View Full Version : Ships Preview

03-17-2007, 03:13
Description still have to be properly done, but here is a glimpse of what there will be ingame.

The rtw vanilla engine provided us a file in which three kind of ships are enlisted - flag ship, light ship, heavy ship.

Even if really simple, the file includes several little differenciations - new ship types are possible, and they will have different specs about: speed, carrying capacity, size, speed, power (sail/oars), artillery (rock/flame), has or has not a ram, durability, armour, depth and beam.
This file was done by rtw developers i think because in a first stage they were thinking about creating naval battles. probably further problems with the engine make them abandone the project.

However, the capacity of a warship as described in the export_descr_unit.txt will be always dependand on the variables above mentioned.
Is funny to discover that the flagship, light ship and heavy ship differed for very few things (and historically wrong). All of them are given a ram, thus making pointless the variable to have or to have not a ram.

The effect have to be tested, but my intention is to give each single new ship a corrispondent new "ship type". The aim is to give ship a new importance in rtw engine, making almost necessary to have a good fleet to support your warfare.

Actually the project has taken a moment of pause due to the fact that current reconstruction are under the examination of Andrej Gaspari, professor of Underwarter Archaeology in Slovenia, who said he is really amazed by our search and historical accuracy.

What you see here are unit cards, since rtw engine allows no ships; by now they are generic both in images and descriptions, but further they will have more appropriate descriptions and images.


Τριακοντηρ - Triacontere (Aphract)

A ship of 30 oars on one level. In use from 6th century BC, it was equipped with an early type ram. As it was pretty little but fast, was soon dismissed by greeks, but retained by pirates on the adriatic coast and some other italic population as a light scout ship. It should not represent a problem for heavier warship, but could be good to attack merchant ships as well as run away faster than other ships if they face a real menace. Usually, the crew is composed by experienced sailors, who spent their time in this kind of ships fishing and assaulting weaker fishers to spare work and come back home sooner.

Κερκουρος - Cercurus (Aphract)

Seems that this kind of ship was invented by Cypriotes, even if the name suggest it was from Corcyra. A little and rapid ship, it was used both for transport and war.
(Liv. XXXIII, 19 ; Lucil. Sat. VIII, 3, ed. Gerlach. ; Plaut. Merc., 1, 86 ; Plin. H.N. VII, 57 ; Herod. VII, 97).
Unfortunately, we have not a precise description of this kind of ship, but Scheffer (Mil. Nav. II, 2, p. 75) suggest that the oars were not on all the ship but instead just from the middle to the bow, while the stern could be used as a free space for the transport or troops.

Κελής Κατασκοπος - Celes Catascopius (Aphract)

[Roman] A roman "Celes" is a ship inspired by the Kelęs, an aphract light ship, typical of illyrian pirates. The term "celes" is closely linked with the adjective celeritas, fastness. In fact, this light ship is used mainly in scouting actions, from which derived the greek adjective "kataskopos", spy. A spy ship like this one has the task to search the enemy and run away to call reinforcements. Is not very reliable in battle: frightened sailors know that the only good thing they have is fastness. A little bigger than the Lemboi, it has 48 oarsmen, one for each oar, but they dispose them like in a bireme to save space and make the Celes more manouvrable. The roman fleet used them for scouting purposes, preferring them to the Penteconterai, too old and long, and to the Lemboi, too light.

[Greek]A Kelęs is a ship inspired by the illyrian Kelęs, an aphract light ship, typical of pirates. Epiriotes first, then other people start to use them, and so it eventually diffused as a pirate ship also in the Aegean Sea. His military power is little if confronted to other kinds of ship, however, his high manouvrability and fastness make it perfectly suitable for scouting purposes, thus giving them the adjective "kataskopos", spy. A spy ship like this one has the task to search the enemy and run awayto call reinforcements. Is not very reliable in battle: frightened sailors know that the only good thing they have is fastness. A little bigger than the Lemboi, it has 48 oarsmen, one for each oar, but they dispose them like in a bireme to save space and make the Celes more manouvrable.

Πεντεκοντηρ - Penteconter (Aphract)

We read that about the time of Cyrus the Phocaeans introduced long sharp-keeled ships called πεντηκόντοροι (Pentekōntoroi, in Herodotus, I, 163). These belonged to the class of νῆες μακραί (nčes makrāi) that are long warship, and had fifty rowers, twenty-five on each side of the ship, who sat in one row. Even if greeks considered them pretty old-fashioned, they were still in use by several italic coastal population like japigians or even etruscans.
Such ships were not provided with complete decks (καταστρώματα) covering the whole of the vessel, and for it were called ἄφρακτοι νῆες (āphraktoi nčes, in lat. naves apertae), "unarmed" (Thucyd. I, 14), and the only protection for the men consisted of the ἴκρια (ėkria) or bulwark (Hom. Od. XII.229). Deck-covered were considered as κατάφρακτοι νῆες (katāphraktoi nčes), that is, "armed".
A pentekonter was long about 35 meters, and beam 3. It could reach a speed of about 9 knots (18km/h).

