One of the honorable mentions in my Notable Board Games for 2013 was Winter, an expansion for The New Era. I love The New Era, and was curious when Winter was announced about what it would add to the game. The answer turned out to be, “the finishing touches”.
Winter takes a game I already liked and smooths out the rough edges. Instead of having to score each round to see if anyone’s hit 33 points yet, you simply play six rounds and score at the end. Leaders are added, and they are nice but don’t break anything. The Frozen City allows you to get assets your faction may be lacking, and the little “gifts” you get at the beginning of each round help get everyone started faster. Even though the game only runs six rounds, end scores are usually in the 40s and 50s, and even crack into the 60s.
I really like Winter, and can’t see playing without it. I’ve permanently added it to my New Era box. But that box is now full of cards, bags holding tokens, and other stuff. Looking at the jumble of bits I felt a stirring in me I hadn’t felt before. I wanted…I wanted to Plano it.
I went to my number one Plano Pal, Jim, seeking advice. He gave me some, and last night, on the way to buy more games and drink beer, Matt and I stopped at the sporting goods store. I found what I wanted and went to work. Behold the results.
Here are the contents of the box. You can see the Plano 2-3705 holding bits. Each faction has its own bag with its contacts, base card, and tokens. They easily sit on top of the Plano box. The cards nicely fit to the side, with a bit of cardboard to protect them. Rulebooks and such fit on top, and the lid still goes on fine.
Here’s the inside of the Plano box. From top to bottom, left to right, you have conquest tokens, incorporation tokens, cooperation tokens, any resource tokens, workers, rebuilding tokens (and the Winter die), multiple resource tokens, guns, fuel, bricks, scrap (all on little foam beds to raise them up for easy grabbing, since there are few of them), 1-2 VP tokens, 3-5 VP tokens, 5-20 VP tokens, and weirdo, seldom used tokens. Also in that last slot are the one additional token for each faction, which you can use to randomly pick your faction (or keep score if you’re not playing with Winter).
Look at that, people. LOOK AT IT. That is beautiful. That is art. That storage solution transforms Winter/New Era from a game I want to play into a game I want to Make Love to. In fact, if you’ll excuse me, I need a moment alone with the game.