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Just_a_Bill's RotV-box Heroscape Collection Storage System

Posted August 25th, 2008 at 11:46 PM by Just_a_Bill
Updated August 26th, 2008 at 12:13 AM by Just_a_Bill

Several months ago I mouthed off about my cheapo storage system that's almost entirely based on RotV boxes. Well, here's the visual tour. Unfortunately this is more of a vanity page than a tutorial; if you want to try these stunts at home, you'd probably need to modify my methods to accommodate your particular collection anyway. Also, the images here are quite sub-par; my digitial camera is old and I am a terrible photographer. Don't bother clicking any of these pictures to try to zoom; I made them all exactly 400 pixels wide for the sake of browser efficiency (and because they'd look even worse if blown up!)

Let's start with what the boxes look like in my game closet:
Almost my entire collection is in RotV boxes. My rulebooks, synergy charts, etc. are in that 1/2-inch white view binder on the right.

Each box has one or more hexagonal labels on the end to tell me what's inside:
You've probably noticed that these labels owe a debt of gratitude to some very talented individuals. Those excellent single-hex tile icons come from the Heroscape Omnibus, and a few of the miscellaneous bits are Jezztek's gorgeous component shots from BoardGameGeek. Most or all of the rest are Hasbro product shots (but if I missed crediting somebody, please PM me so I can correct the oversight).

The labels are printed on Post-It Photo Paper I found on clearance at Office Max, and then laminated on the top. The lamination gives them thickness and durability, and the post-it glue allows me to reposition them as my collection grows and I have to shuffle things around.
The tile boxes are kind of boring; here's my Rock box:
Each stack of tiles in this box is full except for one 24-hex tile. This crappy photo makes it look like the other tiles are at different heights, but that's an optical illusion. The real explanation is that I just don't always connect everything together. I tend to connect all the tiles of a particular shape into a little cluster, but leave them separate from the other clusters of different tile shapes. Fortunately the boxes have just enough wiggle room that this works out okay, and it makes getting them out a little faster when I'm building a map. Eventually I will make some nice little vertical dividers to keep the tile groups from spontaneously connecting themselves (which sometimes happens during handling).

As my collection changes, I shuffle things around to different boxes in an attempt to keep it all packed efficiently. As of this writing, sand, road, water, and my "rock overflow" are bunkmates:
Note that this storage system has given me an irrational desire to collect my tiles in multiples of eight! (If you have a few extra tiles you want to contribute to the Just_a_Bill Mental Health Initiative, check my trade list and let's see what we can work out.)

Here's a close-up on the water (one sparkly, one opaque):
Most of my flat tiles (water, ice, lava) are packed in Ziploc Snack Bags. These are just about the perfect size and shape to keep 21 water or ice tiles, or 22 lava tiles, snugly organized. (And no, the rest of the box wasn't wasted, as you'll see a little later.)
Tundra was a little tricky, since the glaciers just barely fit (actually, they are ever so slightly too large, since the RotV inner drawer uses thicker cardboard than the Thaelenk Tundra inner drawer). I ended up using the plastic inserts from the original TT boxes, because they keep the glaciers at the optimal angle for sitting in the box properly. Fortunately, one RotV box accommodates both of my Thaelenk Tundra sets, plus the extra snow from my figure expansions:
Note again the snack bags, this time holding 21 tiles of ice each. I clipped off the little plastic tabs at the edges of the two plastic inserts so the inserts would sit as flat as possible. Even so, the glaciers are still snug. (If you go back and look at the first photograph, you'll notice that my Tundra box is on top of the stack; I don't want to take a chance that the weight of other boxes might bend or crack one of the glaciers.) I am not very happy with this box, because it's a real pain to get to the snow and ice underneath the glaciers, and an even bigger pain to stack it properly when it's time to put it all back in the box. I may eventually just move all the terrain tiles to a different box and live with the space inefficiency, because I will gain time efficiency.

My "miscellaneous" box is not very well organized:
What a mess. The only thing to be proud of in this cacophony of components is something you can't even really see. I used snack ziplocs again to make a bag of basic pieces for each of four players. Each bag includes a bunch of combat dice, one 20-sider, a set of order markers, and a generous supply of wound markers. At the start of the game I just hand each player a bag and they're ready to go. Now, before you look too long at the rest of the picture, let's just move along quickly to the next exhibit, shall we?

