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"Warlord Games Black Seas (Age of Sail) future release" Topic

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4DJones07 Apr 2019 10:17 a.m. PST

This up-and-coming game was previewed at Salute, so it seems. Does anyone have an idea of the scale of the vessels which will accompany the game when released?

Timmo uk07 Apr 2019 2:59 p.m. PST

I had a long chat to the Warlord chaps at Salute about this game. The rules are pretty much done but they are still working on the design for the ships so the scale hasn't been decided yet but they are expecting it to be either 1/600 or 1/700.

The former matches the old Airfix plastic kits of HMS Victory and HMS Shannon, the later 1/700 would match the old Skytrex Trafalgar range. I'm not sure who has those now.

They may go for a unique scale between those two options. I was very impressed by the ships they do look to be fine models much nicer than the pre-painted Sails of Glory ones, in my view.

The starter set will include 3 frigates and 6 brigs. They will have four named ships around which they will assemble the entire range. These four include:

HMS Victory
Santissima Trinadad
Le Orient

They called these four the 'character' ships.

They have big plans for the range.

I'm not totally sold on the idea of paper sails, even though are pre-printed and even though I hate the crude overscale reefing points that all other models seem to have I'd prefer plastic moulded sails designed to look 'billowy'. I may end up making my own sails from thin plasticard.

I was really, really impressed with the models I have rules I'm happy with but until I'd seen these models I've never really been totally happy with any of the available ranges and since I prefer games with the smaller faster sailing vessels this scale has great appeal.

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2019 3:33 p.m. PST

Why would the range / models be so big (1/600)?
Why not 1/900 thru 1/1200th? At the larger scale one or two ships per side will overwhelm a 6x4 foot table.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Apr 2019 4:10 p.m. PST

The Shannon was more like 1/450 – the kit's hull was at least as long as that of the Victory.

Fitzovich07 Apr 2019 4:48 p.m. PST

I hope they proof read these rules before publishing them..

Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2019 4:58 p.m. PST

WG is in the business of selling models. Like Cruel Sea where they go with 1/300 when most people already play with 1/600, I'm not surprised they are going with 1/600 for age of sail when 1/1200 is the more common scale for the period.

JAFD2607 Apr 2019 7:16 p.m. PST has HMS Shannon with a 'length on gundeck' of 150', HMS Victory of 184' – about the biggest practical with 18th century tech.

JAFD2607 Apr 2019 7:19 p.m. PST

Note that the kits from come in 1/600 (of course, graphics programs can rescale them.)

4DJones08 Apr 2019 1:10 a.m. PST

Many thanks for the insight Timmo. What rules do you currently use for Age of Sail games?

Fitzovich08 Apr 2019 2:49 a.m. PST

JAFD26 makes a great point. I would order what you want from War Artisan.

Timmo uk08 Apr 2019 5:01 a.m. PST

4dJones, Avalon Hill's classic WS&IM. The boarding rules need reworking though. I think it's a better game with fewer smaller ships but it works really well for fleet battles if you ditch the written orders and port in the card activation from TooFatLardies Kiss me Hardy.

For me WS&IM is the perfect balance of complexity/playability. I don't have the patience for anything more complex and whilst I've looked at a couple of other sets I always come back to WS&IM perhaps through nostalgia. I played hundreds of games as a teenager.

Warlord want to do something different and not follow the existing scales. Things like the thickness of the masts looks much better on their sample models than the SoG plastics or Langton metals. I think the issue with the smaller scales is the hull is visually lost by the over-scale too heavy looking masts and spars but not with these models. The samples they showed me were, very, very nice like a significant leap forwards. I'm not sure of the playing area they had, perhaps 6' x 7' with three frigates and six brigs and it looked good.

My idea for WS&IM with these larger models is to use the boardgame but then switch to models once they get close enough, which is probably about the range they would open fire at. However, I agree that a large playing space would is needed and Trafalgar might be very difficult but then the much smaller models say 1/2400 are probably the best option for fleet actions.

