Another storage question

Fred Campbell

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I have my core modules organized and stored by nationality. I recently bought Festung Budapest and only now realize just how many additional Russian and German counters it contains.

Is it better (1) to split up HASL modules by mixing their counters into core nationality storage or (2) keep HASL counters in a separate storage box?
 

von Marwitz

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Basically, it is better to mix HASL module counters with the core nationality counters.

Otherwise, you will eventually be burdened with too many duplicates of storage systems for too many HASLs. They usually also contain some (more) of the standard units and vehicles. Furthermore, there may be a few scenarios you play that require more units of a given type than are part of the core module countermix (if so, this usually means certain vehicles). Or some scenarios require counters that were published in HASLs (for example German 447 SS Squads).

My advice would be the following:

When you organize your counter storage, really think long term. Keep in mind which counters you might need for 'regular' scenarios in the future after you have been able to aquire the HASLs they come with and leave the respective slots in your storage system empty for now but do incorporate the types into your system. That way you will be able to avoid most reorganizing of your storage solution when your collection of counters grows over the years. This will save you a lot of work - and not unlikely money, too, as typically players start with an 'imperfect' storage solution that they totally redo/relabel after a couple of years including buying new storage containers.

What I would aim at is going for a storage solution that can hold basically a 'double OoB'. This would mean for example 52 squads of a given type. For AFV/Guns you have to look: Sometimes you get 6, 4, 3 or 2 in a Core module. In my set, I tried to accumulate them up to 6 per type with going up to 12 for some few very common ones (for example German 251/1 half-tracks or some variants of the Pz IV or Sherman or T-34). The counter for this, I took from the core modules I have, SKs or HASLs. That should allow you to cover all but the very largest Campaign Games.

Furthermore, I have taken to the habit not even to punch any counters of which I have already reached the 'limit' for my set. In case I really want to play a certain CG that require counters that don't have punched yet, I can still do it then.

For my storage, I use RAACO. If you should be interested in details that not only pertain to RAACO storage but how to tackle it in general, see this link:
http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?resources/the-ultimate-raaco-storage.16/

Another great site for inspiration for various storage solutions (RAACO, Plano, and others) can be found in the download-section of the Texas ASL Club website:
http://www.texas-asl.com/download/download.htm


von Marwitz
 

Fred Campbell

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Basically, it is better to mix HASL module counters with the core nationality counters.

Otherwise, you will eventually be burdened with too many duplicates of storage systems for too many HASLs. They usually also contain some (more) of the standard units and vehicles. Furthermore, there may be a few scenarios you play that require more units of a given type than are part of the core module countermix (if so, this usually means certain vehicles). Or some scenarios require counters that were published in HASLs (for example German 447 SS Squads).

My advice would be the following:

When you organize your counter storage, really think long term. Keep in mind which counters you might need for 'regular' scenarios in the future after you have been able to aquire the HASLs they come with and leave the respective slots in your storage system empty for now but do incorporate the types into your system. That way you will be able to avoid most reorganizing of your storage solution when your collection of counters grows over the years. This will save you a lot of work - and not unlikely money, too, as typically players start with an 'imperfect' storage solution that they totally redo/relabel after a couple of years including buying new storage containers.

What I would aim at is going for a storage solution that can hold basically a 'double OoB'. This would mean for example 52 squads of a given type. For AFV/Guns you have to look: Sometimes you get 6, 4, 3 or 2 in a Core module. In my set, I tried to accumulate them up to 6 per type with going up to 12 for some few very common ones (for example German 251/1 half-tracks or some variants of the Pz IV or Sherman or T-34). The counter for this, I took from the core modules I have, SKs or HASLs. That should allow you to cover all but the very largest Campaign Games.

Furthermore, I have taken to the habit not even to punch any counters of which I have already reached the 'limit' for my set. In case I really want to play a certain CG that require counters that don't have punched yet, I can still do it then.

