The game of epic naval battles

One of the old and beloved games from the early Games Workshop days was Man O’War, a fantasy tabletop naval wargame. It’s long, long out of print, and the miniatures cost an absolute fortune on Ebay these days, and going back to look at them they don’t really stand up to modern standards—paper sails and all that. However, Mantic has stepped up to fill the gaping hole left by this game and released Armada (a strange choice of a name, given the popularity of FFG’s Star Wars: Armada)—and it looks fantastic.

The rules are based on an existing naval wargame called Black Seas, and look pretty straightforward and easy to learn and play. There’s a paper sea mat provided, (of course I’ll be substituting the large cloth I got with GW’s short-lived Dreadfleet game, which I use for all naval war-games), a 96 page softcover rulebook, shipyards, dice, and counters. But the ships! That’s what we’re all here for. The two player starter set contains eight gorgeous resin ships, four for the human Basilean fleet and four for the orcs. They’re straight-up classic fantasy designs, down to the crazy orc mechanical constructs (drills and hammering metal fists for prows). Apart from these two fleets, already available are dwarves and the Empire of Dust (Egyptian-themed undead). I’ve just finished painting my starter set models and they look spectacular, and it’s great to see fully modelled sails and big, impressive ships on the roiling seas of my old Dreadfleet sea mat again.

Here’s my rules summary and reference—and check out the battle report video!

Making these game aids takes a lot of work, yet I provide them free of charge. If you find them useful, please consider becoming a regular supporter via PATREON, so I can continue making quality tabletop gaming content. Thankyou!

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Sep 2021 1.2 Magic rules added
Jun 2021 1.1 Missing hit modifier table added!
Jun 2021 1 Original release


  • Matt Price says:

    Hi Peter,
    These look to be v1.2, no magic rules. Do you have the version available with magic included?

  • Chris says:

    This is great! I have a bunch of your references for board games, didn’t know you did miniatures games too! I don’t suppose you could do a games reference card that has the full wind table instead of the basic wind, and includes the magic step? From what I can tell you’ve only got those in the larger summary sheets, not the game reference. I’ve had a crack at one myself, but obviously it’s not nearly as well laid out at your work!

    • Always amazed when people say this, I’ve been covering miniatures games since the start ten years ago! I think I’ve done enough work on this now, all the info is on the summary. 🙂

  • Gary says:

    Hi there

    Love your work. Is there any chance you’ll update this document with the rules from the Seas Aflame and Seas of Dread expansions?


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.