A ship may the be personal vessel of the player characters, a hired transport between sites, or a naval ship constructed as part of the kingdom’s military forces. All ships, regardless of size, purpose, or nationality, use a standard template to describe them.

This lists the vessel’s Acceleration in inches per turn. Used only in tactical tabletop combat.

Top Speed:
This is the maximum number of inches a ship may move per turn in tactical tabletop combat. This value is also used comparatively in regular naval combat. This number is also the base number of hexes the vessel moves in a day on the map of Colombo.

Some vessels are more maneuverable because of their rigging, the ship’s design, or the skill of those who built it. A ship’s Handling adds (or subtracts) directly to the Helmsman’s Boating rolls.

This is the ship’s ability to withstand damage. The number that follows in parentheses is the ship’s armor, which adds to the listed Toughness. Ships have Heavy Armor to reflect the fact that musket shots, axes, and personal spells aren’t likely to damage them.

All ships can take a 3 wounds before sinking. Each wound imposes a -1 penalty on Boating and Shooting checks.

The first value is the number of crew required manage basic ship operations. Having less than this number subtracts 2 from the crew’s Boating rolls, and having less than half the required number subtracts 4.

The second value is the maximum number of sailors. Up to 1.5x this number can travel for short distances (a day or less).

The third value is the number of true passengers the vessel can handle (offering more than just hammocks with the crew). While vessels with less than their normal crew complement can carry additional passengers, these individuals have little privacy and will pay much less than a true passenger.

Cargo Space:
This is the number of cargo spaces the ship has. Cargoes are bought by “spaces” rather than having to keep track of every individual crate. The exact dimensions of cargo spaces are deliberately vague to keep bookkeeping to a minimum. A cargo space may be converted to hold two additional cannon spots, to increase the maximum crew capacity by 8 or to increase passenger limit by 2.

The maximum number of 8-pdr cannon that may be mounted on this ship. Guns must be present in multiples of four and are divided evenly along either side. Larger or smaller guns use more or less room, depending on their size (eg: an 8-gun Brig can mount sixteen 4-pdrs, eight 8 pdrs, or four 16 pdrs).

Type Range Damage Notes
4-pdr Cannon
 Grape shot
 Chain shot
AP2; Heavy Weapon
see notes
see notes
8-pdr Cannon
 Grape shot
 Chain shot
AP3; Heavy Weapon
see notes
see notes
16-pdr Cannon
 Grape shot
 Chain shot
AP4; Heavy Weapon
see notes
see notes

Grapeshot: Canisters of musket balls or other shrapnel, this shot deals no damage to the target ship, but kills 1d6 crew (2d6 with raise). Named characters have a 10% chance of being hit (5% if belowdecks), and take the normal damage for the cannon.

Chainshot: Smaller shot connected by lengths of chain, this shot is intended to damage masts and sails. The shot deals no damage to the ship itself, but each Wound dealt reduces the target’s Top Speed by 1.

The first value represents the BP cost to build and outfit the ship, including guns, crew and initial expendibles. The second value is the monthly cost of maintaining the vessel. The third value represents the cost to repair one Wound to the ship in a repair facility.

