Monday, 29 July 2013

Fire As She Bears

Last week I tagged along to a six player, vaguely Napoleonic Fire As She Bears game.  Three players per side, with twelve British ships against sixteen French.
Congratulations Captain, the enemy are directly to our stern... 

I had a pretty good time overall, due to the fact that because the rules are extremely well balanced and well paced, but also because I did next to nothing the whole night!  Now this was my fault really, I didn't pick up on the nuances of the movement rules, meaning I made a couple early manoeuvres that took me completely out of the game.  Hence, my squadron and the one opposite me didn't fire a shot at each other until the final turn!
Meanwhile, at the exciting part of the table...

On the plus side, watching the other four squadrons blow seven shades out of each other for a couple hours was highly entertaining.  FASB does a really nice job of marking damage and representing how that damage impacts fighting effectiveness.  That combined with the reactive fire mechanic means you're always doing something.  In fact, we were close to a sinking late in the game (an unusual occurrence,) only thwarted by Hugh's spectacularly poor dice roll, 3 on 3D6.
Look!  We're facing the right way!  Roll some dice!

This kind of scale game (number of models, not the actual scale) is drawing me in more and more recently, mainly due to my lack of painting and modelling time.  Quick to paint models, cheap cash cost, minimal scenery.  I fancy tackling a Punic Wars naval project soon, around 1:2400 or smaller, about twenty ships each.  Anyone out there have a good suggestion for suitable a ruleset (not Roman Seas though.)

Big thanks to Andy for providing everything, models, tokens, stat cards and the scenario.  Next time, I'll try at least to get my ships pointing the right way!


  1. Interesting. 1:2400 seems tiny. I was curious about your Roman Seas comment. Care to elaborate or link me to a post about it?

    1. Yup, extremely tiny! Roman Seas is a hex-based ancients set of rules, but not one I'm terribly keen on. I'm reading through Salamis Ad Actium just now to see if they are any better. If you're interested in Ancient sea battles, you can download a hefty ruleset, Naumachiae, from Rod Langton's website.

    2. I wonder if I've come across Naumachiae before, being a hoarder of rules. I purchased Roman seas awhile back but never did anything with it.