Tabletop Review: Dwarven Forge Cavern Tiles – Base Set and Stretch Goals

Dwarven Forge Cavern Tiles – Base Set and Stretch Goals
Publisher: Dwarven Forge
Cost: $75 (Unpainted)/ $110 (Painted)
Release Date: November 2014 (Kickstarter Backers)/TBD (Everyone Else)
Get them Here: Dwarven Forge’s Official Website

In March of this year, Dwarven Forge ran an insanely successful Kickstarter.3,950 people backed this project raising a grand total of $2,140,851 – making it one of the most successful game related Kickstarters ever. That’s pretty fantastic. I received eleven sets of tiles from Dwarven Forge on Saturday and I’ll be doing a review for each type. Today we will look at the Base Set and the accompanying stretch goal package that comes with each one. I received three of each and for a person who has never used dungeon tiles before (although I have used maps for miniatures thanks to my time with the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures tactical warband game and general scenery for Warhammer) I was shocked to receive two boxed weighing a total of thirty pounds. I don’t know why, but I didn’t think these pieces would be so big or so heavy. I’m going to have to get something to store all of these in because even though Dwarven Forge included a tote bag, it doesn’t come close to holding them all.

This review will mainly be pictorial with some commentary after each picture (remember to click on each picture for a larger and better view of each), but I do want to point out that these tiles are extremely solid and sturdy. They have a rubbery-plastic feel to them, so they’re not the same plastic you usually see miniature stuff made from by Mantic, Games Workshop or Reaper. It’s a very different plastic and the closest I can come to describing it is the old Inhumanoids toys Hasbro used to make in the 80s. They had that same feel and texture. Regardless, Dwarvenite is pretty awesome. It holds paint extremely well, you don’t have to worry about a title breaking if you drop it and they look good with any company’s brand of figures.


untitled

Here is an example of what all you get in a single Base Set. These are the painted version of the cavern titles, while I received the unpainted. I actually prefer the unpainted, so lucky me. As you can see, you get nine floor tiles, nine straight wall tiles and eight curved walls tiles. Doesn’t seem like a lot for your $75/$110 dollars, does it?


IMG_1597

Here is a look at a single base set of unpainted cavern tiles. Again I like the dark grey look better.


IMG_1596

So here is an example of what you can build with a single Base Set. A decent sized room to enact battles in.


IMG_1595

Another example of what you can build with a single set of Base cavern tiles. This time it’s more of a long hallway.


IMG_1598

A third look at what you can build with a single Base Set. This time I tried to make something a bit more dungeon-y. You have a hallway, a main room and two offshoots. Not bad for a single Base Set of tiles. However the price may be too much for a lot of gamers, even though the tiles are well made and have a lot of detail to them. I can’t said I’d blame anyone who call these expensive, because they are. However, if you’re a dedicated miniatures gamer and can get a lot of use out of these with your friends, they are well worth the cost.


IMG_1600

Remember that with each Base Set, Kickstarter backers received a set of stretch goal pieces as well. I’m not sure if regular customers will get these as well, but hopefully they will, as the pieces are fantastic. As you can see from the picture you get an entryway, a giant spiderweb, some new wall pieces, an alcove, some broken floor pieces to show holes/pits, a few hallway pieces and more. I really like the stalagmite and the narrow hallway pieces.


IMG_1601

Another shot of all the Stretch Goal pack pieces. This time with out flash glare.


IMG_1602

So what can you build with a single set of Base and Stretch Goal titles? Well, here is a dungeon using nearly every part. It’s actually pretty big! It also looks really cool. I wished I had an in-person regular group of people to game with just to show these tiles off. Building a dungeon was a lot of fun. In fact my wife, who has never tabletop gamed in her life absolutely loved these tiles and spent hours making dungeons, tearing them apart and then making new dungeons. They’re more fun than Legos…although they take up a lot more room.


IMG_1603

Another vantage point of the same dungeon.


IMG_1606

A third and final vantage point of the dungeon.


Again a single set with the stretch goals can make a pretty fantastic dungeon and we received three of each in addition to a Water Cavern pack, a Lava River pack, a Lava Cavern pack, an Elevation Pack and a Wicked Addition Pack. We will take a look at each one in turn and show you what you get as well as what you can build. Here’s a teaser though of all eleven sets combined into a large sprawling dungeon. It only uses about two-thirds of the tiles we have and it took my wife about two and a half hours to build. Yes, I spent Sunday evening watching Survivor Series and she built dungeons. She did a fantastic job though so take a look at what you can make if you’re willing to throw a few hundred dollars at Dwarven Forge.

IMG_1635

IMG_1636


Again, a single set of Cavern Tiles from Dwarven Forge is pretty expensive. $75/$110 only gets you enough to build a single room or very small dungeon, but compared to the prices of other miniatures out there, you’re actually getting a pretty good deal. There is a lot of detail to each tile and you’re getting far more plastic than you would with say, an entire Warhammer boxed set. You will need several sets to really build something impressive, so be prepared to spend a decent chuck of your disposable income on dungeon tiles or be willing to create your dungeon room by room. Either way, if you do a lot of tabletop gaming, these tiles are an excellent alternative to maps or just using a table with miniatures on them. I loved them, but nowhere as much as my wife. If Dwarven Forge’s Cavern Tiles can convert a non-tabletop gamer into someone who is excited about miniatures and/or roleplaying, that to me makes it well worth the asking price on these sets. Your mileage may vary but so far, Dwarven Forge’s Cavern Tiles are the most impressive miniatures line I’ve seen all year…and we till have expansion sets to look at.

Tags: