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Subject: Is the Need for a Box Organizer Overblown? rss

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G C

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So my worry when buying this game was that I would have to spend $50+ on a storage solution to fit everything in the box and make setup not a chore.

But after receiving my game, punching it out, and re-packing it, I don't really see the need for an expensive storage solution.

All I did was go out and buy a $5 pack of CD-sleeves and used some sandwich baggies I already had.

Every monster got its own sleeve, in which I put its card, standees, and AI cards. If monsters shared the same AI cards (archers, for example), I put that class of monsters into their own baggie, with the standees and card for each monster in that class. Then I used one baggie for 'available road/city' cards, one for those we didn't have yet, one baggie for damage/effect counters, etc.

After removing the bottom-of-the-box insert, I was easily able to fit the character boxes, the miniatures, the 'monster sleeves', and the various baggies. After that I put the various envelopes and HP trackers on top of the character boxes, the manuals/booklets on top of everything else, and then the floor tiles on top of all that. The box closed just fine.

Maybe I'll change my tune after our first game setup. But at this point, the only thing I'm concerned with when it comes to setup time is finding the proper tiles and pulling out the various obstacles required.

Just posting this in case there are those out there worried that their game enjoyment will be ruined if they don't buy an expensive insert for it.
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Greg
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In my opinion, yes. The fancy organizers do look nice, but they are expensive and they aren't truly necessary. As long as you have some bags/trays/whatever to keep things sorted, you can get by just fine.

In my case, I took out the pieces of foam in the box and replaced them with foamcore trays I made to store all the standees. That helped a lot and wasn't too difficult to do (also very cheap).
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Grue
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I don't think it's too bad. I just baggy everything but the cards, and I haven't even taken any of the original insert out either, and it all still fits. I alphabetize the monster cards and just put them in one big deck.

My main thing is remembering which cards (items, events) I'm using without having to go through them. I just need to put some notes on the different decks.
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Chris Ferejohn
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I think you can live without it. An organizer will look nicer and may make set up/tear down a little quicker, but if you are smart about organizing stuff in bags or whathaveyou, I think you can do fine.

Fwiw, what I've done is put each different set of monster action cards in a small bag w/ the relevant standies (not the larger stat card), so for example, all of my "Guard" standees are in one bag. Then all of those small bags go in a gallon ziplock. So there's a little bit of looking through bags to find the right monsters, but really it only takes a minute or two, and cleanup is pretty easy. The stat cards I do keep alphabetized.
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Jason Sesta
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Can't speak for other but I know that having small children and limited playtime as it is, it's pretty important to save that 20 minutes on setup/teardown that a storage solution affords. For what it's worth I have the broken token organizer and I think it's great so far.
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Maciej Stępiński
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I planned on making an elaborate, custom insert from foamcore, but then I got lazy and ended up with a plano box for monsters and obstacles, few deckboxes for standard cards, two foamcore trays for smaller cards and that's pretty much it. I put the big monsters cards inside the foam that came with the game and it fits quite neatly. Dunno how it'll play, but I'm positive it'll be fine.
 
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Flo
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The only reason I see for not getting a proper organiser and using some home made solution is money. The organisers are better in all other aspects.

You can always live without an expensive organiser and at worst just pack everything in bags and throw it in a box.

This would ruin my experience though. Gloomhaven is the first organiser I bought. After that I bought a couple more.
 
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G C

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jsesta84 wrote:
Can't speak for other but I know that having small children and limited playtime as it is, it's pretty important to save that 20 minutes on setup/teardown that a storage solution affords. For what it's worth I have the broken token organizer and I think it's great so far.


Does a storage solution really save 20 minutes, though? Or is that combined as around 10 minutes saved in both setup and teardown? If so, what aspect of your organizer do you think contributes to this time-saving?
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G C

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florencka wrote:
The only reason I see for not getting a proper organiser and using some home made solution is money. The organisers are better in all other aspects.

You can always live without an expensive organiser and at worst just pack everything in bags and throw it in a box.

This would ruin my experience though. Gloomhaven is the first organiser I bought. After that I bought a couple more.


And for those who have infinite money, it's not a decision at all.

For those of us who would rather buy another board game than buy an insert for this one, what improvements make it worth the money?
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Nathan Ehlers
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Also, how much time was invested in building and installing the storage solution compared to what it saves?

FWIW, I don't use one. I did put the monsters and chits in a plano I had laying around and all the cards into a couple of deck boxes. My thought is I don't see the need for a storage solution for a game that will ultimately be retired to the bin.

I find the biggest time sinks in set up are:

1. Finding the tiles you need for the scenario.
2. Finding the monster tokens, cards, and sleeving the monster plaque in the right dashboard thing.
3. Putting monster tokens in their standees, digging out various chits, and building out the scenario (I tend to set up 1-2 rooms ahead so everyone can see what's coming).