Δίκροτα - Bireme (Aphract)
(the image is a wip under work...)

With two banks of oars per side, biremes were used as warships and scouts in Mediterranean navies from 8th century BC. Pliny attributes to the Erythraeans the construction of the first bireme (Plin. H.N. VII, 57). 'Achaean' (Phoenician) biremes also had boarding ladders mounted aft at the stern.

Roman biremes typically had a siege tower located aft between mainmast and captain's tent - flying an SPQR banner from sternpost. The top tier of oarsmen were seated in a cantilever section that extends out away from a relatively narrow hull below and over the lower tier of oarsmen. This ship was typical of the "new bireme" which was smaller, thus more maneuverable, and cheaper to produce than the greek ones. Altough it was not as good as a greek trireme, through redesign it was also much meaner, packing more power into a smaller, lightly faster ship, considerably cheaper than triremes.

‘Ημιολία (ναυς) or ‘Ημιόλιος (λέμβος) - Hemiolia (Aphract)

"Your coward is the sort who, when aboard ship, thinks that every headland is a hemiolia", said Theophrastus in the first quarter of the fourth century (Characters, 25, 5). The evidence seems strong that the type, like the liburnian, was invented by pirates, probably in the eastern Mediterranean, probably also in Caria. The alternative hemiolioi lemboi (distinguishing them from cataphracts and aphracts) in Philip V’s fleet against Scerdelaidas in 217 BC, suggests that the eastern type was introduced also to the Adriatic, probably under Macedonian influence. However, his use is attested as a respectable naval vessel in 346/345 BC (Diodorus 16, 61, 4: Phalaikos of Phocis). The most surprising mention of them is when, at the outbreak of the third Punic War in 149 BC, a Roman invasion fleet destined for Africa is said to contain 100 hemioliai listed together with the capital ships.
Following the established type-naming principle, a hemiolia has one and a half files of oarsmen on each side of the ship as the trireme has three. The half-file, placed on each side of the gangway amidships, makes economical use of the broader beam amidships, adding power without a corresponding increase in weight of hull. It should be noted that in the list of the fastest ships, the hemioliai come first, then the triacontors, followed by the kerkouroi.

Tριημιολία - Triemiolia (Cataphract)

Trihemiolia means three and a half fitted. They were must have been cataphrac galleys with one of two systems of rowing. They were like the trireme in that they had oars on three levels most likely rowed over an outrigger at the top level. The system probably alternated, if the top level had two men to an oar the middle would have one and the bottom two. If the middle level had two men to an oar the top would have one and the bottom would have one. This is within the vertical files of three oars. Within a given level it probably worked that it was broken down by quarters. If the Starboard fore quarter had one man to an oar then the port fore quarter would have two, the starboard aft quarter would have two, and the port aft quarter would have one. Thus distributing the power equally and not forcing the boat to be widened unnecessarily because you would never have two oars next to each other each being pulled by 2 men.
The middle part of the deck in most ships of war appears to have been raised above the bulwark or at least to a level with its upper edge, and thus enabled the soldiers to occupy a position from which they could see far around and hurl their darts against the enemy.

Τριήρης - Trieres (Cataphract)

The development of the trireme enabled a 'step up' from the bireme by arranging oars in three tiers, thus basically a bigger and faster ship could be built while still retaining a high degree of maneuverability.
The trireme's staggered seating permitted three benches per vertical section with an oarsmen on each. The outrigger above the gunwale, projecting laterally beyond it, kept the third row of oars on deck out of the way of the first two under deck.
Before Archimedes' investigation of the physics of buoyancy and ship stability, triremes' stability imposed severe limits on their possible height. The lowest row of oarsmen were only half a metre or so above the waterline: their oars stuck out through portholes, with leather gaskets around the portholes to keep the water out.
From Böckh's Urkunden we learn that two masts were issued at Athens from the νεώριον for every trireme. The foremast was called ἀκάτειος (akāeios), while the mainmast was called ἱστός μέγας (istōs mčgas). The masts as well as the yards were usually of fir (Plin. H.N. XVI.76). The invention of masts in navigation is attributed to Daedalus (Plin. H.N. VII.56).
lenght 35 mt, 170 oarsmen, 1 captain, 20 crews, 10 marines
This type of vessel was in use since 450BC. The full deck meant that oarsmen were protected from enemy fire.

