Random Musings: Board Game Storage (Part 1)

I am perpetually searching for a proper way to store many of my board games. Once you buy the base set and a couple of expansions, the number of boxes that are required for a game start to grow to the point where that particular game takes over a shelf.

Take my Commands and Colors: Ancients set. It currently sits at an astounding 7 boxes. These are each very full of plano boxes used to store the thousands of blocks that are included in the game. Note, I love this game very much. It’s the game that got me started into the basics of light wargaming and I will honor it with an incredible review at some point.( Sneak peek …. 10/10 )

I only realized after uploading this that one of the boxes was upside down….

Despite the 7 boxes above, they’re all full. If it’s full of content, I can’t fault of game designers. They have literally packed their games to the brink. However, some games just use the box as a means of advertising and do not store things optimally. No game is more guilty of  this than Dominion. Currently, there are 7 boxes if one wants to play with all of the cards in the set. The worst part of this is that there is TONS of unused space in each box. The base game stores 450 cards and is sparesly packed. The same box can easily store over 1800 as pictured in my set from below (using an awesome organizer from BGG).

Using a sweet organizer, I’ve stored most of the expansions to date in one box

This is a general problem in the board game industry. There are two competing forces. Keeping the gamer’s house cleaner with fewer/smaller boxes vs. advertising the games to get them in the hands of gamers in the first place. Believe me, I understand both sides of this pretty well, but as a hobby gamer, I sincerely wish games were always shipped in better end-use packaging.

Perhaps there is no perfect solution from the retail perspective, but is there a solution on the consumer end? There’s a lot of DIY solutions (such as my Dominion box) that utilize card boxes, index cards, Plano boxes, etc. These usually solve the problem but at increased cost and time spent. And depending on your level of craftsmanship, the results may highly vary. I fall on the low end of this spectrum, having a lot of hand made cases for my games but they’re rather low quality.

I just found out about this storage system called The Keep which is currently on KS. While this looks like a very interesting system, it’s astoundingly expensive. At $200 USD, it looks like it will hold a lot of games and hold them well, but at that price, couldn’t you just replace the games? Their KS goal of 750k also seems like an enormous stretch for such a premium item. I applaud them for trying to solve the general problem, but it does feel like it misses the mark.

Gamers want a cheap way of storing their games efficiently. It’s a constant problem that unfortunately doesn’t hold a lot of solutions.


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