Unboxing Old Salt Board Game
If you want to win me over before I even get your game down to the table to play, have a fantastic insert for all your pieces. I might be jumping a bit ahead on this unboxing article, but honestly Old Salt has one of the better board game inserts I’ve ever seen, and that gets this unboxing off to a good start!
First up, the component quality in Old Salt is fantastic. While the publishing team does offer an upgrade kit that makes many of the games cardboard pieces wood instead, I would argue that, while it would feel more premium, what is included in the base retail box is more than adequate.
The cardboard tokens are all very thick and solid, and popped out of the punch board with ease. No tearing, another major plus!
The game comes with 6 tuck boxes for each faction in the game. The boxes are meant to store all the pieces you’ll need to play that faction, including additional items that some factions get and others don’t. Regardless of how much stuff each faction has, it always fits neatly into the tuck box, without damaging anything when closing.
Far too often I’ve had games that provide a tuck box for various components, but they are woefully undersized, creating bulging and often damaging the closing flaps.
Another big positive here are the wooden ships. In Old Salt, players can build and deploy 5 different styles of ships, each associated with a specific colour. Each wooden ship has a bit of imagery on it to denote the bow and stern, and also has a small slot to place the thick, cardboard flags (which each faction has 10 of).
When placed on ships, the flags are sturdy, but don’t get ruined when they are required to be removed. Again, the quality of the cardboard here is very, very good. They are only a few presses short of being considered wooden tokens, in my opinion.
The board is very large, and a bit dull. I get the aesthetic the designer was going for when creating the board and pieces. This game has that old-school feel and in a way it really works. Still, I always default to liking a vibrant board – understandably, vibrant and jolly doesn’t really suit the theme of the game. Do I hate the look of the board? Of course. But does it look like an old school map that actually adds to the theming. Ya, I’d have to concur with that too.
Good components and a bad rulebook make a mediocre game. Old Salt definitely has good components, but what do I think of the rulebook? I’m fairly OK with this rulebook. It’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but it’s very far from the worst!
The book is well detailed, but you will be looking at walls of text as you flip from one page to the next. A decent amount of illustrations do break up the text, and provide good examples of how things should be done within the game.
The Crown Jewel of Board Games – The Insert
A good insert is paramount to a good experience. If I’m struggling to get a game out of the box and onto the table, it starts the experience off on a bad foot. Getting things in and out of the Old Salt box is so simple, and it’s also so neat.
You’ll never wonder where to find things as everything has a very specific place in the box. I love that I can just pass a board and tuck box to each player when they choose their faction, as opposed to baggies, or random cardboard bits out of slots. Kudos to the team on this one, it’s a major plus!
We will have a full review of Old Salt after GenCon 2023, so stay tuned!