USS Constitution was one of six Heavy Frigates commissioned by the United States Congress in 1794 to protect American shipping against Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean. These frigates were designed to outmatch the frigates of any other nation while remaining nimble enough to slip away from larger ships-of-the-line.
These six frigates (Chesapeake, Constitution, President, United States, Congress, and Constellation. Chesapeake, Constitution, President and United States) were armed with 44 guns, normally a mix of long 24-pounders and 32-pound carronades. Across their service life, these ships would often end up over gunned, carrying upwards of 50 guns into battle.
Revolutionary construction techniques gave the six frigates much thicker hull planking than their British or French equivalents, allowing them to soak up a tremendous amount of punishment. It also allowed them to carry a much heavier armament relative to their size, as seen by the arrays of 24 and 32-pounders carried on the 44 gun vessels.
In the Game:
USS Constitution should be in the thickest fighting on the table, leading the charge into the enemy battle line, using her exceptional survivability to weather the storm of shot and shell while blasting away with her own guns.
While she might not be able to tangle with larger First Rates like Victory, she can hold her own in frigate actions, tying up the enemy fleet while the remainder of your ships go after other objectives or gain a more advantageous position.
—description from the publisher