UBOOT The Board Game
UBOOT The Board Game
A real-time, app-driven board game of WW2 submarine warfare. This underwater war thriller will put your skills to the ultimate test.
A real-time, app-driven board game of WW2 submarine warfare. This underwater war thriller will put your skills to the ultimate test. Read more
UBOOT The Board Game Kickstarter campaign will be launched at 16.00 UTC on the 22nd of January 2018 and will last until the 14th of February 2018. Before the campaign starts, we will use this preview page as a portal to keep you informed about the game and gather feedback. Please click the Notify me on launch button at the top row or side bar of this page to receive a notification when the campaign starts. If you wish to share your thoughts on this project, feel free to post your feedback in the box at the top of the page. This is much appreciated!
Please note that not all the graphic material presented here is final. The photos are showing handmade prototypes of the game. The final production quality will be much higher.
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.
Each of the four roles entails unique responsibilities, encouraging the players to develop an efficient communication scheme and use genuine navy terminology. The Captain oversees the completion of mission objectives, supervises action point costs, and is responsible for the crew's morale. The First Officer operates the companion app, manages the flow of information, and takes care of the crew's health. The Navigator steers the submarine by setting its course and depth, but also updates all the essential information on the strategic, and the tactical map. Last, but not least, is the Chief Engineer, who is responsible for the engines, repairs, as well as other mechanical implements on board of the U-boat (such as the ballast tanks, weapon systems, etc.). At the same time, each of the four officers commands his own group of crew members by issuing orders within a worker placement system.
The idea behind the companion app is to deliver a real-time, realistic gameplay experience. To that end, the app features the most essential instruments of the u-boat (such as the periscope, the hydrophone, and the Enigma, among others). Rest assured, however, that the vast majority of gameplay traditionally takes place on the game board, with the instruments revealing otherwise hidden information, and the app requiring only certain data (such as the U-boat's course, speed, etc.) in order to generate an adequate A.I. response of the enemy force. It is also responsible for all the ambient sound effects, thus immersing the players even deeper into the claustrophobic interiors of the type VIIC. But fear not! With open & play being a design priority, you will be launching torpedoes in no time, thanks to streamlined rules, video tutorials, and variable difficulty levels for each player.
From quick skirmishes, through full combat missions, to an all-out campaign, UBOOT will let you conduct submarine operations in all major naval theatres of the 2nd World War. Success of these missions hinges on the completion of various tasks delegated to the crew by the BdU (U-boat HQ), which include patrol duty, ambushing convoys, laying mines in enemy waters, and many more! Each mission will require the players to adopt various strategies and playstyles in order to successfully complete it, and the companion app will generate a detailed report at the end of each game session (evaluating player efforts, and possibly awarding decorations, promotions, etc.). That is, if the U-boat makes it back home…
How to play
The stage is set and the crew is awaiting your orders. Do you have what it takes to command the Kriegsmarine's finest? Hunt or be hunted, as you brave the stormy seas of the greatest conflict in history!
The UBOOT Pledge includes one copy of the game, one copy of the Kickstarter Special Expansion - Giant Playing Mat, and any additional Stretch goals we may reach during the campaign.
You may multiply your pledge to get additional copies of the game to save on shipping.
You will be able to choose your language edition in the BackerKit Pledge Manager after the campaign.
Why pledge now?
- To save 20%! After the campaign, the retail price of UBOOT will be £80, (€90, $100).
- To get a free Kickstarter Special Expansion: Giant Playing Mat (retail value £25, €29, $33)!
- To receive the game before it hits retail distribution.
- To help an independent publisher to design, develop, and publish unique, challenging games.
Our goal and Stretch goals
With this campaign we are back to Kickstarter basics. The design is complete, with 2 years of development and playtesting behind it. There will be no rule-changing expansions and stretch goals. We will use them only to improve the components, including the game's app, and to enrich gameplay. This is the reason why we have chosen Kickstarter. We are offering a great product at a great price and a short fulfillment period. There is no hidden agenda. We are offering a great and simple deal.
The game will be published if we reach the funding goal: £65.000. Then we will hunt for some Stretch goals. Stretch goals are added to every game for free!
No Kickstarter exclusives
We are players at heart, so we are against Kickstarter exclusives. That is why we have prepared Kickstarter Special Expansion: free for our backers and available later in retail, but at an additional cost.
Here are the previews! More will follow soon.
Production & delivery
The games are produced in the EU (with miniatures produced in China), keeping the proven high standards of PHALANX. If you back us on Kickstarter, you will receive your copy several weeks before the game reaches any retail outlets! Our goal is to produce UBOOT within 180 days of reaching our funding goal and have the game debut at Essen SPIEL Fair in 2018. Kickstarter backers will have their copies delivered no later than December 2018.
