The Galleass is a warship unique to Genoa. The upgrade of the Galley, it has increased attack, armor and range. As if we needed any more proof of Genoese naval superiority.
Available to: Genoa
Built at: Dock
Cost: 100 Wood, 65 Florins, 4 population slots
Armor/Pierce Armor: 0/8
Special: +4 vs. ships and lancers, +3 vs. buildings. 6 armor vs. ships and lancers.
The advantage of the Genoese navy is that it doesn't have to fully rely on expensive War Cogs. The upgrade to the Galleass allows them to make their escort ships stronger and to use them more offensively even in the later stage of the game.
Although the Galleass doesn't get any range-upgrades, it is fast enough to close up on the War Cogs before they can deal serious damage. Additionally, the fact that it costs 1/3 less wood and almost 1/2 less florins than a standard War Cog, ensures that the Galleass always has a chance to outnumber an enemy's fleet.
While the Portuguese were experimenting with creating large ships that were large enough to sustain transoceanic voyages all the way to the Bay of Bengal, the Italians were working on another problem: how to create a ship that was mobile enough in Mediterranean waters yet large enough to carry sufficient cargo and armaments to outclass any other vessels? the answer lay in the galleass: a galley, built larger and capable of accommodating oars and sails as well as broadside-mounted guns.
Although the galleass proved to be slow and unwieldly thanks to its size, it did not stop other nations such as Spain, England and even the Ottomans from adopting galleasses in their fleets (in Turkey, a galleass was known as a mavna). Performance of the galleass as a warship was nonetheless mixed. On one hand, the Christian victory at Lepanto was due to the use of galleasses, which emphasised the use of bombardment as opposed to boarding, yet in other battles such as those at Preveza and Felipe II's abortive 1588 expedition to England showed that the galleass was often unwieldly and unstable, falling prey to bad weather and more flexible galleys alike. Eventually, the galleass lost its oars and adopted a more extensive sailplan, evolving into the galleon and the frigate. The term "frigate" actually owes its name to the "fregata" or pocket galleass, a smaller version of the galleass that attempted to reconcile the dilemma between having large hulls (galleasses) and mobility (smaller galleys) in the Mediterranean.
- Rise of Kings Wiki; Galleass