View Full Version : Man'O'War fleets revisited

05-07-2008, 08:46

Man'O'War is a great game and probably in the top 5 that people want GW to re-release or at least, to put on the website for free. Anyone who has played it however soon realises that some of the fleets are a little "unequal" and some are just plain jokes. Here are some new ships/rules/ideas I've had kicking round in my random rules folder for a while now and I'd appreciate some comments/criticism.

First up, the Orc Fleet. Considered the biggest joke due to the ships and thier major flaws like drillakillas sinking themselves and bigchukkas having to stop to shoot. I've shamelessly ripped off the Nurgle boarding tower since I feel that it is a really Orcy weapon.

Man'O'War Orc Fleet

Man'O'War: Smasha Hulk 150pts
This is the hulk as is, in the orc fleet lists, armed with smasha hammers, ironclaws and bigchukka.
Man'O'War: Crusha Hulk 150pts
This is identicle ot the hulk as is in the or cfleet lists except that it replaces the smasha hammers with a forward facing boarding tower. It is still armed with ironclaws and a bigchukka.
Ship of the Line Squadron: 3 Battle Barges 150pts
These are new ships, each approximatly the size of a Wolfship and powered by Orc paddlewheelz. They are armed with a forward facing boarding tower and 2 forward facing SpearChukka batteries. You may include one squadron per hulk in your fleet.
Ship of the Line Squadron: 3 Grot Cuttas 75pts
These are new ships each approximatly equal to a wargally. They use the Hawkship turning template and are armed with 1 forward facing spearchukka. They are not counted for victory points or for fleet break point and are worth 0 battle honours.

DrillaKillas and Bigchukkas remain as they are in the Orc fleet lists.

New Weapons
These are treated as cannon except they have a reduced range of 3" less than normal.
Boarding Tower.
When making a boarding action in the facing of the boarding tower (usually to the front) the enemy recieves no bonus for defensive cannonfire.

Orc Special Rules
Orcs like to fight. Roll a D6 for each Man'O'War and each SotL squadron at the beginning of each of your turns. On a 1, roll again on the animosity table.
1:The ship looses a crew token (only 1 token is lost in a squadron regardless of how many ships there are). Ships cannot loose thier last crew token in this way, if there is only 1 token left, treat it as a 2-5 result instead.
2-5:Squabble. The Ship cannot move or shoot this turn but will fight any ongoing boarding actions.
6:Waaagh: The ship must move towards the nearest enemy and board if possible. They move an extra D6".

The Warboss's flagship does not need to test for animosity nor does any ship with a black orc crew token.

Waagh Magic
Orc shamen may add +1 to thier dice roll to cast a spell for each orc ship within 12". However if they roll a 1, then in addition to the spell failing there is a chance they will explode. If the shamen is a champion they will explode if the bonus was +2 or greater, a Master shamen will explode if the bonus was +4 or greater and a Shamen Lord will explode if the bonus is +6 or greater. The shamen Lord still gets the additional +1 to cast for being a Wizard lord.

Crew Tokens
Black Orc crew tokens cost 25pts each. They grant an extra +1 bonus per token in a boarding action and make the ship immune to animosity until they are slain.

Right thats the basic stuff for my new ideas for the orc fleet. Comments are greatly welcomed. Full ship lists etc will be available when I get MS office working, I have just upgraded to vista...big mistake!

Comming Soon: Skaven, Chaos Dwarves and the Hordes of Chaos!

05-07-2008, 09:01
Good start there. I like the sound of some of those changes, especially the boarding tower. As you say, sounds proper Orky :)

Be interesting to see how this affects the orcs in game. Have you tried any of these new rules out yet?

Looking forward to the Skaven I have to say

05-07-2008, 14:06
The orcs have been playtested in small scale games and a couple of bigger ones. As always the fleets main elements are a bit hit and miss, but the new ships certainly brought a more aggressive element rather than just flinging drillakillas against the foe and praying for a good role or trying to manover bigchukkas to get a shot next turn. The boost to waaagh magic was handy, especially with the new waaagh spells we tried out. Sadly these pages are missing from my rules notebook along with the orc only Man'O'War cards we had done.

Skaven Fleets
Skaven, In my opinion suffered from the lack of big ships and again they have comedy ships that have to pray for a good result. So heres a new Man'O'War and SotL squadron.

Man'O'War: Warpship 200pts
This is basically a Doombringer without the screaming bell, instead mounting a warplightning cannon facing forwards. Its 1/SotL squadron as opposed to the bringer which is 1/1000pts.
Ship of the Line Squadron: 3 Ratling Raiders 75pts
These ships are essentially the same as Warp Raiders but replacing the warpfire thrower with a Ratling Cannon.

