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Thread: Black Seas

  1. #1
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    Default Black Seas

    Here's a look at the starter set for the new game. I hope the release prompts Ares to step up production and promotion of SoG to compete.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HYF30yqHXk

  2. #2
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    Looks very interesting Jason.
    Of course the thousand dollar question is what scale are those ships?

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  3. #3
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    The ships are 1/700 which is why they can do brigs , gunboats and bomb vessels it seems.
    Just watched two videos in utube showing the. Rule book flick through and an unboxing of the starter set Master and Commander which will come with 9 vessels, three frigates and 6 Brigs.
    Movement looks similar to Cruel Seas, but the rule book looked pretty and I noticed rules for heated shot and carronades which may give us some food for thought.

    What I found very interesting was the inclusion of ratlines for the vessels, these may be done in plastic or acetate, we shall see if they can be adapted to Sails.
    One put off for me is the use of paper sails, but maybe I am being snobbish.
    Starter set comes out next month and is £50, fleet packs will follow.
    As has been said maybe this will gear Ares up, but we will see.
    I could be tempted but have invested a lot, lot of time and money in Sails.

    Oh Oct issue of Wargames Illustrated has a free sprue of the ships either one frigate or two brigs, maybe worth getting just to check out the models and masts

  4. #4
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    The ratlines could certainly be copied onto OHP Acetate and sized to our requirements Chris.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  5. #5
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    Some of the other material like the island counters might be useful.

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    Could be Dave, although that is the one thing along with ship mats and fortifications which Ares have just re released. It may be of use in the future nevertheless.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Pity they didn't put the sails in the plastic frames. I think even the best painted ships look really weird with those flat sails, bent in just one direction. You have to paint the whole ship, why not the sails too? It looks even worse in such a big scale compared to 1:1200.

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    I have to say that Warlord has done a good job of packaging - giving you everything you need to build and play in the box. Jury is out on the paper sails though, I mean they could have done plastic. Now the named ships are resin hull with metal masts (Constitution, Victory). Also I watched the video interview of the rules author and one thing he said put me off a bit. While he would have liked more detailed sailing rules, Warlord wanted a basic fast play system - like most of their games frankly. Not sure I need more ships at another scale but what I am looking for is something to cover the smaller craft - schooners, brigs, lake battles etc. SoG frankly can't do that. Now if I hadn't already invested in Oak & Iron....

  9. #9
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    I was about to start a thread about Black Seas here, and saw this one!

    Their ships are more detailed, yes, but like their 28mm soldiers, the cannons and the detail look too chunky, exagerated. A bit like if they were styled by dwarves. And the almost double-sized ships will make larger battles a bit difficult. I add another vote to the cardboard sails. They woulda looked SO great sculpted in plastic! I like better the SoG models. Their ships need more modelling and more detailing and leaving them unrigged looks a bit more empty because they're bigger. Though the size and detail IS great for modelers and painters :) But nah.

    Maybe we can assimilate stuff from their rules, but I wouldn't buy all over their ships. Plus they're just starting out. Imagine when Warlord would get around to making the British 80-gunners!

    —Rolando

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajaromuerto View Post
    I was about to start a thread about Black Seas here, and saw this one!

    Their ships are more detailed, yes, but like their 28mm soldiers, the cannons and the detail look too chunky, exagerated. A bit like if they were styled by dwarves. And the almost double-sized ships will make larger battles a bit difficult. I add another vote to the cardboard sails. They woulda looked SO great sculpted in plastic! I like better the SoG models. Their ships need more modelling and more detailing and leaving them unrigged looks a bit more empty because they're bigger. Though the size and detail IS great for modelers and painters :) But nah.

    Maybe we can assimilate stuff from their rules, but I wouldn't buy all over their ships. Plus they're just starting out. Imagine when Warlord would get around to making the British 80-gunners!

    —Rolando
    Seems like a pretty good assessment to me.

  11. #11

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    "Imagine when Warlord would get around to making the British 80-gunners!"

