Warlord Games have a whole variety of new releases for their Black Seas naval combat system. Some of the latest are a US Navy starter fleet, followed by a 1/700th scale Scenery pack and culminating in the Spanish First Rate Santisima Trinidad.
Opening up the US Navy Starter Set, we have three identical plastic frigate frames and three plastic frigate fames. However, it is the resin and metal parts which add more to this starter set. Wrapped in bubble wrap, we have two ‘super’ frigates, the USS President and the USS United States. These are both resin hulls with metal parts to add detailing. The hulls have the relevant ship names cast onto their sterns, but the set also comes with metal stern plates and figureheads for the Chesapeake, Congress and the Constellation. This means that you can choose to ‘name’ your plastic figures to create 3rd rate vessels from history.
A third bubble wrapped ‘package’ contains a large resin cast base with ‘textured’ sea and three small gunboats sculpted onto it. The package also includes metal sails that can be added to create a small gunboat ‘squadron’.
After all that resin and metal, its time to take a look at the paper, card and thread elements. There are ship cards for each type of vessel, wake sheets to show the knots being travelled, US Navy flags, sails sheets, acetate-based ratlines, assembly guides and rigging thread for those who like to add extra details.
The Scenery Pack contains some interesting land- and sea-based elements to add more to your games. A really nice touch is the inclusion of resin cast pieces representing a partially sunken 1st and 3rd Rate ship, enabling players to leave wrecks as obstacles. Speaking of obstacles, we also have five different sizes of rocks, adding the opportunity to force your enemy ‘aground’. Of course, maritime history saw the use of lighthouses to warn shipping of hazards, and a resin one is included herein.
A major facet of coastal warfare in this era was the use of land-based defences and lookout positions. To help to spot enemy vessels and potential invaders, a resin Martello tower has been included, plus three metal cast weapons emplacements, two with cannon and one with mortars.
Finally, we have the Spanish 1st Rate vessel the Santisima Trinidad. This is a model of the heavily armed but slow-moving vessel which sported four decks full of 140 guns. The kit itself is cast in resin and metal, with a metal ‘nameplate’ that may be added to the stern. Th set also comes with sail and wake sheets, flag sheet, rigging thread, ratlines and the all-important ship card with the stats for the game.
The sculpting detail and casting quality on each of the resin and metal parts is excellent. The US navy Starter Set is perhaps the best value for money but the Scenery pack is great for those looking to add more to their tabletop than ‘just’ the ships. Overall, these are top quality items from this 1/700th scale game.
For more information, visit www.store.warlordgames.com/collections/black-seas