Second Rate Ship of the Line Icon
Second Rate Ship of the Line
Second Rate Ship of the Line
Belongs to All factions
Crew 227
Guns 86 (41 on each side, 4 bow chasers)
Firepower 1452
Range 400
Accuracy 30
Reloading skill 10
Hull strength 6486
Speed 14
Maneuverability Low
Tech requirement None
Produced from Naval Hospital or Steam Drydock
Special abilities Top Gallants
Cost 2650
Upkeep 660

The Second Rate Ship of the Line is a ship type in Empire: Total War.


The second rate is a three-deck "Battle Ship of the Line" carrying up to 98 cannons, a powerful unit in any fleet.

This three-deck warship is a compromise design between the firepower of a first rate ship and the sea-keeping qualities of a third-rate 74. Like many compromises, the result is something that pleases few, but the extra weight of the broadside does compensate for poor sailing qualities. The design does have one unexpected benefit: enemy captains are often quick to identify second rates as much larger ships and, as a result, flee from a “much superior” enemy!

The lower gun deck houses 32-pounders, and this explains the “tumblehome” shape of all ships of the period: the bulge at water level and just above in the hull allowed more room on the lower decks for the recoil of large cannons; the lighter guns on the higher decks did not recoil as much.

Historically, only the British Royal Navy commissioned many ships of this rating; other nations simply built first rates instead. This might be due to the Royal Navy needing to keep large ships on foreign stations as flagships, an assignment that would have been wasteful and expensive for a first rate.

General InformationEdit

Second Rates are powerful warships with strong hulls and a devastating broadside, allowing them to defeat nearly any other ship in a head-on fight. Unfortuantely, they are much worse handling than Third Rates and not much faster than First Rates, making them an awkward compromise between the two. However, as second rates are available much earlier than first rates as they don't require the researching of the Steam Engine to be produced, they serve as the heaviest ships in most navies for quite some time.

Their bulk and sluggish handling makes them prime targets for bomb ketches and rocket ships.

Some factions' ship statistics are different from others; differences are listed below (traits that to not differ are not listed).

Type Accuracy Reload Skill Hull Strength Speed Morale Cost Upkeep
Standard 30 10 6486 12 10 2650 660
France 40 10 6620 13 10 2680 670

Great Britain

30 25 6796 12 11 2720 680
United States 30 20 6796 12 11 2680 670
Light Ships BrigGalleyLight GalleyRace-Built GalleonSloopXebec
Frigates 24-pounder FrigateAdmiral's Flagship, 5th RateCarronade FrigateFifth RateRazeeSixth RateUSS Constitution
Ships of the Line Admiral's Flagship, 1st RateAdmiral's Flagship, 3rd RateFirst Rate Ship of the LineFourth Rate Ship of the LineHeavy First RateHMS VictorySecond Rate Ship of the LineThird Rate Ship of the Line
Trade Ships DhowFluytGalleonIndiaman
Other Ships Bomb KetchRocket ShipSteamship