Review - CMON: Super Dungeon Explore Battlefoam Bag

Super Dungeon Explore – So since I'm pretty into this game it bummed me out to open my box and find that Starfire's wing snapped off. Unfortunately, there's really not a good way to store him in the plastic tray included in the game box. Combine that with the fact that I plan on painting all the models, I needed to find a storage solution. First I looked at the Battlefoam tray inserts for the game box, while these looked cool they really only fit the base game and as such would be quickly outdated. The reviews and photos I found online of the trays in action also discouraged me as they protrude from the box and puts a ton of strain on the box lid. (why they didn't just do a standard box top baffles me).

Next up I looked at pluck foam trays to fit in my existing Sabol Bags. My problem with these is I already own a ton of them and can never remember which models go in the trays. Since I have display cabinets, I like to have my models out to look at when not in use. Trays and bags are usually only used when I need to pack stuff up to travel. (Note: having game night at your house means you don't have to pack stuff often) Not thrilled about the proposition of more trays I can't remember what goes in what meant this was not an option either.

So I started looking for a new bag just to hold this game. Lo and behold Battlefoam makes CMON branded bags. With Relic Knights on the horizon and Dark Age nagging at my interest I figured this would be a good purchase. Was I right, read on to find out.

Just like all Battlefoam bags the case is built to take a beating. Nylon fabric with and hard plastic liner means this bag can take a hit. The stitching looks pretty tight and the strap has a nice heavy plastic handle. (Hoping the seams don't pop like on my Malifaux Bag.) This bag also features a full length zipper system. Which means you can unzip it and easily remove the trays, on more then occasion I damaged a model trying to force the trays into my Mark One Sabol Army Transport, so this feature was appreciated. There are a decent amount of pouches on the outside to store random bits and the Super Dungeon Rulebook fits nicely in the outside pocket. Like most of the bags I've seen or owned from Battlefoam the construction is pretty top notch. There are some minor issues with the stiching and loose threads.

Battlefoam uses a rigid foam for their bags. This holds it's shape well but some people complain it damages their paint jobs. (I'm guessing they didn't properly prime and seal the minis ... but that's just speculation) I personally like it the trays don't flop when you hold them one handed which means it's unlikely you'll accidentally tip your minis on the floor. The bag comes with custom cut foam which is supposed to fit all the models from the base game and the expansion. Since all the minis come pegged for assembly the should all be exactly the same right? Not the case either I found some way to assemble my dragon wrong or the foam wasn't cut to the right shape. In either case trying to wiggle the damn thing into the spot snapped off the wing. To rectify the situation I carved deeper into the slot where the wing is supposed to fit and recessed it. This made the dragon fit a bit better into the "custom slot"  I had to print the images from their website to see where the rest of the models are supposed to fit because it's not really self explanatory. 

The bag has some flaws but overall it seems like it will work for what I need it to. First up is the lack of a Super Dungeon Velcro Patch, the other bags come with a patch for their respective brands (including a game that's not out til May...WTF) but this one didn't. Not a huge deal and it's noted on the site when you order, but still a fail as there's no where to get a patch for this unless you make your own. (Yes I will probably make my own...) Second while it states on the site that the game tiles don't fit in the bag I was hoping to be able to at least get the lootimeter to fit. No such luck. If the bag was an inch or two wider and taller they could easily fit the boards in there. Third while the pouches on the outside are cool it would be better it if they fit an Ultraprobox or one of those Fantasy Flight card boxes, since ALL the cards don't fit in the slot on the tray when sleeved up. The heroes and monsters fit ok but the rest have no where to go.

Final Thoughts:
The bag is going to hold my minis just fine and keep them safe. It's solid and hopefully I'll be able to use it for some of my Relic Knights when they come out. I am disappointed however as the bag feels like a money grab from Battle Foam. It feels like they took a standard bag and called it custom. A few minor tweaks to the bag would have made it hold ALL the game components perfectly with room to expand as the game grows. Instead you get a bag that holds foam cut to the basic shapes of the SDE minis with pockets and pouches that don't make sense for the game.

