Brig Icon
Belongs to All factions
Crew 81
Guns 26 (12 on either side, 2 stern chasers)
Firepower 192
Range 500
Accuracy 70
Reloading skill 60
Hull strength 1194
Speed 26
Maneuverability High
Tech requirement None
Produced from Shipyard
Cost 700 SP/410 MP
Upkeep 170

The Brig is a ship type in Empire: Total War.


A brig is a lightly armed, small, two-masted sailing ship, much prized for its exceptional handling and sailing qualities.

The term “brig” is a contraction of “brigantine” (an earlier sailing ship design), although the two types do not have the same rigging. A brigantine carries fore-and-aft sails, while a brig is square-rigged; this explains why the brig was favored, for square rigging requires far fewer skilled hands to sail the vessel. The term “brig” could also include many rigging sets, including the strangely named “hermaphrodite brig”, which had a square-rigged forward mast and schooner-rigged aft (main) mast.

All brigs, in the hands of a good captain, are handy little ships, and can virtually turn in their own length. This maneuverability partly makes up for the light armament, usually no more than a couple of cannon – and those no larger than 12-lbers. The development of carronades (short-barreled, short-range, large-bore weapons) added to a brig’s firepower.

Historically, the fledgling United States Navy used brigs, particularly on the Great Lakes. USN brigs also put up a brave account of themselves against the Barbary Pirates.

General InformationEdit

Available from the very beginning to any nation with a port, brigs are versatile ships. They are more heavily armed and better manned than sloops, and are good for fending off lighter ships. With proper control, they can even take on larger ships by taking advantage of their superior speed and (usually) better range. Brigs are unusual for a light ship in that they have cannons located at the stern, allowing them to damage other ships attempting to chase them down. These cannons are very weak, however.

Brigs have some key weaknesses. Their open decks make them far more vulnerable to Grape Shot than sloops (or nearly any other ship in the game, for the matter). In addition, their sails are quite weak and can easily be taken out by Chain Shot. A single volley from even the weakest ship could potentially nearly immobilize an unlucky brig.

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
Standard 70 60 1194 22 8 700 170
France 80 60 1220 23 8 750 180

Great Britain

70 75 1258 22 9 700 170
Spain 70 60 1194 22 8 680 170
United States 70 70 1258 22 9 670 160
Light Ships BrigGalleyLight GalleyRace-Built GalleonSloopXebec
Frigates 24-pounder FrigateAdmiral's Flagship, 5th RateCarronade FrigateFifth RateRazeeSixth RateUSS Constitution
Ships of the Line Admiral's Flagship, 1st RateAdmiral's Flagship, 3rd RateFirst Rate Ship of the LineFourth Rate Ship of the LineHeavy First RateHMS VictorySecond Rate Ship of the LineThird Rate Ship of the Line
Trade Ships DhowFluytGalleonIndiaman
Other Ships Bomb KetchRocket ShipSteamship

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