From time to time, we take a break from reviewing games, and instead take a look at some things that help make our game nights a little better. Many of the things that we have reviewed on the blog have become a permanent fixture here at game nights – most notably the ever-present storage bags from Royal Bag and the neoprene table cover from Big Viking Mats.
I think that I now have another accessory contender to add to the regular rotation here at the Gaming Castle. After seeing an ad online, I contacted the great people at Uberstax (Uberstax Universal Tabletop Game Piece and Token Holder) to learn more about their product. As you are probably aware, we Opinionated Gamers have a deep love for card racks, and the idea of a modular card rack system instantly caught my eye.
We were given a Rainbox box to experiment with, and we got them out as soon as we needed a rack (which is pretty often around here)
In each color, you get 7 identical pieces, each with connectors (male and female) on the sides, tops, bottoms – well, pretty much any surface, and each package has a little “instruction manual” with a few example arrangements.
However, you can stack and combine these in just about any way you want. I also got a set of four Ubertrayz which are shallow two-compartment dishes that can be used for storage of bits (in the center of the table), but the trays also have the same connectors as the Uberstax, so they can be connected to the racks as well to serve as storage for your personal bits. There is a nice sloped entry to the tray so you can slide your fingers up with the things you need.
We have really liked the flexibility in the Uberstax/Ubertrayz system – it is so nice to be able to construct whatever sort of holder is needed for a particular game. The Rainbow pack is also super useful to us because it serves as a very convenient player color reminder. With ten colors available, there is rarely a game that doesn’t match up to the selection here.
I found that I liked the Ubertrayz so much that even before I could finish writing this review, I contacted the company to buy another eight trays so that we had enough for all our needs! They stack nicely when not in use, and they come with fairly tight fitting covers for storage of things from week to week (like when you pause your Sleeping Gods campaign for the week).
Some examples of the product in use
In Not Alone, we just needed a simple card rack – and since there aren’t player colors, we just grabbed whatever pieces we could find first…
In Fantasy Realms, I used a two level rack so that I could A) see all my cards easily, and B) group cards together that interacted together.
While playing Cubitos, we found the Ubertrayz to be a superior organizational system to the cardboard boxes provided by the publisher. Having the sloped sides made it easy to get the things you need without spilling or knocking anything over.
Sagani only needed the Ubertrayz to hold each player’s set of markers.
Perhaps my favorite use so far was when we played Sleeping Gods remotely. I needed a way to track the cards of three players and the ship – so I built a color coded three level rack to hold everyone’s cards in the right place…
Racks in play in Shamans
There are plenty of things on the table in Sleeping Gods in real life, and we used a combination of storage accessories as needed….
So as you can see, we have been using these racks and trays all spring, and they have definitely helped keep things organized. The cards get less wear, as well as less sweat and oil from handling, and I still can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to have a player color reminder (especially helpful when your group has two players that always want to be yellow…)
The cost for a set is fairly reasonable – equivalent to a single game for a set of 4 racks – but you’ll end up using them for a lot of different games. The rainbow set is admittedly more expensive, but then again you will get 10 sets instead of 4! Though obviously not every game needs racks or trays, we seem to get them out at least once a game night since we first acquired them. I’m very happy to have them around, and I am definitely keeping this in the back of my mind as a nice holiday gift for a few gamers around here…
You can find more info and buy them at: www.uberstax.com
Until your next appointment,
The Gaming Doctor