Today we’re taking a look at the current Kickstarter from our friends at Hrothgar’s Hoard. We’re going to take a look at the revamped Rogue and Priest boxes. Do these stand up to the uses of busy gamers? Read on…Full disclosure: John was a backer on our first Kickstarter and provided to us prototype boxes for purposes of this review. Beyond that we’re not paid or under any obligation to review these products.
The owner of Hrothgar’s Hoard, John Pratt, has been making gaming accessories since February 2014 with the first launch of their Rogue and Priest boxes. Although John’s been in the woodworking industry for over 15 years, these boxes were his first gaming-centric creations. He’s hosted two Kickstarter campaigns before – the first for those Rogue and Priest boxes, and the second for the Wizard Dice Tower (which we also have).
The prototypes we were given are of similar quality to finals, according to John, so what we note here will be similar to what you’ll find on the finished products.
When you first take a look at the Rogue and Priest boxes (Warrior and Battle chests were not available for review) you can see the handcrafted nature of each piece. That’s not to say these lack finish. Not at all. These are solid pieces of wood while still being light and portable. The finish is smooth and glossy, but not distracting. Both pieces look extremely nice. Our players’ eyes were immediately drawn to them and what they might hold inside.
The Rogue case, the smaller of the two, has enough room for about 6 standard 28mm minis. The foam is thick and cushy, and holds the minis without fear of them rattling around the box. The finish is superb and the hinges and brass fittings look excellent with the various woods. The laser-etched graphic is subtle but distinct.
The Priest opens flat which makes it ideal for laying out to view minis. It can fit approximately 8-10 standard minis. The Priest also has a dual-purpose in that you can remove the foam (removable on ALL boxes, just FYI) and have a fairly serviceable dice tray.
Over the course of this review period we took the cases with us to several gaming stops. To our streaming sessions, across town to some D&D Encounters meet-ups, and even to cons. The cases were usually tossed in a backpack or luggage with other books, dice-bags, etc. They held up pretty well. There was no visible damage and the minis stored inside always came out looking exactly as we had left them.
What’s also great about these accessories is that they don’t feel like accessories. These could very well find a home holding expensive jewelry, campaign coins, your grandad’s pocket-watch, or whatever. The boxes reject the use-it and lose-it mentality of many gaming accessories these day and instead heighten the concept to almost a form of art. These will last throughout your gaming career and beyond.
The Rogue doesn’t open flat like the priest, and has some balance issues because of it when not weighted down with minis. This is due to rounded screws being used in the hinges instead of flat. An easy fix, if it’s desired at all. Truth be told it wasn’t a big deal to us.
The glossy finish and ornate hinges can lead to a sense that these are perhaps more delicate. I caught myself padding them when traveling to prevent scuff marks or chipped edges. While I didn’t really see any issues, even without padding, these are best used as display cases, not toolboxes. Adequate for both, but if you are worried about hurting the pretty things like I am you’ll take extra care of these regardless.
Both boxes have a bit of a gap between the lid and the bottom. They do not close tightly, whether there’s minis in them or not. This is to take into account the effect of humidity on the wood itself, to allow it to expand and contract naturally. But if you like having boxes super flush and tight looking, or see yourself stomping through the swamp with these, this might be an issue for you.
As I said above, the foam is cushy but not too soft. It held all of the minis in place with no movement, and minis did not appear to show any signs of bending. Still, as with any container that essentially forms around your minis, I’d be wary of delicate arms and weapons that stick out from the mini. Especially if you’re keeping plastic minis in for any prolonged length of time. This will happen with almost ANY container for minis, but is worth noting here.
One of the great things about John’s Kickstarters is he’s ALWAYS open for suggestions to help make his products better. If you have an idea that he can incorporate, he will.
Ultimately, here’s the bit that gets often gets forgotten in this day and age with mass-produced goods: these are all handmade. Hrothgar’s Hoard is a 2-man operation by John and his father. So while there are some quirks to the designs they are forgivable and even add to the pieces themselves, making them unique and display-worthy. The personal touch goes a long way to ensuring these will last in your collection.
Check out Hrothgar’s Hoard’s Kickstarter now. Only a couple days left to get yourself one of these!