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Subject: Settlers Board and Accessories (Updated 2012-11-10) rss

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Settlers Board and Accessories (Updated 2012-11-10)
Settlers Board and Accessories

I have always wanted to build a board to hold the Settlers hex tiles and roads. I have never had access to the right equipment to make one. This all changed in 2011 when my brother started to help an old college friend that teaches wood shop at a high school. They have a Shop Bot (think computer controlled router http://www.shopbottools.com/) and they were not using it to the fullest. My brother being a programmer took the manual and started to read about the Shop Bot. He then started to go to the high school once a month or so and help teach the students how to use the Shop Bot. This got me to thinking and I started to design a board. My brother did some test cuts and the design matured. He was having such a good time he was going to buy a Ship Bot until a coworker said why not join the Tech Shop (http://techshop.ws), he did that day. That was last October and things really started to move after that. I looked at making a board that would fit Settlers 3-4 and 5-6. I then tried to expand it to hold Seafares but that just got too big and complex too fast. I settled on the base 4-4 player game with the 5-6 player option. Here is the final layout, design number 11.



The Tech Shop also has laser cutters and I started to think what are the other problems we have when we play Settlers?
1. Players roll the dice and knock the Roads, Cities and Settlements around.
2. The Resource and Development cards get messy during the game.
So I said why not design and build something to fix this. I soon had a design for a 5 space card tray to hold the resource cards and a single deck track for the development cards. I then designed a hex dice rolling box to keep the dice off the board. I have been very happy with the results.

Resource Carde Tray


Development Card Tray


Dice Rolling Box


The Finished Board


The finished board in use


A close up of how the tiles and roads fit in

Vist out web site to learn more about Prawn Designs
www.prawndesigns.com

The boarde pieces are kind of big so I have redesigned it to be 6 smaller pieces, rev 13. I am waiting to get those pieces back from my brother. When I have that back and painted I will post more pictures.


I am aslo working on a new design (rev 15) that can be cut on the laser.

Update 2012 April 25
REV 13 - I got the new cut back with the six section CNC Router (ShopBot) cut. I was very happy with it, but it still has a problem. In the middle of the board the sections lift and the hexes move. Here are a couple pictures of the board.

Settlers Board REV 13, CNC Router Cut, breaking the board into 6 sections instead of three.
Settlers Board REV 13 shown together in the 5-6 player layout.

REV 16 - Laser Cut Board

I think I have final design. The ShopBot designs worked and worked well but were just not what I was looking for. This one is laser cut. It is four sections to make the basic 3 – 4 player board and two more sections to make the 5 – 6 player board. Each section has three basic part (base, body, frame) and a number of "Y" shaped parts that are glued together. I do plan to do a KickStarter to produce this board. If you are interested send me a note at prawndesigns@shrimpware.com and I will contact you when I go into production.


Settlers Board REV 16, first Laser Cut test. Showing the pieces to make the 5-6 player board.

Settlers Board REV 16, there are three main pieces (base, body, frame) to make each section, plus a number of little "Y" pieces.

Settlers Board REV 16, the three main pieces positioned to make one section. The two small hex shaped holes are used to align the body on the base.

Settlers Board REV 16, applying the contact cement. Note there are places where I did not put glue. This is the area that forms the interlocking tabs.

Settlers Board REV 16, when the glue was ready I placed the hex locator pieces in the locator holes on the base.

Settlers Board REV 16, using the locator hexes the body was placed on the base.

Settlers Board REV 16, the frame and "Y" pieces were then placed on the section. They all fit into "holes" on the body.

Settlers Board REV 16, two of the 3-4 player sections, two more identical section are used to make the 3-4 player board. Notice how the interlocking tabs will hold the middle joint in place.

Settlers Board REV 16, two of the 3-4 player sections together.

Settlers Board REV 16, one half of the 5-6 player board.

Settlers Board REV 16, half the 5-6 player board showing how the pieces fit together on the other sides.

Settlers Board REV 16, the board with land hexes on it.

