Tag Archives: Imperial Navy

Elves Like Early Baths

So it was last weekend that Admiral Servitob set sail once more aboard his freshly recovered flagship.  This time he had spared no expense and had got his grog swilling crew sober enough to paint the ship without falling overboard or getting sea water in the varnish.  Soon enough he was to be joined in formation by the curry flavoured ZombiePirateXXX and a new dwarven ally, Captain Baerlerx Leowtodex.  The dwarf captain had brought his new flashy steeled battleship with his family fortune made in the comedy trade.  As everyone knows, dwarves make awful sailors so he was forced to spend several weeks trawling the local rivers with big nets until he had captured enough canoes, dingies, snorkellers and people falling off bridges to form a makeshift crew of the best sailors the dwarven race could muster.

Soon enough the joint forces were set upon by a bloodthirsty fleet, eager to test their mettle and prove their worth against the unsinkable yet relatively modest Admiral Servitob.  The enemy was comprised of Captain Gribblin, Lord High Lifeguard of The Elves, keeper of the sacred patent pink whistle and holder of the holy bouyancy device.  With them was the impeccably dressed human Sea Lord Banker, renowned for insisting upon only wearing his finest garments into battle, only to get them dirty with the blood of the slaughtered and therefore gain infinite grief from his laundry maid.  Following up from the rear was a new sight, the eager young Commander Threefeetly of the Dragon Lord Empire, sailing a brand new battleship.  A ship so new the crew were still busy peeling the stickers off the porthole windows as they sailed into combat.

Battle was joined, and with great yet somewhat predictable skill the Elf ship trailblazed into battle like a bunch of women at the january sales.  There were no bargain handbags or pointy stilletos to be found here though, only the deadly guns of the dwarves, shroud mages and bone griffons.  Soon enough the Elf battleship was blasted to a collection of loosely connected splinters, and had to escape to take a breather.  Unfortunately there were no nearby starbucks or cafes to buy a nice drink and a cake, so the elves were forced to sulk back in the direction they came.

The incredibly slow but jubilant dwarf captain, having made short work of the elves with extra helpings of gunpowder for everyone made slowly for the Dragon Lord battleship.  He was overtaken by a friendly bunch of sea snails who offered him a lift, but he politely declined on account that he was actually convinced that his smoke belching noisy hunk of iron must have a second gear.  Alas it didn’t so he crawled along.  No such trouble for the Dragon Lords though, who having read all the instruction manuals and filled in all their warranty cards were positively flying into battle.  Soon enough the Dwarves were within range and Captain Threefeetly ordered his strangely androgenous crew to open fire.  The shots pierced the mighty hull of the dwarven battleship, setting fire to the beard laquer store on board.  There was a tremendous explosion as fourteen tonnes of hair products combusted simultaneously, wrecking the ship.  Luckily the ship quickly sank, which prevented the fire burning anything really important.  Unluckily, the really important stuff was now at the bottom of the sea.

The swirling maelstrom of battle continued, with ZombiePirateXXX leading his crew in many brave boarding actions.  Eventually though, the major participants were exhausted and damaged beyond repair.  The Bone Griffon ship was virtually crewless, the Dragon Lords had all abandoned ship, the Humans were wishing they had brought more lifeboats, and the Elves were lamenting the fact that they were never going to get home in time for their favourite soap opera.  Except Servitob.  He had been sailing around, taking the occasional shot at the enemy to make it look like he was doing something useful.  In fact his Shroud Mage battleship was still fully functional.  Eventually, after several hours of manouvering he positioned his battleship to the stern of the remaining Humans.  Shroud Mage cannons roared and the new paint was stripped off them by the amazing heat of shot, striking a fatal blow to Sea Lord Banker’s ailing battleship.  The human ship exploded in a holy conflagration, spreading debris, cutlery and teapots all around.  The Elves could not believe their luck as the humans’ best tableware and fancy linen fell from the sky.  They quickly started stuffing it in their handbags, mumbling ‘Finders keepers, losers weepers’ and similar mantras until their ship was so overloaded, it too sunk.

