Hey guys I'm new here, been playing ETW for a long time, but I've noticed that the ingame documentation and explanation of features is very poor. One thing I've always been curious about is the firepower statistic for ships and artillery. In my games at least, light galleys have a firepower stat that can compete with second rates and fourth rates, even though in any naval battle, I'm quite sure that a fourth rate broadside is much more devastating than the 4 cannons on a galley. Another example is the heavy first rate has a firepower similar to third and second rates, and less than a galleon. Does anyone know how this firepower stat works? Is it just plain useless and does it really count on the number of guns, or would a galleon really be able to deliver as much damage as a heavy first rate (I haven't managed to test the two ships against each other yet).
I did notice that the normal first rate has a higher firepower than the heavy, but it actually does seem to do more damage in battle and seems to be more powerful in a 1 on 1, is that just me being a bad admiral or is the heavy first rate really that weak?
Firepower ratings have more to do with gun size than the number of guns. Galley guns are big.
In the earlier versions of the game they were indeed devastating. They were toned way down in later versions, though. Lots of people complained they were over powered, even though IRL 3 or 4 could take on and destroy larger ships close in-shore.
In the 1800 the American Navy used a lot of small vessels with large pivot guns to protect their shores.
As to First Rate SOLs vs. Heavy First Rates, you are right. The heavies lack of maneuverability and low speed hampered them.
I like 3rd Rates for the backbone of a heavy fleet. Overall they do better than spending all that time and money on those big slow monsters.
Education: that which reveals to the wise,
and conceals from the stupid,
the vast limits of their knowledge.