My usual Dwarven opponent, the one that usually sinks my Thaniras Elven fleet, stopped by last night to try Dreadfleet. We just played a trial game, the Dwarven ship proxied by his Iron Dwarf Dreadnought against the Shadewraithe which I had just started painting. We started on opposite sides of the map, about 36 inches apart, and our respective ships closed, each opening broadside failing to scratch the other. On the first turn both ships were pelted by a rain of sea snakes which were swept from the deck out of hand.
By turn 3 my Shadewraithe had pulled alongside the Dwarven ship and fired a volley which managed to damage some crew, but then the Dwarven ship moved into a stern raking position, and canonballs smashed the mizzenmast into so many splinters (corporeal or otherwise), reducing the speed of the Shadewraithe by several points. Meanwhile, according to Fate, a Bone Hydra (represented by the beautiful yet unpainted merfolk) emerged from the waves and attacked the Shadwraithe.
The Shadewraithe's crew finally repelled the Bone Hydra which slipped back between the waves, but not before the Dwarven ship approached to ram the port side. A brief action ensued with the Dwarven captain wounded by the Shadewraithe's Wraith-Captain, and the Shadewraithe managed to successfully escape jeoopardy and, the grappling hooks from the Dwarven ship slipping through the ghost ship, slowly started around the south side of the volcano island. But the Dwarven ship took immediate action, repaired damage, and by turn 5 the two ships were again trading broadsides at point-blank range before a ferocious boarding action ensued.
We finally called the game, deciding we would have preferred to spend the hour playing Uncharted Seas.
On the positive side, both of us enjoyed playing on the sea mat, and we agreed it was equivalent to a twenty dollar value of the total cost. Also, my opponent wanted to buy the Dwarven ship, still on the sprue, for ten bucks. Despite the fragility of the models, compared to the certain heft of Spartan resin & metal ships, we determined each model worth 8-12 dollars just for the detail alone. And the assortment of islands are cool, not to mention the measuring stick which I've been painting bleached bone white with brass highlighted inch numbers. So, in the end, I feel the price was worth the ship models, islands, play mat, and the inspiration provided by the Fate & Damage cards to develop my own "perfect" tabletop naval game.