Sunday, 9 December 2018

Cruel Seas - QLR

I've had a day to go over the rulebook for Warlord's new naval game "Cruel Seas"(in between sorting out various equestrian issues) and I thought I;d share my initial observations here before posting a fuller review later in the week. My first impressions are good - in general its an excellent set of introductory rules that is an ideal route in to naval wargaming, which is something I personally think is a great thing. It is wargaming very much in the "Boys Own" / "Commando Picture Library" vein, so its fun and fast but with some aspects that would have those more read in to the subject thinking were a bit "odd". And the potential for some truly odd counter-torpedo tactics (but I'll keep schtumm on that to see if anyone else spots it :) ) 

That said I have several pages of notes on various aspects which struck me as odd, unclear, quirky or just inaccurate. As a few tasters, the intro mentions 1/300 as being a good scale to use because the boats look wrong without crew - none of them come with anything recognisable as crew figures, and there has already been a lively debate over parking your S100 close in front of an MTB to force a collisions as being a valid game tactic in disposing of the smaller craft. 

I think the choice of craft is odd (sizewise I still think 1/300 is to big and it would look better in 1/600 but then again its Warlord, has Bolt Action for inspiration and I've always thought that BA looks better in 15mm than 28 so the precedent is there :D ) - but in the choice of craft for the starter set Warlord have gone for four types that didn't encounter each other that frequently (MGBs and S Boats sparred frequently - MTBs had better things to do with their time for the most part). And in the data tables the lack of RN MGBs and Russian gunboats (but 4 varieties of riverine craft) are the most outstanding aspects , but there are others. 

But, bottom line for me is that, as with Warhammer Trafalgar (with which it shares some hazy characteristics) if its popular and gets new blood into the genre then its a good thing in my book :)


  1. Thanks for the snap shot David, looks like a good club evening game.

  2. Thanks, David. One of my wargaming buddies is planning on getting the rules. He has a modest collection of 1:700 boats and I have a few. We've tried some gaming with them several years ago with some home-grown rules but weren't too happy with the results.


  3. Thanks for the capsule review. I haven't gotten the starter set I pre-ordered yet, but I did get a look at the quick reference sheet (QRS) from the rulebook.

    I some odd things on the QRS, such as plumes (which appear to be added for misses) make it easier to get a hit and the dud rate for torpedoes seems to be related to the crew skill.

    I thought the choice of ships for the starter seemed odd, but it is really too bad to hear that MGBs aren't in the data tables. Maybe that will be an expansion.

  4. Thanks for the heads up David. A gaming buddy has the set on order, so I’ll be interested in seeing it once it arrives in the Canadian wilderness. The model look nice, but I think 1/300 a bit big too.

  5. Thanks David. The local game store seems to have bought in big to this game, as there were a ton of starters and other related materials out on display, and an open box of the starter caught my son's eye, so maybe it is working as intended!

  6. Some oddities indeed, but it has absolutely drawn a number of lads to the game (and indeed myself back to the genre after decades away) which is great.

    I suspect that we will enjoy the models, test the game and then somebody might bring a copy of Action Stations in to try a different set of mechanics...

  7. Has figures now i believe...and more vessels...also as an aside a masterstroke to give away free boats on cover of Wargames Illustrated...for me at least reason to then order Starter set

  8. Also they have brought out substantial amendments/errata i understand...of course better to avoid this but that ofeten happens it seems