Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Players Essentials Tin

The Players Essentials Tin
Our aim when running a demo game is to streamline the game play as much as possible so that the players can learn the rules quickly and enjoy the game.  That explains our Index,  Turn Counters, Periscopes and Unit Cards.
The next challenge was how to streamline the game start with armies as well as storing all the dice.  Also, with our boards we were sometimes finding it difficult to find a place to roll dice without having to re-roll cocked dice.
So we created the Demo Gamers Players Essential Tin.
Around 25 April (ANZAC day) Australian supermarkets start selling special ANZAC biscuit tins.  Other than containing quite tasty ANZAC biscuits (cookies) it is also a nice sized tin with ANZAC themed war photos on the outside.
Mmmm. ANZAC biscuits.
We have made 8 player tins so far.  Each tin is for two players, containing two colours of dice and two sets of order dice and an order dice bag.  There are also two trays on which can fit a 600 point army each.

Dice Rolling Base:

We added in a couple of dividers to allow 3 x 13mm dice on either side, leaving a suitable area in the middle in which to roll dice.
Then my lovely wife - being a crafty lady - lined the insides with felt she had left over from other projects.  This made a great dice rolling surface, provided a place to store dice in the sides and somewhere to store the dice bag and order dice between games.
When doing something more than once - make a jig.

Army Trays:

The next stage was to create our army trays. The issue we have at the start of a game is somewhere to place the figures before the game and somewhere to place casualties during the fighting.  The figures would be stored properly in our foam protection between games, but in preparation we will collate each army and place them in an army tray. The players choose their armies and then can quickly start playing.
Each tray was designed to fit in the tin with enough space for fingers on each side.  The height of the trays and the base dividers were just right so we could still put on the lid.
Now just awaiting 16 armies!
This time my father in law - who is also a very talented engineer and handyman - helped create the boxes.  His rule is always "Measure twice and cut once" and "If you need to do something more than once, make a jig."  As we needed 16 trays for the 8 boxes, he made a marvellous jig on which to place the sides.  The box was made from 3mm MDF sheet, all cut exactly using another jig he rigged up.  Once the sides were glued using 5 minute epoxy, he then glued the base with PVA and set aside to dry.  Then we put on our little logo and painted the trays with Varnish to protect them.

Why go to this trouble?

We learn more each time we run a demo game.  The Players Essential Tins allow us to quickly gather the essential tools for playing the game and get down to playing.  Each tin has the dice and bag and the trays have the army and unit cards. With a Player Reference Sheet in hand and a rule book with index nearby, the game can start promptly and the fun can begin!

(PS When deciding on the name for the Players Essentials Tin, my wife thought of "The Beautiful Tin I Spent So Much Time Making" but I figured TBTISSMTM was a lousy acronym.)


  1. Great! I've been using the ANZAC time as well but with other plastic containers inside. It holds my dice, tape measure, dice bag, and cotton balls and cushion stuffing as well as Litko's acrylic laser cut flame explosions. Like this better!

  2. I propose you a name for the tin
    MT = Marvellous Tin
    Boite Merveilleuse

    The jig was great,

    find in your aera a faclab with a laser cut

    5 faclab in australia
    go and have a look its is great

    My club of wargame



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