|Third Rate Ship of the Line|
|Belongs to||All factions|
|Guns||74 (35 on each side, 2 stern chasers, 2 bow chasers)|
|Special abilities||Top Gallants|
|Cost||2160 SP/1810 MP|
The Third Rate Ship of the Line is a ship type in Empire: Total War.
The third rate is a compromise between firepower and handling. A stable gun platform, it also makes a good flagship.
The third rate, or “74” (from the number of guns aboard), is a supremely practical weapon of war. With a crew of around 700 men, it is a “wooden world” in itself and a statement of national power. A two-deck design, it is strong enough to mount very heavy cannons on its lower gun deck, often 32-pounders. With 18-pounders on the upper gun deck and then 9-pounders in the upper works, it has a devastating broadside. The design and construction means a 74 can withstand horrendous damage in battle.
Historically, the French invented the concept of the 74-gun ship in the mid-18th century. The design was so good that other navies lost no time in copying it or in capturing French ships. French vessels, while well designed, were often made from green timber that “worked” in heavy seas and therefore leaked. Dutch examples had a shallower, broader draft to suit their harbours and shore waters. The few American 74s were extremely strong and well made. British 74s were well constructed too, although there was a regrettable tendency to save money by recycling timbers - complete with timber rot - from older vessels!
Amazingly, HMS Implacable, the last of the third rates, was scuttled in 1949! Built in 1800 by the French, and captured at Trafalgar in 1805, she stayed in service until 1842. Eventually, she ended her days as a coal hulk.
Third rates represent an excellent blend of firepower, maneuverability and endurance. They are much more durable and powerful than Fourth Rates, and can even stand up to Second Rate Ships and First Rates for small periods of time. However, their low speed and unremarkable range make them ill-suited for hunting down faster ships.
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|
|Empire: Total War Ships|
|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|
|Support Ships||Bomb Ketch • Rocket Ship • Steamship|