So the first of my recent batch of Kickstarters has arrived, slightly behind schedule but by no means as late as some have delivered, and it is Warboards! Warboards is the brainchild of Steve Smith, a portable table top gaming solution that delivers double sided playing surfaces to play and folds up to a remarkably small size for easy storage. The Kickstarter was modestly successful and funded at around 140%, this is some achievement as the product is fairly basic and there was little in the way of stretch goals to drive pledges. In this way it is perhaps one of the wargaming Kickstarters most true to the concept of crowdfunding. I got in on the Earlybird Pledge so picked up something of a bargain anyway, saving a fair bit off of the RRP of £20 a board.
The Optional Multicase
Each board, when unfolded, makes for a 2x3’ area so 4 boards (cleverly designed to be placed together) will provide a 6x4’ double sided playing surface at a far cheaper price than any of the other options on the market. A variety of designs were unveiled, Urban, Battle Field, Sci Fi and Fantasy corridors and a Starfield, and with double sided boards the potential was great. Originally any combination of these was to be available but over time the number of options was cut down drastically due to manufacturing constraints. A real shame as my plans for City/Starfield were abruptly dashed leading me to opt for the corridors options (always good for a dungeon/space ship crawler – i confess i had AVP and HQ25 in mind here!) There were a few delays as Steve was confronted with the realities of manufacturing implications but overall it was a fairly smooth KS and although delivery was originally planned for Christmas it arrived mid March. Now that i finally have it in my hands it is time for a comprehensive review.
Enough space inside for 4 boards and army books/pads
One of the first things i noticed about the product is it is a lot lighter than i thought it would be. I had expected 4 boards to pack quite a heft but this was not the case and these boards could be carried around easily. Now one of my boards was actually incorrect but i have taken a few pictures so you can see the product whilst i get this sorted (i doubt ill need a 6x4 for a while anyway!) The multicase that I paid extra for is a corrugated plastic affair much the same as some of the cheaper army cases you see about, inside are the 4 sturdy cardboard cases that house the actual Warboards themselves. Secured by a Velcro fastener they open easily to grant access to the product.
A little thinner than expected but no deal breaker.
Here it becomes apparent why the product weighs a little less than you might expect, the board is rather thin, more akin to a thick card than the pseudo fibreboard affair of something like a board game. That said it does seem to be just thick enough and it doesn't bend or flex to any real degree although future warpage certainly cannot be discounted. The print is very nice. Crisp and detailed with a smooth finish, how durable that finish is remains to be seen but i see no reason for concern. However i expect a certain amount of care will have to be employed when using Warboard and im not sure it will stand up to any misuse the edges in particular look like they may fray and it may be an idea to employ a sealant. They have been laid out on my coffee table for a couple of nights now though and there is a tiny bit of lifting going on but it is unlikely anyone would ever leave them out for such a lengthy period of time, i was just testing them.
The Print and design looks great!
Laid together, 2 Warboards provide a 2x3 playing area, it looks pretty good i must say and as you can see from the pictures the designs match up rather well. The city looks great and the corridors look good as well, nice varied designs that again match up with 2 boards, these will come in handy for sci fi board games like sedition wars or Alien vs Predator. As an aside i did give thought to the battlefield design but there were actually too MANY features on it, had it been more plain (if you’ll excuse the pun) i may have opted for that instead. Unfortunately with all the furrows and rises on it i felt it might look a little silly if you then started putting scenery atop of it. At least with the urban design the boundaries are clearly defined and a few ruined buildings here and there and it should look the bomb (apologies again) ideal for Cityfight, Infinity or Necromunda. Steve also produced a 15mm scale city board that would work a treat for DZC.
2 Boards laid together for a 4x3' playing area
So overall i'm rather happy with Warboard. Me and Lee will be playing our first game on it soon which should be great and with any luck it will survive the rigours of many a game. I have some reservations about its durability but the quality of the product seems high and the print is lovely. Its a shame that Steve couldn't accommodate a few more of the design combinations and unfortunately it is proportionally less useful to me because of these limitations but for a new freshly launched product it shows much potential.
For an ultraportable battleboard system it delivers in spades, its not overly bulky or cumbersome like a Realm Of Battle board and can be stored very easily (perfect for people like me who have very limited space!) care will need to be employed in its use but overall it is a simple product and there is not a great deal to say about it. Unfold, play, fold up, store. Repeat. Hopefully ad inifinatum.