Avast there ye land lubbers


In fantasy based games, I have always found that humans are the least interesting faction.  I never liked painting human figures, and never wanted to play them.

Then when the Kings of War Historical rules came out, I built demo armies for Romans and Celts, and my feelings changed a bit.

Because of the sheer number of historical wargaming miniatures, Mantic Games has never planned on making any miniatures for their Kingdoms of Men faction - instead providing rules but recommending any of the excellent historical miniatures for these.

Mantic based their fantasy naval combat game Armada after the Warlord Games historical naval combat game Black Seas.  As such, the base of all the fantasy ships are the historical ships.  However rather than design and create yet another version of historical ships, it made sense for them to simply make the statistics for the existing ships that the rules were based on.

Warlord actually sells Armada on their web site, and to support using their ships in Armada, Mantic has created Kingdoms of Men faction cards, which is also available from Warlord games.

This card pack has everything needed to field Black Seas ships as a Kingdoms of Men fleet in Armada, with upgrade tokens, rule cards and ship card for 6 types of ships.

There are two cards listing the fleet upgrades unique to the faction, as well as another card with the faction specific rules.  These upgrades have two 'mundane' upgrades, a single magical upgrade, and two captain options.

There are also a set of MDF tokens to use to mark which cards have which upgrades.

So what ships are in the Kings of Men fleet?  There are three main ships, and three support ships available.

First off is the only Extra-Large ship currently available (as the XL ships for their fleets are still a couple of months from being released - The Conqueror

The Black Seas ship for the Conqueror class are the 1st Rates.  These are resin and metal kits, and often represent famous historical ships.  These huge, powerful ships are rare enough that you will not often see more than one in a fleet - so there is only the one card for them

A little more common are the Large Warmonger class ships.

Warmonger's are plastic 3rd rates.  There are two Warmonger cards in the pack.  While it is possible to include more than two Warmongers in an average (200 to 250 pt) fleet, the small number of points would leave little room for the remaining required ships.

The final main ship are the Medium Instigator class ships.

There are three of these cards, and are represented by Black Seas Frigates.  Like most fleets, these are the workhorse and backbone of most fleets.

There is also a Medium size support ship - the Frigate.  This is the one confusing issue with the Warlord ships - they only have the one medium model - the plastic frigate.

So it will be a modelling / painting challenge to distinguish between your Instigators and Frigates IF you choose to use both in your fleet.

The small support ship is the Brig, represented by the Warlord Brig.

There are two of these cards, so this is one case where most people will have more ships than cards (as the plastic sprues for these are 1 frigate and 2 brigs, usually coming in pac of 3 (so 3 frigates and 6 brigs).  

The final ship are the tiny Gunboat Squadrons.  

Warlord does not make any tiny ships that fit onto 30x30 bases - their equivalent ;are large bases of 3 tiny ships.  

These ships are molded to the large base.  However I used hot water to soften the base, making it fairly easy to cut the ships away from the larger base.  I could then glue these to Armada 30mm bases.

Warlord does not have any box set that exactly matches the ships in the card pack - but I found that the Royal, French or Spanish navy fleet boxes provide a close fit.  Each of these has
    - 1 resin 1st rate
    - 3 plastic 3rd rates
    - 3 plastic Frigates
    - 6 plastic brigs
    - 1 gunboat squadron

Converting the squadron to two bases (one with 1 ship, one with 2) allows you to field anything in the card pack (you will have 1 3rd rate and 4 more brig ships than cards, and some combination of three Instigator / Frigate cards.

You can purchase the cards on the Warlord games site, as well as black seas ships.

Because it is all fun and games . . .