Introduced in Gods and Kings
Naval Melee unit
Quick - Regular - Epic - Marathon
Plying the seas looking for his next victim, the privateer is the legal pirate, handed letters of marquee from his sovereign to raid enemy vessels during times of war. A privateer’s main goal was to disrupt enemy trade routes, hurting their economy or ability to outfit a navy and army. Usually, the privateer was an entrepreneurial merchant who already owned his own ship, had a ready crew, and knew the seas and trade routes. Generally the privateer worked alone, but sometimes they banded together to form larger fleets, in order to take down some of the heavier marks.
The privateer’s aim wasn’t to sink the enemy vessel-only to capture it and its goods. The booty was usually auctioned off, with the proceeds being split between the privateer, any financial investor, and the crown.