A Galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries. Whether used for war or commerce, they were generally armed with the demi-culverin type of cannon. Galleon-class vessels are also the most bulkiest ships in the game, sporting numerous cannons and strong below-deck broadside capability. The warship's strongest armor is near the back with a weakness in the front. All Galleons have two main masts (larger versions have additional smaller fore and aft masts) and a mid-deck lower that the front and back decks. The mid-deck houses most of the cannons (larger versions have two additional cannons near the helm. Galleons are the slowest class of ship, making maneuverability in battle somewhat difficult, however, it also has the most cargo capacity of any ship (at the same level.)


The galleon was an ocean going ship type which evolved from the carrack in the second half of 16th century. A lowering of the forecastle and elongation of the hull gave galleons an unprecedented level of stability in the water, and reduced wind resistance at the front, leading to a faster, more maneuverable vessel. The galleon differed from the older types primarily by being longer, lower and narrower, with a square tuck stern instead of a round tuck, and by having a snout or head projecting forward from the bows below the level of the forecastle. In Portugal at least, carracks were usually very large ships for their time (often over 1000 tons), while galleons were mostly under 500 tons, although the Manila galleons were to reach up to 2000 tons.

Carracks tended to be lightly armed and used for transporting cargo, while galleons were purpose-built warships, and were stronger, more heavily armed, and also cheaper to build (5 galleons could cost around the same as 3 carracks) and were therefore a much better investment for use as warships or transports. There are nationalist disputes about its origins and development, but each Atlantic sea power built types suited to their needs, while constantly learning from their rivals.

It was the Spanish captain and naval architect, Álvaro de Bazán, who designed the definitive model of the galleon in the 1550s.[1][2] The galleon was powered entirely by wind, using sails carried on three or four masts, with a lateen sail continuing to be used on the last (usually third and fourth) masts. They were used in both military and trade applications, most famously in the Spanish treasure fleet, and the Manila Galleons.

They helped fuel the new world exploration by providing a means for transport of goods between the new world and the Iberian peninsula. The were the driving force behind much 15th and 16th century exploration. In fact, galleons were so versatile that a single vessel may have been refitted for wartime and peacetime roles several times during its lifespan. The galleon was the prototype of all square rigged ships with three or more masts for over two and a half centuries, including the later full rigged ship.

The principal warships of the opposing English and Spanish fleets in the 1588 confrontation of the Spanish Armada were galleons, with the modified English "race built" galleons developed by John Hawkins proving decisive, while the capacious Spanish galleons, designed primarily as transports, showed great endurance in the battles and in the great storms on the voyage home; most survived the ordeal

Light Galleon

Catalog Light Galleon
These small workhorses ply the waters in service of the Royal Navy and East India Trading Company, but are also very common among independent traders and privateers just making their start.

Ship Profile

Medium Galleon

Catalog Regular Galleon
The medium galleon has the best broadside firepower and cargo space at this size for its modest price. While a bit faster than the light galleon, it is still notably slower than other classes.

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Ship Profile

War Galleon

Catalog War Galleon
This hulking ship is a menace on the sea, with its thunderous broadside firepower (most in this class). But, the War Galleon is an incredibly large, slow-moving target. However, it has substantial armor to fight its way out of trouble.

Like all galleons, the War Galleon has a limited firing angle and requires the ship be almost a perfect 90 degrees to its target. However, a pair of cannons on the aft deck have a wide forward-shooting angle.

Many Captains like to show their wealth by sailing both these and War Brigs.

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Galleon Models

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Pages in category "Galleons"

The following 12 pages are in this category, out of 12 total.