Penguinised's Adventures in Foamcore
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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A list of the various foamcore inserts I have made for my board games.

My design philosophy for these inserts is pretty easy to follow:

1. Keep it simple stupid.
2. Don't use space in the box just for the sake of it. Empty space can be used for transporting other games.
3. Utilitarian is better than beautiful.
4. Don't be afraid to shamelessly plagiarise other designs.

I am now doing commissions! I’m happy to replicate any of the designs below (provided they don’t require actual game components) and could also work on other designs for games I own. Inserts for games not in my collection are challenging but not impossible. Send me a geekmail for quotes or to discuss special pieces.

Future projects:
At least a partial tray replacement for Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set.
Flamme Rouge once I’ve finished collecting all the things.
Original Tikal to allow space for my 3D printed temple pieces.
One box to hold them all: Century Trilogy.
King of Tokyo and King of New York and all the expansions, and extra monsters, and promo monsters, and also a kitchen sink?
Cosmic Encounter with literally all the expansions.
Sushi Go Party! (Actually a whole box replacement for this one. Stupid tins).
Attempt to fit Scythe and all the expansions into the base box (wish me luck).
Yet another Concordia insert now that I’ve picked up Concordia Venus.
A few small box card games whose stock inserts don't allow sleeved cards.
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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:17]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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I made this insert for myself to hold the base game and first expansion. Unfortunately I only had adhesive backed foam core and a pretty blunt Stanley knife but it works great and fits everything in. The manuals and included reference card fit on top.


Full loaded with all the components and boards.


Boards removed. Notice that, due to them being slightly longer, the Pantheon god cards slightly overlap the Age III cards.


Pantheon god cards and money tray removed. The idea of the coin tray is that if I ever get the metal coins I can just throw the tray away and put the bag of coins in there instead. It will mean I'll have to add an extra divider to contain the science and military tokens and stick the Pantheon tokens in with the military tokens.
The stack underneath the Pantheon god cards is, from the bottom up: base game score pad, wonder cards (including the promos), expansion score pad.


The Age I and Age II cards have risers underneath them to make them easier to retrieve. Although the Age III cards don't have risers in this picture (they didn't fit with the way the Pantheon cards overlap them) while I was taking the photos I realised I could swap the Age I and Age III cards and risers would then fit for all three card slots.


The insert emptied of all components. Note that the coin/Pantheon token tray has curved cardboard glued inside to aid in retrieving the tokens from such a small tray.


A low angle shot showing the notches for the boards and large cards.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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2. Board Game: Agricola (Revised Edition) [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:79]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Agricola is one of my all time favourite games and so when I first heard of the Revised Edition I knew I’d be picking it up at some point. My old Z-Man copy of the original edition was a minefield of baggies and tackle boxes; I was determined to get it right this time.

My constraints: I wanted to sleeve all the cards, I wanted to leave room for both the Agricola: Artifex Deck and Agricola: Bubulcus Deck in the box, and I wanted the box to close flush. Sure...


The fully loaded insert. All the boards and manuals fit on top, but only just. You’ll notice that two of the card slots are mostly empty. These will take the Agricola: Bubulcus Deck once it realeases.


A close up of the resource tray emptied. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of space, I’ve had to combine resources into single tray compartments in ways that seem most logical. The compartments themselves are colour coded and have curved bases to help in getting the bits out.


The main box with the resource and player trays removed. There is a little bit of room under here to fit the major improvement and round cards. At one end of the box are all the room/field tiles as well as the first player marker, begging tiles and recommended space markers.


The empty insert. As space is at an absolute premium in this box, I had no room for risers to help get the cards out. Instead I’ve cut holes in the bottom layer of foamcore instead. It works so well that I’ll probably revisit my Viticulture insert and do the same there.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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3. Board Game: Broom Service [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:447]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Oh Alea, why do you hate my shelves so? I understand that you’re devoted to a box size, but can we at least entertain the idea of a half height option? Case in point:


The fully loaded insert with manual and board on top.


The top layer of the insert showing the tray for potions and wands, the storm cloud bag (a much easier way to draw them in my opinion), the player aid (which acts as a sort of lid as you’ll see below), and what I like to call “the void”.


