24-gun Frigate (NTW unit)
|Turns to build:||5|
A frigate is a fast and manoeuvrable single-deck vessel, used for reconnaissance and missions in distant waters.
This 24-gun ship is not a ship-of-the-line, and would not last long in combat against such an opponent. Rather than heavy firepower, it is built for speed and easy handling; the guns on board are much lighter than those used by even the smallest battle ship. A frigate is not suited to close combat, its hull and masts would not survive a heavy enemy broadside. Instead, their advantage lies in the long range qualities of their relatively accurate 9-pounder guns, and their manoeuvrability against lumbering ships. They can, quite simply, outmanoeuvre larger opponents, and choose to run if the odds are against them.
Historically, a frigate’s guns were all mounted together on a single deck well above the waterline. Warships often had their guns split between the upper and lower decks, and during rough weather would have to close the lower gun ports to prevent swamping. A frigate had no guns close to the waterline, so was not handicapped by this problem and could deploy all its guns all the time. A frigate was seen as a desirable posting for a young officer, as it offered the chance of prize money and the chance to be noticed as a dashing and brave commander.