessel. To put things in modern terms the Brig is the muscle car of sailing vessels. They are easy to customize, their parts and "after market" parts are both readily available in several ports and all things considered relatively cheap. If you want a fast vessel you can make a sail plan for it change the ballast masts, and use lighter cannons and shot. If you want a more powerful ship you can do that too by purchasing heavier weapons and changing the sail plans and so on.

Historic Examples: Lady Washington, Interceptor, Jackdaw, Aquila, HMS Beagle, USS Argus, and USS Niagara (Captained by Oliver Hazard Perry).


[top]The Galleon




Specialty: Firepower and storage.

Weakness: Wide turning radius and slow [detail missing].

Crew Complement: 100 to 300 - 1 captain, 5 lieutenants, 30 to 100 vanguards men, 50 specialists (Boatswain mates, carpenters mates, tops men etc.) remaining ordinary to rated seamen.

Guns: 50 to 75 - 18 to 36 pound broadside guns or 36 to 48 pound carronades (Or a combination of both), six two-pound swivel guns and eight long twelve-to-eighteen pound chasers.

Description: The Galleon is an ancient and ponderous ship that is loved truly loved by any captain privileged enough to captain her. For her size the Galleon has a over the top fire power and plenty of storage space for all the booty that you might score. That is if you can catch up with your prize because for all of her ridiculous firepower she is ponderously slow and frigates, brigs, sloops and any other small nimble ship can run absolute circles around her as she has trouble turning. In fact the only thing slower and more ponderous than a Galleon is are the rated ships of the line.

Historic Example: The Queen Anne's Revenge and the Eurka De Lima.


[top]Men O' War Frigates




Specialty: Speed and firepower.

Weakness: Maintenance heavy.

Crew Complement: 100 to 175. 1 captain, 3 lieutenants, 30 to 60 vanguards men, 50 specialists (boatswain mates, carpenters mates, tops men etc.) remaining ordinary to rated seamen.

Guns: 20 to 40. 18-to-24 pound broadside guns or 24-to-36 pound carronades (or a combination of both), 4 to 2 pound swivel guns and 4 long 8-to-12 pound chasers.

Description: The Frigate make up the back bone of any age of sail Navy. They are fast their speed out stripping all but the fastest sloops the xebec and brigs. Beyond their speed they also have fire power to match their speed. These ships are no nonsense war ships and are designed to do one thing well, fighting battles. Thanks to their purpose these ships are a bear to maintain unless set on convoy duty. Their coppered bottoms must constantly be cleaned of seaweed and barnacles, their knees must constantly be pitched less they rot and their cordage and sails take an incredible amount of tar to keep from becoming frail and frayed and all of that is if a captain is lucky not to be ordered to one of the forty thieves.

Historic Examples: The U.S.S Constitution, the H.M.S Leopard, and the French Frigate Pourvoyeuse.


[top]Men O' War Ships of the Line




Specialty: Manpower and firepower.

Weakness: Slow, poor maneuverability, resource heavy, expensive.

Crew Complement: 600 to 1200. 1 captain, 10 lieutenants, 200 to 300 vanguard's men, 200 specialists (boatswain mates, carpenters mates, tops men etc.) remaining ordinary to rated seamen.

Guns: 75 to 100. 36 to 48 pound broadside guns or 36 to 60 pound carronades (Or a combination of both), 12 2-8 pound swivel guns and 16 long 18 to 24 pound chasers, 100 mortars, and 100 rockets.

Description: Do you want to perform a vulgar show of force? Do you want an obscene amount of firepower at your beck and call? Then look no further. These are not so much a ship as more of a floating city with rows upon rows of cannons and hundreds of sailors to man each gun, perfectly capable of taking over a medium sized town or a small city. Creating and maintaining firepower this absurd is rather resource heavy, however. It takes one thousand trees, hundreds of tons of iron and several tons of brass and copper to build a single one of these ships. Then it takes three pounds of food per person, per meal, per day, and another half gallon of alcohol and water on top of that. When fully supplied and manned, these ships can easily weigh more than a million pounds. It would take an incredibly affluent faction or a medium sized nation to even consider commissioning one of these behemoths (and chances are that what ever war that this ship is being build for will be long over by the time it is Christened...)

Historic Example: The Dauntless and The Ville De Paris.



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