Bomb Ketch (ETW Unit)

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Bomb Ketch (ETW Unit)
Bombketch.png
Class
Bomb Ketch
Unit Size
42 men
Weaponry
15 guns
Morale
Melee Attack
Ranged Attack
Defence
Charge Bonus
Accuracy
Range
Ammunition
Region
Global
Recruitment Cost
1260
Upkeep Cost
310
Turns to Build
Unit Limit
Building Requirements
Dockyard
Technology Requirements
Explosive Shells
Attributes


Bomb ketch thumbnail.pngThe “bomb” is a floating weapons platform, usually adapted from a small, two-masted ketch. The whole ship is constructed around a single large-calibre mortar.

Overview

Strongly-built bomb ketches must withstand the recoil of repeated mortar discharges. Often chains replace the rigging ropes nearest the mortar to prevent muzzle blast damage. They are the only naval vessels to carry and use explosive shells, making them a hazardous assignment. As a mark of all their explosive qualities, they often had volcanic names! The fact that the ketch should be at anchor in order to fire accurately also makes them easy targets for any return fire.

Bomb ketches are not good sailing ships. The mortar has to be on the centre line, with a clear vertical field of fire. This means that the masts had to be aft of their ideal positions, making the ship handling qualities rather poor. With these limitations in mind, however, they are a powerful addition to any admiral’s firepower. The ability to deliver shells by indirect fire (lobbing shells into fortifications, for example) is very useful.

Historically, the bomb ketch was a French invention, but other nations perfected the idea. The British mounted the mortar on a rotating platform so that it was no longer necessary to move the whole vessel to change aim. “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the US national anthem, commemorates these ships with the line “the bombs bursting in air.”

Details

Bomb Ketches are support ship available fairly early on in the game. They are very slow and have poor maneuverability, along with extremely weak hull strength and broadside firepower. They make up for all these deficiencies with their forward-firing mortars, which they can hurl at a safe distance towards enemy ships. Bomb Ketches are more prone to exploding than any other ship type; a single broadside from one of the heavier ships of the line will more often than not cause a detonation. Therefore, bomb ketches should be kept as far away from other ships of the same fleet as possible without isolating them. Bomb Ketches can sometimes knock down masts from a good distance; however, they are rather unreliable at that. As fighting ships, they are not that good, as they are highly vulnerable to shots from any size of opponent.

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