2004 Ship CombatGalleon

A Combat Galleon Class Ship.

The Combat Galleon Class is a family of ship designs featured in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). It includes the Fast Galleon, War Galleon, and Flag Galleon. All three of these Ship Types share the same physical appearance, and have similar characteristics.

Like the Frigate Class of ships, Combat Galleons are dedicated warships that carry an impressive amount of firepower, have heavy armor, and a large amount of Crew.

They differ dramatically, however, from the Frigate Class in that they hold fewer Cannons, accelerate slower, and have lower maneuverability. What they make up for this in is top speed, durability, and ease of sailing; Combat Galleons are among the fastest vessels in the entire game once they get going, are among the most durable vessels in the game (Indeed, the Fast Galleon is more durable than the Frigate, the War Galleon is more durable than the Large Frigate, and the Flag Galleon is more durable than the Ship Of The Line).

With a more-conventional sailing profile than the Frigate, the Galleon class is also a little easier to get the most out of. They are also a lot more common than the Frigate class ships, which makes them amongst the most favored ships of players.


The Combat Galleon Class is a set of three Ship Types. Collectively, they are known as "Combat Galleons", and sometimes simply as "Galleons".

Each of the three ship types is referred to as a "Variant" of the Combat Galleon Class.

Although all variants share the same 3D model, they can be distinguished by size. The Fast Galleon is the smallest of these, a little bigger than a West Indiaman. The Flag Galleon is the largest of the three, and one of the largest ships in the game, rivaling the Treasure Galleon in size.

All ship characteristics are also similar between these variants. The Fast Galleon, being the smallest, can hold less Cargo, Crew and Cannons than the others. However, it is much quicker to accelerate and is the fastest ship in the game.

The Flag Galleon, the largest variant, holds the most cargo, crew, and cannons, and is the most durable ship in the class, but is slower than the other Combat Galleons.

The War Galleon is the "middle of the road" variant, and strikes a comfortable medium between the two.

Visual AppearanceEdit

2004 Ship CombatGalleon

A War Galleon as seen inside the game.

Combat Galleon Class ships are large-sized combat vessels with square sails. They vary greatly in size, but are generally quite large.

The large masts and main-sails of the Combat Galleon clas smakes them easily-identified from afar, with four masts with relatively equilateral postings for the sails, entirely-conventional in appearance. They have a prominent pointed bow and "hunched" aft, rather akin to the Fluyt Class, though with a bulkier overall appearance. The rear of the ship is highly distinctive, and often lavishly decorated; Combat Galleons are extremely easy to thus identify on sight, especially from the side. They're all rather large ships, as well, with the Fast Galleon being as big as the West Indiaman, and the Flag Galleon being one of the largest ships you can encounter.

Sailing PropertiesEdit

The Combat Galleon class relies on sailing when the wind is coming from behind, at angles close to Running Broad Reach. The Combat Galleons are normally slow to accelerate, but if they can manage to reach their top speed, they will quickly outpace virtually every other vessel, allowing for quick approaches.... When the wind allows.

With its larger size, it can generally achieve a better rate of speed over time at sub-optimal wind directions, but it has much more difficulty than the comparable Frigate class at quickly adjusting to take advantage of storms and the like, due to its relatively low mobility.

What the Combat Galleon class does have in its favor is a slightly better top-end speed, which makes long-distance trips relatively easy, especially with a strong gust at the ship's back. The slow maneuverability, however, means that it is at the mercy of the wind if it changes for the worst unexpectedly, requiring careful course-adjustments to maximize the wind you can catch without sacrificing vital momentum as you move foreward. The Combat Galleon class generally performs poorly when off its Best Point Of Sailing, though the Fast Galleon has infinitely less trouble with this than the other ships in this class. Using a Combat Galleon implies you're aware of its shortcomings and are working in spite of them; take advantage of its high movement speed and you'll find it a valuable ally indeed.

Combat PropertiesEdit

Though not as heavily-armed as the Frigate Class, the Combat Galleons are amongst the strongest ships in the game, having superior top speed, heavy armor, and a sizable number of guns. Though the Frigate Class reliably beats the Combat Galleon offensively, with its superior number of cannons, crew, and maneuverability, defensively is a whole other story: the Combat Galleons boast better armor, and a higher top-end speed that means that they can more easily catch fleeing ships in favorable wind conditions. In many cases, the Combat Galleon class acts like a well-armed battering ram, running down enemy vessels and delivering a volley right before closing and Boarding.

Even though they have fewer Cannons than the Frigate Class, the Combat Galleon class still boasts an enormous number of guns, with the War Galleon boasting the same number of guns as the Frigate and Flag Galleon boasting the same number of guns as the Large Frigate. Paired with its heavy defense and high crew count, this makes the Combat Galleon class better-suited to long wars of attrition, where their staying power really shines against its firepower-focused counterpart. Using a Combat Galleon implies a desire to put action over debate, aggressive action over planning, and the willingness to grind an enemy down rather than the quick cut-and-thrust of other ships.

One thing to note is that the Combat Galleon class actually excels at escaping battles in an emergency; generally fleeing a battle is as simple as turning westward and hoping your ship reaches its top speed in time to leave pursuers in the dust. A drawback, however, is that, like all Galleons, it's exceedingly poor when close-hauled, which can make pursuing enemies sailing into the wind difficult - if not impossible.