Hands on with Dog Might Games: Component Collector Review

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Here we are again with another great Kickstarter by Dog Might Games underway. The Viking’s artisans from the north are at it again with their newest creation “The Component Collector”. SO what is this crazy stack of wood and magnets with a strap that at first glance looks like Dog Might Games made an all wood drink coaster set? In the words of the Dog Might Team, The Component Collector is

“A modular tile system for organizing board game tokens and components. Use with your entire game library. Custom. Magnetic. Elegant.”

The Design

  • Rolling Trays measure 4.25″ x 6.5″ with a depth of 0.75″Tiles measure 3.25″ Square and are 0.5″ deep.
  • Modular flexible footprint. Every tile connects to any other, even from different Component Collectors.
  • Rolling trays work in line with all tiles.
  • Works with a huge variety of games
  • Utility-driven designs
  • Snap together layout uses rare earth magnets securely glued into each tile.
  • Every Component Collector is coated with Dog Might Varnish for a lifetime of protection.
  • Straps are created from heavy duty furniture upholstery that is moderately textured. It is easy to clean, will not fade, and is water and crack resistant.
  • Leather Straps are created from 2.5 oz finished Cow leather.

 

 

 

Having just wrapped up the review for the Skirmish Box I was only slightly surprised when I was contacted about doing another review so soon. The creative guys at Dog Might have been cranking out a ton of awesome things in the last few months. If you do not follow the Dog Might Games Feeds you may be surprised to know that not all things Dog Might are launched as Kickstarters.

So, Michael Konas informed me that they had packed up a new prototype that they were about to launch on Kickstarter and had sent me one for review. It arrived the day before launch and in the time I have had it the Kickstarter has exploded. At the time of this writing, there is still 22 days to go on the project and it has pulled in more than $84 thousand dollars!

Often when I get a Dog Might Games product I take advantage of my local games and take it around to FLGS to get a wider opinion on the project than just my own. It’s always nice to see the reactions of fellow gamers when they have a quality product in hand and they can think about how they would use it at the table. More often than not their thoughts are very much in line with my own. The craftsmanship is beautiful, the feel is solid in the hand and they look amazing on the table. After that, it is just a matter of deciding how useful it is at the table for its intended purpose.

Honestly, when I first saw the pictures of The Component Collector I was not sure what to think of it. It was definitely something that I knew I was going to need to get my hands on and experiment with. This might be because I can get a little OCD. This left me at first not fully seeing the wide variety of uses that you got from having 8 trays. The main issue I was having difficulty with was understanding that you would not always use all 8 trays. The moment I accepted that the intent that The Component Collector having 8 trays was to give you the widest range of games you could use it with, it all became clear.

When my Component Collector arrived I happened to be running D&D. So, I wasted no time in pausing the game long enough to rip the box open and begin using it. Once I got The Component Collector on the table its design became immediately apparent. The many numerous options of how you can configure the layout of the trays is just awesome!

 

 

 

As The Component Collector made its way around the table my players each spent a little hands-on quality time with the prototype. Playing with their own configurations and getting an idea of how they could put it to use. The first thing I noticed as it was being passed around was everyone had would assemble in a way that would suit them best. Now, granted there is no wrong way to set it up. But that also is the beauty of The Component Collector.

When I took it to my FLGS the board game crowd was eager to get their hands on The Component Collector. The first thing I noticed as it was making its way around the room was much the same behavior as my RPG players. One by one each person laid the tiles out and began clicking them together the way it felt natural to them. Some made one long single row while others made two rows. Some boxed the dice tray in with tiles while others set the dice tray aside altogether. With no wrong way (as long as the dot faces away from you) to use the tiles, your personal creativity takes over. Sometimes in unexpected ways as one of the players made a Shelf to hold cards at one point.

 

 

 

Over the course of my week with the product, I have taken it with me to my FLGS twice. Having shown it off to more than a dozen gamers who I have let experiment with it. Some big fans of Dog Might Games some not so much. One who at the mention of Dog Might Games commented “Oh the guys that make wooden boxes?” Yet every single person I have shown this magnetic tile system to has liked it. That my friends is high praise from a guy that thinks of you as “The guys that make wood boxes.”

