Author Topic: U-Boot the boardgame  (Read 3773 times)

BanzaiCat

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Reply #60 on: May 26, 2019, 02:00:38 PM
Did any of you get the wooden nav pack? Was it part of the KS?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PPJKPB1?ref=myi_title_dp

$10 doesn't seem bad for a little flavor.

I'd love the mat too, but I'm also pretty sure that it's also a KS-only item.



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #61 on: May 26, 2019, 02:55:13 PM
I did.  Not really worth it IMO.  The cardboard is nearly as good.

Cardboard on the left, wood on the right.



BanzaiCat

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Reply #62 on: May 26, 2019, 02:56:20 PM
Wow. Thank you, appreciate the comparison.

I gotta actually see what I have in my box first.



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #63 on: May 26, 2019, 03:44:31 PM
We did a 4 player run through of the training mission yesterday.   

Initial thoughts:

This game nails the theme and atmosphere!  Everyone commented on how well the game presented itself and how powerfully the theme came through.

Components are great but they eat up a tonne of table space (and we ended up adding more in the form of a notepad and some graph paper).

The 3-D sub model is cool but it needs to be glued or it'll fall apart during play.  Storage is going to be an issue.  Glad I didn't get the 3D resin components and environmental hazards add ones because it's cramped enough with just the sailor minis.

Division of labour/tasks is wildly uneven and whoever ends up playing as the chief engineer doesn't get a lot to do.

The captain will be busy trying to keep track of everything that needs doing and stressing over the orders/morale track.  The first officer is the busiest person as they're responsible for interacting with the app and passing on info.  The navigator isn't too busy until a contact is found but then they're totally ensconced in playing with the nav wheel and tactical map.  The meal prep thing they're also responsible for feels like busy work.

The engineer has the  most routine tasks to perform but they just aren't that engaging or fun.   The app will throw up routine  maintenance tasks from time to time (usually while you're being depth charged) indicating what the problem is, how severe (green, yellow, or red), and how many men it will require (there are also 2 toolboxes available with limited parts that can lower the manpower cost).  The engineer's only real job is to prioritize his repair schedule based on his limited manpower and assign crew to repairs.  He still needs the captain to agree and issue orders though and the first officer is the one who will be able to track repair progress via the app.  Other than that, the engineer doesn't do anything until things go very, very wrong and the sub suffers a hull breach in which case the player has to correctly assemble puzzle pieces before a timer runs out an the damaged section floods.

We tried giving the engineer player other tasks like controlling the medic (1st officer's responsibility) and the meal prep (nav's responsibility) but these tasks aren't really any more engaging either.   I did see a post on BGG suggesting that players switch roles after each watch change.  That might be fun.

The way the orders track works for the captain seems very punishing.  Simply ordering everyone into position and setting course and speed nearly exhausts the available orders for 6 hours of game time.  We all thought it was too punitive but want to try a few more times before house ruling things.

Fun game.  Tonnes of atmosphere.  Needs some tweaking.  Can't wait to play again!



BanzaiCat

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Reply #64 on: May 26, 2019, 03:49:16 PM
That's good to know. Though I'll probably be playing it solo for the foreseeable future. I only bought it after researching how many folks had a good time playing it solo, though it does need house rules. I thought I'd heard one about not issuing an order when setting course and speed, or other minor things like that (making them 'free' orders), but I imagine that's more of a difficulty level thing.



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #65 on: May 26, 2019, 03:52:30 PM
We decided once someone was assigned to the hydrophone that that should only require one order rather than an order every time you went back to the hydrophone screen.  We also went with a free mobilization order during watch changes.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 04:06:17 PM by Silent Disapproval Robot »



BanzaiCat

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Reply #66 on: June 03, 2019, 10:26:51 AM
Barth, did you get your copy yet?

SDR, did you ever reach out to your seller or the company itself regarding your damaged components?

Mine is supposed to be here today. My seller in Tuscon has been very responsive in communications and he even warned me of the poor packing issues. He told me to inspect the game carefully and let him know if there were any problems so they could figure out where to go from there.

I'm going to do an unboxing video when I have time, once it arrives. I'm morbidly curious.

Meanwhile, over at BGG, there's a thread complaining (well, many threads, but this one in particular is interesting) about the piss-poor packing. The company rep (Michal) that responded to people in that thread was apologetic but stated they essentially just "forgot" a transport tray.  Many folks in that thread were very satisfied with the explanation, but I'm not sure this is forgivable, mainly for two reasons.

One, this is a professional company that has many, many other board games to its credit, not a first-time publisher. There's no excuse for skimping on packing/presentation.

Two, tied in to one, is that presentation. All board gamers are VERY visual people and get emotional interest in components, presentation, and the like. It elicits a response in our brains very much like an itch we can't scratch but can suddenly reach. We ALL know that giddy Christmas-like feeling of opening a board game for the first time, and game developers should know that feeling well, too. How the hell you can just 'forget' how people will see your game when they open the cover is mind-bogglingly ridiculous.