The bottom layer of the insert showing the tray for player pieces and module tokens, as well as the cards (including the Mini Expansion).


The empty insert showing the card risers.

Come on Ravensburger/Alea. This box is 40% empty. Respect our shelves and offer us a smaller option, please?
 
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4. Board Game: Carpe Diem [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:444]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Nothing fancy with this one, just something to help cut down on the setup and get cards out of baggies.


The fully loaded insert. The game board goes on top first, with the player boards on top of that.


Boards removed.


There are four removable trays. The card caddies sit one on top of the other on the middle of the box and are packed away as shown here to make drawing the A, B, C and D cards as easy as possible. The player tray holds the player pieces as well as 9 banderole tokens per compartment. The component tray holds coins and bread in one compartment and all the wooden resources in the other. I tend to just dump them all in a big pile while playing so I didn’t do anything fancy here.


Once the objective cards have been dealt out I restack the trays into this configuration for play. This keeps all the point and fountain cards in easy reach.


The frame pieces have risers underneath and can be easily retrieved.


I sewed up some simple drawstring bags for the two types of tiles. I find this method MUCH easier than having to flip and wash shuffle tiles before every game.


The empty insert. There is enough room under the frames for the first player marker to fit neatly between the risers.
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5. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:15]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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I wanted to keep this one very simple, as the addition of the truly excellent drawstring bags from the Geek Store has already massively reduced the setup overhead. This insert holds all the released expansions with the exception of the team play variant boards. There is a lot of empty space, which I mostly use to transport my copy of Oh My Goods! when heading to Game night or a con.



The fully loaded insert, boards removed. There is enough room above for all of the boards and manuals to fit and the lid close flush.
The upper compartment holds all of the bags containing the board hexes. Each of the player trays holds the colour specific components, as well as starting silver, worker and castle hex. The black bag holds all the goods tiles, which I find makes randomising them much easier. The lower compartment contains the expansion rules cards and the trade route expansion cards.



Beneath the player trays are two curved compartments; holding silverlings and worker tiles; and a space for the neutral die, bonus tiles and the cloisters from the expansion. I didn’t make trays for the silver and workers, opting instead just to scoop them out and dump them on the table, but there is so much empty space I certainly could have.
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6. Board Game: Celestia [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:636]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Pretty basic insert this one. Although it’s not pictured this one also has room for the card based A Little Help expansion.


The fully loaded insert.


The empty insert. Note the risers in both card compartments to aid in the retrieval of the cards.
 
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7. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:18]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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The creation of this insert presented a few unique challenges. First, as it needed to hold both the base game board and the Salsa expansion board, vertical space in the box was limited. Second, my foamcore supplies were running very low, so only partitions deemed absolutely necessary could be constructed.
These two constraints meant no removable trays and no separate partitions for each of the different resources and denominations of coins. Neither of these was a huge issue for me as big piles of tokens on the table are part of the joy (in my experience).
For a project with so many restrictions, it has turned out very well. So colourful!


The fully loaded insert, all boards and manuals in place.
I normally wouldn't show these first two pictures, but it's pretty integral to the functioning of this insert to have the boards layered in this way.


Top board and manuals removed. The forum board, as well as the 5 player boards, sit between the two main game boards. This allows the board to provide a nice flat surface to cap the insert and keep all the various cards, tiles and components in place.


All boards removed. The top two compartments hold the forum tiles, separated by type (with enough room for the promotional expansion tiles).
The second row of compartments hold the player cards on one side and the purchasable personality cards on the other; the cardboard player aids sit beneath each stack of cards. Between them are the bonus tiles, separated by type.
The lower right-hand side of the box contains all the player pieces, separated by colour. Each of these trays also contains the starting resources and five sestertii for faster setup.
The lower left-hand side of the box contains all the resources and coins, as well as the city tiles, separated by letter.


Detail of the bonus tile compartment. Each slot is colour coded for its resource type (because why the hell not).


Detail of the player trays showing the curved base. This helps in retrieving the pieces for setup.


Detail of the coin and resource trays showing the curved base. Again, this helps in getting all the pieces out of the box at the start of the game.


Detail of one of the card compartments, showing the risers in action.


