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Subject: Looking for a good ship to ship (war/miniature) game rss

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David Bezio
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The only ship game I ever played was Man O’ War from Games Workshop. While I wouldn’t mind getting that game again (can you believe I sold all three boxed sets and about30 miniatures for $100 about 10 years ago?!). Every so often I get the urge to play that game again, but collecting the game and miniatures is a task I really don’t have the patience or money to attempt.

I’d really like to play a nautical ship to ship game again, but there are 93 pages of ship games on Boardgamegeek :O, so please help me out if you can. Here is what I’m looking for. Primary, is what I really want to find in a game. While not a total deal breaker, I’d really like these elements. Secondary are things that would be cool, but I can live without.

Primary:

-Board/Hex/grid
I really want to play on some type of grid. Over the years I’ve just grown very tired of games that involve measuring and such. I like the simplicity and ease of using some type of grid for movement.

-Miniatures/Chits
I want actual ships moving around on the board, not something vague or abstract. Miniatures are a definite plus, but chits that I can convert into miniatures are acceptable.

-Sails
Pardon my ignorance of history, but I want a game with the big old galleys with sails and cannons and all that, not “modern” ships.

-Simple but not simplistic
I want a game that is fairly easy to learn and teach and can be played in 2 or so hours. I want it to have enough depth to be tactical and fun, but not so much that each turn/action takes 20 minutes to perform.

-Re-playability
Like all people I want a game with some replay value. Something that involves enough variety and tactics that an adult can (and wants) to play it again and again, and each game is different.

Secondary:

-Boxed Set
I’d be nice if I could get one big old boxed set with everything needed to play (especially if it includes plastic ships I can paint).

-Fantasy Elements
I can’t help myself, I really like a bit of fantasy included in my games. Movie pirates, sea monsters, or even fantasy races like elves, Dwarves, and Orcs are all a big plus.

-Boarding Actions
I’d love to find a game that includes some kind of boarding action rules alongside the ship to ship rules.

-Expansions
Defiantly not a deal breaker, but who doesn’t like MORE stuff to buy if you find a game you really like
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Flying Colors is your game.

Close Action is another popular choice, but is more complex.

Both are historical, with no fantasy elements, however.
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Tim M-L
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Two relatively well known and recently released miniatures games with ships are The Uncharted Seas and Trafalgar. Neither of these games use a grid, but maybe you could figure out a way to add one in.

Uncharted seas is fantasy and has about 8 fleets out now. The ships are about 2-4 times the size of the Man-o-war ships. As far as I know they are quite likely to produce more ships and are coming out with an expanded reprint of the rules at some point.

Trafalgar is Napoleonic era (think Master and Commander). It is by Games Workshop and from what I have read is strongly influenced by Man-O-War and Battlefleet Gothic. The ship lists in the book are quite extensive, so I would not expect an expansion book.

Hopefully someone else will be able to give some information about the boardgames available.

I notice you are in Wisconsin. You might want to check out Nav-Con. It is a Naval wargaming convention in Milwaukee that is two weeks from today. http://nav-con.com/
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Jack Defevers
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Since you liked Man O' War, you really owe it to yourself to at least take a long look at The Uncharted Seas. It doesn't fit your criteria exactly (no grid, for example), but seriously, check it out.
 
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David Bezio
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Flying Colors is your game.


Yes, that looks just about right. I've downloaded the living rulebook (bonus) and will read it shortly, but on a quick glance it looks like just about the right level of complexity, and certainly looks like I can make a 3D gameboard for it and paint up some ship miniatures.

Does the game include any rules for landmasses?

I can certainly see how fantasy elements can be superficially implied (simply placing the battles in a fantasy world, or declaring one fleet is Orcs). Do you think house rules for such things as sea monsters or magic are plausible, or do you think it will destry game balance?

Greywing wrote:
Since you liked Man O' War, you really owe it to yourself to at least take a long look at The Uncharted Seas.


I have looked into it a number of times. The main drawbacks for me are sort of personal.

First, the game just seems to lack that bit of “color” or “oomph” that makes me say, “This looks cool and fun!” It might be cool and fun, but all the things I see and read online just don’t make me want to make the big money and time investment to find out.

Second, the idea of those huge honking miniatures is very unappealing to me. I don’t like games that require a large space to play anymore, and for some reason, big miniatures just rub me the wrong way.

Finally, I guess Battlelore has just ruined me for miniature wargames. I used to play a ton of “traditional” miniature wargames, but since I played Battlelore, with its simple streamlined hex based/board game like rules it has become hard for me to play more traditional miniature games with all the measuring and turning and such. Battlelore plays like a miniature wargame, but has much more flavor and allows for more tactics without bothering you with all the rules and things you argue about with a more traditional miniatures game.

All my opinion and preferences, and no reflection on The Uncharted Sea, which I never played. If someone invited me to play a game (I live in the Green Bay area, buy the way ) I’d love to give it a try…unfortunately, I’m usually the guy who makes the big investments and then tries to get others interested,
 
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An old long out of print microgame about ancient naval warfare which I remember enjoying back in the day was Ram Speed. On a hex grid, ship counters covered several hexes, depending on how big/long the ship was. Keep track of various statistics/damage of each on paper. I often feel nostalgic for it!
 
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Wulf Corbett
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grubman wrote:
Wulf Corbett wrote:
Flying Colors is your game.


Does the game include any rules for landmasses?
The maps include areas of varying colours which can be declared land, and the rules include shallows & grounding. I think the rules for firing over land basically say 'you can't', but yes, there are landmass rules.
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I can certainly see how fantasy elements can be superficially implied (simply placing the battles in a fantasy world, or declaring one fleet is Orcs). Do you think house rules for such things as sea monsters or magic are plausible, or do you think it will destry game balance?
The game is mostly a simulation, so such matters as 'balance' are primarily a case of choosing which battles to fight - however, there is a point-buy DIY section in the rules. I'd say magic would be easy to include, monsters would be more a problem of deciding how they would fit into the rules. You've got me interested though...
 
