Last year, Dominion was becoming increasingly popular with my group, so as I looked to invest in expansions, I found I would need a storage solution. I decided to go all out and get the Broken Token box, which set me back a bit. But the large box was only a half filled, and when the opportunity arrived to ship an entire Dominion collection here, I took it, remembering how Dominion played a huge part in my college years and getting me into games other than Settlers. With a complete new set, I traded my old set with its two expansions for Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition and some cash (of course no one wants to play TI3 now that TI4 exists…)
Back in college I built a playing board, sort of in response to someone commenting that they’d be much more attracted to the game if it wasn’t a bunch of decks spread out on a table.
It was made of felt, cardboard and foam core. It was light and it worked, but took up some space, so it wasn’t very portable compared to the small box I kept my cards in.
A major downside of owning a full collection and storing it all together is it weighs about 30 pounds and is certainly not worth bringing to a game night. Better to remove a prepared set of cards and bring that. But the Broken Token box is great. I cut into some of the wood to fit a space for box with all the tokens, as well as tiles and mats.
I thought it would be cool to make a playing board that would fit inside the top of the lid. My first idea was to use foam core, but cutting parts as thin as they needed to be in order to fit a 4×5 grid did not work. I coated it with duct tape, but it really just doesn’t work…you can place cards on the spots but it doesn’t help at all to hold or separate them.
Since then, the group I played Dominion with kind of fell apart. With some others, Innovation became the most frequently played game, in part due to its portability and relatively quick play time. After being impressed that the game could still surprise me, I got the Deluxe version just out of curiosity to try the expansions with people ready for that complexity. But it’s also way less portable, and not worth the setup time.
I searched for the perfect size card holders but didn’t find any. Finally, I found some boxes on AliExpress that would be the perfect size if I could make some sort of divider to put in them. So I started designing the divider, looking into 3D print options. Eventually I bought a MP Select Mini V2–the best value small desk 3D printer. Here are the results:
With this solution, the whole game fits set up inside the box and takes up almost zero table space if using just one set. I played this on the corner of a table, the tableau’s take up more space than the cards.
My printer went through some repairs, and I was unable to use it for stretches of time. But I was able to design, and I designed a board for Dominion that would fit inside the Broken Token box, aligned with the modification I made to fit the tokens and mats. Obviously it was way bigger than my printer, but divided into 12 sections glued together with Duct tape on the bottom, it makes it flexible to bend and fit under the elastics, while sturdy enough to do the job. The millimeter thickness of the walls it just enough to withstand handling and keep the cards separate, and it just barely fits inside. Originally I I had walls all around, but removed them for space concerns. It also makes it way easier to take out the cards on the end, especially Copper.
So all that’s left is to actually play a game of Dominion with it! I see a lot of people make 3d Inserts for games which I could print, but for most of them I use condiment containers and baggies, and an insert wouldn’t necessarily help setup time or storage space. But This board is great for minimizing game footprint and keeping everything organized. With all the additions in the various expansions it won’t be able to hold every game setup, but it has room for all the basics and an extra card or two depending if Platinum/Colony or Curses or Potions are used.
If you finished reading this, you understand the OCD of board game hobbyists when it comes to storage and organization. Here’s to the beautiful union of form and function.