The TowerRex Long Night Insert for Dead of Winter The Long Night is another incredibly well thought out insert from TowerRex.
As with other TowerRex inserts, it is made from MDF which is not a material I like however, it is functional and reliable as a material so it’s understandable why TowerRex choose to use it.
Something I appreciate about TowerRex is their ability to make their inserts look good as well as work for gameplay but here function has taken over from form and it’s a shame because there would have been an opportunity to go quite theme heavy with this one.
As with all TowerRex products the instructions are fabulous and easy to follow. The components pop cleanly from the sheets and they are so well engineered that they fit together and stay together while dry fitting. I always do this before building any insert to make sure I am not making any mistakes, with a little glue the pieces will be secure.
I may have stated this before but I will say it again in case this is the only review you read. You do not need to use a lot of glue, put a little on each part you have confirmed are the correct parts and once you put them together clean up any squeeze out while the glue is wet.
This will give you the cleanest finished look but more importantly, do not populate the insert until the glue is fully dry.
TowerRex Long Night Insert Design
The way an insert looks is not important, to some people, to me, it’s everything. I want the insert to store my components but more importantly, I want the insert to function as an extension of the game whilst on the table.
I think the TowerRex Long Night Insert does work well for gameplay with a few caveats which I will get to in a moment but where this insert, especially when compared to other TowerRex inserts has not made the most of the theme.
There are very, neat etchings to show what should go where for storage, there are names etched on the standee storage for the Survivors, Bandits, Experiments and Zombies, some barbed wire etched on a couple of the trays and also named dividers for the cards but this is the sum total of etchings. Given that TowerRex did such a good job with their Mysterium insert it feels like a missed opportunity for horrific cutouts and extra details.
Back to those caveats. Firstly, I will come back to the design again, this is a boring looking insert, there is nothing about it that says Zombies or Dead of Winter or even fun. I was hoping for something special because I have seen what TowerRex can do with designs to make something so thematic that it becomes as important to have on the table as the game itself.
Table space is at a premium with a game that sprawls as much as Dead of Winter The Long Night, there is certainly not enough space on my dining room table to accommodate the base of the box along with everything else that “needs” to be there to have me play the cards from the box.
The card divider therefore should have a base. If it was to be used whilst playing it should be able to be separated from the box and placed on the table. Even now I still take the cards and place them where I would as I do not have the space to have the base of the box on the table along with everything else.
Those two negatives are out of the way and we can move on, so, what are we left with? Well, firstly you have a storage system that will store your game, perfectly, so well that you can stand your game on edge and nothing will move or mix up inside the box.
There are 4 separate compartments in a large standee tray which covers almost one half of the box. This is excellent and will mean your, Survivors, Bandits, Experiments and Zombies can all be stored without poking above the rest of the components. There is also plenty of space in each compartment so you don’t need to spend an age fiddling with the standees to get them to lay flat enough to place the boards on top.
Then you have the etched token and dice trays. There are two and they are long and thin. This is great for play because it will mean you can have them centrally placed and they will not get in the way of the location boards.
Next is the card divider. Apart from having no bottom, this is brilliant because there are dividers with card names clearly etched onto them. It makes finding where to place and pull cards from for setting up and breaking down.
Set up and Break Down are both easy because you can simply take the standee tray and place it on the table, take the token and dice trays and place them between location boards. We take the cards from the divider and place them on the table as we did before but if you had more room you could easily use the cards from the divider in the box.
Break down is again very easy, mainly because you don’t have to finagle the standees into their respective compartments and equally others can help because every compartment is etched with what goes in it.
The good about the TowerRex Long Night Insert far outweighs the bad. The bad is mainly my personal preference and we are going to paint out insert black, stencil zombie things on the side and paint the recessed etchings blood red, we think it will look great on the table like this and is a great way to make the insert truly yours.
The TowerRex Long Night Insert is not the game, it should not get in the way of you playing the game, it should help and that is something it does well. Clearly, it isn’t an issue as I forgot to take pictures the last time we played so it must do the job of being the grey man, blending into the background and letting you play the game.
The thing about the TowerRex Long Night Insert is that it works. It works for storing your expensive game without it getting damaged and it works when you want to play the game. What else can you ask an insert to do?
I wish it was another outstanding design from TowerRex but I cannot find fault with its function other than the aforementioned card divider having no base.
TowerRex is an impressive company that plan their inserts very well. Gamers who use their products anticipated what I wanted and provided it.
There are other options when it comes to the Long Night Inserts but for cost, function and storage the TowerRex Long Night Insert has to be one of your considerations.