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David Bezio
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
You've got me interested though...


It's the crazy type of thing I do...I can never leave well enough alone.

Of course, I see the game is out of print and used copies are going pretty high (considering it's just a bunch of cardboard). Now that I found the game, it might be hard to get a copy.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Either it's been reprinted, or it's about to be... and there is Serpents of the Seas to look for too.
 
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Either it's been reprinted, or it's about to be...

As of this writing, the FC reprint is on the P500 Not There Yet list, with 171 orders.
 
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Mark Buetow
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Do you want to play fleet actions with few players or have more control of your individual ship with closer to one ship per person?

For the first, Flying Colors. For the second, Close Action.

Here's my take on CA with comparison of FC (and with the reminder that CA is still in print and FC isn't).

http://www.geekdo.com/thread/312713
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David Bezio
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Malacandra wrote:
Do you want to play fleet actions with few players or have more control of your individual ship with closer to one ship per person?


Fleet actions with 2-4 players.
 
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Mark Buetow
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grubman wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
Do you want to play fleet actions with few players or have more control of your individual ship with closer to one ship per person?


Fleet actions with 2-4 players.


Yeah, then try to get a hold of FC. They're both really good games, just different in their approach.

We're doing an email Fleet Battle of Trafalgar using Close Action. We've got 60 players! Amazing. And that's when CA really shines!

We've also played Trafalgar with thee people using FC. Good times.
 
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Klaus Brune
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It sounds like Wooden Ships & Iron Men would be a perfect match. It's out of print, but the hex board is fairly simple to recreate, and the counters that take up two hexes (bow and stern) lend themselves fairly well for conversion to miniatures, so all you really need is a copy of the rules.

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David Bezio
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Gruumsh wrote:
It sounds like Wooden Ships & Iron Men would be a perfect match.


It's definately my second choice so far. I did drop by the FLGS to see if they had a copy of Flying Colors...no such luck, I guess I'll just have to be patient untill the next printing comes out, or untill I find one somewhere.

-Dave
 
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David Bezio
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Sigh...

...So what would be the best suggestion for a game that fits all the criteria that is actually IN PRINT?

If I wanted to pay $100+ for a small box of cardboard, I'd just get Man o' War again.

Tangent Rant: More than that, I hate to pay the crazy prices of those rubbing their little paws together when they mark something up to a ridiculous price just because they know there is somebody out there desperate enough to pay it. Those kind of people rub me the wrong way. Games were made to be played, if you’re not playing it pass it on to someone who will have fun with it.
 
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Well the Wooden Ships and Iron Men rules are available online - see this thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/345194. The rulebook Hasbro has online does not include everything, so you may want to look at the other source too.

You don't need the counters if you are going to use miniatures. You can use any suitably sized hex grid that comes to hand as the board.

With a little tweaking, you can adapt for a square grid instead, to give you more points of sailing, although at the cost of some other distortions.
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Mark Buetow
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I'd still give Close Action a look. It's really your only good choice unless FC gets reprinted. The FC expansion, Ship of the Line has the latest FC rules, but not sure if the ships supplied with it will fill all the scenarios or if you need the original FC game.

In CA, you could certainly play multiple ships per player. I think the max reasonable is about 3, so if you had four players, you could get a nice 12 ship scenario going. Not a huge fleet action but still a lot of fun.

Of course, if you can get more players, then so much the better.

We also play with some variant rules (Bloody Red Flag) published by a CA player that give us twelve point movement on the hex grid. More realistic and quite fun.
 
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David Bezio
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ConG wrote:
Well the Wooden Ships and Iron Men rules are available online - see this thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/345194. The rulebook Hasbro has online does not include everything, so you may want to look at the other source too.

You don't need the counters if you are going to use miniatures. You can use any suitably sized hex grid that comes to hand as the board.

With a little tweaking, you can adapt for a square grid instead, to give you more points of sailing, although at the cost of some other distortions.


That's great! Thank you very much. I downloaded the Flying Colors rulebook, but without all the counters and stuff it was going to be pretty useless. This might not be my first choice, but you can't beat free...and since I planned on using miniatures and building some kind of 3-D ocean scene, this is perfect.

 
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Wulf Corbett
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grubman wrote:
Tangent Rant: More than that, I hate to pay the crazy prices of those rubbing their little paws together when they mark something up to a ridiculous price just because they know there is somebody out there desperate enough to pay it.
By the looks of eBay you may be talking about Troll & Toad. Wow, they sure are looking to cash in... Keep checking eBay though, there may be a better deal sometime.
 
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David Bezio
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Malacandra wrote:
I'd still give Close Action a look.


I'm hitting another gmae store today. If they have any of the 3 games mentioned, I'll certainly pick it up
 
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Mark Buetow
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grubman wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
I'd still give Close Action a look.


I'm hitting another gmae store today. If they have any of the 3 games mentioned, I'll certainly pick it up


Now THAT is the way to do it!
 
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Wooden Ships and Iron Men enjoyed a long print run - it is actually the least expensive to acquire.

WSIM has Basic and Advanced Rules.

Flying Colors is a lot like basic WSIM, cleaned up and even simpler (one thing I don't like is that ships have all the same turn rate in FC), while Close Action is the Advanced WSIM rules enhanced and made more 'realistic'.

I bet you can get WSIM for 20-25 dollars, used and in very good shape or better. I picked up two copies in that price range 3 years ago - one unpunched.

The other copy was traded away.
 
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