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How to Pack Games at a Convention

by W. Eric Martin

I’ve covered this topic previously, but with games from SPIEL Essen 23 still not unpacked, I was inspired to once again demonstrate how to fit more games in the same space should you be coming down from the convention high in your hotel room and unsure of how to fit all of your newly acquired treasures in your suitcase. The short take:

• Punch out and bag all of the components.

• Remove all inserts.

• Leave all game boxes that can hold at least one card game open.

• Close and stack all game boxes that cannot hold anything else.

• Find the biggest closed box that can fit in an open box and insert it; if a box can’t hold anything else, close it and move it to the closed stack.

• Repeat until everything is as full as can be.

By discarding (and ideally recycling) punchboards, inserts, and rules in languages you don’t speak, you reduce the weight of what you’re carrying, while simultaneously making room in boxes to nest other boxes, thereby reducing the volume of what you’re carrying.

Before I unpacked…

…and after everything has been revealed

You could just get fewer games, of course, but it’s easy to get carried away, especially when you find a used game vendor loaded with titles that have been on your grail list — or low prices on funky-sounding games that you might never see again, something that often happens in Essen. (Admittedly I’m in the unusual situation of being handed review copies of games, but I’ve also indulged in used games and unexpected discoveries many times over the years.)

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