And thus Admiral Servitob was able to sail into the glorious horizon of victory.

Arrrgh! – There’s Flotsam In My Beard!

The brave, brave Shroud Mages led by the valiant yet remarkably seasick Admiral Servitob set sail to do battle in the Uncharted Seas.  His crew, mainly large hatted veterans of countless battles had never tasted defeat.  They had often tasted fried chicken from kentucky, and curious beverages brewed by the man known only as Pepper PhD.  These delicacies were often served to the crew on the day of battle, far from the prying eyes and jealous tongues of their wives and families.

So it was that that the darkened dwarf fleet set sail, to steam into battle, for battle’s sake alone with the infinitely numerous humans and surprisingly gay elves.  The undead zombies were here to fight as well, and cleverly allied themselves with the dwarfs, for they had seen their victories past and wanted one for themselves.

In the first moments of battle the mighty elven mage aboard his majestic yet slightly camp battleship invoked the elements and caused a strong wind to blow straight into the face of his human allies.  This bothered not the steam powered naughty dwarfs, except that it blew the foetid stench of the undead fleet across their ships.  Many noses were held, and much grumbling was made among Servitob’s crew.

The steeled ships of the dwarven fleet sailed unharried into the jaws of the immobile human forces, and fired volley after volley of deadly shot into the creaky wooden hulls of the human vessels.  Eventually a lucky hit was scored and a lead human cruiser exploded in a great ball of flame, damaging all within reach.  The humans, bored of being used for target practice, could not retaliate as their wimpy cannonballs bounced off the mighty armour-clad Shroud Mage ships.  Eventually the humans escaped their windy confinement and sailed a great number of vessels jealously into Admiral Servitob’s impervious battleship.  They had seen the strength and dominance of this vessel and wanted it for themselves.  Servitob’s crew put up a tenacious defense, but Servitob and the last of his tars were thrown overboard by the hordes of inept humans.  Luckily due to a difference in scale and imagination the lanky humans were unable to operate their new prize, so in true human fashion immediately set about turning it into a floating real estate development complete with bars, shops and a nice hotel where they put mints on the pillows.

The backstabbing, yet curious elves fared little better.  The first volley from the broadsides of the undead battleship at great range caused an immense commotion on board their flagship.  The elves were enjoying a nice round of naked cocktails in the hot tub on the bridge when a stray projectile landed in the tub, causing a small amout of soapy spillage which leaked through the floor and caused a short circuit in the vessels self destruct mechanism.  What had started as a small, private tub session soon involed the entire crew happily bathing together.  Someone soon recovered the ship’s entire store of sparkling wine, straws and bubblebath and there was much rejoicing, although little further actual battling from the pointy eared fellows.

The remaining humans eventually got hungry, and sailed their last remaining battleship to the nearest carvery restaurant for a feast.  Promptly they ordered the vegetarian option from all the fine meats on display.

And so it was the combined might of the smelly undead and big hatted stunties sailed together into victory, and there was much rejoicing.  Servitob, unfortunately had to swim home.

Uncharted Seas – The Imperial Navy Review

Over the weekend was my third game of Uncharted Seas and my third loss. The encouragement is that in the past two games it has been the lack of grace from Lady Luck that has been my undoing. I am probably not nearly as gracious in defeat as I should be either…

My purpose today is to give an overview of one of the Fleets that is available in the game, but before I do that I’ll give an overview of the game world so that you can get a feel for things. This game is a fleet based naval combat game, you roll initiative each turn and then whoever wins gets to move a ship or squadron of ships and fire with them before the opponent does the same, this goes back and forth until everything has been used and another initiative roll is made for the next turn. The rulebook has scenarios in it and we are currently just playing the “I am going to kill you” one while we learn the rules. I can see all kinds of interesting campaign play and scenearios in the future though as the game is a solid system. Everything works off D6’s and the line of sight system is easy to understand. As we are using broadsides, Cannon in most instances but some races have magical weapons, this being a fantasy setting after all, most attacks get more potent the closer you get to the enemy. Everything is of a Galleon style but you have the traditional fantasy races fulfilling their stereotypes here;

Humans are loaded with guns all over. Orcs want to get up close and personal. Dwarves (both kinds) have tough steam ships brimming with guns. Elves are lightning quick. Bone Griffins (Undead) are slow but tough to kill. Dragon Lords are a kind of Human/Elf cross though.

