"He sends the Winds, as heralds of glad tidings, giving you a taste of His mercy, that your ships may sail majestically by His command."
— The Qur'an (30:46)
Light ship, slightly weaker than normal war galleys but with a cheap pricetag, added attack and speed.
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A small oared vessel, the Fusta is a unit recruited by various powers influenced by Islam, namely Portugal, the Moors, the Saracens and the Turks. Fustas are not as powerful as war galleys or even brigantines, but they distinguish themselves in several other areas: their cheap cost, speed and increased attack. A fleet of Christian fire ships will be at pains to penetrate the immense scale of a Muslim galley fleet to reach its targets. Equally, their much heavier war galleys will have problems trying to hunt them down!
- Taking Enemy Fire — The attack and low cost of a Fusta makes it good for raiding and defending against fire ships.
- A Warm Welcome — As Fustas are weak against heavy ships, complement them with fire ships to keep your enemy's fleet at bay.
- Parting Ways at the End — Although Turkey and Sicily are confined to using fustas as opposed to more advanced naval units, Saracens and Moors can upgrade to the Baghlah Hrbiya, or gun baghlah once Darul Islam has been researched at your Nobles' Court. For Portugal, researching Centralisation grants access to the Caravela Redonda, the strongest light ship in the game.
If you are playing the Western factions, this unit will undergo 3 different changes, depending on the Age you are in:
Musketeer of the Mercantile Era.
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Musketeer of the Imperial Era.
In the roiling waters of the Atlantic, ancient Roman-style galley warfare was not an option, and so those nations which fronted the Atlantic much preferred smaller and lighter galleys for escort duty in littoral arenas. Small galleys were the preference of the Portuguese, who needed versatile watercraft in an age where ships could never be both big and agile at the same time - the role of heavy ships were to be replaced with carracks (and later on in the 17th century, galleons). At the same time, the flexibility of a light galley meant that the ship was also popular with Muslim and Greek pirate crews who terrorised southern Europe's seas, because its shallow draught allowed it to be hidden along the small islets that dotted the Mediterranean. Even long after tall ships became more agile and more destructive in power, galleys continued to be used in conflicts throughout Asia, Europe and even the Americas until the height of the Industrial Age.