All Things Chris
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All Things Chris

Star Trek Ascendancy: Ultimate Nerd Fun But How Do You Organize It All?

If you haven’t had a chance to play Star Trek Ascendancy, well you’re missing out. This massive strategy game gives you the ability to build out your own universe, with familiar planets, as you go toe to toe with friends and foes to trade resources and build culture in a race to win by gaining “ascendancy.”

There are literally tons of reviews of the game out there on the internet, so you don’t have to take my word for how fun a game it is. But if you already own the game, how do you keep everything organized? With such a massive game, there comes the ultimate challenge of how to keep all of the pieces and expansion packs arranged and ready to play. The past few times I’ve played, I’ve realized it does take a considerable amount of time to get the initial game set up, especially if you’re the type of person who just throws everything back in the box when you’re done. After three expansion packs, plus two more on the way, it’s a bit unwieldy to haul the entire game around in different boxes.

If you’re looking for the ultimate solution for organizing your Star Trek Ascendency setup, look no farther.

A Box for Every Player

To reduce set up time, I wanted to experiment with some type of container that could permanently hold all pieces of a particular faction. Then when we begin to play the game, it’s just a matter of distributing the faction containers to each player. Inside, they have the initial allotment of starting resources, their ships and fleets, and control nodes. Also included is their homeworld disk, their Advancement cards, and Trade Agreements. And finally, the control “console” sits neatly on top. If you have matching dice for each faction, there’s also room for them as well!

The “core” container for each faction

I explored a variety of different containers, from tackle box trays to jewelry organizers and ultimately settled on the Medium Utility Box by Creative Options. These range in price from $4 — $10 each, though you can sometimes pick them up on sale at your local hobby store.

If you have the Borg expansion pack, its pieces will also fit into one of these containers, though the control nodes will need to sit in the larger right section.

Planets & Phenomena

Star Trek Ascendancy comes with a lot of familiar worlds you can explore, but how to keep up with all of them? These round tins (3.5" diameter) from The Container Store are perfect.

If you have the base game, one will hold all of your planets and phenomena. If you have the expansion packs, you’ll need two. (I’m using the base game, plus the Cardassian, Ferengi, and Borg expansion packs and that fills two tins. You’ll need a third if you add the Andorian and Vulcan expansion packs.)

Storing Planets and Phenomena

Warp Lanes

As you purchase the different expansion packs, you’ll collect additional warp lanes and planets. Before you know it, you’ll have more warp lanes than you’ll know what to do with.

Storing Warp Lanes

For this, I settled on a simple divided storage box by ArtBin. This one features blue dividers (which makes this the tarnish inhibitor version, ideal if you’re storing jewelry) but there are cheaper versions out there that will work just as well.

Production, Research, and Culture — Oh My!

To make things a bit easier on your “banker,” a divided storage container is perfect to store your resource nodes and their tokens. I chose an 8 compartment divider from Bead Landing, available at Michael’s (though there’s a similar one available from Amazon). This gave me room for the three resource nodes, their matching tokens, and the Ascendency and Command tokens.

Everything Else

Finally, you’ll have your warp tokens, extra dice and exploration cards left. I organized the tokens and dice into a simple 4-compartment organizer by Creative Options. And then the exploration and turn order cards are kept in a small Stacker box. (If you choose to sleeve your cards, this will add thickness so you’ll need two of these boxes.)

Putting It All Together

Finally, how do you carry all of this stuff around? My solution was a legal-size Stacker box from Target. This is the bigger cousin to the small Stacker box I’m using for the exploration and turn order cards. Each of these containers fit inside perfectly. I even tested it with two additional utility boxes (included in the picture) for the Vulcan and Andorian expansion packs that will ship later.

And as a finishing touch, the game play instructions fit perfectly along the side.

Star Trek Ascendency: With three expansion packs (plus room for two more)

The Final Solution

  1. Medium Utility Box by Creative Options (1 per faction)
  2. 16 oz. Seamless Tin (1 or 2, for planets and phenomena)
  3. ArtBin Tarnish Inhibiter (for warp lanes)
  4. 8-Compartment Divided Organizer (for resource nodes and various tokens)
  5. Mini Sideways Utility Box by Creative Options
  6. “Crayon” Sized Stacker Box (for Exploration Cards/Turn Order Cards)
  7. Legal-Size Stacker Box

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