One of the biggest concerns consistently facing tabletop gamers is quality tabletop scenery. We want terrain pieces that are not only visually striking but also allow for great utility in gameplay. And for most, storage becomes a very real concern, as scenic pieces often take up not just a lot of room on the table but a lot of room on your shelves post-game. Now, Boar Games is hitting Kickstarter with Castle System, a series of interchangeable magnetic kits that address all of those issues.
What Is Castle System?
Castle System is 28mm modular terrain that assembles together magnetically. It’s currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, with pledges starting at €59(approximately $65 USD) and ranging all the way up to €1199(approximately $1335 USD) for the enormous, handpainted The King’s Castle.
Castle System is produced by Italian 3D Studio/Factory Boar Games. Giovanni Pennelli is the digital sculptor, Stefano Fagioli is the in-house artist and model painter, Valerio Di Loreto handles the 3D printing, and Lorenzo Sabatini is the architect of the project. All four are wargame and RPG veterans.
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.
Castle System Components
Note: My review is based on a prototype copy, so it is subject to change and does not reflect final component quality. Some differences already planned between my samples and the final product:
- Final product will use N48/N52 magnets, for a much stronger connection between pieces.
- Final product will have significantly improved material quality.
All of the pieces are 3D-printed and use a combination of resin and PLA.
Initially, Boar Games sent me a Cliffside Tower kit, one of the pledges available in the Kickstarter. Here is what’s included in that pledge:
And here are all the pieces, laid out:
Here’s a closeup of one of the many interchangeable walls:
How to Use Castle Systems
Castle Systems employs what they call the “Boarlock” design. This uses a combination of embedded magnetics to connect terrain pieces and slots in the columns to either allow walls to be slotted into place or to hold decorative terrain.
To see this in action, let’s take a look at assembling the Cliffside Tower. First, I put together the base using four larger terrain pieces that easily attach together with magnets:
Then, I built up each level, adding walls slotted into the columns and magnetically attaching the spiral staircase pieces as I proceeded. Because the levels are connected magnetically, it’s easy to open up each level and place miniatures for gameplay. The floors have a subtle 1″ square grid for using 28mm-scale figures.
Here’s a closer look at the completed tower. The banner and torches attach magnetically to the columns. It should also be noted that both the door to the tower and the trap door on the roof can both be opened and closed.
Even More Pieces!
Boar Games later sent me out an additional assortment of pieces to better see some of the building possibilities in the Castle System:
Included with these pieces were some more of the highly-detailed modular wall pieces:
With the additional pieces, I was able to build approximations of some of the other pledge levels that Boar Games is offering during the Kickstarter.
Lair of the Necromancer
Because of the limitations of the pieces I had on hand, what you see here is a very rough, and smaller, version of the Lair of the Necromancer. The actual pledge will have a greater variety of interior walls and decor, as you can see on their Kickstarter page.
This model is not part of the Kickstarter but may end up being offered in the pledge manager. It’s similar to the Stronghold pledge but smaller.
This was the largest structure I could build, though by no means the largest available to pledge for in this campaign. Like the Lair of the Necromancer, this is an approximation of the structure, as I did not have all of the actual pieces that will be included with that pledge level.
And here’s a gallery showing you some of the great attention to detail in the model. Included are some shots with old WizKids D&D figures, to show off the scale and gameplay potential.
Why You Should Back Castle System
Like I said before, the major considerations for terrain are:
- It should look good on the table
- Usability during gameplay
- Easy to setup/store
In all three of those categories, I feel that Castle Systems is successful.
The terrain looks great on the table, and it’s good to know that they’ve promised that the final product will improve upon what you can see here. The paint jobs look fantastic, but even should you go for one of the unpainted pledges, some simple drybrushing and inking should produce great results on these detailed sculpts.
The scenery works great with miniatures, as you can see from the images above. It’s unfortunate from a gameplay standpoint that you can’t fit miniatures onto the staircase in the Fortified Towers, but if you could, then the proportions of the stairs would look completely unrealistic. The magnetic assembly, combined with the walls that slot into the columns, provides quick and easy access to the interiors of the structures for your miniatures.
On a similar note, the ease of using the Boarlock design allows you to quickly set up or break down your structures. And the fact that you can break every building down into smaller magnetic components will allow you to store large buildings in much smaller-sized containers. Boar Games is also saying that they will detail storage solutions for Castle System pledges during the course of the campaign.
One other important thing to note about the campaign: while there is no limit on the unpainted pledges, all of the painted pledge levels are strictly limited numbers. So if you’re looking to pick up a specific painted building, be sure to pledge to the campaign early.
For more information or to make a pledge, visit the Castle System Kickstarter page!
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.