I had the Feldherr Descent Journeys in the Dark foam box organiser a couple of days after I bought Descent. It works really well for protecting my precious painted figures and, for the most part, I was very happy with it.
The issues with the foam insert are, in my opinion, twofold. Firstly the sheer depth and size of the foam mean the box doesn’t come anywhere close to closing and because the foam is, well foam it can deform if too much weight is placed on top. It is very dense and strong but it has its limits.
The second issue and this is the big one, it doesn’t assist in any way when it comes to playing the game, which, after all, is why you bought a game.
So I have my painted minis, they are not painted well by any stretch of the imagination but they are mine and I spent many hours lovingly doing my best to make them look as good as I was capable.
The Feldherr Foam insert excels at protection, your minis are lovingly cradled and cared for and, no matter what I use, if I was to store the game for a long time I would certainly be putting them back in the foam.
However, Descent rarely stays away from my table, I can play solo or with a group and its simple mechanics and thematic campaign really draw me to it. So I started to 3D print things to use when I played, token trays, card holders and figure trays, I would then spend the first 15 minutes of my limited play time decanting everything from the foam to my play ready items and at the end of a session I would reverse the process. Somehow this always took forever and spending 35-40 minutes moving things from one place to another was a waste of time.
I looked online and found only a few companies producing box inserts for Descent. I chose the Feldherr Box organiser because it seemed good value and had what I wanted most, a card organiser and token trays that made sense.
Having first put together the Gloomhaven Box organiser from Smonex I was disappointed by the fact that this insert is not made from wood. It appears to be an MDF or HDF board however, it is machined extremely well and is rigid and strong when put together.
The constructions were completely frustration-free, and it would be hard to put this together incorrectly as there are precise instructions about the orientation of the tabs with labels.
The parts required gluing and only having Gorilla glue which flowed a little too well I managed to block the glue so only a small amount was released. This made putting together the parts far less messy and gave me a much cleaner bond.
The fit of the internal parts was pretty good and may not have needed glue however, I decided to use tape to hold the edges in place at the corners. This was a great idea however, if I was to do that again I would use something less tacky.
The trays fit perfectly in the box but there are a couple of things I think could have been done better and indeed, having since found out about a company called Broken Token I think Feldherr have missed a few important things.
I spent a lot of time painting these figures. I do not want them rammed in a little space together.MinkiSan, living room during lockdown
As you can see from the image above my only gripe about the function of the Feldherr Box Organiser is that there is no place for the larger minis. It is a very well designed insert but I think that these minis should have had a place to be. Broken Token managed to do this and so its frustrating that this is the solution Feldherr chose.
If you don’t paint your minis then this won’t matter to you and is a great solution. Despite this I managed to put them in and found a way to get them to sit without marking them.
The other issue is the card box. I think a more elegant solution would have been non fixed dividers. Perhaps even something in acrylic like the Smonex Gloomhaven Organiser.
This would have allowed for me to separate my cards as I wanted instead of being forced to squeeze them where I had to. The Scout, Mage, Warrior and Healer classes should be separated further and into Berserker, Knight, Thief, Wildlander, Disciple, Spirit Speaker, Runemaster and Necromancer but instead had to be grouped into their main class to fit.
I also think the hero figures should have been stood upright and in fact there is almost enough room to do this in the figure tray as space has been left for Lieutenant packs. This space should have been arranged to hold upright heroes which would have meant the token tray would have been able to accommodate the search and objective tokens so you would have had to have one tray on the table not two.
But, the big question, does it work for gameplay? YES and NO. Damn, another problem is the map tiles. Every map tile fits into the bottom tray. This means all the small tiles, the entrance, exit, connectors and converters are mixed in with the tiles large and small.
Digging through them is not easy and you end up with a table mess again because you are constantly digging through everything to get at what you need.
I think a far better use of the space would have been to separate these smaller tiles into a separate tray so that they were easy to get to and easy to find.
The Feldherr Descent Box organiser is close to getting it right but it just doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of usability and playability.
With a few tweaks it could be perfect. I think I would have accepted a box that was not quite flush when closed for the additional space the changes would have taken up because this would mean a far more functional product for those times you interact with it, which lets face it, is more important than how something is stored.