Raaco- what system storage do you use?

Paul_RS

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Just bought a couple of Raaco boxes, standard set up from Tradesystems UK. What system do you guys use for storing counters in the Raaco trays?

Cheers

Paul
 

von Marwitz

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Hehe... Looky here:


See here for a proof-of-concept for the RAACO insert labels (as PDF):


Those labels are available in an editable and thus customizable for your needs Excel spreadsheet in the Download Section of Texas ASL Club:


Note, that this storage system does not include the counters of the latest Korea core module. I am tending to keep these separate, as it is post WW2.

von Marwitz
 

lluis61

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Von Marwitz is not only a Forum Guru, but a specialist in RAACO storaging counters. His labels have been invaluable to me in getting a systematic and rational storage of my counters; and I began not with unpunched ones, but with a bundle of mixed counters classified only by nationality. His labels were like a map of "the exit of labyrinth is this"
 

HansK

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Where's Olli? We're talking RAACO here... ;)
 

rreinesch

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Hehe... Looky here:


See here for a proof-of-concept for the RAACO insert labels (as PDF):


Those labels are available in an editable and thus customizable for your needs Excel spreadsheet in the Download Section of Texas ASL Club:


Note, that this storage system does not include the counters of the latest Korea core module. I am tending to keep these separate, as it is post WW2.

von Marwitz
If you have a KWASL set of RAACO countersheet labels, I'll take'em for the Texas download.
 

von Marwitz

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If you have a KWASL set of RAACO countersheet labels, I'll take'em for the Texas download.
I have none yet, as I have not entirely made up my mind whether to 'integrate' them to the existing set - which might prove technically difficult or to 'separate' them as they are 'post WW2' and to avoid the aforementioned difficulties.

But whenever I create a set of labels for KWASL, I'll gladly provide them to Texas ASL Club's download section.

von Marwitz
 

robh91

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von Marwitz
Outstanding work! Also thanks for your contribution towards the ASL sticky errata (I saw your name a few times as the author).
I am using "Planos" but am contemplating using RAACO.

I have a couple of quick questions - they may seem odd - but I have never had a chance to see RAACO in the flesh.
  1. Your 5/8" counters seem to be organised with four different vehicle/gun types per insert. Each of the four types looks to be a separate stack within the insert. With movement, shaking, day to day life etc etc do these "stacks" retain their integrity? Or do they get mixed up so you have to sort through each insert to find the particular counter type you are looking for amongst its three other brethren?
  2. The inserts look deep and narrow. Is it particularly hard to retrieve counters with "clumsy" fingers?
 

jrv

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The inserts look deep and narrow. Is it particularly hard to retrieve counters with "clumsy" fingers?
That's is what a vacuum tweezer is for. You can also use standard tweezers or blue tack on the end of a stick. Or tip the tray over.

JR
 

olli

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von Marwitz
Outstanding work! Also thanks for your contribution towards the ASL sticky errata (I saw your name a few times as the author).
I am using "Planos" but am contemplating using RAACO.

I have a couple of quick questions - they may seem odd - but I have never had a chance to see RAACO in the flesh.
  1. Your 5/8" counters seem to be organised with four different vehicle/gun types per insert. Each of the four types looks to be a separate stack within the insert. With movement, shaking, day to day life etc etc do these "stacks" retain their integrity? Or do they get mixed up so you have to sort through each insert to find the particular counter type you are looking for amongst its three other brethren?
  2. The inserts look deep and narrow. Is it particularly hard to retrieve counters with "clumsy" fingers?
Just bought a couple of Raaco boxes, standard set up from Tradesystems UK. What system do you guys use for storing counters in the Raaco trays?

Cheers

Paul
Paul I would use the A-78’s for all the 1/2” Nationality counters Full squads in one 1/2 Squads in another below the first. And A-75 trays for the 5/8 counters and stack the vehicles, guns ,boats and planes vertically with dividers separating each type in Ch H order , the dividers are available as a download on the Texas ASL site. There are several types including my own, which have the rule number and name of each type on them in National colours .
 

olli

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Also a good place to look for a good storage system using RAACO is the Swedish ASL site, probably one of the oldest ways out there.
 

olli

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Did your system come with the standard inserts or did you get the 75/78’s in them? If the standard the cheapest place to get the inserts is from CPC Farnell in the UK
 

von Marwitz

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von Marwitz
Outstanding work! Also thanks for your contribution towards the ASL sticky errata (I saw your name a few times as the author).
I am afraid that the laurels for ASL sticky errata do not belong to me, as I have not contributed to these as far as I know. I think someone might have got me confused with Klas Malmström, who is "the" Guru of Errata and Q&A - his forum avatar resembles mine.

I am using "Planos" but am contemplating using RAACO.
Whatever you do, plan accordingly to make any change of system your "final" one. It is s ton of work.

