Trying to get my ship together

With the impending release of Mantic Games Armada I have seen a bit of talk about the size of the models and how they compare with some other models from other games.

I don't have any models for Armada to compare to, however Mantic has let us know the base size of the various ships, and they have stated that the game is based on Black Seas from their friends and neighbors at Warlord Games.  I do happen to have some Black Seas ships and some bases that match what is used for Armada, so we can see how well they fit.

First, the bases used or Armada are as follows (all numbers are in millimeters)

  • 30 x 30 - Tiny
  • 30 x 50 - Small
  • 30 x 75 - Medium
  • 30 x 100 - Large
  • 30 x 125 - Extra Large
For Black Seas, the largest ships are the 1st rate.  These are all resin ships, as they are rare and you won't have very many of them.  The Armada extra large ships won't be released until next year.

The 1st rate fits on the 30x125 fairly well, with the bowsprit sticking out a bit.  This should be ok, as you are generally measuring from the base, and the only time you actually have ships in base-to-base contact is during boarding actions - and these are almost always side to side.

The 3rd rate ships are the largest plastic ships from Warlord, and fit on the large (30 x 100) base.  (Warlord is able to do most of their ships in plastic because they are all the same - there is very little difference historically between the English, French, Spanish and American ships at the time (i.e. a frigate was pretty much a frigate).

Again, the bowsprit sticks out from the front a bit as well.  This is going to be a very common theme.

The medium ships are the frigates.  These bowsprits on these sticks out even more on the 100 x 75 base

Then come the small ships, the brigs.  Again, it is the bowsprit that sticks out on the 30 x 50 base.

Finally are the tiny 30x30 ships - the squadrons.  Warlord makes these, but they are large round resin bases with ships molded onto them, and then metal sails.  Some hot water and patience with a hobby knife allowed to carve out the individual ships, and put two onto a base.

It is a little difficult to judge these by themselves, to putting them all together, with the end of the bases lined up, you can see the differences.

Warlord aren't the only ones with ships out there.  Wizkids used to make a "Constructable Ship Game" called Pirates of the Spanish Main, where the ships were all punched out of plastic trading cards and put together.  This did limit the size somewhat, and I only have one promo ship (I never got into the game itself).  It fits on a medium, 30 x 75 base pretty well.

The now defunct Spartan Games used to put out a ship game - Uncharted Seas, and I happen to have a few of the Iron Dwarf ships from their game.  

Their frigates fit on small bases (I have these next to the same size ships from Warlord)

They had two medium ships for the dwarfs, the Heavy Cruiser (the ones I got off of eBay did not have the front turret gun - so I made some myself)

and the Cruisers

They also had an extra large Flagship, here on the 30 x 125 base.

Here we start to see the problem with ships from some of these other games - they tend to start getting wider than the 30mm bases for Armada.  The flagship is about 40mm wide actually.

If you turn it over, you can see where the sides of the model slightly overlap the base.  In general I don't think this is enough to affect using them if you wanted.

There are other sailing ship games, but unfortunately I don't have any of those models (Man-o-war was before I ever started playing miniature games, and when GW redid it (kind of) as Dreadfleet - well it was an expensive game when it first came out, and now the prices are ridiculous.  

Also, Firelock games is now shipping their kickstarter for Oak & Iron, but I don't have any of those either (though from the pictures I have seen, they seem to be a bit less fiddly than the Warlord ships, with the sails molded to the masts (similar to the new Mantic ships), so may fir the 'style' of Armada a little better (though I don't know how they will compare size wise).

I know that some people have been asking if Mantic is going to sell the ship cards (so they can either scratch build their ships, or use ones that they have) - and I can say they will - and the best part is when you buy the cards, they actually toss in FREE ship model that match them as well.  :-)

But for those who have Warlords Black Seas ships and have wanted to use them in the new game based on those rules, at least you can see how they fit on the bases.

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. Very useful comparisons!

    I do have a few Man'O'War models and I've not done any precise tests - but they are roughly the same kind of sizes and should mostly fit on the Mantic base sizes too, from a very brief investigation I did.

    1. Thanks. I briefly thought about trying to get some - but when I saw how much they were going for it wasn't worth it. :-)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. THX!
    got some BG ships to use as KoM (but cut the oars)and SM as (Abyssal) Dwarves


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