Helen Holzgrafe
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Hi,

Thought I'd give a solution to the card spin and cylinder rolling issues.

Go buy felt squares at Michaels. We find that 2 squares per person seems to be enough space to build your civilization (at 25 cents each that'd be 2 bucks). Just put your cards on the squares. They no longer move at all. Also, nine times out of ten when you drop a cylinder on the felt square it will not roll. The cylinders are way better than the teeny glass beads, too. The only problem is you cannot see though them to see the price on the card underneath the pieces.

We often use felt squares (or a whole felt sheet) when playing card games like this and just have them around. We use a whole felt sheet when playing Wings of War. We could never keep the cards in their relative positions or keep them from spinning until we used felt. Felt can be bought by the yard at any fabric store.

By the way, the card spin issue is still there in the original version of the game. The FRED cards are much nicer and shuffle much better. They do curl a bit, but then most cards do. It just shows more when you are using them not just as cards, but as player mats, too.

Since the box insert is kind of a waste, just toss it and put 8 felt squares in the box instead.

While you are at Michael's get some small beads for the extra markers. Again, we already had some lying around, and just used them. I find the small triple sided beads work really well as stand-ins for many small game bits (and we use them in place of expensive cubes for prototyping). A huge bag of these is only two or three bucks and will last you for many years.

I will be making tuckboxes ASAP and posting them, too. If I am lucky, I might get them done and posted tonight.

-Helen
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
hholzgrafe wrote:
They do curl a bit, but then most cards do.


Good quality cards - namely ones produced in Germany - don't curl at all!
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Helen Holzgrafe
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
My original edition Goa cards are very curly, as are my St. Petersburg cards. Both made in Germany. So, I just don't buy that argument.

Anyway, even flat, uncurly cards will still spin and such when taking markers on and off. The felt squares solve that problem. I do not think of this as a production problem, but a solution to the basic design problem of using cards as player mats in the first place.

-Helen
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Geoff Speare
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
Michaels can be a bit of an overwhelming place...if I walk in there looking for "felt squares" will they know what I mean?

 
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Helen Holzgrafe
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
You bet. They are a very popular item. Any clerk at Michaels that can't point you to them had better be a first day rookie or needs to be fired. They come in approximately 9 inch by 12 inch pieces although they might also have larger ones sometimes. You don't want the really stiff sticky back felt (although that also has lots of uses in game prototyping and blinging up games). You also do not want the foam sheets (sticky backed or not). All of these items will be in the same row together.

The beads (if you want them) will almost certainly be within a row or two of the felt.

Felt squares can also usually be bought at any fabric store or regular craft store, too.
 
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Helen Holzgrafe
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
I should note that the felt squares will be slightly larger than the box. If left in the box for a long time there is a possibility that they will develop a distinct bend where they folded up at the side of the box.

So, consider trimming the long side of each square to fit the box (about 1/2 inch or so). If you keep them elsewhere this can't be an issue.

I don't know for certain this will happen and definitely depends on the brand of the felt you use.

-Helen
 
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
hholzgrafe wrote:
My original edition Goa cards are very curly, as are my St. Petersburg cards. Both made in Germany. So, I just don't buy that argument.


Strange, because i own both games plus many more produced in Germany and i never had a single curled card.

On the other hand most of my China produced games have this problem...
 
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
Excellent tips Helen. I have been using felt on my gaming tables for some time, for the reasons you state above.

Geo, I don't think there really is a need to compare German vs. China or US produced cards. Curl is due to many factors, not just production (although it is a big part).
 
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Tim Myers
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
I have a big piece of felt that I used for 'Disk Wars' several years ago, so I will give that a try.

Thanks.
 
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Derek Carver
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Hawk wrote:
Curl is due to many factors, not just production (although it is a big part).


Going off on a slight tangent, the production of good quality playing cards is a very specialised job. A general printer is not the sort of firm that can do it well. In my early gaming days we always looked to the US for well produced and interesting boardgames BUT the quality of the playing cards was always pretty grim - almost as though there wasn't a single specialist playing card manufacturer in the whole of the States, which was hard to believe. And I have to say things haven't improved much in this connection. Curious.

However, to stay on topic a bit, I used to use felt on my gaming table but found that folk tended to drag it by leaning on it. We were always trying to get it back into the centre. Since then I've resorted to what I think is called table protecting plastic (it was leather in the old days). This is a sort of very heavy ridged plastic that folk put on their precious dining table under the table cloth. It can be cut to size, doesn't 'creep' and things stay where they are on it. Also if cards have to placed on the table they are easier to pick up. They sell it off a roll in various places including kitchen shops and is, in fact, cheaper than good quality felt.

- Derek
 
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Darrell Hanning
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hholzgrafe wrote:
I will be making tuckboxes ASAP and posting them, too. If I am lucky, I might get them done and posted tonight.

-Helen


Yeah, I downloaded the .pdf for the original boxes, and noticed the cards had obviously grown, since then. Funny thing was when I copied and pasted some of them into Corel Draw - they were then too big for the new cards. (This can happen depending on resolution, I think). Anyway, I resized 'em to 85%, and they worked perfectly. (The new cards are 2 5/8" tall, I think.)

