Eventually, if you’re a frequent game player, you’ll want to invest in a decent dice tray. It’s pretty much essential to all board games whether you play miniature games or full size.
Over the years, I’ve pretty much concluded that the perfect dice tray is about 10 inches in diameter, perhaps even 12 if you have the space for it. I’m also a big fan of the green pool/snooker table fabric in the base of the tray, it just lends a more premium feel to the whole thing.
Of course, a 12 by 12 tray is an absolute beast, especially if you don’t play in the comfort of your own home and need something a bit more portable. In this case, I’ve seen some lovely portable fabric trays, such as the Vixen Tor bag which fold up nicely to take with you.
Dice Throws That Fall, The Annoying Fact of Life!
I know, we’ve all been there! You throw a dice, and it falls down the back of the sofa / table / computer desk – blurgh!!!
For this reason, I’m a big fan of any tray that has high sidewalls to contain the dice as it falls, even if that means it bangs off the side. I know there are purists out there who like to throw a dice and have no external effect until it lands but hey, life isn’t always perfect!
I used to own a nice Koplow tray back in the day. This granddaddy of the tray world had sides about 2 / 3 inches high, making falling a rare occurrence. Of course, this tray is a solid 12 inches in diameter, so really doesn’t work unless you play at home.
What About Dice Towers?
Maybe, and I can see the advantage especially for rolling perfectly counted dice each time; however, these bad boys take up a colossal amount of room, even more than a standard 10-inch tray.
Some people love dice towers but me, I’m not so convinced that carrying what amounts to a house brick with a bit tagged on the bottom is a great backpack option!
IMHO, if you don’t trust your buddies to throw a straight dice, then find new friends!
What I’m Using Right Now
On the road, in my bag
I tend to keep some games in my college bag, so size is important. I’m currently rocking the Ultra Pro Dice Rolling Tray. It’s a small tray with plastic catches that “pinch” the sides up creating a decent tray for playing on the go.
When you fold down the tray, it basically becomes as skinny as a thin textbook – in fact in my college bag it tends to fit nicely between my current university textbooks at the back. I still carry a beginner’s guide to Java from the first year as it’s A4 in size and provides a decent amount of protection for it!
Sad, but true, needs must!
Back at home
Obviously, size isn’t an issue for home play, so I’ve pretty much blown my budget on a Castle Keep Dice Tower!
I also have a neat (but expensive) aluminum storage box that holds most of my current favorites.
Oddly enough, my castle tower can fold down. Unsure if I’d want to keep it in my bag though, even in folded down state it’s an awkward fit.
Some of you might say “Ah ha! So, you bought a tower even after mentioning cheating buddies”! Yep, I sure did; however, I didn’t go with the tower because of cheating. It just seemed like a nice piece of kit at the time.
I do still own my original Koplow tray and heck, now and then we do play with it just to change things up a little.
It’s simple really, on the road keep it simple, stupid. Try not to carry anything physically made of wood or metal, your back will thank you for it. I love my tray because it’s the size of a small textbook and just as flat when stored.
For home use, break the bank, get something amazing and don’t worry about space! I think what I’m trying to say is don’t buy one tray that attempts to do everything; you’ll be disappointed. Instead, get a travel tray for outside and get something awesome for playing at home!