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Michael Barnes
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Episode 60 - Critical Strike

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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

Compressed Collections - Fitting Board Games into Smaller Spaces

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28 Jul 2020 12:44 #312536 by oliverkinne
Let me start by promoting a number of small box...

As many of you probably know, I only have limited space for games. That's why I very much like small box games that have a lot of gameplay crammed into a small volume. It's also the reason why I have been reboxing games that come in bigger boxes, compressing them down and getting rid of all the extra air that came with the original packaging. I have written about this in my article "Box clever?" a couple of years ago, and this time I want to give you some concrete examples of small box games crammed to the brim and larger box games that I have shrunk down.

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28 Jul 2020 13:02 #312537 by ChristopherMD
I've done a little of this kind of thing. In my Carcassonne The City wood box I also have The Castle, Over Hill and Dale, and Original with first couple expansions.
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28 Jul 2020 13:47 #312539 by the_jake_1973
I tend to smush as many of the expansions into a single box with the base game. My Memoir 44 box has all the tiles and figures and the boards are outside the main box which is good enough for me. My Dominion cards are in card binders for easy storage. Plano boxes are the order of the day to condense my Command & Colors Nappys and Ancients.
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28 Jul 2020 14:15 #312540 by ubarose
I try to fit all expansions in the box with the core game, but sometimes it's impossible. I have a few that are now in two boxes. Unfortunately with some of them, they are not split up so that the core game is all in one box, so I have to be carful not to accidentally only take one box if I take the game the games to play somewhere other than my own home.
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28 Jul 2020 14:31 - 28 Jul 2020 14:33 #312541 by Disgustipater
I always try to smash all the expansions into the base game box. I got both Root expansions and KS goodies into the base box. The lid sits about an inch high, and it’s heavy, but it works.

I also condensed my Carcassonne Big Box. I made foamboard prototype before making a wooden one that, as is usually the case, I never got around to actually making.




I always wanted to find an old-timey suitcase to build an insert in for my complete Arkham Horror 2e set. It also never materialized and at this point it’s probably not worth the effort.

I always feel like I accomplished something when I can cram as much stuff into as small of a space as possible.
Last edit: 28 Jul 2020 14:33 by Disgustipater.
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28 Jul 2020 14:52 #312544 by Shellhead
Oliver, if you really want to save space storing games with boards, spend some money to get each board screenprinted on fabric. Then you can easily fold or roll up the board to fit with the components in a much more compact space.

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28 Jul 2020 14:52 #312545 by ChristopherMD

Disgustipater wrote: I always wanted to find an old-timey suitcase to build an insert in for my complete Arkham Horror 2e set. It also never materialized and at this point it’s probably not worth the effort.


I always kept my eye out for an old chest or something, but yeah never materialized. Right now its all split between the Core and Miskatonic boxes.

I do still want some sort of WWII ammo box or crate or something to put D-Day Dice stuff into. The boards are 8x5 I think so finding the right size container that's period-appropriate also hasn't happened yet.

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28 Jul 2020 14:55 #312547 by Shellhead
I have plenty of storage space but try to minimize the space that a game takes up so it is easier to bring to a friend's house. I've got all but one of the Cosmic Encounter expansions, but I have got it all down to fitting in the base game box plus one small box just for the races.

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28 Jul 2020 16:39 #312555 by Jackwraith
Like everyone else, I'm a "one box if at all possible" person. Almost all expansion boxes and definitely all original dividers get recycled instantly. Cyclades and all of its expansions? One box. Neuroshima and its 18 armies? One box. Cosmic Encounter and its six expansions? One box. It's heavy and I've had to reinforce it with tape twice, but it works fine. I even managed to get all of the minis for The Others into two boxes: the base box has all the Sins and the Omega Team box has all the heroes. I had someone attempt to take me to task for this on BGG as the "difference between people who paint and people who don't." I countered by telling him the ridiculous number of GW armies/fleets/gangs that I'd painted and still managed to fit into small spaces for easy transport. Proper varnishing and the light grade of plastic that CMON uses means you can bundle figures together without harm. I have 8000+ points of fully-painted Skaven piled together in a single plastic container. It's not a big deal as long as you're careful.

