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Lord of the Rings LCG has been a lifesaver (figuratively speaking!) and has helped me maintain sanity in my new foray into fatherhood. Daydreaming about decks and card combinations keeps my mind fresh during relentless midnight feedings and gives my wakeful times a sense of purpose in between his naps.

As much as I love this game however, I've grown tired of the disorganization and fiddly-ness of elements of gameplay, but also with setup and storage. With all the "free" time I've experienced away from work, I've had a chance to study all the wonderful creations here on BGG and leveraged many of your clever ideas ideas to create my interpretation of a playmat and storage solution.

I'm pleased to share with you my creation. For the mild to moderately OCD among us, enjoy!

**First of all, many thanks to GeckoTH's beautiful templates and imagery that allowed me to adorn what would have been a plain and rather boring play surface. His amazing murals and imagery were leveraged from here, here, and here.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Storage
The boxes were purchased from Hobby Lobby, and the designs were painted with a matte black spray paint through overlays I created using stuff I found on the web. Don't forget to protect your beautiful creations with a matte or glossy sealer!

The box decorated with the Tree of Gondor holds all player cards and game related materials, etc., while the box adorned with the One Ring inscription holds all encounter cards for AP and Saga expansions.




My storage currently houses 1 core set (proxied for 3 core set player cards) and all current expansions (with exception to POD and Nightmare packs), sleeved in FFG card sleeves. Something to note, the screws attaching the handles to the box are tiny and only penetrate the wood 1/4" or so. These boxes will get very heavy laden with cards and such, so I replaced these puny wood screws with 5/8" machine screws/nuts secured with blue locktite. I advise you to reinforce your handles to ensure they do not detach unexpectedly bearing a load they were not meant to bear.

While it would seem there is a lot of dead space, it's my hope to grow into the game for the long haul, as FFG continues to release more Saga expansions and AP cycles. Crossing my fingers (and toes) I won't need to grow a third arm to haul around yet another box!



EDIT: Yup, I will officially be needing a third arm. Broke down and bought a third box to store J.R.R.'s trilogy expansions on its own leaving more space for AP cycles. Will post images shortly!

For this picture, all cards were shoved into one box, so people can see what it looks like empty. It just barely fits into one, with two providing more than ample space... for now. I painted the interior of my boxes to put to rest any wood dust I couldn't remove, and it just looks so much better painted in my opinion. I lined my boxes with a rubbery, clear, shelf liner cut into columns of 4 (removed from the empty box) that helps keep cards from shifting around when I remove sections at a time.

By re-purposing the removable palettes that came with the boxes as playmats, they conveniently tuck away, and are well protected during storage and travel. This also creates a slot in the back for manuals and other documentation behind the playmats when stowed.

The interior dimensions of the hobby lobby case (lower half) is: 12" x 15 3/4" x 2.5". If the assembly used to hold the playmats is removed, you'll gain about 2" of additional space. I was contemplating doing this to store the cards vertically, increasing my storage capacity, but decided against this option so the boxes could hold my playmats.

The dividers in the box were created from existing dividers that came oriented horizontally and breaking apart a wooden organizer tray that comes included.

UPDATE: I recently experienced the great misfortune of having the latches come open upon lifting one of my cases. Needless to say, it was a mess! I've installed spring-loaded side latches as a safety that must also be unlocked to open the case as insurance.





I picked these up locally, but can be found on amazon.com as well:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FBVFJS/ref=oh_aui_detai...

Playmats
I used wooden dowels to angle cards for ergonomics and readability, making things quite a bit easier to handle. Gone are the days of cursing freshly cut fingernails!

The playmat on the left organizes a set of cards specific to the scenario on top (e.g. controlled locations, victory cards, objectives, setup cards for upcoming quest stages, etc.), manages tokens, and organizes the quest deck along with active location, with 2 extra carriages for additional active locations or new game mechanics. The x5 and x10 multipliers are the ingenius idea of BGG user choppic. While I really like the FFG threat dials, I really wanted to embed threat counters for a one-stop-shop approach.




The playmat on the right organizes enemies engaged with player 1 on top, a staging area in the middle, and a bottom row for enemies engaged with player 2. The space to the left of Player 1 and Player 2 is for the first player token, but will likely make way for new game mechanics yet to come.