New Weapons
Warp Lightning Cannon.
This weapon uses an energy track. Each turn you can decide to charge, discharge or fire the cannon. If you charge the cannon add one energy counter. If you dischage the cannon you remove one energy token. If you fire the cannon, measure a line from the ship in the forward arc. The line needs to be 3" per token. Ships underneath the line suffer 1 hit per token aimed low. Armour saves are at -1. To represent the dangers of accumulated energy, at the start of your turn roll 1D6. You must score equal to or over the number of tokens in the energy counter. If you fail, roll on the misfire chart.
Misfire Chart:
1:The warp generator explodes! The ship must make D3 Below waterline saves and the cannon location is destroyed.
2-3: The cannon Location is set ablaze.
4-5: The cannon location takes D3 hits. Roll save as normal.
6: The cannon immediatly fires as though it had 6 energy tokens in the counter. Resolve any hits. The cannon location then takes 1 hit. Roll saves as normal.

Ratling Gun
The ratling gun follows all the normal rule for cannons except that it cannot be used defensivly. When the ratling gun is fired, pick a number of shots between 1 and 6 aimed high or low at the target. Roll this many attacks against the target. If any of the dice come up with the same number, roll on the ratling misfire chart.
1: The ratling gun explodes and is destroyed
2-3: The ratling gun jams and takes D3 hits. Roll to save as normal.
4-6: The ratling gun does not fire this turn.

Warpships did very well in playtesting with a balance of 3-4 tokens being a good number to fire at. The fun was balancing the generator so when you get in range you can actually shoot. The Ratling raider was good again with 2-3 shots being the best although we did manage to get 5 off at one point.

17-07-2008, 18:17
Quite a few views but no more replies. Obviously a topic for the longbeards.

Now for the Chaos Dwarves. They get alot of WFB attention but I havn't seen any Man'O'War stuff done for them. The big hats big ships were all a little crazy with huge OTT guns and only two ships of the line, of which one was super powerful and one was not so good. Heres my take, with a couple fo new ships in each catagory plus some extras.

Fleet List

Man'O'War 1+ 0-1/SotL Squadron
Black Ziggurat Battlebarge 200pts 0-1/fleet
Juggernaught Battlebarge 200pts
Thunderfire Battlebarge 150pts
Great Leveller Battlebarge 150pts

Ship of the Line Squadrons 2+
3 Hull Destroyers 150pts
3 Thunder Rollers 150pts
3 Iron Crushers 150pts
3 Black Reavers 150pts

Great Taurus Rider 50pts 0-1/SotL Squadron

Admiral +1 Man'O'War card Free
Additional Man'O'War cards 25pts
Rocket Defence Battery 25pts

Sorcerer Champion 50pts
Master Sorcerer 100pts
Sorcerer Lord 150pts

New Ships
Black Ziggurat
Similar in Size to a Thunderfire and armed with 2 port/starboard cannon batteries. If a sorcerer is included in the fleet aboard the Black Ziggurat, he can use The Black Ziggurat instead of casting a spell. The ziggurat launches a salvo of fireballs. Treat this as 3 cannon shots which have a 9" range, 360 degree line of sight and may be aimed high or low. Roll to attack as normal, but each location damaged is set ablaze in addition to other effects. A sorcerer of any level aboard the Ziggurat also gains +1 to rolls to cast a spell. This can be combined with the +1 bonus the Sorcerer Lord gets.
Similar in size to a Thunderfire and armed with 4 forward and Port/Starboard cannon batteries. The Juggernaught follows the rules for Dwarf Armour as regards boarding actions. The Juggernaught may Ram, provided it has moved more than 3" in a straight line towards the target.
Iron Crusher
Similar in size to a Thunder Roller but armed with two forward facing crushing claws and a forward facing cannon battery. The crushing claws may be used to make a special Ramming attack. Instead of ramming normally, make a 2 dice attack aimed low with saves as normal. If both attacks deal damage, the target must make a Below Waterline save or take a point of Below Waterline damage.
Black Reaver
Similar in size to a Thunder Roller but armed with 1 port/starboard cannon battery.

The Juggernaught is basically a heavy cruiser and more reliable than the original two battlebarges although not as powerful. This makes sense since the Chaos Dwarves are not Skaven and so should have a reliable fleet element. The Black Reavers also fill this role. The Iron Crushers just seem cool and go with the "ram you apart" style of the hull destroyers and thunder rollers. The Black Ziggurat is just a floating temple to Hashut calling down fireballs on the foe. This was inspired by the descriptions fo the temple of Hashut in various Choas Dwarf related fluff.

