They brought thither a swift twenty-benched long-ship well manned, which they had before used in sea-roving.
— Egil's saga
Fast and deadly, Hemiolia are a form of light ship, meant to function as a fast and tough light ship to be used for raiding and escort duty, thus making the Hellenistic factions highly powerful when pitted against lightly defended coastal areas or "soft targets".
Use these warships as you would normally use light ships, but take care not to engage heavier warships such as the Bach Viet Tower Ship.
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.
Longships are also used by the Spanish, and are the very ships that spawn from Dockyards, although they are soon upgraded to Roundships. This is actually somewhat historically accurate, as there is evidence that some Vikings did raid and settle in Spain (after being defeated by Muslim forces, and converting to Islam). Some may have introduced shipbuilding techniques to the locals (in the form of the Portuguese poveiro). The only way for Spain to obtain Longships, however, is through its heavy ship bonus which spawns units at the dock.
Longships were a common sight in Northern European waters, and were not merely confined to the Viking raiders, but were adopted by other peoples as well, such as the Saxon invaders who eventually founded England. As it can be expected, there was no one "perfect" longship, but there existed a variety of longships built in the Scandinavian style for all manner of use and environments: for instance, Norwegian "esneccas" had a deeper draught suited for use in Scandinavian fjords as opposed to Danish galleys meant for shallow harbours. Muslim sources in Spain attest to this difrerentiation with an account of a Viking invasion in 844 CE which involved large markib and smaller qarib (these were names the Moors gave to the Norse ships). Longships were so popular duing the early Mediaeval era that they were used well into the 12th century, culminating in even larger vessels, such as the legendary Ormen Lange, built by the Norwegian ruler Olaf Trygvasson in the 10th century. The Normans who assaulted England, Palestine and Southern Italy also used longships to transport troops, mounts and supplies to the field. Longships were eventually eclipsed by cogs, which could support more weight and freeboard, which led to easier boarding and eventually easier mounting of firearms, although variants of these ships were used by the Russians well into the Early Modern Era.