In the pursuit of cleaner play and more consistent dice rolls, I've acquired some...shall we say unnecessary accessories for this game, usually when I'm out of models that I need to buy. Things like precision backgammon dice, fancy measuring widgets, all to keep the games I play as tight and clean as possible.
One of the things I constantly worry about, however, is cocked dice, because there's no worse feeling than re-rolling a six into a one or a one into a six and having to make nice about it after. I'd been hankering after a dice tray for quite some time, and the only real question to me was whether I'd be buying one or making one.
After seeing a lot of Wyrmwood's ads for Mothers and Fathers day lotteries, I approached them about giving one of their dice trays a roadtest, and they kindly accommodated me. A few emails and a weeks worth of shipping time, and a very excited me got home to see this:
|Okay this was in a bigger box wrapped in bubble wrap, but that part doesn't matter|
What you get in the box:
The box is a very nice looking piece of cardboard. It's not corrugated, but rather feels like very, very thick card stock with a slightly harder sheen to it.
Is the Dice Tray itself, and a card explaining what kind of wood the tray is made from and where it comes from. Normally, you would know this in advance, but since this was a promotional tray I had no idea what I was getting.
Very slick, this is the kind of random information that nerds like myself tend to enjoy reading (albeit usually after tearing out the dice tray and rolling a ton of dice on it first - I'm making you do things in the right order here).
I think this is a really nice touch, although it does tend to make me feel a little bit like a
Let's have a look at the tray itself:
The tray itself measures 10.6 inches long by 8.1 inches wide by 1.5 inches deep. It's got a gorgeous, hard finish on the exterior wood, and the grain shows through beautifully. I'm not sure what the underside is made of, but I'd bet something slightly less expensive like Maple.
The four rubber feet are a quality of life feature that I ended up appreciating a lot more than I expected. We have all played on tables where the table itself has been covered with sand/gravel/flock/other textured material, and the feet keep it elevated and off the surface so that you don't scratch the underside when you move the tray around.
This has also been relevant on an occasion where a water glass tipped over and would have soaked the entire underside had there not been feet on the tray.
This piece of the tray is supposed to hold a Dice Vault (sold separately turns out), so that you can centralize your dice rolling equipment in one place. It also conveniently has their name embossed on the leather. One other use I've found it for is "banking" a roll that I've just made so that I can do another one. If I'm making a series of quick damage rolls, I can easily move the dice I used for the first one into the side partition while I roll my next set, and still maintain my opponents ability to follow along.
Let's talk about the leather for a second. It's a nice piece of hide - not super thick, but thick enough that when you roll dice in the tray it doesn't sound like you're rolling on a piece of wood. My roommate made his own dice tray, and we compared them over the course of a couple of games (one of which you can watch here).
Afterwards, we compared notes and we came up with the following observations:
- The sound of dice on wood is really irritating, but the sound of dice on leather is quite pleasant.
- When rolling straight onto wood, the dice tend to just fall and land on whatever side is up rather than tumbling around as they ought to. The leather base is bouncy enough to encourage a good roll before ending up on their final faces.
- The height of the walls in the Wurmwood tray are basically perfect (more on this in a minute).
I've done a little bit of woodworking, and I'm aware that these joins are the easiest kind of join to do. That being said, they've been done very solidly. The seem on the top isn't noticeable to the fingertip when rubbed around the rim.
They've also been meticulous in getting the fit of the leather inlay to the very edges of the tray and into the corners. The piece feels quite sturdy, but I wouldn't recommend throwing it or letting it fall from height if you can help it, even if it's just out of concern for the finish.
|Approx. eye level for a 6'0" man|
|Approx eye level for a 4'0" person|
|Camera held 4-5 inches above the table.|
One of the final things I'd like to touch on in this review is how readable the dice are in this tray. Most dice trays suffer from one of two problems. Either they have walls that are too high and you cannot read the dice from anywhere other than directly above it or, alternatively, they have walls too low for the dice to stay inside the tray.
Wyrmwood has managed to strike just about the perfect balance. Dice still go out of the tray if you chuck them at the tray, but as long as you're using a normal rolling motion, they stay in pretty darn well. I've had around one dice out of every five rolls go out if I'm not paying attention, and that number goes down significantly if I'm concentrating even a little.
Also, as you can see from the above pictures, the dice are super readable from a variety of heights, and are visible even from basically the perspective of the tabletop. It has been very nice to consistently have instant recognition of what has been rolled, both for myself and my opponent.
This is a super solid piece, and I'm very excited to eventually try out some of Wyrmwood's other products. The price tag attached to some of their more exotic woods is a bit on the extreme end, but at the same time these pieces will last for years and years if treated well.
For those of you who are extremely adept at woodworking etc., go nuts and make your own tray! For those of you who are, like me, a little less secure in their knowledge or who perhaps would rather spend money than time, this is definitely something you should consider. I have really enjoyed using this tray, and every opponent who I've shared it with has also enjoyed it.
Finally, Wyrmwood has set me up with a sweet promotional code for my readers. If you choose to purchase anything from their website, enter the following code:
For free shipping on whatever it is you're getting. This is a kind of test run for Wyrmwood and me, so we will see how it goes!
As always, thanks for reading!