On the Move: Tips for Taking Your Games on the Go
Happy July! Summer is in full swing! I want to thank Meepline for writing the last post solo last month. We have been in the process of packing, moving and unpacking at our new house!
Back in May, I posted an Instagram photo of my packing and asked the question “how many boxes of games do we have?” The answer was/is 47. We have quite the collection, which includes role-playing books, board games, minis and GM supplies. That is where I got the idea for this post. How do you move things like game books and board games and hope they stay together? I hope to provide you some tips and tricks for packing your collection safely. Next month, Meepline and I will be back writing in tandem bringing you tips for convention going in honor of LadiesCon. Post LadiesCon, we will be writing about organizing your collection and setting up an effective (and fun) game space and I will (hopefully) have our new game room setup to show you pictures.
But for now, here are some tips about packing up your games. You can use some of these tips when you go on vacation as games are great entertainment for cabins or beach houses.
Step 1: Assess your Collection (and know that you will be wrong in your assessment) and Come Up with a Plan
For us, packing our gaming area was the first thing on our list. We knew that as much as we wanted to keep gaming; packing would be a full-time job. I looked at each bookshelf and tried to assess if we needed more than one box a shelf or if we needed other tools. We have those neat boxy Ikea shelves and one paper box you can grab from work will fit one shelf of game books. My husband and I sat down and talked about how we wanted to pack them.
For board games, you should count how many games and take stock of things that you will need to make sure you are properly sealed. (I will show you how in step 3.)
Step 2: Gather Your Equipment
Before any party begins an adventure, it is important to gather the equipment that they will need to succeed in the adventure.
If you work at an office building, getting boxes for game books is easy. Paper boxes are great for game books, as most fit snugly in their boxes. If you can’t get those then use small boxes. They are generally 12x12 or 16x12 and are worth purchasing from a moving company or Staples. These boxes are heavy, and the next level up are tough even for movers. For board games, large or even extra-large boxes are acceptable. As long as you keep those moving the boxes in mind as you pack.
Then go to Staples and purchase a variety of sizes of rubber bands. This is key for keeping your board games from falling apart in the boxes.
Also, buy some strong tape. This is one place that you can not cut corners. The last thing you want is for the tape on the box to fail and the games to go everywhere. It would be a disaster.
The last thing you do is go to the food store and buy ziplock bags. You will have many friends on this packing journey. Plastic bags will be one of them.
Step 3: Attacking the Board Games
Board games can seem like such a headache to pack because they are prone to fall open and scatter the pieces everywhere. Not anymore. I am about to tell you about the best thing I have ever discovered in the world of packing. Rubber. Bands. There are various sizes and there are ones that are the perfect sizes for even your biggest of games. If I can find ones for Fortune and Glory and Star Trek Ascendancy you should have no problem finding one for your biggest game.
Before packing, it is absolutely worth it to go through the games and make sure that all pieces are there and in their proper places. If you find any games with significant missing pieces, set them to the side. If the pieces aren’t found while packing, you should just toss the game. (Or if you are crafty, use it for some art project like this cool wall art.) Package up games you may not want anymore and see if you can sell them to a local game store. Call them first to see if they are buying back board games or that particular role-playing system. If they are complete, set them aside to be banded for the box.
Make sure all little pieces are secure in plastic bags or small Tupperware. Food stores stock the plastic cups that you can put dressings and ketchup in on the go. These are perfect for counters.
Once you have completely intact games, use the rubber bands. There should be one horizontal and one vertical. Or in the case of a game like Gloom, two going over the openings. If you have money to spend and you want to make the rubber bands a permanent fixture, you can get the box bands from the Broken Token.
Once the game boxes are secured, stuff your boxes in a way that the games don’t slide around. Mark them "board games" and then they're ready for the movers!
If you are traveling this summer to a beach house or a cabin, you should use the rubber bands. Seriously, discovering this has changed my life and made packing a breeze.
Step 4: Game Books, Game Books, Game Books
Game books are pretty easy. You put them in the box and you mark it right? You can just throw your books in all willy-nilly, but then when you want to set up your space on the other end of your move you will have to sort them all out again.
Pack books by system and try to remember to write the name on one side of the box. Organization makes unpacking a little easier. So take the time and make an effort before you move to put all the Shadowrun books together and all the Doctor Who books together. You will thank yourself later. Also, make sure you are not bending any paperback covers. If they bend, they will not bend back right ever.
Step 5: Miscellaneous Game Boxes are your Friend
When we were packing and just when we thought we were done, I found that hidden in the hollow books we have had forever were more card games. Do not get disheartened. This happens, and this is where a miscellaneous box is your friend. Found a dice on the floor...stick it in the box. A mini escaped your grasp….stick it in the box. Initiative tracker forgotten….you know what to do.
Don’t stress about the small stuff like this. Moving is hassle enough. When it is over and you are finally unpacked, you will get the satisfaction of having a game space that you love and enjoy. But we will write about that in September.
Featured Game: Munchkin
What’s the most fun part about RPGs? No no no, that’s the wrong answer. The right answer is Dungeon Crawls! Kicking in those doors, slaying monsters, and getting treasure! Working together with your friends? Who does that? Munchkin combines all the best parts of a Neutral/Evil dungeon crawl. Kick in the door, fight some monsters, get some treasure, betray your friends, a fun time had by all! And the best part of Munchkin? There are several different iterations! Want something that is straight D&D-like? Munchkin Vanilla is what you want! Want to play some Munchkin with your kids? Adventure Time Munchkin is mathematical! Want to look super smart? Get thee hence to a game purveyor and acquire Shakespeare Munchkin! And most of the different variations have expansions to customize your experience. Meepline’s favorite? The Deadpool expansion for Munchkin X-Men. Kill monsters and betray your friends to be the first to reach level 10!
Until next time…. May all your hits be crits.