Merchant vessels were not designed for combat. They were slow lumbering vessels designed to have a large capacity for transporting goods but at the sacrifice of manoeuvrability.
In Black Seas there are many scenarios that necessitate the use of merchant vessels.
Scenario 4 - Blood & Plunder! (Page 41 Black Seas rulebook), see two opposing privateer fleets attempt to claim the contents of merchant vessels for their own, whereas
Scenario 9 - Landing Expedition (Page 46 Black Seas rulebook) sees merchant vessels loaded with troops attempting to cross hostile waters and disgorge their loads onto a contested island.
For an alternative use of the merchant vessels, consider the Smugglers Run free downloadable campaign.
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