I’m I guess what you would call a casual user of boardgamegeek.com. I don’t spend a great deal of time there due to the fact I can start looking around about 10:00pm and before you know it, it’s 1:00am. It is a site that is a wonderfully fun time-suck. One thing I have been doing a lot of lately is trying to refine my game collection. I’m most interested in WWII and Modern Naval games.

One of the games I always wanted to get but never did for some reason is Avalon Hill’s Flat Top. I remember joking with a guy at an old game store I used to frequent that that Flat Top was probably the best game deal by weight for the price. Well through a trade I recently acquired a copy of Flat Top. It was punched but all the counters were bagged and all the charts, rule books and game boards were in really nice shape. The Box, however, was split on all four corners probably due to the fact that the counters, even though they were bagged, did not allow  the box top to fully close over the bottom half. So what did I do? I made my own*. Here’s what I did:

I dug out my old 2009 15″ Mac Book Pro box. Depending on the game, your mileage may vary. Some of the newer MBP boxes aren’t quite as big. I’m currently searching for a suitable replacement box for my play copy of Avalon Hill’s Bismarck. (I found a great solution. Read about it here) The new 15″ MBP boxes are *almost* big enough to put the boards in but not quite.


It will cost you about 1700 to get one of these boxes unless your company IT guy has some left over

Next, I proceeded to take out the plastic tray. I thought I was going to be able to leave it in but there is so much stuff with Flat Top I could see I was going to need as much space as I could manage. I thought the bins would make nice places to tuck counters in separate baggies but there is not enough room left to stack everything else. So gone it is!


I so wanted the tray to work out but there is so much beefy stuff in the game.


Empty! Ready for game bits


Then I just started stacking stuff in. Order is purely user preference. I started with the game boards. I always really like mounted map boards and there are no shortage here.


mmmmm mounted map boards


Room to spare on the edges

Next were all the charts and tables. There are plenty in Flat Top. I chose just to put them in with no sorting or pre-planned order. Those of you more detail oriented my choose a different way but this is how I roll.


Here are all the charts


Charts n’ Tables


More Charts n’ Tables


Extra articles the previous owner included


Plotting maps


Still more record sheets


Then the rules. I always have those close to the top of my my game boxes to make them easy to get to when you want to geek out with a little light reading or you need to pull them for some quick research.


Rules near the top for easy access


Then I added in the bags and bags and bags of counters. The counter density is quite dense. I haven’t put them in a proper counter tray yet but I plan to do that. The good news is there is enough room for at least one counter tray.




Counters and Counters


Oh My!

Last but not least… What to do with the old Flat Top Box? I know. Cut the sides off of it and glue the cover and the back of the box to the Box formerly know as a Mac Book Pro Box.


Hated to do that but like I said, the box was was pretty much trashed


A little Elmer’s Glue will do.


Painter’s tape on the edge to give it a “didn’t cut the cardboard box with scissors” finished look.


Same goes for the bottom

Here’s a pro tip: Since Flat Top weighs in at about 238 pounds, leave all the stuff in the box when you glue the box top and box bottom on to the old MBP box. It will sit flat and give good even pressure all the way to the edges.

So that’s it. There is still room to grow with counter trays and variants. You may be able to stack in a few issues of The General that have Flat Top related content.

*Disclaimer: I am a card carrying member of the Man Club and not a licensed crafter. Attempt the above modifications at your own peril.  Don’t run with scissors and don’t sniff the glue.