When Vasa was being built, the tactics of sea battles were changing. Cannon had not yet been used in a coordinated or decisive way, and the goal was to capture the enemy ship by boarding, rather than to sink it. Later in the 17th century, ships and cannon were coordinated in the line of battle: opposing fleets fired at each other in two lines. Vasa stands somewhere between these two approaches to fighting at sea. She has a large number of heavy cannon, at the same time that she was manned and equipped for hand-to-hand combat. The high stern allowed men with muskets to shoot down into the decks of a lower ship, and on the upper deck were guns called stormstycken (literally, “assault guns”), which fired canisters of small shot and scrap metal, much like a giant shotgun.