|Belongs to||All factions|
|Guns||14 (6 cannons on each side; 2 howitzers)|
|Tech requirement||Explosive Shells|
|Cost||1190 SP/945 MP|
The "bomb" is a floating weapons platform, usually adapted from a small, two-masted ketch. The whole ship is considered around a single large-calibre mortar.
Strongly-built bomb ketches must withstand the recoil of repeated mortar discharges. Often chains replace the rigging ropes nearest the mortar to prevent muzzle blast damage. They are the only naval vessels to carry and use explosive shells, making them a hazardous assignment. As a mark of all their explosive qualities, they often had volcanic names! The fact that the ketch should be at anchor in order to fire accurately also makes them easy targets for any return fire.
Bomb ketches are not good sailing ships. The mortar has to be on the centre line, with a clear vertical field of fire. This means that the masts had to be aft of their ideal positions, making the ship handling qualities rather poor. With these limitations in mind, however, they are a powerful addition to any admiral’s firepower. The ability to deliver shells by indirect fire (lobbing shells into fortifications, for example) is very useful.
Historically, the bomb ketch was a French invention, but other nations perfected the idea. The British mounted the mortar on a rotating platform so that it was no longer necessary to move the whole vessel to change aim. “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the US national anthem, commemorates these ships with the line “the bombs bursting in air.”
The Bomb Ketch is a support ship. It carries two mortars as its primary armament, which are inaccurate but potentially devastating if they do hit enemy ships, breaking masts, killing crews and damaging hulls. It has a greater range than most other ships from which to fire its mortars (which it fires directly in front of the ship, rather than on its sides). Unlike land howitzers, bomb ketches can only fire one type of ammunition: explosive shells which generally detonate when they approach sea level, although sometimes they harmlessly detonate too high in the air and sometimes they fail to detonate at all. The generally slower movement of ships mean that Bomb Ketches can often get multiple volleys off before coming in range of enemy guns.
The bomb ketch is only lightly armed with cannon and has a very weak hull. It is also more prone to explosion than any other ship in the game. These characteristics make it fare very poorly in a direct engagement.
Some factions' ship statistics are different from others; differences are listed below (traits that to not differ are not listed).
|Type||Accuracy||Reload Skill||Hull Strength||Speed||Morale||Cost||Upkeep|
|Light Ships||Brig • Galley • Light Galley • Race-Built Galleon • Sloop • Xebec|
|Frigates||24-pounder Frigate • Admiral's Flagship, 5th Rate • Carronade Frigate • Fifth Rate • Razee • Sixth Rate • USS Constitution|
|Ships of the Line||Admiral's Flagship, 1st Rate • Admiral's Flagship, 3rd Rate • First Rate Ship of the Line • Fourth Rate Ship of the Line • Heavy First Rate • HMS Victory • Second Rate Ship of the Line • Third Rate Ship of the Line|
|Trade Ships||Dhow • Fluyt • Galleon • Indiaman|
|Other Ships||Bomb Ketch • Rocket Ship • Steamship|