So, for anyone who is interested, let's use this thread to share our album arrangement ideas. I'll get things started by sharing my own ideas.
A long time ago when I first started collecting MECCG, and there was only the base set, I decided on the following order:
- Hero Characters
- Minion Characters
- Hero Resources
- Minion Resources
- Stage Resources
- Balrog-specific Resources
- Hero Sites
- Minion Sites
- Fallen-wizard Sites
- Balrog Sites
There are a few exceptions to the alphabetical order rule: Ringwraiths (both characters and hazards, as well as "Unleashed" resources) are sorted in numerical order and kept together on one album page. The same for the dragons (of which conveniently there are nine) - I have one page for dragons, one for dragons "Ahunt", one for "At Home", and one for dragon factions too. And lastly I keep the nine main "good" hazards from Against the Shadow on their own page, too - in opposition to the Nazgul.
Lately I am wondering if I should reconsider the position of the Fallen-wizards, and move them to the start together with their normal versions. But of course this brings up the problem of having one extra wizard who doesn't fit on the first page of the album.
Another thing I have considered is putting the Fellowship on its own page (again, nine being the magic number), but this would mean splitting Gandalf from his Istari brethren. Obviously if I combined these two ideas, it would solve both problems, but neither idea seems to me to be a perfect solution; the Fellowship is not really all that relevant to MECCG, and involves mixing a wizard with characters, while placing wizards and fallen-wizards together is not possible on a single page.
Probably the best solution would be to have the first page of the binder showing just card backs, and use facing pages (two cards back to back in each pocket). That would allow two sets of nine cards together, for a potential total of eighteen cards in a double page spread, making it possible to solve the problems I talked about above, as well as do nice things like place the hero hazards and the Nazgul on facing pages.
There are various other sets that could be made within a category:
- Characters from the Hobbit: 13 dwarves + Bilbo and 4 other characters (Bard Bowman, Beorn, Dain II, Elrond, Thrain II and Thranduil are all possibilities - I think I would miss out Elrond and Thrain II).
- The One, the Three and the Seven: a double page spread of rings, using the other 7 slots for other rings, or possibly filling them in with card backs. (Other rings include 5 Magic Rings, Lesser Ring, Wizard's Ring, and the 3 basic untested rings.) For Minion Resources, this set is a bit more complex: The One and the Seven, plus 6 (?) basic ring items, 8 Magic Rings, and about 9 other rings.
- The One Ring: another popular idea I've seen people use is to place The One Ring on a page of its own, in the centre slot, with 8 card backs around it.
- The Palantiri: this one is easy, since they easily fit into one page (shifting them up or down the alphabetical order by a couple of cards as necessary). For the heroes, you can place The Ithil-stone with them, too. (Is there no minion Ithil-stone?? I never thought about it before.)
- Allies, Factions, Creatures, Items, Events: another possibility is to sort each category into subcategories. Personally I always preferred mixing these, but perhaps it's more useful game-wise to keep them separate? You could go a step further and separate them by race/type too - this seems especially useful for hazards.