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Subject: Delux-ifying My Copy of Nations rss

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Lawrence
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I love Nations. I recently acquired it in a trade and was absolutely blown away by the streamlined turns and cut-throat gameplay at 2 player. What I wasn't thrilled about were the components. IMO, this game deserves a deluxe edition. But I've been on BGG long enough to know that the chances are slim to nil. Judging by posts I've come across recently, most gamers don't seem to care about tactile components and really only care about art being "out of the way". So I decided to do something about it myself.

At some point, I'd like to tackle the art. I love the main board art, but it's used ad nausum. The cards aren't great, but will do for now. I think I'm actually warming up to it as I play more. That aside, I wanted to do something about the boards. My copy had severely warped boards - maybe 10 - 15 degrees. I tried putting a pile of heavy books on top of them for a few days, but they would eventually begin warping after a day or so. After making a routine stop at an art store, I came across sheets of hardboard, which is made of high density fiber and made to prevent warping. Since it's pretty much cardboard, I was able to cut it without any special saws or tools. The cuts were a bit rougher than I liked (even after sanding), so I taped up the edges with some clear packaging tape for a smoother texture. The extra weight of the hardboard is nice since it also prevents the progress board from slipping when we take cards.



Since the Dynasties player sheets (I refuse to call them boards) are dual sided, I wasn't able to do the same thing to those. The next best solution was to laminate them. When I took them to Staples, I was told that the sheets were quite a bit thicker than they were really equipped to handle and that there would be some large air pockets. However, everything came out well. I just had to leave a decent sized gap around when cutting.



Next up were the cardboard resources. I know a lot of people really like them. They stack well and let you count everything quickly. However, I tend to enjoy more tactile experiences in my gaming. I replaced the grain with Mayfair wood grain (very similar to whats in Caverna) and the ore with polymer clay pieces I shaped myself. If I had more funds, I probably would've gone with Stonemaier realistic resources for the ore. 50 pcs of each turned out to be plenty for our 2-player games, especially since we still use the 10-unit chits. They take maybe a second more to get a count, but we never really sit on tons of ore or grain anyways.



Next up were the coins. I opted to use some Roman coins I found on topshelfgamer.com. They're beautifully detailed and have a nice, satisfying heft and clink.



To organize all of this, I made a custom foamcore organizer. The manuals and a printed version of the FAQ found on BGG are on the top layer.



Beneath that are all of the bits. The player components are kept in bags since I enjoy throwing (literally) each player their parts. The resources and coins have their own dedicated trays. The beginner cards and old cardboard ore/grain are still kept in the box as well incase I play with a full group of newbies.



The next level has all of the cards in removable trays. I was especially adamant about separating out the Siberia card because it always tends to get lost in the progress card deck. We play with a mix of the advanced and expert set progress cards, but mix all of the event cards. Having everything pre-separated like this really cuts down on setup time. Lower setup time means that it's that much easier to convince the girlfriend to play this on a weeknight.



Beneath everything are the Progress/Score Boards and Player boards. I know a lot of people prefer these to be on top, but the extra weight of the Progress/Score Boards make me feel like they should be at the base.



When set up for a 2 player game, the insert really condenses our play space, which is great for our tiny dining room table.



Has anyone else done anything similar? I'm interested to see how others have approached this.

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Paul M
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I will play your copy from now on.
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Jean-Maxime Tremblay
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Wow that's great!
 
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Becq Starforged
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Nice job!

But ... are you really done yet? I suggest replacing that boring books track with >>>book miniatures<<<!

whistle
 
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Cesar Pena
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Good job! I really like what you've done and I'm also glad I'm not the only one who is really annoyed by the looks of this, otherwise, fine game. I've spent myself a good deal of time in tweaking it to make it more visually ans somehow tactily pleasant. First thing I did was to reduce the obscene original box size to a regular one (say Small World, ticket to ride.. DOW and other companies box size standard). Next, I had to make the game boards and player mats foldable. Also, in order to hold everything together and improve playability and reduce setup time, I crafted a foam core insert. I would change the artwork if I could but my next and final tweak will be to find substitutes for the resources as you did.

(Sorry I don't have a more illustrative picture handy, but I can make better ones to share if someone's interested)
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Cesar Pena
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[ImageID=https://boardgamegeek.com/image/2675953]
 
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Lawrence
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cesarpepe wrote:
Good job! I really like what you've done and I'm also glad I'm not the only one who is really annoyed by the looks of this, otherwise, fine game. I've spent myself a good deal of time in tweaking it to make it more visually ans somehow tactily pleasant. First thing I did was to reduce the obscene original box size to a regular one (say Small World, ticket to ride.. DOW and other companies box size standard). Next, I had to make the game boards and player mats foldable. Also, in order to hold everything together and improve playability and reduce setup time, I crafted a foam core insert. I would change the artwork if I could but my next and final tweak will be to find substitutes for the resources as you did.

