Friday, April 28, 2017

Mystery Box Friday (Boffin's Beneficial Battle Box)

All right folks, we’re back with another Mystery Box Friday.  If you’ve read the blog, you know we have a great affection for woodwork projects, and today we’re taking a look at Boffin’s Beneficial Battle Box from 3xoterric Designs, a workshop in Davenport, Iowa.  They’ve got an interesting product that’s getting ready to go live on Kickstarter on May 6th, and it’s something that I think the Gaming community has been looking for without realizing it.  Boffin’s Beneficial Battle Box is a fantastic woodcraft project for the gamer who’s looking for something a little different but doesn’t necessarily have the disposable cash to drop more than 100$ on an RPG gaming box.  Let’s take a look at what it provides, what the options for it are, and what they are going to run you.  Then let’s see what we can come up to do with them.  


We have a wooden box with external dimensions measuring 9.5” x 5.7” X 2.4”/  The box has a variety of options for materials which we’ll get into below and has several color options for the felt linings for the internal storage and dice tray.  Within that internal layout you three decently sized storage bins (~ 2.6” x 3.6” x 1.75”), a storage area for pencils and other writing instruments (~8.3” x 1” x 1.75” ) and when the Battle Box is fully opened, it’s got a large tray for rolling your dice (bonus, it’s felt lined and can help muffle the sound of dice rolling).  The dice tray has dimensions of  9” x 5.2” x 1”, which means you can safely roll dice without losing them. This is a handy feature for gamers on the go, and theoretically you could play Dungeons & Dragons or any of your finer role playing games,  in the car with the right group of people and the right supplies.  

In addition to the stock configuration seen above, there are add ons you can get to a little more mileage out of your Battle Box, and you can tailor your Battle Box to your specific needs by adding in these extra components.  

The Dice Brig

The Dice Brig is a removable storage bin that fits into the regular compartment like a glove.  With a magnetic top to keep it closed, you can use this as a special storage place for misbehaving dice, or as a special reward for your good dice, as you need.  The Dice Brig comes with an imprint of a hanging skeleton with a D20 for a head.  It’s a neat idea, and has the storage capacity for roughly 14 standard sized D20s.  

The Mini Bunker

For the player who needs to bring Minis along for the ride, The Bunker gives you a solid way to get your minis from place to pace.  It also features magnetic fasteners to keep your minis safely enclosed and should keep them from jostling around too much.  Manufacturer suggests you can store seven standard size 28 mm miniatures in a snug, but safe grouping.  Also keep in mind that the Mini Bunker has foam padding on the bottom and sides of the structure.

The Classic Bin

There are a lot of components for games that do better in a sealable Bin.  The Classic Bin takes care of such considerations, and holds your tokens and other components safely.  The bottom of this Bin is lined with felt (or potentially suede, if the Kickstarter is a smashing success).  

When you order your Battle Box, you can add on 0-3 of these in total.  There are three compartments in the Box, and you can add a total of three extras to fill them.  
Add Ons.jpg

Price Points and Options

The current price scheme for this is a fairly simple tiered system.  The first tier offers two basic wood choices.  The second tier offers two slightly fancier wood choices, and the third tier offers the fanciest wood choices available.  The current price points for a Tier 1 Battle Box is $25, a Tier 2 Battle Box is $35, and the Tier 3 is $45.  The optional components are $10 each, and you could theoretically need to pick up a few of them.  That means that your easiest entry into this product will set you back $25 (or half the price of the 5th edition Player’s Handbook at retail price).  Even going full in with a Tier three wood choice and multiple add ons is still less than $100, which makes this one of the most cost effective entries into the market.  

Tier 1 wood choices are Red Oak or Ash, Tier 2 wood choices are Cherry and quarter sawn White Oak, and Tier 3 wood choices are Mahogany and Walnut.  This should give you, as a consumer, a variety of choices for what you want your Battle Box to look like.  The linings for the dice tray (and other bins) are currently felt with a variety of colors, cream, charcoal, red and black Felt.jpg

There is a Kickstarter stretch goal for Suede linings in a variety of colors
Felt 2.jpg

For an additional $5, you can order custom engraving for the front panel of your Battle Box. 

Bear in mind that these are the Kickstarter prices for these Battle Boxes, and they are subject to change once they go into full production.  At this point in the article, i’m going to direct you to take 20 minutes and watch a youtube video found here.  Our good friend Clay at Terminally Nerdy (who should follow on Twitter, support his Patreon, and subscribe to his youtube channel) got an early access copy of one of these and did an unboxing video.  Check out his insights and get a closer look at one.  Then come back and we’ll continue our discussion.  

