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Hethwill

Black Seas

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I have AH Wooden Ships & Iron Men, Privateers & Gentlemen RPG with 2 supplements, both in like new condition, and Close Action with the India supplement. They all sit in my closet because i dont know anyone interested in table top wargaming or the Age of Sail. ūüėí

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On 9/21/2019 at 11:27 AM, Clifford Scott Wilson said:

I have AH Wooden Ships & Iron Men, Privateers & Gentlemen RPG with 2 supplements, both in like new condition, and Close Action with the India supplement. They all sit in my closet because i dont know anyone interested in table top wargaming or the Age of Sail. ūüėí

check Gamefor app, can come handy finding opponents in your area :) ( if not keen in checking in local hobby store that is, that's hard sometimes, i know it. too much scifi too little historicals -.- )

 

 

 

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 I have been waiting for play through videos on YT at a minimum before commenting on the game. 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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I do not dislike their philosophy of what fits, meaning the very basic and then complete the game with the rules the players wish. Can play pure basic but with advanced wind for example or add even a bit more flavour with shot type allied with aim high. In that regard I see possibilities. I'm not a Warlord Games customer at all so no idea if the other products work like this in their designs.

I read the shot similar to fighting sail, a sum of shot power instead of definite type of guns carried but still quite high compared to the frigates ( let's say it is a 18pdr frigate, typical of napoleonic period ). Very abstract. Guess given the scope of the game - definitely squadron vs squadron rather than fleet engagements - they could've opted for a more detailed approach.

my M&C box should arrive at any moment and will look into the two extra sections of rules and see what comes.

Definitely like the models and some of the solutions they come up with. The design of the ship cards is my biggest no-no. First thing i'll do is sleeve them and just use a marker instead of the silly sliders.

On that specific vid I like the way Gerry, the fellow on the left, arranged his battle tray with all the cards and markers and actually makes it quite standard clean and neat. Having the wake markers to be used under the models always gave me convulsions and after all... is just a sail setting marker *chuckles*

 

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I have one of the frigate models (sprue only). (on October's Wargame's Illustrated).

Haven't put it together yet, but it looks like it should go well enough. Details are a little coarse by model standard, but suitable for table use.

I'd prefer separate yards (they are set high, rather than low for the bare yard/furled configuration, which is a common failing of amateur models) - and the sprue didn't come with the sail sheet or rigging. I can make sails and set them on the yards as is, which will eliminate that 'fault'. Not sure what I will do for Ratlines at this point.

Edited by Lieste

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Having had a little more of a look at the Frigate hull off the sprue... I note that it is an extremely unusual configuration.

24 gun battery, with 14 ordnance on the f'clse and qtr deck.

This doesn't match with many frigate types I can find (on a non trivial sampling of my data at hand I only found one example of this loading, the Venus, as re-armed in 1793).

Normally the gun deck would have 26 to 28 guns, and the upper works usually (though not always) fewer. Normally larger superstructure batteries came with a larger ship and main battery.

It doesn't even match any of the known configurations of oddities like HMS Surprise (ex L'Unite 1794) which had variously 24 gun 9lb, 10 gun 4lb 6 carronade 12lb, and 24 carronade 32lb, 2 gun 4lb and 10 carronade 18lb.

I am a bit puzzled about what their thinking was here.

It will still make up into an attractive enough model if not contemplated too hard, but it could have very easily been a lot more representative of something common, like a standard 12lb or 18lb frigate with 26 guns in it's gundeck and 12 mixed carronades and guns on the castles (after the Amazon Class for example).

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In this time period, French 12-pdr Frigate La Psyché (1798) had 24x12-pdr and 18x6-pdr (42 guns).

Apart from that, 24 gun battery was used to design a few French Revolution 8-pdr (heavy) corvettes (L'Unité...).

Edited by LeBoiteux

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Precisely my point. "A few" heavy corvettes - a handful of 24 lb frigates downgraded to 18lb guns and a single privateer frigate as examples, compared to hundreds of 26 or 28 main battery frigates - in 8 livre, 12 livre or 18 livre.

This *is* supposed to be a 24 gun battery *fifth* rate, with a sixth rate noted for a later release.

I also don't see *any* 14 ordnance castle armament - for the French vessels I have listed here one 18s, mostly 16s or 12s in the upgraded state, and 6s in the original design state of earlier frigates, with a relatively large number with only 4.

