Insert Review – Meeple Realty – Xia

Xia’s expansion came out this year and added a lot of content to a game that already filled its default insert to the brim, so how do you store this? Well, you could take the insert out and fill the box with loose things, but for me personally I dislike the idea of things sliding all over the place. I decided instead to try the Xia Station insert from Meeple Realty.

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~|Assembly|~

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An in-progress shot of some of the completed compartments/trays. The card tray is labelled with what goes in each section and the miniature compartments also tell you what tier (or NPC) ships go in them.

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The box above is honestly my favorite part of this whole insert. This box holds a number of things (I’ll go into detail below with the picture of it filled) and fits together in a rather brilliant way (though you have to be careful opening and closing it as a result).

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All the finishes pieces! It doesn’t look like much but it sure fills up that box.

~|Transfer|~

Since this is an insert that doesn’t have a static frame in the box, and is rather several smaller containers that fit together to fill the box, the Transfer came before the Inserting.

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Sorry for the blurriness, but here are the ship compartments. They store the ships with bases attached so you can just grab the one you need, slide it out, and away you go! The NPC one fits all 3 of the base game NPC ships, the expansion station, all 3 comets, and any 1 of the Sellsword NPCs (if you have both you could probably swap the second for one of the comets and just leave that behind the others).

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Here we have the hex tile storage compartment (looks wicked cool but was a pain to put together with all the little pieces, haha) and the card box. As mentioned above the card tray is labelled for easy storage and can definitely hold sleeved cards (lots of room).

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Here’s how the glorious box I mentioned earlier fills up. The bottom section is for the ship mats (fits all including Sellsword NPC mat(s)) and the fame point track. The extra tray on top fits the Economy Board, comet tile, First Player marker, fame point tracker, and the special chits used for 2 of the ships.

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This is the clever tray system for the various outfits from both the base game and expansion. The cutouts are shaped for the specific pieces in them and the trays stack and slide together, along with the lid, to form the solid tray seen in the bottom pic. It’s actually very stable and rather unique.

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Finally, the miscellaneous bits trays. The top ones hold all the various bits, damage, money, dice, and the double-sided outfits from the expansion. The bottom one (which features removable sides to let the pieces “spill” out while playing for easier access) holds the cargo cubes and the player pieces.

~|Inserting|~

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Step 1 is to fill the bottom. Left column from the top: Card tray, larger bits tray, Tier 1 ships, Tier 2 ships. Right column from top to bottom: Mats box, Outfits tray (sideways), NPC ships, Tier 3 ships.

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Step 2 is to fill in the holes with the remaining pieces. The left column gains the smaller bits tray and the cargo/player bits tray. On the right column goes the tile tray.

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Finally, the manuals/rulebooks go on top of the right column and the insert is complete!

~|Conclusion|~

Meeple Realty always seems to find interesting and intricate ways to store things that also make them usable for playing. While some inserts favor simple trays, every Meeple Realty insert I’ve gotten always has something involved and creative about it (in this case, that awesome box with the mats and such). Even without wood glue the boxes all feel sturdy (aside from one side of the cargo tray, which is less stable due to the sides being removable, I would recommend using glue for that if you have some as tape doesn’t really help) and they fit into the box perfectly.

All in all another great addition to the plethora of game inserts I have in my games. I can’t wait to get this to the table and see how much the setup/takedown/organization is improved during play.

Game on!
Scott – The Solitary Meeple

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