Well, considering Privateer Press chooses to Censor their forum, and wants to stand behind Romeo the owner of Battle Foam, no matter how inflammatory or cocky he is, I figured I'd offer the pros and cons of their new cases elsewhere now.
On Privateer's own forums, the TRUTH about their new case isn't encouraged, or welcome there, yet they make posts asking for comments and suggestions on the topic of the new Battle Foam bags. Ironic really. The owner went as far as personal attacks too, but since there's an alliance with Privateer Press with these cases, they allow it.
So on with the truth, and a real fact based review...
Privateer Press/Battle Foam Warmachine/Hordes case... MSRP $145+$19 S&H Direct from BattleFoam.com.
Today is the release date as well, so gaming shops may have theirs this week as well.
Pros, or Features...
Triple stitching, complete with metal buckles.
An inner plastic shell, which is said to support up to 200lbs without buckling.
TSA/FAA approved, so the case is set for airline travel.
The back of the bag zippers down to reveal a very cool area, which has an imbedded 3-ring binder, a variety of pockets designed to hold more stacks of cards, and a area on the interior of flap itself which is made to hold 4 dry erase markers.
17"W X 14"H X 11"D are the bag dimensions.
3 X 1.5" TROOP TRAYS
1 X 2.0" TROOP TRAY
2 X 2.5" WARJACK/WARBEAST TRAYS
6 X .25" TOPPERS
All trays are pre cut foam, designed to maximize the entire foam layout, for maximum capacity for Warmachine and Hordes miniatures.
Which is said to hold.. 105 SMALL BASE MODELS, 22 MEDIUM BASE MODELS, AND 24 LARGE BASE MODELS, and each tray is 15.5-inches x8.5-inches per tray.
The trays are larger in dimensions than what the competition has to offer too, and the closest competitor currently only offers pluck-foam trays. Thus some space can be wasted with the pluck foam system, if one isn't careful how they utilize their trays.
3 front pockets, one large enough to accommodate rule books, two others dice and templates, and side pockets to accommodate a drink and cell phone.
Embroidered Privateer Press and Warmachine, and/or Hordes logos on the bag, depending which version you get.
A small Velcro-friendly area can be found on the back of the bag as well, which is designed for displaying any tournament medal/badges won.
All of the trays and case have been designed in conjunction with Privateer Press, so it's a joint effort between both companies.
Opens via the top flap like most bags, or zippers all the way down to open the entire bag for easier access. Also features an interior large pocket large enough for standard sized rule books on the inside of the flap.
A zipper on the bottom of the case promises expandability later.
Warranted for life from Manufacturer Defects.
The owner of the company CLAIMS that their Warmachine/Hordes bag will hold 2X as much as an Army Transport, and has said this numerous times in a public forum.
Cost almost, if not twice as much as any other offering from any of the competition who sells a similar product.
Lacks true expandability at present, because the design of the bag and trays, are a completely different dimension, than that of their existing Battle Foam product line. If you own an existing Battle Foam bag, the trays from it and this bag aren't compatible. Regular Battle Foam tray dimensions are 15.5X12, this bag has 15.5X8.5 trays.
Theoretically you can put a Warmachine/Hordes tray made for this bag, in a regular Battle Foam pack, but it won't fit snug, since it's smaller.
The Warmachine/Hordes bag dimensions are smaller overall. So you can't use the bottom zipper to add a Battle Foam P.A.C.K 216, or attach this bag to the larger 1520 P.A.C.K system either.
At present, the only way to accommodate some of the largest Warmachine/Hordes figures is to order a completely custom tray from them direct too, at an additional cost, plus shipping. Which is about the price of a nice new heavy warjack, or unit of infantry or more.
Cryx players have pointed out that there's no way to accommodate the entire Cryx army line at present in a single case as well.
Lets compare a little. Sabol Designs Army Transport is what they refer to when they claim their case holds 2X as much as the competitions'. The owner has publicly said this numerous times.
I saw a guy on Privateer Press forums do the math versus two Standard Army Transports which features 12-inches of foam per bag, and comes with a set load out, and he even compared it to buying an empty Standard Army Transport and bought the trays he really wanted for the job separately too. By looking at the math and his calculations, to accommodate THAT person's army needs, it was better for him to use the Battle Foam Warmachine/Hordes case.
Another person did a nice video review of the product, and he emptied ALMOST 2 full standard Army Transport bags into the single Warmachine Battle Foam case, and it fit his entire load from both of those bags, and left about 12 slots left over. Although I'd have to say it's clear from the video that he didn't maximize his pluck foam trays from those
bags, and was one tray shy from being two full Standard Army Transport cases worth of Warmachine miniatures too. None the less, that's pretty impressive I'd have to say.
So this case can hold as much as two Standard Army Transports, so be it. Good job!
However! The Army Transport Motor Pool, which offers 16-inches worth of foam trays, in two 8-inch rows, side by side, in a shorter case design, also costs in most cases either the same, or less than the Standard Army Transport case. This is the case they should be comparing their product too, and carries an average price of around $70 delivered online ($62+$6 shipping from Warstore), and $69.95 at retail, give or take a few dollars.
