AAC Game Organization Wisdom Repository
Jonathan F
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This is a Geeklist for all of AAC to use and to contribute to. The idea is to bounce around ideas that people have put into practice for effective counter organization that enables quicker set up times and/or minimizes storage space required (ideally into the game box with no external storage needed but that of course often isn't possible).

I am going to start it off with a few games that I have experimented with through multiple set up and tear down live games which resulted in fine tuning my re-organization. I will include pictures with brief explanation of how and why I chose the scheme that I did and might even label each section if there is time. The idea is that you can also use this when putting games away since often times you end up emptying entire sections of a counter tray for large scenarios and campaigns and then don't remember where it went. If you have ideas about a good way to label GMT style trays, I'm all ears. I've seen people make Plano storage grids and put them on the back side of the hinged lid which is great but Plano's take up a lot more space than GMT trays.
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1. Board Game: Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah [Average Rating:8.57 Overall Rank:5127]
Board Game: Death Valley: Battles for the Shenandoah
Jonathan F
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This one was a beast with 7 counter sheets of Brown Core GMT type. I messed around a bit and found that most counters that would get used between each game (status and SP) should go in bags and leaders, AM's, and units will go into the trays. 1862 scenarios have a lot less units and leaders and so they only take up part of the first tray. I'll upload the bagging system I did when I get to take the cover off my mini pool table and put the ongoing game away.

The bold borders break up the 1862 units from 1864 units and the replacement leaders are for all battles.


Death Valley 1862 counters & some Union '64 ones & Replacement Brigadiers

From gallery of umrmeche


From gallery of umrmeche


Death Valley-Tray #2 (rest of 1864 troops & leaders-open orders markers)
From gallery of umrmeche


Brigade/Division/Corp or Dept
From gallery of umrmeche


Last Items to follow are the labelled bags.
 
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2. Board Game: Longstreet Attacks: The Second Day at Gettysburg [Average Rating:8.54 Overall Rank:5197]
Board Game: Longstreet Attacks: The Second Day at Gettysburg
Jonathan F
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Here goes, the inaugural entry.

I've discovered through multiple set ups that in this game you will usually be pulling out most or all of a brigade at a time whether for starting on the map or if the brigade comes on as a reinforcement. Therefore, except in the case of a few small brigades and where I ran out of open slots, I put each brigade to 1 slot. The brigade activation tracker goes with brigades since they go right off map and don't go in cup and will come out when brigade goes on map 95% of the time. Artillery is separated since they set up independently and are commanded in their own phase.

Each divisional leader and CIC chit gets separated into 1 slot per side (except Union who has a lot more divisions and so Gen replacement chits get their own) because you put these ones into the draw cup. and then you just need the player event chits and game event chits. I ended up with 1 open slot which you could use however you wanted (maybe remove the bag with game event chits and put in there).

I put status markers in bags because in my experience you simply want to dump those into a tin, cup, etc by category.

CSA & partial union-partial divisions, status markers
From gallery of umrmeche


All Union remaining counters-full divisions
From gallery of umrmeche
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3. Board Game: Successors (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:1389]
Board Game: Successors (Third Edition)
Jonathan F
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This game has large 3/4" unit counters so the larger Chessex tray is a really good fit with its fewer compartments but larger size. This all fits into the game box including the living rules print out.

Successors 3rd Ed Counter Tray
From gallery of umrmeche


Successors 3rd Ed - Bags
From gallery of umrmeche

 
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4. Board Game: Thunder in the Ozarks: Battle for Pea Ridge, March 1862 [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:5897]
Board Game: Thunder in the Ozarks: Battle for Pea Ridge, March 1862
Jonathan F
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This one is in the Blind Swords regimental system published by Revolution just like Longstreet Attacks. The game is the same except for cavalry and a few rules differences so I pursued the same tactic as LA and was able to get the entire game into 1 tray plus some bags and it works beautifully.

TITO_Counter Tray Org
From gallery of umrmeche



TITO_Status, Arty, Command Chits Bag Org
From gallery of umrmeche

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5. Board Game: Ukraine '43 [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:2699]
Board Game: Ukraine '43
Mark
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Las Vegas
Nevada
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I like it when games come with set up cards, as that makes counter organization a little easier. Essentially, each row on the set up sheet gets its own compartment in the tray, or splits one.

External image

External image

External image


All of my Simonitch '40-something games are stored like this: combat units in the top 3 rows; record and system markers in the bottom 2 rows. Using Ukraine '43 as an example.
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6. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:1316]
Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe
Mark
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When I go to organize the counters for a game, the puzzle I like to attempt to solve is fitting them all in one tray. Most GMT bookshelf boxes are to thin to fit two counter trays with maps, rulebooks, and player aids and, although I can make an exception with storing CDG cards separately, I much prefer to keep all the counters in one box.

I make much use out of the GMT Counter Tray Dividers - 3 Styles that Blair posted. They are your friend.

Here's what I did for Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe. All of them fit in one tray with the Sortie counters bagged separately. The lid is not 100% secure but it's secure enough for home storage and when I brought it to the con last year, I just put some cotton over some of the less full compartments and taped it shut.

External image


External image


External image


Clear Avery labels on the lids to help you remember what each one is, in case it's been a while in between plays.
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