I "only" have all of the factions for Cthulhu Wars, but I still had to keep an expansion box for the GOOs, since it's just not feasible to get them all into even CW's oversized main box with everything else. I don't have any of the extra maps, though, as I'd probably need more space for them. As noted in another thread, Runebound 2nd Ed. is in two boxes: one for the base game and all the card expansions; the other for the four large expansions.

Unlike Disgustipater, however, I decided to split my Root stuff into two boxes, as I don't like having propped lids for some reason. I could probably get it all into the base box, but it just didn't seem that horrible a thing to bring two for that one. Dunno.

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28 Jul 2020 17:00 #312557 by jeb
Condense all the way in this house. Rebox too, if it makes sense. HEROSCAPE is in a tub, NAVIA DRAPT is in a gallon-sized Ziploc. Expansion boxes get saved as craft materials for the kids, the guts of them go into the main box, every time.

My ARKHAM HORROR 2E is in three boxes, and one is propped. I was thinking I was terrible at this, but I remembered one has a Plano container of the core materials and if I tossed that I could get much denser.

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28 Jul 2020 17:19 #312559 by Shellhead

jeb wrote: My ARKHAM HORROR 2E is in three boxes, and one is propped. I was thinking I was terrible at this, but I remembered one has a Plano container of the core materials and if I tossed that I could get much denser.


Same here. I've got a plano box for all the tokens, which saves me from sorting hassles. Otherwise, in theory I could maybe fit all the cards in one box, and then all the boards and tokens and character/GOO sheets in another. No, wait, all those monster tokens would take up too much space even if they were unpunched. I think a three-box minimum is still necessary fro Arkham Horror 2nd.

Speaking of Arkham Horror, that reminds me that I need to create some custom investigator sheets for the main characters from Lovecraft Country. I was hoping to use visuals from the show, but it sounds like the show is telling one full season story instead of interconnected episodic stories like in the book. That makes me think that some of the protagonists in the book might not even be in the show.

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28 Jul 2020 17:35 #312560 by ubarose
My Arkham 2e is in a rolling sewing machine tote. Slightly larger than two boxes, but easy to travel with and roll through hotels and conventions. Not as cool as an old fashioned suitcase or trunk, which is an excellent idea by the way, but I need those wheels when my room is literally a mile away from the game tables.
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28 Jul 2020 17:59 #312561 by Shellhead

ubarose wrote: My Arkham 2e is in a rolling sewing machine tote. Slightly larger than two boxes, but easy to travel with and roll through hotels and conventions. Not as cool as an old fashioned suitcase or trunk, which is an excellent idea by the way, but I need those wheels when my room is literally a mile away from the game tables.


When I used to go to GenCon on an annual basis, I always carried around a briefcase all day. It had room for business cards (from other people), a notebook, pencils, dice, an rpg rulebook and a one-shot adventure, plus a couple of CCG decks and a couple of small games like Kill Dr. Lucky. It also doubled as an impromptu referee screen if I got to run the adventure. By the second day, my arms always looked ripped like I had been doing steroids. A couple of days after GenCon, I would be back to normal.
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28 Jul 2020 23:06 #312563 by san il defanso
I consolidate expansions in the core box when it's possible, but it must be said that some game boxes were not designed with that in mind. I'm looking at you, FFG. My copy of Cosmic Encounter was falling to dust by the time we got to four expansions, though that was also because I was sleeving every card. When we moved I bought one of those Really Useful Boxes to store it in. It is kind of ridiculous to transport, but it gets the job done admirably. (I did the same for Talisman.)

There's an odd little hit of pleasure when I'm able to consolidate a box just perfectly. I think the one that makes me happiest is Argent, which has a lot of components packed into a fairly compact box. It's got space for everything, but only just. It makes me happy.

I've had to spill into multiple boxes for a couple of games, but very few of them are the kind of game I would throw in the trunk for game night. It tends to be either epic stuff like Duel of Ages II, or maybe large two-player games like Space Hulk. The only exception there is Power Grid, for which they eventually started releasing supplementary boxes, so it looks nice on the shelf. Plus I can just grab the main game if I don't feel like teaching expansion stuff.
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