His bark is stoutly timber'd, his pilot
— William Shakespeare, Othello (Act ii, Scene i)
A hybrid of a fully-rigged ship and a galley, the Galleass is an attempt by Venice to create multirole naval support, combining the movement and construction speed and cost of a galley with the line of sight, firepower, range, armour and rate of fire of a carrack, by having side guns as opposed to bow-mounted guns. While this results in a warship with lower range and an lowered ability to cause splash damage, the Galleass is still sturdy and fast enough to be rushed to wherever it is needed, being a much-needed improvement from its precursor, the Heavy Galley. It is to be noted, however, that while most tall ships are capable of firing more multiple projectiles, the Galleass is still confined to firing only one, thus the Venetian player will be forced to rely on multiple Galleasses to achieve the desired outcomes. Further, the build rate of these warships also means that they are much harder to create than Lantern Galleys, but the improved rate of fire, brutal attack strength and the (relatively better) speed of the Galleass, with its cheaper cost, should grant it the ability to outclass the stronger but costlier carrack where possible.
The strength of the Galleass as a warship can allow Venice to pursue a liberal political stance in the Imperial Era, leading to better resource accumulation and research, as well as a much swifter navy: use the line of sight and the firepower of your Galleasses to suport your Brigantines, whose speed and firepower make them the best light attack vessel around. Galleasses enjoy the best accuracy when it comes to heavy ship attack, thus the only anti-ship unit which is most effective against a Galleass is the Byzantine cheiropiphon vessel.
- Strength in Numbers — Although not as sturdily built as a Carrack, the cheaper cost and firepower of the Galleass allows it to overwhelm Carracks once critical mass is achieved.
- Byzantine Basket Case — One problem with the siege ship line is that it is made of wood and can't survive an attack by fire. Protect your galleasses at all costs from fire ships, especially the Naphta Vessels favoured by China and Byzantium.
- Divide et Impera — As with all units, galleasses must be surrounded in order to be destroyed. Use bombards, or flank them with heavy ships to send them down to the bottom. Fleets of heavy ships working in tandem with fire ships work well against these ships.
If a player chooses to continue playing a Rise of Kings campaign after its end, Galleasses appear in the English, Spanish, Turkish and Papal navies.
First emerging among the Italian martime republics, the galleass was an attempt to combine the flexibility of galleys with the sailplan and size of a roundship to create a vessel that was both roomy yet manoeuvreable. Although 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): the early Tudor navy had around a dozen galleasses which were meant to complement the great ships or carracks of the fleet. 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 broadside 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 and sailing ships alike. Eventually, the Galleass lost its oars and adopted a more extensive sailplan, evolving into the galleon and the frigate, the latter owing 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.