Picked up a Mastercraft quality USS Constitution
with Live Oak Framing for a pretty cheap price in Fort Royal:
For those of you unfamiliar with the "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution
is the oldest commissioned warship afloat. HMS Victory
is older still but the Brits don't let her out of her drydock while Connie
still gets to go out and play: USS Constitution
is one of the original six frigates commissioned by the United States Navy. Designed by Joshua Humphreys these ships answered the question how a nascent force like the USN could hope to contend with major seagoing powers like the Royal Navy. Specifically by being 44 gun monsters capable of bullying anything their weight class and bellow yet still retaining the speed and maneuverability to avoid action with ships of the line. Constitution
and United States
each mounted thirty 24 pounder Longs on their gundecks and an additional twenty eight 32 pounder carronades on the weather deck. To put this in perspective the majority of frigates at the time mounted 18 or 12 pounders as their main armament. In addition to this stupendous armament they were built tough, with southern live oak diagonal scantling to reduce hogging and very heavy planking for the time, making them extremely tough nuts to crack. As legend has it the sight of cannon balls bouncing off her flanks prompted a sailor comment "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" thus leading to her famous nickname.
Launched 21 October 1797, USS Constitution
participated in the Quasi War and the First Barbary War but it was during the War of 1812 that she had her most famous actions. She successfully engaged and defeated HMS Guerriere
on 19 August 1812, HMS Java
29 December 1812 and finally HMS Cyane
and HMS Levant
20 February 1815. This string of victories proved the "Super frigate" concept a success and shocked the Royal Navy. Nowadays she is stationed in Boston at Charlestown Navy Yard and currently she is being refit. Its always a splendid sight catching a glimpse of her when driving into the city. Of course if you are interested in a more in depth description of her exploits and history check out the wiki
page or read Six Frigates
by Ian W. Toll.
In Naval Action the Constitution
is slotted in as a Fourth Rate, sharing the tier with the Russian 64 gun ship of the line Ingermanland
. Similar to her real world counterpart in game Connie enjoys heavy armament, thick planking and high structural integrity. Her heavy firepower allows her to relentlessly pound other frigates while bouncing much of their smaller caliber cannon fire in return. In addition she is a pretty stable gun platform, not victim to the excessive heel that plagues the Trincomalee
. Funny enough because of her size going yard arm to yard arm with smaller ships can be vexing as her gundeck sits above their weather deck and the guns cannot be depressed to hit them. When the broadside is delivered though it is very satisfying, in the first fleet mission I took her out I managed to wipe out a Mercury
brig in a single pass and she easily bullied the other fifth rates.
However, all this comes at the cost of speed and maneuverability, here is the Connie's Sailing Profile:
is slower than other frigates, less maneuverable and rapidly loses speed closer to the wind than beam reach. Though note running directly with the wind she actually performs better than other frigates that prefer broad reach. That said with careful use of manual sails and an eye towards energy management I found her pretty nimble despite her bulk. If you make sure to carry enough momentum going into the maneuver she was capable of tacking across the wind smoothly and without getting caught in irons. In addition unlike the Trinco
I didn't feel like I was bleeding energy constantly by depowering sails to level out the gundeck.
While she may not be lithe I still found Constitution
comfortable to sail and coupled with that firepower and hull integrity a very powerful combatant.
Did I put enough emphasis on her size:
They did not have a fun time of it, by the end I had 4 kills and 3 assists while my side structure did not even dip below 50%.
BTW Naval Action is currently 25% off on Steam, if the game interests you it might be a good time to pick it up.