Last week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few different accessories from Wyrmwood Games: a tabletop dice tray, a hero vault and a dice vault. Instead of talking a little bit about each item I’d like to focus on one item at a time. For this review, I am going to rate the tabletop dice tray.
Truthfully, I’m addicted to looking at these products and their simplistic elegance. Unlike most of my gaming accessories, which I hide from my wife in a closet, I like to leave these items out on the table in plain view. We both are fans of naturalist design and wood decorum so having a gaming accessory that can also serve as a centerpiece is awesome.
And if looks weren’t enough, the tray also sounds sexy.
It would be very disingenuous for me to write about the durability of a product that I’ve only had in my hands for a week. Instead, I reached out to people who have owned Wyrmwood products longer than six months. Of the dozen different people I surprised with a random Facebook inquiry, not surprisingly, only a few replied.
well I’ve had my dice tray for quite some time now. and still to this day it’s held up perfectly. I toss it around in my backback with various other things constantly. i’ve never had it open up by accident. i’ve dropped it several times with only the obvious wear that might cause to a wood piece. very durable. great piece.
All in all Wyrmwood has a very quality product. Some of their items are new designs so have had to be tweaked to accommodate the stresses of use. The thing that sets this company apart from the rest is their Craftsmen’s Promise which they are very proud of. Had to send a couple pieces back and they with no questions asked got it fixed.
Like i said, no issues. I have thrown them around with my bag and slammed them around.
Now a small sample-size of three doesn’t mean much on its own but when you compare these reviews with the seventy-five other reviews on the company’s Facebook page then it becomes easier to gauge the durability of the product. Out of seventy-five reviews, Wyrmwood has earned 4.9 out of 5.0 stars. There are zero complaints about durability.
In addition to positive reviews I also did a little research on different construction processes. I learned that different joining techniques display different levels of craftsmanship. For example, do you remember that bird house you nailed together as a kid? That was pretty easy to make, right? Well, that’s because nails and screws are joining techniques used by amateurs.
Wyrmwood dice trays use miter joints. Miter joints require precision cutting so that two edges can join together for a perfect fit. The fit must be perfect in order for the glue-bond to hold firm. Since I have yet to find a single negative review, and all my research shows this technique is preferred over nails and screws, I feel confident in giving this dice tray a positive review for durability.
Wyrmwood is pretty confident too. In fact, they’re so confident in their product that everything they make comes with a craftsmen promise:
There is only one acceptable outcome for our Craftsmen: a product that they can take personal pride in and an -absolutely- satisfied client. If you are unsatisfied with your product for -any- reason at all, we will fully refund or replace the item free of charge. We always guarantee our products, and we will always pay for shipping.
Now you’d think this next category would be pretty straight-forward for a dice tray but you’d be wrong. I’ve handled more trays than a lunch lady and experience has taught me that the little details matter. For example, if the walls are too high the dice become obscured and visibility lessens.
Conversely, if the walls are too low the dice bounce right out when rolled.
It’s important that the walls are just the right height so as to not obscure vision, but still prevent dice from escaping the tray.
Another issue to consider is the size of a tray. Generally speaking, smaller is better when it comes to a dice tray because it needs to be able to fit on the table without obstructing models. In my last review of a dice tray I concluded that 12 ½ x 9 x 2 ½ in was too large. Wyrmwood’s tabletop dice tray measures in at 10.625 x 8.125 x 1.5 in. This decline in size may seem slight and insignificant but every wargamer knows that inches are everything. In every game of Warmachine and Infinity I’ve played with this new tray, I’ve found it very easy to place on the table without obstructing models or terrain.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, price. Wyrmwood has a reputation for making quality products but they also have a reputation for being pricey. The individual cost of the purple heart tray is $180.
For many gamers, that’s quite a lot of money. Now, purple heart is one of the more exotic options, if I purchased the same tray in Red Oak (a widely available domestic wood), then the cost would only be $65.
One nice thing about Wyrmwood is the variety of options. Currently, there are sixteen different wood species that they feature on their website. Domestic woods like Red Oak and Hickory are less expensive than exotic woods like Gabon Ebony and Flame Box Elder. The different species vary significantly in color and grain-pattern but what they all have in common is that they all are legally traded.
Wyrmwood prides itself on wood sustainability and does not craft with critically endangered species.
“Fair trade is nice and all, but that still seems expensive.”
I hear what you are saying but the wood isn’t the only expense, you also need to consider time. The time it takes to mass produce dice trays from a factory out of composite wood or plastic is going to be much quicker and cost less than having a professional craftsman make your product by hand. Time is money.
“Yeah, but a dice tray is a dice tray, why pay more if I can buy one for less?”
Why buy a convertible when you can buy a station wagon? Why buy steak when you can buy a hamburger? Why buy a professionally handcrafted dice tray when you can buy a factory-made plastic tray? Because it is better.
As wargamers, we invest lots of time and money into our hobby because we are passionate. I can’t begin to imagine the number of hours of I’ve spent practicing for a tournament or painting models. I practice tactics and painting techniques because I am devoted to my hobby. So, doesn’t it make sense then that if I’m going to invest a lot of time perfecting my hobby that I would want to purchase from a company that also devotes itself to excellence?
If you are still unable to discern the difference between a luxury item and a generic brand then Wyrmwood products are not for you. In fact, if price is your sole concern then let me introduce you to a box lid.
I’m giving Wyrmwood Gaming excellent reviews in all categories. I’ll even go so far as to say that I believe Wyrmwood is currently the best of the best in their field. There are other companies that make quality wooden accessories for dice but I believe no other company is as solid on aesthetics, functionality, and customer service as Wyrmwood Games. Some people may still sneer at the price but if you really stop to consider the quality of the craftsmanship and the time it takes to make handmade items then I believe these luxury dice trays are being sold at a bargain.
One thing I didn’t review but I want to mention is the fact that Wyrmwood gives back to the gaming community. Here’s an excerpt straight off their website:
There is a spirit of sharing and generosity that permeates the tabletop gaming community. Wyrmwood is committed to reflecting this spirit through charitable giving, and are always looking for opportunities to give back.
If you organize or support a charity, contact us: email@example.com
I really appreciate when companies invest back into the community. It’s like seeing a local game store owner build terrain on his day off for his customers to use for free. Actions like this invoke customer loyalty and I am proud to admit that I am now on Team
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