Board Game Compression Experiment

Reading about folks “compressing” their games in preparation for travel, I was inspired.

We just returned from a weekend trip to Indianapolis (about 90 minutes from our home on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio) with a bag full of games (in their boxes) in tow. I thought this would be a good opportunity to experiment to see what could be gained by “compressing” these games for easier transport.

THE STARTING HAND:
These were the games we took to Indianapolis with us.

These 11 games in their boxes pretty much filled my ‘game garage’, which is an insulated food transportation bag from Gordon Food Service, roughly 21″x12″x12″ (available in-store for $3.50). It’s got ‘good enough’ handles, though with that many games the handles dug into my hands a bit. Still, for the price, it’s a great solution. And if it breaks, who cares? It was $3.50!

I weighed the bag with the games in their boxes and it was 31.5 pounds. Here’s a picture:

 

THE GAME PLAN:

  • To gain as much space as feasible by leaving behind the box, inserts, and any other non-gameplay-related pieces.
  • To take the entire game — boards, minis, pieces, parts, manuals, etc. Leave nothing behind but the box (and etc. as detailed above).

I removed all the games (except those marked with an “(*)” above which weren’t “compressed” because they’re already small enough {though I probably could have saved a little space in the Deep Space D-6 box and possibly the Tiny Epic Galaxies box}) from their boxes and put the components into a large Ziplock bag, one game per Ziplock. In the case of real travel, I would label each bags with a Sharpie. Components in most of my games are in small Ziplock bags within their boxes, so this was fairly easy. For card-intensive games like Mystic Vale, Ashes, Dresden, and Aeon’s End I rubber-banded the cards together in their groups as in the box (for example, all Book cards from Dresden were rubber-banded together). Manuals, boards, minis, and etc. were placed together into a stack nearby.

After “compressing” all the games, I put the manuals, boards, minis, etc. into the bottom of the bag. I put the Ziplock-bagged games in next. My ‘game garage’ was less than half full, and the weight was reduced to 23 pounds — a weight savings of 8.5 pounds!

OBSERVATIONS:
Rubber bands are bad. If I were doing this ‘for real’, I would use something more forgiving than rubber bands to collect my cards together, especially cards with dividers like those in Aeon’s End and Dresden.

It bothered me very little to remove the games from their boxes and put them into easier-to-transport Ziplocks. If I had a proper solution to use instead of rubber bands for card-sets (maybe smaller Ziplocks for a bag-within-a-bag approach), I would not mind transporting games this way.

Every game’s components (except for boards, minis, and manuals) fit inside a standard gallon-sized Ziplock bag — even Delve with its loads of tiles and dice. Even games that feel “bigger” fit into a gallon Ziplock.

Mystic Vale is really heavy for its size.

Mystic Vale’s Advancement cards slice right through rubber bands. Like a hot knife through butter.

Flimsy boards and manuals need support. They can be a little floppy (especially the manuals) and I worry about them getting bent. Consider taking a printout of the manual on 8.5×11 paper — using FinePrint to save paper & space — for travel and store the boards carefully (maybe on top). Or use a piece of cardboard or a binder to provide some ridgity to the boards and manuals.

Consider not including minis to further compress. Or, perhaps more realistically, don’t take mini games (like Scythe) at all because the hotel may not be set up for them. The added bulk of minis and sometimes-difficult play conditions at a hotel make mini games (to me) less-appropriate candidates for travel.

One drawback I noticed was that the ‘game garage’ was less structured without the boxes inside, and it wouldn’t stand up on its own. This was expected, but still noteworthy.

THE END GAME:
If you’re traveling, don’t be afraid to take your games out of their boxes and put them into labeled Ziplock bags. Consider the boards and manuals as you pack to prevent them from getting wrinkled or buckled.

 

The manuals and boards.

Board Game Night, 2017-06-25

For many months now, Wendy & I have been quietly hosting Board Game Nights at our house. We try to get folks together for “gaming unplugged” about once a week, though sometimes schedules get in the way and make it less often than we’d prefer.

But once we get folks together, phones are put away (except for the occasional rules clarification and recording of the game on BoardGameGeek.COM), and people begin to interact in meaningful ways, all facilitated by cardboard chits. Laughter happens, drama happens, game-based tensions rise and are resolved, and common experiences are experienced, real-time and together, around a table.

Last night, we had friends over for the first time to play games, and they brought their bright 7-year old daughter with them. Among other games, we played MYSTERIUM, which allows you to vote for or against the selections made by other players. The little girl was very anxious about voting against anyone because “they’re [my] friends!”, she said.

We talked about it with her at the table, helping her to understand that it’s just part of the game and “nothing personal”. While she was still a bit apprehensive about voting against her friends, she embraced the spirit (pun intended) of the game and fully participated.

I hope, if nothing else, that she enjoyed the game. But more so, I hope that she learned that games can be a ‘safe space’ that is non-damaging (and in fact healthy) to relationships. Even if you have to vote against a friend!