The feedback that I gathered from those who handled the product over the week was overwhelmingly positive. Now, It must be said that my set is a prototype and is not the final design that every one may receive. The Square tile was by far the most popular tile with the Bowl, Card, and Double seeming to be the other favorites. This could easily have been due to the games that were played as noted above you likely will not find yourself using all 8 trays at a time. This proved to be true as well when out in the wild. Players often only used 6 tiles at a time. Myself I used two when playing my Sunday RPG the Square and the dice tray. The Bowl for as popular as it was, did receive a few comments wishing it was a little wider or deeper. Allowing for it to hold a larger number of tokens or meeples. I have already passed this information onto Dog Might Games and they have said they will see if they are able to accommodate that request.

My final thoughts on the Component Collector

This dice tray with 8 tiles slowly crept its way into my heart. I went from on the fence to in love with it. Anyone would be hard pressed not to be able to find a use for several of these trays for most games. With the option for just few bucks more, you have the ability to hand-pick all 8+ tiles. Unlocking full customization to you and opening a vast number of additional game options. Congratulations Dog Might Games you have Critical Hit on your hands!

This project just might be a perfect example of what Dog Might Games is all about. With every project, they strive to give their customers choices, hundreds of thousands of choices! If you back a Dog Might product you know you are going to get something personal, special, and maybe even unique among the rest. A perfect example of this is my Skirmish box. I got the most basic of boxes but with my custom logo, I know that no one except myself has that box. They may have a skirmish box but this one is mine and mine alone. In this day and age of mass produced things, this is exceptional and exceptional is the standard at Dog Might Games.

Runkles Ranking

Nat 20!D20 #20

 

 

Dog Might Games Skirmish Box

With 17 hours to go, I won’t have the time for a deep in depth review of Dog Might Games newest product The Skirmish Box. But In the short time I have had it, about eight hours now I have given it a bunch of attention. The box is everything I asked for and could not be happier.

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A few weeks back just as Dog Might Games was about to launch their current Kickstarter The Skirmish Box. I had reached out and asked them if they had any new products in the wings. After some discussion, they let me in on their plan to craft an amazing magnetic minis box. A box for Skirmish war games like Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux or Guild Ball or even as a storage box for your D&D and Pathfinder minis, I was immediately sold!

They kindly offered to chuck a box in a mail bag and have one sent straight my way so that I could do a review on it. Knowing that this was likely a box that I will use extensively for a long time to come asked if they would consider taking my logo on the box this time. Usually, for review proposes the Viking lords at Dog Might grab a product sample at random pitch it into the air for Hermoth to deliver straight away. In this case Dog Might was happy to oblige, but woodworking and art take time and they have other Kickstarter orders and products that take priority.

The Postal gods were not kind and I had hoped the box would have arrived on Saturday. Eventually, It did arrive and I have had it here for nearly eight hours now. With less than 15 hours to go before project ends and they begin cranking out boxes for their eager backers. Thankfully I did get it before the project ended and here we are with a final hours review!

In the past, I have had hands on review of Dog Might Games Dice Chest, The Dragon Sheath as well as their Dragon Trays. Each of these has impressed for equally different reasons. The Skirmish box is by far the biggest of the boxes I have reviewed for Dog Might. The Dragon Tray is longer but the Skirmish box is one massive hunk of carved wood.

In standard Dog Might Games fashion, they are giving you a tremendous amount of customization options to make your box your very own. Skirmish boxes can have up to six designed insides depending on your personal needs. Myself I got the open box as I will likely be storing large numbers of RPG minis that I pull and store before my weekly games.

With nearly 30 exterior carving options including the Malifaux Symbol and each of the Malifaux factions you have a huge selection of carvings to pick from to adorn the top of your box. If you are unable to find a symbol that you like. For the small price of $25 dollars, you can ask them to provide you with a custom job like they did for me. They currently have over 1,000 metal symbols to pick and chose from!

The selection of wood types varies by Tier but they have more than 20 woods and stains to choose from. All of these things make for a very personal experience you are not just getting a box that is like every other box that was produced for the Kickstarter. Time and pride go into their craft and It shows. If every box was just ripped off an assembly line I would not be writing a final hour hands on review It would have been done weeks ago. That says a lot about the guys at Dog Might Games.

