Emergency Game Kits
I first read about Emergency Game Kits in an article by Matthew Baldwin, and fell in love with the idea. He writes, "My solution to this problem [of being caught short without games] was to consolidate a whole host of small games into a single box -- an all-purpose Emergency Gaming Kit. In this way I could be prepared for every occasion, be it a a small gathering of gamers or a large group of party game enthusiasts."
I now have an Emergency Game Kit, and I know several other people in Seattle Cosmic have one too, or something like one. I hope they will list the contents of their kits below, as I have.
See also GamesToTheRescue: donating Emergency Game Kits to hospitals.
To add an extra sense of emergency (as in Emergency Room), I sometimes call this my EKG, or "Emergency Kit o' Games".
The box is a black, red, and clear Rubbermaid ActionPacker toolbox, 16 inches wide. I believe it is the 16-inch model pictured on this page. I tried a 24-inch model for a while, but not only was it incredibly heavy and cumbersome, but I became a laughingstock. (I'm not sure when -- or if -- I ceased to be one.)
Oh, what the hell, here it is. It's this 16-inch model 85025. I highly recommend it. Capacious (as you shall see), yet portable.
If anyone complains I stole this picture, tell them it's boosting Rubbermaid's sales.
The internal tray of the toolbox has been removed and donated to Marty_Hale-Evans? for holding beads while she works on jewelry. The 24-inch monster toolbox has also been given to Marty for holding sewing supplies.
The front of the kit is plastered with Icehouse and piecepack stickers. If you print this sheet out onto sticker paper, you can have piecepack stickers too. The box also has a Seattle Cosmic sticker from our CafeShop.
Contents of the EKG as of August 2003:
There are two lidded, detachable, compartmented, translucent organisers on top. In August 2003, I added Velcro to hold them tighter so that I can fully open the lid of the kit without the compartments dropping off and spilling their contents everywhere (an increasing problem as the box gets older). If you buy one of these toolboxes, I suggest you do the same.
The compartments contain:
- Organiser 1: Game stones
- Black Go stones
- White Go stones
- Red glass stones
- Green glass stones
- Yellow glass stones
- Blue glass stones
- Organiser 2: Mostly dice
- 10-siders (and the four "dice" from En_Garde?)
- 6-siders (including the hot pink Brain from Deluxe Lord_of_the_Fries?)
- 4-siders and "weird dice", including
- Backgammon doubling cube
- "Binary dice" from Royal_Game_of_Ur?
- Spin-4-It Finger first-turn randomiser
Inside the kit
- Second-edition wooden piecepack from Mesomorph Games
- A special boxed set of piecepack_pyramids? handmade by AlphaTim
- A second set of piecepack_pyramids? handmade by AlphaTim, this time in a 35mm film canister
- A deck of Alpha_Playing_Cards? (they put the "Alpha" in "AlphaTim")
- Six Icehouse stashes (red, green, yellow, blue, black, clear) in a Black Ice bag
- Two chessboard bandanas from Looney Labs (the version that was supposed to come with Black Ice but I had to bug them for, with canals for Martian Chess; and the version that actually shipped, without)
- One "Valuable Coupon, Good for one free copy of the Black Ice book", as if that's ever going to be worth anything...
- The Deck_of_Dice?, good for making Settlers_of_Catan? and other dice-based games more fair, as well as a GameSystem in its own right
Many of these card games have been transferred to custom boxes made with the help of the Super Deluxe Tuckbox Template Maker.
- Three copies of a StandardDeckOfCards: a double deck of the left-hand pattern above, and a single deck of the right-hand pattern. I think these "Checkmate" designs are lovely; I bought them because they remind me of ludic synergy. They are made of durable, washable, shufflable plastic. I'll never go back to paper cards.
- Schotten-Totten? (card game by Reiner Knizia, with rules translation and win record)
- En_Garde? (ditto)
- 6_Nimmt!?, fast-action math card game by Klaus Palesch and Wolfgang Kramer
- A Set deck
- The English edition of Citadels?, by Bruno Faidutti. I used to keep the "butterscotch" tokens from the German edition in the kit, but now I just use yellow stones from the compartment on top for gold.
- Give_Me_the_Brain? from Cheapass Games (the new colour edition)
- Can't_Stop_the_Turtles?, souped up to be equivalent to Sid Sackson's original Can't_Stop?. I kept all eight dice from the two copies of this game I needed to make it equivalent to Sackson's game. I use them to play Reiner Knizia's excellent game Decathlon, which is available for download.
- The rulebook A Gamut of Games, by Sid Sackson; great gaming bang for the space (and buck)
- The book Playing with Pyramids, from Looney Labs, containing rules for 12 Icehouse games
- Rule pamphlets from Icehouse, the Martian Chess Set, including enough Zarcana pamphlets for six players
- Chief_Herman's_Holiday_Fun_Pack?, from Cheapass Games
- Rules pamphlet Auction 2002 and Eleusis, gift from the designer, Robert Abbott
- Loose rules, translations, and FAQs for many of the games in the kit
- Grey velveteen bag full of wooden chess pieces (two colours) and the checkers from the 1961 Whitman edition of Focus, enough to play a 2, 3, or 4-player game of Focus on one of the chessboard bandanas (or Lines_of_Action?, or Breakthrough, or even Checkers, for Bog's sake)
- Red velveteen bag full of select pawns in many shapes and colours (people really like the dinosaurs). (I had to cut down on the number of different pawns to save space.)
