Friday, July 17, 2009
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.