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"Dipping the toe into the water " Topic

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18th Century
19th Century

925 hits since 19 Mar 2019
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mysteron Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2019 3:43 a.m. PST

I am a complete Novice when it comes to this subject as I am normally found on the Modern or WW2 land sections.

Provisionally I am looking at 1/2400 models as I don't want to start rigging ships at the moment and make a mess of them ! :) I am not a bad painter though.

Rules wise , I am looking at the KISS principle and possible the Osprey Fighting Sail comes to mind . I do have somewhere possibley in the loft a copy of Warhammer Trafalgar but never played it.

So I just need some pointers,recommendations and a helping hand from you experienced seadogs .

Many thanks

Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2019 4:14 a.m. PST

If you aren't hard core (KISS principle) and just looking for a toe-dip, I suggest Sails of Glory.

Everything you need to play, including 4 painted ships, right in the box.

Works off the Wings or War / Glory card based system. My friends and I just dabble. And when dabbling, it is the game we use.

Here are the ships that come in the box set:


Here is the main BGG link:

Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2019 5:31 a.m. PST

Upon further review it appears that Sails of Glory may be out of print.

You said you have Trafalgar rules, you may look for Pirates of the Spanish Main ship packs and play with those….

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2019 5:47 a.m. PST

Thanks mate . I am looking forward to actually painting the ships if being honest.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2019 5:51 a.m. PST

The Old Glory ship sets look nice but at £100.00 GBP for 2 fleets , I need to be 100% happy with the chosen or recommended ruleset first. That cost would be roughly on par with the current price of Sails of Glory through Amazon.

Musketballs19 Mar 2019 9:22 a.m. PST

For background detail on the age of sail, this website is hard to beat:

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Mar 2019 11:51 a.m. PST

You might consider the new Peter Pig "pieces of Eight". The sea fights are historical and use the PP 1/450th scale ships.

Lot of information here including videos of game play and models.

I am sure you will enjoy looking at the rules and models available for your project from the vast choice of makers out there.

Mr Astrolabe19 Mar 2019 12:38 p.m. PST

Are you looking to play single ship/small squadron actions or fleet battles? – generally the sets of rules for both fall into different camps.

Vincent19 Mar 2019 1:22 p.m. PST

Also check out the upcoming Oak and Iron rules if you want something other than Nelson/Napoleon age of sail:


mysteron Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2019 1:02 a.m. PST

I am looking at small fleet actions. Approx 12 ships per side.
Some interesting suggestions. Thanks guys and keep them coming .

SgtPrylo22 Mar 2019 9:32 a.m. PST

'Pieces of Eight' and 'Oak and Iron' cover the same period. (17th cent.)

If you like to paint (and model) I'd go with 1/1200. The metal-based ships aren't cheap, but rigging isn't actually that hard. Also War Artisan has a a series of ships you can print at whatever scale you like – someone just did it in 1/1200 – the thread is in Age of Sail.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2019 1:47 a.m. PST

I have decided that I may go with 1/1200 Scale after all.It's only after looking at a couple of YouTube vids the realisation of how small these models actually are ! The scale is also supported by 2 IMO top producers i.e. Langtons and GHQ Micronaut range. Both offer starter sets as well.

SgtPrylo25 Mar 2019 8:20 a.m. PST

I saw that you posted on stew art's thread about his newest ships. He is pretty new to the whole 1/1200 build/paint/rig hobby, so he would be a great resource on how to get going when you're new.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2019 4:12 a.m. PST

Thanks Sgt .

I have found some good tips from you Tube from a guy on there called Gavin ( Gavin Booth). I like the use of Nylon brush bristles as ropes as I already use these for tank aerials on my 15mm WW2 desert tanks and Yom Kippur tanks .

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2019 6:17 a.m. PST

So just to recap

Rules wise- Short Term – Fighting Sail by Osprey . These should get me going for now.

Medium Term – Trafalgar by GW Historical – Found my unused copy in the loft. The rules above, look like they were derived from these but simplified .

Long Term – An other probably very detailed .

Models wise and scale. 1/1200 by Langtons and GHQ Micronaught range .As these will not be built overnight I have requisitioned some small cardboard Pirate Ships that my son used many years ago ( he is now 19 ) . These will I think, get me by for now.

Thanks for your input guys .

Now to look for that Sea Mat…………….

