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Subject: Piecepack...which one? rss

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James Bentley
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I've been checking out some games that use the Piecepack game "system"...but in browsing for these, I've found that there are quite a few different piecepacks.

Which one to buy?

In the process of looking for a good pirate game, I came across a pirate game that uses the piecepack which I thought I might try...but now I'm not sure which one to buy since there are various packs.

Are they worth the purchase? Does it really matter which one you get?

As always, thanks for any and all input,
jrbentley
 
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Gareth
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jrbentley wrote:
I've been checking out some games that use the Piecepack game "system"...but in browsing for these, I've found that there are quite a few different piecepacks.

Which one to buy?

In the process of looking for a good pirate game, I came across a pirate game that uses the piecepack which I thought I might try...but now I'm not sure which one to buy since there are various packs.

Are they worth the purchase? Does it really matter which one you get?

As always, thanks for any and all input,
jrbentley

Can't offer any input I'm afraid, although I am also very interested in the answer (although I suspect a lot of people feel the best piecepacks are the ones you build yourself).

You might also want to stick this question in the forums for the Piecepack itself as it will then trigger GeekMail for anyone subscribed to that item:
http://boardgamegeek.com/game/2860
 
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Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
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I've looked into Piecepack a little bit. The wiki at http://www.ludism.org/ppwiki is pretty helpful. There are some basic components, but alot of games have little additions, I guess. My only suggestion would be to find out what components you need and get the pack that has them.
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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I can only guess which pirate game you might be thinking of. arrrh

Anyway, since you're in the USA, I recommend you first look at the JCD Piecepack by Blue Panther. They're monochrome, but at only US$25 for the birch plywood set, it's probably the best price you'll find. The Mesomorph 4th edition piecepack is in full color and includes a very nice drawstring bag, but at US$30, it's also a step up in price. I have an older edition of the IcePack Games piecepack, and it can be ordered in many different sets, all in color. Their prices are fairly competitive for what you get. Finally, I do not own and have not played with a RamalamaS piecepack, but at 25€ (plus 15€ shipping), it would be a more expensive option. But their monochrome graphics are very nice.

You can find more information on the various vendors, including their responsiveness to customers, on the piecepack wiki vendor page.

Clark
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James Bentley
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Capoeirista wrote:
jrbentley wrote:
I've been checking out some games that use the Piecepack game "system"...but in browsing for these, I've found that there are quite a few different piecepacks.

Which one to buy?

In the process of looking for a good pirate game, I came across a pirate game that uses the piecepack which I thought I might try...but now I'm not sure which one to buy since there are various packs.

Are they worth the purchase? Does it really matter which one you get?

As always, thanks for any and all input,
jrbentley

Can't offer any input I'm afraid, although I am also very interested in the answer (although I suspect a lot of people feel the best piecepacks are the ones you build yourself).

You might also want to stick this question in the forums for the Piecepack itself as it will then trigger GeekMail for anyone subscribed to that item:
http://boardgamegeek.com/game/2860

How would I move this post to that forum?

Thanks,
jrbentley
 
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James Bentley
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CDRodeffer wrote:
I can only guess which pirate game you might be thinking of. arrrh

Anyway, since you're in the USA, I recommend you first look at the JCD Piecepack by Blue Panther. They're monochrome, but at only US$25 for the birch plywood set, it's probably the best price you'll find. The Mesomorph 4th edition piecepack is in full color and includes a very nice drawstring bag, but at US$30, it's also a step up in price. I have an older edition of the IcePack Games piecepack, and it can be ordered in many different sets, all in color. Their prices are fairly competitive for what you get. Finally, I do not own and have not played with a RamalamaS piecepack, but at 25€ (plus 15€ shipping), it would be a more expensive option. But their monochrome graphics are very nice.

You can find more information on the various vendors, including their responsiveness to customers, on the piecepack wiki vendor page.

Clark

Thanks for the info.....so for the Pirates game, which piecepack would I need....gee, it's awfully handy to have the game author helping out -

I do appreciate your help....
jrbentley

 
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Clark Rodeffer
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jrbentley wrote:
Thanks for the info.....so for the Pirates game, which piecepack would I need....gee, it's awfully handy to have the game author helping out -

Piece Packing Pirates was written with the four original "standard" suits (arms, suns, moons and crowns) in mind, but it would not be hard to translate it to any other four suits if you like something else better.

