U-BOOT The Board Game

Created by PHALANX

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.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

News from the shipyard
about 1 year ago – Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 01:56:27 AM

Hello everyone,

Thanks to your support, production is going full speed ahead. Steel plates are being cut, equipment is being delivered by subcontractors, and the crew is being assembled. We can already share some of the material with you, so please read on if you would like to catch a glimpse of how things are going.

The interior

Interior artwork is being redone from the ground up, based on a digital 3D model. The result we are aiming for is for all the constituent elements to be perfectly matched (the floors, the ceilings, the bulkheads, etc.). The measurements of particular sections will all be to scale, at the same time ensuring that each element is exactly where it is supposed to be. This is how a part of the raw 3D model looks like:

And here is how it looks like after applying textures and sample lighting:

The appropriately colored and lit 3D model will be the basis for creating 2D artwork for each and every piece that will make its way into the punchboards. Below you can see the layout of our old punchboard that was made for the purpose of the Kickstarter prototype:

That above design is currently being improved to accommodate the stretch goals that were reached during the campaign (such as mounting holes to attach the periscopes and deck guns to the model), as well as feedback from the printing company, and from several dozen tests that have been carried out in the meantime.

The crew

Here are the first drawings that will replace the designers’ photos on the crew tiles (which is a pity, right? :p). We are working together with leading artists in the field and we are very happy with their initial offerings:

The miniatures

We are also finalizing our work on the new models that you unlocked during the campaign. You could already see deck gun and periscope models back then, and we are now presenting the Navigator’s tactical map miniature models. Please bear in mind that their length ranges from 12 to 30mm, hence their adequate level of detail :)

Once we are in possession of all the required 3D model designs, we will be able to go into production (which will be happening soon). We are currently awaiting final quotes from the leading producers on the market, i.e. companies that produce plastic pieces for the likes of Hasbro, CMON, or Awaken Realms.

The add-ons

In order to avoid any problems with card sleeve sizes, we have obtained from the printer a card produced with the same punch die that will be used for UBOOT. The photo below shows how well it fits together with the sleeves that were offered during the campaign:

The resin pieces, on the other hand, are being refined to comply with the manufacturer’s specifications. Once we receive the final designs, we will order the printing of 3D master copies. Once we are happy with their quality, we will proceed with ordering forms for casting them en masse.

The app

The game’s app is undergoing a major rehaul, with each of its constituent elements being reworked before we start applying any new solutions. From the grid system, through time compression, and finishing with enemy AI: everything has undergone a very close scrutiny and is currently being refined, with further development (the unlocked stretch goals, first and foremost) in mind.

The Pledge Manager

We have already started configuring the pledge manager so that it launches according to plan (i.e. in the middle of April). This is also when we will be publishing our next update, focusing on that very subject. We will be sending out notifications, as well as invitations to the pledge manager in order to make absolutely sure you won’t miss it.

Right, so that is everything we can share with you at this point. We would like to thank you very much once again for being with us! Please stay tuned, as further updates will be revealing a lot more about our progress, including important details regarding the pledge manager, as well as a lot more about the game’s development progress.

All best and happy gaming!

Iron Wolf Studio and PHALANX

Important Post-campaign information
over 1 year ago – Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 10:22:55 PM

Hello everybody,

This week we are starting to work on further game development, as well as the production and delivery schedule. We are very excited that we can finally start unleashing this game’s true potential! We are also very happy that it has come to pass and will remember who we owe it to, and that is to our incredible backers :) You rock!

 

Below you can find a few important pieces of information regarding the further course of action:

IMPORTANT: Pledge Manager details

1. We will be setting up the pledge manager as soon as possible - we will use Backerkit.com. It will allow you to:

  • manage your pledges (check your items, add or remove items from your pledge),
  • purchase extra copies of the game, add-ons etc. (also the all-in pack, as hundreds of you have emailed saying that you wish to improve your pledge to this level. This is not possible now, but you will be able to add what you wish in the pledge manager on the same terms as during the campaign),
  • enter your delivery addresses,
  • choose language editions.