The insert with all components removed.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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8. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:180]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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There was a real potential for this insert to wind up being very fiddly due to the number of different components in this game however, I'm very happy with the end result. The game holds enough complexity for me as it is so I didn't allow space for any expansions.


The insert with all boards in place. Due to the many sizes of player boards, they sit in two layers. The large group on top contains the main board, manual, laminated player aids and home boards.


The next layer contains the cage boards and the round tracker board. These sit below the layer of the larger boards and help to keep the cards and tiles in place.


The fully loaded insert. The pets, player baggies (containing imps, minions and score tiles), show tiles and buyer tiles sit in in the only fixed section of the insert. All other tokens are in removable trays.


The card tray with risers. The risers put the cards on a slight slant which makes them easier to draw and keeps them from spilling out of the tray.


The "containment" tray. This holds the cages, cage upgrades and artefact tokens. When the game is in storage, the wooden markers also sit on top. The artefact tokens have a mid riser for easier retrieval.


The "nasty" tray. This holds the mutation, suffering and poop tokens. As these components have no space on the main board, the openings in this tray were made larger to allow fingers to reach inside so the tray can sit on the table during play.


The "nice" tray. This holds the gold and food tokens. As these components have specific places on the board this tray is small and narrow. The idea is that these are just tipped out onto the board once setup is completed.


The full insert with all components removed.
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9. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:641] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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This one was a real challenge: fit both Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon into a single box. It weighs a fair portion of a metric tonne but it all fits. You may notice that I didn't take a photo of the insert completely empty. There was no way I was going to pull out all of the minis just for a photo, but I'm sure you get the idea.


The fully loaded insert. The square monster boards fit in a narrow slot in the side of the miniature compartment (hard to see in the photo as it's covered by minis).
The player tray holds all the PC minis, dice, shield tokens, coffin tokens, damage tokens, small treasure tokens, NPCs and miscellaneous small round tokens.
The HP tray has separate compartments for 1 HP and 5 HP tokens.


Trays removed. The cards are separated by type (from bottom to top: miscellaneous, encounter, monster, treasure, player) and sit next to the condition tokens.
The healing surge and large square and rectangular tokens are stored below the HP tray.


Cards, condition tokens and large monster and dungeon tiles removed. The monster tiles are stored below the condition tokens which act like a riser to aid in their retrieval from the narrow slot.
The dungeon tiles and player boards are evenly stacked in two piles.
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10. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:40]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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To say that I was intimidated just thinking about making an insert for this game is quite the understatement. But I figured that now that I have both the Rise of the Ancients and Shadow of the Rift expansions, as well as all the promo hexes, it was a good time to have a crack. While I have close to zero interest in picking up Ship Pack One I’m pretty sure it would still fit with only minor adjustments (maybe).


The fully loaded insert. Yep, it all fits and the lid closes flush. All the player boards, manuals, and promo reference tiles fit here. Where is the tech board? Read on...


Boards and manuals removed. The bags fit around the hex tower (just) but when I get the chance I’ll probably sew up some smaller ones just to make it easier to pack. The bags included with Shadow of the Rift are comically huge and could easily be half the size.


Bags removed. Here you can see that I allowed myself one baggie for the high player count tokens. The big pawns sit on top of the tower tray and the two tuckboxes also fit in this gap.


The two tuckboxes holds third party plastic cube trays and all the player aid sized game tiles respectively. I wanted them to look suitably “spacey” so I found a nice star field image online and printed it onto my card stock before making them.


This is the front of the hex tower. This was BY FAR the most time consuming, fiddly and intimidating tray component I’ve yet attempted. Cutting all those angles neatly, by hand, without an angle set blade shaved years off my life. However, the end result is something I’m really happy with, takes up very little room on the table, and can be easily drawn from during play.
The left hand side holds sector 1 with all the player home hexes on top. The right hand side holds sector 2 along with the galactic centre and the ancient home worlds. In between is a small, curved tray to hold the damage cubes.


The back of the hex tower. This stack holds all of sector 3. Originally I had intended for all the hexes to be able to be drawn from the front of the tray. Doing it this way however really increased the strength of the whole unit and doesn’t impact play at all.