If you compare the product shots from Battlefoam's site with the shots I took you can see where the discrepancies lie. It just bums me out that the second "branded game specific" bag I've bought from them still doesn't cater to the needs of the specific game it's branded for. Instead it feels more like Fruity Ohs with a Fruit Loops Label taped over the name.

As a follow up my Malifaux bag is beging to spilt at the seams. I've had it for about two years and take it with me to a weekly game night. I've never flown with it or put it through any abuse so this is a bit of a bummer. We'll see how this bag holds up.

Product Review – Battlefoam Malifaux Bag

I've been meaning to replace my original army transport bag for a while now. The nylon was starting to crack and lifting all the tray out of the deep bag was getting annoying. After shopping around I decided to go the fanboy route and pre-order the Battlefoam Malifaux Bag. From the product shots it looked liked a really nice bag that would hold all my stuff. I've been looking at the bags for a while, but the army green was a bit of a turn-off for me. I received my bag today and thought it'd be nice to give it a full impartial review.

The Basics

To start, the exterior of the bag is constructed out of canvas, a big plus since it should wear better than vinyl and cracking won't be an issue. The embroidery is top notch, no annoying jump stitches to trim and the density is light enough that the flap bends easily. The case is really solidly constructed with no exterior pouches to snag on door handles or parts of your car (something that happened all the time with my other bag.) It's lined with some type of stiff material that gives it shape an makes it really solid, much like quality luggage. The handles are a nice heavy rubber with a comfortable grip. The strap connects with heavy metal clips that you'd have a hard time breaking. 

Inside it comes with two sheets of precut foam and one larger block of pluck foam. (Everytime I see Battlefoam selling pluck foam I think back to the YouTube commercials with the owner bashing on how flimsy pluck foam is ... oh the irony.) The foam is a high density and much firmer than my other trays, I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but time will tell. There is a separate compartment that is supposed to house your cards, decks, tokens and markers. The interior of all the compartments is lined with a black vinyl. There's a pouch that should fit a rulebook in here, a similar pouch in the miniature section as well as a canvas pouch on the outside.

The Good

This is a really solid bag. The construction materials are high quality and there has been some obvious thought put into the design and construction. I can fit all the released Ressurectionist models I own, a Lady J crew and a Pandora crew in here with room for more. Of course depending on how many more models will be released in the future I may wind up outgrowing the bag. It seems like it will fit a full faction with multiples of the minor minions fairly easily. However if you own everything that's been released you're going to need multiple bags. Little details like the metal clips on the strap, heavy duty zippers and a durable outer shell make this a bag worth owning. Having pouches to hold decks and spots for markers is a nice touch.

The Bad

Of course every bag has it's down sides and this one is no exception. The pouch that is supposed to fit all your cards won't fit the hard plastic sleeves that I use for my cards. I suppose if you had thin sleeves or just laminated your cards they'd fit. However there's no way that you can fit cards for every model the case holds in this tiny pouch. The pouch that is supposed to hold your tokens and counters is also tiny. I can barely fit two bags of body parts in it. In the same vein there's not a place for a tape measure, granted I like to use a TAC Template but I still need a full size tape to measure range on things.

It's slightly disappointing that the chose to not cover the back of the embroidered flap with material. It cheapens the look. It's be nice if the canvas pouch was doubled up as well, but I imagine this was done to allow it to lie flat.

I hope that they'll release the foam trays separately. The tray with the smaller slots doesn't fit most of the height 2 models, and the ones that do are a really tight fit. The tray designed for "oversized" models holds most of them nicely, but a few like the Death Marshalls and Seamus are an awkward fit. The 2" block looks like it will fit most of the odd sized models, but some might be a tight fit (Mature Nephilim, and Lord Chompy come to mind).

Final Thoughts

I like this bag. It's a good buy for the price point and looks sharp. If you're a big fan of Malifaux it's a great way to show it off. If you're not a fanboy, you can probably find another bag that will suits you just fine. I've got great use out of my Sabol bags and will continue to use them for other games. You can probaly find things that are cheaper than either company, but for ease of use and easy availability they get my vote.

I wish that Battlefoam had put more thought into the game aids section. There's enough room in the bag to make the pouches slightly bigger, and if they had a fold that allowed them to expand you could fit more in it. It's a bummer that I'll have to bring another bag to hold my stat cards, counter and tape measure.