"Too Big Box" Syndrome: An Examination of a Tragic Disease, Its Inevitable Spread of Destruction, and a Possible Cure

Greer
South Carolina
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Far and wide, we have all heard of this "Too Big Box" syndrome. I first witnessed this disorder when I saw Durch die Wüste, and saw how much empty space he carried inside of him. "Horrors!" I cried, throwing my hands in the air, for I was much offended by such scenes. "I want to carry him with me, but he is far too large, and the space in my lorry is far too valuable!"

Alas, I saw this was a pandemic, as I noticed when I discovered Herr Rosenberg's Bohnanza, and saw that he was nigh three times (3x) larger than necessary! Luckily, I was still at the purveyors of enjoyment and challenge (a/k/a my FLGS), and I surveyed a potential cure for this inconvenient syndrome: an Ultra-Pro deck box.

Praise be, it worked! Furthermore, it worked with other boxed wonders of luck and challenge, and I was able to purge this affliction from my abode through the use of this wonderful elixir!

I post this in the hopes that others who have suffered this terrible tragedy may learn how to combat it, and ask that if you, out there, have other stories to share in how you defeated this terrible aggressor, that you may share it here.

Please note that the Ultra Pro deck boxes come with a clinging material, attached to the boxes with a form of glue. I have learned that these come off easily, as excessive heat may cause the glue to soften, and create a mess. A simple, rubber band helped in keeping all of the interior components in place. Also, in order to identify the patients in the future from their common faces, I was able to help them by attaching labels to their boxes, created by using copies of their faces and resizing them to fit their new exterior.
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1. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:657]

Greer
South Carolina
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Overproduction seems to be a factor in this dreaded disease. Too often, I see that innocent games are forced to pretend beyond their bounds, to make them appear more important, and worthier of a larger cost! The blame rests with overzealous manufacturers and their desire to win over new consumers with handsomer, more colorful "bits."

I was able to cure this patient by transferring all contents to an Ultra Pro deck box, and by hand-writing a summary of his records to accompany him. Results look promising.
 
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2. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:278]

Greer
South Carolina
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Here we see another pretentious offender, clamoring for valuable shelf-space within mercantiles. Also evident in this case study is the use of substandard "coins," made of semi-absorbent cardboard. Normally, this would not be an offense, but when the records require that players "keep secret" their coins, then the perspiration from said players's hands could possibly seep into the coins themselves. Horrors! And ew.

I was able to cure this patient by replacing the cardboard coins with smallish chips (similar to the kinds one would see in a Poker game) and by transplanting the contents to an Ultra Pro deck box. Also, it was required that I hand-write a summary of the patient's records, but an alternative to this measure is to copy the records available at ye "BoardGameGeek" (a local apothecary, apparently), though results in play may vary. This patient will require further study.
 
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3. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:405]

Greer
South Carolina
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As mentioned in my abstract, above, Herr Rosenberg's American "edition" of his titular game was shipped in a box far too large for its contents. Experimentation with a usually-sized Ultra Pro deck box proved futile, as the contents of the box would not fit comfortable inside. The deck, unfortunately, was four or five cards too large.

I was able to cure this patient by locating an unusually-sized deck box, and finding a helpful summary of his records available at ye "BoardGameGeek." The patient seems comfortable with this treatment.
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4. Board Game: Serengeti [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:3269]

Greer
South Carolina
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Here we see an example of a patient whose suffering of "Too Big Box" syndrome was not severe, yet still he benefited from the treatment. He carried an insufferable amount of mass, and was severely top heavy, causing problems with balance and portability, and yet he fared successful with transplantation.

I was able to cure the patient by replacing his bulky, chunky "chips" with something smaller and more lightweight, copying the patient's records from ye "BoardGameGeek," and even including some references to his internal card count, and then transplanting everything into an Ultra Pro deck box. He commented little on the change, but those who have been reduced to transporting him from place to place commented that he was much more agreeable.
 
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5. Board Game: David & Goliath [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2174]

Greer
South Carolina
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This patient was not suffering terribly from the syndrome, either, but he also benefited from the process. These cases show that the treatment for this disease can be applied to other disorders and afflictions.

I was able to cure the patient simply by transporting his contents (nothing but a deck of cards) to an Ultra Pro card box, and including a copy of his records, taken conveniently from ye "BoardGameGeek." Success is inevitable.
 
