Things Get Opened: Dreadfleet!

Last month, GW tried to work everyone into a frenzy about a limited edition game they were releasing. Last time they did this, hints were dropped at it being a Space Hulk re-release. Rumour mills were fuelled, staff nodded knowingly, and tiny bits of information were leaked. After several weeks of this, it was revealed there would be a limited time release of... Space Hulk! Many long-time GW customers were happy, and people, including myself, purchased it. For the record, I've opened my box, checked for miscasts, closed it, and have only reopened it a few more times. I've never played my copy of Space Hulk.

So when a new limited game started to be hinted at, people were interested. Small bits of information and artwork were shown, and it seemed to have a pirate theme. Ships were spoken of. People agreed in a lot of circles that it must be Man O War. GW Staff and people in the know seemed to indicate it wasn't, but they had done this previously. When I turned up to Round Two of Golden Demon, it was also the same day that the new game was revealed: Dreadfleet!

...Wait, what? Surely they mean Man O - Wait, no, they have it on the screen. Dreadfleet. Not Man O War. Even I, who had been telling a friend the week before it can't have been Man O War from what I had heard, was surprised it wasn't Man O War. Because Man O War made sense. People had played it in the past, so there would be a pre-existing group of people to spread the word of how it played. Updated models would be cool. Space Hulk was a great re-release because people had played it before, missed it, and those who weren't around then could hear the tales. Dreadfleet was an unknown game.

GW released the game on October 1, which for Australia was Games Day. Previously to this I had been told (When caught up in the excitement after seeing the models) I couldn't pre-order a copy over the phone at my regular GW store. I had it in my mind that it was a $190 game. I couldn't guarantee a copy. There was a good chance I would pass this over. However, I was at MOAB on the same day as Games Day briefly, and saw it was on sale there. At GD, I managed to see the models up close. Apparently there is a game to go with it, but GW games are secondary to the models for me :D. The models sold it for me, and I picked it up from the Hall of Heroes stand at MOAB on the Sunday for $160, so I got the pretty models, and saved money!

So here it is when opened. I figured I would take photos and do a bit of a write up as I went when I finally opened it up to have a look. People have been saying for the past few weeks that the game is good, but I'm personally in it for the ships. They look pretty cool :D

Opening the box, I saw this:

All the sprues on top. When I opened the box, I had two reactions:

"Shiny things!"
"Wait, where's the rules, and all the other bits?"

Oh wait! There they are, under a false bottom. Luckily I opened this up now. If I opened it up six months later, I'm sure I would have thought I had a mispack and freaked out. I'm not sure if the false bottom is a 'pirate treasure chest' style design, but for people who actually pay attention, there is a fingerhold on the side which makes it a bit more obvious. But only for those who aren't easily distracted by pretty miniatures...

The box itself does have some illustrations around the edge showing how to put the models together. The bases all match to specific ships, and all of them have cool little details modelled onto them. Now, onto the contents of the box itself:

Dice! You can't have many games without them! Luckily, it does not look like this game needs the cupful of dice I usually expect to use in things like Warhammer. The bone coloured dice are a nice touch, making them look older than they actually are (Either that, or Dreadfleet was a GW plot to get rid of lots of discoloured dice they had found).

This was a welcome surprise. Ziplock bags! Granted, I had a bag of them next to me in case I needed to bag up components (OCD kicking in before needed...), and I have to admit, while I know a lot of people that do the same thing, this is the first time I have seem a game pre-empt it being done, and provide them. Very small cost, and it's a nice touch.

The map! This was a cool thing, as it has nice detail, but I noticed something that I hadn't at Games Day. The map is cloth. Therefore, washable (I would expect) and has a few advantages over a rubberised mat like some other games have in them.

Little cards and bigger cards! With so much Malifaux nowadays, I'm going to feel a bit better playing a game that also involves cards. I won't have as much of a shock :). The artwork looks nice on them, and it gives it more of a boardgame feel which I think is something they planned for.

The rulebook! I haven't taken it out of the wrapping yet, and still haven't for my Space Hulk ones. Looks OK, especially with an index on the back. I expect that make it rather easier looking up rules during a game then trying to find the right page of the index in the back of the book during the game.

And now, the sprues!

The ships themselves are rather cool looking. Moulded detail on the sails, nice little details, and cool little extras like powder ships, dirigibles, and dragons to go along with the ships. The islands are rather nice as well, but... skulls. I remember a few years ago suggesting that natural elements in the Old World (And probably the 40K universe as well) include slate, shale, and skulls. Nearly every scenery release that comes out contains skulls now. And with this scale, the only option they had was to include them as giant islands... Oh well, at least I know how to paint them...

Finally, the bases. These are a nice change to the normal black plastic bases that come with standard GW models in box sets, and from what I can see each base is unique to each ship. A few of them like the Black Kraken have details of the ship also on the bases which helps build the scale of it. At Games Day, the Perry Twins did talk about Dreadfleet for a while when I was talking to them with one of the other OzPainters. Once of the cool things they were talking about was that they were making suggestions to GW people about how to cast these things. They had suggested doing the boats in brown plastic and the sails in cream in a similar way I guess to how Space Hulk was done a few years ago. However the really cool idea was to do the bases in blue/green, or even transparent blue/green to resemble the ocean the boats were sailing on. As cool as that sounds, they said there was an issue in that they are brittle when cast up, so would have probably broken easily. It would have been a nice touch, but at the same time, I can understand why they didn't do it.

Anyway, that's Dreadfleet. Hopefully next time I update the blog there will be more stuff, and I can get back into a regular schedule.


  1. Great review. Are you going to enter the Dreadfleet painting comp?

  2. Won't get a chance. It's due Saturday, and I have a flat inspection next week, so I have to get my place ready for that first.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Things Get Painted - Night Goblins and Oiran

Things Get Painted - The Queens Return

Things Get Painted - Malifaux Lilith Crew