Divide and Conquer


There are gamers who will tell you that they buy new games simply because it’s a chance to organize piles of tiny little things.  And then reorganize them.  And maybe organize them again.  It’s definitely a hobby that appeals to the OCD in you.  I have so many little plastic bags lying around the place, if the police ever search it they’re bound to think I’m dealing drugs.  But I need to have something to store all the chits and cards and tokens and meeples.

But the mother lode of obsessive organization is card games.  And expandable card games in particular.  When I was playing Magic the Gathering, I had boxes and boxes of cards, and I’d spend hours sorting them out.  Sometimes by color.  Sometimes by type.  Sometimes back and forth between both.  I eventually got out of the game and freed myself of all those cardboard boxes, but now, they’re back with a vengeance.  I’ve been collecting all the cards for Fantasy Flight’s The Lord of the Rings card game, and had been keeping them in plastic sheets in a binder (another form of obsessive organization that I won’t get into here or I’ll be typing all night).  But that was getting unwieldy, so it was time to move on to a “pizza box,” which is essentially a huge cardboard box with three rows in it.  That should do it, right?

Well, yeah, for most people.  But there are different types of cards in this game.  There are four different spheres you can use to build your deck, and four different types of cards in each sphere.  Then there are the cards that make up the quests you go on, and more cards that you use to build the deck that opposes you on those quests.  There are titles and symbols and sets and I’m getting misty-eyed just thinking about it.  So just throwing the cards into three rows simply would not do.  How would I ever find anything?

Easy.  By spending the better part of two nights doing this:

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Yep, that’s about 150 dividers with hand-written labels with the cards all sorted appropriately.  Alphabetically within each type.  As it should be.

I almost don’t want to mess it up by actually playing it.

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