20 November 2019

Black Seas

On Monday night, P-Y came over to my apartment and introduced me to the new game from Warlord Games; Black Seas. Many years ago I bought the Trafalgar ruleset from Warhammer Historicals, with it came some small metal ships, I think 1/2400 scale made of metal. I painted a couple of the ships, which I found quite difficult to assemble and really got no where with it. It all got packed away. At the same time I did buy a sea terrain mat with some islands which was really quite nice. It got stored away and I forgot about it. A couple of years ago, Adam introduced me to some WWII wargaming, but I found the gaming experience was overwhelmed by the book-keeping so I pretty soon lost interest.

It was with some reluctance that I talked myself into buying the Black Seas starter set. I am not an enormous fan of the Warlord Games rulesets, I find Black Powder a little boring and Bolt Action just has not attracted me. I suppose, I am too much of a TFL fan. Anyway, P-Y showed me a couple of ships he had done and it looked like an interesting change from paintng terrain and figures, so I said why not.

The little ships are beautifully made and are very easy to put together. They are fun to paint, I decided to go with the Spanish, I like the sky blue and red details but at the same time all ships were different and one has a lot of latitude on what colours to use. The rigging was quite a challenge (I think it took me 3-4 hours to rig a 5th rate yesterday), but I did get a lot of satisfaction out of the task. Once put together they do look rather nice.

I was not even sure if I was going to play the game but after watching a couple of videos, I said why not so I invited P-Y over. Well I have to say the game is enormous fun, there is really no book-keeping and the rules are completely intuitive. You can also easily scale the accuracy of the simulation up but the game stil remains quite simple to play. I have to admit it was probably the best new gaming experience I have had and I have gone through a lot of different rulesets in my last 15 years of wargaming. A lot of it was probably due to P-Y but interesting enough he has only played 2 games so that says a lot about the ruleset itself.

We played a 5th rate and 2 brigs aside and waht follows are a few photos. I really was just trying to learn the rules, so got in collisions and barding as well as movement and fireing. It was a lot of fun, looking forward to my next game and the release of the Spanish flotilla in mid December!
P-Y's 5th rate
A very bold brig boarding my 5th rate.
I also finished painting up the painting the Frigates and Brigs starter box today so here is my small fleet. I have to touch up some of the colours but that is about it.


  1. Very Nice I would be interestedin trying this game

  2. Thank John for posting a great AAR. The group I game with uses Close Action for our naval battles. There is some paperwork involved. But is keeps the other players honest. Plus you need to remember port and starboard..lol There is nothing like crashing into each other. Here is a link to the battle. https://antonswargame.blogspot.com/2019/07/naval-battle-using-close-action-rulesas.html

  3. I am not a fan of either the Warlord rules or their other products. I am beginning to see Cruel Seas items on B&B’s. I am wondering in six months whether I will be seeing a lot of Black Seas. I think the ships are easily damaged during handling. Warlord do seem to produce a lot of fad games.

  4. I have been very tempted to buy this for some weeks now. I have had a long time interest in Napoleonic Naval warfare but it's those fine little models that are pulling me to try this game. I don't see them as being any more fragile than say the Langton models with their etched brass ratlines and sail sets and rigging is something I have really enjoyed in the past.

  5. Congrats John on finishing those models so nicely. Age of sail gaming is one of those things I am always keen to play - as long as someone else has done the models!

  6. Ships look great, as others have said, I'm tempted by the look of these rules after hearing the rules writer on the WSS podcast.

  7. I enjoyed my own foray a few weeks ago and will be playing again next Tuesday. Lovely ships, a big plus for the game.