At any rate, my point is that you can use the existing download, but you'll need to scale them somehow, so the box height is, say, two and three-quarter inches.
 
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
Picked up some of these this evening (at AC Moore rather than Michaels); 17 cents apiece for blue, white, yellow and red and I have some nice color-coded player mats!

The bits are indeed very rolly, so I recommend some sort of solution like this. I'll try to take a picture when we play tomorrow...
 
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I used the felt pads tonight and they worked very well. I will have to pick up a set of my own just for general use for gaming. Great idea.
 
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Helen Holzgrafe
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
My tuckboxes are already approved by the admins. Yeah! My cards are now completely flat again after being somewhat curly for a few days. Maybe it's my tuckboxes, maybe it's they just needed to go through some changes after being so tightly shrinkwrapped. They just slowly settled down to flat. They were 99% there yesterday, but completely flat now.

Setting aside the typos issue (which is being addressed by the manufacturer in a very professional manner), from my point of view these are perfectly fine, well made and nicely printed cards. I do hope that all of you out there are also seeing your cards settle back down to flat after a few days, too.

-Helen
 
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
I did notice that the card decks were very tightly shrinkwrapped (as has been mentioned by others), and perhaps the warping that some people are seeing is a (hopefully temporary) side effect of that.
 
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
I definitely experienced the warping -- it did not seem to be a result of shrinkwrapping. I unwrapped the cards and left some on the table and put some in baggies. The ones left out warped, the ones in baggies did not.

However, I found that shuffling/bending the cards (and using felt squares!) took care of the warping to an acceptable degree. It certainly did not affect our enjoyment of the game.

 
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
hholzgrafe wrote:
I should note that the felt squares will be slightly larger than the box. If left in the box for a long time there is a possibility that they will develop a distinct bend where they folded up at the side of the box.

So, consider trimming the long side of each square to fit the box (about 1/2 inch or so). If you keep them elsewhere this can't be an issue.

I don't know for certain this will happen and definitely depends on the brand of the felt you use.

-Helen


Do you know the dimensions that the felt should be cut to? I would like to just be able to ask the people that I buy the felt from to cut it to the correct dimensions for me.

Also, is there a guide somewhere for making your tuckboxes? Like, type of paper, glue, etc? Thanks!!!
 
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hholzgrafe wrote:
...You don't want the really stiff sticky back felt (although that also has lots of uses in game prototyping and blinging up games). You also do not want the foam sheets (sticky backed or not).


Helen, I actually bought both the backed felt and the backless felt (it was so cheap). As it turns out, the backed felt is actually easier to use, as it cannot bunch or wrinkle or such during play. The backed felt - if left as you get it, from Michaels - serves more like a traditional play mat, but with the ability to hold the cards and keep the little wood buggers from rolling away. Think I'm going to put away the backless felt, and buy a second set of the backed kind...
 
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Helen Holzgrafe
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
Zeromus wrote:
hholzgrafe wrote:
I should note that the felt squares will be slightly larger than the box. If left in the box for a long time there is a possibility that they will develop a distinct bend where they folded up at the side of the box.

So, consider trimming the long side of each square to fit the box (about 1/2 inch or so). If you keep them elsewhere this can't be an issue.

I don't know for certain this will happen and definitely depends on the brand of the felt you use.

-Helen


Do you know the dimensions that the felt should be cut to? I would like to just be able to ask the people that I buy the felt from to cut it to the correct dimensions for me.

Also, is there a guide somewhere for making your tuckboxes? Like, type of paper, glue, etc? Thanks!!!


I'd measure the inside of the bottom of your box. Have your felt cut to about 1/16 to 1/8 inch smaller on each side.

There's no guide to making tuckboxes, but the instructions on the pattern pages should give you all the info you need. Here's a small run-down anyway:

I recommend epson double sided matte photo paper. I think these days it has a picture of a palm tree on the box (but I could be wrong about that). I buy it at Office Max. I recently tried HP paper and I don't think it takes or holds folds as nicely. You can use cardstock. I have not had luck printing on any cardstock I've tried (the ink doesn't absorb into the paper properly and is a gooey mess). Your printer may do better.

I use double sided scotch tape. I use scotch brand mostly because I've never seen another brand. It has a yellow label. I do not recommend either white glue or gluestick. White glue can get messy and will definitely make the ink run on contact. Glue stick glue is not designed to take stress and shrinks from the edges of paper. It does work but not as well as tape.

I don't find it necessary to score the paper as I fold it. I just pinch it at the two ends and run it across the edge of my desk to fold it. You can put the tape on the flaps before you cut the box or afterwards. It's up to you. Do fold all the folds before you actually assemble the box.

Everything else is on the patterns themselves. I hope this helps.

-Helen
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Chris Hinkes
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Re: Felt Squares solve the card spin & cylinder rollaway iss
Thanks! =-)
 
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Richard Ware
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Instead of using felt to stop cards from spinning,
I bent the cards just enough so that the middle is a little higher
than the ends. Then the card stands on its two ends,
and doesn't spin.

. . Maybe this is too destructive for some folks . .

 
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