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Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Do Strategy & Tactics magazines and games have a distinctive odour? rss

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I've been paranoid about mildew ever since I lost my first collection of wargames to mildew damage. I had stored the games in moving boxes in my (very tolerant) parents' basement for 15 years. When I retrieved the games a few years ago they were unusable and had to be discarded.

Aside from making me realize that main floor storage with good air circulation is necessary, that experience has left me sniff testing games as I acquire them. Mildew is contagious and I don't want to infect my collection as I rebuild it.

Anyway, that's all background. I recently acquired a copy of Strategy & Tactics #300 (Desert Fox Deluxe) and it is neither a clear pass nor a clear fail of my sniff test. It's a brand new game this year so I really didn't expect a problem, but I did purchase it online from a retailer who carries lots of older used items so who knows what it was in proximity to.

It's not a powerful odour. I need to stick my nose against the pages or countersheets to smell it (the maps seem okay). It's not a pleasant Avalon Hill new game smell (God that was a great smell) but neither is it clearly an offensive musty mildew smell.

I've got a couple of older World at War issues (also published by Decision Games) and they don't share this smell.

Any comments? I'm wondering if what I'm smelling is a "new game" smell that just isn't particularly pleasant.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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That smell is dried developers' tears.
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Michael Lind
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Who knows?

What you might try is putting the magazine open to the middle inside a cardboard box along with a few balled up paper towels sprayed with Febreze and leave it closed up for a week.

Don't soak the paper towels and don't get your magazine wet, of course.

I've found that often paper picks up the smell of whatever is near it and the Febreze thing has worked for me quite well.

For really stinky paper I've gone as far as covering the stinky stuff with one layer of paper towels and then LIGHTLY spraying the paper towels with Febreze but not so much that the paper towels actually get wet.

If the paper is actually mildewed then any procedure to remove the mildew is risky and tricky. If you have an independent bookseller in your area you might talk to whoever there repairs/cleans old books for some other solution. Or even your local library if its a large one or maybe a university or state library. Those folks deal with old paper all the time.

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Mo Caraher
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It could simply be off-gassing from the particular ink used on the counters or the map. I had a Lock'n Load Publ. game some years ago that gave off a strong chemical smell that soon went away.
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Gary Ives
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From "The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New: "Our destinker of choice is now the solid room air freshener, the kind that comes in plastic cone-shaped containers. Twenty four hours are often sufficient. Be careful the destinker never touches your item." Use a good, clean box, liquor boxes are good and are often separated so items can be kept separate easier. Just a thought.
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Carl Paradis
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Man, and I thought I had a problem (thin counters)...
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Matt Kiriazis
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A dryer sheet (or 2 if it's very smelly) usually works for me.
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moly19 wrote:
It could simply be off-gassing from the particular ink used on the counters or the map. I had a Lock'n Load Publ. game some years ago that gave off a strong chemical smell that soon went away.


That's what I'm hoping it is which is why I was also hoping someone who has a recent S&T issue and a nose would be willing to bring the two together and report back here with a simple "Yes, it's got some sorta smell", or "Nope. Nothing." The former would indicate I'm probably just smelling fresh ink as you say.
 
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Jeff Saxton
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Is the magazine printed in the USA or overseas? Various EPA regs limit what inks can be used, so it could be a newer environmentally friendly ink that just smells bad upon first use.
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John Middleton
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Newer inks do have an odor that I have noticed on many games and magazines.


The Rue Morgue Library editions are very pungent and ink heavy.
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Wolf Hoepper
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Smell and smell is different. Like others pointed out it might be the ink, the paper (especially older types) or former storage.

One rule of thumb to avoid mildew spreading, also in the house in general, is to have fresh air and sun at hand. So an easy way to get rid of mildew is to leave the item in question on a sunny place so the UV rays can exterminate those micro organisms.

The reason for mildew is seldom the presence of those organisms, they are all present, but the climate they grow in. They need dark, badly ventilated and moist surroundings to come alive at the fullest.

Another good advice is to never store books and the likes in boxes for too long. Take them out regularly and let them "breathe". So storing in basements is a killer unless you have a stable non-moist climate there like the one found in old wine cellars.



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Pete Belli
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Quote:
Do Strategy & Tactics magazines and games have a distinctive odour?


The magazines are OK.

Do the games stink? That is a matter of opinion.
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David G. Cox Esq.
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pete belli wrote:
Quote:
Do Strategy & Tactics magazines and games have a distinctive odour?


The magazines are OK.

Do the games stink? That is a matter of opinion.


The games usually stink but they have no distinctive odour or company flavour.


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Michael Dillenbeck
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Not the greatest source, but [url="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2647333/Why-old-books-smell-good-Infographic-reveals-complex-chemistry-comforting-scent-yellowed-pages.html"]here is an article/infographic on new/old book smells[/url] to help you out.

If you are really worried about milder and the like, I suggest hunting down large resealable bags (at least 4 mil in thickness) and desiccant/silica gel packs when storing your games. I found mine on Amazon for relatively cheap (both 10x12 inch and 13x15 inch bags, but there are a lot more sizes - and a 100 pack of desiccants). Bagging your games in this way not only protects them with a personal "climate controlled" environment, but it will protect your collection from cross contamination of mildew.

Sorry to hear your collection died in a basement. Good luck rebuilding!
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Etien
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My copies smell like napalm in the morning.
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Sean Carduner
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Never mind odors...

A friend of mine brought his copy of Acquire out to a games night a few years ago and I remain convinced that a cloud of cigarette smoke drifted out of the box after he opened it...
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John Middleton
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SeanC wrote:
Never mind odors...

A friend of mine brought his copy of Acquire out to a games night a few years ago and I remain convinced that a cloud of cigarette smoke drifted out of the box after he opened it...


I have a couple of Redmond Simonson items like that from the auction a few years back.
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Magister Ludi
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Peat, the smell of peat.
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Pete Belli
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Aussie550 wrote:
Peat, the smell of peat.


Hey!

Red X! Red X! Admin! Admin!

Oh, wait. Never mind... blush
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rayofsunshine wrote:
I'm wondering if what I'm smelling is a "new game" smell that just isn't particularly pleasant.


The above hypothesis would seem to be the case. I just got S&T #301 (from a different retailer) and it has the same smell as #300. My mildew concerns are now assuaged.
 
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joe mcgrath
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No, but you have a distinctive way of spelling.
 
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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
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And here I thought this was a commentary on how dry the narrative is.
 
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Eric Brosius
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Aussie550 wrote:
Peat, the smell of peat.

I've always heard "the love of peat", not "the smell of peat".
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roger miller
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It is just the ink. The sooner something is sent out after printing the stronger the smell. Says the publisher who was just boxing up his own brand new stuff and noticed a bit of an odor.
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