The Quacks of Quedlinburg insert from The Broken Token was my first experience with any insert or other produced by this company.
My first experience would be one of their latest designs and for a game that, needed an insert more than any other in my collection as the number of tokens and bits on the table were becoming unmanageable in play, especially with children.
Quacks of Quedlinburg Insert First Impression
The first thing I noticed about the Quacks of Quedlinburg insert when unpacking it was how clean it was. I know that many of you will have purchased inserts and possibly even other items that have been laser cut and there tends to be a smell and residue that resides on the edges.
It is the way the laser works to boil the wood and naturally when we are talking about plywood that also means the glue from between the layers, this is what causes the residue.
The Broken Token insert had a few spots of residue around a couple of the engravings but other than those few marks the wood looked incredibly clean and fresh.
I would have sworn this insert had been CNC’d if I did not know how it was made. Upon closer inspection, I could only smell a very slight smokey smell if I sniffed around the edges of the cuts.
There were a few splinters of wood along some of the cuts but the wood used and the quality of the cuts was second to none. The overall quality was on a par with The Gaming Trunk and Smonex inserts. High praise if you have read the reviews I posted about their Gloomhaven Inserts.
I was sent 4 inserts from The Broken Token, they included this one and inserts for Marvel Champions, Mysterium and Dead of Winter The Long Night and the quality was no fluke.
The instructions were very clear and easy to follow and the cuts were precise enough for me to be able to dry-fit everything before glueing and the parts held together.
So you can use the drawers while playing, you will need to glue everything after you are sure you have the right pieces, because of the number of boxes, you will have to make this is going to take you between 1 and 2 hours to complete depending on your speed and how neat you would like to be.
It is not a complicated build but you will need some patience, elastic bands or clamps would be useful to help hold things while the glue sets up. You may need a little bit of sandpaper just to ensure everything fits together as you want it after you have finished. This is not a fault of the insert but when glueing you can put this whole Quacks of Quedlinburg insert out of alignment and the sandpaper will cover your errors!
There are 16 different box type trays for you to build as well as the frame, swing-out compartment, recipe and flask storage, cauldron lid and two shelves, one behind the cauldron door and one at the bottom right just above the final drawer.
Each of the larger drawers on the left-hand side is etched with the name of the ingredient inside and the smaller drawers, whilst not labelled, are perfect for holding the player counters and tokens.
We use the bottom right drawer for the flame token and the dice and we use the swing-out drawer to hold our bags.
Because everything is so organised set up is as simple as placing the drawers on the table, opening the swing-out compartment with the bags in and placing the Fortune teller and ruby caddie next to the score track.
My children like to keep the ingredients in the box and stand it on the table. This is a relatively new turn of events but there is almost a little mini-game being played where they sell you the ingredients during the buying phase.
The etchings on the drawers and doors are extremely sharp and clean and once you put the whole insert together it looks fantastic and so in keeping with the theme of Quacks.
The Quacks of Quedlinburg insert is beautiful. Look at the images, it fits perfectly in the frame of the box with a very slight lid lift when closed.
Several factors make the Quacks of Quedlinburg insert an essential purchase particularly if you play with children.
Firstly, set up and break down will go from 10 + minutes to as fast as you can remove the lid of the box and hand out the player boards. As attested to by my children you can play directly from the box. I still prefer to have the ingredients on the table but it would certainly be possible and for my children preferable to play from the box.
From removing the lid of the box to being ready to start is easily under a minute. No more carefully separating everything into baggies when you finish the last game and then watching a child empty the bag into the wrong container because “I know how to do it”.
Break down, well you still need to put your ingredients in the correct drawer but when you have finished playing you just slide the drawers back into their slots and you are done.
More is More right?
The Quacks of Quedlinburg insert from The Broken Token will also accommodate the expansions, The Herb Witches and the Alchemists. I have neither of these, adding them before this insert was never going to be an option in my house.
I love the look and even the feel of the Quacks of Quedlinburg insert. Something about wood fits the theme of the game and I have decided to stain our insert. I do not know whether to use a Walnut dark stain or a Mahogany stain but I know it’s going to look amazing especially when I paint the etchings gold and will only enhance the “On Theme” appeal.
Having recently reviewed the Folded Space insert for Dead of Winter I have to say that wood has to be the right choice for an insert. It’s sturdy and light, strong enough to keep your components safe, useful when gaming and it just looks so much better than other materials.
This is ever more true when the designer considers the function and the aesthetic of an item when making it. The Quacks of Quedlinburg insert from The Broken Token exemplifies a company that wants to provide a product that is not just functional but also beautiful.
Many of the etchings were not essential, however, they are there for aesthetic reasons and they look incredible, it is this type of care when put into a product that I like to see. It demonstrates more than just the will to make a container, something that will hold your tokens, you could do that with a plastic tub.
No, the Quacks of Quedlinburg insert from The Broken Token is the most thematic insert in my collection barre none. It is not an addition but has become a part of the game, it makes set-up and break down easier, it makes the gameplay faster and organised, it keeps the table clear and less fussy and I cannot think of a single reason not to own it.