Upgrade of Brigantine for France. Costlier, but faster to build and with stronger attack versus all other light attack vessels.
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If Frigates are said to be the backbone of any fleet, then the Corvette can be said to be the eyes, ears and fists of the French navy. This light ship is very much similar to a Brigantine but with several differences, most notably its ability to counter all other smaller light ships — Outriggers, Yachts, Galleys, Brigantines, Kanonchaluppen, Pojamen and all.
Couple this with a faster construction time, and you can see that the French have a powerful light ship component, but one with a higher cost than the Brigantine. So with this in mind, how does one use Corvettes? the answer actually is rather simple: because they are fast and quite powerful, you can use them as patrol vessels to attack the enemy's own light shipping. Alternatively, you can also use them to raid the enemy's own marine supply lines and to also launch early naval assaults when other factions are still busy trying to build up a navy.
The Corvette was a lightly armed warship smaller than a Frigate, which just so happens to be the ship that they protect. The Corvettes were great at raiding as well as protecting, leading some pirates to use them as their main mode of transport.
The term "corvette" first appeared in France, and was intended to describe a warship that was smaller than a Frigate, but larger and more powerful than a brig or a sloop. Such warships were ideal for the French, especially in the seas of the English Channel because of the unpredictable weather conditions. Over the course of roughly two centuries, corvettes eventually grew in size and strength, being able to carry more guns than most smaller ships but only so ever outclassed (or in British terms, out-rated) by Frigate-type vessels. Towards the end of the Age of Sail, Corvettes briefly disappeared after the Napoleonic Wars before reappearing once more, this time as hybrid steam-and-sail warships.