From the publisher’s website:
At the turn of the 18th Century, Tsar Peter Veliky (“the Great”) had a dream. This was for Imperial Russia to have a fleet vast and powerful enough to control its local waterways and to extend Russian trade to the world. Peter traveled widely throughout Europe, learning the trade of shipbuilding from the western masters, and brought this knowledge home. Sadly, he would never see the result of his labors. But, by the time of his death in 1725, the seed of a powerful armada had been sown. Under a flag bearing the cross of Saint Andrew (a blue cross on a white background), the Imperial Russian Navy grew to become the masters of the Baltic, Black and eastern Mediterranean seas.
Blue Cross, White Ensign: The Imperial Russian Navy during the Age of Sail is the third volume in the Flying Colors series of games on naval combat. It focuses on the efforts of the Imperial Russian navy in its struggles against the navies of Sweden in the Baltic and Turkey in the Black and Mediterranean seas from 1770 to 1807. Like its predecessors, this volume is completely independent of — but fully compatible with — the other volumes in the series. Nothing else is needed to play! This volume comes with an updated and expanded rulebook that adds additional detail specific to the navies included herein. Particularly the introduction of explosive shells, fired from the mighty Russian “edinerogs” (or “unicorns”).
Included are a baker’s dozen of battles pitting the Imperial Russian Navy against those of Sweden and Turkey. Each battle is fought by two players (or two teams of players) across one or several conjoined maps depicting shallows and shoals with individually named vessels that have been specifically rated for their abilities in combat. Players activate these ships through the command abilities of individually rated admirals present at each battle (including the mercenary adventurer and American naval icon: John Paul Jones). Players may also easily create their own scenarios with “design your own” rules and even pit these fleets against those from other volumes in the Flying Colors series. The command system provides an excellent solitaire experience as well.
Can you, as the commander of a Swedish or Turkish fleet bring the Russian navy to heel? Or, as the commander of an Imperial Russian fleet, achieve the goals of Peter the Great and help transform Russia into a great naval power? Now you can find out with: Blue Cross, White Ensign!