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In this article I will explain some of the basic rules that you need to know in order to play this game. Things like fate cards and damage cards are quite easy to understand. In fate phase each player draws fate card and resolves it. Fate card is very important because of the wind, but I will talk about that later.
Damage cards are drawn when your ship sustains certain amount of damage. For every hit that your ship has suffered you draw one damage card. Damage cards can affect different parts of your ship and change its characteristic. Some ships are immune to certain damage cards. Moving your ships is quite simple in Dreadfleet. Each ship has a speed characteristic that represents a distance in inches that you can move your ship. In order to turn your ship for 45 degrees you need to consult your handling characteristic.
Number under handling represents how many inches you have to move in order to make a turn of up to 45 degrees. You can turn as much as you want a long as you have enough movement.
But what is very important when it comes to movement is wind. At the beginning of every game players roll two dice and determine a wind direction. During the fate phase wind can change as well as it speed can change. Almost every fate card has a wind strength and wind direction symbol.
When these card are resolved win gauge is moved according to the fate card. In order to know how strong the wind is, you should always look at the top card of fate cards discard pile.
Interesting thing about the wind is that it can slow you down or allow your ship to move faster. You should always check a wind gauge when you activate your warship. If it is located in the rear arc of your ship then you have bonus movement. On the other hand if the wind gauge is in your warships front arc than you might be in trouble.
Before you move this ship you have to make a command check. If you pass there is no effect. However, if you fail you have a movement penalty equal to the strength of the wind. Also you are not allowed to use Full Speed Ahead order.
When it comes to shooting and boarding other ships rules are as simple as they could be. When shooting at your enemy you roll a number of dice equal to your ships broadside value. There are other bonuses that can affect these numbers during the game. In case your target is partially hidden by another model or terrain, you roll half the dice you would roll normally.
Boarding action starts whenever two ships are in base contact one with the other. Players roll a number of dice equal to their crew value and compare their results. Player with more successes is the winner, and the loser has to draw a number of damage cards equal to the difference.
Dreadfleet is very nice, but rather too simple game in my opinion. I would be very happy if there are going to be some expansions in the future, although I highly doubt it. You may also like
Count Noctilus , a Vampire Count with a ship called the Bloody Reaver which was made up of shipwrecks forming a giant ship inside of which was a castle on a small mountain yes, the ships in the game were of a very large scale , used a big magical ceremony to take command of the Dreadfleet, and he and his villainous allies wreaked havoc with it. He was joined by Skaven who had used warpstone and machinery to make a giant dead sea monster named Skabrus into a boat, a pissed-off Tomb King named King Amanhotep with a boat called Curse of Zandri which was a giant barge with his pyramid tomb moved onto it like a houseboat and was crewed by Ushtabi, a ghost ship called Shadewraith captained by a ghost named Vangheist that was under the power of Noctilus, and a Chaos Dwarf robot Daemon squid ship called the Black Kraken captained by Tordrek Hackhart. Eventually, he pissed off a bunch of powerful people with huge ships from the "good" races in various ways. Their side consisted of a ship from the Cult of Sigmar called the Heldenhammer that sports a cathedral on board yes, we have cathedral ships in Fantasy too and a giant robot Sigmar statue at the helm which was stolen by a Sartosan whose family Noctilus killed for lulz, a High Elf Dragon Ship canonically the most powerful things in the watery parts of the world in the Warhammer universe called the Seadrake which consisted of fortified towers and live dragons, the Flaming Scimitar from Araby which was powered by djinn of different elements and was essentially a spellcaster ship, the Swordfysh which was It was crewed by a woman named Aranessa Saltspite born with Chaos mutations giving her spiky skin and weak mermaid -like legs. The Sartosan, along with basically everyone else, died at the end. Just as planned.
Dreadfleet sails late into harbour. Poor Dreadfleet. It could have been so good. Sure, it looks fantastic. But they forgot to make the game play well. Dreadfleet is a long, tedious luck-fest in which your decisions are meaningless and the draw of a card can undo the work of three hours play.
Dreadfleet: Basic Rules
There are many detailed reviews of why it is pants scattered around. I would be so happy if there were rules for an actual game in there. I just thought you might like to have a peek at where it is now, and perhaps play some ereadfleet yourselves and let me know what you think. In fate phase each player draws fate card and resolves it.