Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
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    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    Board Game Organization: Small World

    My latest obsession with board games has produced a bit of a quandary. I like things to be neat and orderly (my wife would claim otherwise, but that's a different argument), and a lot of these games come with a lot of tokens and no good way to organize them. Once I had about 3 or 4 such games, my left eye started to twitch with an absolute NEED to put things in order.


    Come up with a storage solution that:

    1) Holds all tokens from the base game and any expansions that don't have a (good) box of their own
    2) Is not a giant pile of Ziploc bags
    3) Keeps the tokens organized in such a way as to be easy to use during a game, and easy to put away after the game.


    4) Fits in the game's box

    Small World

    Small World comes with about a bajillion tokens for use during play.

    It also comes with a serviceable, but not ideal, tray to hold and organize the tokens:

    Add in the expansions Grand Dames, Be Not Afraid, Tunnels, and Cursed!, and you roughly double the token count for armies and similar small pieces. The Tales and Legends expansion adds a deck of cards. Be Not Afraid comes with its own token tray that organizes all of the expansions (minus Tales and Legends) to date:

    The problem for me was that this tray just kind of sits outside the box (violating rule 4), and the lid that comes with it, while handy for keeping the tokens from bouncing around, is by no means "secure". I could easily see it being a huge mess if dropped, or if it slid off the seat while driving to game night, or whatever.

    There are discussion forums out on the internet, particularly at Board Game Geek, where folks go into exhaustive detail on different ways to organize Small World. Since my "victory conditions" require a little more effort than these discussions had demonstrated, and because I'm also organizing a few other games, I headed out to see what I could find in the way of solutions.

    I started by going to the local hobby, sporting goods, and hardware stores and buying an assortment of cheap "small parts organizers", which means craft bead organizer, tackle box, and screw/nut/washer organizers in each of those stores respectively.

    The small world box is about 11" square on the inside, with 2" of depth after the boards and instructions are stacked inside. After messing with several different arrangements, I finally hit upon a solution I thought would work once I did some more shopping.

    I found these little guys at the local hobby store:

    They are exactly 1" high and 3.5" wide, so 6 of them can fit in a double-stacked row across the game box. They hold army tokens beautifully:

    I then needed a box that could organize the non-army tokens, was less than 2" tall, and less than 6" wide. It should also be a little on the short side so I'd have some room outside it for the army placards, which seemed to defy organization in the way that I needed.

    At Lowe's, I found the Stack-On SBR-10:

    This organized the larger tokens, including the mountain tokens, which most folks seem to have trouble getting stored, so I saw that as a personal victory:

    All of this stacked in the box left me with room on the side to stack the army placards, which as I said were causing me some trouble:

    I dropped the Tales and Legends deck on top of that, and found room to stuff a couple of Crown Royal bags (for random tile drawing, natch), and...

    Posted by Tom, 5/2/2012 7:58:23 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...