Now, does the box do what they guys at Dog Might Games do what they say it will? I did not have the opportunity to run the gambit of tests. But I did take the time to drop a few of my rare earth magnets into my box to test the strength of the hold it gives. I am pleased to confirm the hold that the metal plate gives is considerable and you can expect magnetized models are going to stay in place nicely in this box. When playing around with this I also noted to myself that the lid of the standard box makes as a great dice try as well. I thought that would be worth pointing out!

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The Skirmish box comes in two sizes.

Dimensions. The Skirmish Box comes in 2 sizes. There is no price difference in the sizes:

  • Standard is 11.25 x 5.75 x 4.25 with an interior height of 3″ (the bottom is 2″ deep and the top is 1″ deep). Fits minis up to 3″ in height.
  • Large is 11.25 x 5.75 x 5.25 with an interior height of 4″ (the bottom is 2″ deep and the top is 2″ deep). Fits minis up to 4″ in height.

Dog Might says

“The Skirmish box uses an embedded metal plate that allows your minis with added magnets to stand apart from one another, ensuring safe transport. It also offers a variety of wells to hold cards, tokens, dice, or anything else you need for your game and holds up to 25 minis.”

Well, I can tell you in my last photo I had set more than 30 minis of various sizes in my open well box. All of the bases had room sit and connect flush if they had been magnetized. Granted it is worth noting that I was also using 28mm figures. I think the 25 figure statement is based on 35mm models.

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In the end, this is just another awesome Dog Might Games product. And anyone that plays Malifaux or any other skirmish game is going to draw attention when they set this bad boy on the tourney table. Congratulations on a job well done Dog Might Games!

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Hands on Review Dog Might Games Dragon Tray!

So last week, just in time for my regular gaming week to start, I received my review Dragon Tray from Dog Might Games. Like always, the package arrived mummified in packing material to keep it safe. My first impression was the sheer size of this tray. The tray that the Dog Might Games crew had sent me was the “Demon” and it is no joke. It measures in at 14″ x 7.5″, is made from Flame Birch with Demon’s Blood finish, and has a Black Demon Hide lining. This tray is hard to miss. It also weighs more than one and a half pounds. The Kickstarter features 25 styles of trays. With that big of a selection, it will be hard not to find one or two that you will want.

The dice wells run on average about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch for most all of the trays. I voiced a little concern to Dog Might about the depth in the lowest portion of my particular tray. These great guys informed me that this was the lowest portion of any of the trays that they produced and that they would tweak and raise it slightly. I mention this because I want to acknowledge both the level of craftsmanship and professionalism at Dog Might Games. Not only have they trusted my thoughts and opinions to review their product, but they also valued my input on the one real concern that I had for this product.

The level of craftsmanship is clearly on display here with Dog Might Games Dragon Trays. These are works of art that you can hang on your wall to display for all to see. But my number one concern as a gamer is not ‘Does it look pretty?’. My number one concern is ‘Is it functional?’. My answer to you after several hours of gameplay with it…

YES!

I put it through a night of Shadowrun, at one point rolling upward of 14 dice, and it handled the job nicely. Away from the table, I rolled polys and Metal dice in it obsessively. These trays sit on solid rubber legs. (see photo below) These big firm feet grip the tray to the table, preventing it from sliding around and elevating it from the tabletop.This produces a few results. Dog Might will say this was done with the intent of keeping your Dragon Tray safe from spills, but I think the real reason they did it was for the satisfying sound your dice make clattering around in the tray, and it is very satisfying. Well done, you crafty lumberjacks.

 

That said, the sides are low. I know many of you are thinking, “But Shane, I am going to throw my dice and they are going to go flying straight out of this tray!?“. Well, you’re absolutely right. If you roll dice like a drunken monkey in a craps game, your dice will go everywhere. But if you roll your dice, not throw your dice, you will find that the dice well depth works just fine. I also would point out that I was using 14 Double D6. 12 siders. Basically, I was rolling balls into the tray and they all stayed put. So roll like a sane human and you will be fine.

