I build and share my thoughts on the FS-ARLE foam core box insert for the Uwe Rosenberg board game Fields of Arle. This build took me under forty-five minutes in real time.
I did run into a rather large problem at the end of the build, due to the fact that this insert didn’t actually fit my game box. However, I tried to show off how things would be sorted if I did have the right sized box.
Disclosure: Folded Space sent me this insert to check out. No other compensation was provided. Links in this post may be affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this blog and our podcast. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Images are from the Folded Space FS-ARLE store page.
Fields of Arle Foamcore Box Insert Build:
This box insert build took well under an hour to assemble. I recorded this build live on the Tabletop Bellhop Twitch channel. This video is an edited and condensed version of that live build. While this insert is designed to hold both the core Fields of Arle game it also holds the Tea and Trade Expansion. I personally do not own this expansion so couldn’t show how it’s contents would fit in this insert.
Description from the publisher:
Insert compatible with Fields of Arle® and the Tea & Trade® expansion. The design provides both efficient storage and improved game play. Many of the trays can be utilized during the game, and they greatly aid set-up and clear-away times. The rule books and boards act as a lid on top of the trays
The insert is arranged in up to three layers.
All of the insert trays can be utilized during game play to keep all the game components tidy and accessible. Each player receives their own tray for their pieces. The two scorepads have their own tray to ensure they stay tidy even after having a number of sheets removed.
The insert includes one large tray for vertical storage of the vehicle tiles, with separate slots for the different types. The three narrower types sit on a raised base to keep them all at the same level and easy to remove from the tray.
FS-ARLE is a third party, unofficial game accessory. All trademarks and copyrights remain the property of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Folded Space EOOD.
Is the FS-ARLE insert for Folded Space worth it?
Let’s start with the biggest potential problem with this box insert. There are multiple different editions of Fields of Arle out there from different publishers and both the box size and the components aren’t all the same size. This insert only fits games where the box has external dimensions of 31.8 x 22.9 x 9.4 cm. If you are like me and have a printing of the game that’s smaller than this, you won’t be able to use this insert.
Forgetting the fact that I can’t actually use this insert as intended I can still comment on how well it would work if you did own the right sized box.
There are two main things that I look for in a box insert, as I first discussed in our Are Box Inserts For Board Games Worth It? article: improved component storage and reduced set-up time.
Looking at component storage, everything here looked great and did a solid job of sorting out the individual components so that they are stored logically and were well protected in the box. The issues I had fitting some of the components into the bins is related to the “having the wrong edition” problem, and there should be a place for everything if you have the proper printing of Fields of Arle.
I particularly liked the storage solution for the small resources and the smaller goods. The tile storage was serviceable to me but would be better if I had the expansion to fill in some of the gaps.
What I didn’t love were the trays for the player components. While they work, they aren’t any better than a baggie and actually are a bit worse because you can’t fit starting resources in with the components.
Another aspect I think that could have been improved is the larger tile tray for the carts, etc. While they did put in a raiser for the shorter tiles, it felt like there should have been some kind of similar spacer for the thinner tiles.
Moving over to improving set-up time and gameplay, it’s here that this insert really shines.
Fields of Arle has a lot of components and it’s great to have a place for everything with most of the components having their own individual trays. I appreciate how this makes it both quick to put everything out on the table and also easy to pass the trays around while playing for players to grab their own things.
Of all of the trays, the small goods tray was the most impressively designed. It works great for holding two different sizes of tiles while also keeping them separated by type.
All of this makes for not only a quicker set-up time but also some actual at the table play experience improvements by not requiring any sorting at the start of the game, having everything easy to find and the ability to pass things around.
As for the build itself, it went extremely well. This was one of the easiest inserts I’ve ever built, with most of the trays being standard four walled boxes. There were only three trays that were a bit more complicated but even they were simple compared to other insert builds I’ve done.
I do recommend using the tab to tab, horizontal and vertical, glue method that Folded Space recommends for these builds. It really does speed things up significantly compared to adding glue one piece at a time.
Overall this seems like a great board game box insert that is very well designed and does the two things I want from a box insert. The FS-ARLE insert is great for component storage as well as for improving set-up time and gameplay through the use of its trays. The only problem, and it’s a big one, with this insert is that it doesn’t work with my copy of the game.
I do worry that there are other people out there that picked this up only to learn it doesn’t work with their copy of Fields of Arle. It’s this issue that prevents me from just telling you to grab this if you own Fields of Arle.
Now if you can confirm you have the correct printing of the game then go grab this insert. It’s easy to build and will improve your game experience, thus letting you get Fields of Arle to the table more often. If you also own Tea & Trade then this insert will be even more useful for you!
Have you ever had a box insert build go wrong? I would love to hear your horror stories. Tell us all about it in the comments below.