Monster Hunter’s Quinquireme Slab
In the great wars of the 5th century BC the trireme was the heaviest type of warship used by the Mediterranean navies. The trireme (“three-oared”) was propelled by three banks of oars, with one oarsman each. During the early 4th century BC, however, variants of the trireme design began to appear: the quadrireme (“four-oared”), quinquereme (“five-oared”) and the hexareme (“six-oared”).
Perhaps the most famous of the Hellenistic-era warships, because of its extensive use by the Carthaginians and Romans during the Punic wars, was the quinquereme. Mounted on the front of Roman ships throughout the first Punic war was the corvus (“crow” or “raven”), a boarding device used in sea battles. A corvus is a bridge roughly 4 ft wide and 36 ft long, with a small parapet on both sides and a pole and a system of pulleys allowed the bridge to be raised and lowered. There was a heavy spike shaped like a bird’s beak on the underside of the device, which was designed to pierce and anchor into an enemy ship’s deck when the boarding bridge was lowered.
An effort was made to keep this model as close to the historical record as possible with the caveats that the nature of a world of squares makes layered rowers impossible, and this particular model is for a game I am running where they are monster hunting pirates leading to a distinct and “un-roman” appearance.