After reading a lot about Swedish military (was making a comment about Carolean balance, and how to fix that) I got sidetracked and started reading about Swedish navy during the time. I learned that Vasa was the name of an overly-weaponized and overly-decorated ship that sank immediately in its maiden voyage due to all the weight. What is more interesting is that the ship was never recovered during the time period of the game, but the bronze cannons were, which explains why getting some gold back from sunken Galleons and Frigates.
Vasa Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship)
Unfortunately, Vasa does not do enough as a naval combat card, since the return on ships will never pay for itself. in each case (Galleon and Frigate) it’s 1/5 the cost, meaning for the first five ships, you then end up with a free ship in terms of coin, but even that return isn’t anything noteworthy, since wood in this game is way more valuable than gold. By this point in naval combat, unless the enemy has incurred equal losses to you, you already lost on water.
I feel like there is an opportunity here for Sweden to better represent its naval power during the time period of the game, since they faced off against Russia’s navy, which was definitely powerful at the time (and is powerful in game too, with Cold Harbor card).
My suggestion: remove Vasa card (it’s a joke anyway about a failed attempt at a naval fortress), and replace it with Coastal Frigates card. This card will NOT be a team card and will have the following traits: “Frigate HP +15%, movement speed +10%”
The source for this kind of card comes from reading about the Archipelago Fleet, and about how the Swedish redesigned ships to sail in more shallow waters AND use oars. They did this with smaller ships, and to larger Frigates. This means they had stronger, sleeker hulls, which assisted in the shoreline support of Swedish troops in the shallow waters off the coast of Finland. This would mean that a civ FINALLY has a combat card dedicated to Frigates, makes historical sense, and wouldn’t be broken compared to Spanish, British, Portuguese, Russians, or Indians Frigates. This would be unique enough AND actually have a real effect on naval combat for the Swedish, which I think they deserve.
Coastal Frigates source: http://www.multi.fi/~goranfri/navalwar.html
Thoughts, comments, criticisms, all appreciated. Now, discuss!