Sails of Glory vs Pirates!

How does our new Pirate game compare to Sails of Glory?  Great question. 


The Sails of Glory ships are painted and more colorful.  That’s cool. 

You could paint the Pirate ships if that’s what you prefer but I also kind of like black, monochrome look. 

They seem about the same scale.  Sails of Glory is all the Big ships:  Frigates and Ships-o-the-Line.

  Pirates does them all.  It comes with small ships:  Schooners & Sloops.  You can add on Brigs.  They have the Big ships you can add on later too.  It’s all one, comprehensive combat system that accommodates the whole range of ships.  Now it might not be much of a fight between the HMS Victory and a little pirate Schooner but you can sure try! Maybe a 12 pirate schooner swarm might start to get the Victory’s attention?

If you get closer match ups, it starts getting very interesting.  Like say 1 Frigate vs 3 Brigs.  Ok, the Frigate will certainly sink at least 1-2 Brigs.  The question is, can the Brigs coordinate and put enough lead into the Frigate before they sink?  With a little luck, they might just be able to pull that off.

SoG ships have a big square base.  That makes them feel more stable and accurate while moving.  I like that.  I don’t care for the way it looks.  It looks a little strange.  The Pirate ships just look like ships.

What is your Point of Sail?  In SoG that’s marked on the outside of the base of the ship.  It’s color coded and those colors match your movement cards.  Simple.  It makes sense.  Very intuitive. 

The Pirate ships have little nav bars that stick out to the sides.  You can tell what your Point of Sail is by which side of the bar you are on.  They aren’t color coded but they are easy to read and keep track of.  Essentially, it does the same thing.  It’s just a different way of doing it.


The basic concept of movement is the same in both games.  Players plan and select their next move in secret.  Everybody reveals their choice at the same time and then move simultaneously.

In SoG, you do this by picking a maneuver card out of your deck and placing it face down as your next move. 

In Pirates, you have 3 rotating navigation blocks. 

You rotate these around to set your course, direction and speed. 

This would be a 45 degree to Starboard at full speed.

Instead of a deck of cards to paw through, you’ve got just 1 clear movement template. 

At first I thought this wasn’t as good.  It seems like you have a lot more options to pick from in SoG.

Surprisingly, that 1 little template, does seem to cover all the possible moves in the SoG deck.  It’s just a different approach.  Once I got used to it, I kind of liked the template better.  It’s easier and faster. 

Now there are a few exceptions.  Pirates doesn’t have the broken mast move cards.  All the ships use the same templates.  There is a fast template and a slow one.  I kind of liked the fact that SoG has more custom, individual decks for each ship.  Yeah, in theory.  We compared some of the ships and actual moves.  In practice, there really doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in the end result of moving the ships. 

In SoG, the square base of the ship and the cards makes the moves feel more precise.  The Pirate ships feel a little squirrely.  They can spin slightly as you grab them and let go.  True but after playing some, this isn’t as bad as I thought.  In Pirates, the ships must always be ‘squared with the table’.  So you have to be at 90 or 45 degrees to the table or map edge.  Given that, if your ship rotates slightly to the right as you let go of it while moving, it is really easy to see that.  You can just give it a little nudge and straighten it out.  It is easy to make sure everybody is moving correctly and not getting off.  So like if you move 45 degrees to starboard and then 45 degrees back to port, you’ll end up parallel to the table again.  You can see that and make sure you are. 

In that way, SoG feels more real.  You can move in any angle.  Whatever the card says!  Who knows what angle it is?  I ‘feel’ like I have more options.  On the other hand, once I got used to Pirates, I didn’t really feel limited.  I could get to where I wanted.  I could make my ship do what I wanted.  Ok, so does it really matter if I can only move at 45 or 90 degrees?  Probably not.  In practice, it works just fine.      

So bottom line, SoG does give you more detailed and custom options for moving different ships.  Pirates streamlines and speeds up the process.  While actually playing, I didn’t miss the extra SoG movement options.  I still felt like I had plenty of choices to pick from, for moving in Pirates.

The points of sail, wind effects, in irons, sail speed and such are all very similar.  You can go fast, medium or slow.  Different points of sail will slow you down 1 step.  Sail damage can slow you down. 

One thing interesting in Pirates is that there are Schooners.  In SoG, pretty much all the ships are square rigged.  That means they go faster while running.  They go slower while reaching / beating into the wind. 

In SoG terms, the black directions would be Green and the white ones are like Yellow.