Trireme Romana

The Romans in the earlier period of their history never conceived the idea of increasing their power by the formation of a fleet. The time when they first appear to have become aware of the importance of a fleet, was during the second Samnite war, in the year B.C. 311. Livy (IX.30), where he mentions this event, says: duumviri navales classis ornandae reficiendaeque causa were then for the first time appointed by the people. The first warships Romans built were undoubtedly Triremes, which were then very common among the Greeks of Italy, and most of them were furnished by the Graeco-Italic towns subject to Rome. Romans, however, try to empower them making them stronger, increasing the number of marines and adding a tower where archers could fire arrows. This fleet, however insignificant it may have been, continued to be kept up until the time when Rome became a real maritime power. This was the time of the first Punic war. That their naval power until then was of no importance, is clear from Polybius (I.20), who speaks as if the Romans had been totally unacquainted with the sea up to that time.



Λιβουρνης - Liburnes

Τετρήρης - Quadrireme
Πεντήρης - Quinquireme
'Εξήρης - Hexereme
'Επτήρης - Hepteres
Δεκήρης - Deceres

Η ΣΥΡΑΚΟΥΣΙΑ - He Syrakousia

"Δος μοι που στω, και κινω την γην" [give me a lever on a fulcrum, and i shall move the world], Archimedes said. The king Hieron II, who was absolutely astonished by the statement, asked him to prove it. In the harbour was the Syracusia, a 55 meters long ship, that had proved impossible to launch even by the combined efforts of many men from Syracuse. Archimedes, who had been examining the properties of levers and pulleys, built a machine. He then seated himself at some distance away and without using any noticeable force, but merely exerting traction with his hand through a complex system of pulleys, he drew the vessel towards him with as smooth and even a motion as if she were gliding through the water.
So reports Plutarch. And that ship was in fact the biggest cargo of the ancient time, the Syrakousia. Build by Archias of Corinth around 240 BC after an order of Hieron II, king of Syracuse, later it was given as a gift to Ptolemy III Euergetes of Alexandria and it was renamed to Alexandria.
Wood to make it was pine and fir from Mount Etna forests, cordage come from Spain. Hemp and pitch for caulking come from Massilia. Hull was fastened with cooper spikes, and also lead sheets were used to cover the planks. The material used for the Syracusia was enough to build 60 conventional trireme.
The first trip from Syracuse to Alexandria was of 60000 measures of grain, 10000 jars of pickled Sicilian fish, 20000 talents of wool, 20000 talents other cargo that adds up to 1900 tons of our time. Also, there were separate stalls to transport 20 horses. A container with 78 tons water was used to provide water for the passengers and for the bathroom with a water container heated with steam. Such ship was intended not only as a cargo, however, since it could carry also 400 soldiers on the first upper deck. Travellers will like to spent some money, so the Syrakousia provided 142 First Class passengers cabins on the second deck with a library and reading room, a gymnasium, a chapel dedicated to Aphrodite Pontia, a dining room and a bath; there were 15 rooms on each side each with 4 beds.
However, such a big ship need defense, so the Syrakousia had eight deck towers, each including a 18-foot arrow, plus a 180 pound stone catapult build by Archimedes. Such ship, as a cargo, need no oarsmen, since they were used only in battle, to move faster a warship.

Basically, it would look more similar to a ship-of-the-line of the XVIII century, since had three masts, no oarsmen, and it was full of decorations. can you just imagine how cool could have been?


what did you think?:)

ideas, comments and suggestions are highly appreciated.

07-13-2007, 08:37
The Romans also used Pentekonters and sent 10 or so, maybe more as I can't rmember offhand, to aid thier allyCarthage in an earlier war with I believe it was Syracuse. This is documented in either on or all of these writings: Polybius, Livy, Arian. I believed the early and small Roman fleet, pre and perhaps at the start of the 1st Punic War used Pentekonters and Triremes and probably other smaller ships. Etruscans also used Pentekonters. Pentekonters seem to have been used by Italic States for a long time but of course in later times they were used mainly for scouting and delivering messages.

You have a great mod here!!! I was a Punic War and post-Alexander Era fantic in the past and have much literature including some naval texts about those times and eagerly await your mod. Your historical accuracy is very impressive. I see that you have read and referenced N. Sekunda, and his thesis on the Ptolemaic Army is excellent.

If you introduce the Epiorites and other Greek types in the future, please don't forget the Thorakitai and Thuerophorii trops that generally replaced the Hoplite in Greece in many Greeks states. Elis is one Greek state that never replaced its Hoplites with Thors. and Thueros. and also never adapted Pikemen, although when finally forced into the Aachean League (I think it was this or another League) they may have changed their equipment but maybe not. Your mod now has such good accuracy that I think I don't have to worry!!! :2thumbsup:

Thanx for the mod and all your hard work. I am very eager to try it!!

Saludo!!! Chris-toe-fur, Hobbitius Maxiumus Imperator, descendant of Silvanus, etc. :egypt:

10-25-2007, 20:04
Wow, great jobs on the ships. I've never seen this much attention to the navies in the game. It's usually three or four types of ships max. Keep up the good work.