Category Archives: Stefan

Scythe Board Game Insert

Scythe Insert

After a long hiatus from the task of insert creation I received my Kickstarter edition of Scythe from Stonemaier Games. It’s a great looking game, the components are well crafted and the Kickstarter components really make for a wonderful upgrade and really push all my happy buttons in the ways of a great tactile interaction with a game. The biggest issue with this box was the cards. I like cards, they are an ideal method to implement game mechanics while also giving a medium for visual flare, but with cards comes those little plastic baggies I so loath when packing up my games. An insert was needed. Maybe just a few card bins because surely I couldn’t fit anything else in this box. I surprised myself and made it work.

Scythe Insert in box
Scythe Insert in box
Scythe Insert
Scythe Insert

Each card type has its own box and I even got a divider in with the medium sized cards so I could easily divide the standard game cards with Automa cards.

Scythe Card Trays
Scythe Card Trays


The bank was a nice addition that I originally didn’t think I’d be able to implement due to the space restrictions within the box. First I was going to just stick with the little plastic snap together containers that came with the game but that would mean I could either store all the coins or resources but one of the two would be relegated to my old nemesis, the little plastic baggies. The bank box holds all my resource bits and coins and now I can use the provides plastic containers to hold some resources so I can divide them across the table. Now you have more than one pool of bits to pull from which decreases the need for the long distance, component toppling table reaches or constant need for the “could you please pass the…” during a game session.

Scythe Bank Box
Scythe Bank Box
Scythe Bank Box w/ Lid

Player bits were stored in individual boxes to further speed up game setup time.

Scythe Player Bits
Scythe Player Bits

I elected to not create a custom miniatures tray. The one designed by Stonemaier games looks to be strong enough to handle a lifetime of use and its contoured spaces for the miniatures will keep them safe after having hand painted each one. I was quite pleased with that storage tray and I’m really happy to see game makers providing component storage vacuformed trays that are not just the blister pack variety that will find themselves in the trash right after opening,




MTG Kaladesh Energy Counter


In anticipation for the new Kaladesh release of Magic the Gathering I created a three layer D20 level counter die holder to keep track of how much Energy you gain and lose over the course of a game. I’ve been looking for a simple small project to test out multi layer designs and I found I was a rather happy with what I came up with to the point where I decided I might was well offer some DIY paint and assemble kits for any fellow MTG players that might want to have their own Energy Counter painted how they wanted.

Here’s the DIY kit for those interested:

I might also add some painted finished counters like the ones shown in the images to the Etsy store but since it takes a rather long for me to hand paint, glue up and seal during a time when I’m also trying to get my full line of inserts up on Etsy for the 2016 year, so it might be a very limited release if at all since I’m also working on finalizing a new board game insert for Scythe which I’m finishing for reveal this week.



Laser-Cut: The Hive Box

Worker Bee Kit

Introducing a new storage solution for your Hive game. This box holds all current standard sized tiles for Hive (Hive tiles not included). This is available as a self assembly kit that would require some basic assembly, glue, and finishing if you really want to get a beautiful look from it. A felt interior can be added (included) so your game pieces slide in smooth and quiet. The angled tile guide walls assure the tiles seat upright when placed in each row. The Hive logo consists of 10 hand painted sections of black and a golden-yellow color matched to the official Hive logo. This is one of my favorite designs I’ve done so far and I think any Hive enthusiast will enjoy the look and feel of this in their game collection.

Continue reading Laser-Cut: The Hive Box

Laser-Cut: Cthuhlu Wars

First, Thank you to all the gamers that added in their two cents to helped me improve this insert to a level I’m really proud of. If anyone thought the Star Wars Imperial Assault insert was complex then you should take a look at a game that’s basically all miniatures of different sizes and try to get them to all fit together in a clean and efficient manner. On top of that it’s a rather large insert to fit its rather large Cthulhu Wars core game box home.

I’m so happy to have this insert in use.  Cthulhu Wars was my worst enemy in my battle against the little plastic baggies that would require me to pour miniatures onto a table and organize in prep for and game. I tried using plastic bins for tokens but they added a lot of bulk to the box and caused the lid of the already too large box to float up which looks odd and takes up home space that other games where trying to live. Continue reading Laser-Cut: Cthuhlu Wars

Laser-Cut: Dominant Species Insert

Rise to the Top of the Food Chain

I’ve heard great things about the strategy worker placement game Dominant Species and I knew even before I got it from images from Board Game Geek (best board game site ever) that it would be in great need for an insert.

