Saturday, September 08, 2007

On-Line Grogging: Flying Colors

The past couple weeks I've been playing in the on-line tournament of Flying Colors. For those of you not familiar with the game, its a rather low complexity wargame (i.e., about 15 pages of rules) focused on simulating fleet-level actions, while still allowing players to control individual ships. While the game is relatively simple as wargames go, there is still plenty of chrome and flavor within the game, with boarding actions, rakes, carronades, and the abilities of individual admirals all coming into play. Sadly, my favorite aspect of the genre, picking your ammunition type (e.g., grape shot, baby!) isn't under your control.

The heart of the game system is the command rules. Each fleet has one or more admirals, each with a command range. Ships in the fleet will either be in command, which means you can directly control them, or out of command, which means they'll go on autopilot for the turn. To keep things moving fast, there is no secret move plotting, with the action along the lines of players alternating moving their commands with the ability to interrupt for opportunity fire.

Anyway, this game in particular plays quite well over Vassal. The image above is one from a current game I'm playing, where I'm the British surrounded by the evil Dutch. Note the heavy damage on all the Dutch ships... If anyone has an interest in the age of the fighting sail and would like to schedule a game face-to-face or on-line, just comment here.



At 9:58 PM, September 08, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

I'd like to try this. I'd need VASSAL help, though, or we can try FTF.

At 10:02 PM, September 08, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

I was thinking the other owner of the game might reply first. FtF is probably easier, but Vassal easier to schedule.

The only part about the game that's a bit fiddly are the tables. There's a table for everything! Stranglely, on some of the tables rolling low is good; on others high is good. Just a tad annoying. The frigate rules are a little hokey too, as you (as a gentleman) can't shoot at them until they shoot at you, but the other player can still use them to block LOS. In reality if the little bugger was in your way, I'm sure you'd just vaporize him.

At 9:22 AM, September 09, 2007, Blogger Francois said...

Hello everyone,

this is not a real comment to this post, but a call for a gaming evening by a non-blog member. And since as such I am only allowed to post comments and not real articles.

Ben suggested to repost my post from the boardgamegeek forum here:

Hi everyone,

I am here in Austin for business from Germany and don't have anything specific to do on Sunday evening. I will be doing some sightseeing in San Antonio during the day.

I am looking for same people who will play some games in either Austin or San Antonio on Sunday, September 9th in the evening (after 6 pm) and who are looking for another player.

Who is out there and fits that description?

Since I will be on the road today, give me a call at +49 175 30 34610 or send me a mail to my blackberry at

At 8:36 AM, September 10, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

Sorry Francois, Sundays are fairly quiet around here (what with gaming as an option on Friday, Saturday and Monday...)

I wish you better luck in the future.


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