The management simulation makes crew, workers and soldiers real. In Rulers of the Sea gamers will care about the fate of those they command, but if management is not their passion, they can leave the details to their officers.
Gamers can choose to sail in the unrated navy, free to choose their own missions. If they enter the rated navy they serve in a squadron. This means commanding more powerful ships, but also having to obey orders and fight on behalf or ones squadron.
Sea conflicts range from small engagements to large battles, but they are all highly tactical. Good preparation, training and a solid understanding of tactics can help Captains avoid loss of ship and crew and award them fame and prize money instead.