Square Rigged Ships

Well, the Schooners are opposite.  The Schooners are actually faster while reaching / beathing into the wind! 


This makes for some interesting matchups and conundrums.  So maybe you have wind gage on me:  you are windward or up wind.  Ok, but if I’m sailing a Schooner, I’m faster reaching up into the wind towards you.  So the tactics would be totally different if you are sailing against a Sloop vs a Schooner, depending on who has the wind gage.  Tricky!  -and also fun. 


In SoG, you pull damage chits when you take a hit.

  In Pirates, you pull damage cards from a deck.  Ok, same basic idea.  Just like the movement, Pirates is more simple and streamlined than SoG.

The fighting process is more detailed in SoG.  You can pick what kind of shot you want. What you want to target.  You have to reload after you fire.  There is musket fire.  I like that.  On the other hand, it’s a bit fussy and slows the game down. 

In Pirates, you just fire.  You can’t pick what to target.  It’s just random.  Who knows what you’ll hit?  Their sails, crew, rudder? 

In SoG you take damage chits and place them along your track.  Kind of like hit points.  So once you reach your limit, you’re sunk right?  Essentially.  In Pirates, the damage cards are a lot more fun and narrative driven.  Instead of getting a certain number of A or B damage chits, your cards are like a damage report telling you what was hit.  So like you got sail damage that is reducing your speed, a fire has broken out that needs to be put out before it spreads, there is a hull breach that is leaking water now, 1 set of guns was destroyed, and you’ve lost a quarter of your crew. 

The broadsides in Pirates are DEVASTATING!  Holy cow!  It doesn’t take much.  One good broadside can very well sink you, or close to it.  Three in a row most certainly will!

After exchanging broadsides, you’re both going to be scrambling to keep your ships up and in the fight with damage control.  Combat in SoG feels more like a book keeping exercise.  Pirates is very tense.  You always feel like you’re on the verge of complete disaster.

The player decisions after an exchange are agonizing!! The problem is that you need your crew to both fire guns at the enemy AND repair damage. They can’t to both in the same time. Each crew card can only take 1 action per turn. So what do you have them do? Let’s say after the above broadside that you end up in each other’s firing arc and range again.

You have 2 crew cards left. That means you can only repair 2 of the 3 damage cards. This assumes that you don’t return fire. If your 2 crews fire your 2 guns, then you can’t repair any damage this turn. You can do that but if you do, that fire will spread and the breech will leak water into the ship. One turn of that won’t sink you but another turn of it could. Especially if you take more damage from another shot now!

How important is it to get those sails fixed? Do you need to pick up speed to escape? How important is it to fire the guns back at the enemy now? It is very dangerous to ignore a fire burning on your ship. It spreads exponentially. Water leaks are slower. Depending on your situation and what you are trying to do, there are many ways to respond to this mess.

This is ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea‘: A choice between to very bad options. What can you do to keep this ship afloat and give you the best chances of surviving another round?

How do the games compare? SoG feels more accurate and detailed to the period. It’s more technical. The battles also involve player ‘work’. Combat feels more like an accounting exercise. Pirates abstracts some of that detail but wow. It is off the charts for difficult and interesting player decisions, great narrative and tense / fun game play.


What is the game?  In SoG, that’s all laid out.  You know.  You both have SoLs.  You have a little better firepower.  They are a little more maneuverable.  It’s a duel.  That’s the game.  Everybody knows that going in.  No mystery here.

In Pirates, this is all hidden and unknown to the players.

Imagine sailing around the Caribbean in that era.  You suddenly spot a ship on the horizon.  Who are they?  Why are they here?  What is their intent?  Are they friend or foe?  What do they have on board? 

You have no idea. All that is hidden on the ship cards. Are they just a peaceful merchant ship hauling cargo? 

Are they a pirate crew armed with guns?  Maybe they have a minimal crew with guns for defense but the rest of the ship is loaded with cargo.  Are they the prey or will you soon find yourself hunted and running for your life?  You have no way of knowing.

To me, this is the best part of the game!  You have to try to figure out what they are doing based on how they move.  Are they confident?  Sailing directly for you?  What happens if you change course?  How do they respond?  What does that say about their intent?

This cat & mouse game of trying to read and out maneuver your opponent reminds me of Star Trek II Wrath of Khan.  Bluff.  Threaten.  Posture.  Negotiate.  It’s all here.  So much fun!! 

