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Coastal Barque

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The Coastal Barque is a Ship Type available in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). It is a relatively small Ship Type, considered the smallest actual trading vessel in the game. It is also the smallest variant in the Barque Class family of ships. An unremarkable ship, it is comparable to a regular Sloop in terms of cannon and crew capacity, but lacks the Sloop's sleek maneuverability and speed in return for a slightly increased cargo hold. Like all other Barques, its main redeeming quality is its ability to sail at odd angles to the wind, allowing it to escape enemy vessels more easily. The Coastal Barque appears almost exclusively as a Grain Transport.

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

Ship Type
Coastal Barque
Smallest member of the Barque class
Larger:
Barque
2004 Ship Barque
A small but relatively-fast trading vessel
Prevalence: Common
Physical Size: Small-Medium
Maneuverability: Mid-High
Durability: Mid-Low
Best Sailing Point: Broad Reach to Beam Reach
Comparative Speed: Mid-High
Best Speed: Mid-High
Max. Cannons: 12 Icon Cannon
Max. Crew: 75 Icon Crew
Min. Crew: 10 Icon Crew
Ideal Crew (w/ Max Cannons): 46 Icon Crew
Cargo Capacity: 60 tons
Basic Sale Price: 375 Icon GoldCoin


In Sid Meier's Pirates!, the Coastal Barque is the name of a Ship Type belonging to the Barque Class family of ships. It is the Smallest variant of that class, and considered the smallest type of ship that can actually be defined as a trading vessel.

The Coastal Barque is also the most agile trading vessel in the game. Its speed and maneuverability advantage allow it to escape combat rather easily, by sailing at odd angles to the wind, where other ships cannot follow. It is too lightly-armed to defend itself in prolonged combat, and will easily fall prey to faster ships such as Sloops and Pinnaces.

The Coastal Barque carries up to 12 Cannons into battle, and can hold a Crew of up to 75 men. With less than 10 men available, the Coastal Barque becomes sluggish and difficult to use. With at least 46 men and 12 cannons on board, the Coastal Barque is at its maximum fighting efficiency.

Given the above statistics, the Coastal Barque is comparable to a regular Sloop in terms of firepower and crew capacity. In addition, it can carry 60 tons of cargo, which is ample space for Food, cannon, and some extra cargo, making it a viable trader. However, for this it pays with both maneuverability and speed, making it an inferior combatant to a Sloop.

When sold, a Coastal Barque yields 375 Icon GoldCoin, plus 94 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 Coastal Barque cost 600 Icon GoldCoin each. Once the rank of Admiral has been attained, Coastal Barque upgrades will only cost 300 Icon GoldCoin each.

In the Player's HandsEdit

The Coastal Barque is by far not a favoured vessel to add to the Player's Fleet. Its only advantage over a basic Sloop is 50% extra cargo capacity, and due to this benefit it is both slower and less maneuverable than a Sloop, and hence less capable during combat.

Players who wish to increase the cargo capacity of their fleet tend to prefer the larger Barque or even Ocean Barque over this ship, as they both offer greater cargo holds without sacrificing too much speed. This allows the player to maintain a large combat Flagship at the front of the fleet, trailed by several Barque-type ships that can keep up the pace. However if the player is looking for speed, especially with a small and fast Flagship, Barques will tend to slow it down. In this case it is often better to opt for a fleet made up of Sloops or even Brigs instead.

has what can only be described as a "cult" of worshippers - players who believe that it is in fact the best ship in the entire game.

Roles and NationalityEdit

The Coastal Barque fills two Ship Roles in the game. It is often seen as a Grain Transport in the hands of the any foreign nation. This is the most common occurrence of this Ship Type. In addition, the French may send out a Coastal Barque as a simple trading vessel, especially from poor Ports or nearer the start of the campaign. However they will more often send out regular Barques or even Ocean Barques on regular trading missions.

Nonetheless, Grain Transport Coastal Barques are fairly common, making this Ship Type easy to find.

In CombatEdit

The Coastal Barque has one important combat advantage which it shares with all other Barque Class ships: its unique arrangement of Fore-And-Aft Rigging allows it to sail comfortably at odd angles to the wind, such as Beam Reach (perpendicular to wind direction) and can even manage a few knots going Close-Hauled.

This capability means that the Coastal Barque can make its escape by turning in such directions and simply speeding away where few ships can follow. This enables it to evade most medium-sized and larger vessels, assuming it can avoid suffering sail damage during the opening barrages of a fight. In this maneuver it is slightly better than a regular Barque or Ocean Barque, since it is slightly smaller.

Nonetheless, the Coastal Barque offers very little in terms of combat capability, and will find it hard to out-maneuver any enemy ship. If it suffers any damage to the sails during its maneuvering attempts, it may become too slow to do anything - even escape. Its low armament, comparable to a Sloop's, means that it cannot inflict any serious damage to medium or large vessels, and it will certainly be out-maneuvered by smaller ships to begin with.

For these reasons, using the Coastal Barque in combat is not recommended.

To catch a Coastal Barque, simply make sure to begin combat by approaching it from upwind. This prevents the Coastal Barque from escaping, as it can either run in your direction (opening itself to attack) or flee in a less comfortable direction that would allow you to overtake it.

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