    A few decades before Ares? :)

    Detail on the WL ships is a little soft but certainly finer than on Ares 1100 models - figurehead and stern galleries are rather nice. The rules are, like Trafalgar, probably better suited to big ship actions (like SOG the stat range is quite narrow so 5th rates and below tend to be a bit vanilla(. Of course the model scale suits small ship actions.....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajaromuerto View Post
    I was about to start a thread about Black Seas here, and saw this one!

    Their ships are more detailed, yes, but like their 28mm soldiers, the cannons and the detail look too chunky, exagerated. A bit like if they were styled by dwarves. And the almost double-sized ships will make larger battles a bit difficult. I add another vote to the cardboard sails. They woulda looked SO great sculpted in plastic! I like better the SoG models. Their ships need more modelling and more detailing and leaving them unrigged looks a bit more empty because they're bigger. Though the size and detail IS great for modelers and painters :) But nah.

    Maybe we can assimilate stuff from their rules, but I wouldn't buy all over their ships. Plus they're just starting out. Imagine when Warlord would get around to making the British 80-gunners!

    —Rolando
    I have to agree with out on the look of the Warlord figures - more of a "Hollywood" look than say Perrys. Their plastic ranges are better and less clunky though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    "Imagine when Warlord would get around to making the British 80-gunners!"

    A few decades before Ares? :)

    Detail on the WL ships is a little soft but certainly finer than on Ares 1100 models - figurehead and stern galleries are rather nice. The rules are, like Trafalgar, probably better suited to big ship actions (like SOG the stat range is quite narrow so 5th rates and below tend to be a bit vanilla(. Of course the model scale suits small ship actions.....
    I was afraid of this. Some of the photos included gunboat models which made me hopeful that they started the stat range small and worked up. I imagine the gunboat rules are abstracted and represent a small number of boats or flotilla. Does not bode well for representing lake schooners with a single pivot mount.

    I just saw a photo of Gabrio when he was with GW in the Trafalgar book! It is clear from his interview video they wanted fast play first and sailing details second, although they claim to have more detailed advanced rules. I think they add more points of sail for example. I will bet that ships can sail far to close to the wind - which is a consistent theme in age of sail games whether table top or on PC, sigh. Playability you see.

    I certainly hope they used your input!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeRuyter View Post
    Some of the photos included gunboat models which made me hopeful that they started the stat range small and worked up.
    I saw the data card for a Black Seas 5th rate Frigate on an unboxing video. It has two heavy cannon, one light cannon, and one carronade on each broadside. Plus a single light cannon as a bow chaser. That's four dice out each side which is similar to SoG's 4 chit broadsides. So, it doesn't seem to be that much more granular as far as stats go.

    I was a bit concerned during the initial announcement that ships losing cannon after taking damage was considered an Advanced rule. Basically, when you lose half your hit points, you lose half your cannon. Or something like that. The market seems well served already with quick playing, simplified, naval games and I don't see much need of another.

  15. #15
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    Welcome to the Anchorage Aaron.

    Sorry it took me so long to get around to you, but i have been snowed under with mail after three days up at the Doncaster event.
    Your observations on Black Sails are very interesting. I can only see that as far as yourself and Dave's opinion go it serves us up a small ship fast play game, which will suit some of our members fine, but I will continue to use Langton for my small ships with the Ares rules. That way I don't need to bother about terrain in yet another scale nor enlarging my table to accommodate bigger ships. I have only just reduced its size.
    Thank you both for your enlightening comments.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  16. #16
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    Over the weekend I picked up a couple of sprues of the ships for Black seas, one of each from the starter set.
    The models are quite nice and flat bottomed as you would expect.
    Building seems simple enough although there are a couple of pieces that I am not sure about as there were no building guide in the magazine and nothing yet on Warlords website as yet.

    The brig models measure up around about the same size as Ares frigates and so
    I was looking to maybe use them as another class of frigate, then I saw the obvious reason why not, they come as two masted ships, so to be a fully rigged version a rear mast will need to be added, oh well.
    However they could be used as merchantmen, yes still missing the rear mast for a rigged ship but as eye candy for a merchany convoy I think it would work.
    I am almost certain evil bay will soon be selling individual sprues so maybe able to pick up some extras to make up a convoy of say 6 -8 vessels. Thats my theory anyway.

