I wasn't sure which StackExchange I should ask this question, but since the story I am writing is basically a historically inspired fantasy, I decided to present it here.
The story in question is supposed to be a fairly short pirate adventure set in a Bronze Age world. My protagonist is an admiral from a fairly wealthy kingdom (inspired by the kingdom of Kush from our world) who is hunting down the ringleader of a large pirate organization. I imagine that, after learning where the pirates' fortified base of operations is located, she would go after them with a fleet of several galleys each manned with archers and infantry (think the war galleys of New Kingdom Egypt).
Now, it's important to the story that my admiral gets captured by the pirates in a sea battle, which would require that their fleet overwhelms hers somehow. What I imagine is that the pirates' ships are dhow-type vessels which are individually smaller than my admiral's galleys, but their fleet is numerically larger. In short, it's a small number of large galleys versus a much larger number of small dhows.
How would such an asymmetrical sea battle play out in a Bronze Age world? The scenario I imagined is that some of the pirate dhows would cut off my heroine's galley from the rest of her fleet by ganging up and encircling it (a bit like sharks swimming around their prey in cartoon depictions) before flinging out the grappling hooks and then boarding it to capture her. But then what would happen to the rest of the protagonist's fleet? Couldn't they barge in and save my heroine before the pirates carried her off?