20 November 2012

On the high seas, chasing the undead AAR

A group of us gathered this weekend down at the club to play Dreadfleet. We pooled our resources so we ended up with a fair share of painted terrain and ships between our collections.

Two things stood out playing this game, first of all it's easy to explain and get into - thus I think it makes a good drop in game/convention game. The other thing is how damn fun this beer and pretzels geared game actually is.

It's rarely that we have so much fun and laid back enjoyment during out gamedays down at the club but Dreadfleet seem to have filled a void. We played 3 quick "get to know the rules" games with various people, and then towards the afternoon me, Patrik and Fredrik played a complete game (which was still a "free for all" with Good vs Bad guys. We didn't run any of the scenarios yet since we still missing a few of the ships needed for that.

First a bunch of pictures from the test games, here we tried out the good guys running the Heldenhammer, Grimnir's Thunder and the Seadrake. The bad guys ran the Bloody Reaver, Skabrus, the Kraken and the Shadewraith.

Next we played a 3vs3 "last man standing" game with the good guys running Heldenhammer, Grimnir's Thunder and Seadrake vs Bloody Reaver, Kraken and the Shadewraith.

The goal was to wipe out the enemy fleet. The bad guys almost immediately ran into trouble when the awesome close combat specialist "The Kraken" was destroyed by the nimble elven warship "Seadrake" firing bolts and killing all the crew! That slimmed elven ship zipped around at breakneck speed and extreme maneuverability and fired bolts and everything and everyone. In the meantime the Dwarf steamship "Grimir's thunder" made its way across the table and started firing flaming ammunition at the Bloody Reaver which got itself into a bad spot between a rock and a hard place (literally).  Crashing into a cliff the vampire ship was stopped dead in its tracks, but still fired a broadside at the Dwarf vessel.

The superior ship armour resisted the cannonballs effortlessly and the Dwarf crew just turned around and unleashed another volley before the Heldenhammer maneuvered around some cliffs and ended up ramming the Bloody Reaver with the steam powered hammer. Luckily for the undead, the damage mainly trashed the sails, and soon the two ships would be fighting a close combat that would last countless turns and pretty much an hour if not more!

Captains were dueling and the crews were ripping each other and the enemy ships apart. Damage cards were stacking up but the vampire ship took a heavy beating not only in the melee but also from the Grimnir's Thunder and the Seadrake firing at it from a safe distance.

The amount of damage cards was staggering, and even with the ability to regenerate itself, the ship was in deep trouble. Shadewraith tried to help out but ran into trouble against the elves, only the sudden appearance of sea monsters which count Noctilus of the Bloody Reaver as able to command somehow brought down the elves. Wasting no time the Shadewraith made a flying move and crashed into the Heldenhammer, the evil captains laughed wickedly only to roll piss poor  results and take another beating....!?

Heldenhammer, despite some luck was in a really bad situation now, the captain had taken several wounds and the command ability was dropping, hence it was pretty much impossible to escape the boarding action. At the same time, remaining in close combat with two ships at the same time was crazy.  Trying, but failing, to leave the Heldenhammer was finally sunk, but not after it had severely damage both enemy ships. The Bloody Reaver had a wounded captain, completely annihilated sails and rigging, cracked hull, severely reduced crew, burning like a bonfire and drifting with the wind. The Shadewraith too was down on its last hull point.

The only "good" ship remaining was the Grimir's Thunder with its 3+ armour save and nice line of sight to both enemy vessels.  But it too had suffered a beating, having battled sea monsters the dwarf ship was down to 1 hull point as well. The situation was bizarre, the last turn saw the Bloody Reaver finally explode into tiny toothpicks, the Shadewraith then (due to the navigation problems and wind) ran into a cliff and was reduced down to 0 hull points, effectively sinking. Left was the Dwarf ship and the dumbfounded crew of half drunken dwarves scratching their heads as they suddenly found themselves alone in the stormy ocean.

The game was a blast, and gave me a morale boost in terms of painting the rest of the Dreadfleet box contents.


  1. Looks like a lot of fun - I've never played Dreadfleet myself but with more AARs like this, I think I could hardly resist.



  2. I am looking at this the same as Thomas. This really makes me want to think about seeing if I can find this game.

  3. Great pictures Anatoli. I've never fancied Dread Fleet myself but it looks like a fun game.


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