Thursday, July 3, 2008

A word on logistics

"Armchair generals talk tactics. Real generals talk logistics"

The logistics I'm talking about here are the storage and transport miniature armies. It does no good to have a large collection of figures, rules, and terrain if I can't get it to the players who want to play the game ! What I've found out (from others as well as trial and error- emphasis on the "error") is described below.

I finished rebasing the Romans and most of the Carthaginians on individual metal flocked bases. Here is a picture of 3 of the 5 trays I had done. Needless to say, it is a lot of troops (over 700 at last count) and I still have many, many more to go.

After all that work, there is a problem that crops up- where do I put all these figures for storage and transport ?

Ideally, I need a storage medium that is flexible to handle the various size of armies I have, be pretty tough and stackable for transport and storage, and keep the figures from getting banged up.

I use those cheap plastic tackle boxes (these figure fit into 5 of them) with strong 1" magnetic strips glued onto the bottom. I had magnetic strips that had an adhesive on the backside, but some of the boxes I had did not have flat enough trays for the thick strips to take hold (so I had to glue them as well). In the future I will look for trays that have the flatest bottom possible !

Since my figures are on small metal bases they adhere to the magnets quite well. A word of caution- be sure that the base of the figure is lying flat on the magnet. When I fill a box, I shake it gently and see if any figure moves around- that one is not seated properly ! That one figure that is loose can cause damage to others and have a terrible pinball effect on the others in that row. An ugly sight with bent spears, swords, unbased figures all tumbled together......

It turns out that I can fit about 60 per row, or about 200 per box (less if cavalry- they take up about 2.5 times as much space). This means my 1st Roman army takes up 2 boxes, the Carthaginians 3 boxes. They are stackable and not too hard to transport.

All in all I'm pleased with the results. Now I have to repeat this process of basing-> flocking -> storage with my other armies (2nd Roman army, Germanic Barbarians, Asiatic Horde Cavarly and that is not even starting on the medievals). A lot of work still left to do

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