Controlling Twelve Steppers...No Easy Way to Go?

Hey guys, I am pretty much new to electronics so any and all advice you can afford me would be helpful and greatly appreciated! As you can tell from my title, I have a very ambitious goal, especially for a beginner. I know much of the advice I initially receive will be start with controlling one stepper and learn, then work your way up...which makes sense, and I don't fully intend to go full bore first go round.

From what I've read so far it seems just about the only way to go about driving 12 steppers is to get 6 or 12 driver boards, depending on how many motors per board it supports. Is this the case? What about the breakout board sparkfun sells that is for multiple servos? Will that not work with steppers? Yes...laugh it up, but you were once in my shoes as well.

I look forward to any help you guys can offer. Thanks so much!

That's the only way. I didn't program 12 steppers but I did use more than a dozen of them in my research (google x-ray diffractometer). Stepper motors combined with gear boxes and some inch worms are awesome. They lift heavy loads and are nimble. Each stepper is controlled by one board/card that can control up to 4 separate steppers. Details: You may be ok to move one stepper at a time, which are relatively slow. If you need multiple steppers to move at the same time, these control boards need to accept command and sync start. What these cards do is that they generate time-critical pulses to rotate the steppers. You have to have enough cards to control your 12 steppers.