You roll an amount of dice that varies with how far you are away from your target in range bands that are 8″ each, anything further than range band 4 (32″) is out of range, most ships don’t have weapons that will reach that far anyway. Wind can slow anyone that sails into it by half their speed, but this doesn’t play too much of a role in the game and it just something else that you have to consider, some fleets by their nature ignore the wind and therefore end up with a slight tactical advantage although this also tends to mean that they are slower than anything powered by sails.

So, the Human fleet, I played it on Saturday so what’s it all about?

Well, I suppose the best way to start is to say that the Humans are really kind of middle of the road. They have attacks available in almost all of their fire arcs with the number of attack dice increasing in line with the size of the vessel. Getting up close with the Imperial Navy Battleship is not something to be taken on lightly as they chuck out a horrendous amount of firepower up close which can often be supported by cards in their deck that provide bonuses to these attacks. They are also effective out to Range Band 3. The Humans are not long range, nor are they short range masters, they are very capable at both and this is where their strength lies. No matter what is coming at you the starter set you play with (2 * 3 Frigates, 1 * 3 Cruisers and 1 Battleship) gives you enough to counter whatever come across at you. The Cruisers are very capable of putting out some hurt as they close in, softening targets for the Battleship.

Playing as Humans you’re also not faster or slower than anyone else. Outmaneuvering is not really going to be something you’re going to achieve very well but this is compensated again by the amount of guns you have. Also, you will not want to be doing any ramming as the ships are not built for it, neither in the strength of their hulls nor the number of crew on board to fight in boarding actions. Yet, anyone wanting to ram you is going to have to brave a hail of fire as they try to close, meaning the potential for lost crew that will make that subsequent boarding action even less effective.

The card deck that accompanies the fleet is fairly mundane also, you have a number of damage repair and shooting buffs/debuffs. The two standout signature cards are a ranged 8AD (8 attack dice) attack that can hit any ship on the table and my own personal favourite “From Hell’s Heart I Stab at Thee”. The first card can be used to soften a target before you really let rip, the latter is used to changed the result of a sinking. All ships in the game have two ratings, a Damage Rating and a Critical Rating. When you attack a ship you roll the dice and count up how many hits there are, if you beat the Damage Rating then the ship suffers one hull point of damage, if you beat the Critical Rating you roll on the Critical table and this will see at least two hull points of damage caused but normally you will get a secondary effect that will hinder the ship. The Critical Chart has number from 2 to 12 and everyone normally hopes for a 2. If this happens the ship’s magazine has been hit and the whole thing goes nuclear spraying an 8″ area with flaming debris, normally meaning you can take the enemy with you as the most effective gun fire normally takes place inside 8″ as you’re at Range Band 1. Your ship doesn’t have to be destroyed by a critical though, once it has lost its last hull point down it goes. Cruisers and Battleships of all fleets are classed as Capital ships, what the aforementioned card allows you to do is when a Capital ship is destroyed it has the same effect as if that double 1 had been rolled on the critical table. If you have this in your hand (as I did on Saturday) this makes the destruction of any of your more powerful ships a potential issue for your opponent. Now, as this was the first game I had played with this fleet this was an unexpected trick that came out, the only problem being that the 16AD it generated meant I only hit the enemy’s Battleship three or four times… way lower than averages would declare and that pretty much sealed my fate, his battered Cruiser squadron sank though as did a Frigate squadron of my own.

The Human fleet therefore is pretty dependable, you know what you’re going to get out of them. Being sail ships they are affected by the wind and you need to account for this but you’re going to be chucking out firepower on the way in to soften up your targets before unleashing hell once things are up close and personal. Also, just because someone manages to sink you doesn’t mean you are out of options for striking back. They are a solid fleet and I had some fun playing with them. I just need to go ahead and finish their construction and add them to my painting schedule.

They should be ready sometime around 2064.