Variant: Getting it Down to One Box
For games that I enjoy, I often become a bit of an expansion junkie. Expansion are mostly, but not always, a great addition to a game. They tend to bring a fresh perspective, renew or improve the strategic climate, and add long lasting replayability. But they almost always come in a new box. For games with more than a few expansions (like Carcassonne or Dominion), lugging those boxes around is a hassle and they take up valuable real estate on the shelf. The solution? Down to One Box!
For me, Down to One Box (or DOB, as the kids call it) is more than just a good idea; it’s a credo, a mantra, a way of life. I hate giving up shelf space to boxes for expansions that could hold a new game. As I’ve previously admitted, I’m a card carrying member of the cult of the new. Or at least I tend to be as long as my budget holds out. Any expansion box is simply taking up space where a new game could be. So, to balance this with my desire for expansions, we have to get creative.
Most of the time, I can achieve DOB simply by bagging the components from the expansion and tossing them into the base game box. Often, the original boxes have enough room to accommodate a few expansions. At worst, it merely requires removing a cardboard or plastic insert so that I have the full box available.
Sometimes, it will fit, or almost fit, if I can arrange it just so. The one that leaps to mind here is On the Brink, the expansion for Pandemic. The expansion not only includes new cubes, pawns, and cards, but also a thick stack of paper for use in the bioterrorist variant and six awesome petri dishes to hold the pieces. While I could toss the dishes and just use baggies, they are so cool and thematic that I had to keep them, so I figured out a way to place all of the components so that it would be in one box – barely.
Other times, more major modifications are necessary. Getting Dominion DOB required the purchase of separate card boxes and the creation of a new insert. That insert can accommodate all expansions through Cornucopia, at least. There are already two more expansions, so it might be necessary to prepare a second box in the same style.
Then, there are those wretched games where the expansion cannot be added to the base box no matter what you do. The one that leaps to mind is Innovation and Echoes of the Past. Innovation’s box is just big enough to hold it. The Echoes of the Past box is just big enough to hold the expansion. There is simply too much to fit DOB. So there it sits on my shelf, mocking me.
The other major offender is Small World. So many expansions and boxes! And while I love all of them, there has to be a better way. So, I will attempt to consolidate it all down to one box if possible, two if not. Wish me luck, for this promises to be an epic adventure into DOB territory. I’ll let you know how it goes.
UPDATE: I got all Small World expansions into one, and Underworld and Realms in another. Two it is. Sigh.
Are you a fanatic DOBer like myself?