portable Brawl Arcane 28 set in a box

Portable Brawl Arcane 28 in a box

With the summer holidays approaching, I thought it was time to build a portable Brawl Arcane 28 set in a box. In my review of Brawl Arcane 28 I mentioned how this would make for a great portable miniature travel game. When I thought of a typical travel game, I remembered these small portable magnetized games (chess, Mensch ärgere dich nicht, etc.) from my childhood. We would indeed play them in the car, on the camping site or on the beach.

Hence, I wanted to apply that concept to: Brawl Arcane 28: All the components should be small, portable and all fit inside a box.


For my board, I decided to go for a 8 by 8 inch grid.

I built the board as per my usual recipe for dungeon floors. In essence, check out my Ultimate Dungeon Terrain board tutorial. I glued my 1 inch tiles on a square piece of canvas, the ones I use for my photo booth setup.

Portable Brawl Arcane in a box

That’s when I realized, I really should magnetize my board.

Thus, I tore everything apart!

I kept the tiles glued on canvas as well as the frame. I repaired it using some wood filler. Finally I thoroughly sanded the frame.

I used my high density foam, traced a pattern for the holes on 1 side and drilled out holes to match my magnets. Only for an 8 by 8 board, you’ll need already 64 magnets. Plus you’ll need some more for the terrain. Hence I ordered a pack of 100. After that, it’s only a matter of gluing them into the holes using superglue. I stuck the “magnet plate” onto my dungeon tile canvas using PVA glue and let it dry. For good measure, I taped the backside of the magnet board.


I decided for some 1inch by 1 inch pillars using Black Magic Craft’s improved pillar tutorial:

For portability reasons I decided to not make them too high. Mine are approximately the size of a miniature. I 3D printed some dungeon scatter pieces like skulls, candles, potion bottles, vases, weapons and wizard statues. plus a used some beads and bits to “embellish” the pillars.

I primed everything using black mod-podge, over-brushed it with a warm grey and highlighted everything with light grey and white. Finally I drenched everything in black water based wood stain.

Then, it was only a matter of painting all the bits and greebles.

Than it was only a matter of gluing a magnet on the bottom of the pillar. Therefore, I just made a hole the size of the magnet in the center of the bottom of my pillar, super-glued it inside and taped the whole thing shut.

Magnetized Portable Brawl Arcane in a box

As you can see, the magnets hold very well!

Gaming accessories

To further reduce the game’s footprint, I printed and sleeved some reference cards for the wizards, spell selection and crowd reaction table.

Download the Brawl Arcane 28 reference cards (print at 100% scale)
Download the Brawl Arcane 28 one page rules summary (version 1.0 of the rules)

Portable Brawl Arcane in a box: reference cards


Believe it or not, the most challenging part, was to find a box the right size. I looked everywhere in our house and couldn’t find anything suitable. Even online I couldn’t find a 21 by 21 cm box. I had no luck at all. Hence I put that part of the project on hold. Until one day, when I was organizing some stuff in the garage, I came across a the perfect box. It used to one of these sample boxes sent to architects. I remember taking the empty box from my office, thinking that I might use it some day. That day was here!

I hot-glued some cut-to-size pieces of foam-core to the inside to act as dividers for the board, the rules, the miniatures and the terrain.

Afterwards, I clad the main part of the box in some vinyl stone texture foil. Then, I taped some electrician’s tape on the inner lip of the box to cover the text and to enhance the grip when the lid is on.

Of course I had to stick the obligatory A Gentlemanly Sport sticker on the lid to round it off.

Portable Brawl Arcane in a box


I found these little pouches in our local cheapo store. I think are meant to store your earphones. Being slightly padded, I found them perfect to store a complete team of 1 wizard and 3 minions. There was even space left for some dice and the quick reference cards.

As a second team, I decided to go with a “Green Witch” and her “Forest Dwellers”. I 3D printed and painted a fox (I printed and painted 2) and a badger, whereas the witch and racoon were from last year’s Christmas Frostgrave game.

Playing Brawl Arcane 28 out of the box

Contents of my portable Brawl Arcane 28 travel box:

  • 8 by 8 inch board
  • 6 pieces of terrain
  • 2 wizards teams (8 miniatures) in separate boxes including, reference cards and 3 D6 dice each
  • neoprene fold-able dice tray
  • 2 dry-erase markers to track hit points on the sleeved cards
  • The game rules
  • a laminated sheet with all the main rules on 1 page

Overall, it plays surprisingly well on this small board. Obviously since the pieces are magnetized, they won’t shift or tumble during game play.

I can’t wait to use it during the holidays. I’ll post some pictures in the future.


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