Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Logistics of 40k

"...amateurs study tactics; generals study logistics..."

-Author unknown- (to me anyways)

So every week, we all have the same dilemma, how to transport our armies to the FLGS (or whichever venue in which you play) and back again, intact! While not often discussed, this aspect of the hobby, is as integral to gaming as is dice, miniatures, rule books, etc. There are a myriad of products out there, many work well, while some, not so much. They are all however, far better then the old days of tanks in a box with the foam from the blister packs in between (if anything), and minis in plastic tackle boxes or the old rectangular Chessex cases (which I admit to still using).

A problem with the cases produced by the various companies out there, are that they don't work together, but rather in competition with one another (as it is so with any product). Here is what I use though, some of which isn't the typical set up. Not so much as thinking out of the box, but rather thinking of other boxes...

First off, the GW mini case.

Old, tried & true, i have 4 all of which were picked up 2nd hand or on clearance. GW has since come out with newer, larger types, but they're quite pricey.

Next the Sabol cases. Whomever invented these should be knighted!

Note: there is an IG case in there, a friend is borrowing my Basilisk this weekend, and i don't have a case for the Red Trukk yet.

Third (and far from the norm), the fruit of the month club boxes!

My uncle in Pennsylvania periodically signs my Grandparents up for the fruit of the month club for Christmas, and the boxes that they come in are perfect for artillery, IG weapons teams, lootas & odd shaped minis. Army lists, codexes, templates, etc fit in above the top layer of foam. Best of all, they're FREE! (to me)

So here we have it.

I'm at a loss on the Matilda, it just sits on the seat of my truck.

So what to do @ this point? Credit for that goes to my friend Murl who spotted this little gem @ Office Depot for about $25-$30 a few years back (stickers not included).

I think its intended for files or something. It folds up for storage when not in use.

it folds out easily, and the top is a good place to set your army up, before deploying without cluttering up the game table.

Up to two standard GW mini cases will fit, but only one is needed here. Its almost a custom fit!

Next come the Sabol cases...

Again, the deep tank trays will stack up to 2 deep while on top of the GW case.

Put the top on, the fruit boxes over that and are held on by a bungee cord, and I'm ready to go!

...and it even has wheels!

There are four of these in use in our local gaming group.


woroxon said...

I'm currently using a toolbox without protection but im planing to get one sabol army transport but currently cost is a big concern because even though the base price is affordable I have to pay a bit more than the original cost in shipping and taxes.

Da Masta Cheef said...

I've bought a Sabol bag before, and they're quite commonly used. It often seems that just one army fits the case, and people end up with multiple bags loaded with army specific trays. Whereas all of my trays & cases sit on shelves in the spare room, and I just swop whatever is needed out of the cart each week.

Chris said...

Now that I've got some figures painted and maybe even some games lined up, transportation is a concern for me. I've been looking at saving up for some Battlefoam stuff. I am reluctant to spend money on something besides more toys, but after spending so much time and money on painting my figures, it would seem a waste to toss them in a box without anything to protect them.

fester said...

Other option.

Get a toolbox / metal box.
Put magnets in the bases of EVERYTHING (including tanks tracks etc) and store everything sideways (ie on the vertical surfaces).

I also have a display board which has a metal underlay (under the gravel/flock) which sits just fine on the front seat of my car. Add a backpack for rulebooks and its great.

Sean said...

Toolboxes are good for armies with awkwardly-sized or pointy miniatures (Tyranids, Orks, Chaos, Dark Elves, etc).

I actually use an old-fashioned suitcase, padded with self-cut foam from Joann's Fabrics, to transport my wide array of otherwise-awkward monstrous creatures. The sad truth is, Trygons, Tervigons, etc, are simply too big to easily fit into pretty much anything, not to even mention superheavies or anything with wings.

Sabol cases are perfect for less-pokey armies and anything that uses vehicles; I can neatly fit 1500pts of my Tau, including all my flight stands, extra drones, etc, in a single bag and still have enough room left over to fit some snacks in there. :3

I know some companies have rolling army transports much like what is pictured above, but they tend to be pricey, so getting a luggage rack or similar device seems like a good option.

I have seen many people sing the praises of pistol/rifle cases as well, which seem like a very simple (if maybe space-inefficient) solution. I don't have any personal experience there, though.

slipwing said...

I used various plastic pistol cases when I first started playing and still have them. They were cheap and worked well for infantry. I also have a couple GW cases. Lately I have picked up some Sabol bags for vehicle transport, which I like alot.

Da Masta Cheef said...

@ Chris- Yes get a good case, there's a guy @ the FLGS who's Orks are just tossed into an AoBR box and are mostly broken now, or worse yet, transports his Necron Warriors in plastic quart sized ziplock bags! Its always rather horrifying...

@Fester- I saw a pic on BoLS using the magnet/toolbox method, seems to work. My only use of magnetized everything, was to keep my old Dwarf army attached to their movement trays.

@Sean- I used to know a guy in Florida who used a rifle case. Problem was he didn't have a car & took the bus. Which on more than one occasion passed his stop when seeing only him & his case waiting! He couldn't count how many times passing Police cars would pull a U-Turn & flip the lights on when they saw him walking with it on the sidewalk. He said he always got laughed at after they inspected the contents, that had to be humiliating.

@slipwing- Yeah my collection of cases varies too. 4 GW cases, 4 Chessex (2 large, 2 small Necromunda gang sized), half a dozen or more sabol trays & 3-4 fruit boxes. That's why I like the file cart. Any one of my armies will fit into it. Ork fruit boxes (which will stack inside too were it not for all the sabol trays) & the Chessex cases which are too long) being the only things that ever need to be bungeed to the top.

Papa JJ said...

This was a lot fun to read, thanks! Great use of those fruit boxes, that's quite resourceful of you. I'm still in shock, however, from your story of Necrons stuffed into ziplock bags... wow! Mention of the Chessex cases certainly brings back memories, like you I used mine for Necromunda gangs and Blood Bowl guys.

2 Girls Photography said...

Look it's Corey! I remember when we lived in the same apt building and I would see you painting those things thru the window when I would come home at night! I don't know where you get the patience for it!


Da Masta Cheef said...

@Papa- the whole necrons in a bag, i think its only surpassed by the kids who scoop their minis into their mini case with a sound reminscent of when I used to put my matchbox cars away when I was a child, shudder...

@Heather- Oh come on now, as a mom you've learned patience haven't you? Me? Well, painting minis is better than watching TV.