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Subject: A protective insert that damages figures !? rss

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Veljko Dobrijevic
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When I saw this image :


and read this thread :

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1728907/please-share-your-s...

I figured - finally, a game with a decent insert you don't have to throw away, an insert that safely stores and protects the figures, so I don't have to waste time on creating my own storage solution. Space for the tokens is unfortunately not planned for in the insert but people in the thread above solved this by placing the tokens in baggies above or below the insert.

So today when I got and opened the game (premium edition) I was in for a shock.
At first the game literally took my breath away. The production quality is AMAZING, everything is individually wrapped for protection (cards, punch sheets, the map, even the manual), even the smell was first class (like the smell of a new Ferrari ).
Then I tried to take all the figures out from their slots in the insert and put them back in (so I would know exactly how best to do it when the time for playing the game arrived). It took me 90 MINUTES to do it ! That's more time than for setting up any board game I've seen so far !
The problem is the insert is a classic case of overengineering - in their attempt to make an insert that would hold the valuable figures perfectly immobile during transit they made an insert that makes it INSANELY HARD to remove the figures from the insert and put them back in. The problem is the insert doesn't merely feature holes in the shape of the figures, the holes have "protrusions" which are supposed to hold the figures firmly from above, like the fingers of a hand clutching the figures...
That creates three different problems :

a) It takes an INSANE AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL FORCE to take some of these figures out and put them back in (some are relatively easy, but the worst in my case is the central fire giant - it almost took a sledgehammer to put it back in !) because you basically have to bend the hard plastic that makes up the insert, pushing against the figures in some way... Let me just say no other board game ever forced me to use so much pure physical force in any way. Now these giant figures are VERY hard, and won't break easily, but still it makes me nervous and afraid to use such force on them or near them, because I could easily break something...

b) In the middle of this process I noticed traces of paint on the plastic insert, where the green bases of the cloud giants and the red bases of the fire giants had been, and realized the paint had come off the bases because the plastic insert was so incredibly tight, and when you push the bases into the holes they get scratched on the sides (even though the plastic of the insert is smooth in these places). So I immediately took a look at the green and red bases, and sure enough there were visible scratches on the sides. It was right then when I said to myself - screw this, I'm throwing this insert in the trash, if it's going to damage my valuable painted figures !

c) I also noticed the small giant slayer figures (which are made of a FAR SOFTER but malleable material) had been severely bent by the act of forcing them into the holes in the insert (I mean the original packing in the factory, not my doing, once I took them out I never put them back in again). The female giant slayer was severely bent back (like a contortionist) while the male giant slayer with the open helm was bent forward (looking like he was about to fall flat on his face). Luckily I managed to bend them back to an almost normal position, because their material is soft and easy to bend, but keeps it's new shape kind of.

To cut the story short, I THREW THE INSERT IN THE TRASH AND WOULD ADVISE ANYONE ELSE TO DO THE SAME, before something gets broken or scratched...

Then I thought to myself, I have to think of a storage solution for these figures ASAP ! At first I thought that would involve wasting many working hours on creating one of those custom foamcore inserts (like in the linked thread) which I wasn't eager to do, but then to my surprise I quickly discovered a very SIMPLE and EASY way to store all the components in a reasonably SAFE and TIDY manner, without any DIY work (like a custom foamcore insert) or expensive added equipment.
I will take a picture of the storage solution and post it as soon as I can, but for now I will describe the setup. There may still be some changes, but this is the first "working version" for me...
First the manual goes on the bottom, then the map on top of that (in the corner). Then put the cards in two decks on their side between the map and the side of the box. Put the 12 dice in a 4x3 grid next to the cards between the mape and the side of the box. That covers one side of the map. All along the other side of the map (from one corner of the box to the other corner) I put the 6 tallest giant figures standing up (so they easily fit under the lid), and their bases (which are all the same size) exactly fit between the box wall and the map (down to the milimeter !), as long as you put the map with the "lip" above and slide the bases under the lip (the lip I'm talking about is because the map when folded has one part that's wider than the others, if you put that part facing up the lip will be useful to help keep the figures in place instead of making trouble for you). The rest of the giant figures are all lined up on the map along the opposite side of the box from the cards, except for 1 hill giant which I put on the dice. This leaves a large empty square space on the map in the middle of the box. The tokens and the giant slayers go in a cheap plastic compartmentalized box (you can find them on eBay for just a few dollars) which goes in this central space.
And all the components (the cards, the dice, the figures, and everything else) are nicely kept in place (by each other), they don't slide around and crash into each other even if you pick up the box and angle it at a <30° angle (of course you can't turn the box completely on it's side or turn it upside down, but none of my storage solutions are designed for that anyway, so I simply never turn the boxes upside down or on their sides).

So, if you have managed to coexist with this accursed insert please tell me how, and if your figures have suffered any damage similar to mine.
And if you find my storage solution useful feel free to comment and post pics of your box arrangement.
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John Middleton
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I just got the Premium box and had no real issues at all with the insert.

Firstly, remove the entire insert from the box.

Each figure depression has some little pyramid or squarish nubs inside of it. If you press these in with your finger, the figures can be lifted out easily by their body. Don't lift from the base, as this angles the figure and makes them hard to remove.