- Empty blue velveteen bag, useful for drawing tiles in Carcassonne, coins in piecepack games, and so on
- A cloth Backgammon board hand-painted in yellow and green Celtic knotwork
- A wad of Cheapass Money from Cheapass Games (first edition)
- A Marvin the Martian notepad for keeping score
- Elastomer "Duro Bands" for holding cards and boxes together without the sticky residue of rubber bands. Don't buy this brand. Fully one-third (all of the green ones) snapped immediately when I tried to use them. (The red and blue ones do OK, though.)
- A G8_GameTimer? from Dream Green, with detailed instructions
- The Seattle Cosmic Slug, who rarely sees the light of day anymore
I sometimes also bring along my big red binder of rules for the following GameSystems:
More and more I tend to bring along the binder of rules in progress for the GamesToTheRescueBook too.
More annotations as I have time or the contents of the kit change.
Here are some photos of the Emergency Game Kit of Eric_Yarnell,_ND?, taken at SeattleCosmicGameNight20030419. I hope Eric will add some commentary on the case and its contents soon; he said the contents "needed tuning", in the same way that a CollectibleCardGame deck might. (Look at all the CCGs in Eric's kit!)
Looks a little more capacious than mine...
Here is what I've got going for the time being, and yes, tuning is definitely in order:
Bits & Miscellany
- Stones (all translucent): white, black, clear, green (scads), red, dark blue, light blue, yellow
- Dice: d4 (3), d6 (scads), d8 (3), d10 (3), d12 (2), d20 (5)
- Notepads, small
- Pawns: green plastic jockeys (10), yellow plastic jockeys (10), green clay frogs (4), green clay turtles (4), wooden stars (10), green pawns (10), small wooden plugs (many), brass anvils (30), bronze cap nuts (20), copper rivets (8), steel nuts (8), locknuts (8), capnuts (8), wingnuts (8), split lockwashers (8), Act fasteners (8), small nuts (8), tee nuts (8)
- One empty black pouch
- Ice Traders
- Martian Chess
- Tarot Deck, Ukiyoe version
- Two decks of standard playing cards
- Africa Cards by Mark Haggery & Eric Yarnell
- Bohnanza and Expansion (Amigo)
- Brawl decks: Tamiya, Crane, Gina, Mischo, Rent, Ting Ting (James Ernest Games)
Trading Card Games
- Magic: The Gathering: Judgment Inundation deck (Wizards of the Coast)
- NetRunner?: KonCo? (corp), Roving Subs (corp), Turoujin (runner), Card Trasher (runner), Clown (runner)
- Nexus (Cheapass)
- The Very Clever Pipe Game (Cheapass)
- Steam Tunnel (Cheapass)
- Carcassonne with the Expansion and Traders & Builders (Hans im Glück)
- Before I Kill you, Mr. Bond… (Cheapass)
- Black Vienna by Gilbert Obermair
- Give Me the Brain (Cheapass)
- One False Step for Mankind (Cheapass)
- Chess board, chess pieces, backgammon pieces, doubling die
- Double-nine dominoes
- Cribbage board
- piecepack (Mesomorph Games)
- Icehouse pyramids: green, yellow, red, blue, orange, purple, clear, white, black
- Note that my main adjunct to the box is my Apple Powerbook Pismo G3 laptop which has lots and lots of rules in it; not to mention lots of games.
1. Kit closed.
2. Kit open.
Dave has had what he calls his "Big Box 'o Fun" for some years. It's an Anvil-brand briefcase, 5" x 13.5" x 18". The sides are 1/2" plywood, so it's incredibly durable, but also rather heavy, and more than the usual amount of interior space is lost because of the thickness of the sides. [Picture to be provided later...]
It contains various boards, decks, components and rules for the following games:
- 12 Tokens (2 each in six colors)
- 120 markers (more or less, in six colors)
- 16 Dice (six sided, 2 each in same six colors, plus extras)
- Abacus (designed as a ‘life counter’)
- According to Hoyle (book)
- After Dinner Games (book)
- Are You a Werewolf?
- Ben Hvrt
- Bleeding Sherwood
- Brain Baseball
- Brawl (Rent, Tess, Tamiya, Nickie)
- Captain Park’s Imaginary Polar Expedition
- Chez Geek (with first expansion)
- Cube Farm
- Deadwood (with expansions)
- Devil Bunny Needs a Ham
- El Paso
- Fight the Power
- Fight City
- Give Me the Brain (special edition)
- Lord of the Fries (special edition)
- Parts Unknown
- Phase 10
- Pinochle Deck
- Playing Cards (2 decks, matching backs)
- Safari Jack
- Spree! (Hong Kong ed.)
- Starbase Jeff
- Take Six!
- The Very Clever Pipe Game
- The Big Cheese
- The Great Dalmuti
- The Big Idea
- The Very Clever Pipe Game (1st ed.)
- The Great Brain Robbery
- U. S. Patent #1
- Unexploded Cow
- Witch Trial