The component tray, which sits on top of all the player piece trays in the other half of the box. I added ribbon handles to aid in passing the fully loaded thing around during the game. The purpose of the lid is two fold. One: it allows me to be sure I won’t open the box to find hundreds of loose tokens everywhere. And two:


It’s actually the tech board! As it has a lip around the outside, this means that FINALLY I can move the tech board around during the game without the risk of spraying tiles all over the place. The star field underneath is where I keep all the rare tech and Developments.


The component tray. The leftmost four columns are ship parts with destroyed planet markers, monolith/orbitals, Warp Gate/Science Death Star (or whatever it’s called) and discoveries in the middle.
The right of the tray holds dice, ancients, anomalies, alliance markers, developments, and the first player and round markers for storage.


The player components are in three separate trays, three colours per tray. Each one is colour coded and has a curved base to help with retrieval.


Somehow, it all fits. It was a labour of days, but it’s made setting up and playing this beast a much more palatable proposition. Mission accomplished!
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11. Board Game: Fabled Fruit [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:697]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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A criminally overlooked game which deserves far more love than it gets in my humble opinion; also a game which can benefit from a better system of organisation. This insert includes the Limes expansion as well.


The fully loaded insert. The lower two compartments hold all the location cards, minus the 24 currently being used (wherever you are up to), which sit in the central slot. The upper section holds the sleeved fruit cards (including the limes and double fruit cards), as well as a removable box which holds the miscellaneous cardboard game tokens.


I also have a single, sleeved black card which I use to mark where I’m up to in terms of the sequence of location cards. This makes setting up the location deck at the start of each game much easier.


Beneath the currently “active” location cards is a curved compartment to hold all the player pieces and tokens.


The empty insert.
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12. Board Game: Glen More II: Chronicles [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:1422]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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The GameTrayz tray which comes in the box with this excellent game is what I would describe as “good, not great”. While it does and excellent job at keeping the tiles, cards and chronicle boxes organised, it still requires a sea of baggies to keep all the resources and player bits separated. And let’s be honest, that’s just not the kind of thing I can abide.


Pop the lid off my copy of the game and you’re immediately greeted by three trays: one for the victory point tokens, and two for the wooden resources. I lined them with colour coded card to keep things looking neat and tidy.


Under the trays sit the two boards and the manual. I’d normally put these on top of trays, but doing it this way keeps the trays flush against the top of the box lid and stops the tokens escaping if the box is tilted or jostled around.


I kept everything in the plastic tray more or less where you would expect it to go, the only difference is that I made four colour coded tuckboxes to keep the player pieces in. The cloth bag which holds the coins sits neatly beside them.
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13. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:11]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Nothing overwhelmingly complex here, but for some decisions I made early on the design, space became a big consideration.

I recorded myself making this insert and used it to make a video series as a sort of “crash course in foam core”. Find all of them here.


The fully loaded insert, showing the board sitting flush with the top of the box.


Main board and manual removed. This insert is divided in half to accomodate the expansion board, expansion manual and player boards on a lower “tier”. The other half contains the player piece boxes which utilise the extra height.


All boards and manuals removed. The lower part of the insert, capped by the expansion board, contains a coin tray, card caddy, slots for the board tokens and tiles, as well as the numbered tiles in the geek store bags, score pad, and player board extension tiles from the expansion.


The player trays in more detail. The cards sit on top of two risers and effectively act as a lid to keep all the tokens, tiles and cubes inside. One side of these boxes are card as space was a bit too tight to use foam core (see video 3 for more info on that) but they work really well.


The bags and coin tray removed. Here you can see the card caddy, as well as the score pad and player board extensions, which sit loose in the large space beneath the bags. The board tiles are separated by size into two slots, the neutral buildings also have a dedicated compartment.


Closeup of the coin tray and card caddy. The base of the coin tray is thick card in order to gain me a bit of depth, and has also been lined with coloured card. The space in the centre of the card caddy has been lined with a curved base to make getting the draw/discard tokens (cannot for the life of me remember what they are actually called) much easier.


The empty insert.
 
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14. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:42]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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This is another game which desperately needs a better storage solution than the “ocean of baggies” which come stock out of the box. The problem is further compounded with Le Havre however, due to the need for the box storage to also function as an “on the board” storage system as well. I originally used rectangular plastic containers with removable lids and just sat them straight on the board. I wasn’t happy with how much they obscured the board and cards and so, inexorably, I was drawn back to the cutting mat yet again.