If you roll dice like a drunken monkey in a craps game your dice will go everywhere. But if you roll your dice not throw your dice, you will find that the dice wells depth works just fine. I put that to the test in my Shadowrun game this weekend. At one point rolling 14 dice and not a die was lost to the table. I also would point out that I was using 14 Double D6. 12 siders. basically, I was rolling balls into the tray and they all stayed put. So roll like a sane human and you will be fine.


A benefit of the low walls is that everyone at the table can see your dice rolls. Commonly, most players will roll their dice against the far wall of their dice box. It can be hard to see the results of any rolls. If you are using a Dragon tray as a community or shared dice tray, it is easier for all involved to see the results.

With most of these trays measuring longer than a foot, they do take up some considerable table space. I know not everyone out there has the luxury of a 9-foot table. That is where the idea of the multi-wells and communal tray idea comes from I believe. Yes, a 12-14 inch tray takes up a large footprint on a table, but most dice trays are around 8-10 inches already.  If multiple players are sharing one tray, you actually are saving space at the table. I have been at several games where many players have trays. Folding trays have even recently become a hot item at my personal table of late. We now regularly see three trays on our table most nights. A Dragon Tray takes up only a few more inches than one dice tray and provides wells for two players to roll in. You can always do what I did during the Shadowrun game and used one well for rolls and the other for a staging area for my dice.
One of my personal reasons why I don’t often like or use Dice Trays is storage. If I want a Dice tray, it has to pull double duty. I want it to roll up and be compact. Otherwise, it will just take up space on my bookshelf as a bookend to my gaming collection. My cat will try and see if she can sleep in it. As all cat owners know: if it fits, it sits. Dog Might Games must not be cat lovers because they had the perfect solution. When the game is done, you don’t stick your try on top of the bookshelf to collect dust; you hang your Dragon Tray. You can hang it on the WALL!  And your awesome tray becomes art for your game room. Well played!

 
You can check out all of Dog Might Games great products by following this link below.   Dog Might Games Homepage

Follow their fully funded Kickstarter

Dog Might Games Dragon Tray Kickstarter

Dog Might Games: The Dragon Tray

Dog Might Games newest Kickstarter launched today only a few hours ago and is already funded. Dog Might brings their creative talents to the task of creating some amazing dice trays. They currently have a selection of 25 trays and there will me more to come.

More details to come from me on the product when I get mine to review in a few more days! After some hands on with this tray, I will scratch up a review and get right back to you with a report on my thoughts of their newest product.

Already I can tell you that I am normally not a fan of static Dice Trays because they are so often plain and take up too much space when stored. Dog Might games caught me by surprise with their answer to both of these issues. These trays are works of art.. worthy of being hung on the wall. So Dog Might decide, WHY NOT HANG THEM ON THE WALL?. well played, well played

Well played, well played…

 

Check out their Kickstarter and home page Below.

Dog Might Games

Kickstarter Watch: Dungeon Fantasy Powered by GURPS

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/847271320/dungeon-fantasy-roleplaying-game-powered-by-gurps/widget/video.html

This little gem just came across my radar and I wanted to give it a plug. A new Stand alone product from Steve Jackson Games. Dungeon Fantasy, and it will be powered by the GURPS engine.
The cult classic GURPS is a wonderfully done game system gives you pretty much unlimited options for character development. Dungeon Fantasy is going to be built off of 30 years of GURPS development as well as 10 years of feedback on the Fantasy setting alone. This will be GURPS done Fantasy done spot on.

So what will the will it offer ?  In addition to cardboard standies maps Dice and full color books it will offer the following.

