Admirals of the Broad Blue (Part 2)

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Admirals of the Broad Blue (Part 2)

Written by Craig Gallant | Tags:

Click here to read Part 1 of the Admirals of the Broad Blue

So, a week in and things are looking good. Almost everyone got their first games in, and the painting is proceeding apace. It’s been a little tough, as there have been a variety of challenges that have arisen in scheduling, as there always are when you’re trying to put together a campaign like this, but we’re moving forward nicely.

First this week I’d like to talk a little bit about how WE play Uncharted Seas here in southern New Hampshire. Most of the guys in our group are what you could call ‘seasoned veterans’, meaning we’re closer to booking into a home for the elderly than we’d like to admit. We really enjoy fast and furious 1-2 hour games, rather than the 8+ hours we might have managed in our youth. Plus our home lives tend to impact us vanishing for days on end to game!

This inclination towards fast and bloody battles has shaped how we play in several ways. We usually don’t venture too much higher than around 1000 points in our games, and sometimes play a little fast and loose with movement (rather than calculating every angle with a compass and a slide rule). We also focus on missions that have a specific set of goals or a well-defined end-time; usually around 5 or 6 turns, which makes deployment and manoeuvre that much more important.

And so these first two battles, at 300 and 500 points, took us around an hour to an hour and a half to play, tops. We were looking for multiple games a night, and taking notes and pictures and such, but for the most part we were jetting through like normal, having a grand old time and racing through as many games as possible.

So, let’s check in with the guys, and see what’s up.

Russ is our campaign’s first ‘Real Life’ casualty. Russ’ business schedule has kept him from playing on our regular days, and his painting, without the constant goading of peers, has suffered. However, he HAS been focusing on a nice centre piece that will feature in some pictures soon for the Week 3 mission.

Chris, our hockey-hooligan, is easily the most excited player still. For an earlier project he had bought and painted a HUGE Shroud Mage fleet, and when I told him we wouldn’t be focusing on them this time around, he got all excited and jumped in with the Dragon Lords! He was the first to have his full 1000 point fleet painted, and is now eagerly looking for more models to paint.

Dragon Lords

Dragon Lords

As for the fleet build for the first mission, he says: “When choosing my Dragon Lords fleet for ‘Red Sky in the Morning’ I wanted to aim for speed. Having only 300 points to work with I felt the smaller the better, so I opted to use two squads of frigates and one squad of cruisers. This allowed me to spread out a little more, with more ramming options. I was worried about medium ships sinking small ships in collisions and therefore sinking my VP’s with them, so having the smaller ships allowed for more chances at boarding actions with less chance of sinking my prizes. My Imperial Human arch nemesis, Jeremy, surely felt my small model wrath as he sailed to the ends of the earth in his inferior human ships!”

Chris was the Dragon Lords admiral from last week’s battle report, and despite how much damage he took, because of the victory conditions of the mission, Chris eked out a win, having taken and escaped with more Imperial Human ships (in the end the humans only managed to capture a single frigate…).

Jeremy is easily the match of Chris for excitement in almost all things, and only SLIGHTLY edged out in Uncharted Seas, Chris’ first and primary miniatures love. Jeremy had been waiting for the Imperial Humans to arrive locally, and at once began to paint them to his very high standards. He had some scheduling issues pop up, but he’s nearly done with his 1000 point final fleet also, and it’s looking really nice.

Oh, a quick note should be inserted here that we agreed you don’t HAVE to keep your previous list and merely add ships to bring it to the next level. Although most of us did that to a certain extent to keep the painting goals reasonable, your fleets in each Mission could be completely different and tailored to the needs of the moment.

But to hear from the great Sherpa himself: “I was very excited to take part in this project and field the new, re-sculpted Imperial Humans. The models really call to me, looking the most like traditional Age of Sail ships. Starting from scratch, I thought a lot about my overall paint scheme, but in the end I liked the studio scheme so much that I just modified it slightly, using a few different techniques and more of a turquoise blue than a royal blue for the sails. I can’t wait to grow this force with the campaign and try a lot of the Imperial Human special units like Martyr Frigates, Assault Balloons and the impressive Flagship!”