And finally

Chaos Dwarf Magic
Shadow Bull Casting Number 3+
Measure a line 9" long form the Sorcerers ship in any direction. Roll one attack aimed low on any ships under this line. If the attack hits they take saves as normal.
Bull Roar Casting Number 3+
All Chaos Dwarf ships within 12" get a +1 boarding action bonus for the remainder of the turn.
Hashuts Forge Casting Number 4+
One Chaos Dwarf ship within 6" has a damaged location completly repaired and functional again
Fires of Hashut Casting Number 4+
Roll 2 attacks aimed high or low on an enemy ship within 12". The enemy may make saves as normal but if they are failed the location is set ablaze.
Ash Cloud Casting Number 5+
Target any ship within 12" of the sorcerer. The ship drifts out of control during thier next turn. Thye recover the turn after and may act again.
Eruption Casting Number 7+
Place a 3" marker anywhere within 12". Roll the scatter/artillary dice and move the marker in the direction indicated. On a Hit the marker stays put, on a misfire the spell fails. Any ships under the marker take D6 below waterline hits. Saves are at -1. The ships are moved to the edge of the marker facing in a random direction as determined by the scatter dice. Replace the marker with an island at the end of the turn.

You'll notice only a sorcerer lord or a ziggurat mounted sorcer can cast eruption. I was struggling to remember CD spell names.

Any comments/Critisism would be great. These rules have been playtested in small scale games and were ok, the Juggernaught is scary, but the thunderfire and leveller remain equally nasty, covering the advance with thier long ranged attacks. The Juggernaught and Black Reavers helped to greatly balance the fleet against speedy foes like Elves who can get away form your ram attacks.

22-08-2008, 03:07
I really enjoyed Man-O-War and I do wish GW still supported it. You didn't need a ton of miniatures to play it (perhapsd that's why it got canned?)

I have preserved my Britonnian Fleet which still enjoys its undefeated record from the gamestore campaign I played in w-a-a-a-ay back when.

So fra what you have written seems pretty good! Alas I have not played in so long I can't really be a good judge but I'd give them a spin. :)


10-01-2011, 19:13
Okay, I know I'm committing threadomancy here, but I just stumbled upon this and thought that it was a good a place as any to keep talking about Man O'War, rules variations, etc.

All these ideas are nice, and I'm planning on giving at least the Orc ones a whirl before too long (as I'm starting to scratch build an Orc A'mada. Some of the fleets we've been talking about over on theseaofclaws are:

Norse. Not jokes per se, but woefully underpowered when compared to basically all other fleets. No ranged weapons AT ALL, not even against fliers. I think that a few more tweaks (considering they're decent at boarding) could bring them in line to at least make them playable. Maybe a bit more magic (Vitki is in the fluff, but not in the rules), a little of a 'Chaos marauder' flavour without loosing the original Norse theme, give them a Knarr (Cog) with a short ranged but powerful 'Mule' (Onagar) on the front, and another fast ship, maybe called a Snakeship, Drakeship, or the like, that can use the Elf Dragonship turning template. As well, allow each Kingship to buy an extra MoW card from a short list:

Boarding Nets
Warrior Priests
Streamlined Hull
War Banner
Magic Figurehead
Shield Wall
War Leader
Chain Grapples
Inspired Seamanship
Dread Captain

Could have a anti-flier card called Slings & Arrows (3", 3 dice), as well as a special MoW card allowing the ship to board at 2" range (Harpoons, attacking ship is immediately moved into contact with the enemy ship, who are attacking boarders).


Next post I'll talk a little about the ZAF (Zufbaran Air Force);)

10-01-2011, 20:43
Wow Threadmancy, I'm sure I had another long Man'O'War thread since this old one which no one really cared about.

TBH I gave up and included Norse in with my revamped chaos fleet list and also available as a choice in my Pirate fleet list along with a Kingship riding werebeast Special character.

19-01-2011, 03:34
You said that the spearchukka for the Orcs would be reduced by 3". Do you mean a new template with 3 2" bands, or no long range? Or, 2 bands of 3" where the close band is -1 armour, and the far band is +1 armour?

17-08-2011, 08:03
While I applaud BigRob's efforts of reviving some of the lesser played/effective fleets, I must say that some of his ideas are a tad too much in my opinion.