Misc / Summary

They both play directly on the table top.  They are both about the same scale.  SoG is for military naval ship battles in the Napoleonic Wars.  Pirates is an earlier time period.  In the early days of colonial, exploration and trade in the Caribbean.  They both have pre-planned, hidden, simultaneous movement.  They both use some kind of moving template.  SoG has a deck of cards for moving.  Pirates uses one, clear, reversible card that also doubles as a firing range stick.  Pirates uses a deck of cards to keep the contents of the ships secret. SoG uses a ship card with tracks for damage and status. SoG uses damage chits.  Pirates uses damage cards.  SoG has extra terrain you can put down on the table for islands, shoals and such.  Pirates has extra maps you can buy with all that kind of stuff on it. 

The rules are much shorter in Pirates.  Holy cow!  Only about 6 pages and that is stretching it.  Really only about 4 pages of core rules.  Pirates is faster to learn and to play.  Faster action.  SoG is more accurate and detailed.  It seems to be more accurate in its historical detail. They have real, historical ships rated and compared to each other.  Pirates is better for fun, tension, narrative and putting you in the theme.  While playing, I feel like I’m really in the ‘captain’s chair’ at sea.

Note: This is a crude play test map. They still need lots of work but this is general concept for the overall look.

The Pirates ships are ok.  Kind of minimal.  Kind of a cool look, in that way.  I have to give the better ships to SoG.  All the painted detail, all pre done for you, all historically accurate.  Awesome.  That is cool.

Pirates! Play Test Report

We’ve played two games already, and that was it. We want to play more. I’ve written out a lot!

Initial thoughts/experience:

Game 1: We set up, each with a sloop. Because my wife and I are wargamers at heart, we just hacked at each other. Get in close and try to shoot the other. We did take a little cargo each just for good measure, but we love to blast each other. It didn’t take long for damage to occur – that’s where the mechanic of crew application really shines. You don’t know what your opponent will do. And you see so many things you need to do, but you can only do so much. Eventually my wife won; I was taking too much water.

Game 2: We ended up using the next ship on the list, it was a hand of 7, but I forget which vessel type it was. We liked having a bigger hand. Bigger hand means more options. I think your game will be even better with the larger ships. I have some thoughts in the constructive criticism part in regards to how to manage larger vessels. We wanted a bigger hand, so we took 7 this time, and I think that ship was faster so we used the faster transparencies. I know we used the other movement gauges, not the sloop ones, because we figured those were the “fast ship” movement gauges. This game was far more interesting. We equipped ourselves to fight much better this time. I had more crew and guns, she had more crew and guns. A lot of tense fighting. Lots of surprising maneuvers. She actually first outmaneuvered me, and was able to get to my table edge. She could’ve gone off and won that way, but decided it was more fun to hunt prey. She turned around and came back to hunt me. We had a lot of really good maneuvering, getting into range, moving out of range/LOS, etc. It was a lot of cool weaving. We were able to break away to fix our ships. Eventually we came back and she got a raking shot on me. That made me toast. Took on too much water. I was able to shoot back before sinking, and I got her sails and rudder. I was sinking from water, and she was directionless at the end. I sunk and she won, but it was close. Had I been in a better positioning, I could’ve come around to sink her before I went down. It was a fun game.

Final thoughts/suggestions:


1.) It is FUN. I was a bit skeptical at first. I read the rulebook a couple of times, and it seemed simple. Almost too simple. Can something so simple provide such good entertainment? The answer was yes! The simplicity was what made it so conducive for enjoyment. The first thing I wanted to say was that this was a fun game, and really, that matters most. If people aren’t having fun, then what’s the point? I think because of its simplicity and how fun it is, it will be extremely accessible to many people. I think you’ll pull in wargamers for sure, but I think the wider board game community will be attracted to it as well. People who like Pirate stuff will like it. Even Eurogamers can like this. It’s so accessible and so fun, no matter who you are or what you like. I found it to be really fun. My wife and I laughed while playing. That’s a definite good sign. Very fun. 

