|Belongs to||All Western factions|
|Produced from||Trading Port or higher|
|Cost||600 SP/Unavailable MP|
An Indiaman is a ship type in Empire: Total War.
The Indiaman is an armed merchant ship, strongly built for the trade routes between Europe and the East. It is not a warship, but can defend itself in need.
The Indiaman is a three-masted, square-rigged sailing ship of some 1000 tons displacement. Although work for the relatively small crew is hard, there are compensations: they can trade goods in their own right, and make excellent profits by doing so.
Unusually for a merchant ship, an Indiaman carries cargo, passengers, and a good number of guns. Intended to sail from Europe to the other side of the world and back carrying valuable – sometimes priceless – cargoes, these ships have to be able to defend themselves. The passengers expect some creature comforts, being both officers of the owning trade companies and assorted “gentlemen” seeking their fortunes in foreign parts.
Historically, East Indiamen resembled ships of the line, both in their general configuration and paintwork. At the Battle of Pulo Aura (1804), the ambiguous appearance and aggressive handling of a squadron of British Indiamen completely humbugged the French admiral, Charles-Alexandre Linois. He withdrew in the face of “superior” forces. Commodore Nathaniel Dance, of the British Company fleet, received a knighthood and a handsome reward for his cunning.
National navies purchased Indiamen and converted them into troopships or warships.
Indiamen are the default trading ship for all Western nations. Compared to their Eastern counterparts, Indiamen are much more durable and have lower upkeep, but have weaker firepower per cannon and are more expensive to build. Of all the trading ships, they have the lowest upkeep, making them the most profitable ships for trading in the long run. These ships are not meant to fill a combat role, as they don't have enough cannons to even duel with a sloop.
Indiamen can engage in trade, generating revenue when placed at the trading theaters. The amount of money made is usually substantially higher than upkeep costs, so investing in indiamen can substantially boost income. However, they are vulnerable to pirates and hostile navies and so must be guarded if they are to continue serving their function.
|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|