Boarding is a ship ability in Empire: Total War.

General InformationEdit

Boarding is the term used for two ships that are engaging in a melee. Boarding is used when a player wishes to capture an enemy ship rather than sink it. Such a task can be a lengthy process, taking up to several minutes. During this time the ships can be easily flanked or attacked.

Boarding routing ships forces them to instantly surrender as soon as the ropes pull the two hulls together. This is significantly faster than boarding a battle-ready or wavering ship, and ensures that the boarded ship will be taken as a prize after the battle provided that it doesn't sink before the battle is concluded. Boarding is usually a faster method of forcing surrender than using round shot to hammer a ship into submission.

The defending crew have an advantage, and the attacking crew tends to have more casualties unless the defending ship is already wavering or routing.

There are three factors that contribute to the outcome of boarding.

  1. The morale of each vessel contribute to the outcome of the battle, and could sway a handicapped crew to victory through a boosted strength.
  2. The height of the ship matter very much. This is shown on the picture to the right. The ship on the right has a clear disadvantage due to its lower deck. This is because musketeers and snipers from the taller ship can easily pick out the crew of the smaller ship below.
  3. The final and most important factor is the crew size and quality. In most scenarios, it is sheer number and training that decides the outcome of boarding..



Two heavy first rates engaging in boarding action.


Two vessels in boarding action. Note the clear handicap the ship on the right has.