With 30+ years of sailing experience under my belt, I find this guide to be spot on! I think five pages of character-related content is thorough enough, without telling the players “This is the character you need to play in this campaign.” I love the scar and “peg leg” rules, and love that one of the character types is an amputee that has no debilitations from his lost limb, and a + on fortitude and a hatred and fear of sharks!
The ship-to-ship combat section is longest, most detailed and, IMHO, necessary. The combat rules were previously sketchy, and would have been onerous to employ. Can you imagine figuring out damage for a 20 ballista broadside, plus archers with fire arrows? The idea to split the rules into “fleet actions” “ship to ship” and “shipboard” conflict is brilliant, and brings a real tactical element into play. I’m having images of the old “Star Fleet Battles” game already... I’m itching to see how the fleet action rules are different. As far as ship to ship combat is concerned, reading rules that regard opposed skill checks of pilots, including maneuvers such as “Shearing”, “In Irons”, “Dirty air”, “Wind gauge”, etc, lets me know that the game designers have done their homework. The effects of spells list is as comprehensive as I could wish for (and also vitally necessary), and I love the siege weapon section (Awesome that we now have different sizes of ballistae). Well done, lads and lasses… looking forward to playing this one!