    The frigate seems to be a much better option for us. The dimensions are very close to using as a Razee 74/64 to a large frigate or even as a different class of 74’s. The sprue comes with three different sterncastles and three different figureheads so a single sprue could be made up into one of nine different ships, this gives a great varition.
    I will look further into this model to see what best way it could be utilised in our game as there does not seem to be anything on the horizon from Ares
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 10-01-2019 at 04:41.

  17. #17
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    The Razee Frigate option looks very good Chris. I would even use a few of my spare masts from sunken Ares ships to replace the paper ones and bring her into line with the look of my fleet.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  18. #18
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    This reminds me that I still need to work out gunboat and pivot gun rules. I've been spending all my time putting together and painting enough medieval miniatures for two people to play Lion Rampant. That and between glue and primer, I badly gunked up the pivot gun schooner I was working on. I need to strip it and start over.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capn Duff View Post
    Over the weekend I picked up a couple of sprues of the ships for Black seas, one of each from the starter set.
    The models are quite nice and flat bottomed as you would expect.
    Building seems simple enough although there are a couple of pieces that I am not sure about as there were no building guide in the magazine and nothing yet on Warlords website as yet.

    The brig models measure up around about the same size as Ares frigates and so
    I was looking to maybe use them as another class of frigate, then I saw the obvious reason why not, they come as two masted ships, so to be a fully rigged version a rear mast will need to be added, oh well.
    However they could be used as merchantmen, yes still missing the rear mast for a rigged ship but as eye candy for a merchany convoy I think it would work.
    I am almost certain evil bay will soon be selling individual sprues so maybe able to pick up some extras to make up a convoy of say 6 -8 vessels. Thats my theory anyway.

    The frigate seems to be a much better option for us. The dimensions are very close to using as a Razee 74/64 to a large frigate or even as a different class of 74’s. The sprue comes with three different sterncastles and three different figureheads so a single sprue could be made up into one of nine different ships, this gives a great varition.
    I will look further into this model to see what best way it could be utilised in our game as there does not seem to be anything on the horizon from Ares
    Actually merchant brigs were quite common. Dana's voyage in "Two Years Before the Mast" was in a brig and he went around the Horn to California. Also for the US coast and lakes schooners were also common merchants (most of the armed "lakers" were converted merchants). It would not be hard to convert a Black Seas brig to a schooner. Remove the yards on the main mast and add a gaff for the fore, etc.


    Can you tell me if the brigs model has the separate stern like the frigate? I saw a painting video on YT and either the painter forgot to add it or the sprue in the magazine did not come with it.

  20. #20
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    I have now almost completed construction of the frigate, it is quite easy to construct and I like the choice of stern gallery and figurehead. However the hull and figurehead can be fiddly as the hull comes in two halves and a hollow bottom.
    The one thing puzzling me though is the addition of four anchors,???

    But and the big but is dont look like we can use these models, even for larger Sails ships, the frigate absolutely dwarfs the Ares version so my initial hope been dashed.
    Still intend to use the brigs as Sails merchantman but the rest will not work, in my humble.

    However, the models are nice and fit sails bases .... so we could just transport these models to sails bases and use them. This will now allow the small boat actions of the War of 1812 and not have the models look insignificant.
    I will post a pic once I have completed a model and will place it next to an Ares version as comparison
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 10-05-2019 at 14:20.

  21. #21
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    Sounds ideal for SBA Chris, and terrain is no problem at that scale as long as it is just headlands and coast with no buildings. Will have to see how Forts look as background in a smaller scale.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  22. #22
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    Just seen Warlord are selling ratlines and their paper sails as seperate items, so we now have another ratline pissability. Dont know the sizes as yet, but have ordered some to check

  23. #23
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    Could be a very handy alternative option if they can be modified to fit Chris.
    Please keep us informed of your findings.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  24. #24
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    I do not like that unpainted ships , i do not have time for painting . But i like the riging and ratline suplies .

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    Has anyone played the game yet? How do you feel it compares to the gameplay of SoG?

  26. #26
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    The game was only officially released a couple of days ago so not many will have got hold of a set , as far as I know unless they got a pre production pack.
    The modles look nice I must admit, have ordered a set of ratlines and sails to look into. Will post a report once I get a set of the rules .

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