Please do not send us messages containing the above information, as we will be unable to process it. These kinds of choices are made in the pledge manager ONLY.

2. People who have missed the campaign will be able to make a late pledge in the pledge manager. You won't receive the free mat, as this was a bonus for Kickstarter backers only, but you will be able to get it as an add-on. The Kickstarter version of the game is the same as pre-ordered or retail version. There are no Kickstarter exclusives here!

3. Once the pledge manager is open, you will receive an email notification. There is also going to be a separate update too. You really can’t miss it, although please check your spam email from time to time ;)

4. The pledge manager should go live in 2 months after the campaign finished, as we need to make the final quotes for shipping based on the number of backers from each country, and setup all the products in the manager. It will be live for another 2 months.

The pledge manager works like a standard webshop where you choose items you want to get for your credit (the amount pledged during the campaign). You will be able to increase your credit, to pay for shipping and add-ons, if you choose any. You WILL BE ABLE to use PayPal in there!

5. Current payments are processed by Kickstarter, so please contact their help desk if you have any problems with charging your cards. Sorry, but we can't help you in any way, as this is run solely by Kickstarter and we have no influence over this process.

6. We will keep you updated about game development and production status. We won’t be spamming, but we will try making a at least a single update a month, or more if there is anything important to share.

Alright, that’s it for today! Thank you very much for your attention and we will be releasing new updates as soon as we have something exciting to show to you. We hope you will stay excited about Uboot, as it is now entering the most interesting phase of development.

All best and happy gaming!

Iron Wolf Studio and PHALANX

Run silent, run deep…
over 1 year ago – Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 12:15:40 AM

Hello everybody,

We are back with another major update, but I’m sure that at this point you would expect nothing less :) So, without further ado, let’s get started, because there is a lot to cover.

 

The howls in the distance are becoming more and more sinister... Yes, our wolves have already assembled, and they are lying in wait under the cover of darkness. Soon, they will unleash their fury upon all those who dare trespass onto their hunting grounds. There will be no mercy, only waves upon waves of attacks while the pack nibbles at a convoy, slowly but surely wearing it down and depriving it of its precious cargo.

However, before the wolves have had the chance to sink their teeth into the flesh of their victims, there is still some lone hunting to do. And that’s actually something that I have taken to the very limit: taking the role of a lone wolf and hunting all by myself. So, if you think that I am referring to our solo playthrough, then you are perfectly right!

 

And there you have it! If you wanted to see a proof of whether the game is solo-able, then look no further: you can now plainly see whether it is something that would be of interest to you. We hope you like it, even though none of the actual solo mode features have been implemented yet :) In the final game, however, everything will be much more polished regarding this game mode, and we are really looking forward to spending a lot more time working both on solo, and on the varied difficulty levels (which we barely had the chance to work on before the campaign). All in all, I hope this video will allow solo gamers to make a more conscious decision regarding whether they want to get the game or not.

Another item on the agenda is the third and final social goal, and that is no other than the app functionality that many of you asked about: the noise meter! This function will determine the noise level of the submarine’s e-motors, combining it with your device’s microphone to determine the total noise level of the submarine! Whisper orders to avoid detection, turn down the e-motors, and DO NOT MAKE A SOUND when the destroyer is passing above you! The noise of the engines, together with one of your fellow players’ unfortunate sneeze may as well draw the adversary right on top of you, and they always come with a nasty surprise... This function will, of course, be fully adjustable, allowing you to turn it off completely if you happen to live together with kids, pets, farm animals, or other gremlins that you have not fed to the crew yet ;)

 

This social goal will be unlocked if we collect a total of 500 Facebook shares, Twitter retweets and Instagram likes of the following posts:

Facebook: https://goo.gl/rBqRia

Instagram: https://goo.gl/tVbiCL

Twitter: https://goo.gl/U9YeCt

For Facebook, it is the sticky post at the top of the linked page.

