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Black Seas: The Age of Sail Battle Game Review

Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:18 pm

As my recent articles suggest, there seems to be a sort of renaissance in Age of Sail wargaming right now. ... ttle-game/

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Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:09 pm

Rather than echo issues brought up on TMP, as an age of sail grognard, I have been waiting for play through videos on YT at a minimum. Suffice it to say that some of what I have seen is troubling for those looking for granularity in combat. For those gamers who don't know the difference between a motor torpedo boat and a frigate the basic rules are certainly sufficient for a fun club game. This is certainly the intent as noted by the designer who is an age of sail aficionado, which makes me hopeful for the advanced rules. To a certain extent you won't completely turn a beer and pretzels game into a sim with just 4 pages of advanced rule though.

Several examples that trouble me. One playthrough (On Table Top) video showed that brigs have 2 heavy cannon dice which do 2 points of dmg per hit. But there is nothing that distinguished those guns from the heavy cannon on the Santisima Trinidad. The Santisima carried a battery of 36 lb guns and a battery of 24 lb guns, plus a battery of 12 lb guns on the upper deck. Most small unrated brigs carried 6 lb guns unless rearmed with carronades. Put it another way it made a difference that USS Constitution was armed with 24 lb long guns opposing frigates with the standard 18 lb batteries.

Another is in the basic rules running with the wind is the fastest point of sail, which is incorrect. Apparently the sailing and wind rules are a bit different with the addition of the advanced rules. Also the attacker in boarding combat gets a +1 to the dice? Like to know the rational for that one. And grappling can occur when the ships are 3 inches apart!?!

Anyway I do like the fact that everything, except paint, you need is in the box including rigging. Since the models are larger I was hoping to use them for lake battles however I am not sure the rules have sufficient granularity on the low end of the stats for that, despite that they do have gunboat models.

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Re: <t>Black Seas: The Age of Sail Battle Game Review</t>

Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:50 pm

Hey dude, I can copy and paste from TMP as well :)! Seriously, with a moniker like yours, I sorta expected a response.

Otherwise, and as I said on TMP, in many respects, that's the point. Other gamers will say "X, Y and Z" rules are just too damned complex and detailed for the level of combat represented. I want to command the entire Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar, not tell each gun crew what shot to fire.

It's really a personal preference issue vice a good or bad game. That's why some ACW folks play Across Deadly Fields, and others play Fire & Fury.

As much as possible I try to eliminate the personal preference aspect from my reviews, or specifically say its a personal preference for me, not necessarily a defect in the design.

Ciao, Colonel Bill

PS: I really, REALLY wish someone would do the various Ango-Dutch naval wars. The movie the Admiral really got me stoked on DeRuyter and company

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Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:08 pm

Actually the other way around - I pasted from here to TMP! ;)

PS - Oak & Iron is 17th century and while the focus is not specifically on the A-D wars they certainly have the models for it!


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