2.) It is simple! I had very few questions about how to play. That is an amazing feat of this game; we’ve talked before how so many age of sail games are painfully bogged down by complex rules. This, on the other hand, was pretty self explanatory. I think graphics showing different things in the rulebook will help. I did have to google “raking shot” because I didn’t know what that was (I really don’t know much about naval combat). The first game got going pretty quick. By the end of it, we restarted immediately for the second because we knew more of what we were doing. Simple is good. But what’s even better is that your game is simple, but certainly it is not overly simplistic. It is not boring. You never know what your opponent will do. Perhaps the simultaneous movement is the mechanic that will keep this game fresh over and over. Maneuvering matters. Making those decisions matter. Do you run away and fix the ship? Or do you persist in fighting? Decisions, decisions… simple, accessible, easy to learn, yet lots of room for exploring and trying new things.

3.) It is fast paced. Quick enough to get sunk and set up for a rematch. Oh, how much I wish games were more like this, where there’s time to do a rematch. So much more fun when you can be a little carefree and take risks, knowing you can set right back up and try again! You’re not getting bogged down by anything whatsoever. It’s smooth. It flows. You move and you fight. Great things happen for you. Difficult things happen for you. Game ends. Restart!

4.) The combat is brutal – in a good way. I like having problems to fix on board. It was a bit much for my wife at first – most wargames aren’t like this, where there are internal issues as well as external threats. But I think she really came around to it quite a bit. She liked the game a lot and I did too. There’s tensions. Most of the decision making is knowing how to apply your crew; though simple, it’s a huge decision in the game. It affects everything. Absolutely everything. I really like that. Decisions are more fun with greater weight to them. I like how having more manned guns gives you bonuses. I like how combat results affect your plans. What makes a great wargame for me is if you have to react. Reacting to situations is so much fun to me. I love the chaos. So many times, I had things planned out only to lose my rudder for a turn which junked up all my plans! Delightful! I like that in a wargame! That’s real strategy and thinking, learning to adjust your plans while keeping track of the enemy!

5.) Movement is awesome. Your templates rock. I love them. My wife loved them. I don’t have more to say, it just is awesome. Setting up your little blocks and then going for it. I just love it. Took maybe one or two moves and we started getting it down super fast. We made some wrong moves; that was fun! Realizing that movement is in relation to your ship’s facing. I just loved it. Fast, smooth, it was really good.

Constructive Criticisms/Ideas for consideration:

1.) Real quick idea – Are all ships just fast or slow? Do they use the same transparencies for movement? Like, all slow ships use the slow ship one and visa versa for fast ships? Because if there’s not a difference between movement abilities of ships that are the same in terms of speed, then you ought to make a “fast” movement gauge and a “slow” movement gauge, instead of one for each type of ship. That is, unless you plan on doing special/differing movement patterns for each. You could also potentially color code the lines depending on what ship – maybe all fast ships can use the black lines of movement, but only Frigates use blue lines, and Schooners use red lines. I don’t know. Just thinking out loud. That was a practical thing. We just used the Schooner movement gauge for our second game, since it was a faster ship. But maybe they’ll all be different.

2.) Although I understand not having any misses in the deck, I might still think just a few would spice up the game a little. It’s not that I don’t want combat to be brutal, it’s that I want the strategy and tactics that are born out of a lucky incident. What if you had just a couple of miss cards in the deck? Not a lot. Like two maybe. I kept thinking, especially at the end of the second game, if I had just one miss card pulled, that would’ve given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Not that I minded being sunk in the end, I’m not saying that. But it’s totally awesome when that attack to finish you off didn’t in fact finish you off, and you make a little comeback! (Only to be sunk next turn!) I don’t know; that’s up to you. I like what you did. I just wonder if that would give an interesting situation tactically. It’s something to test rather than to necessarily put in the game quite yet. You could even call it a misfire, instead of a miss. Maybe it was something on the firing end that just didn’t go so well. Who knows?

3.) This is really the main and only big piece of constructive criticism we had: does it have to be cards? (I know, that’s a big question, but stick with me a bit!) We found ourselves really running out of space to handle all the water cards and fire cards and other damage cards along while checking what ship cards you have left. It just felt like a lot. I can’t imagine playing it with a ship of 14 cards – that would get nuts! The amount of damage coming your way from a 14 card ship would give you so many cards! 

On one hand, I see the way the mechanics interact and I do think it has to be cards. It’s the only way it really works. On the other hand, I just have to think there could there be a way to have a dry erase ship damage chart. Where you can check boxes off as water comes pouring in, or check boxes as fire spreads. I like the cards for knowing what damage you get even, it’s just the keeping track of how much water and fire is spreading is a little much with cards. 

That was our only thought, and both my wife and myself thought there could be a way with some sort of damage chart that would help keep track of that. It would free you up quite a bit more, and probably be even faster than pulling cards, setting them down, putting them back when things get fixed; etc. Just check a box or erase it.

