I have been hard at work figuring out the next part of my storage solution as many of you might know. While the previous solution worked great, it had some glaring problems that became apparent as I started to collect the NM packs. Because of the fact that the boxes no longer fitted the NM packs for each cycle, I was forced to start at the beginning. But that gave me a new approach to storage, and I am very pleased with the results! It solves a few issues I had with the previous solutions, as well as some quality-of-life upgrades that I’m sure people will appreciate as well. It is a lot cheaper and more flexible compared to the previous solution so that it is also accessible to new players.
The issue I had was that I didn’t have a solution large enough to encompass the entire collection in one, easy to store, solution. On top of that, the solutions I did have weren’t waterproof, which is something that is quite important if you are storing your solution in a country that’s mostly under sea-level. Not putting my faith in centuries of dike-construction, I needed a water-proof solution that could keep the cards dry in case of a flood. Can’t be too prepared! The waterproof feature of this solution also helps in more practical matters. It happens that during conventions, a drink is spilled over the table. While your cards might be sleeved as protection, your deckbox is often not. Cardboard boxes tend to absorb liquids quite quickly, after which they become soggy and lose their strength. A plastic or rubber solution would be far superior in this scenario, which is why I ditched the cardboard boxes from my previous solution.
Second thing I wanted to solve was price. The previous storage solution was quite expensive. Sleeves, boxes, tokens, and binders all add to the cost of this wonderful game, so in order to keep the new update as cheap as possible, I had to find a cost-effective solution. The solution should also be readily available. We have all learned in the past year that FLGSs might not be so reliable, and that waiting around for packages can be a pain. So if I could get a solution that would store the entire collection at shops that are still open during a lockdown, like grocery stores, then that would help me to expand the collection and its storage in the future in case of a pandemic.
So with the solution being prepared for both global warming and future pandemics, the future won’t have any impact on my enjoyment of the game. Other factors also had to be considered, like the solution being lightweight, but also durable in the outside environment. I have also experienced dents in my boxes over the years, so if the solution could be made of some flexible material, that would be even better! That would also help to form the solution in any shape that I need, which is not possible with rigid cases and boxes. This flexibility also should extend for the size of the collection that it must hold. I have had plenty of people comment on certain solutions on the Storage Hub that the solutions should be accessible to newer players as well as veterans of the game with all the expansions. I also still do not own all of the packs available to this game, so I should leave room for expansion later on. Especially with more fan-made expansions to release in the near future and French rumours of a 1.5e.
So with all of these requirements for the new solution, I am now happy to present my latest solution to the problem of storing LOTR LCG and any other items you may have bought for the game preciously: Garbage bags!
Well, “garbage” is not really a suitable term for this solution, so let’s rename it to “Storage bags!”. The only point when you should call these bags “garbage” is when you would store your Noldor deck in here. But since all my Noldor cards have already been burned to a crisp many years ago, there is no longer any garbage to be found in these bags!
The bags are very cheap compared to the solutions offered by other major brands like Ultra Pro or Ultimate Guard. And where their boxes might deteriorate in water, these storage bags are waterproof as long as you properly close them on top. They do come in a variety of colours, though the premium “Abyss Black” and “Pacific Blue” are the most common colours you’ll find. I got the “Abyss Black” versions, but you might be able to find your bags in different colours.
The good thing about these storage bags is that they are available world-wide, and can be bought at most grocery- and utility stores. Otherwise the bags can also be borrowed from your neighbors. The bags are quite common in households, so you can often get one within minutes after reading this article.
I also wanted the solution to be easy to transport by hand, and these bags are perfect for it! The more deluxe versions come with their own handles in a different coloured plastic, allowing you to easily find the handles of your bag in low-light conditions. The loops give enough grip for walking to your car or to your gaming center, and you don’t even have to be embarrassed that people might think you are a nerd. Most people have walked with these bags across the street in their lifetime, so your gaming obsession is kept secret and kept safe.
I will admit that my solution wasn’t truely original. I have to give credit to community member Thanatopsis of the COTR Discord server for inspiring me to switch to storage bags over cases or boxes. He was well ahead of his time with this, and we can do nothing else but follow in his footsteps.
One important thing to note, is that people will say that these storage bags come with their own containers. While these containers are very sturdy, often made from plastic or metal, they have some downsides. Yes, some come with wheels, which makes it very easy to take your collection with you on the go, but I have had some strange experiences with the use of these “containers”. The biggest problem I’ve had is theft. Not of the container itself, the thieves leave those on the street, wheels and all. But the storage bags and the cards you keep in the bags magically vanish at regular intervals. I have had calls with the local police department about these thieves, but got hung up on. The bags are easily replaced, that is part of the reason why I chose for this method, but the cards inside of them are more difficult to find, and will cost more. So don’t trust these “containers” and keep your cards in the bag.
On a similar note, the bags should probably not be kept in front of your house. The same thieves will sometimes steal the bags, even if you don’t invest in a container. The best place to keep your storage bags is in your backyard, or inside of your house. Keeping the bags inside of your house can cause friends and family to ask questions, but just say that it is a hobby of yours.
And that’s it, I hope that I have enlightened you all with a great next solution for your storage problem for this game. I am looking forward to your experiences with this solution and hope to bring more improvement upon these bags in the near future. I hope we can get some custom made bags with LOTR art on them at some point, but unfortunately, I have not yet found a company able to do this for us. Hopefully the community can ban together and we can put in a large order of enough bags for everyone!
PS: Happy April 1st everyone!