And, if you thought that was everything, then think again! :) We are once again slashing prices to bring you the best deal possible (Michał, can I have my meat cleaver back?) . Anyway, this option is the best choice for anyone interested in the ultimate UBOOT experience. It includes the game, all the unlocked stretch goals, as well as all of the game’s add-ons (except Deluxe Plotting Tools, that may be added separately, as some of you already have them thanks to the Early Backer 24H bonus) with a nice additional discount of 6 GBP. This is the best value package for those gamers who want it all and are not willing to pass up on anything. Just please make sure to read the updated FAQ before you manage your pledge, and make sure NOT TO press ‘cancel pledge’, especially if you are a first 24H backer! Actually, you might not want to get your fingers anywhere near the ‘cancel pledge’ button… Michał has still got the cleaver, just saying ;)

 

In order to upgrade to the 'UBOOT All-in Pledge', press the 'manage your pledge' button, next press 'change your pledge' and choose the 'UBOOT All-in Pledge'. Type in the correct pledge amount and click on the 'continue' button, and then on the 'confirm' button. It's done! If you did not make it in time for the Early Backer 24H bonus and you wish to add the Deluxe Plotting Tools to your pledge, then upon selecting the UBOOT All-in Pledge, please enter 120GBP instead of 110BGP. The delivery date of the All-in Pledge is the same as the Uboot Pledge: December 2018.

Now, with everything done, I can retract the periscope, dive deep, and rig my sub for silent running. It has been a long patrol indeed, and my crew really needs some rest. Oh, and as far as silent running goes, I have a word of advice for you: when playing UBOOT with the noise meter, make sure that all your crew switch off their mobiles...

 

The video is an old Polish commercial. The hydrophone operator says: 'The enemy is going away', but then the phone rings and the crew member who picks it up says ‘Hi mommy, I can’t really talk right now. I will call you back later’.

Well, he probably won’t ;)

All best and happy gaming!

Iron Wolf Studio & PHALANX

The end of the beginning
over 1 year ago – Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 09:49:35 AM

Hello everybody,

Today we would like to thank everybody who has contributed to bringing this project to life. Our investor, our publisher, our friends and families, but most importantly, we would like to thank our backers. Not only did you express incredible generosity, but, most of all, you believed in our idea and put your trust in our ability to make it come true. What is more, you were an incredible source of inspiration, as your enthusiasm, feedback, and curiosity allowed us to keep on going and the many questions and comments that you shared with us are already shaping the future development of UBOOT. Frankly speaking, we had neither envisioned nor expected such great success, and it only reinforces our conviction that there is still ample space for ingenuity and innovation, even within board game genres that seemed to have already been explored to the fullest. Now, thanks to your support, we will be able to explore them further for you. It will be both great pleasure, but also a lot of hard work and responsibility. And yet, thanks to your absolutely amazing support, we now believe we can do it. Failure is not an option :)

 

Still, some of you may be worried that we did not reach the Enigma, and that we didn’t manage to go as far as to get to the most awesome stretch goals that we had promised. However, just as Michał told you in the comments, everything that got unlocked will inevitably end up in the game, we are obliged to do so and it is an obligation that we will gladly fulfil. However, there is no force in the universe, other than time and money, that can stop us from implementing all the ideas that we had come up with for UBOOT. Therefore, if at any stage of the game’s further development it becomes feasible to work on the things that were not reached, then we will do it. The game has incredible potential and its app-driven nature will allow us to improve it, refining its mechanisms and expanding various possibilities even long after it has been delivered to your door.