It is odd as it looks to be one configuration which isn't seen (often or at all), rather than something more representative of any ship.

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2 hours ago, Lieste said:

Precisely my point.

Indeed.¬†ūüôā

In other words, speaking of the French (that's what I can talk about), there was usually a gap between the Corvettes (up to 20 guns on the GD) and the Frigates (26 or 28), a gap that has been filled only on some very rare occasions/attempts :

  • The light frigates¬†La Galath√©e and¬†La Mutine,1744¬†(24x6-pdr)
  • Seven 8-pdr frigates with¬†¬†24x8-pdr on the GD (1740-1750), such as L'√Čmeraude (1744)
  • The 22x8-pdr (4) and 24x8-pdr (5) Revolutionary heavy¬†Corvettes (while most carried 20 guns, 6 or 8-pdr)
  • Fortfait's and Le Tellier's 12-pdr corvettes 'fortes' (1794-96)
  • 12-pdr La Gracieuse (1750)
  • those ships mentioned above
  • ...

 

 

Edited by LeBoiteux

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Reckon the representations are just generic and model designers just went with what would fit in that spacing - X guns at model length. Reckon hobbyists can and will definitely make their own named models with papercraft and balsa hulls at 1/700 if anything is missing. Big issue is ( and damn companies like WG for doing that ) the tie up the rules with ship cards and lock it behind their model shop. ( they don't design rules only, they design the models for the games. Other companies only focus on rules ).

As DeRuyter points out, the elements like gunnery are just too abstract in a odd way to even kind of design your own ship card. ( in other rulesets even with abstract values is more visible why the Santissima has 12 gunnery and a 74 gun has only 7 just as an example ).

 No idea about the "singular" vessels coming like the Victory, Constitution, L'Unité, etc. Some can already be seen.

792412001_BlackSeasLOrient02_c2fa3ee0-48

 

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9 minutes ago, Hethwill said:
Quote

My only further recommendation is that 1770 is way too late a start point. In general, the age of sail begins in 1571 at Lepanto and ends in 1862 at Hampton Roads. For every Nelson there is a Lieutenant Admiral Maarten Tromp, and for every Trafalgar there is a Scheveningen where nearly 250 ships hammered each other. These are men and times deserving recognition, and Black Seas could be the right platform to deliver it.

Indeed!

Edited by LeBoiteux
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7 minutes ago, LeBoiteux said:

Indeed!

Hehe that's where Oak&Iron comes in :) 17th century galore.

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18 hours ago, Lieste said:

Having had a little more of a look at the Frigate hull off the sprue... I note that it is an extremely unusual configuration.

24 gun battery, with 14 ordnance on the f'clse and qtr deck.

This doesn't match with many frigate types I can find (on a non trivial sampling of my data at hand I only found one example of this loading, the Venus, as re-armed in 1793).

Normally the gun deck would have 26 to 28 guns, and the upper works usually (though not always) fewer. Normally larger superstructure batteries came with a larger ship and main battery.

It doesn't even match any of the known configurations of oddities like HMS Surprise (ex L'Unite 1794) which had variously 24 gun 9lb, 10 gun 4lb 6 carronade 12lb, and 24 carronade 32lb, 2 gun 4lb and 10 carronade 18lb.

I am a bit puzzled about what their thinking was here.

It will still make up into an attractive enough model if not contemplated too hard, but it could have very easily been a lot more representative of something common, like a standard 12lb or 18lb frigate with 26 guns in it's gundeck and 12 mixed carronades and guns on the castles (after the Amazon Class for example).

I recall from a video interview with the designer Gabrio that they were going for something generic with several different versions of bow and stern to fit on for variation. What I suspect happened is that the sculptor was not inherently knowledgeable and did not research what a common configuration would look like.  

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Well. Artist's lack of knowledge or not... it is a crying shame that no one more knowledgeable caught the inappropriate detailing of the generic model - a minor change could have transformed the utility of the model by making it a frigate of 12 or 18 with 26 guns in the battery. It still wouldn't capture *every* 5th rate frigate, but it would cover around half of them, rather than almost none.

As it is thousands of pounds were sunk into tooling for a model which is 'wrong', and it is one fewer 'useful' model from a fairly limited planned range. It would have been possible to have a handful of frigates styles to cover the major types - but one of those few has been wasted by inappropriate genericide.

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Almost all table top games are abstractions in some way.

In general I understand that the release was a smashing success.

I have ordered a few ships as well to paint up.

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