Romans Seas – Piracy Patrol
After a couple of months of cutting, folding, gluing, and painting 6mm marines, I had enough stuff together for a first game using my Roman Seas ships. The scenario was nothing fancy: A couple of Roman squadrons intercepting a couple of pirate squadrons and their Saxon allies. Since our main goal was to learn the rules I will use at Historicon, the two fleets pretty much went right after each other (which is the most likely situation in a con game, regardless of any other victory conditions the referee might set).
Bob commanded the Saxons and was closest to Tom’s squadron of Romans. The Romans got the initial advantage because of their ability to ram. In the Salalmis Ad Actium rules, the turn sequence involves 3 movement phases per side and a single Intermediate phase where all boarding actions are conducted, but the order of these seven phases is randomized. Both players were able to bring additional ships into the pending melee, but Bob’s dice betrayed him and at the end, seven Saxon wolfships were left uncrewed!
Tom’s success created a bit of a problem – disengaging from the Saxon ships and maneuvering away from the drifting hulks. While in the center Andy’s ships turned in to try and engage Tom. Several bow to bow collisions occurred between ram equipped ships, but the pirates generally came off the worse for wear due to the poorer quality crews. One particularly unfortunate ship of Andy’s squadron was rammed simultaneously by three enemy vessels – and left sinking. Andy’s slower moving overloaded ships finally approached the scene of the fighting, but were too late to really contribute to the fight.
On the seaward flank, I had been closing with the bulk of Ken’s squadron and attempting to get to his flank. The archers on one ship let loose a volley of flaming arrows and set one of the enemy ships on fire. This was pretty much the high point of the pirate’s day. The Romans aboard the burning ship rammed and boarded a pirate ship, abandoning the burning ship. The pirates had managed to capture a scout ship, burn a liburnian, and damage a couple of others at the cost of 2/3 of our fleet!
Despite the one-sided outcome, the game was a lot of fun and looked great. We were able to explore most of the possible game situations and give the rules a good test drive. The scale of detail in the game seems perfect for the 1/300 Hotz ships. They should do just fine for the Historicon game.
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