The snow kept most of the Basement Generals away last night (babies). They missed a great little game: Sails of Glory. Bill went for the SoG Kickstarter n a big way, and had over a dozen ships. We played with just 4 since it was the first outing, and used the basic rules.
If you've played the WWI fighter game Wings of War, or the most recent X-Wing tabletop game, then you can pick up Sails of Glory's mechanics pretty quick. Most of what you need is on the ship base or the control mat. Moves are plotted secretly using the maneuver cards and revealed simultaneously.
Shooting is just as easy. The ship bases show your arc of fire for fore, broadside, and aft batteries. A measuring stick tells you which type of damage chits are pulled from the bags marked with the damage range. If you are in "A" range, pull from the "A" bag. Similar to the old red/blue damage chits in Blue Max.
This may look complicated, but it's not.
Use said chits to mark off damage to your ship. Performance declines with damage.
The first bout was a battle between to equally matched forces: 2 British Ships of the LIne vs 2 French. The Brits had one ship eliminated thru crew loss, and one badly beaten up, while the French had one ship surrender from battle damage, and one damaged so bad it couldn't fire ant more.
It lasted about 45 minutes.
The second bout we used Frigates. Faster ships but with less damage to take. The results were similar.
All in all a great little game and highly recommended. Can't wait to try with 6-8 people. THe basic game is easy to pick up and the advanced game adds all kinds of fun stuff like sail damage, specialty ordinance, etc.
I've always steered away from naval games of this era because of all fiddly painting and rigging associated with the models. But, these come fully painted with a deck of cards and the appropriate ship tracker for about $20 for the big ships. Word on the street, pirates are next!
Tonight's drink of choice was a no-brainer...