Settlers Board REV 16, detail shot of the board with land hexes, roads, settlements and cities in place. Notice how the roads sit down between the land.


Here is a YouTube video of how the sections fit together.
my YouTube link above is not working... here is the direct link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaM9bogXc9Q


I am in the planning stages to produce these and sell them as a kit. Send me a note at prawndesigns@shrimpware.com and I will contact you when I go into production.


15 June 2012 Update
I just wanted to let you all know what is going on with the Settlers board. I am still heading forward with producing the boards. I recently went to Gamex in LA and was at PolyCon this last weekend with my prototype boards. They were well received and everyone liked them.

I will be at BGG con in November with the prototype boards. if you are going to be there please let me know if you would like to see one and or play test it for me.

I was hoping to have my act together before the end of the year, but as of right now it is looking like early 2013.

05 July 2012 Update
I now have a basic web site and up running
http://www.prawndesigns.com
I will contine to post additions to this message and or comments to this post, but I will also be updating the new web page. My target date to get into prodection is early 2013, sorry for the delay. It will be worth the wait.

25 August 2012 Update
It has been over a month since I posted an update. Things are going well, but slow. I made some small changes to the prototype and got the test cut back two weeks ago and assembled it last weekend. I have to stain it and then I will take some pictures and post them. It is looking and working great now. I think the prototype is "done".

Next question, what color should the water hexes be? Should I stain them the same as the board or paint them a blue color? The ones I painted so far are all a dark blue. I realized the "frame" that comes with the current set is a lighter color. I have done a test of the lighter blue. I think it will work well with all six player colors.

The one on the right is too close to the blue player color.
The one in the top enter is too dark.
I kind of like the one on the left and I think it would work well.
The last option is to stain the water hexes the same as the board. I kind of like the way the color looks with the land hexes.



What do you think? Should I stain them or paint them? If paint, which color?

03 September 2012 Update
I have good news, things are moving along very nice. I have set a date for my Kickstarter and have started to build it. If all goes as planned it will launch on November 14, 2012 and close on January 5, 2013. I am estimating that I will be shipping in March of 2013.

Right now I am going through all the red tape to officially start a business, Prawn Designs (http://www.prawndesigns.com/). I had to do my DBA (Doing Business As), open bank accounts, setup email, web site, start the planning for the Kickstarter, setup a business account with Amazon to receive the money from Kickstarter. More and more and more. I have also being doing paperwork to get a laser cutter. Everything is coming together. I have been calculating my cost and trying to estimate my time to assemble the boards so I can set a realistic price and value to the board. It is getting close.

I have also been working on fine tuning the Settlers Board design. It is very close, I got the REV 17 board assembled, it looks GREAT. I might make one very small change still. I have also been designing the Seafarers expansion. I got the first test cut for one of the sections. I did a dry test fit and WOW it looks good. I will be assembling it soon and will post pictures. I have moved right into designing the second piece.

I want to thank all of you for hanging in there, it is getting close.

02 October 2012 Update
Here is an image of the Seafareres Board with Single Hex expansion.

Good news:
- My Laser Cutter arrived today.
- This means development will start to move faster.
- I have my resale license.
- I have my LCC papers, Prawn Designs, LLC now exists.
- I have posted a parts list on my web site, http://www.prawndesigns.com I have not set the prices yet. I need to finish the design and build a couple sets so I can calculate my cost correctly.
- I should be in productions by the end of October 2012.

29 October 2012 Update
I have a final design, REV 19. I need to build a couple boards so I have a real idea of how long it takes to make a board so I can set the price correctly.

Hex Board Style 1, with Demo Tiles.
This is the basic board and is compatible with Settlers 3-4 player.

Hex Board Style 1 with Accessory Board A, with Demo Tiles
This is the basic board with the Accessory Expander board A. This makes the board compatible with Settlers 5-6 player.

Hex Board Style 1 with Accessory Expander Board A

Hex Board Style 1 with Accessory Board B 1 Hex
This board is the first board compatible with Seafarers 4E.

