Playing and owning boardgames is a wonderful hobby many of us share. Countless hours are spent on the logistics of this hobby: rules reading, setup, break down, and organization. For those of us with large, multi-piece board games organization can be a challenging task. The industry and our own invention has given us many techniques from the old SPI plastic counter trays, to zip-lock baggies. I remember back in the ancient days using styrofoam cups covered with tinfoil to keep counters organized.
Things become even more difficult when we want to take our favorite games on the road and play them at a gaming store or friends house, al the while keeping track of where the components are, having the ones you want handy at easy reach without everything becoming a complete pile of mess.
BattleLore from Fantasy Flight Games is a prime example of a board game that can go horribly wrong when it comes to transport and play away from home. The base game with a few expansion thrown in can grow to over 300 figures; along with the accompanying unit banners and game cards, the transport of the materials for a serious game session can be daunting.
Over at Board Game Geek you can peruse through the picture gallery for BattleLore and see what other players are doing for storage and transport. These ideas are not just for BattleLore, but they give you the capability to apply these solutions to any large scale board game.
After a bit of research and thought, we decided to go with the fishing tackle box as our form factor. For this we selected the Plano 7771 model. First and foremost it was selected due to its size. The 7771 is a ginormous (size here) with five primary storage
areas. Under the see-through top lid is a compartmented section with removable separators. To the right of this is a large compartment beneath a hinged lid. The top lid opens to reveal a tray for storage of flat items (rulebooks) and includes a small storage box. The central drop down transparent door holds four separate tackle boxes, all compartmented with adjustable dividers. To the right of the drop down door is another lidded storage compartment.
Being able to place the BattleLore mounted map board into the lidded tray was a must. The board almost fit within the try except two small plastic ribs prevented the map from sliding down into the case. Thankfully, the plastic construction was easily modified to remove the two ribs; an xacto knife and a little scoring along the edges and the ribs were easily and cleanly removed from the box. After this simple modification the map slid easily into place. These two cuts to remove the superfluous ribs were the only modification we needed to make to the 7771.
The four large removable tackle boxes provide an excellent way to store miniatures or other game components or tokens. The size of the pieces can be adjusted for by repositioning the separators to allow for more room. In the example of the BattleLore miniatures, greater space was allowed for the larger mounted units. Obviously, some units will be too big for these compartments. The BattleLore dragons are an example of this. For larger units the solution is to use one of the two large compartments to the right of the drop door or top lid.
Another very positive aspect of the Plano system is the removable tackle boxes. If needed, additional boxes can be purchased that can be used for armies (goblins/dwarves) or other figures and when they are required for a particular gaming session you slide out the boxes containing the figures you don’t need and slide in those that are. It’s a modular storage system!
Overall, the Plano 7771 worked very well for transport of our massive BattleLore collection. Transport of exactly what we need to play, plus all the extra doodads that do along with board gaming such as extra dice, pens, tools etc. can be carried with eas in one organized box.
The Plano 7771 will set you back around $65 US. Considering the use and reuse of this box, its an investment that pays off for the avid gamer on the move.