Admirals of The Broad Blue

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Admirals of The Broad Blue

Written by Craig Gallant | Tags:

Captains’ Logs, Entry 1

Like many gaming groups out there, our first exposure to Spartan Games was with its very first game: Uncharted Seas. Many of us bought into it wholeheartedly, buying the mega bundles or grabbing the blisters as quickly as they came off the boats. Russ and I at the D6 Generation podcast went in halvsies on the mega bundle, and I started my first two fleets: Dragon Lords and Iron Dwarves. Of course, several months later when the Thaniras Elves came out, I had three.

That year the D6G did our first convention event, and there was nothing we were more excited about than Uncharted Seas, and so our first ever Not Too Horrible Live Event was the Capture the Elves Mega-Battle at TempleCon in Rhode Island, way back in 2009. And we’ve been big fans ever since. We’ve done major events featuring all three offerings from Spartan Games, and each year is bigger, louder, and more fun than the last.

Thaniras Elves

Thaniras Elves

But also, like many gaming groups, once Dystopian Wars came out our little sailboats got hoisted into dry dock and languished there for awhile. However, we always remembered our first Spartan love, and the models always sailed out again every now and then, even if those battles might be months apart.

But when Spartan Neil asked if I would like to captain (see what I did there?) a project that would allow my friends to spend a solid month playing Uncharted Seas, focusing on some really fluffy, cool scenarios that would tell a broad story whilst we rushed about the white-caps trying to blast each other to flinders, how could I say no?

So I recruited a small core group from my wider band of Spartan Loyalists, the guys who were particularly eager to jump in for some fantasy-ship-combat-goodness and interested in collecting the fleets I wanted to focus on for this particular project, and we were off! The guys were SUPER excited, as was I, to see where this Month of Uncharted Seas would take us!

Hopefully you have read the short story featuring the wandering Chronicler Dragos Koranyi? We’re about to follow him into a particularly nasty situation that will see many different factions within the Uncharted Seas world battling it out for clues and trying to track down the dastardly raiders that have murdered and pillaged their way across this vague, unidentified section of the Broad Blue. There will be a series of battles that will start small and get progressively larger over the course of a month, until we’re playing with truly epic sized fleets (for our gaming tables, anyway!).

The ultimate goal of this escalating campaign is to field fleets of 1,000 points against each other in a little less than a month. Luckily, the beautifully sculpted models of Spartan Games paint up quick, and really reward just a couple of easy to learn techniques that we’ll also be sharing with you over the course of the next few weeks.

Bone Griffons

Bone Griffons

So what you’re going to see over the next several weeks will be a series of articles that will share the full event, and open it to anyone else who would enjoy a quick four battle arc campaign. We’ll start with short stories that give the background and interim plot line of the campaign, then each week we’ll include reports of the players themselves, their exploits in painting and playing, and highlighted moments within the games. Each week will include a Battle Report from the focus battle in that week’s narrative, and of course the mission, with all of its special rules, winning conditions, and rewards, so you can play along! And something special for the event: Captains of Renown!

Each faction will get a special Captain of Renown, with background fluff, rules, and points cost, that can be used during YOUR campaign, or any other game of Uncharted Seas in which your opponent agrees to the use of Captains of Renown. Each captain will be a stalwart example of his race, an experienced mariner with an added edge that will see him press onward to his destined greatness… Or not. Sometimes, even for Captains of Renown, things do not always work out. These captains will be free if used during the campaign in the prescribed fashion, but will have a points cost to offset their benefits in wider games.

Now, we can’t dump all of this stuff on you guys in one go, so it will be posted in manageable pieces that will keep the month chugging along at a nice, steady pace. Each week you will get a mission you can play, no matter what factions you field, and then, by the end of the month, you can string them all together into a narrative campaign. The only thing you will lack, if you wish to do this as the missions are made available, will be the Captains of Renown, but I might suggest that you play around with the new missions as they come out, and then, once all four Captains have been announced, you could start the campaign.

