On the Workbench: Oar'd you glad we have guns!

 “Mohamet Scirocco’s ships on the wing near the northern shore of the gulf outnumbered the Venetians. He clearly intended to first to encircle, then to overwhelm them...”
- Jack Beeching
(The Galleys at Lepanto)

Just like the paintings - a scrum of ships!

On the Workbench: Oar'd you Glad We Have Guns!
Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t stray too long from anything naval, and in particular anything with a whiff of the piratical, (cite: Skull and Crown moniker) so it should come as a shock to noone that I’m designing a renaissance naval action game, and (of course) the ships.  This is the first public reveal of what I am currently calling “Oar’d you Glad We Have Guns!”.
The rules (currently in Beta but targeted for release in January 2015) are designed to be what I’d call “convention style” formatting.  This means I can teach the core system to you in 5 minutes, get you confidently playing and making n00b tactical mistakes, learning from them and becoming a master of maneuvers and boarding-actions after a few games.   The goal was to have playability in anything from small corsair skirmishes to epic historic battles, with each commander (player) coming away from the battle with a story or two to tell at the bar.
The Knights of Malta open the game for the Holy League.
Turks coming around the flank see easy pickings.

A boarding party's-eye view of the battle.
Enough talk - show me the ships!
I’ll talk more about the rules and showcase the ship models in upcoming posts.  
For now  - enjoy some shots of a play test of the game in action at my local game club this weekend.  I stress play test in the strictest sense (ie: unpainted stuff, and place holder gaming pieces). Each turn I would pose a series of questions to the ever-patient and talented players as to what just happened during the turn: did it feel right on a gut “that would or would not happen” kind of level, as well as did the sequence and system allow them to do what they wanted to. 
These play tests are really "the-rubber-hitting-the-road" type moments.  As a game designer, I can’t stress how important it is (humbling and sometimes ego breaking as they may be at times) to have play tests with a bunch of different folks when designing a set of rules.  I’m really lucky to have lots of talented friends, colleagues and game club lads to help out.
Turkish ships: The markers represent Boarding party crew.

Galleys of the Holy League, with Lanterna and Galleas in the background.

The Deadly Galleas.

Yours truly swapping historical anecdotes before the battle.


  1. Looks really interesting! I do know what you mean about the scary rubber hits the road moment. :-)

  2. This looks very interesting to me and I can't help but be tempted by the images of those Maltese counters. I'll be keeping an eye on this!


  3. Great looking game, beautiful ships!

  4. Simon- your rules are pretty golden- but I'm sure you totally grok both the statement and how great it is to get good feedback.

    Furt- Each ship model will come with it's number of " nationality based" boarding crew and other game pertinent counters. I'll have them for sale separately as well.

    Thanks Gents!

    1. Thanks, Thos.. The ships look good- MDF or Ply?

  5. Replies
    1. Baron- I'm going to need a lot of flags, banners and canopies done up- Care to talk barter? Contact me off blog

  6. Simon- I use 3mm Birch Plywood for all my Wooden Wars and all other wood laser cut pieces. A bit tricker to work with, but much stronger, and eaiser (in my opninion) to paint.