Review: Noteboard

carousel-item-3The Noteboard is a fold-up dry-erase board made up of laminated, index-card like sections. It’s 35″ by 15″, double sided, with one side blank and the other divided into a variety of 1″ grids, overlaid over one another for hexes, 1″ squares, 1/3 inch squares and/or isometric. Obviously this has a great variety of uses for making notes, making on-the-spot presentations, brainstorming and other ideas but as this is primarily a gaming blog we’re interested in the gaming uses.

I’m not a big user of game boards or miniatures. Partly because I use the ‘theatre of the mind’ but also because of the transportation issue. For those who do use gameboards I think the Noteboard provides a cheap and easy alternative to lugging a lot of scenery around, cutting down on convention luggage and having something to hand for relatively impromptu gaming sessions.

I do like to keep a vague idea of where characters are in relation to each other, and with a board like this you can doodle without wasting paper, erase lines that show movement and do it all without creating too much of a mess or having to use multiple sheets of paper. For something like FATE with its ore vague use of the ‘zone’ concept a quick whiteboard doodle is also a great option.

As a GM this thing is also a less fiddly godsend for keeping track of initiative order, hit points, status effects and so on.

The board comes with a dry-erase marker/eraser and the bag can also double as an eraser itself. There’s also enough room in the bag that you could squeeze in some small dice and some flat character/monster tokens such as those found in D&D 4e’s ‘Monster Vault’ or Gamma World. Minus the game book, you could have everything you need in one pocket-sized bag.

carousel-item-6My only reservations about the board would be:

  • The proportions – I would have preferred a squarer board, something like 24 x 24.
  • The gaps – Between the sections there are – inevitably – gaps, but they are a little bit big for comfort.

Style: 4
Substance: 5
Overall: 4.5
The Last Word: Useful for gamers of any stripe, but particularly useful for those who like using game boards and tokens/minis during their games. What we need next are reusable vinyl stickers and themed, foldable game boards with textures! Or many I’ll save that idea for myself…

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