Fantasy Naval game #2: Elves vs. Bone Griffons

Dan and I met up today to get in our second fantasy naval game using the Galley and Galleons rules. We played a 400 point game and this time we both build fleets to match the Uncharted Seas minis we have. Both of us were able to build a more cohesive fleets and also I think had a better grasp of the rules and the abilities for our vessels and so the game went quicker and we were able to make more informed decisions about what we were doing with each of our vessels.

Dan was playing the Elven fleet:

Elven Battle Fleet

Dancer’sBlade;102 Q;3 C;4
Drilled Soldiers, Flagship, Galleon Rigged, Reinforced Hull, Trained Gun Crews, Yare

Fire Bird;43 Q;2 C;0;
Magical: Pyromancer, Reinforced Hull, Steam engine, Yare

Child of Oberon 50; Q:2 C:2
Galleon Rigged, Trained Gun Crews, Yare

Boar 50 Q: 2; C: 2
Galleon Rigged, Trained Gun Crews, Yare

Stag Lord 80 Q:2 C:3
Galleon Rigged ,Master Gunner, Reinforced Hull, Trained Gun Crews ,Yare

Lost One 80 Q:2 C:3
Galleon Rigged ,Master Gunner, Reinforced Hull, Trained Gun Crews ,Yare

And I was using the Bone Griffons for an all-galley fleet.

Bone Griffon Fleet

Flagship
Points:102 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Bilious cloud, Flagship, Galley, Indirect fire, Shallow Draft, Veteran NCOs

Banshee Cruiser
Points:40 Quality:3+ Combat:3
Galley, Indirect fire, Shallow Draft

Banshee Cruiser
Points:40 Quality:3+ Combat:3
Galley, Indirect fire, Shallow Draft

Smasher Cruiser
Points:62 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Galley, Magic user: Pyromancer, Ramming, Shallow Draft, Unarmed

Smasher Cruiser
Points:46 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Galley, Ramming, Shallow Draft, Unarmed

Destroyer
Points:52 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Galley, Indirect Fire – Fixed, Shallow Draft, Trained Gun Crews

Destroyer
Points:52 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Galley, Indirect Fire – Fixed, Shallow Draft, Trained Gun Crews

The Destroyers were the Bone Griffon Destroyers. They have a single massive trebuchet so I gave them Trained Gun Crews as it seemed like a long-range weapon.

The Smasher Cruiser was the Bone Griffon Sea Wraith Cruiser. It has a furled sail and a large brow so I made it unarmed and gave it the Ramming ability.

The Banshee Cruiser is the Bone Griffon Banshee Cruiser with the sail swapped out for a trebuchet. I removed the Ramming rule and just gave it indirect fire.

The Flagship was the Bone Griffon Battleship. It looks the most impressive of the larger vessels I have but I think that next time I will stat it out as a Battleship and find something smaller for a Flagship.

My plan was to speed forward with the Smasher Cruisers and slam into whatever ships I could and then engage them in close combat. While this was happening the Destroyers and Banshee Cruisers would stay back and lob shots at anything not engaged in close combat. I added the Pyromancer and put him on one of the Smashers as I wasn’t expecting to get into close range with any of the other ships. My activation dice worked much better this game and I was able to manoeuvre with most of my fleet until the final few turns when my luck left me and I has several quick turnovers.

Galleys are great as they don’t need to move each turn, they can reverse and its not too difficult to line up a bow shot in these rules. That said, I had several instances in the game when I could have raked Dan’s ships with multiple broadsides and really put a significant amount of damage onto him. Its a very nice distinction that you often don’t get in games like Uncharted Seas which have galleys with broadside firing arcs.

The Flagship made a significant difference over last game and it made my fleet a lot more predictable. I managed to lose the Flagship due to collision damage and then a lucky shot from an Elf Cruiser which caused it to explode. I need to give it a Reinforced Hull next time or put it somewhere safer so it isn’t in direct harm. I intended to make the Flagship a C5 vessel to reflect the multiple trebuchets that it has on it but that would require it to be a Q: 4+ vessel which would make it a PITA to activate. I suspect that I will find a smaller vessel to become my Flagship and then keep the Uncharted Seas “Flagship” model as some heavy combat vessel in future games.

My first Ram ship did well and slammed into the side of Dan’s Flagship. I wasn’t able to get a close-combat attack executed though so the Flagship was able to sail away. My other Ram Ship got into range to cast some fireballs. Despite the low C value I was able to damage two of Dan’s ships. Dan wasn’t quite as lucky with his Mage though. The Ram ship itself missed a few activations and most of its prey fled away leaving it to tangle with Dan’s Fire Bird magical ship. My second Ram Ship was the victim of a collision which ended up giving it two damage and then was shot for a final point and sunk by later excess damage. Once Dan was able to move across my forward arc his Elven ships started to fire into my galleys. Sadly Dan had some pretty abominable rolls and wasn’t able to inflict any damage to my ships.

We ended the game early because Dan had some errands he had to run but I suspect that if we had played a few more turns then he would have been able to put his speed and yare ability to good use and fire at me with impunity.

As the rules currently stand, in their beta form, they did an excellent job of bringing the Elven fleet to life. The Undead fleet didn’t feel as well defined but part of that problem is with the models themselves. Uncharted Seas has some odd rules for galleys in the game and the main feature of the Bone Griffons, aside from trebuchets and galleys, are the Plague Guns which don’t really fit into the more generic system of Galleys & Galleons. So in terms of creating stats for the Bone Griffons, the rules work quite well but I think that there is some room to add a few more undead abilities to allow players to make a fleet with more of an Undead feel to it.

The one element that I didn’t think worked very well was the Magic User rules. They activate on a 4+ and the Pyromancer has the ability to be quite deadly but getting three successes in order to be able to make a decent attack roll is quite difficult unless you also pay for the apprentice. I’ll need to try some of the other magic users out and then come back to the Pyromancer to see if my impression of it changes.

So far the only fleer that has needed any specific rule addition have been the Orcs since many of their vessels have only got forward facing cannons. The Iron Dwarves work quite well, as is, and I will work on the Shroud Mages next to see how well they can be fit into the new rules. One thing I want to do is to also look at what additional fantasy abilities can be suggested to make the games even more fantastical.

Advertisements
Tagged