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6. Board Game: The Bottle Imp [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1179]

Greer
South Carolina
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My first impressions of this patient were that he suffered from German measles, but once his sneezing subsided, I realized that he, too, suffered from "Too Big Box" syndrome. He had a large mass -- a tumor, almost -- that required transporting, and I was concerned that my treatment would not work for this patient.

I was able to cure the patient by transporting his contents -- tumor included -- into an Ultra Pro deck box. Also, ye "BoardGameGeek" had a copy of this patient's records, which I included. The patient seems happy.
 
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7. Board Game: Gang of Four [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1672]

Greer
South Carolina
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This patient came to me complaining of his height, excessive organs, and not being able to fit in with his companions comfortably. Lo, my treatment for "Too Big Box" syndrome helped him adjust into society without further aggravation.

I was able to cure the patient by removing his excessive pad, writing out a summary of his records onto an index card, and transporting him into an Ultra Pro deck box. The patient has commented that he goes out in public much more often, thanks to this treatment.
 
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8. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:254]
 

Greer
South Carolina
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Here we see another case of a patient carrying excessive weight, in the form of superfluous components. I was able to reduce his size drastically, almost as soon as he had walked through the door of my office.

I was able to cure the patient by removing his pad and pencil (unnecessary as they were), thus reducing his size by two-thirds, at least, and transporting all other contents to an Ultra Pro deck box. Ye "BoardGameGeek" served useful in this transplant, also, as they were able to provide a copy of his records for me to include.
 
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9. Board Game: Ark [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2727]

Greer
South Carolina
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It is a heartbreaking thing to see a younger patient suffering from this malady, but this one, nearly a newborn, also needed my treatment. As was the case with Bohnanza, mentioned earlier in this report, a usually-sized Ultra Pro deck box was too small to contain little Ark, but an alternative was found, and treatment proceeded.

I was able to cure the patient by transplanting his belongings into a larger-than-usual deck box. His records had to be hand-compiled onto an index card, but some helpful resources were located at the ever-useful "BoardGameGeek."
 
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10. Board Game: Sluff Off! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1189]

Greer
South Carolina
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In many of the above-mentioned cases, the Ultra Pro solution was the only one available, because of the size of the patients, and their inability to match with alternate treatments. One of these alternate treatments was to use a sturdier case, made of a harder material, and sized for smaller contents. I understand that there are many of these kinds of cases available, used most often for storing sports-related collectibles. Herr Siegel was one of my first patients to benefit from this alternative treatment.

I was able to cure this patient by acquiring a copy of his records from ye "BoardGameGeek," and by transporting all of his contents into one of these hard-shell cases. His prognosis is good.
 
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11. Board Game: Friday the 13th [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1616]

Greer
South Carolina
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A common malfeasance among these patients was superfluous contents, and this specific case was a horrid example. This patient entered my office –- just barely –- ten times larger than he needed to be, simply because of his extra (and, I might add, unnecessary) components. I rushed him into my laboratory and set to treating him immediately.

I was able to cure this patient by summarizing his records onto an index card, and transporting him to a hard-shell case. The process was quick and painless, and he left the office, much lighter and happier than he had been when he entered it.
 
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12. Board Game: Beat the Buzzard [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2070]
 

Greer
South Carolina
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Word of my treatment has spread across the oceans, as this middle-eastern traveler made his way into my office for my new treatment of this syndrome. I was surprised that he qualified for this treatment, as his components were different from those of my previous patients, but after some trial and error, I was able to enter him into treatment successfully.

I was able to cure this patient by copying his records from ye "BoardGameGeek," and transplanting him into one of the hard-shell cases. He now rattles a bit more in traveling, but seems more content with this minor side-effect than he was with his larger size.
 
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13. Board Game: Foppen [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3672]

Greer
South Carolina
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A common adage reminds us not to suffer fools easily, but we in the medical profession must care for all who enter our offices, without question. This fool came to me, nearly unknown, but qualified immediately for treatment. I consider it an honor to my profession that I was able to provide this for him at no charge.

I was able to cure this patient by locating a copy of his records from ye "BoardGameGeek," and transplanting all of his contents into a hard-shell case. Like the Indian fellow, this fool rattles some while traveling, but seems to find contentment in his new home.
 
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14. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:356]

Greer
South Carolina
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The final patient in this report was a challenge for me, as neither the Ultra Pro treatment, nor the hard-shell treatment, were a fit for him. He simply carried too much baggage with him when traveling, and it was not feasible, nor possible, to include it into either of my solutions. I pondered over the resources available to me through the FLGS, and located a possible treatment for this poor soul.

