Like many other gamers, I like to personalize my gaming accessories. I like them to be mine and have some specific connection to the game. We gamers have our special dice, our “lucky” D20 that we use when something really matters in the game, or that overlarge novelty die that doubles for a turn counter. Many tabletop wargamers buy lots of dice that match the color scheme or theme of the army they are playing. Many gamers go as far as to get a special logo printed on a face of the die, to either match the theme of their army or their club. But when it comes to the dice bag, we often settle for simple functionality. Sure we see the occasional gamer with a special leather dice bag or one made from chain mail–one of my friends uses a ziploc bag (horror of horrors)–and how many Crown Royal bags have performed honorable secondary duty as dice sachels? Most of us use the same cheap drawstring bag everyone else uses. They are easy to get, popular, and the common fare of the pedestrian gamer.
In a game like Warhammer 40,000, where rolling 20 dice at a time is often routine, this poses a problem. These cheaper bags weren’t designed to hold the large amounts of dice needed in some tabletop wargames. They were designed to hold a few RPG dice, those homages to the Platonic solids, not the massive amounts of cubes needed to represent the firepower of a tactical squad, the mass of which often strains the seams of the puny containers. They have no way of keeping the bag closed, save for the primitive method of tying a knot in the draw string, a crude and uncouth method at best. In addition, their drawstrings are prone to breaking and once that happens, the bag now leaves your dice, the very destiny of your fighting forces, unsecured and left to the vicissitudes of a different kind of fate.
Enter the Rolls-Royce of Dice Bags. From Marsbarn designs comes a serious dice bag for the discerning gamer. This is truly a superior product and may be the last dice bag you’ll ever need to buy. I emphasize the word need, because you will want others. I myself own three (so far), and I can see getting at least one more to match the color scheme of a new army I’m painting.
You can get two sizes, the large and the small. But I’m only going to talk about the large, because those are the ones I own. The large bag is big, it measures about 4 inches x 4 inches on the bottom and is roughly 5 inches tall. But what’s this? 4×4 along the bottom I say, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense does it? Ah but it does! The Marsbarn dice bag has a square bottom. The upside of this means that it will stand freely on the table which means that you don’t need to dump out all your dice at the start of the game. You can actually reach into the bag, select the dice you need, and replace them when finished. This may not seem like much, but trust me, after one gaming session with my Marsbarn bag, it bothered me to go back to my old tiny dice bags (which is why I bought two more).
The fact that the bag will stand freely would be enough to set it apart from other solutions, but there’s more. The dice bag is made with two different sets of fabric and is fully reversible. In the picture below, you can see that my grey bag with a black interior has easily become a black bag with a grey interior. Along with the double fabric comes double stitching, you’re going to really have to work at bursting the seams of one of these. In fact, one of the things I love about the bag is that in a tournament environment, we have all kinds of gaming aids floating about – templates, tape measures, damage markers, etc. Since I’ve gotten my Marsbarn bag, I just cram all these things in the dice bag in between rounds and transport to a new table. I don’t store them that way in between gaming sessions, but in the chaos of moving between tables during a tournament, the less you need to transport, the better, and my Marsbarn bag makes sure that none of my gaming aids gets forgotten on an old battlefield. It’s as close to a “Bag of Holding” as you’re going to get!
And as for closing , there’s no crude knot tying for this bag (savages). The bag comes with a sophisticated toggle and the ends of the draw string are treated with epoxy so that the ends won’t fray over time. The stuff of elegance and civilization!
Marsbarn offers a large variety of fabrics (some of them custom made) and through the Etsy store, allows you to select which fabrics will comprise your bag. They even offer custom designs made from either a vinyl or wool felt which can be attached to the outside of your bag. The turn-around time is really fast and the bags are very affordable for the quality you’re getting. The large bags are $12. Additional features increase the cost, but not by much. Sure you can get a whole box of ziploc bags for less than that. But think of it. These are the lives of your forces, their courage, their very prowess in battle contained within the confines of a bag. Would you consign these dice to the degradation of a mere plastic sleeve?
Not I. From now on, Marsbarn bags are the only ones that will grace my armies.
You can buy your own custom bags here: http://www.marsbarndicebags.com/Marsbarn_dice_bags/Welcome.html