The Marvel Champions insert from The Broken Token is as simple as it is useful. All living card games suffer from the same issue of separation.
Separating cards into decks, skills, costs, colours, I mean how do you organise yours? I bet most people who play Marvel Champions will have their player decks in baggies and the scenarios in other baggies, the tokens separated into yet more baggies.
Believe me, I know, I was there, in the same position just a few weeks ago with Arkham Horror. Who am I trying to kid? I am still there with Arkham Horror but this cannot be said for Marvel Champions any longer.
Take a look at the image below, this is how I had Marvel Champions “organised” recently.
The reason it looked like this was that I needed to organise Arkham Horror for a game night away from home and was out of baggies. So I just dumped my tokens, placed the decks together and tried to separate the Captain Marvel Deck as it wouldn’t fit in the top compartment.
So, baggies stolen and used for Arkham, my copy of Marvel Champions was being treated with kid gloves as I was still playing most days and didn’t want to have to separate everything again. This didn’t work and despite my best efforts when I reopened the box I had to spend almost an hour sorting everything out.
I wish that I had received the Marvel Champions insert for review before I chose to remove the baggies because it is simply fantastic.
Firstly let’s start with the way it looks. If you have read any of my insert reviews you will know that I love the way wood, particularly birch ply, looks.
The Broken Token inserts are some of the highest quality inserts I have ever used. There are virtually no scorch marks, they hardly smell of burnt wood and the thought that has gone into producing an insert that fits in its box and is usable and useful when playing is evident in every component.
Putting The Broken Token Marvel Champion Insert together is a very simple process. In short, you have a frame that sits in the box with slots for card dividers on each side and a thinner section in the centre split into two that holds the token boxes and villain dials when you are not playing, next you have two token containers with lids, one large with 6 compartments and a smaller with two small and one wide compartment.
Then there is a separate open container to hold the player dials that sits in one side of the frame and a small cardholder that has 3 dividers and 4 slots for them so you can separate it in various ways, I have the stunned, tough and confused status cards in there with room for another divider and more effects as they become available.
Including dry fitting, everything before glueing, which may not have been necessary as everything was a very tight and neat fit, the entire build took about 25-30 minutes and the instructions are very clear with no room for interpretation of their meaning.
I like The Broken Token instructions, the Marvel Champions Insert specifically is on one side of an A5 sheet but it’s still incredibly clear and easy to follow. The biggest advice I can give you when putting any insert together is, to take your time, dry fit first and then glue.
After this it’s pretty simple, only take pieces from the sheet as you need them and use a very small amount of wood glue. Clean any squeeze out straight away and make sure the glue has dried before you put your card stock into the insert or risk it staying there indefinitely.
If you can’t follow the simple instructions or do not like pictographs for some reason you could watch a video at http://tiny.cc/tokenchamp to get the general idea of how things work and to take a look at other Broken Token inserts you will now need. The Marvel Champions insert is shown set up but not being built. There is a general video for the items you will need and tips on building so watch away.
Set up, Break down
Setting up an LCG is quite simple really but we have all felt the tedium of baggies. I have some collapsible containers I used to use. They are fine but you have to build them, then get the baggie and empty it into a container and then the same for the next one.
The containers are always massive, well not the Stonemaier ones but they are for Stonemaier games, and I don’t have enough of these cool ones for every token so I have been using old Chinese food takeaway cartons as token holders. The card spread is bad enough let alone with so much space taken up by token holders.
Now I have the Marvel Champions insert from The Broken Token, I take the damage/threat box out and remove the lid, I also keep the villain counter on the lid so it sits between the card organiser wall and lid, then I take the counter box and remove the lid, grab the decks I want to use from the card organiser and the health dial from the dial tray and I am ready to go.
When I have finished playing I simply place the decks back into their locations (these are set by me and everything has to go back to the exact place I got it from, your experience may not be so anal) and slide the token tray lids on, place them back and I am done.
Helps with Play?
Whilst you are playing Marvel Champions, the insert helps with play in more ways than you might suspect. Not only does it help set up and break down with the tokens but because it’s so easy to organise cards and decks you can switch between things quickly.
With the core set, for example, you don’t have enough cards to make decks for all the included heroes but when you use the Marvel Champions insert you can separate the cards how you wish, meaning you can have most of a premade deck or custom deck ready to go and just add cards from the category you like.
I tend to play one or two games and then move on but since The Broken Token sent me the Marvel Champions insert I would say I play at least one extra game but more than likely an extra two games per session because changing things up is so easy.
Another thing I love about the Marvel Champions Insert is that the status and dial trays have little extensions on the edge of one face which makes them fit into the card organiser like a divider. It is unnecessary as the friction between the two wooden faces should keep them in place but the fact that they are there shows me the designer wanted this insert to be more than the sum of its parts. It’s like buying a good quality car and seeing the little extra touches. My car knows who is driving and welcomes me or my wife to the driver seat, completely unnecessarily but it just shows a level of detail that lets you know, “we made this for you.”
Marvel Champions insert in summary
I am a fan of The Broken Tokens approach to their products. We are not talking about massive things either, with their Quacks insert they have produced something special and it’s easy to recognise it. The Marvel Champions insert is another story, simple, elegant and there isn’t a lot there to separate it from the other designers yet somehow they have managed to do just that. The quality of their products is undeniable but it’s the things you can’t see, the thought and care that go into producing their inserts that put them in another class.
I cannot recommend this insert enough especially if you plan to grow your collection as you can get extra dividers to separate your cards as much as you need and should you outgrow Marvel Champions insert, another is only a click away.
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