I was able to cure this patient by copying his records from ye "BoardGameGeek," storing some of his baggage into sleeves for further protection, and transporting all of his contents into a hard-shell case that was larger than the others available to me, and with a top that fully enclosed the base of his exterior. He now travels with comfort, and has had no complaints since accepting my treatment.
 
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15. Board Game: Torres [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:449]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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There isn't an image of the old box compared with the new so this one will have to do. But the old box was even smaller (but a little thicker) than the Settlers box. Why the huge box now!?!?! The contents of the game haven't changed, well, maybe with the exception of all that AIR in the new version. Maybe it's a conspiracy.

[One Chinese official to another]
I know, we can make all of the boxes for everything we produce for export bigger than they should be and then pump the boxes full of all the crap we pour out of our smoke stacks. If we shrinkwrap the boxes fast enough we can cut our pollution by 40% while at the same time increasing everyone elses. We'll solve our pollution problem and make the rest of the world look bad in the process!
 
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16. Board Game: Phoenix [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3327]
Steve Oliver
United States
Alameda
California
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Phoenix is a quick-playing game that begs to be played in a coffee shop so passers-by can catch a glimpse of the eye candy, and it's so easy to explain that it doesn't scare anyone away. But the box is 4 or 5 times the size it needs to be for the card deck and bits, and this makes it difficult to carry around. The board is needed for the game, so without the box, it runs the risk of bending or scratching while traveling around in the game backpack. So, I copied the board on the color inkjet printer, slipped the copy into a page protector, and solved that problem. The cards and bits go into a plastic sandwich bag or container. This works out very well. This picture shows my travel copy of the board.
 
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17. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1107]
Steve Oliver
United States
Alameda
California
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The worst offender in my collection. I run a weekly after school game club at my daughter's school so I pack up 2 large plastic tubs to transport the games to and from the classroom, so this obese box is not appreciated. Rather than ditch the box, I decided to make the most of it. It's not really apparent from this picture, but the bag of eggs, the alarm stick, and the dish take up about 1/6 of the box (if that). There is a huge insert that takes up 80% of the space and is in there only to keep the few small bits from rolling around. I recycled the insert, and loaded up the box with all the games that the younger kids like. So now we've got a box that has everything they like and makes it easy to set them up at their own table and they can pick out the games they want to play. So in the Gulo Gulo box we now have: Gulo Gulo, Buggo, Sherlock, Rat-A-Tat-Cat, Hocus Focus, and a deck of standard playing cards. I could squeeze even more into the box, because the Buggo box is also larger than it needs to be, but by now the Gulo Gulo box is getting too heavy for the little kids to manage easily.
 
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18. Board Game: El Caballero [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2260]
P B
United States
Seattle
Washington
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El Cab suffers the worst of all in my opinion, plaicng its components into a standard Hans-im-gluck box where is could easily fit into a Kosmos small box format with room to spare.
 
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19. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:57]
Jesse Smit
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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In measuring cubic meters of air within a box i dont think that any other game can beat this.
At least we have room to shove the inevitable expansion or five to fix this game within the same box.
 
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20. Board Game: Mag·Blast (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:3656]
Matthew Goddard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Another one. Standard size deck of cards in a standard Fantasy Flight "Silver Line" series sized box. I laughed out loud when I opened this one!
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21. Board Game: Wings of War: Famous Aces [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:889] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
A S
United States
Unspecified
California
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Though this is a purely a card game, the box includes four "consoles" that force the box to be larger. One solution is surgically remove the consoles, but I have personally achieved a great leap forward in medical synthesis by combining the contents of two boxes in a single box.
 
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22. Board Game: Buy Low Sell High [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3751]
Mario Aguila
Chile
Puerto Montt
Chile
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How could you forget this jewel?
The game is so so, and the tremendous box is really a problem
 
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23. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:309]
P B
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Throw away the completely useless gameboard and you have a simple deck of cards. No need for even a Kosmos Box.
 
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24. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1159]

Greer
South Carolina
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Ah, another patient entered my office this week, and I was able to treat him, as well. His complaint was minor (I was barely able to reduce his size by half), but applicable, nonetheless.

I was able to cure the patient by simply placing all his components into a hard plastic case, and typing out a summary of his records. He seems to fit in better with his kind when being transported.
 
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