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Brigantine

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The Brigantine is a Ship Type available only in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). It is the smallest variant in the Brig Class family of ships. Brigantines are general-purpose combat vessels, capable of handling a wide variety of tasks. They combine modest-but-significant firepower with ample handling and speed, which allows them to adapt easily to different kinds of opponents. Foreign powers use Brigantines for simple tasks such as Smuggling and transporting New Governors, while pirates use them for raiding enemy ports. The Brigantine is one of the common Starting Ships, and is also used by two different Famous Pirates.

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

Ship Type
Brigantine
Smallest member of the Brig class
Larger:
Brig
2004 Ship Brig
A versatile mid-sized combat vessel, slightly favouring speed over firepower
Prevalence: Common
Physical Size: Medium
Maneuverability: Mid-High
Durability: Medium
Best Sailing Point: Running Broad Reach to Broad Beam Reach
Comparative Speed: Medium
Best Speed: Mid-High
Max. Cannons: 20 Icon Cannon
Max. Crew: 125 Icon Crew
Min. Crew: 12 Icon Crew
Ideal Crew (w/ Max Cannons): 72 Icon Crew
Cargo Capacity: 60 tons
Basic Sale Price: 450 Icon GoldCoin


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

The Brigantine 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 Brigantine'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 Brigantine has pretty much the same general characteristics as a Royal Sloop: it carries up to 20 Cannons into battle, and can hold a Crew of up to 125 men. With less than 12 men available, the Brigantine becomes sluggish and difficult to use. With at least 72 men and 20 cannons on board, the Brigantine is at its maximum fighting efficiency.

Again, the Brigantine is almost equal, stat-by-stat, to a Royal Sloop. However, while it is slightly less agile and speedy as a Sloop, its increased Durability and different rigging arrangement make it more suitable to take on mid-sized ships (while giving up some of the Royal Sloop's ability to chase down small ships). In other words, the Brigantine has less to fear from enemy cannonfire, although it is still too fragile to go toe-to-toe with heavy opponents.

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

In the Player's HandsEdit

Three different nation/era combination have the player starting off with a brigantine:

  • England, 1620
  • Netherlands, 1640
  • France, 1680

The Brigantine is a specialized mid/small-sized combat vessel. Being quite common, many beginners will often switch to a Brigantine early in the game, although most players don't tend to keep it for very long. It offers easy handling together with the capability of doing various "jobs" without specializing in any single role, although its advantages over the heavier Brig or the lighter Royal Sloop are marginal.

The Brigantine is adaptable 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 larger vessels, especially Merchant Galleons. Finally, the Brigantine can go toe-to-toe in cannon battles with all medium-sized traders like the Merchantman and Fluyt, which constitute its primary prey.

In comparison to other ship types, the Brigantine is simply a lighter version of the Brig, offering slightly better speed and maneuverability in combat in return for smaller Cannon, Crew and Cargo capacity as well as slightly diminished Durability. This trade-off can be worth-while, if a Brig captain finds that he is relying more often on out-maneuvering enemies in combat, he may wish to "downgrade" to a Brigantine.

Of course, players who can get their hands on the rare Royal Sloop will usually switch their Brigantine with it. This is a further step away from the heavier firepower and durability of Brig-Class ships, but the "downgrade" to the Sloop Class carries with it a significant boost to maneuverability and speed, which would be the only reasons to use a Brigantine rather than a Brig or Brig Of War in the first place. Therefore, very few players would call the Brigantine their favourite ship, though it does have some minor unique advantages that neither Brig nor Royal Sloop can match.

If you feel that the Brigantine is not providing enough firepower in combat, consider "upgrading" to a Brig or Brig Of War.

Roles and NationalityEdit

European nations do not generally employ Brigantines as combat vessels. Instead, Brigantines serve as the largest kind of Smuggling Ship, and are also seen transporting Non-Spanish New Governors to their destinations around the Caribbean. All nations use the Brigantine in this manner.

In addition, pirates occasionally send out Brigatines as Pirate Raiders, which sail into enemy ports to assault them directly.

Therefore, the Brigantine is a common ship, which will be encountered rather frequently around the Caribbean.

Finally, both L'Olonnais and Stede Bonnet, the Famous Pirates, can be found raiding enemy shipping in their heavily-upgraded Brigantines, close to their home bases.

In CombatEdit

As a Brig-Class ship, the Brigantine is one of the most versatile combat vessels in the game. 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. Unfortunately, reduced firepower and Durability mean that the Brigantine may have some trouble attacking heavily-armed vessels such as Frigates and Combat Galleons.

The Brigantine favours its maneuverability in combat, being lighter and faster than a Brig. Nonetheless, like the similar Royal Sloop, its 20 cannons can put a good dent in most small or mid-sized enemies whenever required. Therefore the combat use of a Brigantine is centered around out-maneuvering the enemy, placing a few good shots on its sails or crew, and then rushing in for a Boarding.

Note that while the Brigantine's general statistics are identical to a Royal Sloop, there are key differences in the way they are used. For one, the Brigantine has more hull durability, and therefore does not need to avoid cannonfire as much as a Sloop-Class ship. Furthermore, the Brigantine's unique combination of Fore-And-Aft Rigging with Square Rigging allow it to develop slightly better speed at many different angles, something which the experienced Brig captain would do well to exploit.

Also note that in strong winds, the Brigantine can capitalize on its rigging by reefing the sails, allowing a quick boost to turning speed. This is something a Sloop-Class ship cannot do (though it does have a better turning rate to begin with). Use this to surprise an enemy with quick, sharp turns - especially to avoid incoming fire. Learning this skill is difficult, and should not be attempted light-heartedly, but it can save the Brigantine during a heated match.

Also note that the Brigantine is not designed to engage heavier vessels like the Frigate, which will easily tear it apart with a broadside or two. It also lacks the firepower required to sufficiently damage such vessels in short order. If you do not have confidence in your ability to dodge broadsides or out-maneuver a large combat ship, it is better to leave such ships alone or only attack them when conditions (such as your starting position) are favourable.

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