All that written if they went for 1/700 or 1/800 I'd be happier. The latter would be totally unique and speaking to them I was aware that they don't want to follow convention and commercially they prefer to lock people into their range, precisely by not making them compatible with any other range.

As before I'm not convinced by the paper sails but I think they are.

4DJones08 Apr 2019 12:01 p.m. PST

Again Timmo, thanks for the reply. I, too, have used WS&IM off and on for years. More recently I've been using the Age of Sail rules from Paul Hague's book Sea Battles… which are probably more straightforward than even WS&IM.

As for scale, I've kit-bashed many an Airfix Victory over the years -reducing them at times to frigates and brigs. Let's hope Warlord go for 1/600

Timmo uk08 Apr 2019 12:32 p.m. PST


Thanks – I'll see if I can get sight of the Paul Hague rules. If they did go for 1/600 those like you who have Airfix models will have a good leg up.

Sorry earlier for my misunderstanding on HMS Shannon I'd assumed it was to the same scale as their Series 1 Victory kit.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2019 1:41 a.m. PST

I am just wondering if the scale they have potentially chosen was dictated by the ability to produce plastic kits.

As a novice, I was shocked at how small the 1/1200 scale Age of Sail Ships actually are . I would imagine to produce plastic kits at this small scale would be difficult with the level of detail achieved by Langtons or GHQ in metal.

Timmo uk09 Apr 2019 9:52 a.m. PST

That's very possible. If going as small as 1/1200 plastic kits would be ultra fiddly to build.

As mentioned before at around 1/700 the relative thicknesses of things start to look much better than they do in the smaller scales, for example, the masts look much closer to scale. The models actually looked quite fine and delicate but the Warlord chaps were gaming with them quite happily without the models even being based. I'm not sure I'd trust myself not to break things and will probably base on thin crystal clear perspex.

Their models had etched brass shrouds and ratlines which they want to have available I'd suggest they are probably essential to add to the general robustness.

It's going to be interesting to see how they market the ships, eg, three of a type in a box, and how much they'll cost. I think they'll have to be significantly cheaper than Sails of Glory to have an impact the market, given there are lots of existing options when it comes to AoS ships. (I'm not interested in the rules and accessories just the models.)

I also hope they add anchors and ships boats either in the kits or as white metal extras, the real things were massive, one reason why I find most AoS models a bit odd they model various ropes massively over scale but then leave off the huge anchors.

Bozkashi Jones10 Apr 2019 3:11 a.m. PST

There's a bit of info here link

Not sure how well the rule writers have researched the age of sail though; in the movement explanation a ship with the wind directly behind is faster than one with the wind on its quarter. That said, they do make a distinction between the different types of gun.

The ships look nice, though.

4DJones10 Apr 2019 10:11 a.m. PST

The scale looks as if it's going to be 1/700. And what with paper sails, I wonder if Warlord has taken over the old Meridian range of Napoleonic ships?

ModelJShip Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2019 8:02 a.m. PST

That is great news!

Timmo uk11 Apr 2019 9:17 a.m. PST

At Salute they told me they haven't decided the scale yet. Warlord haven't taken over the Meridian ex Skytrex range.

4DJones11 Apr 2019 10:31 a.m. PST

There's a Q & A in yesterday's (Wed) Warlord newsletter where the game developer states the scale will be 1/700.

Timmo uk11 Apr 2019 2:04 p.m. PST

Thank you – that's fantastic news. I'm really pleased about that choice of scale.

4DJones17 Apr 2019 8:46 a.m. PST

According to today's (Wed) Warlord newsletter-podcast by Jon Stallard himself, the scale of vessels will be 1/700; and in the starter set there'll be four frigates and six brigs, plus rules etc.

Bob Runnicles17 Apr 2019 1:54 p.m. PST

Paper sails is most likely going to kill this for me; I remember the old GW Man O'War game had paper sails and while I still have all my old models any of the ones that had paper sails are virtually unusable now. The paper has peeled away, curled and dried up while in storage and looks TERRIBLE now. And if you bash a ship with paper sails during play, odds are even you probably bent a sail. Not a good call imho.