For instance, with his proposed Orc fleet, there are now 6 ship types and that seems a little much. Most fleets have 3, some 4, but no standard fleet of old has 6. Instead of creating new units that would completely outdate the Bigchukka/Drillakilla, I would suggest fixing the rules of the original Orc ships. Otherwise who would select Bigchukkas now that Spearchukka wielding Orc vessels have appeared? Personally I think Spearchukka's are a good idea, as are boarding towers, although removing the "Move or Fire" restriction of the Bigchukka might be an easier solution.

The Chaos Dwarf fleet now has 8 ships, 4 of which are MoW classed! That is just too much choice - other races can't have that much to choose from, so why should CD have all the options? Furthermore a fleet usually has a certain identity that lends itself to one or two general playing styles (although actual tactics during a battle are also decided by other factors, such as enemy actions) which is a good thing: if every fleet could choose from all of the available playing styles, there really wouldn't be much variation. It is the same reason why a fleet generally has 3-4 ship types. Adding ships also adds playing styles hence reducing the specific identity of the fleet. For instance, the Juggernaught is basically an improved Dwarf Dreadnought at the same points (that's not right: if it's better, it should cost more) and it fills a role that CD weren't meant to have - regular Dwarfs were meant to have a heavily armoured turreted battleship, while CD's were meant to have large floating weapons platforms.

I don't intend to curb your creativity or your enthusiasm, but I am voicing my opinion. Personally I feel very strongly about balance, fairness and identity in games design. I must admit that certain fleets are less than stellar in particular matchups, but just like it happened in other GW games, the original boxed set had a reasonable margin of balance while further expansions blew the game up. I just feel that fixing those fleets should preferably be done within that fleet's identity and without a lot of extra ships. Of course, I don't know whether that's possible, it's just my opinion.

Kind regards,


17-08-2011, 10:03
Thats cool Hubman, my intention with my rules writing is to include everyone, my rough draft Dwarf fleet has two extra MOWs and 3 extra SOL plus an extra Independent, My skaven draft has two extra MOW and 2 extra SOL, my chaos draft is a total overhaul with various new units, greater deamons and so on.

I usuall write rules as I have ideas, in the case of the Juggernaught, it was with my view of Chaos Dwarves as having a giant ugly metal ship, bristling with cannon while the ziggurat is a giant floating pyramid of evilness and a perfect mirror for the Sea Anvil in my dwarf list. Might see the Jugger reduced to 3 cannon in each arc, 4 might have been overkill.....

Did I miss out the bigchukka thing? My bad, of course they should be move or fire otherwise they never get to shoot! Spearchukkas are very short range and need to be at close range to be effective. Boarding towers were stolen from the nurgle ships, they just make far more sense in an Ork (maybe Khorne) fleet.

Cheers for the feedback, one thing I don't get alot of :)

18-08-2011, 07:13
So you have a lot more? Well, I wouldn't mind taking a look at them - especially those Dwarfs!:)

I personally think that if the Juggernaught is going to perform the same role as the Dreadnought and has the same guns, locations and armour etc., it should cost just as much. Anything that is an improvement over the Dreadnought should also raise its price. At the moment there's 3 guns to the front and 3 to each side? No rear turrets? Still more guns than a Dreadnought and considering that Juggernaughts may ram, 2 gun turrets to the front is good enough. You just have to make a choice between heavy firing or reduced firing and ramming.:)

I once defeated an Orc player mainly because his Bigchukka's couldnt move and fire. It was too easy and I felt sorry for him afterwards.:cries:

Kind regards,


18-08-2011, 14:48
Yes I checked my stuff and I do have the Bigchukkas as being changed to move and fire, otherwise you just scoot out of arc. It can work as written but you need two or three chukka squadrons covering each other to trap the target and that is very difficult.

I'll stick the stuff up when I find it all and get it sorted out. I did alot of this before I went on sites like Sea of Claws and alot of people have the same ideas about what they want (Lots of Gyrocarriers for example). I also did an overhaul for magic more in line with current Warhammer magic rules.

My additionals for dwarf fleets were Gunboats, Torpedo boats, Gyrocarriers, The Sea Anvil, Airships, Forgeships (tenders that can repair damaged vessels) and a few other upgrades and of course, Anvil of Doom rules.

22-08-2011, 07:34
New dwarf ideas, comments and feedback please.

23-08-2011, 07:58
Thanks for putting it up BigRob! I'll take a look and post my comments later.

P.S.: this weekend I became a member of the Sea of Claws where I hope to find guidance on a number of things.

Kind regards,