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The Brig The Brig is a two masted square-rigged vessel modeled after the Fair American. As far as the smaller vessels go, she is one of the largest in actual size, being quite larger than the snow and privateer, and being smaller than the Mercury, and barely so. She is rather wide as well as long, making her somewhat unwieldy and causing maneuvering to a bit more tricky than her smaller sisters. She does, however, carry a respectable complement of guns: 16 6-lb cannon ( or 12-lb carronades) as her main armament, making it a +4 gun increase from the Privateer/Cutter/Pickle, as well as 2 additional stern-chasers. As a brig she naturally has a shallow draft and sits rather low in the water, presenting a challenging target to hit from ling distances. However, her decks- and therefore her crew- are very much exposed, leaving them vulnerable to anti-personnel shot. Otherwise, the Brig serves as a general purpose vessel, and a decent upgrade from her smaller Fore-and-Aft predecessors. Her most notable feature is her square-rig setup, the Brig being the first vessel of this sort available to players. As such, the brig will serve as the training vessel upon which players can learn the "Manual Sails" mechanic for almost all future vessels. The brig will be the teacher for vital maneuvers which rely on manual sails. Her square rig means she sails best with the bind, most notably at 45° from the wind's direction (Broad reach). All-in-all, the Brig is a superb stepping stone to the mores specialized vessels like the Snow or Navy Brig and Mercury. Navy Brig The Navy variant of the Brig adds additional guns to her broadside (18 in total) and improves her planking dramatically. The Navy Brig can take impressive amounts of damage and still performing. A Live-Oak Naval Brig will prove to be an impressive and daunting foe to even larger vessels. She also carries a few more crew than the standard Brig, meaning she is ready to fend off boarders and is capable of leading boarding actions herself. In shallow-water engagements and Port Battles, the Navy Brig is a superb vessel to have amongst either an attacking or defending fleet. Both the Brig and Navy Brig serve valuable purposes as impressive vessels for their size as well as introducing the player to the square-rigged system. Check out my other short ship synopses The Snow - A Pirate's Best Friend Lynx/Privateer - The Pirate's Little Helper Coming Soon - The Pickle
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Current system for gaining new ships is completely random in learning to build the specialty ships down the line, either by breaking them up or by building the base ship (i.e. break up a Privateer or build a Lynx or Trader Lynx for a chance to learn to build a Privateer). Having it purely luck based isn't very immersive: Trader Joe has built 100 Brigs but still can't build a Navy Brig, but Trader Jeff broke one up once and can build it just fine. Joe is frustrated (no gains from the huge amounts of resources) while Jeff is getting rich just from being lucky. So lets change it from a lottery system to one of hard work and investment paying off! Two different approaches that are much less "gamey" and add to immersion: Simulate Gained Experience: Have the chance of a ship note dropping increase for each ship built/broken up. Simulate Shipwright's School: At key crafting levels players gain the ability to "craft" courses in building specialty ships. For example: At crafter level 3, under Craft/Ships, you gain a new BP called "Course: Privateer Design". It costs 1000 labour hours and 100 gold coins. It produces a Privateer Note. At crafter level 10, "Course: Navy Brig Design" It costs 1,200 labour hours, and 120 gold coins. Produces a Navy Brig Note.