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Roman Seas History

I have been interested in Roman naval history ever since I saw the movies, Ben Hur and Cleopatra when I was around 7 years old. After researching ancient Roman naval warfare for the last three years, I cringe when I see all the errors in these films, but they do at least capture the feel of ancient naval combat.

I always wanted to game ancient Roman naval warfare, but I just hated the idea of having to use those small ship models (1200th scale), and I cannot afford those pewter/photo-etched 1/300th scale model ships, despite how good they may look. It seemed to me that more people would play this period if only inexpensive, good, historically accurate models were available. Before the creation Roman Seas, if I had tried to put together a game using 10 1/300th scale ships on each side, with five or six merchant vessels thrown into the mix to make the game really interesting, the cost to my wallet would have been in excess of $1000, AND I would still have to assemble, paint, and base the models AND the resulting models would be very fragile, prone to breakage. That is ridiculous! I want to play, but I certainly do not want to go bankrupt trying to make it happen. Thus, Roman Seas was born. A 1/300th scale fleet that used to cost more than $1000, can now, with Roman Seas, cost under $60! Now I can play ancient Roman naval games AND buy groceries and pay the rent at the same time. What a unique concept!

Roman Seas was first conceived in early 2003. We started experimenting with various building techniques but none proved successful. All work stopped in late 2003 when my father fell ill, and then in April 2004 my father passed away suddenly in his sleep. I had to move residence to be with my mother during the next few months. During my first stay with my mother, I discovered that I had forgotten all my client work at my other studio, and since I had to stay 24 hours a day with my mother, I couldn't do my regular scheduled work for the next few weeks as a result. My father's passion all his life was the study of ancient Roman history, so with that in mind, and in memory of my father, I decided to once more start up with Roman Seas ship designing. After playing with various unsuccessful designs on my computer, I finally hit upon a unique assembly system that is both fast and easy. From that point onward, I devoted all my spare time reading all the Roman history books I could lay my hands on and designing Roman ships.
I was greatly surprised that most books I read were very much out of date, and in many cases, just plain wrong. There have been many new exciting discoveries and theories that have come forward over the last 15 years, and Roman Seas follows this new line of research rather than falling upon earlier written works that are older than 15 years. I make no apologies for this.

Send questions, comments or suggestions to: Eric Hotz