What is a tower ship?

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Big Mac
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What is a tower ship?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:55 am

The Mieres article on Birthright.net has something interesting in the "Plots and Rumours" section"
Mieres article on Birthright.net wrote:Tower Ships: Some people familiar with Mieres's shipbuilding industry believe that the Governor's men have obtained designs to the legendary Brecht tower ships! These rumors have spread throughout several Anuirean realms, and supposedly some regents have quietly expressed interest in purchasing some of the vessels for their own use. No doubt this information will reach the ears of Brecht spies before long - and once that happens, saboteurs from Müden and Danigau won't be far behind.
The "tower ship" link is a redlink. Does anyone know more about these ships?

How do you have a tower on a ship? wouldn't it just fall over? :?
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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by agathokles » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:53 am

The Encyclopedia of Cerilia on birthright.net says:
"Towerships: Great ships used by the Brecht during the War of the Shadow. These ships are bigger in size even than the Anuirean galleons and have a great siege tower in the middle of the ship. The last tower ship was built (and destroyed) during the Brecht league, only Danigau and Müden likely have the knowledge of how to build these wondrous vessels nowadays."

Note that similar "floating fortresses" did exist in the real world, but not likely in oceans -- the Chinese built tower ships for river navigation, and the Romans used similar concepts in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:24 pm

agathokles wrote:The Encyclopedia of Cerilia on birthright.net says:
"Towerships: Great ships used by the Brecht during the War of the Shadow. These ships are bigger in size even than the Anuirean galleons and have a great siege tower in the middle of the ship. The last tower ship was built (and destroyed) during the Brecht league, only Danigau and Müden likely have the knowledge of how to build these wondrous vessels nowadays."

Note that similar "floating fortresses" did exist in the real world, but not likely in oceans -- the Chinese built tower ships for river navigation, and the Romans used similar concepts in the Mediterranean Sea.
I see something called a Louchuan on Wikipedia:
Louchuan article on Wikipedia wrote:Louchuan (楼船, lit. tower ships) were a type of naval vessel, primarily a floating fortress, which has seen use in China since the Han Dynasty. Meant to be a central vessel in the fleet, the louchuan was equipped for boarding and attacking enemy vessels, as well as with siege weapons including traction trebuchets for ranged combat.

Image
I was thinking of a much taller tower, but I guess you could get away with this sort of thing in calm waters.

Do you think that means the Brecht must have used these ships on rivers and on the shallow seas near the coastlines?
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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by XstarkillerX » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:39 pm

I've found this page with a bit of info on the subject.

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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by agathokles » Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:57 pm

The Brecht tower ships were likely shorter. The entry I reported just says they were larger than galleons. Also, they were used in the War of the Shadow in ancient times, so not likely in the northern sea now travelled by Brecht merchants.

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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:10 pm

XstarkillerX wrote:I've found this page with a bit of info on the subject.
Thanks XstarkillerX. That's an impressive page. It's got everything there except the D&D stats. ;)

The pictures are impressive. These ships look a bit more like the shape of a modern-day car ferry than the sort of lighthouse-on-a-galleon design that I had initially imagined from the name "tower ship". They are more like "castle ships" or "keep ships".
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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:13 pm

agathokles wrote:The Brecht tower ships were likely shorter. The entry I reported just says they were larger than galleons. Also, they were used in the War of the Shadow in ancient times, so not likely in the northern sea now travelled by Brecht merchants.
I imagine the style of the ship would be different too, although I don't know enough of the Brecht culture to know what sort of (other) ships they would use.

Does the encyclopedia page that you got that from have a book and page citation? Perhaps we can find someone who has the original book this came from, who can have a read of the canon text to see if they can tell how big the ship is and how much of the deck is given over to the tower.
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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by agathokles » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:14 am

The Brecht culture is based on the RW Hanseatic league, for reference.
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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:54 pm

agathokles wrote:The Brecht culture is based on the RW Hanseatic league, for reference.
Thanks. I've had a quick look for information on the Hanseatic League, but I couldn't find any tower ships.

It looks like Adler von Lübeck was one of their largest ships (and that it was one of the largest in the world). It was built as an escort ship.

Do you think the tower ship stuff was added on to make the Brecht culture seem a little bit less like a straight rip-off of the Hanseatic League?
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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by The Dark » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:56 am

I had always assumed the "tower ship" was similar to a carrack, which were historically referred to as "great ships" because of the height of their castles. If one looks at images of the Scottish carrack Michael or the English Henry Grace a Dieu, they could certainly be called "tower ships" based on their forecastles. For a late medieval setting, the extra height allowing personal missile attacks to be aimed downward would be a solid advantage (the Hanseatic Peter von Danzig doesn't have a large castle, as it was a converted merchant carrack).

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Re: What is a tower ship?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:42 am

The Dark wrote:I had always assumed the "tower ship" was similar to a carrack, which were historically referred to as "great ships" because of the height of their castles. If one looks at images of the Scottish carrack Michael or the English Henry Grace a Dieu, they could certainly be called "tower ships" based on their forecastles. For a late medieval setting, the extra height allowing personal missile attacks to be aimed downward would be a solid advantage (the Hanseatic Peter von Danzig doesn't have a large castle, as it was a converted merchant carrack).
Michael is amazing. But the thing that Agathokles found suggested a central tower, rather than a forecastle and sterncastle. I think ships with sterncastles and forecastles look great, but I was trying to find out what a tower ship was, and it seem to be this Chinese design.

I guess that both approaches work and both approaches also have their own pros and cons.

I wonder if there are any more westernised tower ship designs. :?
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