Thoughts and Capabilities

So what can you do with one of these?  Well, there are a lot of different directions and ways you can put one of these to good use. We’ve got at least four different ideas of what you can do with these and how you can put them to work for you.

RPG Player

As a player of an RPG, you should be able to store all of the dice, tokens, and miniatures that you need to bring to the table.  Some games (like Savage Worlds) requires additional tokens or chits, plus decks of cards.  This container at any tier will do fine for that.  If you want some additional protection for your Minis, grab a bunker and find them a nice safe home.  If you’re playing Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, you can store your spell deck in one compartment, your new hot minis from Wizkids in another, and all the dice you’re probably going to need in the third.  You’ve still got room for your pencils in the compartment, and you can fold a character sheet in half and let it sit right on top.  The Magnetic Enclosures will keep your character safe and secure until you get him or her to the game, and you’ve got a dice tray ready to work out of in a tight space.  

Card Player

It’s mentioned on a video above that you can use this for Magic the Gathering in a variety of ways, but i think i have finally found a way to transport the two decks I’d need for my favorite LCG, Star Wars, from Fantasy Flight Games.  I can store the Light Side and Dark Side decks in their own compartment, and the tokens and other components have a third Bin of their own.  I have been looking for a solution like this for a while, and I’m pleasantly surprised to find one, finally.  The same free space applies to most other games that use a combination of multiple decks of cards and tokens (like the upcoming Legend of the Five Rings card game, also from Fantasy Flight Games).  The individual compartments are designed to hold 60 sleeved cards, which means you have storage for 180 sleeved cards if you put all the storage to cards.  Some folks will be able to make that work with what they're doing, and I think that's something to explore.

Skirmish Gamer

Miniature skirmish gaming is adding new games all the time, and i for one don’t want to have to take an Army Case or giant box to get my stuff to the game.  The standard sized compartment can hold a tape measure and any of the dice and tokens i’d need to play.  For a game like Malifaux, you can probably fit most of your team (assuming regular sized models) in one Mini bunker and your deck of cards in the third compartment.  A game like my old standby Alpha Strike would probably need two mini bunkers to hold a company of battlemechs, but all of my dice, tokens, and datacards should fit in the third compartment.   

Game Master

I’ll disagree with Clay on this one, because i think that the Battle Box can hold anything a Dungeon master is going to need for pawns, tokens and dice.  The map you use to play on is probably not going to fit, but i haven’t seen a box or a holder so far that carries one of those.  Using one of these as a GM will require you as a GM to plan ahead and know exactly what encounters you’re running and what monsters you’re bringing.  The compartments are big enough to handle just about any sized Pawn or token you can find, but they will not hold plastic minis in the quantity a GM will likely need.  It can be a remarkable resource if you use it the way it’s intended, and don’t try to pack more material into it than it should hold.  It’s a storage box/transport kit, not a full sized cabinet you can truck around.  

Now, there is some chatter around the workshop of a larger version that may feature in it's own Kickstarter after the first one gets off the ground, and that one is supposed to feature more storage compartments and the addition of a clipboard for holding your character sheets.  The one picture I have of this shows off a few of these features.  I haven't heard anything about a specific price point or dimensions for one of these, but they are considerably larger and require bigger boards to construct. 

Conclusions and ideas going forward

At the current time, this is one of the most cost effective RPG storage systems of its kind.  There are others on the market, but they exist at a much higher price point and may not offer the same level of versatility and options that the Battle Box provides.  With the right add ons, you can even turn this into a multi-purpose system, using it for Guild Ball League on Tuesday night, and then taking out the Mini Bunkers for Star Wars: The Card Games on Thursday, and then switching things up again to play Pathfinder on Sunday.  

I am a huge fan of the internal hinges on this product.  The construction means that the box is designed to lay flat when opened, and the hinges are less likely to break or wear out from external contact.  This extends the life of the box and can give you hopefully many years of work and play out of them.  I like this project a lot and i hope their Kickstarter is a smashing success.

Let’s take a look at some more pictures and see where we can go to get the jump on this Kickstarter


more pictures.jpg


Now, you can follow them on Twitter at on Facebook at and on Kickstarter at  The Kickstarter for this one starts on May 6th, and that’s plenty of time to get your research in and take a look at these fantastic products.  They should be live and ready come this weekend, and you can find them 
That's our Mystery Box for this Friday, and we're back to surveying adventures next week.  Game on, Game Fans.

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