The fully loaded insert. The board, manuals, and excellent player aids by
Darrell Perrins
United Kingdom
Benson
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all fit on the top, flush with the top of the box.
The cards are split into Starting and Standard Buildings, Loans and Player Aid and Ships, Base game Special Buildings, and Expansion and Promo Special Buildings. There is actually quite a lot of room left in the card compartments (we can always hold out hope for another 60 or so special buildings to be released right?).
Note that the resource trays are all lined with curved bases and colour coded (because why not?).


Top trays and cards removed. The L-shaped tray containing francs and fish doesn’t fit perfectly into it’s spot, and it also needs a mass of foam core blocks to stop all the coins from spilling out when the box is stored on its side. What’s up with that? This is my first insert (I think, I could be forgetting one) where I have built the trays to fit the board rather than fit the box. I had to include a few extra features in the insert to keep things from moving around too much during storage.
The harbour disks, all well as the food counters are also stored in slots on this layer.


The empty insert. While it looks a little bit rough and ready in the box...


I’m very happy with how it looks on the table. The low height of the trays (I’m fairly sure they are about as low as they can be and still be usable) means the building cards are clearly visible to all at the table which is exactly the point of making them in the first place.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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15. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:171]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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I’ve been reluctant to pull the trigger on this one, mostly due to the ongoing nature of expansion releases. I’m very happy with my final solution which leaves plenty of space for future factions and any tokens or boards they may include.


The fully loaded insert. Note that the dividers between the different faction cards in the upper compartments are not currently fixed in place. I’ll likely glue them in once I’m satisfied that there will be no more cards coming.
The lower compartment contains four trays in two layers: a large card caddy for the common cards, a small try to hold all of the limited faction specific tokens and small game markers, a tray for all the commonly used game tokens, and another for holding the added effect tokens.


The four trays removed. Note that there is plenty of space in the tray containing technology and blessing tokens for any addition tokens they decide to add to the game in the future. I love the artwork and funny messages on the original cardboard insert so much that I decided to incorporate them into the trays and the insert itself.


The game token tray with colour coded slides and faction specific tray. The card caddy has minor spoilers (if you haven’t already I strongly recommend you take a close look at the cardboard insert in your copy of the game).

Spoiler (click to reveal)

One side of the card caddy showing the stealthy ninjas. What I really like about them being in the card caddy is that they are slowly revealed as the game plays and cards are drawn



The insert with trays removed. There is a recessed space beneath the trays and caddy for the score board and first player marker.


The empty insert. Notice that half the insert has a foam core base and the other a cardboard base. This allows enough depth for sleeved cards and the player boards to stand upright, but also gives me another opportunity to preserve some of the wonderful artwork of the original insert.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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16. Board Game: La Isla [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:848]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Now THIS is the size of box that I like from Alea. Why all of their games don’t come in a footprint of this size is beyond me (see my Broom Service and Castles of Burgundy inserts for just how much wasted space the Alea Big Box games contain).


The fully loaded insert. I decided to make a card caddy to help hold the sleeved cards on the table (they have a tendency to fall over without additional support), and stuck a ribbon over the top to hold them in nice and neatly.


The caddy and token bag. For most games which require tokens to be randomised I find that storing them in a bag makes setup much easier. Certainly more so than having to dump them on the table, flip them over and give them a wash shuffle anyway.


The insert with the caddy and bag removed. The “barely cardboard” envelopes sit underneath the caddy and the centre of the main board and first player marker sit on top of the smaller board tiles. The cubes and scoring markers are kept in curved based compartment and are simply removed and kept in a pile on the table. The player piece tray is removable for easy dumping as well.


Almost everything removed. This shows the configuration of the board tile compartment. There is also a small slot to hold the double creature tokens which are randomised and handed to the players at the start of the game.


The empty insert. Or is it..?


Peek-a-boo! This small hidey-hole contains the spare creature tokens and is hinged with a couple of pins.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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17. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:173]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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For a game such as this I normally hold off on making an insert until I’ve picked up all the expansions. For Isle of Skye however I’m perfectly content to just keep it at the base game. It fills a nice spot in my collection for quick playing, intro plus weight games that play up to five.