All my players have their own bag with their dashboard, decks, and whatnot, so I just pull those out and toss them on the table along with the minis. Everything else pretty much just stays in the box until needed (i.e. leveling up, putting stickers on the game board, etc).

Of the games I played this weekend, Gloomhaven takes less time to set up out of the box (without a fancy holder) than Agricola (with farmers expansion) or Le Havre. Ora et Labora is probably a little faster to set up.
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Matti Mäkäräinen
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I assembled my Broken Token one in bit over an hour (in small installments - when I got bored with work, I walked to the living room and built a couple more trays).

- Kez.
 
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Grey Fox
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I bought some plano boxes and organized it myself for 10€. It's pretty much perfectly organized, every piece separated (although the box doesn't totally close). It makes for a much, much simpler experience while setting up, playing the game and taking it all back in.

For me, playing this game without it being organized is just impossible.

But yes, organizing everything with bags is a middle-ground solution.
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Joe Kerkhoff
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I had seen on a Youtube video a guy doing a setup his old way (without the organizer) and the new way (with the organizer). It was around 35 minutes to setup the game before and now 9 minutes with the organizer. He didn't do a take down but I would guess it would be about the same.

For me with little kids, that extra 25 minutes is important per game setup (and more for take down). It did take me time to assemble the whole thing as I wanted to stain it and it is not normally something I do and didn't want to rush the job. However, I am still waiting for my copy of the game and it occupied me last weekend instead of checking status updates .

Once I have the game and a few games under my belt, I will time my setup/take-down for you to compare.
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Jason Sesta
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Chronomodra wrote:
jsesta84 wrote:
Can't speak for other but I know that having small children and limited playtime as it is, it's pretty important to save that 20 minutes on setup/teardown that a storage solution affords. For what it's worth I have the broken token organizer and I think it's great so far.


Does a storage solution really save 20 minutes, though? Or is that combined as around 10 minutes saved in both setup and teardown? If so, what aspect of your organizer do you think contributes to this time-saving?


Probably around 10-15 minutes saved on each side which is huge for me. Honestly, it's just the fact that you can pull all the tray out of the box in 30 seconds and everything is all ready sorted and easy accessible on the table without having dump/sort tokens from bags. Also, the easily identified monster tuck boxes and have all of those components out in a moments notice as well. Just takes some time to get the board itself setup but it just feels like a breeze.

The reason I know it saves me time is how it feels when i setup Runebound 3e. Love that game and have all the expansions but it takes FOREVER to get going with the card sorting and token sorting. Believe me, I totally think it's a luxury purchase and not something you have to have but for me it was 100% worth the money. Admittedly, I'm pretty slow at setting up games but I enjoy doing it quite a bit. Very relaxing.
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Justin Boehm
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In my opinion, definitely overblown. I use 4x $1 screw/nut/bolt boxes, a jewelry/bead organizer, and a binder (by choice for the shop), and everything other than the binder fits back in the box with room to spare. Set up for scenarios can be done in about 20 mins for most, maybe up to 30 for more complicated ones.

$1 boxes (holds all tokens, single hex overlay tiles, wooden disks) https://www.dollartree.com/Jot-Plastic-9-Compartment-Organiz...


Jewely/bead organizer (holds all monster standees, and all non-single hex overlay tiles) http://www.michaels.com/bead-landing-bead-organizer/10179995...
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G C

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jsesta84 wrote:
Chronomodra wrote:
jsesta84 wrote:
Can't speak for other but I know that having small children and limited playtime as it is, it's pretty important to save that 20 minutes on setup/teardown that a storage solution affords. For what it's worth I have the broken token organizer and I think it's great so far.


Does a storage solution really save 20 minutes, though? Or is that combined as around 10 minutes saved in both setup and teardown? If so, what aspect of your organizer do you think contributes to this time-saving?


Probably around 10-15 minutes saved on each side which is huge for me. Honestly, it's just the fact that you can pull all the tray out of the box in 30 seconds and everything is all ready sorted and easy accessible on the table without having dump/sort tokens from bags. Also, the easily identified monster tuck boxes and have all of those components out in a moments notice as well. Just takes some time to get the board itself setup but it just feels like a breeze.

The reason I know it saves me time is how it feels when i setup Runebound 3e. Love that game and have all the expansions but it takes FOREVER to get going with the card sorting and token sorting. Believe me, I totally think it's a luxury purchase and not something you have to have but for me it was 100% worth the money. Admittedly, I'm pretty slow at setting up games but I enjoy doing it quite a bit. Very relaxing.


Interesting. I'll have to see how quickly we set it up when I get to play. I can totally see the advantage of keeping the monsters separated with their standees and cards (which is why I did that with mine) but I guess I'll have to wait and see how much the other stuff affects things.
 
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Philipp Schuster
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I don't use an organizer, and still it never took me 35 minutes to set up the game, except for the very first time ...

