Sunday 16 August 2015

First game of Fighting Sail

Today we had our first game of Fighting Sail. The Napoleonic Naval rules by Osprey..

There were three of us playing and with the mix of ships we had available I came up with a scenario where there were 4 British ships pursuing 4 French ships. The British had to capture or destroy one of the French ships before it escaped off the other end of the table.

The third player was a pirate with a couple of Frigates and a Brig. We were not allowed to shoot at him until he attacked us, showing his true colours. His objective was to capture one of the French or British ships.

In the end the British player managed to sink 2 of the French ships and the pirate captured a third. As the French player did manage to escape my target ship off the board, but not before my morale was broken which in the normal Fighting Sail rules would have meant the end of the game for me but we decided that in this scenario it just meant I could not complete my objective. All-in-all this meant the pirate was the only one of us to complete his objective.

We were very impressed with the way the game played, with no record keeping beyond putting smoke (marking damage points and cannons firing) and flames (marking wrecks) on the ships as required and marking those who were "stuck" with little silver anchors I found on ebay (they're really for charm bracelets).

We all came away thoroughly enjoying the rules and felt they really produced the correct feel to a naval battle without getting bogged down in record keeping or order writing.

Thanks to my friend Richard for making this possible by lending me his British Fleet. I really will have to get some painted and rigged for myself to complement my French!

Fighting Sail FAQ and resources.


  1. I just got these rules too. I am very impressed with the quick play aspects and departure from the traditional marking off of hull/rigging/gun/crew boxes. Can't wait to play a game - yours looks great!

  2. I've played a few games so far using Sails of Glory ships. Really enjoyed the games and appreciated the flow without excessive bookkeeping. Now want to try out a few of the scenarios.

  3. Awesome. Loved the report. I may grab a copy of these rules. Thanks :)

  4. I had a another game last night against a different opponent. Just two of us this time so just French vs British. With the ships I have we managed 172 points each.

    In the 3 hours available at the club we managed 2 games with a good 40 minutes left over. They were very quick and bloody. Almost too quick!

    We played the basic scenario for the first game and then followed up with the attack on the coastal fortress.

    British won both, though in the second game they had lost 3 of their 5 ships. I should really have been concentrating my fire on the fort as it gave double morale loss.

    1. Ok, having had a rule confirmed by the FAQ. I should have won the second game. The rules around morale loss and sinking a ship in one go are a little confused.

      FAQ is here: