The age of the galley spanned over 1500 years. Man powered (in battle,) sail assisted when practical, wooden warships and merchant vessels roamed the coastlines. The galley developed slowly, but seapower was important to sustain the necessary waterbourne supply of large ancient armies. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and byzantines all developed and prospered by developing gally fleets.
The Galley was the main naval fighting ship from the dawn of written history to the end of the 18th Centur, lingering in shallow seas, such as the Baltic, for a few decades beyond this.
Powered mainly by oars and assisted by sail, wind permitting. Galleys developed slowly over 3,000 years and a Phoenician would have understood a Renaissance galley although he may have been puzzled by its guns.
As Galleys developed, tactics changed from the boarding and missile actions of the Phoenicians, through the ramming and disabling "ship killing" methods of the Greek States, and back to the missile and boarding tactics of the Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantine and Turks.
We chose 1/600th scale after much thought, as it allows us to produce well detailed models as the average vessel was well under 200ft long, a model of a reasonable size for table battles.
1/600th is also a scale in which human figures can be seen so the Galleys can be crewed, if required, very simply and thus enhance their appearance.
The sails were not used in action but usually taken down and stored or landed to increase the agility of the Galley. Gamers may prefer to use their models with sails to add colour and aid identification.
All models are white metal its well defined for assembley with quick set epoxy resin or solder.
The Quadriemes and Quinquiremes were the main war vessels if the Punic Wars. They were 'Cataphract' galleys as the Oarsmen were fully enclosed in the wooden hulls. The oars were manned by 3:2 man for the Quinquireme and 2:2 man for the Quadrieme.
These galleys introduced slaves as rowers, whereas the Triremes were usually manned by free men.
Whilst the Carthaginians used ramming and boarding tactics, as well as heavy missile fire, the Romans, who copied the Carthaginian galley designs, were not such good seamen and relied more on boarding.
Hence, they developed the 'Corvus' which was basically a long board with a metal spike at one end. This was dropped across the board to try to capture the other galley. The 'Corvus' made the galley less sea worthy and so many Roman galleys were lost in storms.
As they became more proficient, the Romans discontinued the 'Corvus' and used the same tactics as the Carthaginians, ultimately defeating them.
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