Ah, now we're getting to the good part. Here's my Utgar box:
It's basically a filing system. Almost all of my figures are in snack ziplocs again, and I made color-coded labels (keyed to the generals) that wrap up and over the front part of the bag opening, serving as an index tab. I separate heroes (with black-text tabs) from squads (with white-text tabs), then sort alphabetically within each of those two groups. I cut a couple of thin-but-sturdy cardboard dividers and taped them to the bottom of the box so the rows of bags wouldn't smoosh together.

Let's take a closer look at a few of the Utgar bags:
On the left: Heroes are collected in small, logical groupings, which occasionally change as my collection grows. The top bag is labeled ORC HEROES and currently contains a lonely Tornak. He's waiting to be joined someday by Ornak. (But where's Grimnak, you say? Patience, grasshopper.) The bottom bag is labeled SOULBORG HEROES and had to be upgraded to a sandwich-size bag, for obvious reasons. I only have a few of the larger bags in these boxes, and they tend to file reasonably well if I fold them carefully. Not pictured here are other hero bags labeled SWOG RIDERS and DUMUTEF GUARDS. I basically break heroes down into whatever groupings keep the bags manageable, as long as they are logically organized so I can quickly find things.

On the right: Squads are stored one per bag. Here you can see but not read, sorry ZOMBIES OF MORINDAN X2, DEATHREAVERS, and MARRO DRONES. With the exception of the paired Zombie squads, all of my squads are one per bag.

This system works really well during drafting; a player chooses an Army Card, tells me who it is, and I hand them the appropriate figure (for a hero) or just toss them the entire bag (for a squad).

Here are a few more bags, revealing a little more about my subjective groupings:
On the left: GRECO-ROMAN HEROES, GLADIATOR HEROES, and ASSORTED HEROES. I think every general has an "Assorted Heroes" bag. As you can imagine, this is where all the one-off stuff like Drake, lawmen, and Mittens ends up. (When I first hatched this whole scheme, I was originally planning to [for example] stick Drake in a bag with the Airborne Elite, but I quickly realized that would be messy: I couldn't just toss the squad to the drafting player without first removing Drake, and then where would I put him? And which MacDirk Warriors bag would Alastair go into? Yuck.) I like the fact that each "Assorted Heroes" bag alphabetizes itself to the front of its own general's group, making it easy to find the "loner" heroes.

On the right: TAGAWA SAMURAI and Vydar's SOULBORG HEROES bag. The latter is, again, sandwich size. Notice (or take my word for it!) that the Tagawa Samurai bag is already loaded with their experience markers another nice advantage of the ziploc system.

It's amazing how many figures fit nicely into the snack-size bags. So many, in fact, that I had to buy a second box of snack ziplocs. Unfortunately, some figures don't really fit into any size ziploc very well, and that brings us back to Grimnak.

What about the oversized figures? The thing that started this whole crazy project was that I had determined early on that I was not going to keep removing wings from dragons and risk loosening the connection joint. This led me to build a two-story, double box with an L-shaped drawer inside that would hold extra-tall figures:
Here you can see (well, sort of see) the double-box shell on the left, with a small, upper drawer just starting to peek out and the larger, L-shaped drawer already pulled most of the way out toward the right.

Here's a higher angle:
It will perhaps make more sense when you see everything pulled apart:
The double-box shell has hexagonal labels telling me that the upper (smaller) drawer contains Jandar and Ullar figures, while the lower (larger, and weirder) drawer contains Vydar, Einar, and all the oversized figures. The smaller drawer fits on top of the larger L-shaped one, but there is actually a cardboard "shelf" inside the box so I can slide the small drawer in first all by itself, then slide in the larger one.

This photo also gives you an idea how quickly you could pull figures during a draft. Name a hero or squad, and you can probably find it in literally a couple of seconds. With the index tabs you just let your fingers do the walking.

This box was made when my collection was smaller, and the oversize-figure compartment really is too small now. It's quite a mess. I have started tagging and bagging a few of the figures in that section, but it's really in a mess right now; hence no close-up.

I do have one more RotV box with a Fortress set in it, but that's a mess too, so I didn't bother snapping it.

Well, that's about it. I'm not claiming this is the best way to store a Heroscape collection, but it seems to be working for me and hasn't cost me much money ... just a lot of time. Perhaps you can adapt a few of these ideas to your own collection.

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FatDragon465's Avatar
whoa... awesome
Posted February 16th, 2010 at 01:02 AM by FatDragon465 FatDragon465 is offline
 
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