The Standard Army Transport can be had for $65-$70 delivered just the same. So it's very close in price.
The Motor Pool also comes with 12.5x7.5 inch trays, same as the Standard Army Transport, but in a thicker variety for the Motor Pool with 1x 4-inch, 2x 3-inch, 2x 2.5-inch and 1x 1-inch trays. Regular Army Transports come with 6x 1-inch and 2 2.5 inch trays, plus toppers. The Warstore also offers a Warmachine Special load-out with 3x 1.5-inch, 2x 2-inch and 1x 3-inch tray at $69.99 too..
Doing the math, there's definitely some wasted space, but this depends on your army too. If you have ALOT of infantry and smaller pieces for Warmachine, then the Warstore's Warmachine Special and Battle Foam cases are the better option over all the rest, as both come with more 1.5 inch troop size trays.
Also the space of which the tray walls take up in the Battle Foam trays, are less than that of what you can design with a pluck-foam tray, so in most instances, the Battle Foam trays are designed a little better for max capacity when combined with the fact, dimension-wise, they're bigger too than the Army Transport trays.
The Battle Foam case is a nice product, and offers a variety of very cool useful features for any Warmachine/Hordes player. There's no denying this. When you start to look at the dollars versus capacity, it's when it gets harder to decide, and here are the things to factor in...
The guy who NEEDs as much room as two Army Transports, or two Motor Pool cases, and wants just one case to lug his collection around with, then the Battle Foam is hands down a better option than buying two of the competition's products. However, as we've found out from others' calculations, two full Army Transports worth of Warmachine miniatures doesn't leave much room left over at all, and a few more releases later you'll have outgrown this case. Some of the largest figures too won't fit.
The guy with a smaller army, or even two smaller armies, who doesn't own every single piece for each faction that they make, might find that this case has more than enough room, and then some, and cost-wise, isn't as cost effective as buying a single Army Transport Motor Pool or Warstore Warmachine Special for now, and getting another one later when they really need more room. Overall even factoring in some of the wasted space, two Army Transport Motor Pool cases, offer equal to, or more than the capacity of this single Warmachine/Hordes Battle Foam case.
Granted, yes in terms of protection, this is a superior product too, but how many players let 200lb+ people sit on their miniature cases, toss them down 3 flights of steps, or even require being TSA/FAA size approved for airline travel? That's a bonus, not must have features if you ask me, because the average gaming enthusiast has done fine for years with what the competition has to offer in protection.
I myself have personally owned 3X Army Transports in the past, and never once had a problem with my figures not being protected, even though that system doesn't offer a hard plastic interior shell. I was also looking to buy a Warmachine Battle Foam case, and some extra Battle Foam trays, and later on when I got more extra cash, a P.A.C.K 216, to expand and use the case for both my Warmachine and 40k armies, switching out as needed what I wanted to take with me to the local gaming club.
Since they opted to go with different dimensions for their Warmachine/Hordes case, this isn't possible. Yes I could spend MORE and get a $200 Battle Foam P.A.C.K 1520, and buy the new trays they're making separately for Warmachine that fits those cases, but then I don't get the Warmachine specific features, so it ends up not so appealing, or cost effective.
Also dealing direct with Battle Foam, is like dealing direct with Games Workshop. You pay full retail, and while they claim shipping they offer is exact cost, it's hard to swallow full MSRP pricing, plus $19 shipping for a case (and more as you add more trays), when most of us are used to 20-30% retail and free shipping on any orders over $75-$100 online too now. On a more positive note, I've found the Battle Foam Warmachine/Hordes cases online for $130 delivered too elsewhere.
Sadly though, IF you want custom trays, and many of the other pre cut trays they offer (which by the way are amazing trays, made to fit like a glove for most minis, even 40k drop pods and land raiders, to name a few), dealing direct with them is the only way to get them at present, since their so new, and most stores that carry their products, don't carry the entire line yet.
It really is an amazing case, but it has quite a few things going against it, first and foremost is the cost, and I could be all cliché and say "you get what you pay for", but I still think you pay a little more than needed to have the features and capacity that this case offers, more so when there are suitable alternatives for quite a bit less. Not everyone needs a case this big.
Romeo, the owner and online face of Battle Foam has had an attitude when disagreed with, or when called out on an issue though. This is also something to consider when dealing with a small company. This guy has that buy it or don't attitude, he has danced around valid issues when point blank asked about some things, and even resorted to personal attacks, and had a thread locked on Privateer Press's forums when he snapped out. Others have addressed their concerns on the Privateer Press forums about total lack of replies from their emails with questions about Battle Foam products too. These are facts to be considered too.
In an economic time when the nation sits at 10%-11% unemployment, and all of the expendable cash people had just 5 years ago has all but disappeared for most... it makes it kind of hard to shell out $130-$150 for a case to carry our toy soldiers around in, when that's almost as much as a new small army to get started with in most any miniature game, and the competition offers a similar product for half the cost, with more than half the same capacity. However, if cost is no object, this is definitely the best new case out there for Warmachine/Hordes miniatures.
If there were a star rating I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars too!