In addition to being packed with new campaign systems, scenarios and even entirely new navies for our Age of Sail game, Black Seas supplement, Hold Fast! introduces many new vessels for the existing navies. Some of these are vessels of quite some renown, particularly those of the Royal Navy. Luckily these new rules are soon to be supported by some glorious new miniatures.
In addition to a trio of famous Royal Navy vessels, (two of which also saw service with France!) we’re also introducing some generic vessels that will slot nicely into fleets of any nationality.
All the vessels below will be available to Pre-order from the Warlord Webstore from 17/06/2022. Keep an eye out for the Warlord Games newsletter for all the details.
A 5th rate ship launched as the Unité, sailing for the French Navy before being captured in 1796 by the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Surprise. Perhaps most famously the Surprise served as the main ship for author Patrick O’Brien’s Jack Aubrey and also in the associated film, Master & Commander. This vessel can be used by navies of both Great Britain and France.
Known to be Lord Nelson’s favourite ship, HMS Agamemnon was a 64-gun 3rd rate ship-of-the-line with a sleek hull. She saw plenty of active service during the American War of Independence, French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars, most notably at Trafalgar as part of Nelson’s weather column, where she helped force the surrender of the colossal Spanish four-decker Santisima Trinidad.
A 14-gun brig with a very colourful history, she was captured by France in 1794, then re-taken by the British in 1795, captured again by France in 1801 and finally donated to the Papal States in 1802. Furthermore, HMS Speedy was one of the ships that made Thomas Cochrane famous for capturing so many enemy vessels, sometimes even those much larger than his own. Cochrane was a successful Royal Navy Captain of the Napoleonic Wars who also found renown in the Brazilian, Chilean and Greek navies – regarded as possibly the most daring captain of the age. His exploits served as inspiration for characters in naval fiction of the 19th and 20th centuries; particularly C.S Forester’s Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey.
HMS Speedy is usable both by fleets of Great Britain and France. Additionally, Hold Fast! contains rules for including Thomas Cochrane on board a ship. His inclusion encourages, and rewards, aggressive play – particularly when he goes up against larger ships than his own.
East Indiamen or, more commonly, just ‘Indiamen’ is a broad name for a category of ships that sailed under the licence or charter of the various European trading companies such as those from England, France, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands. Capable of carrying both passengers and cargo, the Indiamen were armed to defend themselves from privateers or pirates.
In Black Seas, Indiamen are treated as Merchant Vessels. Captain Richard Hall Gower, an inventor and entrepreneur (amongst other things) is a special character in Hold Fast! He can be included on a merchant ship, providing it with experience and extra speed capabilities.
4th Rates Squadron
Under the structure set out by the Royal Navy rating system which was largely adopted worldwide any ship-of-the-line with fewer than a 160-man crew was considered a ‘small ship’. The largest of these ‘small ships’ were the 4th Rates as they had a complement of 140 men whilst boasting between 46 and 60 guns.
4th Rates with guns at the lower end of the scale were considered too weak to stand in the line of battle and they were largely, although not entirely, phased out of this role during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. They would still see active service in the likes of the East Indies and other far-flung territories.
Black Seas focuses on the golden age of sail, which encompasses the period between 1770 and 1830. During this period the navies of Europe and beyond fight for dominance of the high seas. Hold Fast! is a supplement for the Black Seas age of sail game. Inside, find new ways to play, such as charting your course as an independent smuggler or following a navy career from lieutenant to admiral.
Fight in 16 new scenarios that range between cat-and-mouse chases, shallow river battles, passenger escorts, and mutinies. All culminating in the explosive Battle of the Nile which saw the spectacular demise of the French Flagship, L’Orient. Launch new famous ships, such as HMS Agamemnon, Santa Ana, or USS Niagara. Commission new captains of renown for the British, French, Spanish and US navies, such as Louis-Antoine-Cyprien Infernet or John Paul Jones. Or set sail with entirely new fleets from the Russian, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, or Ottoman Empire navies. Alternatively, become the scourge of the Mediterranean at the head of a Barbary Coast pirate fleet.