The next images show how the board can grow one hex at a time to expand to be compatible with all the scenarios in Seafarers 4E 3-4 player and 5-6 player.

Hex Board Style 1 with Accessory Board B 2 Hex

Hex Board Style 1 with Accessory Board B 3 Hex

Hex Board Style 1 with Accessory Board B 4 Hex

If you create your own larger scenarios you can keep adding Accessory Expanders Type B. You can also grow the board with the Accessory Expanders Type A to make a larger different size and shaped board. I am also working on an Accessory Expanders type C that are used with both the Type A and Type B to make an ever larger board. More on the Type C Accessory Expander in a few weeks.

Do you want to see one of these boards in person? Are you going to BGG Con? I will be at BGG Con with a copy of the board, contact me in a personal message to arrange to see the board at BGG Con.

http://www.prawndesigns.com

10 November 2012 Update
Apologies, shameless advertising time.
I have posted prices for my Hex board compatible with Settlers of Catan and Seafarers of Catan.
http://prawndesigns.com/game-boards.shtml


Update
The board design has matured over time.


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Troy
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
Amazing and incredible work Bob! Really nice job! This had better go in the Pimp your Boardgame contest this month!
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Taylor Bradley
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
This is awesome! I cant tell from the pictures, but are the hexes recessed into the wood? so they wont move but leave a gap for the roads?
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
sadpony wrote:
This is awesome! I cant tell from the pictures, but are the hexes recessed into the wood? so they wont move but leave a gap for the roads?


Yes the hexes are inset so they will not move. There are raised "Y" shaped pices at the corners that keep the hexes in place. This also creates the space for the roads to sit.

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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
There is some more information on how I made this at

www.shrimpware.com/productsHW.html

Check the http://www.prawndesigns.com web site.

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Noah Ban
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
What do you charge for the set of accessories?
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
ArqMage wrote:
What do you charge for the set of accessories?


That is a great question. I am still working on how much it costs me to make the parts. I hope to figure this out in the next 4 to 6 months. I am working on prototypes of parts for other games. When I get my portfolio built out I plan to open a Kick Starter. The problem I have is that the laser cutter I am using is over 200 miles from where I live. I am sending files to my brother, he cuts the parts and sends them to me. I look at them, assemble them, make changes and send a new file. It is a very slow process. Keep an eye out for more information on BGG. I am targeting November 1 for the Kick Starter.

How much would you pay for the Accessory set? I would sell it as a kit. The kit will include the parts to make two of the resource card trays, one development card tray and the hex dice box?

What other games could use similar card trays or other custom parts?
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Noah Ban
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
Arkham Horror has tons of cards. Power Grid's market also comes to mind.
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
ArqMage wrote:
Arkham Horror has tons of cards. Power Grid's market also comes to mind.


I do not own Arkham, but have been thinking about that. The Power Grid Market is perfect.

So how much would you pay for the Settlers Accessories?
- Developement Card Tray
- Resource Card Tray
- Dice Box


Q1: When we play we split the Resource Cards half on each side of the board. Should I include two trays for Resource Cards or one?

Q2: How much would you pay for the above set? How much should it be sold for?

Q3: What about the board? Would you buy a board too? How much would you pay for the board? How much should it sell for?


Thanks for the input.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
ArqMage wrote:
Arkham Horror has tons of cards. Power Grid's market also comes to mind.


Also Dominion.

As to your questions... I feel like the board is the only thing I would be interested in buying, as that solves a real annoyance with the game (things constantly moving and a bump messing stuff up, etc.) I would probably pay 20-25 for it, but likely not more, but that's really a shot in the dark. There's also the issue of various editions of the game and potentially different sized hex's, which could add to the complication of selling these to other people. The board would only be satisfying if it was a nice tight fit.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
Asking what people are willing to pay can be a tricky business. I think it may be better to spend a bit of time estimating your costs (raw materials, time, labor, etc.) and coming up with a rough price based on those factors. Then you could simply ask whether people would buy the product at such and such a price. You'll probably still get a lot of false positives, but hopefully the information will be more accurate on the whole.

