Captain’s Sea is a low-to-moderate complexity game for two players who take the roles as captains of the original American frigates (Chesapeake, Congress, Constellation, Constitution, President, and United States) or their opponents from the British or French navies during the turn of the 19th Century. All of the classic duels fought by these ships are represented in detail. Unlike other age of sail games that focus on fleet actions, Captain’s Sea puts you on the deck of a single ship with the responsibility of leading her to victory. You must maneuver against the wind and your opponent to achieve optimum firepower, as well as manage your crew as they scramble to man the guns, work the rigging, and repair battle damage, all while being hammered by the burning shot and flying splinters caused by your enemy. Can you keep your crew in good order or will you be the first to strike the colors?
The action of the game is driven by control of the weather gauge. This is done in a unique fashion by moving ships relative to both the wind and each other, stressing the benefit of position. The ship with the better position has greater flexibility in maneuver as each player predetermines his ship’s movement through a simple action selection process that does not require pencil and paper to track. Players must also allocate available crew points (a diminishing commodity as a ship takes damage) to man the guns, rigging, or other actions that the situation might mandate. A deck of action cards provides period flavor and swings of fortune. Throughout a turn, you as captain, are bombarded with difficult decisions that determine the fate of your ship.
Included with the game are ten scenarios, including such classic engagements as the Constellation vs. L’Insurgete (9 February 1799), Constitution vs. Guerrier (19 August 1812), and Chesapeake vs. Shannon (1 June 1813). Even those ships that did not fight a major engagement get the opportunity to play out a historical opportunity missed. Additionally, players will find it easy to create hypothetical pairings to see what might happen.
My favorite subject matter
Posted by Dave on Aug 22nd 2022
Love this subject matter. I have Black Seas and sails of Glory also.
A bit of learning needed and some might find it too much.
tells stories- and these stories are GOOD!
Posted by Jeremiah on Mar 4th 2022
Crunchy without being a bran muffin. Detailed without losing perspective. It might even be a good primer for my sons before sailing camp.
Only suggestion to the designer is to include a comprehensive table of modifiers in the player aid. The info is there but takes some hunting.
For those like me who want to try on the captains boots without having to traverse a deck slick with blood, Captian’s Sea is a tasty full broadside of fun.
Captures the ambiance of the Age of Sail
Posted by Rich Jennings on Dec 26th 2021
I have been looking for another great Age of Sail game since Wooden Ships and Iron Men, and Captain's Sea (CS) is a winner. Leaving behind fleet actions of the era, CS puts you in the role of the captain of a single ship passing orders to your officers and crew that you trust will get you through the next turn. A lot of realism is built into the rules.
My goal is to embellish CS combining the 1/700 scale frigates of Warlord Games' Black Seas with the CS rules to add the visual of dueling frigates.
A great age of sail dueling game
Posted by Dick Ransom on Dec 20th 2021
Having dabble with Flying Colors and Serpents of the Sea I was excited to see a specific ship vs ship battle game. I’m completing my initial scenario and am very pleased with the system and mechanics that drive this game. I can feel myself on the quarterdeck awaiting that broadside to strike and looking on in anticipation as our guns answer the enemy.
It is a great addition to my Age of Sail collection and handsomely fills a previously conspicuous void!