Here’s how it stood shortly after one of my little joys in life of unboxing a new board game:

Dominant Species organized as the core game intended. Not a big fan
Dominant Species organized as the core game intended. Not a big fan

I could already foresee a little wood bit tumbling out of its pile during game play and falling victim to either the vacuum or a curious dogs digestive track.

My Goals

  • Sideways storage safe and passes a medium shake test.
  • Individual player faction bits trays.
  • Room for everything to fit even after that MAMMOTH sized board is placed in the box.
  • Bits box trays designed so my fingers could actually remove bits without feeling like I’m playing a drunkin game of Operation.

The Result

Continue reading Laser-Cut: Dominant Species Insert

Laser-Cut: Imperial Settlers Insert

Imperial Settlers GIF


Keeping The Kingdom Organized

It didn’t take much time to find I absolutely loved Imperial Settlers and can’t wait for all the future expansions it has to offer. Of course it also didn’t take long to quickly tire from the little plastic baggies all the bits came with. One of the little baggies even started to tear up a corner of a few of my cards that caught on the zipper ridge of the baggy when I was sliding them out in prep to setup a game. Sorry baggies, game over man, it was time for an insert.

Pondering All the Future Fun

Knowing the Atlanteans are just the first of a few expansions I wanted to make sure the insert would handle the addition of at least three new factions, three new token types Continue reading Laser-Cut: Imperial Settlers Insert

Laser-Cut: New Updated Suburbia Insert

Suburbia - Complete Insert
Suburbia – Complete Insert

Good Got Better

After playing suburbia a few more times I realized that I wanted to revise a few features of my first Suburbia Insert. The first being an upgrade to the Bits Box so that it could have a lid that would allow the entire box to be stored on its side. I also wanted to make sure it would have all the room for adding a 5th player from the upcoming 5-Star expansion due in August here in the States.

Suburbia - Bits Box
Suburbia – Bits Box

Continue reading Laser-Cut: New Updated Suburbia Insert

Laser-Cut: Elder Sign Insert

The Great Old Ones Demand Everything Fit in One Box!

Elder Sign Laser Cut Insert

I really enjoy Elder Sign. I’ve played it many times and with different people. Those people also liked the game. It seems that enough people have enjoyed that game that Fantasy Flight thought it would be wise to release not one but two expansions to the base game. The core game fit in the box well enough, but like most games with plentiful game pieces, removing tokens from bags and then putting them away at the end of the game got old fast. At the time, a simple fix for this issue was a custom foam core insert, which was modeled in an evening and held together with hot clue (which still is used as a prototyping method today).

Elder Sign Foam Core Insert
Elder Sign Foam Core Insert

When the second expansion Unseen Forces came out I had some insert overflow issues. Things didn’t quite fit as neatly as before, but still sufficed for the time. Then the 3rd expansion Gates of Arkham came out and I realized I was in trouble. Would I really be forced to have this tiny little expansion box filling up my ever dwindling shelf space? I felt like a Shambling One torn through the dimensions. No! So, I put on my imaginary detectives hat and started at it, measuring and arranging, making models and configuring, and at last I had my great wonder of organization complete. It was no easy task. The new expansion adds a surprising quantity of components and with the awkward shapes of the new portal tokens I was confronted with yet another horror to overcome. Continue reading Laser-Cut: Elder Sign Insert

Game Review: Length X Wit

Length X Wit: A Word Smithy Game

After having backed the Kickstarter Campaign for Dice Empire, designed and created by a local Pacific NW company, Tinderbox Entertainment, and thoroughly enjoying the magnificent dice I received from my investment, I was happy to jump on board their newest go at a full fledged game. This unique little gem was Length X Wit ,designed by Dave Myers. Now, usually I wouldn’t  feel too drawn to a word smithy game. I’ve had my time with Scrabble and the likes and I have to admit it usually doesn’t go well for me. I’m not always great with the words. I’ve been known to lean pretty strongly on my spell checker. You might be saying “but Stefan, you write these little bits on your website and they seem to be pretty well comprehensible”. Continue reading Game Review: Length X Wit

My Lightsaber Playmat

Making A Really Big Mouse Pad

I enjoy the occasional game of Magic The Gather. I’ll even get into playing at game store when I can afford it. I can rarely afford it as the cost for MTG seems to easily enter the realm of meth habit money. One thing that most game stores have in common. Tables. It’s hard to play magic without a table and those tables get sticky with little kid fingers and beverage residue. No thank you. What I need is a play mat. I know of a  internet based company called You can buy play mats they have in stock, which I’ve done or you could design your own, which as you might have guessed I have also done. As you may or may not know I’m a mechanical engineer when I’m not protecting the world from board game disorganization. I do drafting drawings all the time. Seems like a good opportunity to combine the two.

Continue reading My Lightsaber Playmat