For my storage, I use RAACO. If you should be interested in details that not only pertain to RAACO storage but how to tackle it in general, see this link:
http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?resources/the-ultimate-raaco-storage.16/

Another great site for inspiration for various storage solutions (RAACO, Plano, and others) can be found in the download-section of the Texas ASL Club website:
http://www.texas-asl.com/download/download.htm


von Marwitz
Thanks for taking the time to provide such a complete response. As a noob with too much money and too little experience, I have the dilemma of trying to figure out how to deal with a enormous amount of counters without sufficient knowledge of how they will ultimately be used. In this circumstances, your advice is invaluable.
 

von Marwitz

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For years I avoided to reorganize my counters when the original system and storage boxes could not handle anymore what I had. When I set about to switch to RAACO, it took me enormous time to work out 'my' personal perfect solution. Then I also realized that there is not 'the one' perfect solution but it really depends on one's preferences and needs. In the article (21 pages IIRC) to which I have provided a link, I have collected everything which I would have liked to know before going through the ordeal of reorganization. I completely underestimated how much time it required, so I thought I might at least save some time for others. The Texas ASL Club webpage also holds an Exel-file with labels for the counters of all core modules suited for RAACO storage. This can be adapted/extended for one's own needs.

von Marwitz
 

Paul M. Weir

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I'm fairly much in vM's camp on this with a few wrinkles.

First the question of 'official' AH/MMP counters vs the various TPP ones (BFP, LFT, etc). I keep my TTP ones separate for a couple of reasons. The TPP artwork can be different, so a touch of my OCD but mainly because those counters will usually only be used with TPP scenarios. So if I'm playing a MMP or SP scenario I won't need BFP counters. However within a TPP I organise like I do for AH/MMP counters.

Though a years delay after it came out in getting SL, I got ASL right from the start. A fair few years later I decided to get duplicates. I was unhappy with the 6 vehicle, 4 gun limit (I like DYO what-if or scenario hints from my latest book read), had a good paying job and AH was sliding down the tubes. So a touch of panic buying combined with a few some fortuitous half price closing down sales meant I ended with 4 BVs and WoA, 3 CdG, etc. I like to be able to put up a battalion of tanks with along with similar or more of infantry and the appropriate number of guns/mortars/SW for DYO.

My storage method uses trays of match box (MB) inner trays glued by their sides in 4x4 arrays. 2 such arrays fit nicely in the bottom (total of 32 MB per layer) of an old BV box which can take 4 such layers. I could fit 78 1/2" counters or 54-60 5/8" (depending upon counter thickness) in a MB. So quite high packing density, pretty close to the theoretical. That has the advantage in that it's hard for the counters to move around.

So within that framework, what did I do?

First, I don't distinguish between core and HASL counters. They are all MMP or AH. I keep nearly all my 5/8" in my live set, some duplicate (semi) system type (ACQ, "?", fortifications) have not been punched out, a hundred odd Trench counters should be enough. But having 20-30 of a particular tank version IS what I want available, for my DYO or the occasional limit breaking scenario. To date I limit myself to 2 or 3 MB of a single MMC type, IE 156 or 234, the rest remain unpunched. I, so far, only keep one each SMC for most nationalities, I found that was way more than enough without duplicating the "named" SMC.

While originally the exclusive HASL vehicles (like that came with PB) might have tempted me to keep them separate, they have now appeared in the revamped cores. EG some appeared in AoO, HP and a few in Yanks v2. So now they are no longer HASL exclusive. The SMC/MMC/SW are usually identical other than ID, so no point.

Some here keep a "travel set", a cut down part of their full set. As a solo ASL tinkerer I don't travel, thus no need for a travel set. If I was to do that it might just consist of counters from 1 each of my BV, WoA, etc. As it stands I am facing a reorganise due to recent purchases and I am thinking of replacing some of my older worn early AH counters of which many 1/2" were not square, a few quite badly cut.

So! Keep the same unit type together, it makes playing monster scenarios or CGs easier. A CG takes up enough time without rooting in the attic for extras. If like me you use a rigid array (no moving of sub-containers, only moving the counters), then leave some gaps for when you get a new module. Eg I used to put my German 5/8" starting immediately after my German 1/2", I now intend to start my German 5/8" in a new 4x4 MB array/tray leaving an incomplete tray of German 1/2". That means if I have to add more German 1/2" I fill out the last German 1/2" slots and if needed just add a new array. I won't have to move all my 5/8" counters.

When your collection approaches Olli's collection size then sheer weight might be a problem but my in judgement even two of everything is quite manageable with a sufficiently dense storage system.
 
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