But to answer the questions:
1. I usually play with one stack of cards, but the option to order a second holder would be good for those who prefer two stacks.
2. I assume you mean the card holders and dice box? If so, it depends highly on the price. These would be nice but don't provide the functional benefit a board would (I also use the 3rd edition).
3. I'd be more interested in the board than card holders. How much I would pay and how much it should sell for depend on many factors, one of which is how many other board games or other fun items I could buy with that money. I don't spend a lot of money on games though, so I'm a 'low demand' customer.
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
rhitmojo wrote:
As to your questions... I feel like the board is the only thing I would be interested in buying, as that solves a real annoyance with the game (things constantly moving and a bump messing stuff up, etc.) I would probably pay 20-25 for it, but likely not more, but that's really a shot in the dark. There's also the issue of various editions of the game and potentially different sized hex's, which could add to the complication of selling these to other people. The board would only be satisfying if it was a nice tight fit.


Biarien wrote:
Asking what people are willing to pay can be a tricky business. I think it may be better to spend a bit of time estimating your costs (raw materials, time, labor, etc.) and coming up with a rough price based on those factors. Then you could simply ask whether people would buy the product at such and such a price. You'll probably still get a lot of false positives, but hopefully the information will be more accurate on the whole.

But to answer the questions:
1. I usually play with one stack of cards, but the option to order a second holder would be good for those who prefer two stacks.
2. I assume you mean the card holders and dice box? If so, it depends highly on the price. These would be nice but don't provide the functional benefit a board would (I also use the 3rd edition).
3. I'd be more interested in the board than card holders. How much I would pay and how much it should sell for depend on many factors, one of which is how many other board games or other fun items I could buy with that money. I don't spend a lot of money on games though, so I'm a 'low demand' customer.


I am working on my cost to build, but the GIANT variable is the labor cost. At this point I do not have a laser cutting and I am using one that is over 200 miles away. I am working through theses issues slowly. Knowing what someone will spend helps me to know if we are getting in the target area or is I need to spend more time to refine the process and get the labor cost down lower.

I do not have a copy of third edition. Are the tiles a different size? I know they changed the water out with a frame and the small port pieces. I plan to cut hexes that would drop into the water space with a cutout for the port. If the actual hexes are a different size that will change everything a bit.
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Noah Ban
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
I'm no expert, but here are some additional thoughts:

I would still look to reducing labor costs whenever possible. Kickstarter will give you the opportunity for economies of scale, which will help, but if the labor isn't reduced somewhat for large orders you run the risk of being too high a price point, or, at the other extreme, too many orders to actually fulfill without long delays or operating at a loss.

Also, is it possible to consider different materials? The ones you made look excellent and of high quality, but if you can use the same template with cheaper material options you might be able to hit various price points and still keep the economy of scale.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
I would get one of these for Arkham - the cards in that game are just a complete bitch to get setup. This would make it MUCH easier to play IMHO. Selling 3-4 should recoup you getting the game! (It's worth it )
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
I am still making changes to the design. I plan to put the final design into production for sale. If you are interested in getting an email from me when I get close to production send me a message at info@prawndesigns.com.
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
Necromancyr wrote:
I would get one of these for Arkham - the cards in that game are just a complete bitch to get setup. This would make it MUCH easier to play IMHO. Selling 3-4 should recoup you getting the game! (It's worth it )


I have played Arkham and it is a great games. The card management is a small nightmare. If you add the expansions it gets worse. I need some information:
- What is the exact size of the cards?
- How many decks in the base game?
- How tall are the stacks of cards?
- As I remember there is one deck that is very tall, but most are short?
- How many decks and what size are in each expansion?
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
This is great! I love how you designed as an accessory to make the existing game pieces work better rather than building a new board from scratch (not that there's anything wrong with that, I just think this is a neat approach too!)
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
Thanks. I was not trying to "replace" that game, but make it work better.
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
Check the main note at the top of this thread, I have added an update.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
i would totally buy an arkham horror card management system.
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Bob Schrempp
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
peloquin17 wrote:
i would totally buy an arkham horror card management system.