I quickly grew tired of holding large hands for both players, so I've taken the card holders that came with my Ticket to Ride Asia expansion, painted them, and put them to good use here. The gloss black paint photographs pretty poorly with excessive glare and reflections. It really looks much better than this, but I prefer gloss to matte for this applicaiton since textured matte paint has been a magnet for dust and lint on my other playmats.

The player card holders seen here by SEMark, were re-created using pieces of mat board as opposed to wood, as I would have no idea where to start working with wood haha.




This setup is intended for a dual wielding, solo player, but should work ok for two sitting side-by-side. My fanaticism for LotR LCG is unfortunately not shared with my wife or our gaming group, so I anticipate this game will regrettably remain a solitary pursuit.

Threat Counters and Dials
The acrylic dials are magnetically attached to the board and can be swapped out or removed if needed. The large dials next to the P1/P2 threat dials are used to track game/quest mechanics or character abilities (e.g. Ring Bearer/Wilyador HP, Laketown scenario burn counter, new time mechanics in Voice of Isengard expansion, etc.). Extra dials on hand keep track of questing WP or staging area threat when playing 2 handed, since I get easily sidetracked dealing with multiple Hide checks or resolving surge card effects. These dials were purchased from Litko.net.


First Player Token
The first player token has been replaced with the Noble Maiden's "Evenstar" pendant. Used without the chain, but makes for a better photograph left in.



Exhaust Tokens
I've always found the exhaust mechanic of rotating cards cumbersome. For someone who generally prefers powerful heroes running multiple attachments as opposed to the bum rush of cheap allies, I often find myself fiddling with more cards than I care to. Like some of you here on the geek, I've elected to use tokens to exhaust, but I like to distinguish between questing or combat/other. This helps me administer rules that affect questing characters only, and helps me remember little things, like whether Gildor has exhausted for a quest or for his deck scrying ability. The "?" tokens designate questing and the "X" tokens are for combat and general exhaustion. I picked these up at my FLGS, but they source these tokens from Litko. Colored, glass beads should work just as well.



Alternative HP Counters
I'm not crazy about the token clutter on the hero cards, so I've been actively looking for alternatives.



The hero choice restriction leaves something to be desired, it doesn't fit any quests thematically, and once the PEZ is consumed, HP tracking will be problematic to say the least. The search resumes!

I hope you guys found something helpful and let me know if you have any questions. Sorry in advance for the very long read

Bino
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Craig Sawatzky
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Wow...
double WOW!!!
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David Hoffman
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
My God.

It's full of stars.
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notrub eneg
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
A very nice job, and some really great ideas for play.

I particularly like the "propped" card concept and the "exhausted" marker. I find leaving room for exhausting and picking up cards to move them both a space and handling problem.

I, too, am finding storage space for "everything from the beginning" is starting to run out.
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Chris D
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Amazing! I wish I had the skills to create something as nice as this! Truly professional quality.
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Eugene Jiang
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
"Lord of the Rings LCG has literally been a lifesaver"

Dare I ask?
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Sam Ferdinand
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
This is so badass I'm about to cuss
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meepleonboard
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Wow - that's fantastic work and I now have severe playmat envy. Also a burning desire to play the game again today!
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Oleg volobujev
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Yes lookw very cool. But I prefer just a dice
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Dan Cavaliere
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Wow - incredible detail and craftsmanship
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Alie D
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Wow, absolutely amazing!

If only I weren't so clumsy...
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
So...your cards aren't sleeved? laugh
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Joshua Kryzch
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
WOW!! just wow!! That is amazing!
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Bob
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
How did you paint the hobby boxes exactly? It's probably beyond my skill level as a hobby painter...

Awesome stuff.

Edit: Also, is the width of the inside of the boxes sufficient to store Adventure Packs in their original boxes? This is my current preferred method as I like to showcase that art in the box. (I clip the hanging tags off).
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kimchi fried rice
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
PoVPoint wrote:
"Lord of the Rings LCG has literally been a lifesaver"

Dare I ask?


oh snap... that came across very innappropriately haha! figuratively speaking of course. all lives are saved and the family is well

jrsinor wrote:
So...your cards aren't sleeved? laugh


yes! they are sleeved, but have you ever tried to photograph sleeved cards? they reflect and glare like mirrors so i unsleeved them just to get better photographs! am i the epitome of OCD???

