Third Rate Ship of the Line Icon
Third Rate Ship of the Line
Third Rate Ship of the Line
Belongs to All factions
Crew 199
Guns 74 (35 on each side, 2 stern chasers, 2 bow chasers)
Firepower 1316
Range 400
Accuracy 40
Reloading skill 15
Hull strength 4582
Speed 16
Maneuverability Low
Tech requirement None
Produced from Drydock
Special abilities Top Gallants
Cost 2160 SP/1810 MP
Upkeep 540

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


The third rate is a compromise between firepower and handling. A stable gun platform, it also makes a good flagship.

The third rate, or “74” (from the number of guns aboard), is a supremely practical weapon of war. With a crew of around 700 men, it is a “wooden world” in itself and a statement of national power. A two-deck design, it is strong enough to mount very heavy cannons on its lower gun deck, often 32-pounders. With 18-pounders on the upper gun deck and then 9-pounders in the upper works, it has a devastating broadside. The design and construction means a 74 can withstand horrendous damage in battle.

Historically, the French invented the concept of the 74-gun ship in the mid-18th century. The design was so good that other navies lost no time in copying it or in capturing French ships. French vessels, while well designed, were often made from green timber that “worked” in heavy seas and therefore leaked. Dutch examples had a shallower, broader draft to suit their harbours and shore waters. The few American 74s were extremely strong and well made. British 74s were well constructed too, although there was a regrettable tendency to save money by recycling timbers - complete with timber rot - from older vessels!

Amazingly, HMS Implacable, the last of the third rates, was scuttled in 1949! Built in 1800 by the French, and captured at Trafalgar in 1805, she stayed in service until 1842. Eventually, she ended her days as a coal hulk.

General InformationEdit

Third rates represent an excellent blend of firepower, maneuverability and endurance. They are much more durable and powerful than Fourth Rates, and can even stand up to Second Rate Ships and First Rates for small periods of time. However, their low speed and unremarkable range make them ill-suited for hunting down faster 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 40 15 4582 14 10 2160 540
France 50 15 4590 15 9 2240 560

Great Britain

40 30 4818 14 10 2200 550
Russia 40 15 4582 14 9 2160 540
Spain 40 15 4582 14 9 2150 530
United States 40 25 4818 14 10 2130 530
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