Also, I know folks are going to be disappointed if their faction isn’t one of the first four to get Captains of Renown. Well, suffice it to say that these four giants of the maritime world are only the beginning, and anyone disappointed this month will be very happy in another month!

So now, without further ado, let me introduce you to the guys, and give a little insight into where we are coming from, and what we’ve been doing to get ready for the big event:

We are all gamers from the wilds of New Hampshire, in the USA. Most of us have been gaming with each other for over a decade (some more than two decades, and two of us have known each other since we met, playing with Star Wars figures, on the sidelines of our siblings’ first soccer match). Russ Wakelin and I are the hosts of the general gaming podcast The D6 Generation, and our friend Ian Clark is one of the hosts of the new, up & coming geek culture podcast, Nerdherders. Jeremy, aka the Sherpa, is one of those guys every good gaming group seems to have; he’s the acquisition specialist.

Jeremy gets all the cool new gadgets, prints out all the cool new player aids, and generally will carry anything for you that you ask him to carry. Rounding out this little group is our friend Chris, a hockey player who wandered into the store one day and couldn’t find his way out again. He’s gone from a ‘what’s this now?’ to a ‘so what should my third fleet be?’ in record time, though, so we’ll forgive him his unsavoury athletic ways. Finally, we have, technically, my oldest friend in the world, Pete. We’ve come a long way since our heady days in the mud while our siblings kicked around a ball, but we’re still playing with little toys!

Now, who’s fielding what, and why?

Well, let’s start with me! I’m fielding Thaniras Elves… Again! I loved the old models, and really lavished them with some extra love and attention, and they now pale beside the new models! Besides, who doesn’t want to field those sleek, lovely dragons! So I got all the new ships and dug right in to paint them as quickly as I could!

Imperial Humans

Imperial Humans

Russ had, for his original fleets, Orc Raiders and Imperial Humans. Two fleets that really benefited from the new sculpts. He wanted to revisit his Humans, and so jumped in with a starter and a couple of other blisters to get moving.

Ian, for another project that we were working on last fall, collected a whole bunch of Bone Griffons. Which is very impressive considering Ian never plays any game that is still actively supported by a company; we don’t call him the Necro-gamer for nothing. But he took to the Undead… Wait a minute… Anyway, he took to them like an animated zombie duck to stagnant water, and he’s been nigh on unstoppable since. But for this project I needed something new for him, so he started, from scratch, a Ralgard fleet with a size to make you cry!

Conversely, Jeremy had a full (and mostly painted) Ralgard fleet, but wanted to start an Imperial Human fleet… And immediately proceeded to do so! His ships will feature, mostly painted, in the first battle report, and you’ll see what a high level of detail he holds himself to in every project that he does. They are awesome-looking, and we have great hopes for his fully painted 1000 fleet.

Chris (having just finished his first miniature games painting project ever; his Shroud Mages fleet) jumped at the chance to start another fleet, and so went all in with the Dragon Lords. Not only scooping up the starter, but everything else available in the range as well. Chris has been having a field day with his glossy sails and deck-mounted ballistae.

And Pete, of course, who has always gravitated towards the ‘Over-Dog’, you might say, in any universe we’ve come to game in, fell in love at first play with the Dragon Lords last summer. Cool magic, they look like giant bipedal dragons, and they don’t have to deal with the pesky wind. Pete was immediately ready to sign up as a Subasha cabin boy on the spot. It’s been a goodly while since Pete has been painting minis, but he’s falling back into it with a will, and although it has not been easy on his back (none of us as young as we once were), he’s been loving the results!

The Ralgard

The Ralgard

And that’s our happy little band! Now, Russ hasn’t had a lot of luck getting any games in, but the rest of us have been painting like madmen, and rushing around on the tabletop snatching prizes, charted the uncharted, and generally targeting each other from 32” out and closing.

The first mission, Red Sky in the Morning, is a skirmish mission that only requires 300 points to be painted, all of which must be Small or Medium, with no Special ships allowed. So with light hearts and blood in our eyes, we bent our brushes to the task, with visions of flaming oil-slicks and rains of charred timbers roiling in our brains.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next update.