James Cullen18 Apr 2019 12:56 p.m. PST

Does anyone know if they plan to produce figures of officer and crew to supplement their ships? It would be great to be able to recreate cutting out expeditions and shore raids.

Joe Legan19 May 2019 6:37 p.m. PST

Interesting stuff. I too am interested primarily in the ships. Unlike coastal warfare I already have an AoS ruleset I enjoy; Post Captain. I only do small actions of 2-5 ships so the scale would be great. Based on conversations here am a little leery of paper sails though. James, figures would be nice but at 1/700 would be really, really small. ( 3mm or so I guess. still might look cool.)


Bozkashi Jones22 Aug 2019 7:15 a.m. PST

Apologies for the Threadomancy, but just wondered if there was anymore news on this?

I checked out their Open Day video, where they talked a lot about Judge Dread, but no mention and I can't see anything on their FB page…?

ModelJShip Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2019 3:58 p.m. PST

I understood that in autumn the game comes out…

ModelJShip Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2019 2:41 p.m. PST

By the way, I contacted Warlord Games to see if they could send me some samples to paint. They gladly agreed, so here I have three boats to paint and rig. I hope when I finish some projects that I have to do, I will start them and show them here too.

Bozkashi Jones24 Aug 2019 4:15 a.m. PST

Cheers MJS – yep, Autumn is my understanding too; I was just a bit surprised that they didn't mention it in their Summer Open Day. I would have expected a bit of fuss to get people excited.

Fantastic news you getting some ships to paint – can't wait to see those, especially as they're twice the size of the Langtons aren't they?

Out of interest, are they 1/700 as predicted and do they come with paper sails?

Many thanks


ModelJShip Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 7:54 a.m. PST

Yes, scale 1/700. Details are good, they have done a good job.

Sails are made in hard paper but flexible, that way sails can be bent without damaging the printed drawing, or that is my first impression. Regarding the drawing printed on the sails, to say that it is very good, represents all the halyards giving a quite realistic appearance.

My idea is to paint at least two of the three ships that have been sent to me because two of them are repeated.
One of them I will put the original sails they have given me, the other, I will put brass sails. I will put brass ratlines on both ships to improve their final appearance. Warlord Games will not sell ratlines or brass sails but can be bought from other stores that do, for example Merididan.

Regarding the design of the boats, they are quite good. They have well characterized details that will delight painters.
As little failures that I have found, and it is my personal opinion, the masts could have been done them a little better. They have not left space between the sail and the yard in such a way that it will cost to glue the rigging thread. I have already informed you about it so that the design team takes it into account in case they are interested in modifying it. It is not a big problem, but it may distort the silhouette of the ship a little.

SgtPrylo26 Aug 2019 4:22 a.m. PST

I looked at these when they were first brought up as an upcoming release. Two thoughts: they struck me as a modified rehash of the WH Historical Trafalgar rules; and the attitude to the wind thing was a deal breaker for me. Can't for the life of me figure out the design purpose behind that one.

ModelJShip Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 6:21 a.m. PST

They are already here…. link

LT Sparker08 Sep 2019 7:34 p.m. PST

Yes very excited!

Major WIttering10 Sep 2019 4:17 a.m. PST

SGtPrylo – the rule for wind directly behind the sails is the "basic" rule, for a simple game. There's also an optional "advanced" rule which is more realistic, in which max speed is not possible with the wind directly from the rear, only from the rear quarters.

Major WIttering10 Sep 2019 4:24 a.m. PST

For those who use Facebook, Gabrio Tolentino, the Black Seas designer, has posted quite a lot of info on the Warlord:Black Seas FB page.

StarCruiser10 Sep 2019 3:10 p.m. PST

With the scale set to 1/700 – you could use some of these:


To expand on the base set…

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