Merchant Navy

In addition to the formal Navy, Amber maintains a Merchant Navy of varying size, used to bolster the Navy's forces in wartime and to do a variety of tasks and missions in times of peace, for pay and favors. It's often seen as "state-sponsored piracy", as the captains of the merchant fleet are not beholden to the same rules as Naval officers.

Anyone who owns a large ship can be in the Merchant Navy with their own crews as they wish. Rank in the Merchant Navy is determined by the size of ship of the owner. In Road to Amber, this can be difficult and tricky, since it's a detail that is often handwaved. Basically, rank in the general Navy scheme of things is determined by the rating of the ship, and in game terms this is found by what you think the size of your crew is. A rough idea of size of the ship suffices, and exact numbers and whatnot aren't needed.

Ship ratings for the Merchant Navy. These are only to be used as a guideline to determining what rating your ship is. The Navy propco can help work it out with you too:

  • First Rate: Over 800 crew and more than 2,000 ton displacement. Unlikely to be owned by many, as Amber's fleet only has maybe two or three of these huge flagships, as they are typically Admiral's flagships. The HMS Victory, Nelson's vessel, was one of the few first rate British ships.
  • Second Rate: Up to 750 crew, 2000 tons. Also pretty big and expensive.
  • Third Rate: Somewhere between 500 and 750 crew, still pretty big for a merchant.
  • Fourth Rate: Frigates belong to this rating, and this is likely the most popular ship out there. They have crews of 300 to 500 men. The HMS Leander was a British ship of the line of the fourth rate.
  • Fifth Rate: Corvettes belong to this rating, with crew numbers from 200 to 300 men.
  • Sixth Rate: Generally smaller ships than 200 crew, including most pleasure yachts and such. These would also include sloop-of-war, of which the 1854 USS Constellation is one.

If you have a ship on the game, throwing your hand in the Merchant Navy is a great way to get involved in Navy RP and plots. Just let a Navy propco know of your interest and we will help work out your rank and give you the necessary tokens for letters of marque.

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