[Review] Dreadfleet

A collection of model, book and wargame reviews, edited and maintained by members for the community.
User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

[Review] Dreadfleet

Post#1 » Nov 29 2011 01:09

I have owned dreadfleet for about 2 weeks now. I mentioned in a PM to Che Gue-Vesa several weeks before that I planned to write a review on the game. This that review, I know most people will have made up their minds and the stock will be running low (hopefully for GW). In the time I have had it, I have played about 10 games against various people and found it a thoroughly entertaining experiance.

The Box

The box is the best I have seen from any manufacturer. It’s about 11” by 16” and 4” tall. Bigger than any other box I have bought from GW. The quality is also astounding, the box, even after several weeks of gaming is still very glossy although it has picked up general scuffing from general wear. It also is very solid unlike GW’s usual boxes which aren’t very solid under preasure.

The Contents

In the box you will find:
• A disturbingly huge mound of plastic sprue
• A pack of 14 dice including the dreaded “fire” dice
• A card cover to protect the rest of the list
• 1 Rule Book (not hardcover, but still good quality)
• A huge quantity of plastic bags for cards etc.
• The fabulous 3.5’ X 5’ gaming cloth which is just brilliant for the game
• Lots of good quality cards which speed gameplay (even for my dad)
o Fate cards
o Damage cards
o Ship rules cards
o Set ablaze/ at anchor cards
o Auxiliary and monster cards
The sprues contain:
• 7 islands which all have a diferent theme
• 5 shipwrecks (all different)
• 1 Wind Marker, 2 Ship’s Wheel’s (cunning turning devices) and 1 18” range ruler that hinges at 6 and 12 inches for 45 degrees (used for fire arcs)
• 3 sea monsters
• 7 small ships called cogs and 2 other auxiliaries (dragon and dirigible)
• As well as the 10 main ships
Amazingly, it still all fit’s in the box if you keep the card cover that separated the sprues from the rest (ships and islands go on top, all the rest go underneath in plastic bags)

The Book

At the heart of any game is it’s rulebook. Dreadfleet is no different, the rulebook is 98 pages according to GW and you can use the back as a refrence chart. The finish of the cover is similar to the box, glossy with general wear. I heard that several people’s rulebooks had broken down the spine, mine has not done so yet, but it seems to be of as great quality as the rest of the game. The book’s contents have roughly a 33/33/33 split between modeling, rules and fluff. I find the rulebook good to read and easy to find things in. It is also excelently laid out.
The Rules
After several games at my own house and a demo at GW edinburgh, I have a copy of the rules burned into my brain (like most other games). Movement takes some explaining, but once mastered, it seems only a tiny bit harder than most other games. Shooting is simple with “balistic skill” detetermined by the distance between ships and other modifiers (1st broadside, raking). Boarding is also very simple (easier than 40K/WHFB) with both players rolling some dice and counting 5s and 6s for the score. Damage is dealt with in a completely diferent way to usual; by drawing a card for each hit (more on the cards later). So no tables to memorise in this game! The turn order is very involving, with no long waits while one player uses there entire fleet then vice versa. The turn order starts with an initiative roll-off (LOTR priority), then status afflictions such as fire, events from previous turns, etc. are resolved, after that fate cards are drawn (random event cards, more on them later as well). The final phase is the action phase where ach player takes it in turns to activate a ship/auxiliary/sea monster. The sequence flows well and in my opinion works better than 40K with the alternate activations. My only complaint is that I often do the status and fate phases in the wrong order (I could always adapt it with status after action).

The Models

The quality of the models is stunning, I would go as far as to say better than finecast (on a good day). When I was watching the Beasts of War video; unboxing dreadfleet, the two guys thought that the terrian sprue wasn’t going to be the same quality due to their assumption of it being made in china (big, box filling sprue), in fact, the quality is actually just as good as the other frames that hold the ships and auxiliaries. The joins are stiff fo assembly, I broke several pins when I pulled several parts appart for painting. The sails are also interesting, with raised detail so a terrible painter like me can get the ships to look passable with a single drybrush. [shockhorror]My first complaint[shockhorror] is that the cogs look the same (2 designs, 1 for each fleet) and two of the islands are the same.

Randomness

The game in it's very nature is random. You are fighting in a mystical and magical world, in another dimension. From the first turn, you get a sense of how random the game is. Fate cards are drawn each turn with random and often hilarious consequences for both players. The damage deck is just as random with similarly hilarious results such as: slowly capsizing.

