Game Storage, Organization and Transport (Part 1: Organization)
How do you get all your expansions into a single box? What do you do when the insert that came with a game is terrible? Is there an easier way to bring all of those games with you when going to a game night? Do you use foam core or pick up a Broken Token organizer? Do you put your cards into deck boxes or simple long boxes? There are so many options it can sometimes seem overwhelming and this will be an attempt to shed some light on the advantages and drawbacks of each. This is part one of a series of posts with this one focusing on Organization.
There are many different options when it comes to organizing your games that will make it easier to transport, set up, break down, or keep components from scattering around. I will be covering three different options that you can use if you find that you want a little more organization in your games.
TACKLE BOX/ART CASE/DECK BOXES
Probably the simplest form of organization would be to use different types of boxes that might not be designed for board games. Tackle boxes and art cases can be a great resource for keeping all those little pieces in one place without needing to spend too much money or time in the process. This can work great for games that have lots of little pieces like Concordia or Lords of Waterdeep. The drawback of this though is that the game might have cards or other pieces that don’t really fit in the boxes. You can mitigate this problem by getting deck boxes or cheap baseball card long boxes. If you are going to go this route, going to stores like Michael’s or AC Moore can give you many options in different sizes and styles. With coupons and discounts this can end up being one of the cheapest options as well.
THE BROKEN TOKEN
The Broken Token is a great option if you have the extra money to spend on one of their organizers. Organizers made by The Broken Token are laser cut wooden inserts and boxes. They offer many different options with some for specific games, others for various game boxes, and standalone boxes for organizing collections of games or just ditching a game box. The inserts that they offer are easily put together and don’t require any special skills to assemble. For the inserts that are made for specific games the organization can be great. One example is the insert for Cosmic Encounter which offers nested inserts and dividers that organize every component, including expansions, into their own part. There are also multiple dividers that can be used to keep the various decks organized as well.
Many of The Broken Token inserts will fit any game box of a specific size such as their Imperial Settlers insert which could potentially work for any card/bit game. The Imperial Settlers insert would work for a game like Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn or they offer a generic insert that has the same dimensions as the Imperial Settlers insert but will fit sleeved cards instead.
The only problem with The Broken Token is that their inserts can be slightly expensive for what they are. On average it can cost around $30 for an insert which can double the overall price of a game without actually adding much to the experience.
One insert that I do tend to find worth the money is one that is designed for a Hobby Lobby Art Case. They offer three different sizes of this insert meant for card games, horizontal, vertical, and European size. What I like about this case and insert is that you can use it to organize multiple card games all in one box making it a lot easier to transport many games at once.
You can also find coupons for 10% off fairly frequently but it is still one of the more expensive options.
Foam Core or foam board is two pieces of cardboard with foam sandwiched in the middle. There are different thicknesses but I prefer the ones that are 3/16 inches thick as it gives a decent rigidity and support when using. One of the perks of foam core is that it allows you the freedom to design whatever kind of insert you want. Do you want to have a draw that you can pull out that organizes all the different cards in Betrayal? You can do that. Want to make individual dividers or trays for all the bits in Concordia? Go for it. Or do you want to add a tray of poker chips to replace the paper money in Lords of Vegas? No problem, you can do that too. Since you are designing the insert you are only limited by the size of the box and your own skill and imagination.
The first time you use foam core I suggest looking on YouTube for visuals on how to cut and organize your insert. I found this video series by The Esoteric Order of Gamers to be a great help (link). A few things to note is that dressmakers pins are great for giving your insert rigidity but you shouldn’t let them stop you from making smaller inserts that don’t work with those pins. If you are finding that you aren’t cutting straight or foam is coming out in little clumps you should consider getting a sharper knife (please be careful though).
Some of the more advance things that you can do are nesting inserts
within inserts. For games where you have different sets of bits or decks of cards laid out, it can make set up a lot easier if you can just slide out an insert and have it ready to go. Doing this can be a little more complicated but if you can make an insert for the whole box making one that nests inside that one shouldn’t be too difficult.
There are many options that foam core opens for you since you are designing the insert yourself but it can be time
consuming and will require some amount of practice and skill to get what you want form it. When it comes to price foam core is comparable to tackle boxes as you can make multiple inserts from a single sheet and find them for around $4/sheet.
You have many options that will help you organize your games each varying in cost and simplicity. I like The Broken Token but find them to be expensive. My personal preference is to use foam core since it is fairly inexpensive and offers up a lot of options for designing the insert that you truly want. Next time I will be discussing board game transport.
What do you use to organize your games?
- Brandon Cronk
- June 24, 2016
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