Saturday, August 28, 2010

It is Warm Work

That is the title of a rules set for age of sail that I recently came across.  There are a lot of good rules for age of sail, but most of them can be quite complex or heavy in record keeping and we were looking for something lighter to play.  IIWW has a representation for all the most important aspects of a sailing game, but keeps things quite simple.  Everything is summed up for easy reference in a single page reference sheet which is something I really like.
The game covers fouled and grappled ships and rules for drifting. 
Burning hulks and drifting wrecks.
The movement rules use a simple wheel and turn system based on wind direction vs. ship class.  It is easy but the game makes you think about maneuver and getting into position.
The shooting system is very simple and yet gives a feel for manpower considerations in fire fights.
Boarding actions are fast paced and streamlined with just enough influence from ship size and tactics to make it feel right.
Things like crew quality and National doctrine are also addressed in a simple streamlined fashion.
Critical Hits and ships fate add some uncertainty to the game.
At the end of the day, It is Warm Work is not any more difficult to play than Wizards Pirates game but it is much more satisfying because you feel like you are getting a pretty decent representation of naval tactics.  This is a great game for playing large fleet actions when you don't want to spend your time thumbing through rules books and just want to play.
When we want excruciating detail we go with Heart of Oak, but for easy gaming I like It is Warm Work and heartily recommend it.
In a game we played today, using Pirates CCG ships, Gabe and myself are trying to waylay a Spanish treasure ship before it makes port.  Gabe is trying to board but can't get his party over in time while I am raking the Spaniard from the bow.
Nick and AJ's Pirate ships docking for a scavenging expedition.
Still trying to get that Spaniard to strike it's colors.
The Spanish treasure ships breaks the grapple and tries to run.  Gabe and I are in hot pursuit.
The Spaniard lumbers against the wind and our fast ships catch him up again.  This time he's not getting away.
Later this day, Nick, AJ, and myself get into a firefight.  Nick is raking AJ on the right while I rake Nick on the left.  The two crippled ships managed to make it to port.

I have a ton of these Pirates CCG ships that I scored a while back dirt cheap.  I had always wanted to get some of those nice little lead ships but these are working very nicely and I don't have to paint them so I'm thinking we will just stick with them.


  1. Great use for the Pirates ships. We have loads of them and might have to try something similar.

  2. I'm going to try a Trafalgar size fleet action soon and will be sure to post on it. I'm thinking these rules will do the battle quickly from what I've seen.

  3. Very new and therefore a couple of typos and some tweaks or house rules could improve the next edition. Overall, very impressed and more playable than many. Better than Trafalgar from Warhammer.

  4. A Yahoo Group for It is Warm Work
    Questions and feedback is appreciated.