Poseidon’s Warriors is the latest release from Osprey Wargames and, as far as I am aware, only their second on a fully naval theme. PW is a set of fast playing rules covering the classical naval era from 480BC (Salamis) to 31BC (Actium).
The core rules are short and sweet – 9 pages of the 64 pages of the book, and even then those nine pages are profusely illustrated, covering the main mechanics of manoeuvre, ramming, boarding and morale. They are extremely bloody; in a game featuring Quadremes or smaller ships (which make up the bulk of many navies) a single attack is virtually guaranteed to cripple and sink an enemy ship, and even larger ships succumb to successful attacks with relative ease. So it is that manoeuvre and knowing when and how to strike, as well as accepting the risk of losses in the approach. Ships are divided into squadrons of 5 ships (or single large ships) and players alternate activating squadrons, completing all movement, ramming, firing and boarding for a squadron before passing to the other player to do the same.
Additional sections add crew quality command and control, leaders and personalities, special weapons and the effects of terrain in the form of land, shoals and shallows, followed by a number of generic scenarios and a campaign system. Fleet lists from the Greek and Persian wars through to the Roman civil wars completes the package.
As with all the osprey Wargames series the book is nicely laid out and profusely illustrated with paintings from previous Osprey books and also with photos from Rod Langton’s excellent 1/300 and 1/1200 ranges.
This is a great package of rules and supporting material that makes for a quick and exciting standalone game, or a club campaign over a few evenings or weeks. Recommended.