Just back from COLD WARS 2010, in Lancaster PA. I’ll post more on the subject (there is a lot to cover, trust me), but I’d like to give a recap of Saturday night’s Uncharted Seas game I ran as a pickup down in the Flea Market area. I had to improvise a bit, as I had grabbed my box of ships, a water mat and shoved off promptly on Wednesday, forgetting any terrain bits, the markers, and all the recent Litko fantasy battle markers I picked up at Fall In. I hadn’t run US since last Summer, and had forgotten a lot of it, and frankly wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to be. It would have been nice to run it last week before the Con at the Game Parlor on Thursday night, but I couldn’t get out to TNGG because of family stuff. Add to that the confusion from almost a half year of constant editing of the rulebook via Spartan games’ forum website, and the game had some different nuances than I had recalled from the last time I ran the game. I’m glad I bought a new rulebook recently, as there have been some changes and rewrites here and there.
I spent some of the rather momentous HMGS East membership meeting on Saturday morning creating fleet sheets in Excel, which came in handy later.
In any event, I was lucky to have a chap who was a fan of Uncharted Seas show up and sit in. As my friend Al Hayden had arrived first, we immediately dubbed the new, knowledgable chap (named Al) “Other Al”. OtherAl had read the rulebook more recently than I had, and was a great help to me in sorting out the new rules.
This was the layout and the relative starting position of the fleets.
Art played the Bone Griffons (undead), Steve played the Imperials (human), OtherAl played the Iron Dwarves, Jeff played the Shroud Mages, Christoper played the Dragon Lords, and First Al played the Orc Raiders.
Here’s the usual slideshow!
The game started with the typical scramble for position. As the ship models are so large and I only have the one dinky water terrain cloth from Monday Knight Productions, this phase is fast and decisive–fleets were shooting at turn one. I really need to get a wider and longer game space to run this game with effectively. Steve and First Al got involved in a fight almost immediately, Steve taking broadside shots at Al and Christopher (being between them and a natural target). First Al detached a cruiser and a force of Croc Frigates to attack closer in. Al got incredibly lucky; rolling a lot of damage in a linked attack, he exceeded Steve’s critical rating and rolled on the Critical table. Snake Eyes! The magazine went up, vaporizing the human Imperial battleship, two cruisers, and all but two of Steve’s frigates (Christopher had done for the other cruiser earlier). It was the most decisive critical I’ve seen.
Christopher crept up the side of the battlefield, staying close to the rocky outcrop (and losing a frigate in collision along the way). He later came to grips with the orcs, and savaged them at a distance, knocking First Al down to one cruiser and a couple of Crocs. First Al had the wind against him for the last half of the game (courtesy of Art’s changing the wind card) and could not close to board, and thus was shot to pieces. On the other side of the table, OtherAl fought with both the Shroud Mages (Jeff) and the Bone Griffons (Art). Art did rather well against the Iron Dwarves, but OtherAl hardly took any losses– later Art moved the Bones to the center of the table and engaged both FirstAl (the orcs) and Christopher (the Dragon Lords). Jeff did reasonably well as the Shroudies, taking out a dwarf cruiser.
The game lasted about four hours, taking it slow. It will go faster next time as I got the flow of the new rule changes pretty quickly. We liked the game, I think, at least I did. I’ll definitely run this one again at a convention, it’s perfectly suited to fast play.