  • Adventurers (128 pages). GURPS is famous for letting you play any character you can imagine. Dungeon Fantasy keeps this flexibility while trimming away unnecessary details, concentrating on just what matters to monster-slaying, treasure-hunting action: Pick from 11 classic professions and nine playable races, customize your alter-ego using quick-start templates and a powerful point-build system, and gear up with an equipment list that offers dozens of weapons and lets you assemble exactly the suit of armor that fits your image.
  • Exploits (112 pages). Learn how the heroes actually use their abilities and gear. That means combat, of course – and dozens of other activities, whether your thing is sneaking around, swinging from the scenery, exorcizing evil, or getting rich through cunning deals in town. This book also describes countless bad things that can befall adventurers (poison, traps, dismemberment, lava pits . . .), as well as good things, namely loot. And it’s full of practical advice to the Game Master who leads this three-ring circus: challenging the players, keeping the action moving, settling arguments, and much more.
  • Spells (80 pages). What would fantasy be without magic? Adventurers features four spellcasting professions (bard, cleric, druid, and wizard), and this volume describes over 400 spells to help you customize them. It also includes complete rules for how spells work – whether their power comes from the gods, Nature, or creepy tomes of forbidden wizardly knowledge.
  • Monsters (64 pages). Once the adventurers are ready, and armed with weapons and magic, it’s time to test their mettle! This catalog starts you out with more than 80 things that want to bite, claw, grab, sting, and curse the heroes – not just the predictable orcs and zombies, but also several Dungeon Fantasy originals. Each offers notes on tactics and variants, and the whole collection comes with advice and rules for adventurers dealing with monsters . . . and monsters dealing with adventurers.
  • Dungeon (24 pages). I Smell a Rat is a simple (but not simplistic!) quest designed to show new gamers the ropes. Like any classic hack ‘n’ slash adventure, it starts at the inn. From there, the heroes will find themselves facing traps, enemies, and unexpected twists – and finding treasure, although not necessarily gold and silver. Advice and “adventure hooks” let the Game Master challenge advanced players or spin the tale into a series of adventures.

My thoughts are very good about this project. Heck I think it will be amazing! They will be giving it the treatment they have been giving all of their setting books over 30 years! You do not become one of the longest standing cult classic games because you do not do good work. GUPRS is an amazing system and if you have not played it and you are into fantasy games but you have grown tired of D20 systems. Go out and give this solid system a shot. I would bet money you will be impressed.

Personally some of my all time favorite RPG characters from fantasy games have come from GURPS. I also think that GURPS Magic is one of the best magic systems that has ever graced the gaming table. I look forward to getting myself a copy of this game.

Keep this one on your watch list folks!

 

Kickstarter Watch: Dragonlock 2 Fantasy Village​ Terrain For 3d Printers

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Fat Dragon Games returns to Kickstarter with Dragonlock 2: Fantasy Village Terrain for 3D Print. This project launched and within hours crushed its funding goal of 500 dollars. Having raised 18k in under a day with over a month left to go this project is going to be another smash hit for Fat Dragon Games.

These prints look wonderful from the photos! If you, like me were unable to back the stellar Dwarven Forge city project. This is going to be just the Kickstarter for you. Even better if you have a 3D printer like me, of all this set is very affordable. Coming in at $89 for the whole Kickstarter plus Stretch goals it is price point is excellent.

As long as we do not see a ton of Add-Ons at an extra cost this is going to be a wonderfully affordable Kickstarter that you will be able to pick up everything as well as the Add-Ons for under $130. I think we will see a few more Add-Ons before this project is over as well as a ton of smashed goals.

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So if you have a 3D printer why are you still reading this ? Get over there and give this project a look!

Kickstarter Watch: Invisible Sun by Monte Cook Games

Monte Cook Games is at it again. I am sure most of you have already heard about this two days old Kickstarter that has already reached it’s funding goals. It comes out the gate with a High-end entry buy-in of $197. But you will be getting a High-end deluxe product.
This game also has a Directed Campaigning option that has an entry level of $539 dollars but gives you and your group directed story ideas and props from Monte himself !

Invisible Sun can be played anywhere and is a game of secrets and magic. The art is amazing and I am sure Monte is going to deliver on another great product. Sadly there is not at this time a PDF option for this product so if you want in your going to have to open up your wallets. But be assured, When you set the black cube on the table your players will know you are not about to play a normal game.

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For $197 you get what has pictured above. And for  $539 you will get to partake in the Directed Campaign by Monte as well as any stretch goals this project reaches. I have a feeling they will reach a lot of them.

Even more, if they decided to open it up to PDF backers as well. This will be a fun one to watch!  Myself I will not be backing this project unless it offers a PFD options. It is out of my personal price range. But if you can afford it I envy you!