Black Seas – Gunboat Squadron

I want to cover some of the smaller ships for Black Seas this week, and among the smallest models available are the Gunboats. They come with multiple ships per base and multiple base per pack, and are sold as a Gunboat Squadron for Black Seas.

Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron

A gunboat was would usually have a single mast and be armed with between one up to three cannons or mortars. They were designed to be used in the near-shore areas, on rivers and inland waters, therefore their compact build. As such they service as support for troops on land in such areas, along with patrol or guard missions. Napoleon ordered hundreds of these to be build for the planned invasion of England and had them armed with howitzers.

Of course, compared with the ships of the line, the gunboats are almost of insignificant size, but they have their purpose alongside the larger ships. 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. And the armament of the gunboat could still be a threat 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.

The box comes at a RRP of 15 GBP, covering 9 gun boats placed upon three bases and a lot of additional material. The models are kept in the 1:700th scale.

Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron

As this kit is provided with pieces casted in resin as well as pewter, there is a information leaflet on how to handle resin. It is strongly advised to wash the resin parts, to remove any detergent. The gunboats have their own profile cards and the boxed set covers the flags for the four major nations of Black Seas.

Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron

The gunboats are easily assembled. The bases are about 6 cm in diameter and have the hull of the ships already presculpted on top of the waves. So you only add the mast with the sails ontop of them. I was thinking for a moment to shorten the mast, as they are quite high, but left them as they were designed.

You might need to trim the edges of the bases, otherwise they are cast in a very clean way. The fit of the masts is properly done, but you might need a bit of putty to tighten the slot connection along with super glue.

Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron

A brief scale comparison of the gunboat inbetween the plastic kits of the Brigs, Frigattes and 3rd rates.

Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron

And there it is, a base of 3 gunboats, ready to be painted.

Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron Black Seas - Gunboat Squadron

You might have heard the name gunboat already, especially in terms of political situations, gunboat diplomacy. And as such, for smaller games and near coastal scenarios, I think these might suit a proper role. And I prefer the way, they put multiple ships on a base, as smaller ships are quite delicate and touching them on the mast / sails will wear down the model faster, compared to the plastic kits.

The price of 15 GBP for 9 ships or 3 bases is reasonable from my point of view. Yet, the sails could have been made from resin as well, maybe the newer material they used with SPQR. But the size of them is still small enough to be easily handled in pewter.

The gunboats are used with the squadron rules on page 34 of the Black Seas rulebook. Gunboat squadrons are the cheapest unit within Black Seas and as they are rated tiny, don't have access to upgrades. You wont need more than two of these boxes, as the use of gunboats squadrons is limited to 6 per fleet list.

Black Seas Seas is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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