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"Cruel Seas - My Full Review" Topic


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1,903 hits since 24 Dec 2018
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Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

Having submitted a "quick look report" on Cruel Seas last week I finished my full review and posted on my blog.

link

I'd say it is a good set of starter rules, great to bring new players into the hobby and the naval genre, it just needs a bit of work….

Guntruck24 Dec 2018 7:26 a.m. PST

So, back to using ‘Schnellboot' then……….

Tony S24 Dec 2018 7:51 a.m. PST

So, it seems it would be quicker and easier to say that CS is as accurate for coastal warfare as Bolt Action is for WW2 combat?

Shame. I was quite looking forward to it. But that's one of the reasons I ordered the starter set. I figured if the rules weren't to my tastes, I could easily use the models for other rules.

Thanks for taking the time to go over the rules David. The ability of freighters to turn right angles if they are stopped is bizarre. I guess the author thought they were all equipped with Voith-Schneider propellers? (That's how excited I was about these rules; figured I'd better read up on the topic)!

KSmyth24 Dec 2018 8:19 a.m. PST

Many of my friends have taken the plunge into Cruel Seas. I already have piles of 1/600 coastal combatants,and felt likeI just had to draw a line somewhere.

My friends liked the minis, but echoed many of David's complaints-errors with components, rules issues, questions about the miniatures selected for production.

I think they'll be quite popular in the Puget Sound area. I'm happy to wait for Narrow Seas.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2018 8:20 a.m. PST

Appreciate the review!

I played my first game last Wednesday night. Three of the five of us have extensive nautical backgrounds (including me) and there were a lot of quizzical looks at some of the things we read.

On the other hand, we had a boat load of fun (pun, I suppose, intended) rolling dice and playing small boats.

Nice to see they have errata already out. The group that I played this with have already started some House modifications to cover a couple of the challenges you've described.

I'm still on the fence about buying the rules. I did like your use of pins ILO the masts provided. I'm actually looking forward to the Italian fleet pack. I think if I like the way they've produced those vessels, I might break down and buy a copy of the rules.

Much like "What A Tanker", I think this will be one of those games we play when we are short on time and just want a quick throw down, or to get new folks interested into a period.

Thanks again, David, for the review.

Eric

Fitzovich24 Dec 2018 8:23 a.m. PST

Guntruck,
Could you tell me where to get ahold of Schellboot? It would be greatly appreciated as having purchased CS and been disappointed, I would like to get some workable rules with which to use the models.

Thank You Very Much!

carne6824 Dec 2018 8:24 a.m. PST

Every game makes compromises between realistic simulation and playability. I think reasonable people can differ on the nature of those compromises. I haven't been able to play yet, but if nothing else, the models more than justify the money I have spent thus far.
I'm sure the good people at Osprey appreciate the 10 books I have bought since CS was published too.

Rhubarb 63324 Dec 2018 8:43 a.m. PST

I played my first game last Wednesday night. Three of the five of us have extensive nautical backgrounds (including me) and there were a lot of quizzical looks at some of the things we read.
On the other hand, we had a boat load of fun (pun, I suppose, intended) rolling dice and playing small boats.

Flawed, but fun seems to sum it up then.

Rather like watching Hollywood's version of history, your enjoyment is probably inversely proportional to your level of historical knowledge.

coco the clown24 Dec 2018 11:49 a.m. PST

Hi to all
So far we have played 4 games
On the whole quick, fun and annoying (mainly due to bad dice throws)
IMHO things that need attention-
Torpedoes- Once launched ALL torps are independent of their parent craft
All torps move at the start of the turn sequence
Orphaned- without a parent ship
Dis-inherited -parent ship still active
this takes out of the players hands the "gamey" choice of which ship you activate first.

PLUME MARKERS
We are no longer using plume markers or rules.
It's neither realistic or logical to use the missed shots (plume markers) from 1 weapons mount to correct the aim of weapons on the SAME ship let alone another ship potentially travelling at different speeds, angle etc.
(remember these are hand operated, sighted by eye, not computer) ships big enough to be fitted with director equipment are covered in the rules ( no problem with them :) )
As said before a quick , fun set of rules just waiting for my British Fleet Box to come :)
Coco

Joe Legan24 Dec 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

David,

Nice review. Did you really expect a more accurate game? I got what I expected. They played to their target audience. I am glad the rules are solid enough that they will take house rules and if you have seen my blog you know I have already started. Torpedoes will have to be reworked as well as Coco states.
As you stated, it is introducing folks to the subject; that is a good thing.
Will the models take magnets under the weapons? That way it would be easy to swap out?

Joe

Leadpusher Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

Fitzovich
Here is a link to Snellboot:
PDF link

4DJones24 Dec 2018 2:15 p.m. PST

Schnellboot was the original name for David Manley's coastal rules which in succeeding editions became Action Stations.

He's bringing out another set in a few months called: Narrow Seas. These are well thought of by Edinburgh wargamer and nautical writer, Angus Konstam (he helped play test them).

Sooner the better, I say.

