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Subject: Best way to store counters? rss

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Talon Amores
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So first off, I'd like to ask wargamers who love games that rely on counters or even blocks: in what categories do you store the pieces? By unit type, or by faction if there's more than two?

Next week I'll be getting World in Flames Deluxe, America in Flames, and Patton in Flames. I'm fully aware that there's enough counters with those three combined to feed a small pony for a week...that is, if small ponies ate counters from wargames. Which they don't.

...I think.

Anyway, what would be the most efficient way to store over ten thousand counters, and in what categories should they be stored in? I know I should probably keep the WiF, PiF and AiF counters separate (should I?) but I have a funny feeling many Ziploc bags will be wasted used for storage, and that not even the most largest of tackling boxes will suffice to store all them counters.
 
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Eric Lai
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GMT or Chessex counter trays are fine. For WiF & other monster games, I got these special trays from Japan that fit a ton more counters and each tray has 50 partitions. Good for WiF and ASL.

I will take a photo for you later and direct you to a webpage. They cost me about US$9 each, so not very expensive.
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Chris Drake
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That is a bunch of counters. I would recommend GMT style counter trays for such an endeavor. As for how to organize them I think everyone has to do what works best for them, it may take two or three times before you get the best fit but you will find the best solution for you.

With my ASL counters I tried using what the other guys recommended and while there is some good there, it just didn't work for me. After a few shuffles (and one accidental plano dumping), I finally made up my own organizational storage solution.
 
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Morten Lund
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UN Spacy wrote:
Next week I'll be getting World in Flames Deluxe, America in Flames, and Patton in Flames. I'm fully aware that there's enough counters with those three combined to feed a small pony for a week...that is, if small ponies ate counters from wargames. Which they don't


With the Wif-Monster I wouldn't even try to use bags - the sheer number of bags needed, if you want to keep groupings meaningful would be huge.

Get some counter trays or, if you're handy enough, build some yourself.

For WiF et al, I think I would go by faction/nation and then by arms
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Eric Lai
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http://www.cs-onode.com/products/list.php?category_id=12

These are what I found in Japan!


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Wendell
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UN Spacy wrote:
So first off, I'd like to ask wargamers who love games that rely on counters or even blocks: in what categories do you store the pieces? By unit type, or by faction if there's more than two?

Next week I'll be getting World in Flames Deluxe, America in Flames, and Patton in Flames. I'm fully aware that there's enough counters with those three combined to feed a small pony for a week...that is, if small ponies ate counters from wargames. Which they don't.

...I think.

Anyway, what would be the most efficient way to store over ten thousand counters, and in what categories should they be stored in? I know I should probably keep the WiF, PiF and AiF counters separate (should I?) but I have a funny feeling many Ziploc bags will be wasted used for storage, and that not even the most largest of tackling boxes will suffice to store all them counters.


I think there is a PhD dissertation out there waiting to be written about storing big games like WIF.

Here's how I do it.

Every major power gets its own Plano storage tray. And rather than try to describe it, I'll take a photo when I get home tonight and post it here. (Remind me if I forget...)
 
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Wendell
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Garfink wrote:


The compartments are too small for WIF force pools! And those removable plastic lids make me shudder...
 
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Chris
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wifwendell wrote:
..... those removable plastic lids make me shudder...

Why?


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Steve Herron
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In the old days I used matchboxes. These days I use the ziplock baggies Decision Games sells. I think the counter trays would be better for larger games.
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Brandon Pennington
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Liumas wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
..... those removable plastic lids make me shudder...

Why?




One word that I learned from Mr. Drake above.

Chitapult
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Christopher Thomas
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Like the other guy said..Plano all the way. In my old battletech days I would show up for large battles with two tackle cases.
 
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sherron wrote:
In the old days I used matchboxes. These days I use the ziplock baggies Decision Games sells. I think the counter trays would be better for larger games.


When I was a young whippersnapper, we had to make our own counter holders and WE LIKED them!

----------

Matchboxes?

Add Cigar Boxes for matchbox storage - the Tobacco-lano.

----------

Back when smoking was, like, normal, I recall my mom had these plastic or metal boxes for cigarette packs to be put in - would love to find a bunch of those today - they would be, in my estimation, perfect Card Holders.

-----------

Anyway, a store counter for you:



-------------

IKEA comes to the rescue - the "Counter Storage Unit".

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Chad
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TGov wrote:
Liumas wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
..... those removable plastic lids make me shudder...

Why?




One word that I learned from Mr. Drake above.

Chitapult


Exactly, these platic compartments create a "seal" due to the lip that when opening cause a "pop" that can cause chits to cross-populate/launch
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Wendell
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Liumas wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
..... those removable plastic lids make me shudder...

Why?




They come off too easily, in my experience.
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Steve Herron
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Quote:
Matchboxes?

Add Cigar Boxes for matchbox storage - the Tobacco-lano.


The guy I use to play Fire in the East with did use cigar boxes to store FitE in. I bought the matchboxes threw the matches away and just used the matchboxes.

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Orion J.N. Winder
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I've always like/used Plano's for block, mini, larger counter storage (more like Decent, or Tide of Iron counters), and with my construction sets (Erector/Meccano/Marklin etc), but never liked them for small chit storage as they seem to large and too large of gaps, too hard to get fingers into when all the dividers are in and just not really right for tons of counters. The old plastic trays, GMT, SPI, Yaquinto, etc have some really BAD "habits" of launching or mixing the chits due to either "snappy" lids or loose lids, also.