Type Accel Top
Handle Tough
Crew Cargo Guns Cost Notes
Skiff 3 10 2 12(1) 8/25/0 2 2 6/1/1 These ships are poor in cannons, crew and cargo capacity, but very agile and can sail at high speed at odd angles to the wind. Experienced captains can use this to their advantage, eluding larger vessels which would otherwise pulverize them.
Pinnace 3 10 2 12(2) 9/30/0 3 4 7/1/1
Cutter 3 10 2 12(2) 12/40/2 3 4 8/2/2
Sloop 3 9 1 14(2) 12/40/2 4 4 8/2/2 Small combat vessels with great maneuverability and a small, but useful, array of cannon. They are capable of outmaneuvering larger vessels, and are fast enough to catch small vessels. Exceptionally easy to use, they are favored by many nations.
Sloop Of War 3 9 1 14(4) 15/50/0 5 6 14/2/3
Royal Sloop 3 9 1 14(4) 20/65/4 6 8 18/4/4
Coastal Barque 2 7 1 16(2) 12/40/4 6 4 9/2/2 The smallest trading vessels available, these ships display interesting sailing characteristics for their size, and can escape combat with many larger ships. Largely unsuitable for combat use, they can serve as auxiliary craft due to their cargo capacity and speed.
Barque 2 7 0 16(2) 15/50/4 7 6 12/3/3
Ocean Barque 2 7 1 16(2) 20/65/4 8 6 13/3/3
Fluyt 2 6 -1 16(4) 8/25/2 8 2 8/1/2 Slow mid-sized trading vessels, used mostly by the Vendel. Ungainly and relatively weak in firepower, these ships are often seen as easy prey to both pirates and raiders. They have high cargo capacity and require small crews, resulting in maximum profit.
Large Fluyt 1 6 -1 18(4) 12/40/4 10 4 14/2/3
West Indiaman 1 6 -2 18(4) 15/50/6 12 6 18/3/4
Brigantine 2 8 0 18(4) 20/65/2 6 8 20/3/5 Mid-sized combat vessels able to take on any other ship, using either good maneuverability or formidable firepower, as required. With ample cargo space and reasonable speed, they are also useful as trade ships for more dangerous waters.
Brig 2 8 0 18(4) 23/75/2 7 8 21/4/5
Brig Of War 1 8 0 18(6) 30/100/2 8 12 30/5/7
Merchantman 1 7 -2 16(4) 20/65/6 10 6 16/3/4 Common mid-sized trading vessels with a good defensive array of cannons. Considered prey by most combat vessels, these ships can often put a dent in attackers, but are unlikely to outmaneuver or escape any but the slowest opponents.
Large Merchantman 1 7 -2 18(4) 20/65/8 12 8 22/4/5
East Indiaman 1 7 -2 18(4) 23/75/10 14 8 23/5/5
Trade Galleon 1 6 -2 18(4) 15/50/8 12 8 21/4/5 These massive trading vessels are used as general-purpose trade ships by the Castillians, their gigantic cargo holds often containing great riches. While their broadsides can be threatening, they are too slow and ungainly to put these to good use in most situations.
Royal Galleon 1 6 -2 20(6) 23/75/16 13 12 35/6/8
Treasure Galleon 1 6 -2 20(6) 30/100/6 14 16 36/6/9
Fast Galleon 2 7 -1 20(6) 24/80/4 8 8 28/5/7 Heavy combat vessels used by Castile to protect their trade routes and assault hunt other ships. Combat Galleons pack a lot of firepower, though their slow turning rate can make those cannons difficult to use properly.
War Galleon 1 7 -1 20(6) 30/100/4 9 12 33/6/8
Flag Galleon 1 7 -1 22(8) 38/125/8 10 20 43/7/10
Frigate 2 9 -1 20(6) 30/100/4 8 12 40/6/10 These vessels are classic warships, through and through. The most heavily armed ships on the high seas, these vessels are feared by their opponents. Fast, tough and deadly, their extravagant cost remains their one true drawback.
Large Frigate 2 9 -1 22(8) 38/125/6 9 20 45/7/11
Ship Of The Line 1 9 -1 24(8) 45/150/6 10 24 50/8/12

Edges and Hindrances

As with characters, ships have personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. In game terms, ships can have Ship Edges and Hindrances. Ships receive 1 free Ship Edge, chosen by the GM. He can then assign Ship Hindrances to buy more Edges. Just like character Hindrances, a Major Hindrance earns the ship 2 points and each Minor Hindrance earns a ship 1 point. A ship may have a maximum of one Major and two Minor Hindrances. Edges cost 2 points each. Unless otherwise stated, an Edge or Hindrance may only be taken once per ship.

Ships can be given Edges during game play without taking Hindrances. A character may forfeit one of his character’s advancements to buy his ship an Edge. The downside is that if the ship is sunk, the hero has lost an advancement. Some Hindrances can be bought off during play.


Conquest of the New World DSMfive DSMfive