The Brig Of War is a Ship Type available only in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). It is the largest variant in the Brig Class family of ships. Brigs Of War are general-purpose combat vessels, capable of handling a wide variety of tasks. They combine heavy firepower with good handling and speed, which allows them to adapt easily to different kinds of opponents. The Brig Of War is the largest "Medium-Sized" combat vessel available in the game. Foreign powers often use Brigs Of War for several combat-related applications, such as Troop Transports and Military Payroll carriers. Captain Kidd also sails a heavily-upgraded Brig Of War.

The name "Brig Of War" is sometimes abbreviated to the acronym "BOW".

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

Ship Type
Brig Of War
Largest member of the Brig class
2004 Ship Brig
A versatile mid-sized combat vessel, slightly favouring firepower over speed
Prevalence: Uncommon
Physical Size: Medium-Large
Maneuverability: Medium
Durability: Mid-High
Best Sailing Point: Running Broad Reach to Broad Beam Reach
Comparative Speed: Medium
Best Speed: Medium
Max. Cannons: 32 Icon Cannon
Max. Crew: 200 Icon Crew
Min. Crew: 18 Icon Crew
Ideal Crew (w/ Max Cannons): 114 Icon Crew
Cargo Capacity: 80 tons
Basic Sale Price: 450 Icon GoldCoin

In Sid Meier's Pirates! the Brig Of War is the name of a new Ship Type, which is unique to this version of the game. The Brig Of War belongs to the Brig Class family of ships, and is the Largest variant of that class. As a heavier variant of the Brig, the Brig Of War is essentially a balanced warship, relying on both its firepower and maneuverability in combat.

The Brig Of War 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 Of War'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 Of War has pretty much the same general characteristics as a Frigate: it carries up to 32 Cannons into battle, and can hold a Crew of up to 200 men. With less than 18 men available, the Brig Of War becomes sluggish and difficult to use. With at least 114 men and 32 cannons on board, the Brig Of War is at its maximum fighting efficiency.

Again, the Brig Of War is almost equal, stat-by-stat, to a Frigate. However, while it is slightly less durable than a Frigate, its increased maneuverability and speed make it more suitable to take on small-sized ships (while giving up some of the Frigate's ability for prolonged, heavy combat). In other words, the Brig Of War retains reasonable agility while sporting formidable weaponry.

When sold, a Brig Of War 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 Of War cost 700 Icon GoldCoin each. Once the rank of Admiral has been attained, Brig Of War upgrades will only cost 350 Icon GoldCoin each.

In the Player's HandsEdit

There are no nation/era combination that would have the player starting off with a Brig Of War. However, it is once the campaign begins to mature it becomes common enough that there should be no problem finding one.

The Brig Of War is one of the most favoured combat vessels in the game. Its impressive firepower combined with a Brig's solid sailing properties mean that it is quite capable of holding its own in combat against any other ship. This makes it a great choice for both novice and experienced Captains, who can always rely on the Brig to do its part.

The Brig of War is a specialized mid-sized combat vessel. They tend to appear after several years of game time (though they can be encouraged to appear earlier), which means that most players will have to make do with other ships for a while. However, players who sail a Brigantine or Brig during the early parts of the game are likely to want to switch over to a Brig Of War as soon as possible.

The Brig Of War is not as easy to handle as its smaller siblings, but it more than makes up for this with its 32 Cannons, an equivalent amount to that of the slower Frigate. In fact, most players find that it is quite superior to the Frigate in many ways, and may even "downgrade" from a Frigate once a BOW is acquired.

The Brig Of War is adaptable to many different situations, and can be useful in almost every circumstance. It carries enough firepower to subdue ships considerably larger than itself, such as Merchant Galleons, Combat Galleons, and even Frigates. It may have trouble chasing down smaller ships like Sloops or Pinnaces, but good pre-battle positioning and in-battle maneuvering will easily give it the upper hand - especially if it can land at least one broadside on the enemy. Finally, as with all other Brig-Class ships, the Brig Of War's primary prey remains mid-sized traders like the Merchantman and Fluyt, especially the largest, treasure-laden variants of these ships. Experienced captains should also have no trouble taking out the larger (and heavily-armed) Merchant Galleons using the same tactics.

In comparison to other ship types, the Brig of War is simply a heavier version of the Brig, offering considerably heavier armament, better Durability, increased Cargo space and a significantly larger crew, in return for a slight loss of maneuverability and speed. This trade-off can be very worth-while, if a Brig captain finds that he is relying more often on cannon-play, Raids, and surviving combat damage, rather than fancy maneuvers.

Roles and NationalityEdit

The Brig Of War is favoured by all nations as a heavy combat vessel which is capable of providing good protection for other ships, but also as a loner vessel that can protect itself quite well in unexpected circumstances. Therefore, Brigs of War are often spotted running Military Payments and Troop Transports for the Non-Spanish nations, for which they are selected thanks both to their speed and their punch. They will also be seen as an Escort protecting merchant shipping for all nations, though this requires the nation in question to be relatively upset with the player.

Players who have chosen the higher Difficulty settings for their campaign will often spot Brigs Of War as Privateers, trying to intercept Mission Ships. On Swashbuckler difficulty no less than two Brigs Of War will spawn for these interceptions.

Finally, the Famous Pirate Captain Kidd sails a heavily-upgraded Brig Of War.

Needless to say, by the middle of the campaign it should be no problem to get one's hands on a Brig Of War, or even several.

In CombatEdit

As a Brig-Class ship, the Brig Of War is one of the most versatile combat vessels in the game. While its primary prey tends to be merchant vessels of all sizes, it poses quite a threat to both smaller ships like the Sloop, and larger ships like the Spanish Combat Galleons. It has the Durability required to survive combat with larger ships, even Frigates, but on the other hand lacks the speed and maneuverability required for consistently outwitting Pinnaces.

The Brig Of War favours its firepower in combat, being heavier and slower than a Brig. Nonetheless, it retains some of its Brig-Like sailing properties, allowing it to out-maneuver larger ships and thus maximize its weapon efficiency while minimizing the enemy's. The combat use of a Brig Of War is still centered around out-maneuvering the enemy, but this will usually just give it the luxury of striking the enemy more efficiently and more often with its heavy broadsides.

Note that while the Brig Of War's general statistics are largely identical to a basic Frigate, there are key differences in the way they are used. The Brig Of War has greater freedom in maneuvers, thanks to its unique combination of Fore-And-Aft Rigging with Square Rigging that allow it to develop slightly better speed at many different angles. Coupled with its lower Durability, this makes the Brig Of War more potent as a maneuverable firing platform. On the other hand, the Frigate's top speed can put a Brig Of War to shame, as it can quickly pull away from combat whenever required. A Brig Of War will have more trouble distancing itself from its enemy, especially if said enemy is a small, fast ship.

When combating smaller vessels, it's usually important to get a good position prior to the battle. This will prevent the enemy from escaping on an odd direction to the wind, where the Brig Of War will be unlikely to follow at a good speed. Getting that first broadside on the target can be vital to the success in battle over such ships.