Super Mario: We love you!

Today, full of energy, Mario is still running, running
Go save Princess Peach! Go!
Today, full of energy, Mario runs
Today, full of energy, jumping!
Today, full of energy, searching for coins
Today, keep going, Mario!
Get a mushroom – it’s Super Mario!
Get a flower – it’s Fire Mario!
Goomba! Troopa! Buzzy Beetle! Beat them all!
Mario is always full of energy and strong!
Today, full of energy, Mario is still running, running
Go and beat the Koopa tribe, go!
Today, full of energy, Mario runs
Today, full of energy, jumping!
Today, full of energy, searching for coins
Today, keep going, Mario!
Get a star – become invincible!
Quickly, go save Princess Peach!
Lakitu! Blooper! Cheep Cheep! Beat them all!
Mario is always full of energy and strong!
Today, full of energy, Mario is still running, running
He’s made it to the castle and gets fireworks!
Lightly sidestepping the Hammer Bros.
Show the last of your power, Mario!
It’s been a long journey but it’s nearly at an end
You’ve done it, you’ve done it! You’ve defeated Bowser!
Princess Peach says “Thank you”
Mario’s got a great big heart!
Mario’s adventure is over for now, but
Mario’s dream lives forever…

RECIPE 48: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pecorino

-= Exported from BigOven =-

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pecorino

No more wrinkled noses when people hear you’re serving Brussels Sprouts — they’ll be begging for more. Properly cooked Brussels Sprouts are sweet, nutty, and full of good flavor. In this preparation, from Franny’s restaurant in Brooklyn, they’re also anointed with olive oil and given a good roasting. The walnuts and pecorino are perfect counterpoints. Look for fresh Brussels Sprouts on their long stalks at the farmers’ market.

Recipe By: BEST AMERICAN RECIPES 2005-2006, page 183
Serving Size: 6
Cuisine: Uncategorized
Main Ingredient: Brussels Sprouts
Categories: Roast, Vegetables, Side Dish

-= Ingredients =-
1/2 cup Walnuts
18 each Brussels Sprouts ; cut in half
to taste Extra virgin olive oil
to taste Salt and pepper
squeeze Fresh lemon juice
to taste Pecorino Toscano ; optional, for topping

-= Instructions =-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toast the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until they smell toasty; set aside. Crumble them when they’re cool enough to handle.

Turn the oven up to 450 degrees.

Toss the Brussels Sprouts in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat each sprout, 2 to 3 tablespoons. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the sprouts in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender and some of the leaves have become crunchy.

Let the sprouts cool on the baking sheet, then toss in a large bowl with the walnuts. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, add a squeeze of lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Shave some of the pecorino on top and serve warm.

** This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping. BigOven.com ID= 162285 **
** Easy recipe software. Try it free at: http://www.bigoven.com **

Guild Wars: Factions PvP Weekend Jan 20-22, 2006

Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-For-All PvP Weekend Event
Guild Wars

The Guild Wars Team would like to invite gamers everywhere to join us on the weekend of January 20th for a Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-For-All PvP Weekend Event! This event will take place on the Battle Isles, the new PvP continent. Players can visit this new area of the world to to try out a brand new arena, to visit the new combat training zones, or to experience the PvP explorable areas. Join us to get an early look at how PvP will evolve with the coming of Guild Wars: Factions!

The Event Schedule

Start of Event: January 20th: Midnight Pacific Time; 8:00 a.m. GMT; 5:00 p.m. Seoul
Closing Time: January 22nd/23rd: 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time January 22nd; 7:59 a.m. GMT January 23rd; 4:50 p.m. Seoul January 23rd

Your Key to PvP

American Players:
888D9-H27PG-NM72D-PLHJ1-2HG11

European Players:
66DG9-C4RHB-9FKD6-287BJ-LRGCJ

Feel free to share this key with your friends, guild mates and gaming partners!

Download the Guild Wars game client now!

Click (more…), below, to view Frequently Asked Questions about this event.

Continue reading “Guild Wars: Factions PvP Weekend Jan 20-22, 2006”

Diablo II 1.10 Patch RELEASED

drew: Diablo II 1.10 patch available.

CEmery: damn, only 2 years later

drew: Weird, eh?

CEmery: yeah

CEmery: why bother now?

drew: They made some significant changes, but I agree… It’s late.

CEmery: very late

drew: VERY late.

CEmery: Quite late indeed.

drew: Really late.

CEmery: Too late?

drew: Almost too late.

drew: But not quite. Still late, but not TOO late.

drew: A little late, maybe.

CEmery: More than a little late.

drew: WAY more than a little late, really.

CEmery: Yeah

drew: Surprisingly late, I’d say.

CEmery: Late.

CEmery: Surprising at all.

drew: The lateness isn’t a surprise; it’s that it’s so far after the last one.