Adam Mikolajczyk
United States
Blue Knob
Pennsylvania
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With all thanks to a fellow BGG'er over in the Terraforming Mars forum:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25282516

I wanted to share my alternative to the somewhat pricey acrylic game mat trays. I bought some 1mm x 5mm neodymium magnets and a stack of 10 8.5" x 11" magnet sheets from Amazon.



Then I did a high dpi scan of the original game boards and had them printed at a local Staples.

Affixed the printouts to the magnet sheets with some spray on adhesive, then used a paper cutter to trim to size.

Took a 1/4" drill bit and very carefully made a very shallow depression in the bottom of each of the colored game tokens. This is just shallow enough to allow the 1mm magnet to sit flush in the depression.



A small spot of E6000 glue holds them in. I was going to use "super glue" but the E6000 is more forgiving and if have to pry one out later it's at least possible.

One important aspect to note here is that the magnets should all be aligned such that the same pole is "up" within the tokens. This will allow tokens to stack without the repelling poles pushing them apart. So when you stack tokens on cities or stations they'll sit on top of each other correctly.



I've still yet to have the mats laminated, but I'll do that eventually too.

I'm really pleased with how these came out and the total cost was quite reasonable.



100 1x5mm magnets: $8 (15 magnets per player = $1.2 per player)
10 8.5x11" magnetic sheets: $15 ($1.50 per sheet, 1 sheet per player)
4 color printouts: $2 ($0.50/sheet)
$3.20 per player mat, or $12.80 for the whole game!

The E6000 glue and spray adhesive I'd had already. You really probably need a paper cutter for clean cuts, or a really good pair of scissors and a steady hand. It goes without saying you need an electric drill with a 1/4" bit, along with some patience and common sense while using the drill on the tokens.

I didn't even try to recess the magnets in the certificate tokens, it wouldn't have been possible without a smaller magnet and smaller drill bit.

Hope this of interest to others!

Best to all,
Pol
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Jay M
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Very nice! Although I'm probably going to get the acrylic ones (if I keep playing this game at the pace I'm on -- it's shaping up as my current favorite), yours has the advantage of looking like the vanilla base game, nice and clean.

Forstner bit, I assume? For a clean hole with a flat bottom?

And might it work to just use metal in the tokens -- would the metal attract to the magnetic sheets?
 
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Adam Mikolajczyk
United States
Blue Knob
Pennsylvania
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Thanks, the magnetic sheets are very weak, so I don't think a simple bit of ferrous metal would suffice for the tokens. After all is said and done, it's barely enough attraction to keep the tokens in-place...which is functionally speaking just right.

As for a drill bit, I just used a standard 1/4" bit, nothing special. It did leave a slightly conical depression instead of a flat bottomed hole but that's actually not a bad thing at all since that spot of glue has to go somewhere. You don't want the glue sluicing up and out of the hole if you can help it. Another reason to avoid cyano(super) glues since you might need to do some cleanup if you get a bit heavy handed with the glue

I really tried to justify the acrylic mat holders to myself, but cost multiplied by four is close to doubling the cost of the base game, so I just couldn't do it. The other nice thing about using the scanned and printed payer mats, if these do ever get damaged, your originals are still intact and you can just make a new one.

Hope that helps!
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Jérôme
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Eindhoven
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Solutions to First World Problems

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Jonathan Degann
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Tarzana
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I have an image of SOMEBODY trying this, but getting the polarity backwards. He finishes the whole project and then finds that the disks are jumping off the the player mat!
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