You will be asked to pay the shipping cost in the Pledge Manager after the campaign. At that time, you will be able to add extra copies of the game and items from our Add-on list. Additional items may increase shipping costs. PHALANX is responsible for shipping the English edition of the game. The games will be shipped out from USA, EU, Canada and Australia. The estimated shipping cost is: USA £15 to most states, £30 to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Canada £20. EU £10 to most countries (Poland - free). Other European countries £15 - £30. Asia £30, Australia £25, New Zealand £35, Oceania £45, Latin America £45, Africa £45.
You can multiply the UBOOT Pledge to get significant savings on shipping costs. For example: the cost of shipping to most EU countries will be £10 for a single game and £15 for 2-4 games, if shipped to the same address. Call your friends and save up to £25 on shipping!
You will be able to choose the option for free pickup during Essen Spiel 2018 in the Pledge Manager after the campaign (for all language editions!). It will save you shipping costs and let you meet us in person! Strongly recommended! :)
If you're a retailer from the EU, please contact us at sales[at]vertima.trade to receive an offer. Otherwise, please contact Ares Games Distribution, our distributor for the rest of the World.
Backing the game is a great way to support the project, but the next best thing you could do is to help us build awareness for the game by following us and sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere.
Please subscribe to our newsletter (just send an email to: newsletter[at]phalanxgames.co.uk or use the form at uboottheboardgame.com) to be the first to know about our future releases.
Who are we?
UBOOT is designed and published by people passionate about both the tabletop experience and history.
PHALANX is an international publisher that has been publishing board games since 2009. Our goal is to publish beautiful, challenging games with original themes. We are known for great quality products and customer-focused service. We cooperate with the largest companies on the market, such as Stonemaier Games, Mayfair Games, KOSMOS, Academy Games, Asyncron games, Ediciones MasQueOca, Feuerland Spiele and Cranio Creations. We have already published various games in English, and many people enjoy playing them, like all times classic Mark Simonitch’s Hannibal & Hamilcar. 1944: Race to the Rhine voted one of the best wargames of 2014. Others include The Magnates: A Game of Power, Germania Magna: Border in Flames, and Days of Honor.
Iron Wolf Studio are the authors behind the game. They are an ambitious game design studio comprising a duo of veteran gamers and World War 2 enthusiasts. Their ambition is to breathe new life into worn-out genres and rediscover the joy of venturing into uncharted gaming territories. To that end, they are not afraid of reaching for new technologies and never-before-seen solutions. Their mission with UBOOT is to prove to the world that wargames can be innovative, beautiful, and exciting, while paying respect to historical accuracy and realism at the same time.
PlayWay is one of the biggest Polish videogame publishers, acting as investor and licensor of the UBOOT brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I read the name of this game? Why not ‘U-boat’?
‘UBOOT’ (pronounced ‘ooh bot’) is an abbreviation of the German word ‘Unterseeboot’, which simply means ‘underwater boat’. This is where English borrowed from German, and we are simply going back to the roots ;) Another reason for the title is that our game is a part of a broader family, and all its games go by the same name, which is ‘UBOOT’.
Simply because we wanted to make a one-of-a-kind game, and we had all the necessary resources to do so. The companion app in UBOOT is unlike anything you have ever seen, and allowed us to implement some crazy realistic (and fun!) design solutions. Just wait until you see it in action!
Is the app absolutely necessary to play this game?
Yes, the app is a key component of the game and it is impossible to play without it.
Will there be a version that does not require the app?
No, we are not planning to release a version of the game that can be played without the app.
Isn't it more of a videogame than a board game?
No, it is not a videogame with a board component tagged along. It is a flesh and bones board game which seamlessly intertwines ruthless enemy AI and unexpected real-time twists with traditional card drawing, figure repositioning, and token flipping. There is a solid digital component to the game, sure, yet no-one who has tried the game ever complained about it being too videogame-ish ;)
Which devices and/or platforms will run the UBOOT app?
The app is designed to run on Android and iOS devices, as well as Windows PCs.
I have concerns regarding app longevity / support. Will I be able to play this game in 10 years time?
While we cannot promise supporting the app indefinitely, then it is a fact that Phalanx (the publisher) and Playway (the investor) are companies with a strong foothold in the market and are not going anywhere anytime soon. Phalanx has been publishing games since 2009, and Playway is the second largest Polish videogame developer. If, at any point, it happens that we can no longer support the app (the likelihood of which is very low), then we will release it as open source, allowing the community to continue the game’s legacy. This will allow it to thrive even long after official support has been discontinued.
Do I need an internet connection to play the game?
No, UBOOT does not require internet connection for gameplay purposes. It is required only to download the app to your device.