I don’t know if that would work or not, but I think it would be especially helpful for the larger ships. I hate to suggest that, because your art guy just did a beautiful job on the cards, and let me even say that the cards work – I just wonder if there would come a point with the larger ships that the cards would feel like a lot. When your sending frigates at each other, or when you’re playing an 10 person game with a number of big ships, etc. 

We did play it with laying cards out on the table. So it wasn’t really secret. I’m sure you could shuffle through your damage cards in your hand secretly just fine, but I personally like seeing all the cards out before me anyway, so I’m not forgetting to patch up a water that really needs it. (Or forgetting to put another water in my hand, if it’s still leaking!) That’s where a damage chart might work better for the way I think. And maybe that’s just my preferences too, wanting a checkbox thing going on somehow to stay better organized. Anyway, the new artwork that just came in looks amazing! So I hate to even suggest this when that looks that great. But it was a thought we had.

And really that was the only main thought we had. Which is awesome. Because that’s only a matter of practicality, not a matter of mechanics and balance. Mechanics and balance are definitely exactly where they should be for this game.

You have a good game. I’m very impressed by its elegant simplicity and depth.

And to reply to your email, yes, your art guy knocked it out of the park lol. I love it!


Pirates! Play Test Reactions


At long last! I am writing!

Pirates! the Devil & the Deep, is cool; I’m awful about names, so I doubt I’d come up with anything else, but if I do, I’ll let you know.

I’ve read through the blog. My first thought is I really really really like how much is kept secret – that creates a really cool tension. Not only are movements secret but what is on your ship can be secret, too, and I think that’s really brilliant. How many guns? How many crew? How many cargo? Etc. That’s brilliant. The blog really helped me see how much secret information there is. The less my opponent knows about me, the better. And really puts you into that brain space of thinking, “What do I do in this situation?” It really makes you watch everything the opponent does like a hawk. Could their maneuver mean this? Why are they going that way? Etc. I love that. A lot of games let people see everything. They’re fun, but it is cool to have games where you don’t know and have to guess. 

I also like the customization at the beginning. I like picking how much cargo and how many guns and how many crew. That’s really fun, because you start to develop your own strategies. Preferred methods. Etc.

The card system seems interesting – that the type of damage is randomly drawn from the deck. I’m very curious to play that and see how it feels. I think that’s a good way of speeding up the process. And I think it totally pushes the players to imagine themselves on board the ship. Oh no, the hull’s been breached!!! But there’s a fire, captain!!! The speediness of the combat helps to give you the chaos too, forcing you to think faster. Thinking out loud: could the cards be too punishing? What if someone takes a bunch of hull shots right away and loses what matters most? All their cargo gone? Or all crew? And to counter that thought: is there really such a thing as being too punishing? This is war after all! I guess that’s like real battle, especially at sea! Naval combat is brutal and impartial to all. One well placed shot is enough to sink. So perhaps the card system isn’t too brutal, perhaps we need to understand that naval war is brutal! And maybe you get sunk quick, but the game is speedy enough to set it up again and have another go! 

Are there ever any misses in the deck to give the one being hit that brief sigh of relief? (Only to get a fire with the next card lol.) Especially at long range, at least in the movies, you always see the cannon balls plunk into the water. Of course, I don’t know a whole lot about historical actual age of sail battles, I just love the Master & Commander movie lol. I do know, when a ship gets broadsides on you, that’s a guarantee of something hitting you, I’d think. But I don’t know. 

All that to say, I’m excited to try it. I can already tell that this game has the fluidity a lot of people long for in an age of sail game. Better to play and get an understanding before saying much more about the mechanics – I don’t know the intricacies of them yet until I play! And I’m looking forward to it.

I like the idea of negotiations when you get into a certain range. You can even do stuff like giving cargo over to a pirate to evade being boarded or captured. If the pirate player is really mean, they may still try to fight after stealing goods lol. Negotiations make things interesting and gives the players that moment of direct interaction while still maintaining secrecy. Maybe the pirate thinks the Dauntless has more cargo than they are saying they have and in negotiations is demanding more. That can be fun. A little bluffing here and there.

New box art looks cool. I like the card deck!


Which Pub Battle Should I Start With?

First and foremost, I always recommend getting the battle / subject / theme that you are most interested in.  It seems easier to learn and play when you are excited about that subject.