Clark
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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Hi

Just want to clarify that our piecepack sets cost 25€ in the EU because of the taxes. To a non EU country, the price is 21.55€. Also (and I have to update our web site) a packaged set weights about 250g, so the shipping & packaging to the US would cost around 12.5€. It's still expensive, but not as expensive Of course, I don't know how customs work there, so there could be charges on arrival...

Still, making your own set is pretty easy. You can make a quick set printing the tiles on label paper and sticking it to cardboard to try some games, see if you like the system, then buy one if you like it.

And about what components you will need: Normally a standard set will work with most games. Many games use extra components that are readily available at a gamer's home or playaids you can print from the rules, others need a second set. There are also some games that need a different set such as the Seasons set or the Card suits set. We don't currently make any of the expansion sets, although we will start the minute someone asks for one

Still, you can see a list of games ordered by extra components needed in the wiki: http://www.ludism.org/ppwiki/RequiredEquipment

Cheers,

-Jorge
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Geo
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CDRodeffer wrote:
The Mesomorph 4th edition piecepack is in full color and includes a very nice drawstring bag, but at US$30, it's also a step up in price.

I do not recommend it!

I bought it and the quality was not good: badly aligned graphics, wood shades very different from piece to piece and parts of the paint on some symbols was missing (like you used a rubber stamp with not enough ink on it!)

Avoid!
 
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James Bentley
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GeoMan wrote:
CDRodeffer wrote:
The Mesomorph 4th edition piecepack is in full color and includes a very nice drawstring bag, but at US$30, it's also a step up in price.

I do not recommend it!

I bought it and the quality was not good: badly aligned graphics, wood shades very different from piece to piece and parts of the paint on some symbols was missing (like you used a rubber stamp with not enough ink on it!)

Avoid!

Thanks for the advice on this one! So now I'd like to hear from someone who has the JCD Piecepack by Blue Panther...I'm considering the cheapest one, the Birch plywood version, laser etched but not color...has anyone used this and if so, what are your opinions?

Thanks!
jrbentley
 
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Shaun Austin
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The Bluepanther piecepacks are very good! My wife (who prefers "pretty" things) even likes them! The monochrome graphics are nicely done and the presentation is excellent!
Living in Australia and being burnt by other piecepack suppliers (paid for the product but never recieved it!), I found their service to be fast and friendly. I would highly recommend them!
 
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Mark Biggar
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PoisonedV wrote:
I too would like to know... I have been tinkering with these a while, and I appreciate it enough that I would prefer a real set. I like the Mesomorph ones, but they look too small. JCD look big, and nice, and come with a custom box, but they are one color and all the pieces have different shades of wood. I think I will go with the Mesomorph set.

All of the commercial piecepack sets (except the Blue Panther travel sets) use 2"x2" tiles and .75" coins. The dice and pawns differ much more.
 
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Jonathan Dietrich
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2097 wrote:
The JCD logotype on the ace tiles in the Blue Panther's set is a showstopper for me (I play with a Cayce Pollard wannabe)

Can you please explain this reference?
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Jonathan Dietrich
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2097 wrote:
Sure, no problem. Thanks for asking.

Cayce Pollard is a fictional character in the novel Pattern Recognition. She has an interesting, often negative physical reaction to brand names and logotypes.

Some of my friends reference her to describe our own distaste for logotypes and brand names.

For example, we'd dislike playing with a chess set where the king had a big Parker Brother's sticker on it, or something like that. Some card decks have a logo in the ace of spades.
Thank you for explaining. I was able to Google the name, and the fact that it was a reference to Pattern Recognition, but without knowing the story, that piece of information was useless.

In the case of the JCD piecepack, is it the presence of the initials JCD on the Aces that is the issue? I am curious about this as I am the creator of the JCD artwork.

Note that the large swirly shape is not a logotype, rather that is the symbol for the Ace. The original specification indicated that the suit symbol should be used as the symbol for the ace in all cases except the coins, where it is vital that you don't know the suit that the ace belongs to. This inconsistency is one of the things that bothered me with the existing designs, which prompted me to create the JCD set.

