Board Game Bling - Daedalus Productions - Marvel Dice Masters Case Review

This collectible game was just begging for a decent storage solution. Wizkids sell those very basic plastic trays which do a reasonable job, but still look a bit tacky and you still have to find a way to store all those cards separately. Now whether it’s OCD or just my nature from being an accountant, but being organised is a big part of my life and I like to carry the same premise to board games particularly with ever-expandable ones like CCG/LCG’s and games with a serious amount of different cards (Dominion and Arkham Horror for example).

With 2 starter sets and 2-3 gravity feed boxes under my belt I had plenty of dice and cards to store and that’s only from AvX and Uncanny X-Men. I’ve zero interest in Yu-Gi-Oh and DnD Dice Masters, but with Age of Ultron and Justice League on the horizon, I need to keep my dice organised at all costs. Well how about some wooden trays………….well ok, that’s fine and all, but……..in a giant wooden case…….excuse me?




Out The Bag


Now even though I ordered an un-assembled box, the physical crate itself was already built for me despite the PDF instructions having pages dealing with it. Not sure if this was a fluke or planned from the Kickstarter, but it made life easier for me so I’m not going to complain one bit. But it also means I can’t comment on the difficulty of assembling it.
The card trays are, as with most card trays, a piece of cake. Standard affair here although I’m not sure exactly what you’re supposed to store in the deep boxes other than bags. I’ve put spare sidekick dice in there as well, but I feel maybe with future inserts it would be nice to have either some more pictures showing what goes in them or maybe some “suggested uses” in the instruction manual. It sounds like stating the obvious, but I find such points useful and with some other games you’ll be glad they were there.

But the real elephant in the room is the dice trays themselves. For these you are going to require patience and extensive study of the instruction video that Daedalus have provided. To start with you slot in all the angled shelves and with that the easy part is done with. You then have to glue the side pieces on and each one has about 10+ slots for all of those angled trays which aren’t currently secure. So you have to conduct this balancing act of feeding the side piece on, slot by slot until it all fits and this from experience can be incredibly frustrating, but then I don’t have as much patience as some people! Taping the trays helps in advance and I strongly advise obtaining some glue that lasts a while before setting because you could be there for several minutes feeding this piece on.



That being said, once the first piece is on, the other side is half the difficulty. And the end pieces aren’t tricky, but there’s not much room to glue them on so as I said before, get some decent glue because you’ll likely find these being prone to breaking off in your hands if you handle your trays too bluntly.

But before doing all of this, by god, do your research and pay close attention to which way round the pieces go in the box. Making an error early and not spotting it till later will be irritating. I completed my dice trays and was all gleeful loading my dice and organising them only to find that I’d loaded the dice trays in the crate upside down so the lid wouldn’t close, meaning I had to take the dice off, turn it over and then re-load them all! Fail!




In The Box


It sounds like I’ve been negative, but in all fairness, how do you design a dice tray so that it’s easy to assemble? It’s a tricky design, all the pieces have to be perpendicular to each other and it has to be measured perfectly otherwise the dice won’t fit. But when I was finished, all the hard work and frustration was instantly worth it. All the dice fit seamlessly in the trays and there’s plenty of space even with the dice I own. A casual player will be set for life, I’m somewhere in the middle and there’s still plenty of rows for me to fill up with Ultron and DC dice eventually.

The card trays can hold a lot of cards but you’re going to struggle to fit them all after maybe 2 and a half sets worth if you want to separately store your favourite teams also. I recommend keeping your trades somewhere else if you’re a full blown collector and leaving the box for your favourites.



There’s no issue so far with tight spaces and it’s easy to lift the dice trays out if you use your fingers to pinch the centre piece that helps to hold the shelves in place because holding the outside runs its own risk depending on how good your glue was. Granted this is difficult if your dice trays are filled to the brim on each row, but each row holds 6 dice on each half (so 12 per row in full) and I can’t think of any (might be one or two) characters who have a maximum allowance of 6 dice so you should have somewhere to grab!


On The Table


I’ve mentioned hard work, I’ve mentioned frustration and I’ve criticised, but once this baby is on the table, all of that is forgotten. The amount of awe that this case receives when you plonk it on the table and open it is up there with celebrity status. It looks the business and does a fantastic job of keeping your collection together. I won’t be surprised if Daedalus issue a revised design with a new laser logo on the front for other Dice Master sets so you can grab another one if need be (though with my busy schedule I might opt for a pre-built one next time).

It is bulky though, that much has to be said and when filled with dice, it’s going to weigh a ton also, but it’s much better than bagging dice or dumping them all in a spare Carcassonne expansion box…… (whistles)! So expect to require a good third of an Expedit IKEA shelf or similar when storing it. 


Verdict


For the casual player, they can get by with the plastic trays as cheap as they are, they hold a lot of dice, but for any veteran collector or player of this game with spare cash (it’s obviously not a cheap one), I can’t recommend it enough to single you out among your fellow Dice Master opponents…..once it’s finished! The assembly of this is going to be frustrating when you get to those dice trays so have your patience hat on, maybe some relaxation music in the background and take your time for everything else is straightforward (remember I can’t comment on the crate itself). Failing that, let Daedalus assemble it for you! I think if I ever get another one I’ll probably opt for that – let’s see how much Age of Ultron and Justice League suck me in.

It looks the business and is very sturdy and keeps your dice and cards in the most organised way possible. Just make sure you actually remember to play the game and not just keep it as a luxury storage item! 

0 comments: