The ships are bigger than I expected, and are nice models mixing pirate sterotypes along with warhammer themes. The game contains 10 big ships (5 for the 'good' pirates and 5 for the 'bad' pirates), each one very unique. Overall I found it an easy kit to assemble, I have glued mine, but I think the push-fit method would work fine. One thing of note is that each ship comes with a rather lovely moulded sea base. I'm also pleased that GW have been brave enough to use the expanded warhammer world a bit and include an arabian and a chaos dwarf ship. I really like these ships as models and am looking forward to painting them, I'm almost tempted to go out and buy another box so I can get two sets of the models, but am resisting so far. I've been looking at the ships a lot over the last couple of days and the more I look the more I like them, I tried to work out my favorite and least favorite, but failed horribly, I just like them all. There have been some poeple who have said they'd rather two coherent fleets rather than the indivualistic ships that we got, whilst I can understand this point of view I'm much happier with this as it allowed them to get far more ship archetypes into the game, and this set is almost certainly it, I'd be very suprised if any expansions ever appear. Another great positive about these ships is that the detail on the sails is raised (I did wonder from the prome photos if it was free hand) which should look making the ships look great easy.
Some of the peices on the game mat
The game is played on the sea (obviously) but rather than just telling you to play on the table they provide a nice sea mat to play on. Its a 5' by 3.5' cloth superbly detailed with waves and sea monsters. Its a bit on the thin side, and has some creases in it from being folded in the box. After the ships this is the next best thing in the box and definately could find use as a sea for other naval games.
Grimnirs Thunder and the Swordfysh
A lot of the game is driven by cards, which is a change for GW (they seem to prefer dice and charts). The two biggest decks are for fate (random things that happen every turn) and damage, and there are also much bigger cards to represent the indivual warships. The artwork is all very nice as you'd expect, but the cards feel thin and I do wonder how well they'll take to actually being used. Unfortunately they're not standard card sized either so I won't be able to use deck pretectors on them.
The game comes with a sizeable 96 page rulebook, which is in full colour and is as pretty as you'd expect. It's in landscape, which I find odd and am not overly keen on, and breaks down into roughly a third each on rules, background and scenarios. The game comes with 12 sceanrios which is quite a lot. The binding on my book at least is not good and it started coming apart on the first read, which is very disapointing. What I'd liked to have seen would have been a portrait hardback book like the new army books coming out of GW.
The Heldenhammer and Bloody Reaver face off
In conclusion, great game contents wise, you get a lot for your money, I think its a shame they didn't go the whole hog on the book and cards even if this raised the price, the ships and mat however are fantastic. This is going to be a massive painting project as well, I initally estimated a months worth of painting, I now recon more than that And the final word.... I'm properly chuffed with is at the moment and think it's worth every penny and I'm looking forward to playing it and painting it all up.