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A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game» Forums » General

Subject: DIY: saving tabletop space for the decks rss

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Stephan Beal
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Hi, all,

the past 48 hours or so i've built and experimented with 3 different widgets for organizing my ATOE decks, the goal being simply to take up as little table space as feasible while still remaining usable. Not counting the Event and Mystery decks, i'm down to a footprint of 1cm taller than an A4 sheet of paper (644.7 square centimeters), down from roughly 2310 square cm when laying them all out on the table with 1cm of padding around each deck.

There are tons of photos and commentary on it (see below for the link), but the end result looks like this:



In short:

- the A4-sized widget in the back has 15 "cells" which are large enough to hold any of the decks except for Event and Mystery cards (those are in the front-most box). Each deck is placed standing up in such a cell, and its discard pile is in the same cell, rotated 90 degrees, placed in front of the deck (to facilitate discard-diving if needed). Why? Because after much tinkering, that's the layout i found to be most comfortable to reach into and out of during play (YMMV). Grouping the discards with their decks simplifies measurement and saves space by ensuring that any given slot contains, for the most part, a constant number of cards (minus any the Heroes have in hand, but that's a small minority of them).

- A slightly smaller version of that widget can be built using one of the Hero Pack boxes, but it can only hold 12 slots (leaving no room for The Coast (which should be arriving in my mailbox in the next week)). Photos of this approach can be seen via the photo album link below.

- The Event/Mystery decks are notably larger than all the others. For these i recycled an old box of dates (yes, the fruit) which just happens to have perfect dimensions for holding two decks of cards side-by-side (i've used these to construct deck boxes in the past). These use the same "standing vs sideways" placement for the cards: discarded cards are rotated sideways and placed at the front of the deck. This box takes up approx. 9x15cm (45 square cm) for what amounts to four decks of cards (two decks plus their discard piles). That's less space than either one of these decks, plus its discard pile, would take up when placed directly on the table (including the padding necessary to allow manipulation of the decks).

All in all, i'm quite pleased with the usability and exceedingly pleased with the space savings. As a bonus, the deck widget "could" be used for everyday shelf storage of the decks, reducing setup and teardown time notably.

There are dozens of photos of the construction process, including far more commentary than is strictly required, over in the photo album:

https://goo.gl/photos/7ttmeWFcmugbUxuo7

As of this writing (20161227), the relevant photos start about halfway through the album - just look for pics showing lots of cardboard and/or foamcore. Many of the pics have descriptions attached to them to explain what the photo depicts, relevant measurements, etc. In Google Photos in a browser, one has to press the "(I)" ("I" in a circle) button on a photo to see those descriptions (but that's changed at least once in the past and Google may well change it again).

My many thanks to Phil Hatfield for his continued commentary and suggestions throughout the prototyping process. (He also, incidentally, was the one who indirectly introduced me to ATOE not quite three weeks ago when he posted a review of it on G+.)
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Lee Valentine
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I use a Hold-It! Card organizer for most of the cards and a multi-tier business card holder for the rest.

http://www.staples.com/Staples-reg-8-Pocket-Business-Card-Ho...

http://www.innovatiuminc.com

I put the discards face up on the associated deck if I get tight on space and draw from the back of the deck. I store all the cards in a single-row, CCG long box when I put the game away.

The two card holders are useful for many games.

Lee
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Stephan Beal
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hudarklord wrote:
I use a Hold-It! Card organizer for most of the cards and a multi-tier business card holder for the rest.

http://www.staples.com/Staples-reg-8-Pocket-Business-Card-Ho...


i looked for some of those on Amazon (dot de) before starting but gagged at the price. e.g. 15 Euros for an 8-slot holder, and i'd need at least 2 of them:

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B001F4PV2W?tag=article-geekdo07-21

But yes, i would LOVE to have them stacked like that and will continue to look for similar solutions (or figure out how to build one).

hudarklord wrote:


i've looked at those a few months back for something else, but the cost is what drove me away. A wooden e-raptor holder doesn't cost much more than that. Innovatium's site says they use U$P$ for shipping, which is an immediate no-no for anyone living outside the States - they simply cost too much. Last week i paid $14 USPS shipping for the 28-card ATOE Secrets replacement deck (which itself cost $0 from FFP). 50 cents shipping per card.

hudarklord wrote:
I put the discards face up on the associated deck if I get tight on space and draw from the back of the deck.


i was initially placing the discards at the back of the deck, facing the other way (so that it's obvious if i reach the end of the deck), but that became too tedious the time or two i had to go discard-diving :/.

hudarklord wrote:
I store all the cards in a single-row, CCG long box when I put the game away.


My first approach was indeed a couple CCG boxes, but mine are too short and don't have enough space left over to hold The Coast when it arrives :/. i do use that exact approach for my Eldritch Horror set and a couple other games, though. i've got a couple larger CCG boxes on order, but Germany's still in holiday-lag mode (many little companies won't go back online until early January), so it'll likely be next week before they arrive.
 
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Hugh J Jones
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I was going to purchase two of the inovatium trays once but the shipping was $20 or more. The only options for shipping on their site was 2 day priority or overnight. If they would let you choose regular shipping I'd probably buy from them then. But the shipping was crazy.
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Stephan Beal
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Sputnik Monroe wrote:
I was going to purchase two of the inovatium trays once but the shipping was $20 or more. The only options for shipping on their site was 2 day priority or overnight. If they would let you choose regular shipping I'd probably buy from them then. But the shipping was crazy.


And that's for within the US (i presume, based on your flag). International USPS rates are downright criminal. They're the reason i haven't been able to order physical goods directly from Steve Jackson Games (which only uses USPS) since 16+ years.

Oh, well. i will continue to look for cheaper business card solutions, or figure out how to make a "stacked" construct using foamcore. (The mini-project which started this thread is, by far, my most ambitious foamcore work yet. That is to say - i am quite far away from being an accomplished foamcorer!)
 
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