The other unforgivable part is, having to turn your customers into auditors, and have us have to sit down with a list of components in one hand and do a meticulous check of the contents with the other. I think we can agree there are certainly gamers out there that do this out of OCD or anal-retentiveness, though I cannot disparage that at all. A game is an investment, not just of money but of time and to an extent, emotion. I'm not one of those people. I trust companies to provide everything needed, but this is going to instill paranoia in me and make me want to start doing that. Not to mention the time it's going to take looking for every last piece and component, because there's a lot of different people in the thread there talking about one piece here missing or another piece there missing.

Makes me wonder if the dev had a conveyor belt of box bottoms going by a chute that they just poured components out of and hey, if everything got in, great...if not, oh well, we're "just humans!" :)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 10:34:16 AM by BanzaiCat »



Barthheart

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Reply #67 on: June 03, 2019, 10:48:57 AM
Yeah I got my copy. And it was pretty messy inside the box. there are 2 decks of cards, one of mine had worked itself out of it's plastic strap and was all over the inside of the box. The other deck was intact inside it's strap... but the top card had a couple of small nicks out of the top face colour from roaming around the box. Nothing that will affect play at all.
A couple of the punch board pieces had fallen out but again were no damaged in any way. In fact it made removing the other piece really easy as the punching was well done.

My sub model doesn't hold together by itself either but some glue will fix that.

I'm pretty blase about the packing job... its just a game.... you'd think they way some people are carrying on it was their first born that had shown up on a box...  ::)

Finally got the game all laid out on my game table... man it takes a lot of space and will involve lots of reaching to play solo.

PETS - People for the Ethical Treatment of Square corners


Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #68 on: June 03, 2019, 11:48:07 AM
Yeah, I contacted Phalanx games regarding the mangled card and wrong mat.  They replied within a few days and said replacements are on the way.

Both of my card decks came apart in transit and a lot of the cards were bent and scuffed.  Only one was bad enough to warrant replacing.  About half of the ship tiles popped out of the sprues but there was no damage.  My ship model was very wobbly when I assembled it and it threatened to fall apart when touched so I ended up gluing it together in thirds (bow section, stern section, and midships).  Nice and stable now but doesn’t fit in the box any more.

I noticed that the distance increments on the navigator’s rulers don’t match up.  The wooden ruler is about 3mm longer than the cardboard one.  No idea which one is correct for the map scale.




BanzaiCat

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Reply #69 on: June 03, 2019, 11:52:26 AM

I'm pretty blase about the packing job... its just a game.... you'd think they way some people are carrying on it was their first born that had shown up on a box...  ::)

If it's just minor things, I'm absolutely fine with that. Major damage or missing pieces though, that affects gameplay and can't be overlooked. The main thing about the cards that worries me is, if one or several are marked, you'll know what that card is if/when it comes out during a game - "oh crap, there's the card with the nick in it, that's the X card coming up."

Some people are about as anal about their board games as some comic collectors are - it's pretty amazing they bother collecting them anyway. But hey to each their own, right?




Barthheart

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Reply #70 on: June 03, 2019, 12:07:07 PM
Lots of the cards aren't used where you need to hide what they are, only the random injury and morale cards are hidden.

PETS - People for the Ethical Treatment of Square corners


Barthheart

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Reply #71 on: June 03, 2019, 12:09:01 PM
...
I noticed that the distance increments on the navigator’s rulers don’t match up.  The wooden ruler is about 3mm longer than the cardboard one.  No idea which one is correct for the map scale.

I don't think it makes any real difference in the game play which ruler you use. Navigation on the strat map is not that accurate anyway. I think most are using the wooden ruler, seems better... and it's wood!

PETS - People for the Ethical Treatment of Square corners


BanzaiCat

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Reply #72 on: June 03, 2019, 12:13:48 PM
Lots of the cards aren't used where you need to hide what they are, only the random injury and morale cards are hidden.

That's good to know, thank you.



BanzaiCat

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Reply #73 on: June 03, 2019, 04:23:15 PM
Just arrived.

The game does look like a hot mess when I opened the box, but both of my card decks were secure in their cheap little plastic strap (thankfully), so no mess of cards throughout the box.

A few of the larger cardboard pieces popped out, including all three of the circle/course pieces, and a couple of the U-Boot structure. One of the U-Boot pieces is slightly warped on one end but I don't perceive this to be a problem when I put it together.

I'd heard you can assemble this thing and then it can disassemble into three sections, and fit in the box. Is that not accurate? If not, I am probably going to hold off on putting this together as I still have to move in about a month.



Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #74 on: June 03, 2019, 04:31:49 PM
Maybe if you’re better at packing than I am.  The three pieces will fit in the box lengthwise but the lid won’t fully close.  As long as you don’t rest anything on top of the game box, you should be fine but any significant weight on top will crush the sub model.