NKL AeroTom27 Mar 2019 4:08 a.m. PST

Deep Cut Studio do a great sea mat, get it in "Mousepad":


SgtPrylo27 Mar 2019 6:01 a.m. PST

I own two mousepad mats from Deepcut, Ocean with custom 4" hexes. I say custom because I had them print as slight as they could and still see them enough to play. They came out fantastic. With storage bags.

Highly recommended – not cheap, but if you aren't getting anything custom, pretty much industry standard.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2019 6:52 a.m. PST

Thanks guys. Coincidentally , I have just been looking at these yesterday . I can't see anything that beats them.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2019 9:18 a.m. PST

It's a very fun genre to do.

I assure you, if I can get the Langton ships to come out looking good than anyone can.

I would also recommend War Artizan's rigging tutorial. It's how I rig my ships as well.

PDF link

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2019 1:13 a.m. PST

Thanks Stewart ,that will be very useful.

Vincent28 Mar 2019 9:10 a.m. PST

Thank you Stew art (and War Artizan)- that was a great tutorial. I always had trouble with rigging and usually just gave up on it- too many fat fingers!

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2019 2:22 p.m. PST

No problem guys. This method is how I've rigged all my ships. I've found that rigging really brings a model to life. 😀

AdmiralHawke16 Apr 2019 4:03 p.m. PST


Here are a few more suggestions.

Models and scale
I like 1/1200.
1. The ships are big enough to be detailed, but small enough to fit a squadron onto a kitchen table (i.e. 6 ft x 4ft or so).
2. There are actually four 1/1200 manufacturers: GHQ, Langton, Navwar and Red Eagle (ex-Skytrex). Quality varies, but broadly you get what you pay for. Navwar are cheap, but the sails in particular are poor. Red Eagle are better. GHQ hulls are superb; sails are decent. Langton have the best sails. The Red Eagle ships at £5.00 GBP each are a bargain to get started with without breaking the bank. I have a mix of GHQ and Red Eagle.
3. I enjoy the painting. The pre-painted Sails of Glory models don't look all that good and are expensive.

Sea Mat
I went with a dark ocean mat from Tiny Wargames that I'm very happy with. I did consider mats from DeepCut Studios (too light blue?) and TerrainMat (bit more expensive).

Mr Astrolabe put it well: it depends how many ships (and players) you have.
I need to try out more rules. Based on game reports and rules reviews, my impression is that for squadrons and small fleets:
- Kiss Me Hardy is liked by those who have tried it.
- Langton's Signal Close Action Fast Play are more complex but also liked.
- Form Line Of Battle is another option worth exploring.
- Warhammer Trafalgar doesn't seem to be liked by anyone who has spent much time sailing.

There's a gamer in Australia who has been testing many different sets of rules for the Age of Sail. You'll find his reviews here: link

I hope that helps. :-)

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2019 3:29 a.m. PST

Thanks Admiral Hawke . That is very helpful. The rules I am looking at are probably very simplistic but will act as a stepping stone to a more complex set like the Langtons set .

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2019 1:15 a.m. PST

Does anyone think that the new proposed Warlord Black Sails could be a good way to start? I am unsure of the proposed scale of 1/700 . Is this a little too big?

AdmiralHawke28 Apr 2019 1:59 p.m. PST

I imagine the models will look great at that scale.
You said above that you were looking at small fleet actions of perhaps 12 ships a side. How big is your gaming table? 1/700 is nearly twice the size of 1/1200. So, in effect, with ships twice as large you'll have one quarter of the playing area.
Large squadrons or small fleets of a dozen a side just about fit on a regular household table. You'll need (nearly) four times the area for the same battle in 1/700. Great for frigate actions though.
I suspect the cost per ship might be several times as much too. Hopefully not. We shall see. :-)

I'm not a huge fan of Warlord rules as they tend to be on the gamey / fun end of the spectrum rather than more historical, but I know lots of people want and enjoy that.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP29 Apr 2019 3:28 a.m. PST

What I can gather from the demo is that small fleet actions are done but with much smaller ships like Brigs. I agree about Warlord games being more fun than realistic . However Warlord like BA and Cruel Seas are played at our club and sometimes I do feel a little left out as I tend to go my own way.

Whether I can resist temptation unit autumn is anther story as I feel I just want to get stuck in .

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2019 3:36 a.m. PST

I have decided I may just wait for Warlords game. I just think the 1/1200 ships are too small for me when it comes to rigging and detailing etc. My eyesight isn't as good as it used to be say 20 years ago hence the reason I don't game anything smaller than 15mm.

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