Dead of Winter The Long Night Insert from The Broken Token is a very long title and an opening sentence that establishes what I am about to tell you…. about.
The Long Night is an expansion and standalone game for Dead of Winter and it has a lot of “stuff” in the box for you to organise. Honestly, I had been playing the game for a few weeks before an insert arrived and I have to tell you, I hated to set up and when it came time to pack up and break the game down, something I usually insist on doing alone because no one looks after my games as well as I do, I was glad of the help.
I wanted to play The Long Night but I found I had to force myself to grab it when Dead of Winter and its excellent insert were sat right next to it.
Thankfully The Broken Token came to my rescue with The Long Night Insert and all my prayers were answered, sort of.
The Broken Token make high quality, real wood, useful and usable inserts. This is clear from the moment you open the wrap on the packet of the Long Night Insert.
The wood is so clean and smells so faintly of burning you could, if you were so inclined, believe that this insert had been cut with a CNC bit and not a laser.
There is no burning or scorching on the etchings and the pieces pop out of the sheets cleanly with a few twists.
Having put many inserts together I am confident that my approach works for me. I take my time, I dry fit everything before committing to glue and I check twice that I have the correct part.
The instructions for the Long Night Insert are fantastic with a plan of the separate sheets that the parts are on plus a guide showing which pieces go where. Build one component at a time, take only the parts you need from the sheet and follow the instructions in order and you will have no issues when it comes to putting the insert together.
Firm pressure should be enough to insert the parts however, The Broken Token suggest a small rubber or soft mallet might be required to get a snug fit. I prefer to use a hammer fist as it’s softer and I can feel when something is moving.
Once you have confirmed a part is in the right place you can go ahead and use a tiny amount of wood glue, wipe any squeeze out immediately and then either clamp or in this case, set the part aside as the fit is so good you will not need clamps or bands until the glue has fully dried.
To put everything together took approximately 45 minutes to an hour but, I am an expert, self-proclaimed maybe, but this would be my 15th insert construction so I felt justified to proclaim it, which means your mileage may vary.
In truth, this was the final Broken Token insert I had built that day so having put three together in a row previously I was in a good flow with the instructions.
The first thing that you notice about the Long Night Insert is the cohesion of everything. The way the compartments seamlessly fit together, the little handles on the Zombie trays that slot together and the fit of the compartments exactly in the box so that the location boards and player cards fit perfectly in line with the Standee and Raxxon trays and then this, in turn, means the board and manual naturally fit into the top.
There is, however, a very small amount of lid lift but this does not impede storage in any way. This was a well-planned design and it’s only after that you realise there are little flourishes, small details that stand apart from other inserts. The whole package is neat and flawless.
Does it work?
Surprisingly there is an issue with the Long Night Insert, it’s a minor issue but an issue non the less. The Raxxon zombie standees don’t sit flat without a lot of jiggling and adjusting, the same is true for the survivors.
The reason is that you are supposed to remove some of the bases before putting the game away. Why would anyone do this? That would make set up longer the next time and after several plays, I am sure you would begin to see issues with your standees deforming or the bases breaking.
It’s a very first world issue but I found myself putting the larger standees into the card divider with the Crossroad cards. It’s not ideal because I want to be able to clear up quickly and not spend 3 minutes adjusting the standees so they fit flush. On top of that, I definitely don’t want to be removing the bases each time I play.
Long Night Insert during play
That one niggle out of the way the rest of the function is flawless. When playing, set up is a breeze, I have never placed all of the standees on the table and am happy to dig through a container for survivors so when using the Long Night Insert I keep the compartments on the table.
The Long Night suffers from “table spread” so the fact I can keep things handy and neat is a win, win for me and this insert is the perfect example of how to do this.
Break down is as easy as set up but can never be quick with a game like Dead of Winter. The Long Night Insert does a great job of speeding this process up and by only taking out the needed components you have an advantage but there are times when the game can get out of hand.
This is when that little niggle rears its head and instead of being able to quickly put the standees back, you have to be mindful of the fit.
I have recently reviewed TowerRexs’ Mysterium insert which I think is a shining example of design features that compliment the title. I would not say that The Long Night Insert is in the same league in terms of design features but there is something special about the clean look, the feel of the wood that really gives The Broken Token an edge in the table presence department.
There are two, good size token trays that have 6 small compartments and one long compartment at one end. Then there are two trays, one for Survivors and another for the Experiments (Raxxon Standees). They have a cool text etching in the bottom of each tray and a small handle on one side that locks into the other when putting away.
There is also an upgraded first player token in the form of a knife in a base, pictured on the right.
There are also two deep compartments for the Bandits and regular Zombies leaving me to tell you about the card tray.
It is almost perfect. Etchings on one side make it look cool, acrylic dividers let you can see the cards clearly and keep them separated.
The Long Night Insert has its final issue here. The card tray has no bottom meaning you are supposed to play from the box. I don’t want to do this, I want to put the box away and have the entire, beautiful insert on the table for everyone to see.
I would accept this system for storage if there was separate storage for the crossroad, survivor and exiled survivor cards so they can be brought to the table. It would be a great fit too because the Card divider could be made smaller and three trays that would have to stack could be added to the space created.
The Long Night Insert is, quite simply, exceptional. I have a few minor gripes but on balance, this is an incredible insert that will not only add some organisation to a game that can get out of hand quickly but it will protect your game even if it gets dropped by a child that won’t listen and clearly knows more than you.
The look of the wood, the cleanliness of the cuts, the mix of acrylic juxtaposed to the dark edges of the plywood and the overall workmanship of The Broken Token makes this one of the most attractive inserts you can get for any game let alone The Long Night.
I am a big fan of The Broken Token, I like what they do, I love how they do it and I want to keep using their inserts because they look so good on a table.
You may be wondering why there are not too many pictures of us playing the game using this insert. I would too, after all, it’s excellent.
Well, a picture tells a thousand words so here are 3,000 reasons to shout at everyone.
The lessons are clear.
Children, when your Dad says no, he means no.
Partners, it’s not just a game and we are not overreacting,
I’s of the world, NEVER trust anyone with your stuff, especially the kids and wives/husbands because they won’t understand just how frustrating this is.
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