For the similar Empire: Total War unit, see Second Rate Ship of the Line.

86-gun Ship-of-the-Line
86-gun Ship-of-the-Line NTW
Belongs to Portugal
Crew 263
Guns 86 (41 on each side, 4 stern chasers)
Firepower 2152
Range 450 (round shot)/350 (chain shot)/150 (grape shot)
Accuracy 30
Reloading skill 10
Hull strength 3320
Speed 13 (14)
Maneuverability Low
Morale ???
Produced from Drydock
Cost 2070 SP/2550 MP
Upkeep 510
Turns to Train 10
Unit Cap None
86-gun Ship-of-the-Line NTW Icon
The 86-gun Ship-of-the-Line is a type of ship of the line in Napoleon: Total War.


This 86-gun ship has a strong hull capable of withstanding heavy broadsides. It excels against other ships of the line.

This three-deck warship is a design compromise between wanting the firepower of a “first rate” battleship with the sea-keeping qualities of a 74-gun ship. Like many compromises, the result is not perfect, but the extra weight of fire in the broadside does compensate for poor sailing qualities. The design does have one unexpected benefit: enemy captains are often quick to identify this ship as a much larger vessel and run from a superior enemy!

The lower gun deck houses 32-pounders, and this explains the “tumblehome” shape: the bulge at water level and just above in the hull allows more room on the lower decks for the recoil of large cannons. Lighter guns on the higher decks did not recoil to the same extent.

Historically, only the British Royal Navy commissioned ships of this “second rate” class; other nations built large “first rates” instead. This was probably due to the Royal Navy’s need for large ships to act as flagships on foreign stations, an assignment that would have been wasteful and expensive for a very large ship. The second rate did retain some of the more favourable qualities of a first rate, including a robust hull. During the Battle of Cape Saint Vincent (1780) HMS Blenheim fought the Santissima Trinidad and took 105 hits to the hull, but only 13 crew members were killed and 48 wounded.

General InformationEdit

Unique to Portugal, 86-gun ships-of-the-line are the smallest variant of 3-deck ships of the line. Their increased number of cannon and crew are offset by their poorer speed and maneuverability. 86-gun ships-of-the-line are an awkward compromise of 3-deck and 2-deck ship qualities. Compared to 80-gun ships-of-the-line, 86-gun ships-of-the-line have worse firepower, reloading, accuracy, and speed, though their hull strength is much better. They pale in every category compared to the only other second rate ship in the game, the 98-gun Second Rate. However, the mere fact that Portugal even has a 3-deck type of ship-of-the-line gives the Portuguese navy a significant advantage over most other factions, who can only field weaker 2-deck ships until steam powered ships are accessed. 

In the Europe Campaign, Portugal begins with only one port, a trade port that it rarely converts to a military one; in addition, Portugal very rarely expands past its own borders. This means that the likelihood of Portugal building a 86-gun ship-of-the-line a very rare occurrence. 

In The Peninsular Campaign, the 86-gun ship-of-the-line is the heaviest ship, and only available to Portugal. However, Portugal does not have access to a military port, rarely builds one, and rarely expands, so it does not often have the opportunity to build 86-gun ships-of-the-line.

Napoleon: Total War Ships
Light Ships BrigGalleySloop
Frigates 24-gun Frigate32-gun Frigate38-gun FrigateCarronade FrigateRazee
Ships of the Line 106-gun Ship-of-the-Line122-gun Ship-of-the-Line50-gun Ship-of-the-Line64-gun Ship-of-the-Line74-gun Ship-of-the-Line80-gun Ship-of-the-Line86-gun Ship-of-the-Line98-gun Second RateHMS ElephantSantissima Trinidad
Steam Ships 38-gun Steam Ship80-gun Steam ShipIroncladSteam Paddle Frigate
Trade Ships Dhow (Trade Ship)Indiaman (Trade Ship)Merchantmen (Trade Ship)
Support Ships Bomb KetchRocket Ship