Finally we have ships in the 4th rate class. This was something I have missed since I felt that there was to big gap between 5th rates and 3rd rates ships. Filling the gaps mean much more build possibilities for every one using the point system when playing the game. So how different is this ship from 3rd and 5th rate. Let's take a look. I have chosen HMS Leopard as my 4th rate to compare with following ships: 3rd rate HMS Defense 5th rate HMS Juno
As we see the cannon damage is not much greater than a 5th rate. But compare to 3rd rate you see the difference. Musket damage is 2 on the 5th rate and 3 on the 3rd and 4th rate so not much difference here. What is important here is to take into consideration the burden rating. Here you see why it is so much stronger than a 5th rate. Burden Defense........Leopard........Juno 5....................4................2 This means HMS Leopard may take twice as much damage as HMS Juno.
Speed and movement Defense........Leopard........Juno FS 45mm......FS 55mm......FS 65mm BS 30mm......BS.38mm......BS 41mm (FS= full sails. BS= battle sails)
All three types use their own maneuver deck and it is clear that movement and speed increases the smaller the ship is.
HMS Leopard is a beautiful ship that balances strength with mobility. It is a great choice for anyone who want to fight in narrow areas or want maneuverability and endurance in the open sea. I see the use of these 4th rates a lot in future games. The model is beautiful made and I think people will use it just for that reason alone.
It is true that some ships don't have the right cannon value as they should have. Why Ares have upgraded or downgraded their real firepower is unknown. Many ships have this problem. If Ares was afraid that the ship was to strong, they should have increased the cost point of the ship rather than let ship loose the real firepower. If historical skill of the captains is the blame of this, it should be captain and crew upgrade cards that downgraded the ship, not the ship itself.