Friday, July 17, 2009

Roman Seas

Roman Seas!

This week I headed over to Brian's house to help with some last minute prep testing of Roman Seas, a game he's gonna run at Historicon. It was a lot of fun, and even though I've never played it before (let alone heard of it). We played a three player game, it was easy to pick up and my troops were rowing, ramming, and ballista-ing in no time.

The game we played in featured a Roman armada versus a Saxon-esque flotilla. Although my sub-par camera phone don't do them justice, the models were fantastic. The neat thing about Roman Seas is that it's entirely paper model based, and although the thought of putting them together is daunting, Brian said they went together quick and easy once you got the hang of it. You buy the PDFs straight from the site, and once you have the template, you can print as many as you need. Base your ships on balsa or thick card, and you've got sturdy, durable ships that require no painting, and look amazing.

The Roman Armada captained by Bob and myself

The Saxon flotilla


The other neat thing about the ships is that they're in the perfect scale for 6mm figures. Brian's painted up tons of stands to use with the ships and the troops ranged from light marines with spears, archers, and ballista crews. There were also stands to represent rowing crew and admirals/captains. From the above pic you can see plenty of troops on deck, and most importantly, the grapple lines being cast out. With ancient naval combat, your battles would ultimately end in ship-to-ship combat. When you're grappled with another ship, you fight out the bulk of your combat, once you've taken out the opposing ship, you can send some of your rowing crew (and troops) over to commandeer the vessel.

All in all, it was a fun game with a low learning curve. Most of your information was contained in a few charts, and your ranges are fairly short. The models arrayed on a large blue felt table are impressive, and although I keep going on about how great they looked, that really goes a long way in a wargame.


  1. that does look interesting... I have had a hankering for naval combat for a while now. I even bought the Warhammer Historical Trafalgar rules but have yet to play a game. As someone currently finsihing a Masters in Classics I think some Roman fighting on the waves could be greta fun. And affordable too!! Thanks for the link!

  2. I tell ya, I could play it again no problem, it was quite fun. If you're knowledgeable about the period, you can devise all kinds of scenarios based on actual events too. The ships looked sweet, and once you have the PDF, you can make hundreds if you wanted and your only cost is the cardstock.

  3. Thanks for helping out with the playtest Mik. The game at Historicon went really well and I'm definitely stoked to play again. I'm going to crank out a few merchant ships and we'll do a convoy escort scenario. I'll crank out a Quadreme or two for you :)

  4. @Brian: The bigger the better, bring on the Quadremes, haha! SOme escort scenarios sound good. Yeah, it was a blast, glad to hear it went well at HCon too!

  5. what size are the galleys?

    can they be scaled down when printed for smaller hexes?

    im ordering a sea mat from eric and wondering what size hexes I need for the game