I do not own Arhham, but some good friends do. It is in the queue but I have not started the design stage yet.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories

Great work!

One of the most frustrating things about Catan is trying to manage the Resource Cards. I don't know why they don't include a simple card tray for the individual resources. Even something akin to Monopoly's bank tray would suffice.

As far as throwing it up on Kickstarter, I say go for it. I'm sure there is a market for accessories of this quality. As far as price goes, that should be determined by your material and labor costs more so than the opinions of those here on BGG. Personally however, I'm always weary of paying more for game accessories than I paid for the game itself. With that in mind, I put my personal limit at around $30. Even then, it might be pushing it.

It looks like you're using pretty high quality material. Perhaps try cheaper composites. Surely you have some flexibility in that regard using a laser cutter? I wouldn't even mind a light weight or translucent plastic, for example.

Once concern I do have however is with the board frame. I had the most recent run of Catan, and it does not come with individual water tiles. It comes with a snap-together frame of four (or more?) pieces. I suppose you could re-engineer the frame to accommodate this instead of water hexes. Perhaps you could just eliminate the water cut-outs altogether and build them right into the board instead? Just an idea. It might work, especially if the frame was painted blue.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories
morari wrote:

Great work!

One of the most frustrating things about Catan is trying to manage the Resource Cards. I don't know why they don't include a simple card tray for the individual resources. Even something akin to Monopoly's bank tray would suffice.

As far as throwing it up on Kickstarter, I say go for it. I'm sure there is a market for accessories of this quality. As far as price goes, that should be determined by your material and labor costs more so than the opinions of those here on BGG. Personally however, I'm always weary of paying more for game accessories than I paid for the game itself. With that in mind, I put my personal limit at around $30. Even then, it might be pushing it.

It looks like you're using pretty high quality material. Perhaps try cheaper composites. Surely you have some flexibility in that regard using a laser cutter? I wouldn't even mind a light weight or translucent plastic, for example.

Once concern I do have however is with the board frame. I had the most recent run of Catan, and it does not come with individual water tiles. It comes with a snap-together frame of four (or more?) pieces. I suppose you could re-engineer the frame to accommodate this instead of water hexes. Perhaps you could just eliminate the water cut-outs altogether and build them right into the board instead? Just an idea. It might work, especially if the frame was painted blue.


In your verson, the ports are in the frame. Do you also get a set of small port pieces so that you can make the port locations random? If so what shape are they?

I have thought about either cutting hexes with the port cut out in them, or a fame that is one hex set smaller with a place in it for the port chits.
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Brendan
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories (Updated 2012-04-25)
bschremp wrote:
In your verson, the ports are in the frame. Do you also get a set of small port pieces so that you can make the port locations random? If so what shape are they?

I have thought about either cutting hexes with the port cut out in them, or a fame that is one hex set smaller with a place in it for the port chits.


The port pieces look like this:


I don't have the 4th edition, so I can't measure the pieces, but perhaps someone else can provide the dimensions.
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Re: Settlers Board and Accessories (Updated 2012-04-25)
bschremp wrote:
In your verson, the ports are in the frame. Do you also get a set of small port pieces so that you can make the port locations random? If so what shape are they?

I have thought about either cutting hexes with the port cut out in them, or a fame that is one hex set smaller with a place in it for the port chits.


Yes, the ports are printed directly onto the six frame pieces in the 4th Edition. However, Brendan's picture accurately demonstrates the individual port pieces that are also included. If only we had matching water hexes, this wouldn't be an issue. whistle

I also wanted to commend you on making your frame so versatile. I almost always play with the 5-6 Player Expansion, so it's nice to see that being accommodated in the design.
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