The full loaded insert. Slightly less than half the volume of the box is a single compartment for the tile bag. The upper layer of the remaining portion holds a 4 slot coin tray. No liners on this one, though I might get to it in the future.


Beneath the coin tray are three compartments. One holds the round scoring markers and first player marker, one holds all the player specific pieces and round marker, and the other holds the disassembled player screens.


The supporting pieces for the player screens are arranged on the bottom as seen here. There is enough room in this compartment to be able to fit a finger for retrieving everything.


The empty insert. Very simple, but much more effective than baggies.
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18. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:102]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Most of the inserts I had seen for this game use up as much of the space inside the box as possible. With this design I decided to keep it simple but leave big areas of open space. There is more than enough room for any expansion(s) I decide to get but also room to fit smaller games when I travel.


The insert fully loaded. The board tiles occupy one of the large slots, the wagon and player aids the other.


The coin tray, player boxes and gem box. I decided to put 3 wagon plank tiles in each of the player boxes to aid setup.



The main box with the tray and boxes removed. The large space next to the market and mosque tiles is unused. The cards have small risers underneath them to aid in retrieval.



Low angle view of the large tile slots showing the large volume of empty space. Easily enough room for some small card games when heading to game night.



The empty insert.

UPDATE:

I’m a sucker for a good expansion, and this game has two of the best. Fortunately I was able to fit them both into the existing insert with only minor modifications.



The fully loaded, updated insert. While I was at it I also added curved bases to the coin tray.



Trays removed. All the new cards from both expansions fit into the existing card space, although I had to remove the risers to allow enough depth. This meant cutting a slot in the base of the insert to allow enough finger room to get them out.
The wandering neutral characters, wall, and dice all fit into the adjacent space.
The Tavern reward tiles fit on top of the Mosque tiles in their spaces.
I made a removable tray for coffee which takes up a third of the previously unused “hole”, complete with curved base. The remaining two slots hold the letter/seal tiles and the Kiosk bonus tiles.



All the removable trays, gathered for a nice family photo. Note that all the rubies still fit into the tray (just). I considered colour coding the player trays... but then got distracted by something else.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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19. Board Game: Jump Drive [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:934]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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For a game as quick and snappy as Jump Drive I want to be able to get it out of the box and be ready to play as quickly as possible. This insert doubles as a caddy for the cards and tokens which means the only setup is to remove it from the box and draw cards. The basic structure of this design worked out so well I may revisit it for a few other card games in my collection.


The fully loaded insert. I split the deck in half, not just to help it fit in the box more easily, but also to allow easy drawing for both sides of the table. There are two compartments for single VPs (again, for ease of access for all players) as well as wider 5 and 10 VP trays and a raised central slot for exploration tokens.


The insert out of the box and ready for play. The partitions are much higher than they need to be for one main reason: they keep all the VP tokens in their correct compartments when the box it turned sideways (which is how I store all my games). I didn’t use all this height for the compartments as it would have made them far too deep to easily retrieve the tokens.


The empty insert.

For instructions on how to make the curved “slides” used in this insert, please have a look at this post on my geeklist.
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20. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:266]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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I actually quite liked the original insert for this game however once you add either of the expansions it becomes woefully inadequate. This is probably my weakest design and poorest project in terms of build quality (I must have been using a butter knife to cut the board) but it gets the job done.
This insert is for the base game as well as the Power Up! and Halloween expansions.


The fully loaded insert with the board in place. In order to use the board as an effective lid for the power cubes and tokens, I had to notch the top of the insert to allow a snug fit.


The fully loaded insert with the board removed.


A low angle shot of the insert showing the notches to allow the board to fit snugly in place.


The insert with the dice tray and power cube and token tray removed. The cards pretty much fit exactly in place, no room for any more. If I were to design this again I'd allow a bit more space for risers.


The insert with components and trays removed.
 
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21. Board Game: Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1696]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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This one was about as simple as they come. It took less than an hour to build but certainly keeps everything neat and tidy in the box.


The fully loaded insert. The manual and boards all fit on top, flush with the top of the box.


