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Man O' War Merchant Ships

Merchant shipping is of vital importance to the nations of the Old World.  As a result, navies spend much of their time protecting these ships and safeguarding their vital cargoes and passage.

The introduction of merchant shipping to the Man O' War game provides for a host of new scenarios and objectives.  It also can make an excellent backdrop to an entire campaign.


Merchant ships use the damage template below.


Merchant ships are heavy, slow ships.  To represent this, and to basically bastardise the side which have them, I have given them a movement of 5".  This movement is under sail only (as they have no oars - see Miniatures below)


Merchant ships are considered ships of the line, and as such, must follow the formation rules.

Cargo Spaces

Each Merchant ship has five cargo spaces which can hold specific or unspecific cargo.  Examples of specific are:

Specified cargoes can only be held within the cargo spaces - that is, one counter per space.  If the space carrying a counter of cargo is hit, then that cargo area and the cargo within it - gold, crew (troops), whatever - is destroyed.  

Unspecified cargo can be whatever you want it to be.  As the name suggests, it does not have to be specified, as long as both players are happy that it really doesn't matter.  This also means that there are no counters on the ship templates to represent this cargo.


Merchant ships have a crew of three (3) (Sailors, cargo handlers and brave passengers) for the purposes of boarding actions.  Merchant ships are not warships and will therefore NOT INITIATE boarding actions.

If acting as a troop carrier, crew counters in the cargo areas (hereafter referred to as troops) may take part in the boarding/defending action.  Troops may not, however, be moved to the crew stack on any ship's template.  Troops are removed from the ship before crew counters during boarding actions, and therefore, a ship will never be abandoned and still have troops aboard.

Points and Battle Honours

Merchant ships are worth a whopping -300 points.  No, that is not a typo.  They are negative 300 points so that the side which has them can have some recompense for the disadvantages inherent to these ships.  

For example, an Imperial fleet has a points total of 1000 which happens to be the limit for the scenario.  The Dark Elves have pulled together a 1000 point fleet also.  The scenario chosen is one which has Merchant ships, and the Imperial fleet gets saddled with them.  This means the Empire gets to deduct 300 points, effectively giving them a 700 point fleet. Another squadron of Wolfships (for example) could then be added to bring the total back to 1000 and give the Empire a bit more firepower. Nifty, eh?

Battle Honours for Merchant ships are 8 each unless otherwise specified by the players. Yes, this is high and I know that there isn't a lot of prestige in sinking some poor old salty mariner with his equally shabby crew.  However, the sinking or capture of an enemy's war materiel can be devastational to a war effort.  These Battle Honours are an attempt to reflect this damage.


Where do I buy Merchant ships??? Well any solution you can come up with is fine, but I managed to get my hands on a squadron of Wolfships which I converted in the following way:

Additions & Adaptations to Man O' War

Chaos Daemon Flyers

Dwarf Overlord Airship

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