SCOPE U-boot Review

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Quick Look: SCOPE U-boot

Designer: Juan A. Nácher
Artists: Matias Cazorla
Publishers: Draco Ideas & Banana Games
Year Published: 2023

No. of Players: 2
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 10-15 minutes.
Rating: 6.7
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com  
From the Publisher:

The Battle of the Atlantic confronted the convoys, essential to the Allied war effort in Europe, against the wolf packs of Admiral Karl Dönitz. It would result in thousands of ships sunk and millions of tons of material that would not be used in World War II on the one hand, and on the other, hundreds of U-boats sunk by the escorts.

In SCOPE U-boot two players recreate the tension of the Battle of the Atlantic. The German player will try to sink the merchant ships crossing the sector while performing a deadly dance of stealth and death with the escorts trying to sink his subs.

SCOPE U-boot is a stand-alone installment of the SCOPE system, being very different from its predecessor – the only similarities being its grid of cards forming the board and the many strategic possibilities it offers!

In SCOPE Stalingrad we tried to guess where the rival sniper was, but in U-Boot the German player will be the one hidden under the surface and the Allied player will have to find him and avoid being sunk. Ships move on the surface, although freighters move more slowly.

The submarine gives away its position when it fires a torpedo, but beware! You will have to choose as an ally whether you prefer your freighters to dodge it or move your destroyer to the area where the torpedo came from and sink your opponent.

SCOPE U-boot has many game modes, with different levels of game complexity and duration.

Select the scenario, create the card grid and jump right into the action!


Disclaimer: The publisher provided the copy of SCOPE U-boot. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.


I am SUNK! I requested the opportunity to review this game given the unique



undercurrent mechanic of moving your side along under cover of card backing to achieve the objective – easy right? Au Contraire Mon Frere and Frerets ! I struggled with the initial launch set up like being dropped into a speed speaking pig-latin competition. I headed over to the oracle of content – Youtube to get some help in interpreting the first few turns only to realize there was not one english speaking review or how-to on the web-sphere. A first!  After soliciting a buddy who’s IQ dwarfs my meager existence we were able to decipher the strategy. Let us DIVE into it.

Setting up the game was very quick and I think is included in the suggested 10-15 minute time it takes to play the beginner game for sure.  Laying out the cards brought back the ol’ Match Game or more recent, Code Names grid structure and after exchanging the generic cards for the predetermined Submarine starting number for the Axis and the Fleet of the Allies we were immediately at cruising depths.

Scope U-boot is a quick to play game based on a cat and mouse hidden mechanic. The Axis submarines (U-Boats) that are hidden under the card-backs maneuver towards their objective of either eliminating the cargo ships on route to supply the allied forces with much needed munitions and salt peter or destroy enough warships to reach the victory points needed to become victorious at sea.  The allies are constantly looking, listening, and guessing where those #*#@!% are so they can either drop depth charges to crack open their hulls like today’s overpriced eggs, or machine gun them down when they bob their metal heads out of the water for a breather.  

The action is quick with torpedos launching at set increments with precise GUESS-timation as to where the ships will move next turn or the turn after. The Covid SIX Feet rule certainly does not apply to the Axis in this encounter as getting right up next to the Allies’ fleet ensures the highest level of success in sinking their hopes of winning the game.


The games basic tutorial setup in the rule book really does not give the full salt water taste of this design.  The advanced rules provide gamers with the real sense of how this plays on the table.  From surfacing to submerging, maneuvering of the slow vs faster ships, adding the always thematic PING

of Sonar, all give this small boxed game a little depth of play that is needed to fully enjoy the experience designer Juan Nacher set sail to achieve. 

If you are a fanboy of anything history, WWII, or navel encounters, you will find this a fun little gem to hold you over until the gaming groups arrives at thirteen hundred hours to begin the epic journeys that ensue. The art work captures the moment in time with a grey and blue swept glaze that delivers the goods of the era.  Do note, if you are targeting an experience with mechanics that mirror submarine operations or heavier tactics on water warfare, this is not your tour. Seek out a game like Captain Sonar my wanna-be Squids.

Again, though I was stuck early in working through the beginning mechanics of the game, the dual language rule book and quick reference guide at the back did help expedite play once the cadence of play SUNK in. The only area that both of us could not discern in our efforts to pinpoint the math of the 5×5 and then 5×7 card grid was how the Allies without direct range attacks or any way of reaching past the one adjacent or orthogonal cards around us could know if an enemy had an easy kill shot on a lone wolf of the fleet. The addition of carrier plane bombers and torpedo aircraft attacks in the advanced rules looked to solve that dilemma but we were not able to understand the working mechanics of each with certainty. More pictures or examples within the rulebook would have helped in that endeavor as we really wanted to see how the Allies could expand their reach. 


Our game radar to uncover and interpret the play of Scope U-Boot simply missed the mark for us.  The movement mechanics of play allowing only one “quadrant” at a time to be moved ( 4 adjacent cards on the table ) was a refreshing system. I think there is a lot that can be designed and improved using this design.  It’s a solid hidden player mechanic that fits very well into the submarine theme. If your periscope is up looking for a quick WWII themed naval game, give this one a try.  I just wished I had shoved off a bit smoother with our voyage to play. Can’t win them all, but at least we did back then.


After reading Bogue’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting SCOPE U-boot is currently available on DRACOIDEAS.COM and is currently on sale for only €13.50. Check it out and get yours HERE.

Find out more at BGG.
Did you get it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!


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Check out SCOPE U-boot and Draco Ideas on:







Shane “Bogue” Bogardus- Reviewer


Born and discarded to the wolves of the great Northern Planes, Bogue grew up a nomad. His recluse behavior landed him in the penitentiary of the Witchic County Municipality with a population 2 -A man and his dog. Life was always a game set on hardcore until he met a mild mannered digital publisher who took him under his wing and showed him the miracles of game design and play testing.  Now he is a thriving member of the Everything Board Games review team and lives with his long lost mother and his pet ferret named Meeple in Austin, TX. (Translation: A retired broadcast television and radio broadcaster turned financial planner.  Bogue is an entrepreneur at heart owning multiple businesses including the latest www.Meepology.comdedicated to growing and maximizing the gaming experience 

for current and new gamers to the hobby. He and his son hosts the monthly joystickshow.compodcast on video game reviews heard anywhere you get your downloads. Bogue lives with his wife, two teenage boys and his dog “Pepper Potts” in Austin, TX.)

SeeShane “Bogue” Bogardus reviews HERE.



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