I am unsure what comes in the starter box but Rob had six brigs, the rules, lots of rulers, turn thingies, wind direction and tokens, all very nicely done with the rule book looking very nice with lots of eye candy. It did have an index but again the typical Warlord Games Index Light, maybe I am wrong but that's what it looked like to me. The little ships arrive unpainted but there is a guide in the rules, these are very nice and Rob had done an excellent paint job on them and even managed rigging on most of them. Like Cruel Seas the ships will be a big attraction for wargamers and do seem to be reasonably priced.
How does it play, it is quick and enjoyable and just the ticket for a club night, granted we only had six small ships with only a couple of guns for a broadside, how you would get on with a squadron of 74's has yet to be seen. Everything is fairly simple and as long as you understand the weather gauge (wind) then you can be off to a flying start, depending which way the wind blows of course, I struggled a bit with this but caught on better during the second game. In order to deal out damage you have to get in close and personal and the best way to injure the enemy is to cross the T and rake the bow or stern.
I expected an upgrade or extra dice due to my service under the White Duster but I was howled down by the other players. The first game found the British and French escorting a merchantman which had to get off the opposite side of the table, the wind was against us (British) so the French came on very quickly, I think we had decided to sail up the right flank but the wind forced us to divert to the left, this meant an uneven fight with the three British ships against the two French brigs while the merchantman used her speed to sail off into the wild blue yonder. My hearty gun crews dealt out death and destruction to one Frenchman at close range so much so that she struck her colours, this little victory of mine was marred with my sister ships almost ramming me and one getting stuck alongside which despite hacking at spars and rigging remained an impediment as the game ended. Nonetheless I had earned a prize, my crew were very pleased.
|I rake the bows of my first victim.|
|As the Frenchie strikes Cap'n Rob entangles me.|
|The Spaniards and a nice little fort.|
|I rake the stern of my second victim.|
|Boarders Away! A second Frenchie strikes to the Sea Wolf.|