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Subject: Hozan trays for ASL counter storage rss

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Boots
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After writing my first ASL module review, in which I suggested Hozan trays for counter storage, I though I'd show them off.

I also received a question about where to get them. In North America, you can get them through http://www.ikaswebshop.com/. In Australia it is trickier - there are no local suppliers/sellers and most Japanese retailers do not sell online to international customers. What I did was buy them through Rakuten. Be warned - you will also need a Tenso forwarding address, and the shipping costs are as much as the cases themselves. I ended up paying AU$100 per case, which is really shocking if I think about it too long... My advice is if you're going to get them, get them in bulk as that drastically reduces the cost per unit. My most recent order was for four of them, and that dropped the price to AU$80 per case.

The correct number is the B-50GG. The B-50 is the case part number, and the GG refers to the fact it has two sets of G trays - meaning four trays in total. You'll also need to order dividers. The correct part number for the dividers is B-357, and they come in packs of 15. Each tray ships with 15 dividers (so the case ships with four), but for maximum compartments you need 35 dividers per tray, or 140 dividers. That's 10 packs of dividers per GG case, minus the four it comes with, for 6 extra packs of dividers to get the full 144 compartments.

Here is a photo of the cases stacked next to a BVIII box for scale.



As you can see, it's 1 per OB, with smaller OBs taking up only half a Hozan. The Allied and Axis minors need about 2/3 of a Hozan each if you want to keep counter density reasonable, but you can squash them in to half a Hozan if you mix the arty counters together. The Finns don't even take up a full G tray. You also need one for the System Counters.

Here is the inside of the System Counters case.



You're looking at two of the four trays - the other two are directly underneath these two. I've arranged them in such a way that the top two have all the counters you use in-game, and the bottom two have all the counters you only need once in set-up. So the fortifications, boats, gliders, parachutes, acquisition counters, OBA and barrage counters are all on the bottom layer.

The top two are separated as follows: All the infantry-only counters are in one tray, and the other tray contains everything you need for tanks and guns. That way if we're playing an infantry only game, all you need on the table is one slim tray.

Here is a shot of the British OB in its Hozan:



The British OB is, rather surprisingly, the one that contains the most variety of weapons, especially once the Free French counters from CDG are added. I needed to merge many different counter types together to make them fit, though I recommend you only merge Vehicles not infantry, as you will never need to go looking for Vehicles in-game, while you will need to ELR and casualty reduce infantry.

Tray 1 is infantry, SWs, leaders, dm SWs, vehicle crews and concealment counters. Everything you need to get at in a game is in here. Tray #2 (also visible) has all the guns and transports, as well as gun crews. The rightmost compartment in the middle row is thinner than the others as the wall of the tray is inset there, this lets you get the trays out of the case easily. It also means you can't quite get a 5/8" counter out of them, so I always look for ways to store 1/2" counters in them. Trays 3 and 4 contain all the vehicles, sorted by type (AC, APC, AFV), then model, then make, then MA. Wherever possible counters are combined to make room, and they are usually combined by MA. Where that makes no sense, they are combined by model.

Here is an image of the infantry tray on its own, and a (blurry) closeup of one part of it:




Here you can see the very small footprint of the counters needed for a game - you need only three of these to play an infantry-only game - one each per OB, and one for the infantry counters. They are low profile and low center of gravity and unlikely to be knocked over or spill, and they take up very little table space.

From the closeup you can see the infantry, arranged from top to bottom in ELR order, an left to right in squad-half squad. It's very easy to find the pieces you need when you need them.

Here's one final closeup, showing the trays from the side:



Here you can see just how slim they are, but you can also see the way the dividers fit into the compartments, and the curved front edge of the compartment that makes these cases ideal for ASL.

So there you have it - what I think of as the perfect storage case for ASL, cost be damned!

This "review" (more an overview) forms part of my ASL Noob Review series. The rest can be accessed through the The ASL Noob Review Index Geeklist.
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Malcolm Cameron
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Boots01 wrote:
I also received a question about where to get them.


Thanks Boots.

That is some genuinely expensive storage ...
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Todd Pytel
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Showoff

Boots01 wrote:
Here you can see the very small footprint of the counters needed for a game - you need only three of these to play an infantry-only game - one each per OB, and one for the infantry counters. They are low profile and low center of gravity and unlikely to be knocked over or spill, and they take up very little table space.

This is exactly what I especially like about these cases. Everything you need at the table fits into a tiny footprint. At the same time, the trays are each a single piece that are relatively painless to sort through, restack, move around, etc. unlike the similarly expensive Raaco boxes with their dozens of tiny inserts.
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Boots
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tppytel wrote:
Showoff :)

Boots01 wrote:
Here you can see the very small footprint of the counters needed for a game - you need only three of these to play an infantry-only game - one each per OB, and one for the infantry counters. They are low profile and low center of gravity and unlikely to be knocked over or spill, and they take up very little table space.

This is exactly what I especially like about these cases. Everything you need at the table fits into a tiny footprint. At the same time, the trays are each a single piece that are relatively painless to sort through, restack, move around, etc. unlike the similarly expensive Raaco boxes with their dozens of tiny inserts.


I've been looking for an excuse to post pics of my Hozans for a while. Showing off is definitely near the top of the list of motivating factors :)

I don't like the Raacos for a number of reasons, the chief ones being their lack of customisability, square bottoms and total unavailability in Australia.
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Martí Cabré

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How much is an AU$?
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Richard Weiley
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marticabre wrote:
How much is an AU$?


Currently about $1.03 US.
 
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Malcolm Cameron
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marticabre wrote:
How much is an AU$?


It all depends on your perspective: to me it has always been $1.00.



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Martí Cabré

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Then wow.
 
