So, galleys can sink a transport ship in like 7 hits? Idk. And there goes the group of twenty paladins sinking into the water, lost forever.
But then the paladins unload, and they take DIRECT hits from a ten foot long log/spear, that flying at them at high speed, and is usually on fire. And it barely scratches them.
Also, while we are at it, ship battles usually end up as these massive affairs of 40+ ships vs 40+ ships, and the ships are so tightly packed that the ships hulls are overlapping. Again… massively lame to look at. No thought goes into fighting on the ocean, you just spam ships for the win.
I really think it needs to change. First, from a game prettiness/balance point of view, controlling fewer units is nicer than controlling hundreds or even dozens of units in one go. Especially when the units have to sit in formations that fill half or more of the screen, which makes it really easy to miss them when clicking to issue commands.
Second, from a design standpoint, the galleon line costs 90 wood. The little ramshackle hut called a lumbercamp costs 100 wood. The galleon is BIGGER than the lumbercamp. Where did that extra wood come from? Bad design… but lets continue.
Third, from a historical standpoint the construction time of the galleon was historically 5 years. For a person taking 1 riding lesson per week, it takes 2 years to obtain competency. If you divide that by 14 (taking 2 riding lessons per day on average) you get .142857 years. If you divide 5 by that number, you get 35.00175. It takes 35 times long to make a ship than to train a horsemen in real life. Galleons are made in 36 seconds. Hussars are made in 30 seconds. If you wanted to be accurate in the construction timescales of galleons, then you should take 1050 seconds or 17 minutes to make each galleon. Now, this is obviously gamebreakingly long (it takes longer than a wonder) But the point is made. 36 seconds of training time is unrealistically short, and it contributes to a ship vs ship gameplay that is as alien to real life as if the ships floated around midair, and were levitated by monks. >:(
So, points made, here is what should happen.
The cost of making a galleon should increase. Drastically. Siege rams cost 160 wood. Galleons should probably cost something in the vicinity of 300-500 wood. They should probably even require some stone. Repairing them should not cost stone ofc, but as far as gold… they should cost a pretty penny to. anywhere from 300-1,000+ gold is warranted. The higher the gold cost, the more realistically accurate they are. Cannon galleons should absolutely cost stone. Also health and armor need to go up. WAAAAAY UP. A bunch of knights with swords should not be able to dent a ship.
Cannon galleons should be fearsome. The cannon ball should move much faster than it currently does. It should splash. And furthermore, they need bonus damage against structures, and against all units except ships. If you get hit by a cannon galleon, your dead. The turtle ships should be like normal cannon galleons but with higher rate of fire, higher armor, shorter range, and should have bonus damage vs ships. Also, accuracy and rate of fire is the only levers used for balancing here. Damage is devastating.
Galleons need to be fearsome. But their reload times need to go up by alot. The bolts should be like scorpion bolts, and they need to deal high damage against all units. Slow fire rate, and lower accuracy rates is how balance is handled. Also, slower movement rates so that seige engines can hit them.
But this will never happen. People will take one look at this, and scream that it would break the current game balance. And the answer is yes, it would. Butt here are major gains to be made by actually fixing the underlying economics and units in ship v ship combat. Because right now its broken, its unrealistic, and its not appealing. Its not worth saving. Galleon and ship balance in general needs to be broken and redesigned from scratch.
Edit: The USS constitution took 2000 oak trees to make. The victory took 6,000 oaks. The Royal george took 2300 oaks. If this were to be multiplied by the amount of wood per tree in game, each galleon should take 200000 wood. Obviously gamebreakingly unrealistic.