I am fairly new to tabletop board games. Especially large scale board games with tons of pieces like Gloomhaven or Zombicide. As I started to dabble with these games, one thing became abundantly clear: I needed a storage solution. I did a lot of product research and ultimately settled on a solution from Go7Gaming. I am extremely pleased with my purchase and the value added by their products. Below, we’ll get into a bit of the details regarding product assembly, quality of craftsmanship, and the overall value added to your gaming experience.

Background

I am at a point in life where I struggle to find time for gaming on my laptop or PS4. To further complicate my gaming struggle, my girlfriend is not a gamer. For the sake of compromise and in an effort to get her more involved with my interests, we started investing in board games. My girlfriend picked up Game of Thrones Risk as a Christmas present for me last year and that was the start of our growing board game collection. From there, it transitioned into me scouring Massdrop for more complex board games. I was specifically looking for games that would play more like video games. This is how I stumbled across Zombicide: Green Horde.

 

Zombicide would be my first foray into tabletop miniature board games. Unloading the box of map tiles and miniature zombies instantly hooked me. Reading through the rules I reminded of the countless hours I logged on the original Diablo. The first campaign should only take 45 minutes. We ended up drinking our way through 3 hours of gaming trying to learn the rules. The overly long campagin can be partially blamed on dragging two non-gamers into the mix. Another thing that contributed to the lengthy campaign was a lack of organization of the game pieces. Having to stop each round to find the exact pieces needed to continue play took a significant amount of time and hindered our ability to enjoy the game to the fullest.

Solution

Like many large board games, Zombicide came with cardboard sheets of tokens to punch out as well as a variety of unpainted miniatures. All told, the game consists of about 150 various tokens and miniatures. The sheer quantity of pieces quickly made it a challenge to keep the game organized and enjoyable, especially when two of our team members already had little interest in killing zombies. Because of this organizational issue, I started to look at game box inserts. Broken Token and Go7Gaming were the leading contenders in the laser cut, wooden insert kits for board games. Since I needed a solution for Green Horde and not the standard version of Zombicide, I ultimately went with Go7Gaming for my storage solution.

The Go7Gaming insert ships as a 2 pound kit that does require assembly. The kit comes with 8 individual trays to help with storing the many pieces and parts to Zombicide. Kits are laser cut manufactured high-density fiberboard that come pre-sanded and unfinished. Additionally, you will need some sort of glue to help keep the various pieces and trays together.

 

Go7Gaming recommends Sobo Craft Glue but I had Gorilla Wood Glue on hand and it worked well during assembly. A lot of thought was put into this insert. The kit holds the standard versions of Green Horde or Black Plague. There is also extra space that allows sufficient room for expansion packs. I fit a second pack of Survivors in the box as well as a pack of zombie Bursters. That is an additional 12 miniatures that fit in the standard storage solution.

Tips

Here are some tips to assist with assembly.

Make sure you read the directions. I totally missed the included wooden sticks that help spread glue or clean up excess.

Additionally, it is important to dry fit trays and components before putting them together. This isn’t as essential with the Zombicide assembly as the trays are fairly simple. More complex storage solutions will require dry fitting. Gloomhaven has a ton of pieces and most storage solutions will include custom boxes to eliminate the standard cardboard boxes. You will want to dry fit those types of complex kits.

I think it would also be beneficial to use a craft glue with a brush applicator. I used what I had on hand when I put the Zombicide trays together. A brush will make it much easier to be precise with your glue application and will help get the glue into some of the harder to reach areas.

Leveraging The New Organizer

With the organizer assembled and everything boxed up, it was time to see if the organizer added value. Playing a campaign solo is a nice feature about Zombicide, this helped with an immediate test of the organizer. I again sat down to play through the first scenario our team had tested a week prior in hopes of cutting down the play time. From the moment I started to lay out the game tiles, I knew the organizer trays were going to be helpful. This became even more apparent as I played through the scenario.
Drawing equipment cards or zombie spawn cards became a clean and crisp action wit the new card holder boxes. Discarding cards was also improved as I now had a designated card slot to put them in. I no longer had various tokens littered across my table, they all had a home that kept them organized and out of the way when not in use. As mentioned, the game comes with unpainted miniatures. This made the first play through difficult as we often had to hold a Runner up next to a Walker to be sure we had the right piece. The storage solution includes labeled compartments for each zombie type, making organization a breeze. This feature made it easy to grab and spawn zombies with little thought or lag in game play.