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Pierce Ostrander
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Very Nice.

FYI - Chas is in the process of putting together one box of the neutral system counters for each playtest table at MMP using these storage boxes.

I'm very tempted to buy one box for my own system counters. I just priced it out for a U.S. customer (a B50-GG with six extra packs of dividers) and the total on the Ikas website came to $65.05 plus 9.75 shipping total: $74.80 U.S. for one box.

That's commitment.

EDIT:

Another convert:

http://www.tabletoptitans.com/tutorials/0004.php
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Chris toph
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Can you fit them back into the boxes? I guess not?
 
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J. R. Tracy
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I love these trays and used them for years as my travel kit, but I ended up selling them because (1) they are a little heavy and (2) I found they were too brittle for the wear and tear of hauling them around. That aside, I agree they are terrific - I particularly like the curved bottoms that make it easy to retrieve counters.

JR

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Pierce Ostrander
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My preferred tray is the Darice no spill:

http://www.amazon.com/Darice-1157-11-13-7-Inch-8-6-Inch-1-37...

Reasonable price, perfect size, perfect depth, durable, curved bottom edge AND you counters will not jump from compartment to compartment even if you go upside down and shake.

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Mark Humphries
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I've never seen Hozan trays firsthand but it seems like the plastic used if of the hard and brittle type making them better suited for use as a home set and than as a travel set. Other than that they seem very nice.
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CWattie
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Good lord that is a lot of sweet moolah. As a noob starting out...I think of all the modules/action packs/journals etc. I could buy.

And here I am waffling about whether to buy Plano 3701s online for $5.99 + shipping (can't find them locally in Seattle) OR buy these 40 compartment containers locally at Container Store for $9.99 + tax (because is the extra money worth being able to pop in and grab one when needed). LOL. For the 10 containers I'm looking at the $40 dollar difference wouldn't even get me close to one Hozan...LOL!
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Mark Humphries
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I'm happy so far with Plano 3701s for infantry, SWs, and very frequently used markers. For vehicles, guns, and rarely used markers, I prefer individual boxes kept sorted by designation so I can find even the most obscure counter quickly during setup.
 
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Eric Normandeau
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Quote:
I'm happy so far with Plano 3071s for infantry, SWs, and very frequently used markers.


I have been looking for the 3071 online at http://www.planostoragesolutions.com/ but couldn't find them. Are the 3071 still available? If not, what model do you think replaces them?
 
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Keith Talbot
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I think he meant 3701

Keith
 
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MaroonedMorlock wrote:
Quote:
I'm happy so far with Plano 3071s for infantry, SWs, and very frequently used markers.


I have been looking for the 3071 online at http://www.planostoragesolutions.com/ but couldn't find them. Are the 3071 still available? If not, what model do you think replaces them?


Sorry about that, I meant 3701. I must be getting dyslexic in my old age. zombie

The post is now corrected.
 
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dachda
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Mark_WH wrote:
MaroonedMorlock wrote:
Quote:
I'm happy so far with Plano 3071s for infantry, SWs, and very frequently used markers.


I have been looking for the 3071 online at http://www.planostoragesolutions.com/ but couldn't find them. Are the 3071 still available? If not, what model do you think replaces them?


Sorry about that, I meant 3701. I must be getting dyslexic in my old age. zombie

The post is now corrected.


Amazon has 'em: http://www.amazon.com/Plano-3701-Prolatch-Adjustable-Divider...
 
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Ido Magal
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Hi there. Thanks to your detailed post ( although it'd be really useful to get more detail on exactly where you put what ) I went ahead and ordered some and am in the process of filling them out.

I would like to add some shopping data with respect to this statement:

>I also received a question about where to get them. In North America, you can get them through http://www.ikaswebshop.com/.

Even though ikaswebshop ships from a warehouse less than an hour's drive from me, their price for 4 x b-50-gg and 24 x b-357 is $300, or $75 each(!!).

I ordered direct from Japan through Rakuten for $190, or $47.5 each. Specifically I ordered from mutsuura@shop.rakuten.co.jp and I didn't need any special shipping address. They were quick with the response and the shipping. I thought it would take weeks but I got it within a few days. So big thumbs up for Japan and big thumbs down for exclusive US distributor.

Now I just need to figure out how to get those big thumbs into those compartments or invest in some tweezers. Oh yeah, and to learn how I play.
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Suns Anvil
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So a single B50GG (with 6x extra dividers pack) gives me how many cells grand total?
 
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Boots
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sunsanvil wrote:
So a single B50GG (with 6x extra dividers pack) gives me how many cells grand total?


144 compartments.
 
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Ryan King
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Is no one using the regular GMT trays? I know it requires a few, but at 2.00/unit that is pretty cheap. I am wondering if I need to splurge on the Plano if I am already using the GMT trays (I don't travel, probably a big reason for Plano).
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Stephen Rynerson
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ryanking wrote:
Is no one using the regular GMT trays? I know it requires a few, but at 2.00/unit that is pretty cheap. I am wondering if I need to splurge on the Plano if I am already using the GMT trays (I don't travel, probably a big reason for Plano).


Are you referring to these trays? http://www.gmtgames.com/p-173-counter-trays-10.aspx

If so, then yes, they probably are sufficient if you don't travel with your ASL kit and are able to keep it safely stacked somewhere around the house.
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Suns Anvil
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Man, I keep dreaming about getting one of these. But let me understand this fully....

B-50-GG, $44.50
6 x B-357 Dividers, $21.30
Shipping to Canada, $26.99

US$92.72 (well over C$100). I just cant justify it. Even though they take up more room 5 x Planos 3600 maxed out gives 165 cells for $25.00 ($4.99 each at WallMart).

Have we not found these Hozans at ANY better pricing anywhere?
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