Well. That was a thing that happened.
I’ve always been a fan of nautical wargames. There’s a dual personality of pirates and the ninjas that want to murder them inside me. When I first started wargaming, I played a lot of Man O War and I’ve always wanted to get back into it. One of my resolutions this year was to put a working set together, but you know, 2020 happened.
When I saw that Kings of War Armada was due out a few weeks after the Blood and Plunder Raise the Black Kickstarter was ending, I had the idea to review 5 ship games across a week, with maybe a couple of interviews and other articles thrown in. So I sent out a few e-mails, and in standard procedure, sent more requests than I needed to in case some said no.
Then everyone said yes, and others said yes, and before I knew it, I had a month's worth of articles and I began wishing that I’d spent more time planning it. The products started arriving, interviews were returned, more people said yes, the season started and before I knew it, I’d published 32 nautical articles, along with 7 other articles through November.
To put that in perspective, my usual monthly input is 4 to 8 articles, so I wrote an additional 32 articles on top of my usual work, plus all the testing, research, and hobby time it took to produce all those articles.
The season blew up so much that we had to extend it a week (beyond the original extension) to 5 weeks just to fit it all in. Which is insanely awesome. It showed that there’s a lot of faith in the work I produce, but also that there’s a huge amount of nautical themed product out there, putting nautical tabletop in a great place in the hobby.
I’m going to continue to promote nautical games on the site, planning for at least 1 a month along with keeping up with the games we’ve already covered if they have anything else released, especially Black Seas, Armada, Victory at Sea, Sails of Glory and Oak and Iron.
If I were to do it again, I would have spent more time planning, probably 6 months worth of planning and testing in advance, but it was a victim of its own success, and that in itself means it was worthwhile.
It was also awesome to see everyone come together. Everyone I spoke to was enthusiastic about being part of it, not worried about sharing the limelight with others, happy that like-minded hobbyists would be drawn to the same place, finding out more about the games they love and hopefully discovering others.
I do need to say a few thank yous. Firstly to my wife, who supported me through it, while she was surrounded by boxes and ship miniatures and was occasionally roped into testing. She’s a star and I’ve got a lot to make up to her.
I’d also like to thank TechRaptor, for giving me a platform to share this love of all things nautical and tabletop, to Rut for always saying yes to my ideas, and to Otton who had to edit everything I sent this month.
Firestorm Games also have my appreciation, Rob gets long e-mails of ideas and justifications and always says yes to me. I’d very much appreciate it if you help me support them by making your hobby purchases from them. Firestorm help fill the gaps in products that we need and without them, we wouldn’t be able to produce our guides and in-depth articles.
I’d like to begin to end by thanking everyone who was involved in the Nautical Tabletop Month. Warlord Games, Asmodee UK, and Asmodee North America, Ares Games, Phalanx Games, Verge of War, Firelock Games (who provided an incredible amount of product), Warcradle, Wyrd, GCT Studios, The Army Painter, Deep-Cut Studios, Feldherr, Andy Jones, Jon Webb, Abyssoul, Rich Chapell, Raging Heroes, Mark Latham, Mantic Games, and CMON, Thank you for making the season the success that it was. I owe you all.
And finally, thank you to everyone who took the time to read the articles, and like and share the social media posts. Without you, there wouldn’t be a TechRaptor.
The Nautical Hub will stay up so that you can always find the articles from the season easily and may even populate with more nautical articles as we look at more games. I’d be very interested to know what your favorite nautical game from the season is, or if you have one that we didn’t cover, so leave a note in the comments here, or find me on social media and we can talk.
From all of us a TechRaptor, we hope you’re all safe and well, making the best you can of this year and looking forward to a safe holiday season. May your sails always be full.