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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Gun "brass" (cases/casings) for game coins. rss

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karl paulsen

Chicago
Illinois
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After seeing threads about using various toy money, gaming coins and foreign coins as currency in games, I've been thinking about something memorable that I could use in place of coins in various games. I was at a pawn shop and it occurred to me that (at least here in the states) one of the most plentiful small metal items is used, empty brass. A bit odd and potentially offensive to some, but hear me out...

They're small, sturdy, incredibly cheap, and come in drastically different sizes that would be easy to visually tell apart. They're easy to acquire. If you've got any friends who shoot, they can probably give you all you'd ever need for free and if not, a trip to a local firing range and you can probably set a deal for whatever you'd need. Cheaply available online also, search for "fired brass".

This picture from etsy shows pretty well what I mean.



One could easily use:
.22LR for 1's
9mm or .45 for 5's
.357 or .38 for 10's
.223 or similar rifle case (with the narrower neck) for 20's.

It could be done even more cheaply using .22 short (not shown, but about 1/3 shorter than .22LR for 1's and not using rifle shells, which are the most expensive (relatively) to acquire.

Adding to the mix is the fact that some cases can be found in steel or aluminum (though they are not reloadable and might be harder to find second hand) so there are possibilities for differentiation based on color also.

Here's another pic showing them compared to a penny. Of course you probably wouldn't play with live ammunition. Too expensive!


The only major disadvantage I see is the ability for them to roll off the table if not set upright. .22's will roll in a circle but others will roll away. Maybe a little tray for each person to put their brass in?

Overall, a good idea or a bit too weird?
 
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Justin Case
United States
Greensboro
North Carolina
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eilif wrote:
Overall, a good idea or a bit too weird?

Not weird, but definitely too thematic for all but a few games, I think.

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Steven McKinney
United States
Kingsville
Missouri
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5.56 might be a little to tall. Other than that if you don't mind them rolling around, it would be pretty good.
 
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Pete Martyn
United States
Guilford
VT
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I've used .22LR casings as counters in some card-based games. I tried some 9mm and .45 casings too but found them a little too large for my tastes. I like the idea of using different calibers as different denominations, though.

It would probably be weird for some people, but if it works for you and the people you game with, go for it!
 
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Nibble Wut?
United Kingdom
Sittingbourne
Kent
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This is not something I would do...

Sure, it'd start off as a cheap alternative to coins etc, but I'd soon end up with having to have the "right" casing based on era and country of origin for each suitably themed game and I'd probably be able to convince myself that having a bunch of 88mm shell casings to use as markers for Storm Over the Conflict of Heroes of Normandie was "a sensible and right thing to do" and the whole thing would just get out of hand and the wife would not be pleased.

blush
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John Brady
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I think pistol brass would be better suited for this than rifle brass, just based on size. More than enough pistol calibers around to cover all the denominations you'd need.
 
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karl paulsen

Chicago
Illinois
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Good points all around.
Size: Rifle Brass is indeed pretty big. If I used it, I'd probably use it only for the highest denominations like 20 or 50.

Thematic appropriateness: Maybe not right for all, but for conflict games from WildWest through the near future, it could be suitable. I'm thinking steampunk, Zombie, etc...

Dangers of Excessive Historicity: Not a risk for me, but as far as 88mm shells goes, who wouldn't want/need a line of big brass umbrella stands in their hallway?

I think I'm really going to give this a shot. My sizes will probably be
22short, 22Long Rifle, .380 (or 9mm) and maybe a few larger for big denominations.

22 short and long have a rim and will roll in a circle and 380 is pretty stubby and can be stood on it's end pretty reliably. I might not even need trays or cups.
 
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Martin Bell
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Santa Clara
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I used to have a 5" shell casing that I used as a dice cup for WWII naval miniatures. One time I got frustrated with my rolls and used the butt end to discipline the offending dice.
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Cris Whetstone
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I'm sure the right crowd would love this and the wrong crowd would be offended.

My more practical mind immediately thought they would be annoying since your piles would be difficult to manage, not stack very well and require more table space than paper, coins or chips.
 
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TTDG
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Fairfax
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Issues: rolling, hiding within each other (nesting), cleaning (powder & lead), the anti-gun crowd.

So, it might work okay in very small quantities for the right themed game, but I don't see it as viable beyond that.
 
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Roger Secrest
United States
Clarksville
Tennessee
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mabell_yah wrote:
I used to have a 5" shell casing that I used as a dice cup for WWII naval miniatures. One time I got frustrated with my rolls and used the butt end to discipline the offending dice.


for the
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Chris Robbins
United States
Alcoa
Tennessee
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A long time ago, and far, far away, I went to a summer camp (one week stay).

It seems to have been swallowed up by the YMCA and is only a one night stay now.

I got the idea to police up some brass from the .22 cal. firing range to use as ... um ... poker chips. But one of the other guys in the cabin stole some from my unlocked footlocker and soured me on the whole deal.

It was in between recycling initiatives and they are long gone now.

But I'd still consider it a worthwhile source of bits to play with.
 
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Kyle
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Toronto
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Too large to be practical I'd say.
 
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