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How to Fit 4 Expansions in 7 Wonders

by W. Eric Martin

Given the release of 7 Wonders: Edifice in February 2023, I thought I’d re-visit my storage solution for 7 Wonders (Second Edition) to see whether I could improve upon it.

What is that storage solution, you ask? Here’s a screen grab from the video below:

Step 1 was to toss the insert from the base game. I find inserts mostly useless because they take up space that could otherwise be occupied by game. In the image above, you can see that all of the rules, wonders, and armada boards from the base game and the Leaders, Cities, and Armada expansions are stacked on the right, with the scorepads and coins on top.

On the left, I used the insert trays from the Leaders and Cities expansions to hold cards from the base game and all of the expansions, as well as the ships and tokens from Armada. Everything is bagged because whenever I bring out a game with expansions, I inevitably have someone new at the table, so I would teach only the base game. (This is the number one argument against expansions, in my opinion.) And even if everyone is experienced, we wouldn’t necessarily play the game with everything. Everything bagels — yes! Everything 7 Wonders — enh, not so much.

Now here’s that same box after adding the components of Edifice to it:

You can hardly tell the difference! Two new wonders have been tucked at the bottom of the stack, penalty tokens sit in the tray with the diplomacy and armada thingies, and the other components fit in the upper-right corner.

Can I pack all of this material in an even more compact way? Yes, by returning to step one: Throw out the inserts. I cut up the expansion boxes to make smaller card holders (which allowed me to get rid of their bags), and now I have room for expansion #5 and possibly even expansion #6 — should they be forthcoming.

I don’t need all of the scorepads, but they fit, so I left them in place. Additional wonders would require a second bag for coins since they’re pushing up against the box lid, but tossing scorepads would make room for two thinner bags of coins and military tokens.

After posting this video on YouTube, some people expressed surprise that I didn’t just sweep everything into the box “like an animal”, but that’s because they missed the point of my previous storage videos. I’m not applying a single heuristic to every game; I’m considering what set-up entails and how components are used in the game, then creating a storage solution based upon those details — like a rational animal.

How it started vs. how it’s going

I realize, of course, that others might not like my storage solution, but I will not be breaking into their home to impose my solution on their games, so they don’t need to worry.

Someone commented that I “macheted all the boxes in the ugliest fashion possible”, and while I agree that some of the boxes are janky, they are serving the purpose that I want, and that’s what is most important to me. I never want to spend money on a storage solution when I can instead spend time and create my own. (The other alternative is to do nothing and store things in their original boxes. Spending money on a storage solution is not on the list of possibilities at all.)

In any case, perhaps this post will inspire you to consider how you store your games and their expansions. If you have tips for crafting smaller boxes, feel free to let me know. I’ve been doing this for a while, but I’m much more of an impulsive do-er than a planner, so sometimes I make choices that are less than ideal and realize it only after the fact. For example, I made the box for the base game cards slightly wider than the other boxes so that I could store the original scorepad inside — then later realized that was pointless since I’d still need the wonders and token bag to play, so I might as well bring the whole box out. So be it…

Youtube Video


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