Isn't it another X-Com or Captain sonar? If I own any or both of these, then why should I bother with UBOOT?
We've heard these comparisons before, yet the fact is that UBOOT is completely different in terms of gameplay mechanics and general design philosophy. What differs UBOOT, first and foremost, is that it is a full-blown simulator. Not overly difficult to grasp, but a simulator nonetheless. Therefore, if it is realistic submarine warfare that you are after, then you really have to do yourself a favour and get UBOOT (regardless if you have played the aforementioned games or not).
If the captain commands the submarine, then do the other players make any decisions?
The answer is definitely 'yes'! Truth be told, we were slightly reluctant to introduce an authentic chain of command into a cooperative board game. However, it has turned out to work amazingly well! The fact is that the Captain is not your typical alpha player that will bog the game down by quarreling with everybody over what to do. Instead, he will be running around like a headless chicken if he doesn't have a plan, and he won't be able to synchronise the crew without keeping communication quick and precise! Furthermore, while the captain is the most demanding role to handle, he decides only on the strategic level, whereas every role has its own decisions on the tactical and operational levels (which are never influenced by the Captain). Therefore, the captain won’t be able to pry into other players’ responsibilities. In summary, not only have we solved the alpha player problem of co-op games, but also made a breakthrough in terms of wargame realism and authenticity! The bottom line being: if you think that you are a natural-born leader, then we encourage you to play as the Captain – UBOOT will put your skills to the test like no other game before it!
Can the game be played with fewer than four players? Does it have a solo mode?
Yes, the game has adjustable difficulty levels for each role, allowing for 2 or 3 players, as well as a solo mode.
Doesn't the model significantly raise the price of the game?
Not at all! According to our estimates, it is no more expensive than a traditional board. We intend to make it available to the largest amount of players, while at the same time keeping the cost low. Inflating the price has never been our intention, as you can tell by the very attractive price tag on the base pledge.
Why have you erased nazi symbols? Wasn't this game supposed to be historically accurate?
Due to EU regulations, we are strictly prohibited from disseminating nazi iconography, and that includes certain Kriegsmarine insignia. It is only due to these legal constraints that we are forced to abstain from accurate graphic depiction of history as it was. Let us make it clear, on the other hand, that it has NEVER been (and will never be) our intention to promote nazi ideology. Our perspective is to depict history as accurately as possible, yet only within the boundaries of what is permitted by the regulations in force.
Do I have to be a submarine expert to play this game?
Knowledge of WW2 submarine warfare will definitely speed up your induction into the game, but is not necessary to enjoy it. Furthermore, everything that you need to know can be found in the game rules and the tactical guide book included with the game. The majority of people who have played the game had no clue about either the VIIC U-boat, or the theme at large. Therefore, while you don't need to be an expert, then it won't hurt if you read or watch something on the subject before you play.
Is it comfortable to move figures around that 3d model?
Numerous tests have shown that our model is far superior in terms of player comfort when compared to other board games of its kind. Sufficient space, rigid structure, and substantial weight all contribute to its exceptional stability and ergonomics.
What is the 3D model made of?
2mm thick cardboard.
Will the figures come painted?
No, the figures in the base game will come unpainted.
When is campaign fulfilment scheduled for?
December 2018, with Essen Spiel 2018 premiere.
Can I make a 1£ pledge and then up my pledge in the pledge manager to get the full game and the goodies for free?
That, unfortunately, is not possible.
Na Männer, alles klar?
Jawohl, Herr Kaleun!
Risks and challenges
PHALANX has been publishing board games since 2009.
Our products are known for great quality, just like our customer service. We co-publish games with the largest companies on the market, like Stonemaier Games, Mayfair Games, KOSMOS, Academy Games, Asyncron games, Ediciones MasQueOca, Feuerland Spiele and Cranio Creations.
This is our third Kickstarter campaign: in 2016 we successfully fulfilled the Germania Magna campaign, and Mark Simonitch’s Hannibal & Hamilcar in 2018.
We do not expect delays in production, but unforeseen issues may arise during manufacturing and shipping. We estimate that in the worst case scenario, the production might suffer delays of at most 30 days, and shipping & customs may add some extra 15-30 days. We are experienced with large production runs, and we are preparing back-up plans for each step of the project, from production to shipping and final delivery.
By pledging on this project you agree that our responsibility to you is to ship your order as entered into the pledge management system. You are responsible for import or other duties that may be payable to relevant tax authorities. You also accept that you are fully liable for incorrect shipping details and will risk your pledge being undeliverable or lost in transit. We are unable to ship to PO Boxes. We allow a maximum of 1 delivery location per backer, regardless of number of pledges / copies ordered.
If you do not accept the proposed terms, then please do not pledge on this project; wait for the retail release.