I have a couple of quick questions - they may seem odd - but I have never had a chance to see RAACO in the flesh.
  1. Your 5/8" counters seem to be organised with four different vehicle/gun types per insert. Each of the four types looks to be a separate stack within the insert. With movement, shaking, day to day life etc etc do these "stacks" retain their integrity? Or do they get mixed up so you have to sort through each insert to find the particular counter type you are looking for amongst its three other brethren?
Actually, for the large majority of cases, the 5/8" counters are stacks of 6. The reasoning behind this is that the "standard" set of a vehicle type is 6 (A through F). However, of some vehicles or guns, there are less of a type: four, three or merely two.

My set and storage solution is based on a double Order of Battle as to allow the playing of major scenarios or CGs. But that does not mean that I always include the complete double OoB for all units:

In a A75 RAACO insert, you can fit 5 stacks of 1/2" counters or 4 stacks of 5/8" counters next to each other per 'row'. It makes sense to use up that space, because otherwise, your counters might more easily shift. In my experience, it makes sense to use 5 stacks of 10x 1/2" counters per 'row' or 4 stacks of 6x 5/8" counters per 'row'.

While the 1/2" counters shift more easily, it is usually of no matter because the ID-letters of an infantry squad is rarely of consequence and you only have 1 counter type per row. For SW, leaders, etc. I'd recommend using A78 counters with more compartments. For Vehicles and Guns you will have more than 1 counter-type per 'row', namely 4 different types of vehicle for example. In this case, it is more important to prevent counters from shifting.

For that very reason, I always try to create stacks of 6. This will prevent most lateral shifting and goes a long way in keeping the integrity of each stack/vehicle type. But what to do, if you only have 2 vehicles of some obscure type and not 6? In this case, I have used 2 extra vehicles of the same type of the second OoB to raise the stack to 4 counters. The last two counters missing are added in the form of excess 5/8" Concealment counters or excess "neighboring" vehicles. The best counters always go on top. Double OoB counters beneath and "other" counters at the bottom of the stack of 6. This way, everything looks nice and shifts very little if you decently handle your Assorters or Handy Boxes. And, needless to say, the Vehicles & Guns in each stack are sorted by ID-letter, which might come in handy with regard to Acquisition counters.

For some very common vehicle types (for example T-34 M43 or PzIVG), I use two stacks of 6 of this particular type, which I can pull from a double OoB. This way, you can play even large scenarios or CGs which requires a "horde" of this particular type. I would not use two stacks of 6 Kettenkrads each, because you'll never encounter that number. These measures allow you confine all of your stuff into 3 Handy Boxes of 4 Assorters each. And you can prevent "Nationality overlap", i.e. that one insert, that always seems to exceed the capacity of your Assorter while you don't want to split your Britisch OoB to two.

In the case of Guns or especially minor Nationalities, you often have numerous differerent Guns and Vehicle types, but often do not reach a stack of 6 even with a double OoB. For these cases, the A78 inserts might be preferrable over the A75 type, because you will only have two or three 5/8" stacks per compartment which cuts down on the potential of counter shifting among different types. And it is also easier to fill some of the smaller compartments with stacks of 2, 3 or 4 counters each. The smaller A78 compartments allow you more easily to match up stacks of the same height and still retain a higher-level system of putting certain categories of weapons in generally the same order: First MTRs by increasing caliber, then ATGs, AA Guns, etc. I am struggling a bit to convey this concept in English a bit. In any case, the storage solution presented is designed to reconcile several systems of order at the same time: Some order I try to adhere to for all nationalities, for example the system in which squad-types and half squads are ordered, the way SW are ordered, etc. As a consequence, you will generally 'know' where to look for a HMG in any nationality. The same for Gun types & calibers or vehicle types. The Guns, for example, are ordered by category (MTR, ATG) and within each category by caliber. For vehicles, you will find Trucks, ht's, Fully tracked turreted vehicles, Fully tracked non-turreted vehicles etc. as "categories". Within each category, the sub-sorting system might be by Gun caliber, by type (for example all Sherman variants) or some other sensible scheme. At the same time some care is taken that, for example SW or leaders are never stored together in the same insert as full squads or HS, Guns not together with vehicles, etc. It is important to note, that it is impossible to always fully adhere to these principles. Yet each set of 16 A75 or A78 inserts per Assorter is carefully thought out and the several layers of order within quite intricate. The benefit of this is that you can pretty easily find any unit you want without resorting to any index.

As you see, rather tremendous thought, testing and meddling has gone into my system. As a result, it is excellent (IMHO, that is...), but it is not very flexible to later change. For example, it would be a true PITA to attempt to include the Korea Core Module into this system. Especially the Americans with their Marines are quite difficult to fit into 16 inserts and thus to limit them into a single Assorter. The extra Korea-stuff for the US might just be those few additional vehicle types, that you can't fit in without screwing the whole thing up. Which, in this case, is not that bad, as I personally intend to keep KWASL separate as it is not WW2 and all other MMP/AH Core Modules are covered.

