|A pre-game close-up of undercoated ships.|
The rules are very nicely produced and appear to be fairly clear. I think the 1/700 model ships are very good but very light. I would want to mount them on my normal MDF and steel bases for storage, transport and playing. I don't think this would interfere with how the game is played, as long as I kept them as small as possible.
The playing aids provided are useful for getting you started but they are very flimsy. I'd want to replace most of these with more substantial MDF or metal pieces, and to have proper 3D scenery.
I really don't like the wake markers which are fiddly and ugly. For now I think it’s much better to keep these with the ship cards, aligning the sail setting on the wake with the bottom of the ship card, but I'm hoping for a more elegant solution.
Talking of the ship cards, I also don’t like the red clips used to indicate hull damage, but perhaps someone will market an MDF holder with a peg track as has been done for the sister game, Cruel Seas.
Now on to the game.
I made a strong start, crossing the T and raking one of Ian's frigates which subsequently struck its colours.
It takes time to get used to the manoeuvre rules. I suffered a number of collisions and ended up very scattered. I think I won but this view was not unanimous.
We got through about 5 or 6 of the 15 turns. I really don't think we'd ever get through a game using the massed fleets being marketed by Warlord Games.
We used only the basic rules in our game, but we both now consider it essential to use the more advanced and realistic wind rules and Fire As She Bears.
Overall we judged the game a success, so I may proceed with it if and when I have the time and inclination.
My original intention was to model an American force, but I’m hesitating to order yet another set when the first one is still in its box. I’m naturally suspicious of games tied to one company, and I can see this one proliferating and soaking up a great deal of money.