I unboxed a new birthday tournament board a couple of days ago, and in writing about it I mentioned I own two other boards: an inexpensive attache board purchased from a friend (and then promptly forgotten in a closet for several years) and a travel board I purchased prior to a trip to Europe this past June.
While the tournament board is impressive, and still has that new board smell, I believe the travel board remains my favorite. I carry it with me in a backpack, along with all of the electronics I need for a mobile office, and it’s available to me for a game no matter where I am. It’s also nice that it is an attractive board.
It’s drawn stares and comments in Rome and Florence (and on the train between the two); Brussels and Kortrijk (and on the train between the two); Bruges and Waterloo (Empress Josephine played, but there’s no mention of Napoleon having done so; maybe the game would have helped him learn humility before Fortuna).
And, of course, other more mundane locales such as my favorite local dive bar.
It’s a Sondergut, and I think it’s perfectly leathery. It has nifty metal inserts that snap into place, providing walls that keep your dice where they belong: on the table (or in the trash, depending on my luck that day). I did replace the acrylic stones that came with the board with lighter olive wood pieces, and replaced the dice with a smaller, matchy-matchy set. The smaller, lighter dice suit the size of the board better, I feel, and are less likely to knock the olive stones off-point. I replaced the doubling cube, too, because of course I did (everyone needs a cube collection, right?). The replacement cube is solid brass and sits safely off the board, to one side, since playing-surface space is at a premium.
Anyway, enough with my thousand words. How about some photos?
So, yes, it’s still my favorite board, both for its carry-it-anywhere nature and for the fun memories I have of games played in wonderful locations. I expect to get years of enjoyment from it, at home and abroad.