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Subject: Homemade Takenoko mini (to play when traveling) rss

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Mauricio Montoya
Colombia
Medellín
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I wanted to share this weekend's craft project.

My 7-year old daughter loves Takenoko and she wants to take it everywhere to play it. Unfortunately the box is a bit big, and even if I take all the components in a plano box, it stills takes quite a bit of space thanks to the big and thick hexes and all the wooden bamboo pegs.

Besides, I'm always afraid that the weather die, the miniatures and the bamboo pegs will get lost under a hotel bed, an airplane chair, or the inscrutable and sticky depths of a schoolgirl's backpack.

So, this weekend's art project was to make a travel-sized Takenoko game that my daughter can take anywhere, with easy to replace parts in case something gets lost, that can be played on a small table (even an airplane tray) and stored in a cardboard box the size of a small paperback novel.

Disclaimer: I own the original game, this is for personal use only, I'm not putting this stuff for sale and I will NOT post or share the files and scans anywhere, please don't sue me Mr. Bauza.


I scanned the hexes, boards and markers and printed smaller versions on regular paper (nothing fancy, I used the basic shapes in powerpoint and texture-filled them with the scanned images, and a Canon bubble-jet printer). Glued everything onto a sheet of cardboard and cut carefully around the borders. I even made a spare weather die with a small block of wood, a lot of sanding and some sharpies, and then sprayed everything with a thin layer of matte lacquer. While doing another project I found out that canned spray lacquer doesn't ruin inkjet prints on paper (besides fudging a little bit the very small details) but it makes them sweat resistant and mildly water tolerant.


The famer and the panda are cardboard chits glued onto small coins. The bamboo shoots and movement markers are just plastic beads (my daughter has a LOT of those, it wasn't hard to find enough green, yellow and pink ones), the "base" shoots have a dried glue blob underneath for stability and a toothpick glued in the middle and cut long enough to thread another three beads on top of the first one.

The water channels are wooden sticks cut to the appropiate size and sanded on one side so they don't roll out of place.


Size comparison with the original center tile.


And alongside the box and the original panda boards.


I got the box from a generic PC network card, unfolded it and folded it again inside-out, so the printing is all on the inside and the outside is all just plain brown.


I always keep some of those boxes around to use as organizers or temporary storage (one of them fits all the original tiles and meeples from Carcassone with the river and a couple of expansions to carry around, I just scanned the scoretrack and printed a smaller version).

Last night we tested it and it worked perfectly. We just needed to be a little more careful when moving the panda and gardener, so we didn't topple the beads with the coin bases.

Edit: Added final comparison pictures and the box.
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David Peck
United States
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Nice!
 
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Charles Martin
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Beautiful job! Love the pony beads being used like that. That might be a little weekend project some time soon for myself.
 
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David Peck
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I'm wondering how small a pocket version of this could be now...
 
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Mauricio Montoya
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Right now my hexes are about 60% of the original diameter, and it makes a lot of difference in the total area used when you play (ie: a 3-tile triangle is just about the same size as one single original tile). I tried a couple of different sizes, but if I made them any smaller there could be problems when both the gardener and the panda were on the same tile with a long bamboo stalk, and even worse if you add the water sticks and the add-on enhancements.... and if you made the shoots from anything smaller than pony beads they could be a nightmare to manipulate.

Maybe if you also used small rectangular chits for each bamboo section and turned everything flat, but I think the game wouldn't look nearly as good without the vertical shoots.

Later I'm gonna add a picture of the whole game in the box compared to the original, just for scale.
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Vasilis Kou
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You, sir, are a genius!
Thanks for the idea. It took one afternoon, but the result is pocket-sized and satisfying!
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