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Subject: Need an introduction rss

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Suns Anvil
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Can someone give me a quick primer on this game? I think I might be interested but the manufacturer's description isn't doing it for me, and the photos presented here are rather misleading (at first glance I thought it was a minis game!).
 
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Mark Buetow
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The gist of Flying Colors is that you can play engagements with lots of ships and few players. Unlike, for example, Close Action, where you record lots of details for each ship, in FC, you don't have that level of detail and can thus manage multiple ships.

It's a good game if you want to be able to fight large battles with just two players (or even solo).
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Suns Anvil
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Are the counters really not mounted (per the back on one box I saw)?
 
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Jared
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They're mounted, but depending on which edition you buy, they're either mounted on thinner posterboard style material (first edition) or super-thick brown cardboard -- like the Twilight Struggle deluxe edition chits (second edition).

The maps are not mounted.
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Willow Pearson
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And the expansion ships are only in the posterboard style, though there's enough in the core game to keep you going for a good long time.
 
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Matt R
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sunsanvil wrote:
Can someone give me a quick primer on this game? I think I might be interested but the manufacturer's description isn't doing it for me, and the photos presented here are rather misleading (at first glance I thought it was a minis game!).

If you want just the images of a game itself (and not of people playing a game or most mods, including adding miniatures) then above the images select "Game" from the pulldown called "Gallery". The default value is "All". That should help to filter out non-game components if you want to just view those images.

Also, to add to the other posters, Flying Colors does lack a level of detail per ship but there is still an amount of data to keep up with per ship - so much so that sometimes the board can get cluttered with a lot of markers per ship so tracking some stats such as amount of sails or hull points left works well on a sheet of paper, that is, off-board.

And the level of detail per ship is still somewhat amazing (to me) for a game that focuses on fleet actions. Some people in these forums have complained that there is still too much detail on a ship by ship basis but I personally feel the game has a good balance of just enough ship detail but not so much that the overall fleet control feeling of the game is lost.
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Chris Montgomery
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sunsanvil wrote:
Can someone give me a quick primer on this game? I think I might be interested but the manufacturer's description isn't doing it for me, and the photos presented here are rather misleading (at first glance I thought it was a minis game!).

In addition to what other posters have said, this game is a "grand tactical" game - that is - a battle-level game allowing players to play large naval engagements, primarily from the Napoleonic Era. While the focus of the game is still maneuvering and firing individual ships at enemy ships, the game also includes elements of command and control (keeping your ships in formation) as well as fleet-level morale (which includes a break-off roll, which simulates the commander ordering the fleet to disengage and attempt to flee, usually due to the fleet taking too much collective damage). The break-off roll is a point of realism *not* explored in any other age of sail game I have ever played. While a small mechanic, it is hugely, vastly important for a realistic game result.

The scenarios included in the game run the gamut, from "small" engagements of 6-10 ships on each side, to rather large ones with upwards of 20 and more per side.

There is an expansion to the game that allows you to play single ship versus single-ship duels, and is mostly a completely different game involving cards and a different map (but you need some of the components from Flying Colors to play).

If you are looking for a system that lets you play out large-ish engagements in a manageable time period, get this game. Counter-clutter is an issue, however - so beware. There are fan-made player-aids that let you track damage on off-board sheets with pen-and-paper - which may or may not be what you are looking for. If you don't mind moving counters, or if you plan on playing via VASSAL, counter-clutter won't be an issue.

For large ship actions, this system cannot be beat for its blend of playability and realism within a reasonable amount of time. When compared to Close Action, Close Action will deliver 85% realistic results, but take twice as long to play. Flying Colors probably delivers 70% realistic results, but plays faster, and can include more ships.

The biggest "realism" complaint I had with the game was a feature that allowed a ship to fire both broadsides in a single turn. So if a ship were "double enveloped" with enemy ships on both sides, she could dish out just as much damage to the two ships as the two ships could dish out to her. The designer had his reasons - namely that the time-scale of the game would allow for the ship to fire out of both sides (which raises the question, then, why a ship couldn't fire from the same side twice). The designer also, IIRC, stated that this feature was a matter of keeping the game system simplified - and at the end of the day it was felt that this feature was better to be left alone, since a ship taking two broadsides is much more devastating that two ships each taking a broadside.

Sorry for the long post - if you have any more questions, feel free to post. I'm sure we'll all be glad to answer.
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Matt R
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cmontgo2 wrote:

If you are looking for a system that lets you play out large-ish engagements in a manageable time period, get this game. Counter-clutter is an issue, however - so beware. There are fan-made player-aids that let you track damage on off-board sheets with pen-and-paper - which may or may not be what you are looking for. If you don't mind moving counters, or if you plan on playing via VASSAL, counter-clutter won't be an issue.

Another method is to write (or print out) the names of the ships involved on a sheet of paper and leave space next to them to place markers next to the ship names. That way you don't have to even fool with a pen or pencil and you can easily move the markers between the paper and the map when you want. This works for smaller engagements at least as more ships would require more paper. Although hull and rigging hit markers along with broadsides fired markers are usually best left on each ship this method has worked for me for markers that don't need referencing quite as often such as manpower markers (i.e. the crew hit counters) and those markers involved in movement such as adrift, fouled, etc. The commander's counter can also usually go onto the off-map holding area too until it is time to move the fleet.

cmontgo2 wrote:

For large ship actions, this system cannot be beat for its blend of playability and realism within a reasonable amount of time. When compared to Close Action, Close Action will deliver 85% realistic results, but take twice as long to play. Flying Colors probably delivers 70% realistic results, but plays faster, and can include more ships.

I have much less experience with ship to ship games as others may have, but a game of Flying Colors plays out very much like battles I have read about from the Age of Sail and the narrative it builds (even playing solitaire) is fantastic. Also, I can get in an entire battle in a single evening of play with a minimum of referencing rules even when I go months between plays.
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