Dreadfleet Battle Report: Part 3

I think we’ve all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically.

The battle draws to a violent close. Who won? Who lost? And most importantly … is Dreadfleet crap or not? All questions are answered!

Hopefully you’ll still watch and enjoy this last video, but… SPOILERS… we don’t think Dreadfleet is crap. Yes, it can be insufferably long and random, but there are some easy fixes… and some more complex fixes… to those problems.

For an easy fix, do what we did: reduce the Fate deck draw to one per turn, ignore some of the more egregious Fate cards (those that are too time consuming to implement or have too much of an impact on the game), and keep things to a manageable length by sticking to about three ships per side without auxiliaries.

For a more complex fix, the Fate deck needs some work for a start. Take out the long and overly random cards of course, but perhaps a new deck with some cards that can be held in hand to enhance one’s strategies; for example a broadside bonus that can be held until played later at just the right bonus.

The wind system needs an overhaul so it’s not as random and more predictable.

Ships can take too long to go down to the depths due to random Damage card draws. Perhaps damage should be modified in some way depending on what areas are already damaged: say, if your rigging is a mess than future damage goes on the rigging, followed by the hull. Start with a random area of damage which becomes destroyed, then another area follows in sequence. A simple table could then replace the Damage deck.

The swashbuckling phase could be folded into the boarding actions phase, as having them separate takes up a lot of time and involves more dice rolling.

All these things should speed up play and mitigate the swingy effects of luck.

However you modify Dreadfleet to make it live up to its potential, the key factor is playing the game with the right attitude. It’s not, and will never be without a complete rules rewrite, a serious tactical naval wargame. It’s a silly, fun luckfest that can, however, be responsible for some very cinematic and fun gaming moments. Go into it with your dice rolling hand limbered up, because it’s all about the luck of the roll!

As always, I’d be most interested in your thoughts, experiences and ideas, dear EOG members.

Any comments about Games Workshop are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Esoteric Order of Gamers. All mentions of Games Workshop and Dreadfleet and any of the characters or ships in Dreadfleet are TM, registered, copyright and completely and utterly the property of Games Workshop and no ownership is implied or suggested and in no way is any offence intended towards the very nice hardworking people and lawyers at Games Workshop.


  • The8thPagan says:

    Before I read you comments below the video I realised that the fate and damage decks needed revising in a major way… so make us all a deck of cards for a nautical game (that’s nothing to do with this game of course… don’t want you to get sued by any workshops involved in games).

  • razide says:

    Thank you once again for a highly entertaining battle report. The components and your painted ships look fantastic.
    Maybe the game would last only 15minutes if you first drew that Fate card which draws damage cards until you find speed cards – and possibly sunk most of the ships before you even start !
    Your game didn’t appear to have too much of a problem with most aspects. It would be annoying to constantly hit a ship on its last legs and not be able to damage or sink it.

    But as you’ve said a few minor tweeks could make Dreadfleet even more fun to play.

    Are there any plans for another battle report with some more of your improvements incorporated ?

    I’d also like to see a little dice cup in future videos to roll the dice in, to build up the noise and drama of rolling them.

  • The8thPagan says:

    All that time and effort in painting the ships and never again? Seems such a waste.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Now I have the title of a Bond film in my head…”Never Say Never Again”…

What do you think?