Glaurung2 wrote:
Yes lookw very cool. But I prefer just a dice


there is wisdom in your words. a classic example of how to over-engineer a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist!

chrono280 wrote:
How did you paint the hobby boxes exactly? It's probably beyond my skill level as a hobby painter...

Awesome stuff.

Edit: Also, is the width of the inside of the boxes sufficient to store Adventure Packs in their original boxes? This is my current preferred method as I like to showcase that art in the box. (I clip the hanging tags off).


i printed my designs on a full page, avery label and applied the label to the cover of the hobby lobby box. i then took an exacto knife and cutout the design in question so the label on the wood acts as a mask and blocks the paint. once dried, i peel off the label and my design is intact. does that make any sense?

in regards to AP boxes... shoot, i haven't kept any boxes for the APs since i've been using these storage boxes. the way i've setup my boxes, they fit 4 columns of cards in FFG sleeves, laying horizontally perfectly.

i'm going to publish some pictures of what it looks like on the inside and hopefully that gives you a better idea of that will work for you or not. sorry i can't be more help!
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Jon Santos
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
This looks pretty sweet, Ill take a pair whistle

Seriously though, geek gold I have not, but here, have a thumb.

In fact, have both of them! oh wait...
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Quote:
i printed my designs on a full page, avery label and applied the label to the cover of the hobby lobby box. i then took an exacto knife and cutout the design in question so the label on the wood acts as a mask and blocks the paint. once dried, i peel off the label and my design is intact. does that make any sense?


Yes, I was thinking of buying these vinyl decals.


http://www.amazon.com/Lord-The-Rings-Caravan-Vinyl/dp/B00AP7...
http://www.amazon.com/Rings-White-Vinyl-Decal-Sticker/dp/B00...

But I am guessing they do not have an adhesive back. I could either then use the sheet they come in as a stencil for spray paint or I could just get a glue stick or something...
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kimchi fried rice
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
hmmm, the first vinyl decal has the following listed in the product description

Quote:
All orders come with Free Instruction for mounting the vinyl decal on any smooth surface.


if that's the case, it should work. you just have to check that the adhesive is strong enough to prevent paint bleed.

on a side note, i added a picture of my storage solution open, so folks can get an idea of what the capacity is like.



The interior dimensions of the hobby lobby case (lower half) is: 12" x 15 3/4" x 2.5". If the assembly used to hold the playmats is removed, you'll gain about 2" of additional space. I was contemplating doing this to store the cards vertically, increasing my storage capacity, but decided against this option so the boxes could hold my playmats.

For this picture, all cards were shoved into one box, so people can see what it looks like empty. It just barely fits into one, with two providing more than ample space... for now. I like to line my boxes with a rubbery, clear, shelf liner (removed from the empty box) that keeps cards from sliding around when I remove large sections at a time.
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Tom Howard
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Brilliant work. Looks awesome! laugh
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
GeckoTH wrote:
Brilliant work. Looks awesome! laugh


thanks Tom! props to you and your insane PS skills haha.

we are all the better for it
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Cordeiro Cordeirooo
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
Oh... Oh my. This is wonderful!
What an amazing work!
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
a quick update for people looking to use the Hobby Lobby boxes.

the screws attaching the handles to the box are puny and only penetrate the wood around 1/4" or so.

given how heavy these things get laden with cards and such, i replaced these screws with 5/8" machine screws/nuts secured with blue locktite.

i advise you guys to do something similar to your boxes to ensure the handles do not detach unexpectedly under a load i doubt they were designed to bear.
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James Resner
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
What did you use as the dividers in the box?
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
if you enlarge this picture, do you see those two notches on the sides of the boxes?



there are 2 wooden dividers than run across the floor, that i cut to size and orientated vertically to separate into columns.

the third divider is taken from the wooden organizer tray that comes with the hobby lobby boxes, that i carefully broke apart with a hammer and screw driver.
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James Resner
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Re: For the love of the game: Lord of the Rings LCG Playmat and Storage Solution‏
The Hobby Lobby cases are on sale at 30% off right now.

Just ordered 3 and got free shipping as well.
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