Things of No Interest: Eldritch Horror - Oh the Horror!

Things of No Interest: Eldritch Horror - Oh the Horror!

Eldritch Horror. Oh how I enjoy this game. This is one of the very few co-op games that I enjoy playing, in large part because of the story. Because of this, I have a fair bit of the expansions (and there is still a fair bit I don't have still). It quickly became apparent to me that the normal storage solution wasn't going to work. In fact, this is a regular question, complaint, or comment from the game's fans - storage is an issue. Even this review of one of the expansions pokes fun at the storage problem facing those brave enough to dive into the game.

My initial plan for storage (after my first big box expansion purchase) was that I took a large FFG box (BattleLore IIRC) and mixed it with the lid from the Mountains of Madness box. This gave me enough storage space that I could create a number of card trays out of foam core and still keep everything together. The result was really good if I say so myself. If I had stopped getting expansions at Mountains of Madness, then I could have lived with the solution. But the expansions kept on rolling out and I had literally maxed out all the space my solution had provided.

As I continued on acquiring more stuff for the game, the replacement plan was a wooden artists box and the Broken Token card system organizer. I kept the small rack I had built out of foam core for the non-condition small cards, but the other cards all moved. The standard cards went into the artist box along with the character cards. This box is a pretty good solution, as there is a space for the boards and manuals as well. Having moved on from foam core to 3D printing, I printed out a set of racks for the condition cards that fit into one of the small box expansions. A box from the Broken Token houses the dice and counters. I ordered a Cthulu rack for the large cards from Etsy and also printed off a bunch of gate stands for the board. The problem? I was out of space - again (I own two large box and three small box expansions currently).

Not only was I out of space, but everything is in 5 different places. The Cthulu rack doesn't fit in anything. All the 3D printed stuff is in a random USPS box I had sitting around, the condition cards are in one box and other stuff in the artist box. Plus the bits in the Broken Token Box. I'm not just at my limit, I'm a little over. The last expansion I got for Carcosa has a at least 9 new types of conditions, which meant the racks I have are no longer sufficient. I could do another set in a small box, but that's just one more box! Time to find a new solution.

So the goals of a new storage system:

  • More space for future expansions (currently there are two more big box and one more small box expansion that I don't own). I have no illusions about FFG being done and while I'm not planning to acquire more at the moment, this project seemed like a fun distraction.
  • Reduce the number of containers/places that everything exists.

    3D printing has been my friend and frankly is better than foam core if for no other reason than you can get good storage systems that have thin walls - millimeters of thickness are starting to matter! So I planned to look for solutions others might have come up with. No luck. Nothing I find really works for what I want to do, so I decide to go a different route than I have before and design my own.

    So here is round 1 of the my new design.

    I start with an extra AH:TCG (FFG "medium" box size). I decide what I'd like to do is take the rack design from the small box (condition cards) and expand it a bit so there are more spaces. I can make them longer to accomidate the new types of cards. I also have stacks of small cards in my foam rack that I'd like to do something with so I can get rid of my foam core rack. My initial thought (since I'm not a design guru) is to take an existing rack design I've used before and re-size it for small cards. After about 3 tries with the math, I think I get it worked out and using Tinkercad (online) I come up with a model that should be correct and print a few test copies out. They are ok, but not great. First, I only have room for 3 in the box (based on my original concepts that I had sketched out on some paper), but more importantly, they won't hold the stacks well - the stacks are simply too big. The second issue (I realize too late) is that I'd have no room for more cards and no good way to deal with the cards in-game. I really need a single tier rack (like the foam core one I have been using) that takes up less space.

    Back to the drawing board. Since the size (width) of the racks was right, I sort of use the basic layout as a template and start chopping it apart until I have a single open sided box. I don't want solid sides mostly because I want to minimize the printed material, so I cut out some holes in the sides and back. I then simply replicate the object and lay them on top of each other so that I'd have a single piece with 4 spaces. Now I had the rack I wanted that would hold the amount of cards I wanted.

    In my planning, it appeared that I'd have space for some other things, including what appeared to be enough space for a box to hold the character cards (moving them from the artist's box should free up a lot of space). For this, I started from scratch and just built a pretty simple box and added a "bump" at the bottom to help get the cards out. A friend suggested a put a cutout on the side to make it easier to get the cards out and so I added that too. SOMEHOW I got it right the very first time. The box is exactly the right size (it could be a milimeter taller, so I changed the model, but I'm not going to print another just for that). Now I have two things that don't look like they fit in the box together at all. Well, I mean they do, but its hard to see where I go from here. Right? Well maybe. So I bring my stuff altogether and start planning for the next round. Just for grins, here is a rough idea of what I'm thinking:

    So, stay tuned for round two, because the plan has already changed...
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