Warlord Games is filling the ocean with ships. They've got a whole floatilla of new Black Seas kits that you can pre-order. There's the US Navy, the Spanish Navy, and several single ships and other packs. Head out into the briny deep with a whole host of ships.
The Naval Act of 1794 established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794, in the US. Prior to this, a US Naval military presence had been left wanting for 10 years. By October 1797, the first three of six frigates launched; the USS United States, USS Constellation, and USS Constitution. Between 1798 and 99, several engagements took place between the US and France – though this was not a declared war. The First Barbary War of 1801-1805 saw actions against the Barbary pirates.
The fleet would then see substantial action in the War of 1812 – achieving victory in 11 single ship engagements against the Royal Navy. British forces were forced off Lake Eerie and Lake Champlain, effectively preventing the invasion of New Yor State. The fleet was, however, unable to prevent British blockades of US ports, the British Navy being significantly larger.
- Royal Navy Fleet (2 resin Overgunned Frigates, 3 plastic Frigates, 6 Brigs, 1 Bomb Ship Base)
- USS Constitution (1 resin Overgunned Frigate)
- Scenery Pack ( Resin and metal rocks, lighthouse, Martello tower, gun emplacements and wrecked ships)
Included are all the ship cards for the game, as well as flag sheets, acetate ratline sheets and rigging thread to make your ships really stand out.
The Spanish Navy was beset by mixed fortunes in the Age of Sail, achieving great victories and major defeats in an interesting balance. Particularly during the Napoleonic era, Spanish allegiances were subject to fluctuations, oftentimes at odds with the British, yet allying with them when the situation suited (such as their rejection of Napoleon in 1808 – even in the wake of Trafalgar in which a quarter of the Spanish Navy had been lost).
The Spanish Navy was the largest in the world at the outset of the 1700s, though this diminished to third-largest as the century wore on. Not only fighting close to home, the Spanish Navy fought engagements as far away as the Carribean and South America, where they achieved similarly mixed results.
A gunboat squadron is like a gnat in comparison to the larger ships-of-the-line. Nevertheless, they have a useful place in the fleet. A gunboat would typically have only a single mast with square-rigged sails, mounting between one and three fixed cannons.
Fleets of all navies kept gunboats on hand. They could be useful in shallower waters, as with only a single mounted cannon, they were able to manoeuvre relatively easily where a large ship could not. If this cannon was a 32-pounder it could still prove dangerous to larger vessels. For instance, a frigate could easily destroy a single gunboat with a single broadside hit. But if deployed in large numbers, the frigate would struggle to deal with every gunboat before sustaining heavy damage itself. The extremely cheap cost and relative time is taken to build these gunboats could prove a tremendous advantage.
Gunboats were crucial to Napoleon’s notion for the planned invasion of England in 1804, whilst the US Navy’s policy between 1803 and 1812 focussed its Navy around the concept – this was to prove ineffectual against the British Blockade in the war of 1812.
HMS Royal Sovereign was a 1st Rate Ship-of-the-Line of the Royal Navy, bearing 100 guns. She was launched from Plymouth Dockyard in 1786 and developed somewhat of a poor reputation from her crew, supposedly dubbed “West Country Wagon” owing to poor manoeuvrability and speed.
Prior to her famous role at the Battle of Trafalgar, she participated in the battles of “The Glorious First of June” as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Thomas Graves, and was Cornwallis’ flagship in his famous retreat of 16 June 1795. In the latter battle, after a day’s pursuit, a far larger French fleet came within firing range of the entire Brtish fleet. Realising the danger to his rearguard, Cornwallis brought Royal Sovereign southwards imposing his vessel between the two fleets, using the power of the 1st rate’s broadside to dissuade the pursuing French. In doing so, he managed to delay the French long enough until the appearance of an unknown fleet spooked the French into their own retreat.
The Santisima Trinidad (officially named Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad) was a Spanish first-rate ship of the line. This number of guns increased over the years. At launch in 1769, she had 112 guns, though this number gradually increased. between 1795 and 1796 she was upgraded to 130 guns, and in 1802 this number was increased to 140. Following this last rebuild, she was the heaviest armed ship in the world, bearing more guns than any other ship in the Age of Sail. Effectively, however, the fourth gundecks guns were comparatively small.
This armament was not without its problems. The weight of the additional weaponry rendered her a particularly poor at sail, leading to the ultimately rejected suggestion that she be restricted to the defence of the Bay of Cadiz. She remains notable as one of the very few 4-decked ships ever built.