Another consideration is size.  How big is the map?  How big is the battle?  Are there lots of blocks on both sides or are the armies smaller?  Bigger maps and more pieces mean you need a bigger table.  They also take a little longer to play.  They also cost more dollars. 

If you are new, it can be easier to start with a smaller battle.  Brandywine is great for this.  It is also a good introduction to Wargaming for new players.  Waterloo could feel a little overwhelming for your first game. Gettysburg has a nice mix. It starts off as a small, little scrap. By the end of the first day, it has grown into a full on titanic struggle! So in one game, you can get a feel for both.  

How many players do you expect to have?  You can cram 4-6 players around a small map but I find that more comfortable with a big map. 

These are all good things to keep in mind but the subject that motivates you trumps them all.  If it’s not a battle or historical period that you’re excited about, then it is harder to get into the game and want to play.    

Canvas or Paper?

Which should I get? Canvas or paper? Is the canvas really worth it? What is the better way to go? Here’s the breakdown:

They have the exact same graphics.  The canvas is insanely durable!!!  My copy of the first Pub Battle we ever made, has been played a TON.  It still looks brand new!  You’d never know it.  It’s like bomb proof. 

If you spill a drink or dribble a few drops, it’s fine.  Just wipe it up with a paper towel.  You’ll never know.  (Unless maybe it’s dark red wine and you leave it there or something.  That can leave a slight discoloration but even that just kind of blends into the map.) 

The paper looks fine.  I think it holds up fairly well.  If you’re worried about spilled drinks, you can always put the paper under a sheet of plexiglass.  That does a great job.  The downside is that is has a kind of modern look that clashes with the old world feel of the rest of the game.  :/   lol….   It makes the artist in me cringe, but many people may not even notice. 

I guess another option may be to have it laminated.  That’s pretty expensive.  In fact, by the time you are done with that, it’s probably cheaper to just get canvas.  Lamination also has a glossy modern look that clashes with the old world style.  It won’t look as good.  That does open up options to write on the map and draw in unit locations and movements with dry erase pens though.  I think some guys have done and are doing that! 

If you do have an ‘inner artist’, you’ll notice and like the extra texture of the canvas maps.  It has little ridges in the surface of it.  If you look close, you can see the thread lines.  I like that.  It makes the surface look even more detailed and rich.  It is a minor and subtle effect but really cool.  I appreciate that too from a historical perspective because that’s what these maps were really printed on in the day.  That’s what they really looked like! 

This makes me think of another benefit:  immersion into the game.  This may appear trivial.  Some people may not care at all but it does have an impact.  There is something to looking at a real canvas map with real wood KS style blocks.  It triggers your imagination somehow.  I can’t help but imagine that I’m a real officer on the field, in command of the battle.  It has a way of taking you back to that period.  It FEELS a lot better to me.  It draws me in.

One advantage of the paper, is that they now come in regular sized game boxes that fit on the shelf with your other games.  It’s also kind of nice to keep the rules in the box so they don’t get that curl from being in the tube.  That’s not too bad.  You can counter roll them to flatten them out. 

The downside is that we fold the map to fit into the box.  The creases make the map surface all uneven.  You can get it to lay flatter by folding it backwards.  It’s not too bad. 

Now, you can upgrade to a canvas map later if you decide you want that.  It does cost extra because you have to pay for shipping twice and 2 boxes.

Here’s what we recommend:

Go with a Paper Map if:

-it’s your first Pub Battle and you aren’t sure yet if you’ll even like the system.

-you really want a box that just fits on your shelf easily with the rest of your games.

Go with Canvas if:

-You REALLY want the map!  Like maybe you live in or near Gettysburg and you know you will want that map to keep, regardless of the game.

-You collect games and want a good resale value later. 

-You expect it to get lots of use and play time on the table.  Pub Battles in general gets played more than other games.  Some play it so much, they wear the stickers off the blocks.  We have to send them new ones!  I’ve done that myself a few times.      

This may vary by the battle though.  I notice that some battles are my favorites and I keep coming back to them:  Like Gettysburg and Marengo.  Some battles are interesting to see.  I want them in my collection but I don’t play them as much.  It might make more sense to get the paper version of those battles.

-You expect to use this multi-player.  Yeah, definitely go with canvas.  It’s just a matter of time till somebody spills a drink or dribbles something on the map.  :/    You know it’s gonna happen.  It’s worth it for the durability here.