The Laserox Nemesis insert is, and I don’t mean to overegg the pudding, one of the best looking inserts I have ever seen ever in my entire life ever!
OK, so it’s just a thing that holds the components of the Nemesis base game but bloody hell, will you look at the images?
Let me start this review where I like to start all insert reviews and talk a little about the passion that must have gone into designing this insert. Laserox appears to specialise in making inserts that stay on theme and look incredible and their Nemesis insert, which they call Alien Artifact, has to be their crowning achievement.
I was sent this insert to review but if you have read my reviews you know that I will say what I think regardless. My obligations are to you, and you alone.
Let’s start by looking at the package and how it went together. Firstly, as with most inserts, the package comes wrapped in cellophane and as soon as you take the sheets from the wrapping you can feel and see the quality of the birch plywood used to construct the insert.
The wood is clean and there are very few scorch marks from the laser cutting. I found the wood to be quite “splintery” (is that a word?) however, so use caution when first handling the sheets and have some sandpaper handy.
The components are held securely and no parts fell from the sheets but I did find that there were often times that the wood split or splintered as I was removing parts from the sheets. This could be related to the issue with the splinters, perhaps the wood has been dried for too long or not enough glue had been applied between the ply, I have no idea but once you have the sheets removed you can deal with this easily and there was no warping which was great to see and meant everything went together as it should.
The trick here is to take your time and ensure the parts are ready to pop out before trying to release them. A good few twists may be needed but I wouldn’t say the wood was any more brittle than other inserts, instead, I think the tabs are just a little larger.
The instruction sheet is reasonably small for such an intricate insert but I had no issues finding the parts I needed and I found the instructions simple to follow. That said I have put together an awful lot of inserts and would rank this as on the harder side but if you take your time, you will have few, if any problems.
I did not specifically see it mentioned in the Nemesis Insert manual so it is worth mentioning here that the holders for the Military, Medical and Technical cards do not have their front parts glued in position, instead, during play they are taken out and used underneath to make the cards easier to draw.
During the dry fit nearly every part was slotted into its location perfectly and after a little sand to remove the burr left by the tab I used a very small amount of glue to permanently adhere each piece.
Alien Artifact Well Designed?
Once complete I added the foam to the figure holders. This is an excellent idea and it’s such a simple thing. The foam fits the bases perfectly, you need to add each hero character coloured base cap for them to fit, but it means that when storing the game on its side your characters do not move around. They are held so well in the Nemesis insert you can invert the figure trays and no character falls out.
This is the best solution to figure storage. Your figures are protected from scrapes on the base and they have a wooden box around them to protect the sides. It is the best of foam and wood combined and I love this Nemesis insert.
The figure trays then lock onto each other giving the whole ensemble stability that would otherwise be lacking. It’s a small thing but makes setting up and playing far easier.
Cards are held in an extremely well-designed cardholder that is not only labelled but has inserts to hold the smaller character cards. This is one of the most impressive cardholders on the market not only for the way it looks but the way it functions in play. You can find what you are looking for when you are looking for it which is so important when playing a game like Nemesis.
Nemesis is all about immersion and the horror of betrayal, being pulled out for 10 minutes to reorganise the cards because you bopped the table is something that happens regularly and anything that stops this is a good idea as far as I am concerned.
There are separate holders for the Red Military, Yellow Technical and Green Medical cards that can be brought to the table for play. They are interlocking when stacked and on top of these sits a separate cardholder with three locations for the Intruder Weakness, Crafted and Location Cards.
The token trays, there are two, are large enough to hold all the tokens and fit nicely on the table on opposing corners of the board.
The room tiles are held in a tray with two compartments and there is plenty of room for them to sit comfortably, which leaves the player boards. These are nestled between the largest Intruder container and the wall of the game box.
In all the Nemesis insert is a very well thought out solution and whilst there is a lid lift it is only around 1cm.
Nemesis Insert During play
During the game, the Laserox Nemesis Insert turns from a storage solution to a game extension. The genius of this design is that almost the entire insert can sit on the table and aid play.
Having tokens and cards organised and ready to use right out of the box changes the set-up entirely and instead of being a busy table hog, the game is neat and orderly.
To be fair, that is a bit of an overreach, Nemesis is a sprawling game so the table will never feel tidy but with the Laserox insert, there is a lot less spread.
I asked my group what they thought before and after using the Nemesis insert game and the funny thing is, when I usually ask people always say they loved the insert and it was just there, out of the way and that is what made it good.
This time, they liked the fact that the design complimented the game and that we could see the miniatures without having them all over the table.
The Laserox Nemesis Insert is certainly not perfect. For example, the character trays are a little narrow for some of the Intruder figures as their appendages can be in contact with the box walls. I have not painted Nemesis yet but I do intend to. I will buy some foam to glue against the walls before doing this because that could scrape paint from the figures.
The Nemesis insert is also a difficult insert to put together. If this is your first time doing so all I can say is take your time. Whilst the parts fit together very well this can be a bad thing if you made an error. Some parts are slender and if you were to have to extract them because of an error I could see parts snapping.
I could also see some people having an issue with the instructions. I felt they were very good but have put so many together I can almost see the 3D shapes from the flat parts so I do wonder if they could be clearer.
That said, those are the negatives and they are very minor, this Nemesis insert is an impressive product.
Laserox is now a company I have experience working with, the quality of the insert puts them on par with the best in the industry. The cleanliness of the wood, the details in the design, it was as if The Broken Token and TowerRex had a baby and that baby was Laserox.
I am blown away by the Nemesis insert, I was sent two others so will be reviewing them too and based on this experience I have very high expectations. Our dining room table is almost too small to handle Nemesis but we still played. Now with the Nemesis insert on the table, it feels like we have to make fewer concessions for space and the entire experience is more comfortable. I do not know how we ever played Nemesis before the insert arrived.
When you spend £100+ on a board game, storage is a concern, usability is a concern and I think The Laserox Alien Artifact Insert for Nemesis ticks just about every box you would want to be ticked.
Store the game securely? Tick
Save time on set up and break down? Tick
Stay on theme and look good on the table? Tick
You can purchase this Nemesis insert by clicking the banner below. There are many other inserts available and I would recommend Laserox with no hesitation. I have been using the term Nemesis insert but searching the site you will need to look for the Alien Artifact insert.