|Belongs to||All factions|
|Guns||48 (23 on each side, 2 stern chasers)|
|Produced from||Dockyard and higher|
|Special abilities||Top Gallants|
|Cost||1280 SP/1140 MP|
Frigates are single-deck warships used for a variety of tasks thanks to a combination of good handling, firepower and endurance at sea.
“Fifth rate” is a Royal Navy term for the largest of the single-deck frigates, square-rigged ships that carry some 44 guns, usually no heavier than 12-pounders. Originally a French design – but quickly adopted by the other European powers – the frigate is used for pursuit, convoy protection, commerce raiding and reconnaissance work. The design’s excellent sailing characteristics and good handling, especially in inshore waters, make it a useful addition to any blockading fleet. The frigate’s ability to operate far away from a home port also makes it a useful cruiser, carrying the fight to the enemy in unexpected waters.
Frigates can have the advantage over larger, two-deck ships in rough waters. A frigate captain rarely has to worry about his gun deck taking on water, and can therefore fight in conditions that leave bigger ships at a disadvantage. However, fifth rates are not powerful enough to face battleships. They have the speed and handling to stay out of trouble; they do not have the strength of construction to survive a pounding! Against sloops, brigs and merchantmen, however, they are deadly. This makes them excellent postings for officers hungry for prize money and glory.
Frigates captains made splendid role models for fictional heroes: Thomas, Lord Cochrane earned a fortune in prize money, gained the nickname “le loup des mers” (sea-wolf) and was the inspiration for fictional heroes Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey.
Fifth rates combine decent firepower with great handling and speed. Along with their admiral's equivalent, they are the heaviest ship type to possess 500 range, giving them a distinct advantage over Fourth Rates and other heavier ships. This makes Fifth Rates the best ships for kiting larger ships, as they possess much more firepower than Sixth Rates with only marginally poorer speed and maneuverability.
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|