|Second Rate Ship of the Line|
|Belongs to||All factions|
|Guns||86 (41 on each side, 4 bow chasers)|
|Produced from||Naval Hospital or Steam Drydock|
|Special abilities||Top Gallants|
The Second Rate Ship of the Line is a ship type in Empire: Total War.
The second rate is a three-deck "Battle Ship of the Line" carrying up to 98 cannons, a powerful unit in any fleet.
This three-deck warship is a compromise design between the firepower of a first rate ship and the sea-keeping qualities of a third-rate 74. Like many compromises, the result is something that pleases few, but the extra weight of the broadside does compensate for poor sailing qualities. The design does have one unexpected benefit: enemy captains are often quick to identify second rates as much larger ships and, as a result, flee from a “much superior” enemy!
The lower gun deck houses 32-pounders, and this explains the “tumblehome” shape of all ships of the period: the bulge at water level and just above in the hull allowed more room on the lower decks for the recoil of large cannons; the lighter guns on the higher decks did not recoil as much.
Historically, only the British Royal Navy commissioned many ships of this rating; other nations simply built first rates instead. This might be due to the Royal Navy needing to keep large ships on foreign stations as flagships, an assignment that would have been wasteful and expensive for a first rate.
Second Rates are powerful warships with strong hulls and a devastating broadside, allowing them to defeat nearly any other ship in a head-on fight. Unfortuantely, they are much worse handling than Third Rates and not much faster than First Rates, making them an awkward compromise between the two. However, as second rates are available much earlier than first rates as they don't require the researching of the Steam Engine to be produced, they serve as the heaviest ships in most navies for quite some time.
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|