A ram is an ironclad warship powered by gastrines. As propulsion technology in the Half-Continent has proceeded from sail to gastrine whilst seemingly avoiding internal combustion engines entirely, it is impossible to draw a direct parallel between historical fighting ships of any age and the rams used by various naval powers. Rams are divided into cruisers, which funciton as scouts and support vessels, and rams-of-the-main, mobile gun platforms that make up the line of battle in a sea fight. In turn these are divided into various classes with differing functions and duties. The primary armament of a ram consists of a number of smoothbore cannon and an eponymous metal blade fixed to the bow.
Current naval tactics focus on an exchange of cannon shot between lines of heavy ships, with the goal being to knock of an opponent's strakes and thus expose its wooden hull to concentrated shot. However, both ramming and boarding still occur: the former tempting because of its chance of sinking or disabling a target in one hit and the latter offering the chance to take a prize.
A battle between heavy ships will usually involve each side forming a (moving) line-of-battle, usually parallel to the enemy line, and exchanging broadsides while trying to flank the other. Cruisers do not usually join the line but instead guard the flanks (either end of the line) or try and turn them. In a gun battle of this sort the best move is to cross the T, a maneuver that allows one's own line to concentrate fire on the bow or stern without exposing one's own vessel to a broadside (as in the Battle of the Mole, where a frigate crossed a main-sovereign and then rammed her, effectively breaking the enemy line-of-battle.)