Boards and manual removed. I deliberately maximised the size of the pen compartment so as to leave space for whatever pens I replace the stock ones with once they dry out.


The empty insert. Note that, due to space restrictions, there wasn’t room to put outside support on the card compartments.
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22. Board Game: Library Adventure, The Fun Way to Learn [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Following several requests for descriptions of my methods, I’ve decided to make a YouTube series showing the full production of an insert from the initial concept through to the finished product. I’m not going to claim that it’s the most entertaining thing in the world, but I’ve tried to fit in as many tips and tricks as I can, along with a dialogue of my thought process behind the decisions I make along the way.

Hopefully you find this useful; if you have any questions about any of it please let me know!









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23. Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:99]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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Ah my beloved Lorenzo. One of the best games of the last few years and a personal favourite of mine, but wow what a bear to setup. Frustrated does not begin to do justice to the feeling of trawling through all the baggies and separate decks of cards, especially once you add in Houses of the Renaissance. This insert holds everything so far released for the game other than the Bonus Card expansion (because that seems suuuuper dumb to me). It’s not exactly elegant, but it has a few tricks to make everything fit well and still be usable.


This is what you are presented with when opening the lid and removing the manuals. Note that one side of foam core goes all the way to the lip of the box to stop the slightly shorter board from rattling around.


Underneath the main board are the five player boards. They are surrounded on all four sides, but they still rattle a bit as they are slightly too small.


The top layer of trays. There are three that sit on this level and are removed first:


They are simple trays for holding the character cards, coins and basic resources. They are shallow and so cannot accomodate my usual slides. I put all the special tokens in a small bag; makes it much easier than dumping them on the table and turning them all face down.


Removing these trays shows the card caddy, 5th tower, and the expansion “cost increasing or decreasing strips.” Note that the player piece tray and the 5th tower card compartment are full height and sit flush with the top of the top layer trays.


This whole design was built around the idea of having a card caddy for each tower. This makes setup SO much quicker, especially if you shuffle each deck as you pack up after a game.


The bottom layer with the small boards removed.
The church tiles are separated by age, which sit next to the dice and family tiles.
There is a “catch all” space in the centre which holds all the family specific tiles and components, as well as the tiles for modifying the main board for different player counts. I actually cut the weird “T” shaped tile that came with the expansion into two smaller tiles which (a. Makes it fit much better and (b. Means I can have the rewards part out by itself when I’m not playing with 5 players.
The variable setup player board tiles sit next to the player component tray and have just enough room to sit against the card caddy when packed for storage.


The empty insert, showing the partitions which are fixed in place.
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24. Board Game: Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:230]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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This insert, like a few of my other designs, doesn't attempt to fill up all the room in the box but instead leaves the space open. This allows me to pack multiple games into a single box when I travel.


The lid I made for the foamcore insert from the original cardboard insert.


The fully loaded insert. The large, empty piece of foamcore is used to keep the components which sit below it in place. It creates enough room for a few small card games to be transported in this box.


The card and point token trays. Both sides of the card tray have sloped risers to make card drawing easier and to prevent them from sliding out of the tray (a particular issue with the sleeved mission and discovery cards).


All trays and cards removed. The blocks in the lower compartment are positioned to prevent the large board pieces, launchpad etc from sliding around.
The astronaut trays are grouped into pairs with the relevant decks of cards on either side.


The insert with components removed.
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25. Board Game: Oh My Goods! [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:618]
Ben Tinney
Australia
BROKEN HILL
New South Wales
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As soon as this game is sleeved the provided box becomes entirely useless. Add Longsdale in Revolt and Escape to Canyon Brook into the mix and you’re going to need a bigger box.


Fortunately I had the old Alien Frontiers: Factions expansion box laying around. Perfect!


All the manuals fit neatly on top.


The fully loaded insert. The wide slot on the right holds the common cards used for wherever you are up to in the campaign. Normally this is the workers, starting buildings and 5x Goods cards from the expansion. As the campaign progresses, other cards may be added (no spoilers here).
The large bottom slot holds the game cards. There is enough room to include any extra cards added to this deck during the campaign.
The slots above that hold events, setup cards, new workers and so on, again separated for each expansion.
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