After our less than satisfactory try out of Posiedon's Warriors our initial plan was to make some changes and given them another go, but a read through of Long Face Games' Ad Mare Bellum led George and I to decide to given them a try out last night down BIG.
We both went with 20 triremes a side, George deciding his were Phoenicians trained in the school of Manoeuvre tactics, whilst I went with Greeks who emphasised Boarding as their preferred tactics. Adopting a specific school gives you some benefits in Ramming, Boarding etc. As we just wanted to try the rules out we lined up facing each other and started rowing!
By the end of the game the Greeks had seen six of their galleys sunk, five captured and one immobilised whilst the Phoenician fleet had seen two triremes sunk and five captured. Overall a victory for the pesky Phoenicians!
So how did this compare to our experience with Poseidon's Warriors? Much, much better. The Ad Mare Bellum rules have a little more record keeping but nothing too onerous and there were no automatic sinking results with no dice rolling which I still maintain is wrong in a wargame! Ramming atempts here had the possibility of failing or causing different degrees of impact. The game proceeded at pace, we were both fully engaged throughout and most importantly, whilst, like with the Mersey Osprey rules, odd rules like the ease ships took Crew Casualties seemed too effective at the time, the actual effect that had and the end result felt "right". We need to sort out some better markers and get some decent wrecked markers made but I think we have found our rules and would recommend them to anyone looking for a fast play Ancient Galley wargame.