Of Rams and Ramming

Airships: Conquer the Skies
2014-08-11 19:51

Ramming is already an important part of airship battles, which tend to be quite physical. In early access version 5, one of the major goals is adding external modules - such as proper ramming equipment.


I started out with some historical research: what did ships' rams actually look like? There isn't that much visual material available, but it turns out that a common pattern for ancient Greek and Roman vessels was a bronze ram with three projections, as seen above.

The Olympias Credit

One of the cool things I discovered during my trawl is that there is a full-size, fully functional reconstruction of an ancient Athenian trireme, called the Olympias. The ram on it is really quite prominent, and you can see how it could be used to good effect to hole enemy ships.

Small Naval Ram Credit

Another interesting detail is that some ancient warships had two rams - a main one to hole the ship, and a smaller, spiky one, to break the enemies' oars.

More modern naval rams look more boring, as they are basically projections of the metal hull of the ship. So in the interest of fun, I decided to pattern the ones in the game on the more ancient type. This is what I came up with for the basic ram:

Small Ram

And then this is what you get as an option if you pick the Ram as your heraldic animal:

Grand Ram

Which lets you do this:

Grand Ram in Action

I am quite pleased with this outcome.

Next up, I'll be writing about some other new external modules, such as sails and tanks of suspendium dust. If you want to try the game out, have a look at the early access version, or upvote it on Greenlight.

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