I use the insert the game came with, but I simply put all the monsters in their own envelope (standees, action cards and monster stat sheets), which are kept alphabetically sorted in a shoebox. So I just pick the envelopes as stated in the setup.

When playing we use four little cups for the counters: One for health, one for status effects, one for summons and one for money. Upon setup I simply pour them from the four plastic bags I use for storage into the cups. I use another plastic bag for the "scenario setup tokens" (letters for doors, number tokens, elemental infusion counters an the turn marker). And of course one bag for the standee bases, which are simply poured on the table.

The small character tokens are kept in the miniature box.

I find the room pieces quickly enough without the need of any sorting or such, as I simply look for the shape. So no problem here. The ones I don't need I keep in the lid of the box whilst playing.

The five damage modifier decks (with the blesses/curses) and the available items are put on the table, the city- and road events stay in the box.

Not too much work here altogether. The only thing I am not really happy with are the overlays. So maybe I will just add a few more plastic bags to the mix in order to get them sorted a bit (according to overlay type, for example. As doors, traps, difficult or dangerous terrain, obstacles).

Maybe a "proper" storage solution could save me some 10 minutes of setup. Concerning teardown I doubt it, however. With or without it I would have to sort all the counters to store them properly. At the moment we just put all the counters into their cups and then pour the contents of the cups back into their plastic bags which is as fast as you can get, I suppose.

So as I do not really care about the extra shoe box for the monsters, I believe that a storage solution would not save me much time. So, altough I can very well understand everyone who wants to have a neatly organized game, I personally will rather use the money saved for that next kickstarter ...
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Bjorn B
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I'm using the original insert and bags.

Each monster has it's own 70x100mm bag for standies. I perforated the bag so the air can get out.
The overlay tokens got into (bigger) bags. I made categories to find specific tokens easier: doors&treasure, traps, irregular shaped obstacles, 1-hex obstacles, and 2/3-hex obstacles.

There is a packaging guide for the insert, but some slots become too small when sleeving the cards, so I needed to switch things around.
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/141837/insert-packing-gui...

- I sleeved the monster ability cards and store them with the stat card as divider. I put 2 similar ability types upright next to each other (like guards and archers). This keeps the stat cards straight and saves space. In the same space I can keep the standee holders and some tokens.
- The token spot has the 4 player modifier decks and monster modifier deck, all sleeved. I didn't manage to fit it in the player boxes yet. I put some paper dividers around each player
- Battle goals didn't fit sleeved, so I switched them with the random side scenario's. The final spot in that row contains curses, blesses, and -1 modifier cards (all sleeved). Finally I keep the future item cards in their original spots. The shop is kept in a separate binder (which happens to fit in the box too).
- The big cards are all kept in their normal space, with a paper in/out divider. I'm not sure the random dungeon cards will fit once I'll sleeve those too, but that's a worry for later.
- The dials stay in their foam. I fill the gaps with the monster standees, overlay hexes and status tokens. I'll make sure this doesn't come above the character boxes. I'll put the world map on those. So I get a flat surface to puzzle the map boards, rulebook and scenario book on those.

At the moment, the most setup time I could win is by finding a better way to organise the map tiles. But most inserts also just put them all together at the top box, so that won't help much.
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Olly The Noob

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A noob question what is a plano box?
 
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Russell Corbally
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Anon12 wrote:
A noob question what is a plano box?


A plastic organizer box (I've used them before to hold fishing tackle. Do a search on Plano 3600 and you will see pics... (and you aren't a noob any more! )
 
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Byron S
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Anon12 wrote:
A noob question what is a plano box?

A plastic box for storing bits, often sewing and tackle boxes originally, that work well for sorting game bits.

Here's one from a random google search
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Thomas McKee
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I have very stubbornly refused buying an organizer for gloomhaven, bought it with the first preorder on Isaac’s website and the organizers are more expensive than the game was. Instead I use some small bags but almost everything is organized into 8 plano boxes of various sizes and we’ve played it so often I can set it up and put it away in the box in a short time, and the lid only sits up about ½ an inch. I have organizers for a few games, but not paying more than the cost of the game when I can do it cheaper and still have it set up quickly
 
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Christopher Baughman

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I like building the organizers. Its like building structures for my model railroad but with less worry if I $@#& it up. My wife thinks I buy games just so I can get an insert to put them in. She is probably right.

That they help game set up and storage is a bonus.

I will say that I have enjoyed some games a lot more, such as Zombicide BP, after putting them in inserts because they end up just being more enjoyable to work with.
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S Marstiller
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I have one and it certainly isn't necessary.

That said, if you were ever going to get an insert for a game I think Gloomhaven should be at the top of that list.
 
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Dave
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Erroll wrote:
I buy games just so I can get an insert to put them in.


Get out of my head.
 
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