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Author Topic: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?  (Read 1122 times)

Offline TheBlackCrane

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Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« on: April 06, 2022, 04:14:05 PM »
I'm of a mind to do something completely different by way of a wargaming project, and I'm quite taken by Cruel Seas, mostly for meeting the criteria of being something completely different, and seemingly to be relatively easy to get into fairly quickly.

However, having missed the boat (yes, it was intended, and I apologise  lol) when it originally was released, having a bit of a read around now it seems to have split opinions.

Any views here?

I did see one reference to the rulebook needing a good 10 pages or so of errata; has it ever been updated or is it still the original version with what seem to be flaws?

I also saw quiet a lot of the range on Warlord's site is out of stock - is that a case of the game being unsupported, or just a symptom of the times?

I've made no judgement either way on it, but just keen to get some other views on the game and how it plays?

Cheers

Rob

Offline SJWi

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2022, 04:35:57 AM »
Hi, ,my little gaming group tried Cruel Seas back in 2020 during the lockdown.  Quite easy to play on Zoom as a flat surface with not many boats on the table. We found the rules played OK, no obvious gremlins but after a short while all the games seemed to be the same.  I will admit we didn't use aircraft or buy the expansion book so there may be more to it than that. We also got lucky in being able to buy our models cheap. I bought a Soviet fleet for little over the listed RRP. The Warlord models are pretty pricey for what you get.

We also play Warlord's Napoleonic game Black Seas and find that more fun, although that could be down to one of our number being a Napoleonic fan and more inclined to devise decent scenarios.   

Offline Pijlie

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Offline black hat miniatures

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2022, 08:24:14 AM »
We have played it at the Guildford club with 1/600th and always had a good, challenging and fun game.

I have the rules and models in 1/300th and have enjoyed it.

Naval wargaming isn't one of my main periods so I don't know how accurate and detailed it is, but I've enjoyed every game I've played.

Mike Lewis

Black Hat Miniatures
www.blackhat.co.uk

Offline Etranger

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2022, 09:07:29 AM »
Warlord are moving their Cruel Seas range to the Skytrx brand, who already have a 1/300 range. The rules are ok but there are better sets out there IMHO eg David Manley's Action Stations. https://boardgamegeek.com/image/5166585/action-stations-naval-wargame-rules-coastal-forces
"It's only a flesh wound...."

Offline TheBlackCrane

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2022, 07:48:40 PM »
Thanks all, appreciate the thoughts. I'm still in two minds, still kind of tempted.

As something for a casual game, maybe it's what I'm after, not having to think too hard. I have no expertise so I may be less worried about failures of technicalities, although the turning circle issue does sound frustrating for realism.

Black Seas I've looked at, too, but I am deterred by the thought of painting the ships (naively assuming torpedo boats etc will be easier!) and by the cost of some of the vessels (31 for one ship? I think about the number of 15mm figures I could buy for that).

Of course, by next week I might be fixated on something completely different!

Offline Midpoint

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2022, 02:05:13 PM »
We had a couple of games pre-lockdown. To be honest the game is limited in respect of variety and longevity.

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2022, 11:21:43 AM »
Warlord are moving their Cruel Seas range to the Skytrx brand, who already have a 1/300 range. The rules are ok but there are better sets out there IMHO eg David Manley's Action Stations. https://boardgamegeek.com/image/5166585/action-stations-naval-wargame-rules-coastal-forces

I would agree wholeheartedly with this - if you want serious AND playable, you want David Manley.  If you want the more relaxed end of the spectrum and don't want to overburden your bookshelves, budget and gaming space, I would suggest you put Manley-ness aside and go for the Too Far Lardies' Coastal Patrol (Summer 2011 issue of the Lard Magazine).  Slightly more beer-and-pretzels in its approach, but still giving a technically plausible game without require masses of research/investment.

I did make a conscious decision to use the Cruel Seas vessels though, and haven't regretted it.  Provided you don't "overload" the table and end up with what resembles a large brawl in a crowded marina, the 1:300 size works well and complements the rules in producing one-evening-sized games that are lots of fun.  I'm not sure if it is still the case, but Manley's rules were becoming quite hard to track down (apologies if that's no longer the case - I am a big fan of his stuff), whereas for 5 or so, you've got the Lardy set and access to endless ship stats.
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

Offline SJWi

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2022, 08:13:39 PM »
Hi, one of David Manley's rulesets is available from Wargames Vault.

Offline Abbner Home

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2022, 05:07:59 PM »
Cruel Seas is fine. More a game I play with my grade school sons than with other adults. Our group played it once and it is fun. We played again with a different scenario and it felt the same. So the group moved on to other things. Just our experience, not crapping on it, I'm sure others love it.

Offline Mako

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2022, 04:03:44 PM »
Rules are supposedly okay, but that is based upon reports from others.  I haven't seen or played them.

The general concensus seems to be that David Manley's rules are better - they are the ones I use, and there are a few others that are good/better too.

1/300th vessel models and aircraft are nice, and excellent from a visual standpoint.  Really though, a bit large for gaming with, unless you have a very large table, so range compression can be rather shocking.

1/600th scale minis are probably a better choice, and the "go to" standard for Coastal Forces gaming back in the day, but of course the miniatures since they are smaller are less impressive than their larger cousins.

I've also read that the new cost of Cruel Seas models has increased rather precipitously from their once more reasonable pricing.  I can't say first-hand about that, since I haven't seen the new prices, but that is what has been mentioned on-line.

Offline pancakeonions

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2022, 04:42:52 PM »
I got it, read the rules, painted a ship or two...

And left it without trying it for Black Seas, Armada, and the fun-but-simple Galleys and Galleons.

Once I'd taken a look (but not played, mind you!), it really didn't look that interesting to me...

Offline Digits

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2022, 04:43:26 PM »
I lost interest pretty quickly tbh.   I would imagine if you are keen to proceed, you should pick it up cheaply second hand!
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Offline SJWi

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Re: Cruel Seas - I'm tempted, but yes? no? Any views?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2022, 04:10:42 AM »
Yes, the Cruel Seas  prices do seem to have risen quite sharply since I bought it back in 2020. The basic plastics are still priced OK but the metals are very expensive. Warlord  metals seem to be universally at the "high price" end of the market. That said I see all manufacturers increasing prices at the moment. I bought from one manufacturer two weeks ago and when I looked again yesterday his prices had risen 30%. Thank god for my metal, resin and plastic mountain!   

 

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