Once all the figures are out, I went back through the insert and firmly depressed each nub again so that they are permanently depressed away from the mini cavity.


With all the components in bags on the bottom of the box, the insert can be used to hold the minis with no problems at all. Dice are stored in their little shelf, cards are on their sides, not laid flat, in their area.


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Veljko Dobrijevic
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DegenerateElite wrote:
Each figure depression has some little pyramid or squarish nubs inside of it. If you press these in with your finger, the figures can be lifted out easily by their body. Don't lift from the base, as this angles the figure and makes them hard to remove.


Once all the figures are out, I went back through the insert and firmly depressed each nub again so that they are permanently depressed away from the mini cavity.

Hmm, it never occured to me to depress the nubs. That's a pretty smart and simple idea which would help with taking out the giant minis and putting them back in.
But I think it wouldn't solve the problem of paint on the bases being scratched off (because they're just very tightly held, with no nubs around them), and the problem of the small giantslayer minis being bent (which happened simply because their cavities are too small for them).
In any case I can't try your solution now as I've already thrown away the insert. But I'm pretty satisfied with my solution...
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John Middleton
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I don't have an issue with the bases being tight but two of my giantslayers, and the two Frost champ swords, were bent.

I did the hot water/cold water trick an the straightened right out.


 
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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Hmm, I just tried bending the giantslayer figures into the proper stance by hand, and it worked kind of, but they partially bent back...
So how do you perform the hot/cold water trick ? Dunk them in hot water for a few seconds, bend them into shape, and then dunk them into cold water ? How hot does the water need to be, boiling or 70°C or 50°C ? Will the hot water hurt the paint (I have the prepainted minis) ?
 
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John Middleton
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Mine are the pre-paints too.

I boiled the water then poured it into a small bowl.

Dunk the mini into using forceps, tweezers, or pliers for about 5 seconds.

Pull it out and hold it in the correct position while running under cold tap water.

It didn't hurt the pre-paint at all and they mostly just snap back to the original molded position, you are not really bending them.


Worked perfectly.


That said, I'm not sure how much more play this game will get anyways. I think the map needs 25% more areas because everything gets really congested fast and it becomes hard to make much progress anywhere. The combination of really limited attacks and the Champion figures blocking most damage can easily lead to static positions where the races that need to raid/freeze, pillage, or get across the map to the desert can't do much. Have you experienced much of that? It also makes the extra quests just random bonuses for whoever happens to be there.

The other thing is the forced trades. I have seen people immediately force trade back again to undo a trade.
 
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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DegenerateElite wrote:

That said, I'm not sure how much more play this game will get anyways. I think the map needs 25% more areas because everything gets really congested fast and it becomes hard to make much progress anywhere. The combination of really limited attacks and the Champion figures blocking most damage can easily lead to static positions where the races that need to raid/freeze, pillage, or get across the map to the desert can't do much. Have you experienced much of that? It also makes the extra quests just random bonuses for whoever happens to be there.

The other thing is the forced trades. I have seen people immediately force trade back again to undo a trade.

I haven't tried the game yet, as I've only gotten it recently. I'm planning to do it this weekend.
I've read several reviews, and the only flaw they mostly agree on is balance issues with stone and hill giants, and it seems this can be easily solved with an official variant giving them more starting units. If I notice any other consistent flaws I'm hoping I can fix them with similar simple house rule modifications. Because the theme and the look of the game really appeals to me and I hope it will be a keeper.


DegenerateElite wrote:
Mine are the pre-paints too.
I boiled the water then poured it into a small bowl.
Dunk the mini into using forceps, tweezers, or pliers for about 5 seconds.
Pull it out and hold it in the correct position while running under cold tap water.
It didn't hurt the pre-paint at all and they mostly just snap back to the original molded position, you are not really bending them.
Worked perfectly.

That sounds really simple and quick to do. I'm going to try this procedure with my giantslayer minis (all 3 are bent to some degree), and maybe on my Clash of Cultures soldiers as well (some of them have "droopy" spears).
Thanks for the tip !
 
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
DegenerateElite wrote:
Mine are the pre-paints too.
I boiled the water then poured it into a small bowl.
Dunk the mini into using forceps, tweezers, or pliers for about 5 seconds.
Pull it out and hold it in the correct position while running under cold tap water.
It didn't hurt the pre-paint at all and they mostly just snap back to the original molded position, you are not really bending them.
Worked perfectly.

That sounds really simple and quick to do. I'm going to try this procedure with my giantslayer minis (all 3 are bent to some degree), and maybe on my Clash of Cultures soldiers as well (some of them have "droopy" spears).
Thanks for the tip !

I've performed the procedure on my giantslayer minis and it worked perfectly, except I had to dunk some of them several times to get them to straigthen up completely and stay that way.
But now none of them look the least bit drunk !
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John Middleton
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I'm glad to hear it!
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Jeremy Cooper
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I felt the same way with Star Trek Fleet Captains. Felt like each mini would break every time I tried to remove it. The inserts for both games were discarded, mainly because I sleeve my cards.
 
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