Also note, that my system does not include any TPP counters but it does include a few special vehicles that were included in MMP HASLs.

1. The inserts look deep and narrow. Is it particularly hard to retrieve counters with "clumsy" fingers?
I would advise using tweezers to retreive and put back counters in general. To make this easier, the 'newer' counters of re-released Core Modules are much better if you want to retrieve a whole stack - say 10x 7-4-7 squads with one tweezer-grip, because they are usually much more precisely die-cut than those of, say, the original "Yanks" module, in which many counters were anything but square.


In general, you can say that it make a LOT of sense to very carefully think about the system in which you want to order your counters before you set off. That 20 page article in the download-section of this forum on RAACO storage elaborates on that. Despite this being a lot of work before you even start, it WILL save you a lot of time later when you will inevitably run into trouble if you don't have the complete thing thought out beforehand.

The very first thing you need to to is to come to terms what you preferences are with regard to storing your stuff (regardless of using RAACO, PLANO or whatever): Are you the "visual" type? I am, thus counters are stored in a way that I can identify them by looking at the stuff. Do you want to optimize space? Then probably you need to use paper-flags with Gun- & Vehicle types and store your counters upright but can do with only two Handy Cases instead of three. Are you the "index"-type? If you prefer finding your counters per index, then you do not need to put that much thought on other layers of your ordering-system. The drawback is, that you will first have to search your index on where to find your counter and then your box. In my system, you only need to search your box and can do without index. Do you want to include TPP counters and shall these be mixed with MMP "standard"-counters or not? Do you want to rather easily be able to adjust your system AFTER you are finished sorting out your original configuration? In that case, you should leave some empty space and some still free inserts in your configuration to be filled later.

The aforementioned questions are the really, really important ones that you are very well advised to figure out before you start off. Reconfiguring your storage system, labelling and sorting in all your stuff is not really fun. And it is even worse if you find out half along the way, that your idea will not work out. So better to spend a good deal of time for planning beforehand. It will save you time in the end.

Cheers,
von Marwitz
 

Sparafucil3

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If you really want to go all in, I believe it was Steve Dennis who made drawings for printable Raaco trays. He had designs for storing them flat in stacks, he has half-height trays, and other unique designs. I know Stan Jackson used those designs to get some printed. Not cheap, for sure, but hella cool in implementation. Go big, or go home ;) -- jim
 

von Marwitz

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If you really want to go all in, I believe it was Steve Dennis who made drawings for printable Raaco trays. He had designs for storing them flat in stacks, he has half-height trays, and other unique designs. I know Stan Jackson used those designs to get some printed. Not cheap, for sure, but hella cool in implementation. Go big, or go home ;) -- jim
I remember these. Probably the pictures he posted here got lost two forum-updates ago.
Indeed, his 3D-printable RAACO compatible inserts will prevent any shifting of counters - and he has left gaps, so that the stacks can be grabbed with tweezers.

The only 'drawback' of his inserts is that you cannot affix any labels to his inserts. Not that it were particularly necessary, as his means of storage would be of the 'ordrer by visibility'-type. Yet this might be a detail which could be improved for those with decreasing eyesight.

von Marwitz
 

Philippe D.

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There was actually another drawback to Steve's design: because of the way you do 3D-printing, he could not add a small "dot" below the insert, that would help keep stacked inserts from moving laterally. You can add them by gluing some, but it's hard to include them in the printing.

Other than that, his design was great, if you have access to a 3D printer. He managed to include 6 rows of 4 stacks into a single insert, where even the Raaco A75 (is that the one) only gives you 5 rows.

(Not enough to make me take the step and buy the printer, though)
 

Den589

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Steve is on vacation, but I'm his brother. These are a sample of some of his 3D printed Raaco inserts. This is my American box (top layer), the vehicles are underneath inside inserts like the other picture. Any files on how to print them he would, I'm sure be willing to provide when he gets back.


75397540
 

Den589

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And he's solved the issue of not having feet on the inserts to prevent lateral movement, a new 3d printer that he has access to is now capable of printing them on the inserts directly eliminating the need to glue them on after the fact.
 

von Marwitz

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And he's solved the issue of not having feet on the inserts to prevent lateral movement, a new 3d printer that he has access to is now capable of printing them on the inserts directly eliminating the need to glue them on after the fact.
Do you have any rough idea how much the effective cost of one of those inserts might be?
Most of us don't have a 3D printer, but who knows how much it would cost to have them printed by some service company if the file would be provided.

von Marwitz
 
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