26th Jan2018

Back This! Board Game Special: UBOOT / Warpgate

by Matthew Smail

Welcome to the latest edition of our regular crowdfunding feature here on Nerdly – Back This! – where we take a look at some of the cool content taking the crowdfunding route on sites such as Indiegogo, Sponsume and Kickstarter. This month we’re spotlighting two awesome new board game crowdfunding campaigns…

UBOOT

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Emerging from the murky depths of Kickstarter on February 15th will Phalanx Games’ incredible looking submarine simulator UBOOT, which has already reached five hundred percent of its funding goal. It’s no surprise either, because this incredibly ambitious game from the developer of Hannibal & Hamilcar is app driven, real time and even features a 90 centimeter long submarine model including a complete crew of miniatures. The Kickstarter lead in states:

UBOOT The Board Game is a real-time tabletop game of WW2 submarine warfare. An underwater cooperative war thriller that allows 1 to 4 players to assume the roles of the Captain, the First Officer, the Navigator, and the Chief Engineer on board of a type VIIC U-boat. The game is enhanced by a companion app, allowing for an unprecedented level of realism, as well as a challenging enemy A.I. which will push your skills to the limit. The action unfolds both on the strategic and the tactical scale, always demanding teamwork, efficient crew management, and quick situation assessment.

Frankly, it sounds incredible to me and I can’t wait to see that model in the flesh. Firstly, I haven’t seen any game as ambitious as UBOOT in a long time (perhaps even ever) and the possibility for tense, innovative and exciting gameplay that is unlocked by the combination of app driven AI and the need to manage a U-Boat in real time is incredible.

Phalanx Games have great form too, with previous historical outings like Hannibal & Hamilcar and Germania Magna already well received by the community. Personally, I was sold at the mere thought of being able to play with a submarine model, let alone the fact that a board game will be built around it as well. UBOOT will be one to watch over the next few months, but if you want to get in early and back it, the Kickstarter is active now and can be found via this handy link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/phalanxgames/uboot-the-board-game

WARPGATE

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If you’re a fan of Twilight Imperium IV (like I am) but you struggle to get Fantasy Flight’s complex, six hour long behemoth to the table, then you might want to consider the latest 4X strategy game from Latvian developer, Wolff Designa. Warpgate is an explore, expand, exploit and exterminate game that is billed as being playable in between forty and ninety minutes depending on player count, whilst still providing a deep and rich experience.

The Kickstarter page provides quotes the following features:

  • Warpgate is a fast-paced 2-4 player board game of hand management and area control. Move your fleets of star-ships on a hex-based modular game board, establish colonies and outposts and engage your enemies in battles for the control of prized commodities.
  • Research new technologies and grow your galactic empire.
  • It’s quick. You don’t need the entire day to move some spaceships around the board. A two player game of Warpgate can be completed in around 40 minutes.
  • It’s fast paced. All you have to do on your turn is play one card and resolve one action. Next thing you know – it’s your turn again!
  • It’s easy to learn. Everything is as streamlined as possible and the rule-book is thin (for a strategy game ;) You’ll probably know all the rules by the end of round 2.
  • It’s dynamic. No sitting in your own corner of the board. Expect constant fighting, planets captured and re-captured. Combat is quick and simple, yet presents players with interesting options every time.
  • It’s replayable. There are 8 alien races with unique abilities, 30 technology cards and randomizable player board to make sure that no game is the same.
  • No player elimination. Everybody is in it until the end. With secret mission cards every player can try and snatch that last-turn victory!
  • No dice. It’s a battle of wits.

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Of particular interest to me is the idea of simple, card driven gameplay which revolves around a single action per turn. This kind of gameplay has proven to be incredibly popular with my gaming groups over the past few months, with most players keen to minimise downtime and see rapid, impactful changes unfold on the board. I also love modular boards and I am particularly excited to see how Wolff Designa capture the essence of more complex, longer games within their quicker, more dynamic approach.

Wolff Designa is a relatively new publisher, but their previous title (Guards of Atlantis) is rated almost 8 out of 10 on BGG, offering an innovative and very enjoyable take on MOBA style gameplay in board game form. Should you wish to back Warpgate on Kickstarter, you can do so by following this link anytime up to February 16th:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wolffdesigna/warpgate-0

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