That being said, you did an outstanding job of unlocking so many cool features! Various torpedoes, the wolfpacks, the noise dosimeter, and a lot more! It is indisputable that UBOOT has reached new heights (or, shall I say, depths), and we are super excited to be able to continue working for you. We are very happy that we have managed to build such a dedicated and responsive community and, as you will see in the months to come, we will continue to discuss further game development with you, as that inspires us to explore even more possibilities on the way to refining this game to perfection. So, although debates may become heated at times, please know this: once the emotions subside, there is always a lot of consideration given to every single issue you raise, even though it might sometimes appear otherwise ;)

Alright, this is it! Thank you once again for being with us, it was an amazing time and we will keep on fighting to bring you the best submarine board game of all time. Oh, and one more thing: we have just received a confirmation from High Command, saying that in recognition of your impeccable service record, all your U-boats will be equipped with the Enigma in spite of not reaching the final goal! :)

 

Please accept it as a token of our gratitude, as it is simply another way we can say thank you.

Artur & Bartosz from Iron Wolf Studio

 

The Shape of Things to Come

It has become a custom, we announce our next project in the last update of the Kickstarter campaign. As you have probably noticed, we like to see various coincidences. It is like stars aligning in the right order. An omen, if you wish.

The city which produced the largest number of those backing UBOOT will be again in the center of our attention, for we are moving to publish a bestseller which was inspired by London's history.

 
Nanty Narking - which meant great fun in Victorian English - will be a new edition of Ankh-Morpork, one of the best designs of Martin Wallace, which due to sad turn of events, remains and will remain out of print. We have put a lot of time and effort to translate the design into realities of the Victorian Era, re-populating the city with personalities of the times - both real and fictional. Enjoy this great game in a great setting.

Dear backers - thank you, this was a great journey.

PHALANX Team

Entering hostile waters
over 1 year ago – Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 03:25:35 AM

Hello everybody,

With the variability, as well as concentration of enemy vessels on the rise, you are entering the most dangerous part of your careers yet. It is still early war, but after your first, successful patrol across the North Sea, the BdU (U-boat HQ) has decided that your next assignment will be to make a breakout into the North Atlantic.

This time, there will be a lot more factors to consider than during a simple hunting patrol. The range of air cover, the locations of minefields, and, of course, the density of coastal vessel patrols. They will attempt to thwart the efforts of U-boats attempting to sneak through, so which route will you choose? A longer and calmer trip north of the Orkneys, or a daring raid straight through the lion’s den? Cutting right through the middle near Scapa Flow sounds like a good idea, but you probably won’t have acquired the skills of Gunther Prien yet ;)

 

So yes, this mission will require the nerves of steel, as it will be the first serious test of the crew’s ability to survive in a fully hostile environment. You won’t be able to stay underwater forever due to limited batteries, and raising the periscope will be a risky endeavor. Then again, if you hide deep under the surface and use the hydrophone to detect contacts, you may never be 100% sure whether the approaching contact is just a fishing boat, or a coastal patrol vessel equipped with all the means required for sending you to the bottom.

 

And wait, what If you encounter merchants? Will you succumb to the temptation to increase your score, or will you maximize it by improving your stealth potential to the point where you can slip through the blockade without alerting even a single enemy? Because if you do, your efforts will be handsomely rewarded by the BdU (U-boat HQ). And yet the temptation remains, as the captain’s predatory instinct might surface at any moment. Will that be a perfect approach, or a botched attempt that will send one third of the Royal Navy after you? Only you can answer that question...

 

Either way, such intense enemy activity means that the navigator will have to step up his game and be aware of various enemy vessel types hanging around. Merchants, escorts, and coastal patrols are all intended to have their own tactical map miniatures, so there will be a lot more activity than just a single merchant group waiting to be sunk, you can bank on it! Now, if you add mines and air patrols to the mix, then it becomes obvious that the navigator will have a much more ambitious task when plotting the optimal route for this particular mission :)

 

And, did I mention that it is still a couple of years before the Allies succeed at cracking the Enigma? Fortunately, we haven’t got there yet... Actually, we haven’t even got to the Enigma itself! Could this be the reward waiting for you once you get past all the escorts and coastal patrols? Perhaps… But you won’t find that out before you get there! :)

All best and happy gaming!

Iron Wolf Studio and PHALANX