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Subject: The Rigging of Broadside - A Review rss

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John Labelle
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Without a doubt, the "little sails" or "Masts" in Broadside are the most recognizable feature of the game.
There are 65 of these little white pieces included for you "To Rig The Warships" with.


20 of these are "Spanker" sails. The Spanker does not count as a "Mast" in the game, but serves another purpose. Every player of Broadside has at one time or another experienced the unpleasant fumbling and unintended tumbling of masts from the hulls as they move a ship in the game.
Frustrating!
The job of the Spanker is to be both aesthetic AND practical. They provide a convenient grip for your finger and thumb to aid you in the moving of your ship across the board. At the same time the Spanker helps in finishing "the look" of a nineteenth century sailing ship.
Spankers should be firmly inserted into the (aft) holes in the hulls more firmly than the other Masts. The rest of the Masts should be inserted lightly into the remaining holes of the Hull for they are constantly being removed with each exchange of broadsides, serving as the main score keeping element of the game.


The Cutter has the one "Cutter Mast" along with a Spanker. Because the Cutter has only one Mast to lose to sink it, it is fine to also firmly insert the Cutter Mast into the center hole of a Hull. One has to just pick up the entire ship by this very large sail to throw it back into the box when it is sunk.


The 23 smaller Masts are the real work horses of the game. They serve as BOTH the "Foremast" AND the "Mizzenmast" for the Ships of the Line and Frigates and as the Foremast for the Brigs. These are plucked from the Hull more often in battles due to the larger number of them and the fact that a player usually wants to keep the larger Mast with the "little flag" for as long as possible...just because.


Towering over the tiny Fore and Mizzen is a collection of larger Masts. Some of these larger Masts have "little flags" atop of them while others have no flag.
Did you ever wonder why?
The large Masts with the flags are "Mainmasts". There are 9 of these to be placed in the center hole of the hull. 7 for the game's Frigates (3 British and 4 American) and 2 for the British Ships of the Line.


The other non-flagged large Masts can be mistaken to be Mainmasts, but they aren't. There are 5 of these. They serve as the Mizzenmast of the 5 Brigs (3 British and 2 American). It is this special large Mizzen that gives the Brigs a certain majestic look. The sculptor obviously intended for the Brigs in the game to resemble the Brig in the sketch on page 2 of the American Heritage booklet that comes with the game.


That illustration shows the Brig more accurately than the illustrations of Brigs on the ship holder boxes and the inner box panel which simplistically shows 2 masts of uniform height.


The Americans may have their Shore Batteries and Buoys, but the British have the only 2 Ships of the Line in the game. Adorned with the tiny "Jib" sail placed in the bow hole of its Hull, the Ship of the Line is the best looking and most powerful ship in the game. The Americans have a problem if one of these 4 mast giants manage to enter the harbor intact.


When rigged correctly, your fleets will look better, play better and be more historically accurate. Another nice benefit to proper rigging is that you can still recognize what the ships started out as even after many turns of savage fighting.


Even though you do have to fiddle with the tiny Masts a lot, this score keeping system is still one of my favorites.
Unique and fun, the "little sails" of Broadside are what comes to mind when we fondly remember playing this terrific old game.
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Los 28
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Momoshiro wrote:

Because the Cutter has only one Mast to lose to sink it, it is fine to also firmly insert the Cutter Mast into the center hole of a Hull. One has to just pick up the entire ship by this very large sail to throw it back into the box when it is sunk.





No ..... not to "throw it back into the box when it is sunk."
I think you mean to "carefully place it back into the box when it is sunk."



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Tom Picinich

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Los28 wrote:
Momoshiro wrote:

Because the Cutter has only one Mast to lose to sink it, it is fine to also firmly insert the Cutter Mast into the center hole of a Hull. One has to just pick up the entire ship by this very large sail to throw it back into the box when it is sunk.





No ..... not to "throw it back into the box when it is sunk."
I think you mean to "carefully place it back into the box when it is sunk."

;)



We didn't "remove" the ship(s) when sunk. We simply removed the sail & turned the ship upside down to show where it had sunk. That spot on the board was now blocked. This was a house rule-purpose was to try and sail around all the wrecks.
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Barry Kendall
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From the first moment I saw this game in the store--with no outer shrink-wrap, and a lifted boxtop showing the sealed ship sets--I was enthralled. Only thing I asked for at Christmastime. I even said I'd be glad to get it wrapped in newspaper.

Christmas morning I eagerly surveyed the under-tree packages and saw nothing in that longed-for shape. I did my best to hide my disappointment.

After I'd opened my small gifts, a newspaper-wrapped package appeared as if by levitation from around the kitchen corner. Joy filled my heart. I eagerly tore off the newsprint to find--"Battle-cry."

Bewildered, I looked up and said: "I already have this one."

Then my parents produced a nicely gift-wrapped package of the same shape and size.

Broadside.

All I remember of the rest of the day was lovingly assembling the ships and playing the game--solitaire--at the tender age of eight years and ten months. It was Paradise.

I still have that game, with Pactra Wood Tan decks and Flat Black deck guns. I tried gunport bands on one, but that was too tedious for a small fry amateur modeler's patience quotient.

My cutters have the mast stepped forward to give them a bowsprit. My only disappointment with the game was that only the ships-of-the-line had bowsprits, which I always though "made" the graceful line of a square-rigger. I appreciated the spankers, but thought a bowsprit, maybe with just one sail to distinguish it from the ship of the line, would have made the package just perfect.

I tried making my own from bent toothpicks. They lasted about half a game before falling apart.

Oh well. Still one of the best memories of my childhood, that Christmas day, even with the little parental joke thrown in.

Still have that copy of "Battle Cry," too. And "Dogfight." And "Hit the Beach." And "Skirmish," probably the most "historical" of the five.

Those were the days.

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Matt Danison
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Barry- great reminder of the many afternoons spent playing this with my older brother after we received this as a Christmas co-present sometime around 1970. Sometimes I won. Just ordered another off BGG so I have enough pieces for a complete game. Keep yer powder dry.
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John Labelle
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Broadside for Christmas.
Funny thing, my copy that is photographed above in my review was purchased on eBay some years ago.
I wanted a complete copy but it was difficult to determine if ALL the "little sails" were indeed there despite the many descriptions of "complete and intact". However, one copy stood out from all the rest. The seller mentioned that included was a large piece of Christmas wrapping paper neatly folded up and stored under the inner box panel. When I read this I figured that anyone who kept the Christmas wrap must surely have kept the game intact! I was right. The game was complete and in perfect condition. (I even reused the beautiful Christmas paper.)
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Eric Moody
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I like house rules, they're a cheap & easy way to improve many games.

This sounds like a good one.
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Eric Moody
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Great story Barry, thanks for sharing it. It captures perfectly the joy that hooked many of us on games in the first place.
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mar hawkman
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For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory
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played it as a kid..... loved it! I'd never played a game with asymmetrical strategy before and it was a lot of fun strategizing.

the square rigged sails were kinda fragile though. :/
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Chris Scott
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I still have my copy, even though I haven't played it since the '70s. Perhaps it's time...
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mar hawkman
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For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory
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It's also a game that really begs for custom scenarios. The starter scenario it comes with is nice, but after 20 plays... Well, there's a forum for that! https://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/24086/broadside/variants

It'd be rather easy to make a board layout. A cheap way would be to do a print-and play and paste onto cardboard. Now my brain is tingling... arrrh

A thread, I made one: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/26963823
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