Infuriating packaging
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
DC
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[Please add your own case studies.]

The task of shifting games from one set of shelves to some new ones in the garage reminded me of a sad fact of the gaming hobby. Every once in a while, games have truly challenging (or challenged) packaging. Too big, too weak, odd shapes, or in some other way dysfunctional...I'm sure we all can think of something from our collections, past or preset, whose physical characteristics caused us fits.
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1. Board Game: Car Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:14198] [Average Rating:5.43 Unranked]
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
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I'm picking on Car Wars: The Card Game, but I could have selected any card game with a flimsy box. Even worse are boxes, like the one for Cthulhu 500 (a recent purchase), where the cards are supposed to "fit" side-by-side. Just getting the cards into the box without hitting the "lip" of the bottom lid is a trick in itself. Yes, I know, I can solve some of this problem with scotch tape, but the "lip" challenge remains.
 
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2. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
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Kinda darkly funny, really, to have a game printed in ink that will run when exposed to water.
 
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3. Board Game: La Bataille des Quatre Bras [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:2445]
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
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I found out, the hard way, that you should never, ever put another game on top of a La Bataille box. I finally scored a couple of these titles at a flea market, then made the mistake of stacking another game on top of them. The lids of the Bataille games either warped or split along the seams instantly.
 
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4. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:209] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
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Fantastic game, but inventory management for ASL is almost a hobby unto itself. I don't know who the owner of the boxes pictured here are, but I bet he doesn't actually store his counters in these containers. Instead, you have to become a Grand Master of Plano to enter the second circle of ASL initiates. While necessary, given the number of counters, I'm still not all that patient with the amount of counter-hunting required to find some of the more obscure record-keeping markers. (They frequently have unrelated icons on different sides of the same counter.)
 
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5. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:877]
Tom Grant
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A minor quibble, but once you start buying the expansion decks, where do you put them? (Other than stacking them on top of the original box, which is a slip-sliding accident waiting to happen.)
 
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6. Board Game: Swashbuckler [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3679]
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
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Yaquinto's decision to use leftover record album covers for Swashbucklers', er, box, meant that those nice, thick counters that Yaquinto customers otherwise loved were suddenly a liability. Once you punched the counters and packed them into a plastic bag, how could you slip the baggies into the record jacket without warping it?
 
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7. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Ben Newell
United States
Pasadena
CA
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Heroscape is a *fantastic* game that takes a long time to put away. If you discard the plastic inserts and assemble the terrain together inside the box, it all fits back in very snugly. VERY snugly. Then, you have to slide the parts container back into the main box, instead of just having a nice box lid that can be plopped down. There's very little chance that future expansions will be able to be contained in the main box, that's for sure.
 
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8. Board Game: Proteus [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:4436]
Paul Blake
United States
Westerville
Ohio
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Ah, Proteus. A fascinating chess variant which uses dice to represent pieces that constantly change into other pieces. Clever, fun, moderately inexpensive...

And packaged on an all-plastic blister card you have to destroy to open. Okay, sure, we probably all have places to store dice, but there's rules for the thing as well.

Fortunately, the dice and rules (properly folded) will all fit in a standard poker deck box.
 
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9. Board Game: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:951]
Jeremy OKelly
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All of those little chips fall out of their wells when you put the game away. And who wants to sort them out every time you play?
 
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10. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:312]
Darcy Burgess
Canada
Oxford Mills
Ontario
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Have you tried getting the cardboard pieces out of their wells?

My fingers are still bloody from last Wednesday night...
 
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11. Board Game: Diceland: Deep White Sea [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:4146]
Drake Coker
United States
San Diego
California
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Diceland... the game of large, flimsy paper dice!
 
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12. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3348] [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Amy O'Neal
United States
Mechanicsville
Virginia
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You have the door deck and the treasure deck, and all stored in one big box. You have to separate the decks every time you want to play, and then put them back into the box to be mixed up again.
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13. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:53]
Darcy Burgess
Canada
Oxford Mills
Ontario
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Not so much a packaging issue, but still...

Can anyone else get their Castillo apart?
Does it fit in the box if you can't?

That's what I thought.
 
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14. Board Game: Buy Low Sell High [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3295]
Felix Rodriguez
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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Ridiculously large boxes that house mostly air is a pet peeve of mine. I've got limited shelf space! This one is the worst offender. The box could easily be 1/4th its size.

I wish Uberplay would sell this game in two box sizes or something. One huge one so they can get the marketing space, and then one for actual gamers.
 
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