Armed with forward-facing high-calibre chase guns, Galleys have mediocre range but this belies their abilities in the Colonial Era to eviscerate other ships, given that heavier ships have a minimum range. Light ships of the Colonial Era are not very strong, and so a host of Galleys capable of stepping into their guard can sucessfully destroy them without even batting an eyelid. Additionally, Galleys are the only naval unit to have no minimum range or turn speed penalties, meaning that they are quite flexible compared to the Dutch-designed Yacht or the Atlantic Brigantine. which require substantially open water in order to execute successful manœuvres. The forward-facing guns of the Galley means that while it doesn't have the rate of fire as normal Yachts or Brigantines would, it has slightly better range, and can be used to charge enemy units which are fleeing, or attack targets from the front. Equally, they can be massed early on as a cheap anti-building unit. Galleys work best when they are used to attack stationary targets which they can row towards.
However, there is a cost to this. Galleys will eventually be superseded in the Mercantile and Imperial Eras, as more powerful warships such as Frigates come into play. Frigates already carry a very large complement of guns on par with a Galley's heaviest pieces, meaning that they are able to devastate Galley fleets with ease. As such, galleys only become useful for guard and escort duty, until later when you have a chance to obtain the Steam Corvette if available.
- Fast and highly flexible attack craft, meant for interception, close-up harassing and scouting and siegework.
- Galleys have mediocre range but have no minimum range or turn speed penalties, making for a versatile vessel that can be used to harass heavier vessels from close up, or protect the same from Fire Vessels.
- Galleys have an armour-piercing long-ranged attack so in addition to interdiction duty they can be used for demolition work.
- Galleys however are very weak, especially if facing more advanced vessels such as the Brigantine, the Yacht, or the mid-game Frigate .
The Galley survived long past the advent of gunpowder, with the last one remaining in service until 1839. Contrary to popular misconceptions, Galleys did not fully utilise brute force, but were built in order to operate using both muscle power by marines and sail power wherever wind was available. The merits of galleys were attested by the fact that at the onset of the Hundred Years' War between Plantagenet England and France, the sovereigns of both nations attempted to recruit Italian and Portuguese galley fleets to bolster the strength of their navies against each other.
In the Early Modern Era, this ability was used to great effect by arming them with longitudinally positioned guns. This meant that compared to broadside-based vessels armed with smaller guns, Galleys then could carry much heavier ordnance which can then be used to great effect like long-distance artillery. For this reason, Galleys armed with high-calibre guns often formed the backbone of Mediterranean and Baltic fleets, such as those of Russia and Sweden, or the Italian and Muslim polities of the Mediterranean, where relatively calm waters and the vast numbers of coves in littoral areas meant that low-draft vessels with oars such as Galleys could operate well. The last notable battle involving galleys was the battle of Gangut, fought off the Finnish Baltic coast in 1714 between Russia and Sweden using medium-calibre gunpowder artillery.