I've found that for normal smaller "wargame" chits I've found Notions, or Bead boxs in the cloth/sewing department of many department stores (due to being dragged there by SO). They seem to work perfect for me, but you'll want to look around as there are MANY types, and many are worthless for our needs. They are cheap, small, tight, but yet normally clear and hard plastic. I've picked up several types that had 12-24 compartments, and some with small separate plastic boxes inside. They're also labeled "Fashion Accessories Organizer Box". The ones with the separate inner boxes work great for my Combat Commander Series, and will be also someday retroed for my ASL.

I do confess though, I had a warm fuzzy moment when reading this thread, as so many of my older games do have "custom storage"; hand made by over eager kid playing the game then. Most all my old AH flat boxes have the twin blue trays, that have been sliced up years ago to form separate compartmented trays for the armies of the game. Yep, we did it with cardboard, or whatever happened to be around at hand, and white glue, tape, scissors, etc. None of this fancy now-a-days stuff!


Light, love and laughter to you and yours,
Orion
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Joe C Faust
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Back in my younger days I used to make my mother - and then my wife - howl over my ability to make ziplock sandwich bags disappear. Nowadays, I use either plastic boxes (Akro-Mils makes some that are perfect for Memoir terrain tiles and figures; bead boxes for ASLSK), GMT trays (Combat Commander sorted by nationality), or tiny ziplocks ordered off of eBay from some guy in Vegas. It just depends on the game, the box, and how I want to break down the pieces.
 
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Benny
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Garfink wrote:


That looks amazing. Is it similar in size to the GMT/Chessex trays? If not, do you know the dimensions?
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Dan N
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All right, I'll be the heretic touting the virtues of Ziplocs. Someone has to do it.

Chessex or Plano trays make it easy to see the scope of counters, and they work well for games with a few hundred counters. One tray is perfect for Patton's Best, for instance: it holds everything, it fits in the box, and the units divide nicely into the available pockets.

But Ziplocs pack flatter and faster, and they're better suited to games with only a few counters and those with thousands. The number of Plano boxes needed for Fire in the East, for instance, demands its own storage system:




Setup is easier with Ziplocs when the numbers get that big. You can pour a handful of Russian infantry fodder into your palm without having to pincer-grab from a stingy Chessex slot, and when they're dead finished, you pour them right back.

The key to successful Ziploc use is to have a variety of bag sizes and a Sharpie. Never again confuse Spanish regulars with Slovanian partisans.


Plano/Chessex for moderately-heavy games. Ziploc for the extremes.
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Wendell
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CBGB wrote:
All right, I'll be the heretic touting the virtues of Ziplocs. Someone has to do it.


Ziplocs work great. I use them for every game (big ones too like Great War in Europe), except World in Flames.
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Abe Delnore
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I use baggies for almost all my games. If there are thousands of counters involved, then I put small baggies inside large ones. I write on the baggies with permanent marker; e.g. "Soviet Armor," "Soviet Infantry," etc.

I will use a tray if playing the game requires me to find particular counters that have nowhere else to go. For example, if I am going to need to enter some reinforcements and the game doesn't provide a setup card. Even then, I am always terrified of the tray exploding or just spilling if the box gets turned on its side.

I would absolutely use baggies for WiF.
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Wendell
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wifwendell wrote:
UN Spacy wrote:
So first off, I'd like to ask wargamers who love games that rely on counters or even blocks: in what categories do you store the pieces? By unit type, or by faction if there's more than two?

Next week I'll be getting World in Flames Deluxe, America in Flames, and Patton in Flames. I'm fully aware that there's enough counters with those three combined to feed a small pony for a week...that is, if small ponies ate counters from wargames. Which they don't.

...I think.

Anyway, what would be the most efficient way to store over ten thousand counters, and in what categories should they be stored in? I know I should probably keep the WiF, PiF and AiF counters separate (should I?) but I have a funny feeling many Ziploc bags will be wasted used for storage, and that not even the most largest of tackling boxes will suffice to store all them counters.


I think there is a PhD dissertation out there waiting to be written about storing big games like WIF.

Here's how I do it.

Every major power gets its own Plano storage tray. And rather than try to describe it, I'll take a photo when I get home tonight and post it here. (Remind me if I forget...)




Top row, left to right:

HQ-A and synth oil; HQ-I; armor corps; mechanized corps; motorized infantry corps; infantry corps; garrisons; militia

2nd row: cavalry corps; "special" corps (para, marines, mountain); arm & mech divisions; infantry and mot inf divs; miscelaneous division sized units (cav, supply, marines, para); artillery; anti-tank guns

3rd row: 2-cost fighters (aka FTR2); FTR3; 2-cost land bombers (aka LND2); LND3; naval air; city-based volunteers; ATR (air transports)

4th row: light cruisers; cruisers (empty); battleships (empty); carriers and carrier planes; transports and amphibs; subs; misc markers and forts

5th row: Finns; Hungarians; Romanians; Bulgarians; reserves; convoy points

This will differ by country. For example, US and Japan and CW give more room to naval units and carrier planes.
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Talon Amores
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I like! What did you sort them by?
 
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They look sorted by type for the needs of war production.
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Wendell
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Wilhammer wrote:
They look sorted by type for the needs of war production.


Correct. I annotated the image above for how the German box is sorted.
 
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