Imperial Humans

Imperial Humans

As for the first battle, “I had some tough decisions when choosing my Imperial Human fleet for ‘Red Sky in the Morning’. Since I was starting with a blank slate, I decided to go with a minimum sized Hawk Class Cruiser squadron of 2 ships. Then it was a choice of Falcon Class Frigates, Kestrel Class Destroyers, Martyr Class Frigates or some combination of them. I should probably have stayed on mission and chosen at least one squadron of Destroyers, but was so eager to field Martyr Class Frigates, that I chose a full squadron of 4, and then rounded my fleet out with a squadron of 3 Falcon Class Frigates.”

“And you’ve now seen how well THAT did! In a mission where the objective is to board and capture enemy ships… Perhaps blowing them up in a mutually destructive eruption of wood and flesh… Not the best plan?”

“In the end, though the Martyr’s were great fun to use, I should have probably saved them for the 2nd mission and used the Destroyers instead. The greatly despised Captain Byrgall Tologaan hasn’t seen the last of Captain Garrik “The Spear” Arkos. Reinforcements are on the horizon!”

Pete has always loved dragons (what? no joke…?) and the idea of being able to field basically an aircraft carrier for the scaled beasties was a deal-maker for him. Well, that and the whole ‘wind issue.’ But I’ll let Captain Ahab tell you about that himself: “I was very excited to be invited to Craig’s latest Uncharted Seas campaign. I decided on the Dragon Lords for three reasons: 1) as a real wet-ocean sailor for almost four decades, I’m enthusiastic about not being enslaved to the wind; 2) I love sharks, and the Sunset Frigates look like a school of sharks moving in for the kill; and 3) the Eyrie Carrier. Dragons launched off a ship like flame-throwing P-51 Mustangs? YES PLEASE.”

“For the initial missions, force composition was fairly easy because the Dragon Lords only have two options for small ships. Since I had a starter fleet and Moonbeam Destroyers on hand, that’s what got painted first. I don’t consider myself a particularly skilled painter, but the clean lines of the Dragon Lord ships really inspired me to elevate my game, and I think I succeeded. My colour palate was driven by obsession; I’ve been hoarding an old bottle of metallic green for literally decades, waiting for just the right project. It’s a shade that makes a magnificent dragon-skin, and I knew that would be perfect for my sails.”

In the first mission Pete faced off against Chris, using our local store’s fleet, the Imperial Humans. Pete was very aggressive with his cruisers, blowing stuff up left and right… And forgetting the mission. He managed to lose, so Chris was victorious there too, proving himself the king of Mission 1!

The Ralgard

The Ralgard

Ian, our Ralgard player, and I faced off as the final pairing for Mission 1. It started out as a total fiasco, as my Cobra Class Cruisers swept forward towards his advanced squad and in a swirl of graceful, curved blades… We wiped each other out to the last giant warrior and pointy-eared effete. Suddenly my two most powerful ships were left drifting in the gentle current. Things did not improve much; I managed to take a single frigate and sail it off while he could not catch my last frigate as it slipped behind an island to hide from his nearly unscratched guns. I lost all but that frigate, but had managed to capture his ship, and so squeak out a victory.

Ian was excited to get his newest ships into the Broad Blue. “I am very pleased to be fielding the Ralgard for this campaign. Not only do the ships and flyers look great, but imagining hordes of battle-tested warriors spilling out onto the decks of enemy ships during boarding actions really adds a great level of cinematic flair to the Ralgard and that’s something I can get behind.”

Thaniras Elves

Thaniras Elves

As for myself… Well, my elves are coming along nicely. That first battle was actually with my original sculpts, but I now have finished up my painting through Mission 3, and can’t wait to field some larger ships and bigger squadrons! Putting together my fleet for Mission 2, where speed will be of the essence, I know I’m going to get as many Crow Class Destroyers in there with my frigates as I can, so wind will be less of an issue for me. I wanted to go against type with the painting, keeping things dark and brooding. I love that the elves in the Uncharted Seas are bullies (aren’t they all?) with the tree-hugger veneer almost completely rubbed off and I wanted to paint them up to show that. I have also been haunted by the image of the magical spheres being coloured like the Thaniras Elves symbol… So I did that too!

Going into the second week of battles we are all very excited, as the Mission now allows for larger fleets (although still no large ships), AND a coveted Special slot! I know Pete’s looking forward to fielding the Invoker cruiser, while Ian’s been eyeing his balloons, and I’m just ITCHING to get my Thunderbird into the middle of a big squadron of frigates!

So it’s onwards and outwards, now, to Mission 2. Our stalwart Captains of Renown will lead their own advance forces into the uncharted heart of the Cauldron of Silence, where only the dead know what awaits them!