GameSpy's posted a new interview with Rick Goodman on Rise & Fall, it's rather long and certainly worth checking out, here Rick responds to the question "Can you talk about ramming? Please describe it in the game, and tell why it's so important."
This is something that gamers have been asking me about for years. I can't wait for people to experience it for themselves. Ramming is dependent upon you training a drummer aboard your ship. Once you have a drummer, he will work your crew into a frenzy and when you're in proper position, you press a button and your ship races through the water. There's no defense for this attack, and your ship will utterly obliterate any enemy ship it strikes, slicing it in half and sending its crew into the water. It's awesome to see enemy units sailing into the air or drowning, especially in multiplayer.