Using the organizer trays, I was able to efficiently play through the first scenario in the recommended time. Since I was playing a solo campaign, I elected to play all six survivors by myself. The new trays made it much easier to grab and drop my noise tokens and spawn zombies when necessary. Although having all six survivors in action made for a table crowded by player dashboards, having all the other cards and pieces in their respective homes kept the chaos of an endless zombie horde at bay.

I was able to breeze through the first scenario in about 30 minutes and cleanup took all of maybe 5 minutes thanks to everything having a clearly marked tray. The standard plastic organizer had individual slots for each survivor and zombie which required trial and error to locate the correct home. With a custom organizer solution, all that I needed to do was drop the miniatures in their designated box.

Craftsmanship

Go7Gaming uses 3 mm high-density fiberboard for their inserts. This is a manufactured board that comes pre-sanded to Go7Gaming which means it arrives on your doorstep sanded. Since it is a manufactured board, their will be no grain to the wood. This, along with the sanding, gives the assembled trays a clean and attractive finish and also makes them easy to paint if you so desire. 

Laser cutting the inserts makes for precise lines and clean edges. I had no issues punching out the components from their sheets. All pieces dry fit easily with no need for additional sanding or adjusting. I have built two Go7Gaming inserts with my second one being an extremely complex Gloomhaven organizer. Both insert kits came intact and I had no issues with craftsmanship during assembly. Any assembly issues will most likely be user error driven.

 

Cost

Cost is the biggest complaint when reading other reviews. There are two sides to the cost complaint. The first being the actual cost of kits when comparing different models from different manufactures. The second issue is the idea of spending as much on an organizer as you spent on the game itself. Both of these are valid concerns and it will ultimately be up to the individual to decide if it it is worth spending money on an organizer. There are certainly cheaper alternatives, such as using any variety of customizable Plano boxes to fit your organizational needs. To me, it made more sense to leave my organization to a professional. Finding an insert that fit in the original game box was also an important consideration. 

When looking at solutions from a cost perspective, there are typically two options. Most board game organizers will come in either the standard 3 mm wooden organizer that requires assembly, or cheaper foam insert trays.

Foam insert trays do provide cost effective organization, but they are typically one or two larger format trays that just keep items from jostling around. They really have little impact on improving the quality of play or providing a thoughtful approach to organizing your gaming.

Wooden inserts provide individual storage solutions for your basic groups of items. This allows you to pull out or put away various storage containers when not in use. These separate containers also enable you to organize the playing field by placing necessary items near the DM or each player.

From a pricing perspective, I reviewed various options for Zombicide: Green Horde. The base game averages between $45 and $60.

The Go7Gaming insert is $40.99.

The Broken Token insert is $44.99. They don’t offer a Green Horde specific insert, but the standard Zombicide insert is very similar.

The Feldherr foam insert is $29.26 for Green Horde. Overseas shipping will impact the cost.

There are countless other options out there such as this Etsy find. You could additional invest in a few $3 to $5 Plano organizers if you wanted a budget solution. In my opinion, the $40 for optimized organization was an easy sell. Additionally, the kits are essentially adult Legos which adds a bit of extra enjoyment to the process.

Summary

Should you buy an insert for your board games? That is for you to decide. For me, organizers are value adding investments to my games. They make the board games easier to play, easier to clean up, and improve longevity of carboard components.

Should you buy an insert from Go7Gaming? Again, this is for you to decide. If you like small business that are family owned and based in the US, then yes, buy your insert from Go7Gaming. My orders shipped within 24 hours and came with a handwritten thank you note for supporting Bobby’s business and family. Like us, Bobby is a nerd and turned his hobbies and passions into a business. I own two of his inserts and will be getting the Terraforming Mars insert once I figure out how to play that game.

Go7Gaming also cares about the end-user, they leverage Facebook and other social media outlets to ensure they are building the products we want. New insert releases are customer driven using polls and reviews. They also actively participate in community engagement on Reddit to again make sure they are listening to the customers.

From a price perspective, Go7Gaming is a competitive option. They listened to customer feedback and adjusted shipping rates to ensure fair and equitable shipping options existed. They also switched the material they use for inserts in order to reduce labor during production, thus reducing the cost to the customer.

I have been completely satisfied with the customer service, quality craftsmanship and competitive pricing of Go7Gaming’s inserts.

You can get more background on Go7Gaming by visiting their site. Also be sure to check out other Alpha Nerds Guild content.

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