I was all for going to the local Boyes fabric department to buy some blue felt when a Google image search suggested something else.
For those of you unfamiliar with this it was more or less the first of Games Workshops most recent attempts at standalone games. It was a limited release and had no expansions. Being a game of naval warfare in the Old World it came with the usual GW quality components - one of which was a mat. I could find someone selling these mats on eBay for about £30 so it was already cheaper than most other options.
More digging led to the discovery that although the going price for a Dreadfleet box is around £60-70 some could be snapped up for lower prices if you box clever. I found a likely looking couple of listings and started the process of haggling using the Best Offer mechanism. After back and forth that would have done the Souk proud, we settled on £35 and a few quid postage. So I more or less got the mat and the rest of the game for a fiver. At that price I don't care if the game or components are shoddy, frankly. It's second hand but all that's been done is a few of the bits have been stuck together and one ship has been under coated.
Today, it arrived.
I'm used to the quality of GW plastic engineering but this is fabulous. The playing pieces are fabulously designed and sculpted but u hadn't realised how much impact they have on the tabletop. Here's a few of the pieces so you can get a sense of the sheer amount of character some of the ships and scenery have:
Even the simple game components are beautifully designed:
What I hadn't quite got to grips with was how BIG they were. Talk about impact on the table. Here's a few shots with a Gandalf for scale:
So regardless of everything else, I'm going to have enormous fun painting these; this is going to be a lovely little project to do.
But what about the mat, I hear you cry? After all, that's my I bought it. The mat was still in the original bag; it's thin material but oh so pretty:
And here it is with the ships I painted:
I think that will do very nicely indeed, don't you?
I have no idea about the game; but if you like the idea of painting some fantasy ships and you see a copy of this cheap, snap it up.