Setting Sail With Sails Of Glory

Ahoy there shipmates, we’re setting sail with Sails of Glory! That’s right, hopefully there is finally a playable, fun, Age of Sail ruleset – and it features ready painted ships for those who just want to get into playing… After much frustration with numerous rulesets over the years (for various reasons), including both versions of Langton’s “(Hoist The Signal For) Close Action“, “Fire As She Bears“, “Trafalgar“, and others – and flip-flopping between scales (1/1200 and 1/2400) – I’m hoping SoG (Sails of Glory) is finally something fun and easy to play long-term that will have enough historical feel to prevent it getting bland quickly!

Sails of Glory

Naval Action in the Napoleonic Wars with Sails of Glory

I hate to admit it but my favourite age of sail gaming was 20-25 years ago (back in Christchurch) using Warhammer’s “Man O’ War” with a fleet of Bretonnian ships (usually opposing an Empire Fleet, which gave the games a quasi-mediterranean French vs. Turks feel). While having nothing historically of value, the games were fun and it felt like 18th Century/Napoleonic sailing despite the relatively simple rules – and I’m hoping SoG will recapture that sense of fun but add some genuine historical feel! SoG has been around for almost 2 years (I never realised) and was funded with a Kickstarter Campaign that raised around US$275,000 (the target was $30,000)! The initial fleets released are British & French.

However it has been slow to gain momentum after it’s initial release (partly it would seem due to Ares Games’ time tooling up for production, partly due to distribution delays, and partly as focus was elsewhere e.g. WoG) – however several new ships (of the 3rd Wave or Series) have now recently arrived (incl. the first 2 Spanish vessels) as well as 2 special ship releases (HMS Victory and USS Constitution) due shortly (note also there was also a U.S. 14-gun Sloop in the previous Wave 2 releases) – so there are as of now 10 different model ‘sculpts’ in production and they result in a total of 30 different ship models (vessels) to choose from (the differences between different vessels of each ‘sculpt’ are colour schemes and nationality), and in addition each vessel can serve as one of two ships (i.e. it comes with dual playing identities).

Sails of Glory Game

Sails of Glory Game at The War Room (see below)

Currently the range covers (incl. the vessels only available in the starter box):

1 x 14-gun Sloop
4 x 32-gun 4th Rate Frigates (2 types)
2 x 40-gun 4th Rate Frigates (1 type)
3 x 74-gun 3rd Rate SOLs (2 types)
3 x 118-gun 1st Rate SOLs (1 type)
1 x 14-gun Sloop
4 x 32-gun 4th Rate Frigates (2 types)
1 x 40-gun 4th Rate Frigate
3 x 74-gun 3rd Rate SOLs (2 types)
3 x 100-gun 1st Rate SOLs (1 type)
1 x 104-gun 1st Rate SOL (HMS Victory)*
1 x 32-gun 4th Rate Frigate
1 x 74-gun 3rd Rate SOL
1 x 14-gun Sloop
1 x 44-gun 4th Rate Super-Frigate (USS Constitution)

* HMS Victory is a modified version of the standard 100-gun 1st Rate model.

The next releases will apparently include the first Spanish 112-gun 1st Rate as well (which probably modelling a captured French vessel to utilise the French 118-gun 1st Rate sculpt), and hopefully in 2016 maybe a special pack with the Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad. As such I’ve invested in the starter set and a few additional ships and looking to set sail! Like with Wings of Glory (previously Wings of War) there’s a forum & community with great support Sails of Glory Anchorage, as well as several accessory and add on packs (such as terrain, forts, extra counters, playing mats, etc). Because of the scale (1/1000th) and the design it may always only have a limited number of vessel types available – but as with WoG (Wings of Glory) hopefully the Shapeways Vendors will eventually come to the party with additional ship model options.

Sails of Glory Starter Set

The Sails of Glory Starter Set box (with 2 x 74-gun SOLs & 2 x 32-gun Frigates)

So while I crack on with playing my first game (which I will post up here soon) those interested in more might like to read this brief first game review at Man Battlestations, and also visit Keith McNelly’s Sails of Glory first game at The Wargames Room, and most recently his Naval Action in the Mediterranean! I’ll leave you with a departing comment taken from one of Keith’s other SoG posts: “I still need to work on my tactics as I’m reasonably certain that having a ship of the line raked three times in one engagement is not ideal for an officer’s career, but I could be wrong…” Err, no Keith I think you are on the money with that one!

The Sails of Glory Starter Box Vessels

The Sails of Glory Vessels included in the Starter Box

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  • The Wargames Room

    Three of us are playing SOG reasonably often, in between our semi regular Friday evening Volley & Bayonet games here in Christchurch. A couple of others are planning on trying SOG. I’m aware that others in Christchurch have models, but I haven’t seen other people playing at club meetings. In Auckland Joel has played a few games but indicated a shortage of opponents in his gaming circle.

    • Cheers Keith! I’m looking to get into some regular WoG (WW1 & WW2) and SoG games over the next few months (and maybe a little X-Wing too) – I’ll get in touch with Joel. Am planning on playing in the SoG Anchorage 2015 Solo Campaign as something to do in between normal games! 🙂

      • The Wargames Room

        The first solo game in the campaign looked rather good. I just need to work out the solo rules first…

        • They don’t look too hard FWIW – hoping to have a crack this week…

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