As I mentioned, Brian came over and we had a game of Uncharted Seas. I managed to get my Ork and Dwarf starter fleets painted and Brian brought over his Dwarfs for some Ork v. Dwarf carnage. I took a few photos and they are available for viewing at the end of this post.
While I have been looking forward to this game for some time I had to admit I had some reservations after reading through the rules. The main points I had were that it appeared that ships did immense amounts of damage, that the ships moved too easily and that the damage system was too simplistic.
After our first game I have to say that all of these concerns have disappeared. The ships do indeed move and turn quite easily, especially the frigates, but this does actually make the game move a lot quicker. The ships do indeed deal a lot of damage dice but I found that this often resulted in little to no damage until ships moved in close and the broadsides started flying. Finally the damage system actually appears to work quite well. There is a damage threshold that your opponent has to reach and after that they do damage and can do critical damage. The system, combined with the large number of damage dice that the ships can toss out, means that there is a real limit on damage dealt to the ships but that there is always the possibility for catastrophic damage that can destroy a ship.
I used some of my GW modular hills to create an island in the centre of the table as well as some land masses at each corner to give the table some visual interest. My aim in the game was to split my cruisers and battleship and move them around opposite sides of the island to then meet up on the far side to try to pound Brian’s battleship.
I positioned my own Battleship so that the island was shielding it from Brian’s and then placed my frigates to screen my capital ships.
Our game ended with both of our battleships staring each other down. Brian had suffered port gun deck damage and so had little firepower to take on my largely untouched battleship.
One of my frigates rolled an impressive 13 points of damage in a single salvo against Brian’s battleship giving it a critical and setting it on fire.
Brian returned the favour by hitting one of my Crusiers with a broadside and rolling a 2 for a critical and blowing it, and a nearby frigate, into scrap.
My Ork frigate rammed one of Brian’s and simply destroyed it by causing a critical with its Red Ram rating. Very much fun. I also rammed and tried to board one of his cruisers but the hearty Dwarfs were able to beat back my attack and eventually capture the frigate.
I did, near the end of the game, manage to position my battleship to fire both broadsides against Brian’s single remaining cruiser and his frigates taking out three ships at once.
Thoughts and comments
Frigates die quickly in the game. Sometimes a single round of fire from a Cruiser or even linked fire from other Frigates will take it down.
The cards used in the game are not overpowered are the random draw used to gain them ensures that you often have to hold cards for the proper moment or are sometimes stuck with cards that aren’t very useful. One note for the folks at Spartan Games, the red on the cards is very difficult to read.
Critical effects seem only to impact Battleships primarily. Cruisers are on their way to the bottom of the sea once they have their first set of critical damage (due to the 2 points of hull damage most criticals add).
The game appears to be designed for slightly larger battles than are possible with the starter set but the game still played very well with the ten ships we each had.
Gameplay was very fast and very smooth for the most part with little cause to refer to the rules.
Buckets of dice were thrown and a good time was had by all. :-)
I’ll certainly be playing again and I think that both Brian and I are looking forward to expanding our fleets with some more frigates and cruisers and there was talk of even just picking up another starter set to flush out the fleets.