I see the rank and the suit as two separate items, and as such you should not use the suit symbol to represent a rank as well. A deck of cards uses the letter 'A' to indicate the rank of Ace. I did not use an 'A' as the specification does indicate that a "spiral" should be used for the ace symbol on the coins, and I know that the spiral has been an inspiration for at least one or two game mechanics.
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Jorge Arroyo
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Interesting In my case, I really like how the Aces provide an opportunity to see the suit art at a larger scale. This is true of my design, but also typical of many types of playing cards including the standard, Spanish and the wonderful Decktet card system.

 
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Jonathan Dietrich
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maka wrote:
Interesting In my case, I really like how the Aces provide an opportunity to see the suit art at a larger scale. This is true of my design, but also typical of many types of playing cards including the standard, Spanish and the wonderful Decktet card system.

True, that Aces traditionally are a place to show off the suit art. However, piecepack has a couple of non-traditional features which make this problematic in my eyes.

1. Piecepack coins require that you can see the SUIT on one side, and the RANK on the other. This is important so that you can have 4 coins with RANK side up (all showing the same RANK), and not know the SUIT, or have 6 coins SUIT side up (all with the same SUIT) and not know thier RANKs. As noted earlier, this requires that ACE have a way to indicate their rank that is not tied directly to their SUIT. This is while the spiral was included in the original spec.

2. Piecepack has a NULL value, which is indicated by the absence of a RANK. Most piecepacks implementations follow the the specification and indicate their ACE tiles with an enlarged, and often more detailed, version of the SUIT symbol. (The Decktet card system does the same). My concern is that now you have a tile that is not NULL and that does not have a RANK shown.

Even in a standard deck of playing cards which does not contain the NULL rank, the Ace RANK is indicated by the symbol "A". The index (top left) shows the rank and suit of a card. All of the vital information for the card is contained in the index, meaning the rest of the card can contain any image at all, as the image has no bearing on the game (a single large image for the ace, fancy face cards, pin-up girls, cars, or anything else).
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Jorge Arroyo
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Well, you're right, of course, although I don't really see those as problems, but I guess it's a matter of taste.

It'd be possible to add more information to the index in piecepack tiles (inlcluding not only the suit, but also the rank) and use "A" for the Ace while using the rest of the space for the large suit picture. The problem is that all the tiles (which would also have large numbers in them) would have repeated numbers in what is quite a small space (a piecepack tile is smaller than a card). Still, it could be another solution, and it would make playing games with "hands" of tiles easier...

Maybe an even better solution would be to do that but then remove the large numbers from the tiles (leaving only the suit icon and rank on the corners) and use the large space to show either some art (for the aces) or the number with suit icons (like in the number cards of a traditional deck). This could have the advantage than those icons could be used as places to set coins/pawns in each tile, expanding the possibilities of the system...
 
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Jonathan Dietrich
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maka wrote:
... and the wonderful Decktet card system.

Thank you for introducing me to this system! I look forward to playing with it.
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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porter235 wrote:
maka wrote:
... and the wonderful Decktet card system.

Thank you for introducing me to this system! I look forward to playing with it.

Yeah, right now I'm hooked It's very interesting!
 
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Daniel Ajoy
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porter235 wrote:
I did not use an 'A' as the specification does indicate that a "spiral" should be used for the ace symbol on the coins, and I know that the spiral has been an inspiration for at least one or two game mechanics.

I'm intrigued by this comment. Do you care to mention those mechanics or games?
 
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Ennodio Marin
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Noble Knight Games sell a PiecePack With "Full color heavy-duty labels that you apply for each suit"

Has anyone seen any?
Anyone can upload a photo of this?
 
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Daniel Ajoy
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it says SOLD OUT:

http://www.nobleknight.com/searchresultsnew.asp?search=piece...

You can see them here:

http://www.bluepantherllc.com/images/Set1BackLabelPicture.jp...

You can buy them from Blue Panther directly:

http://www.bluepantherllc.com/BP4_NewPiecepack.htm

I bought two Oak PiecePacks from them, a couple of years back. The delivery was inside the US, though.
 
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Ennodio Marin
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Apparently the last purchase was mine. The shipment arrives this Friday. But in laser engraved, but covered with label?
I find it strange.
 
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