As a final note; some players are used to strict rules and the like, I also play inquisitor which encourages rule bending and breaking for a good story. I would apply this mindset to dreadfleet as well. Part of the fun is in the hillarious turn of events which can happen literally on the turn of the card, so don’t get annoyed at your apponant if s/he accidentally nudges a ship by one or two mm. Always Remember the Golden Rule: Have Fun.

Don't hesitate to ask questions about anything I said in this article. I know I barely said anything against dreadfleet, that's because in my opinion, it is great and there is very little bad in it.

User avatar
Nevar
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 663

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#2 » Nov 29 2011 01:53

From what I have seen, it is very similar to Battle Fleet Gothic, but with the more fun and 'random' things added to the damage charts and the like to spice it up.

Would you say this is true? Also, I really love the chaos dwarf kracken but they never really detailed in on GW's site. I assume it's a boarding action focused ship?

User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#3 » Nov 29 2011 02:05

Nevar wrote:From what I have seen, it is very similar to Battle Fleet Gothic, but with the more fun and 'random' things added to the damage charts and the like to spice it up.

In a nutshell, yes. I tried BFG a year back with flying stands. It plays really smoothly when you get going and the random stuff never get's boring.

Nevar wrote:Would you say this is true? Also, I really love the chaos dwarf kracken but they never really detailed in on GW's site. I assume it's a boarding action focused ship?

You just hit my favourite ship. The Chaos Dwarf Kraken can be the second best boarding ship in the game (vampire castle aside) if it his it's target right with 3 (crew) + D3+1 (tentacle power) boarding dice. It can also submerge and become a real thorn in the enemy's side.

User avatar
Leigabar
Shas
Posts: 162

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#4 » Nov 29 2011 02:57

Thanks for nice review. I still considering to buy it mostly that I'm former Man O War gamer and I have finaly rebuilding my Bretonian fleet.

Small info about rules. As far I'm concerned after reading rule book those are original Man O War (R.I.P since 1995) rule set with really small modifications. Do not misunderstood me I count this as another, really big "YES" to spent cash for this box.

Althout I'm still fighting with myself each day I filing that I'm loosing with GW marketing. :D

Regards,
Leigabar

User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#5 » Nov 29 2011 03:35

I know little about MOW, but once you look past it's price (ironic :D ), it really is great and sucks you in.

User avatar
Firah
Shas
Posts: 69

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#6 » Nov 29 2011 05:37

Lovely models and the rules are fairly quick to pick up the thing is I pre-ordered it and I still haven't finished painting the set its a lot of work! :O

User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#7 » Nov 30 2011 02:18

I still have 6 cogs, the shipwrecks, the seadrake and most of the islands (as well as my 40K armies in need of a re-paint).

User avatar
Leigabar
Shas
Posts: 162

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#8 » Nov 30 2011 08:14

Please stop torturing me. :biggrin:
Ok You know what You've won. Stupid GW.

(Just placed order - my wife "complains to many unpainted miniatures" on)

Regards,
Leigabar

User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#9 » Nov 30 2011 02:56

I knew I would succeed! :P Maybe you can post your thoughts when it arrives.

User avatar
ShadowSword
Shas
Posts: 204

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#10 » Dec 01 2011 10:22

Great review, and I have seen little to prevent me from buying it... except that I prefer BFG over Dreadfleet.

While Dreadfleet sounds hilarious at times, I don't really like many things in fantasy. And I can't afford to get it because I bought a crap load of imperial ships from my older brother while he joined chaos.
Fight with courage and fire.

User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#11 » Dec 01 2011 10:50

There will probably be stock right through into the new year, so waiting won't be too bad. I believe it was more a fun game than one for serious tournament style games.

User avatar
hownowbrowntau
Shas
Posts: 264
Contact:

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#12 » Dec 05 2011 10:10

Plenty of them sitting in my local store. It's not moving. The Necron stuff is flying off the shelves, and the rest of us are hoarding our cash for new Tau stuff. The general feel here is that it's a nice looking game, but way too expensive. (the price hike in Australia is massive :sad: )
Wait a sec...there are rules for Chaos?

User avatar
R'alai
Por
Posts: 195

Re: My thoughts on Dreadfleet

Post#13 » Dec 05 2011 12:22

I know about the prices in Australia, was there a few years back and I also introduced a friend to it last year.

Return to “Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest