MY WAY: What's in My Dice Box?

There's one thing that is common to every wargamer, from fluffy bunny to power-gamer. We all carry a box of stuff to help us play the game; usually a box or bag full of mismatched dice, a measuring tape, and a odd selection of markers and counters that we treat like campaign ribbons. But unlike every other aspect of the hobby, we don't really think about it.

So let's change that. I'm going to share my box of crap with you and talk about what works for me (and what doesn't). I'm also going to be testing and comparing the features of the gamer gear that's out there and share it with you. When you see the "My Way" logo, you'll know what to expect.

If you know anything about my 40K obsession, then you know I play a LOT of different armies. So it makes sense that I lug around more crap than the average gamer. Over the last few months I've actually put real effort into consolidating and organizing my gaming accoutrement.

Here's a shot of my gear box (doesn't that sound much more manly than "dice box"?). You'll notice that it's probably as organized as your girlfriend's Farmville farm. Organization is key to a successful gear box -- you don't want to dig to find the dice, counters and markers you need. You want your head in the game.

My box is 10" x 7" with a depth of just over 3". It's tough, translucent plastic with a clever closure that won't come open accidentally (and a convenient built-in handle). It's rigid enough that it won't collapse if you sit or step on it, but it's flexible enough to take a beating without cracking. I picked it up at the Container Store about a year ago and I really like it.

Note: Whatever you get, you want to make sure that it's wide and long enough to fit the mini-rulebook and tall enough to fit dice cubes. Otherwise you aren't going to use it and it's just going to be more clutter for you man-cave.

Besides being sturdy, you want a gear box a) that's not going to open accidentally, b) doesn't have a flimsy handle and c) has enough room for EVERYTHING you need when you play.
Here's a list of the contents. I'm not going to go into detail on why I have Item A over Item B in this article, but I'll answer questions if you have them (and I'll talk more about the "whys" in future articles):
  1. Mini-rulebook from Assault on Black Reach (you can usually find this gaming essential at TheWarstore or on eBay -- definitely worth having).
  2. The green GW Templates. I have lots of templates, but I'm using the green ones right now. I also like the GF9 Multi-Template (I usually go with the GW ones because other players tend to borrow templates I'm not using). I usually have a GF9 T.A.C. Template as well. Write your name on them with permanent marker. No really, it takes like two seconds and it will save you at least $10 a year.
  3. TWO 10' measuring tapes. (It's always nice to have a spare you can loan to an opponent, if he needs it.)
  4. Another box! This one is a hinged, 7" x 5" divided box that holds my dice and counters.

Here's a look at the contents:
  1. Two or three GW Dice Cubes (I highly recommend getting the mixed color dice cubes -- and you need four different dice colors, at a minimum).
  2. Gale Force Nine "Take Action!" Markers (I have 12 of these counters that I use for Imperial Guard orders or other lasting effects that I don't want to forget).
  3. Lots of Gale Force Nine Wound Counters (great for my Tyranid and Chaos Daemons armies -- but I', thinking about moving to custom stickers for wound counters).
  4. An over-sized die to keep track of turns. Extra scatter dice (another thing that your opponent is likely to forget).
  5. Some very cool fire markers that I used to denote vehicle damage (I usually keep enough to mark my opponent's vehicle damage too -- just to avoid arguments in tournaments). These aren't the GF9 ones, so I'll have to track down where they came from and update the article.
  6. A bunch of the old Gale Force Nine vehicle damage markers (I carry enough to mark my opponent's vehicle damage if he doesn't have markers -- effectively killing the "that weapon is destroyed", "no, you just stunned it" arguments in tournaments).
  7. An assortment of markers that I can use for objectives (and to note units that have fired or ran or whatever I need to mark), including the very cool BOLSCON 2009 markers.
I've got over 100 counters and markers, 75 dice, 3 templates, 2 measuring tapes and a mini-rulebook in a very small space. I keep the small box at hand while I play and I'm never searching for markers.

>>So that's a quick look into my gear box. I'll be happy to hear your suggestions and answer any questions in the comments section or via email ( And, yes, I'd really love to hear about the creative solutions and cool products you've found!

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