View Full Version : Dreadfleet musings

06-10-2011, 03:07 PM
Has been a while since I've both started a new thread and a new game, so here goes. Just the other day my copy of Dreadfleet arrived and I'm planning on doing some serious reviewing on its contents, rules and other materials. I'll also be posting this stuff up in my blog, but I also wanted to check if there are any Astronites out there with nagging Dreadfleet questions.

If so, don't hesitate to post them right up and I'll get around to them asap! To get things started, here are some initials thoughts after opening the box and browsing the rules:

__________________________________________________ ______

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TEBznPDmAzQ/TozmyyApRqI/AAAAAAAAAgA/f-eq3HfuomU/s400/z4.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TEBznPDmAzQ/TozmyyApRqI/AAAAAAAAAgA/f-eq3HfuomU/s1600/z4.jpg)

That's right, my copy of Dreadfleet has arrived and it's looking mighty fine. I'll be going into much
more detail this weekend, including a closer look at the rules and the level of randomness in the
game elements (which might be helpful for those still on the hence whether or not to get a copy for
themselves), but for the moment I just have a few first impression thoughts to share.

A. Miniatures & sprues:
The detailing on these miniatures is just insane, just take a look at the side of the Swordfish (click on the pic for a close-up):

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IPJaGsKXgBI/TozmzcbjkgI/AAAAAAAAAgY/ROdKPxQYbyU/s400/z7.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IPJaGsKXgBI/TozmzcbjkgI/AAAAAAAAAgY/ROdKPxQYbyU/s1600/z7.jpg)

And although at first I had my doubts about the textured seabases, because they do take up an entire
sprue which could have been used for 2-3 extra ships, I fully have to admit GW (Nick Ho to be specific)
have done a terrific job on these. Sure, an extra ship or two would have been nice, but they've
managed to sneak in so much extra detail into those bases that they're well worth it

And while we're on the top of plastic, the sprue design for Dreadfleet is also very intelligent. Naturally
we have the usual letter-coded parts to help figure out which pieces belong together but there are
also several pegs and plastic rod puts specifically in place to protect some of the more brittle part.
Nothing nastier than a very thin, broken piece of plastic afterall!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Fw-I1ZF9whE/TozmzBGUw9I/AAAAAAAAAgI/yTM9ONcB6Wg/s400/z5.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Fw-I1ZF9whE/TozmzBGUw9I/AAAAAAAAAgI/yTM9ONcB6Wg/s1600/z5.jpg)

TIP: those wanting to get each and every detail on these ships painted to the highest standards will do
well to first examin the miniatures closely. Quite a lot of the ships have details that will be greatly
obscured when fully assembled, so some of them will look at lot better when painted in steps and then
assembled. The Skaven-crewed Skabras is a very good example of this as the gusts and tongue of
this beast/ship have been modelled to its base and become very difficult to reach once fully assembled

B. The rules, scenarios:
I'm still only getting started on these, but it does indeed look that the game has a lot of randomness in
it. Between random damage effects, new bonus effects each turn because of faith cards and potential
movement penalties and boosts there are a whole bunch of things that can upset your plans. This may
be problematic in the first couple of scenarios where there are only a few boats and trippy movement
combined with Noctilus' ability to control seamonsters can greatly influence the game (as has already
been experienced by other gamers, for those interested check out Quirckworthy's first game right here: link (http://quirkworthy.com/2011/10/03/dreadfleet-review-first-game/)).

Overall this game doesn't feel like it is meant to be a tactical seafaring gaming, but at the same time
there is enough depth, fluff and interaction going on to keep it well out of the realm of the beer &
pretzels games. However, given that this game has a much more atmospheric and casual feel to it
there if of course nothing stopping gamers from adding their own custom rules. I can imagine
restricting the wind rules or only drawing faith cards every other turn for example will help focus the
game more on the tactical side.

Scenario and story-wise we get a lovely blend of over the top Warhammer Fantasy storyline telling,
true and tried pirate themes and a healthy dose of humor. We have everything in there from a Vampire
lord magically zapping his Sylvannan castle into a magical maelstrom, where he fuzes it with dozen of
shipwrecks, thus creating the regenerating Bloodreaver; cannabalistic ghouls trying to toss your
captains into a vulcano to summon an angry firegod and what better way to save your sinking ship than
plugging up that cannonball hole with a cabin boy!

C. Game cards & seascape:

Both are quite nicely designed with lovely details and artwork, but they also seen a tad on the thin side.
Which means that with lots of use they will be the first things that will start showing wear and tear. I
am, however rather happy with the different sizes of the cards. Both the ship and order cards and nice
and big to make certain both players (or more) get all the necessary info, while the fate and damage
cards are just big enough to give the necessary information, but also small enough to keep the table
from getting completely covered with them. And trust me, in some scenarios you will be dishing these
things out by the handfull!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5ZqKdECmyII/TozmzV7D3iI/AAAAAAAAAgg/S496cvWuXNQ/s400/z8.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5ZqKdECmyII/TozmzV7D3iI/AAAAAAAAAgg/S496cvWuXNQ/s1600/z8.jpg)

And that rounds up my first impressions of Dreadfleet, over the course of the next week or so I'll be
having a closer look at the rules, as well as putting together some tips & tricks for all of the ships.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-y_LQ0fdCDE8/TozmzKWjFuI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/u6g1jzV1Lls/s400/z6.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-y_LQ0fdCDE8/TozmzKWjFuI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/u6g1jzV1Lls/s1600/z6.jpg)

08-10-2011, 03:12 PM
So I take there are no Astronites out there with a copy or who are still unsure whether or not the game is worth it? :grin:

08-10-2011, 05:48 PM
I think it's going to be great. I had a good look at it during gamesday and it seems to be a tonne of fun. I won't be buying it though as Faileas has a copy and he's the only person I'll ever likely get a game of it against lol.

08-10-2011, 07:44 PM
We've got a store copy at my local hobby store. Me and my co-worker are painting them up at the moment, but we've done a couple of games and it all seems pretty simple and most importantly, fun! :grin:

13-10-2011, 01:48 PM
That's the impression I've pieced together so far as well. Though there seems to be quite a bit of randomness in there it hasn't bothered me in the least. Only managed the first two scenarios so far, but impressions are great! Now to find the time to paint those awesome boats. Heck so far I'm only disappointed by one thing, which is that the cogs are all the same models. Kind of a let down with all those superbly detailed larger ships, still nothing I can't and will remedy myself :grin: