First-rate ships of the line are the ultimate vessel in Black Seas. These ships pack a tremendous punch and can take quite the pummelling. Any enemy unfortunate enough to be caught in the broadside of a 1st Rate is not likely to be around long enough to take the tale. 1st Rates also have access to the greatest quantity and wealth of customisation and upgrade options in the game.
Spanish 1st Rates are especially characterful when utilising the national special rules in the game. Many Spanish vessels were extremely heavily armed, and thus can take the ’Over Gunned’ upgrade for no additional cost. This bonus does not come without penalty however, as such bulky ships were difficult to sail. They must therefore pass a skill test when attempting to sail at a quicker rate of knots. Veteran crews are also not allowed to be taken on such ‘Over Gunned’ 1st Rates ships.
—description from the publisher