(Sorry I don't have a more illustrative picture handy, but I can make better ones to share if someone's interested)


Very cool. How did you end up making the game board foldable?
 
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Cesar Pena
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We were moving abroad so, one of my major concerns was related to the game collection. So, I decided to tear apart and flatten the boxes of those games I wasn't really fond of the artwork; nations was one of them and also Blokes,... and a couple more. I sit the flattened boxes in the bottom of the luggage and pack the components into other games' box to save some space. When we got to our destination I rebuild the boxes but I decided to tweak the Nation's box and reduce it's size based on the shorter side to make a squared one. In doing so, I had to turn the mats and boards into foldable game mats and boards in order to fit the new box size. It turn out pretty well and I really liked the result. Here are some pics:


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Krister Dahlgren
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Looking nice! I also think the components are a detriment to this fine game but my gripe is mostly with the art so I set out to make my own cards instead. This also allowed me to add new cards to the game and tweak a bunch of cards I did not like.

Some examples:

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Lawrence
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kadavriak wrote:
Looking nice! I also think the components are a detriment to this fine game but my gripe is mostly with the art so I set out to make my own cards instead. This also allowed me to add new cards to the game and tweak a bunch of cards I did not like.

Some examples:



Wow, these look great! Any chance of you posting the files when you're done?
 
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Krister Dahlgren
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mavericklancer wrote:

Wow, these look great! Any chance of you posting the files when you're done?


Well, the files are already done (I have been using this version since soon after I bought the original game) so that's the good part.

The not-so-good parts are these:

- I am a bit hesitant to upload what is essentially a "full copy" of a game that is still in print and available in stores. The designers seems to be a group of friends that have gotten together and put a game out on the market (something I also hope to do - someday) and I want them to keep all benefits from the game, however small they may be.

- There are ~600 cards in total in my version, which will take an awful lot of PnP work. The folder with all content is 4,5 GB. Of course, the amount of people willing to reproduce this copy will be on the (very) low side which mitigates the previous point.

- I have made a couple of changes to the original game about things I disagreed with. For example, most leaders, dynasties and wonders have changed. Wonders in general are both stronger in effect and harder to build. Some battles have two or more raid values (with diminishing returns) that allows a larger army more loot, and so on... These changes may not be for everyone.

- I blatantly stole all images from the internet, from Wiki-sources when possible, but still.

- Lastly, the files are in a messy state. I have up-to-date .psd files of all individual cards, but not of the complete sheets since many cards have been revised over time. The folder is also full of cards that were dropped and never used.


However, it is obvious to me that you (1) own this game and (2) are no stranger to this type of work. Let me clean up the folder a bit and see if I can make it available somewhere for you.



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Lawrence
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kadavriak wrote:
However, it is obvious to me that you (1) own this game and (2) are no stranger to this type of work. Let me clean up the folder a bit and see if I can make it available somewhere for you.


Thanks! I appreciate it. I have a few hundred pages of 65 lb linen cover stock that I've been needing to do something with haha.
 
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Krister Dahlgren
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I sent you a GM with a link to the files!
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J. Reichler
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I own nations+dynasties.
I would love to be able to use the improved art cards, and hear about your changed rules!
 
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Steven Durst
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Most I've done so far is replacing the colored meeples with nation specific meeples from meeplesource. So far I only have Romans, Greeks, Persians, and Eqyptians but I'm hoping to get for every nationality if meeplesource cooperates.
 
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Krister Dahlgren
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dcmouser wrote:
I own nations+dynasties.
I would love to be able to use the improved art cards, and hear about your changed rules!


Check your GM for a download link!

Most changes are directly incorporated into the changed cards.

The most profound change is that almost all Wonders are both stronger and more expensive to build. This makes Stone more valuable. To mitigate this, and also raise the importance of Gold in the later stages of the game, you may now also use Gold to build a part of a Wonder.

Another change is that all Nations now have three dynasties, and that the "basic effect" of each Nation is not lose when you adapt or change your dynasty. For example, Rome has +2 Power throughout the entire game regardless of which Dynasty it may have.

Since Wonders are more expensive, Private Architects no longer build a stage of a Wonder "for free"; now they just allow a player to use an architect from a personal supply if the common architect pool is depleted. This also brings Korea back into the crowd

 
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