There is always "Attack with Torpedoes", available from Caliver books.

Fitzovich24 Dec 2018 8:08 p.m. PST

Thank You Leadpusher & 4DJones. Much appreciated! Have a Happy & Safe Holiday!

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Dec 2018 10:09 p.m. PST

Every game makes compromises between realistic simulation and playability.

I assume you meant that game designs make compromises between complexity and playability, which would be generally true.

If, by "realistic", you meant "historically accurate" then this is incorrect, and a persistent fallacy within the hobby. Historical accuracy (or, as I prefer, "authenticity") is not increased by including more detail or more convoluted mechanisms; it resides entirely in the degree to which the game's processes and/or outcomes conform to the historical record. A simple, playable game may be very authentic, while a detailed, complex game may be wildly inaccurate.

A publisher is not doing newbies any favors by offering a simple, playable game that introduces them to historical inaccuracies (or, for that matter, one that needs significant house-ruling or errata immediately upon publication.) No one gets a good impression of our hobby from that kind of sloppy work.

Bezmozgu7 Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 3:45 a.m. PST

Thanks David! Looking forward to Narrow Seas.

Fitzovich25 Dec 2018 5:53 a.m. PST

War Artisan,

I believe you have eloquently stated the thoughts of many and myself when you say,

"A publisher is not doing newbies any favors by offering a simple, playable game that introduces them to historical inaccuracies (or, for that matter, one that needs significant house-ruling or errata immediately upon publication.) No one gets a good impression of our hobby from that kind of sloppy work."

Allen5725 Dec 2018 9:58 a.m. PST

O.K. Some problems. Tinker with the rules or, as my friend says, "shut up and play". These are games after all. Must admit the complex attempts at simulation give me a headache.


Thanks for the review David. I always enjoy your input to our hobby.

Allen5725 Dec 2018 10:00 a.m. PST

O.K. Some problems. Tinker with the rules or, as my friend says, "shut up and play". These are games after all. Must admit the complex attempts at simulation give me a headache.

axabrax25 Dec 2018 11:05 a.m. PST

Don't have aproblem with Hollywood or even unrealistic so long as it's fun, but when every other group comes up with their own house rules and changes to "fix" the problems (or because they think they know better) it makes the game hard to play because you have to keep track of which group does what or negotiate between different sets of house rules. Meh. Pass.

Craig Woodfield25 Dec 2018 2:01 p.m. PST

Thanks David, really comprehensive and useful review.

carne6825 Dec 2018 4:50 p.m. PST

Don't have aproblem with Hollywood or even unrealistic so long as it's fun, but when every other group comes up with their own house rules and changes to "fix" the problems (or because they think they know better) it makes the game hard to play because you have to keep track of which group does what or negotiate between different sets of house rules. Meh. Pass.

I don't think I've ever owned a set of rules that I haven't tinkered with. I have no problems with anyone else tinkering. Just explain any modifications to the rules prior to the game.

Levi the Ox25 Dec 2018 7:01 p.m. PST

I concur with the review. Watched one game and tried another. It's pretty much Bolt Action in the water, easy to play for a beginner but with no meaningful depth beyond the "game" of pulling dice out of a bag looking for a last-first sequence.

Miniatures are nice, but good thing I don't plan on playing the system because my starter set was missing half of the wakes and all of its ship data sheets!

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2018 3:52 a.m. PST

Nice review David, I look forward to the release of Narrow Seas.

Guthroth26 Dec 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

What scale are schnellboot and narrow seas written for ?

All my weapons are magnetised, so is there a simple on line ref giving the correct fit for the different classes ?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Dec 2018 9:26 a.m. PST

A very useful review! I was supposed to have gotten Cruel Seas for Christmas, but unfortunately it has not shown up yet. My daughter says she ordered it, but it has not been delivered yet. Hopefully soon! :)

coopman26 Dec 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

I look forward to the release of Narrow Seas also.

Minibeady26 Dec 2018 8:54 p.m. PST

Where do folks get 1/600 vessels suitable for coastal gaming?
I've been looking, to little avail. I'd like to try Schnellboot, but 1/300 is giving my fits.

Schogun26 Dec 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

You can get 1/600 from PT Dockyard and Heroics & Ros.

Minibeady26 Dec 2018 9:06 p.m. PST

BAM! You're a saint!

Blutarski27 Dec 2018 5:47 a.m. PST

DM's review was both polite and politic. My impression after digesting the review is "Mission accomplished" – Warlord got the new product out in time for Xmas ….. just don't mistake it for a properly researched, organized or play-tested set of rules for adult war-gaming.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Dec 2018 7:01 p.m. PST

I have bunch of ships from PT Dockyard that indie with The Quick and the Dead (from Wargames Vault). I am tempted to get a bunch of the larger Cruel Seas ships, because frankly my old tired eyes can see them better across the table.

Joe Legan27 Dec 2018 8:58 p.m. PST

Buck
The ships are great. I have had no problem playing on a 4x5 surface with 3 ships a side

Joe

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