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Brig

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This article is about the Ship Type known as the "Brig". For the family of ships known collectively as "Barque", see Brig Class.

The Brig is a Ship Type available only in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). It is the mid-sized variant in the Brig Class family of ships. Brigs are general-purpose combat vessels, capable of handling a wide variety of traits. They combine potent firepower with good handling and speed, which allows them to adapt easily to different kinds of opponents. Foreign powers and Pirates both use Brigs for raids on enemy shipping and ports. One Famous Pirate also sails a Brig.

Icon Pirates2004 Header Pirates2004Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)Edit

Ship Type
Brig
Mid-Sized member of the Brig class
Smaller:
Brigantine
Larger:
Brig Of War
2004 Ship Brig
A versatile mid-sized combat vessel
Prevalence: Uncommon
Physical Size: Medium
Maneuverability: Mid-High
Durability: Medium
Best Sailing Point: Running Broad Reach to Broad Beam Reach
Comparative Speed: Medium
Best Speed: Medium
Max. Cannons: 24 Icon Cannon
Max. Crew: 150 Icon Crew
Min. Crew: 14 Icon Crew
Ideal Crew (w/ Max Cannons): 86 Icon Crew
Cargo Capacity: 70 tons
Basic Sale Price: 450 Icon GoldCoin


In Sid Meier's Pirates! the Brig is the name of a new Ship Type, which is unique to this version of the game. The Brig belongs to the Brig Class family of ships. It is the Mid-Sized variant of that class. The Brig is essentially the most balanced warship in the game, and relies on both heavy firepower and good maneuverability whenever needed.

The Brig is classified as a medium-sized combat vessel. Its statistics are about average in all respects, when compared to the entire scale presented by other warships, and this is in fact the Brig's real advantage: it is capable of adapting to situations as required, and can potentially take on any other ship in combat. At the same time it has a respectable cargo hold and crew size, meaning that even on the strategic scale it presents the player with the ability to do anything. Its primary forte, however, is in dominating smaller vessels as well as mid-sized merchant shipping.

The Brig carries up to 24 Cannons into battle, twice as many as a Sloop. It can hold a Crew of up to 150 men. With less than 14 men available, the Brig becomes sluggish and difficult to use. With at least 86 men and 24 cannons on board, the Brig is at its maximum fighting efficiency.

Given the above statistics, the Brig has more firepower and crew capacity than any Sloop, Fluyt or Merchantman. While it is a tad slower and less maneuverable than a Sloop, its increased firepower more than makes up for this shortcoming. In addition, the Brig can carry 70 tons of cargo - as much as a Barque, which is ample space for Food and cannon, though little space is left for other cargo.

When sold, a Brig yields 450 Icon GoldCoin, plus 112 Icon GoldCoin for each upgrade installed on the ship. This assumes that the ship is at 100% condition, otherwise it is sold for less (down to 10 Icon GoldCoin if either sails or hull are all but gone).

Upgrades for a Brig cost 700 Icon GoldCoin each. Once the rank of Admiral has been attained, Brig upgrades will only cost 350 Icon GoldCoin each.

In the Player's HandsEdit

Only one nation/era combination has the player starting off with a brig:

  • Netherlands, 1620

The Brig has effectively replaced the Barque and Merchantment from Pirates! (1987) as the new mid-sized combat vessel. As such it is highly favoured by many players. It is a recommended ship for newcomers to the game, as it offers easy handling together with the capability of doing various "jobs" without specializing in any single role.

The reason is primarily that the Brig is adaptible to many different situations, and can be useful in almost every circumstance. It carries enough firepower to be a menace to smaller ships, such as Sloops and Barques, while retaining the necessary maneuverability to chase them. It even retains enough speed and agility to pose a small but significant threat to large vessels, possibly even Frigates. Finally, the Brig can go toe-to-toe in cannon battles with all medium-sized traders like the Merchantman and Fluyt, which constitute its primary prey.

The Brig is also considered the easiest-to-use vessel, again thanks to its ability to do whatever the player requires at any given time. Its combination Fore-And-Aft Rigging with Square Rigging means it can sail relatively quickly in most directions (though not necessarily eastwards), and can even develop good speeds when going Before The Wind. It has some (but not much) space for extra cargo, though it does carry a good deal of men.


Experienced players who prefer Brigs will, nonetheless, find themselves favouring either firepower or maneuverability. As a result, players will either "downgrade" to a Brigantine (or even a large Sloop), or "uprade" to a Brig Of War, depending on the requirement.

Roles and NationalityEdit

The Brig is fairly uncommon in the Caribbean. All nations use Brigs as Raiders, to attack enemy shipping and Ports. However in this role, it is a little less likely to spot a Brig rather than, say, a Frigate.

More commonly, players involving themselves in Missions received from Settlements, Indian Villages and Jesuit Missions will encounter Brigs more often, as these are usually sent as Privateers on most Difficulty settings.

Finally, the Famous Pirate Jean Lafitte sails a heavily-upgraded Brig.

In CombatEdit

As mentioned earlier, the Brig is one of the most versatile combat vessels in the game, if not the most versatile. While its primary prey tends to be medium-sized merchant vessels, it poses quite a threat to both smaller ships like the Sloop, and larger ships like the Spanish Merchant Galleons. Experienced Brig captains will rarely have trouble taking on even larger vessels, such as Frigates and Combat Galleons.

The Brig is slightly slower and less maneuverable than a Sloop, but maintains many of its sailing properties. It has a broad range of Best Sailing Points, going from Running Broad Reach all the way to Broad Beam Reach. This is thanks to its combination of Fore-And-Aft Rigging with Square Rigging. It can develop reasonably good speeds at all these directions. In addition, the Brig turns quite well for its size, especially with Copper Plating installed. While it cannot out-turn a Sloop, it will easily out-turn all ships its size or larger. The practical application of these traits is in the Brig's ability to out-maneuver almost anything.

On top of this, the Brig has 24 cannons on board, a formidable number that poses a threat to any enemy ship. Using its maneuverability the Brig can usually get close enough to pummel the enemy with Chain-Shot, making it even easier to subdue. Even at long range, the Brig's broadsize spreads well enough to ensure at least a few hits. This allows it to engage in cannon-play whenever close-up confrontation is too risky. At other times it will close in, circle it prey, and possibly even disable it.

Naturally, the Brig is not as well-built as heavier vessels like the Frigate, which means it still has to avoid being hit if at all possible. Once again, the Brig's reasonable turning rate allows it to do so quite often, especially with an experienced captain at the helm. Note that the Brig is one of the smallest ships that can actually benefit from reefing the sails to attain a better turning rate, though the exact timing for such maneuvers is tricky, and should be avoided by inexperienced captains.

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