Although it may not be apparent to those who have visited my home, I have a bit of a fascination with creating storage solutions which are attractive, compact, and above all functional. My philosophy mirrors that of George Costanza’s; “Important things go in a case. You got a skull for your brain, a plastic sleeve for your comb, and a wallet for your money.” I feel certain that fantasy miniature board gaming would have made his list if it had been as popular in 1998 as it is now.
That being said, I have finally taken the first step in improving the storage of one of my group’s favorite games. This will be a three-stage undertaking with the ultimate goal of greatly reducing the number of boxes required for storage, while at the same time keeping all necessary components grouped and within easy reach. And I do mean all components.
With the imminent release of Zombicide Green Horde (the second season of the Black Plague medieval setting, which was recently Kickstart[ed] by Cool Mini or Not Games), the number of miniatures and cards will more than double. Luckily, many of the other components (such as tokens and figure bases) will merely be duplicated rather than increased. So the current plan is this: Stage One – Cards, dice, tokens, and figure bases; Stage Two – Tiles; Stage Three – Plastic terrain and miniatures.
Now, without further ado, my solution for Stage One…
We start with a simple, partitioned drawer. Like the rest of the box, the drawer is made out of solid black walnut, solid white maple, and some maple plywood. The maple ended up having some amazing striped figuring, which was not obvious until planed and sanded. This gives a beautiful reflective quality, much like that see on old-fashioned hologram trading cards. The mitered corners are reinforced with walnut splines, which also add a bit of additional flair.
The left section will hold two layers of twenty-four dice, for a total of forty-eight dice. While this is surely overkill, there are a surprising amount of special dice available for this game, so they add up quickly. The center section can potentially hold ninety-two standard sized figure bases, although I have reserved the fourth possible row for large sized figure bases and spawn tokens. The smaller figure bases are held in place by the three walnut wedges, which act somewhat like wheel-chocks to keep the round bases from rolling around. The right side holds all of the currently necessary tokens. From top to bottom: door tokens, dragon bile/flame tokens, vault door tokens, first player/rotten/crown tokens, objective tokens, rubble tokens, and noise tokens.
The drawer fits very nicely into the lower part of the storage box proper, as seen in this photo.
The second layer of the box also has three sections. The left and right sides are sized to accommodate the two decks of sleeved, smaller cards: the enemy spawn deck on the left, and the various equipment decks on the right. I intend to add some tabbed organizers to aid in storage, so that special enemies, starting equipment cards, and vault weapon cards can be easily grouped for storage. I also intend to develop some cardboard spacers to help keep the decks upright, which I can trim down as more cards are acquired. Currently, the box should hold about 4 times the number of cards released with Black Plague, so I’m hoping this will be plenty of room for future expansions. The middle section holds the survivor ID cards as well as the colored plastic pegs for the survivor dash boards. (For those not familiar with Black Plague, each survivor has a plastic dashboard which organizes their equipment, ID card, and experience/health/skill counters. The colored figure bases snap onto the survivor miniatures, and match the plastic pegs which are used for tracking health and skills on the dash board. A very nifty design by Cool Mini or Not Games.)
The inside of the box lid contains the same three compartments, allowing it to double as a convenient spot to place discards while playing the game.
The lid slides snugly over the extended maple sides of the box, keeping it secure during storage. But the most satisfying part of the lid is not functional, but purely decorative. In order to add some visual interest to the box, as well as to easily identify it once it is surrounded by as yet unbuilt storage boxes for my other games, the top is crowned by the distinctive “torch” design that separates the medieval Zombicide games from their modern cousins. The torch was cut by hand with a scroll saw using some leftover scraps of walnut.
While there are certainly some flaws in the craftsmanship, I am still very proud of the final piece. I think I have succeeded in producing a beautiful item that will also make setup and storage of this game much easier in the future.
The next step in this project will see the creation of a storage box for the 30 cm square tiles. Stay tuned for more!