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Subject: One (possible) solution to the warped board problem rss

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John Sizemore
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This is NOT a Chihuahua. It is a Sphynx cat. A bald, grouchy Sphynx cat who will bite you if you mistake him for a Chihuahua.
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I was very disappointed when I couldn't get a copy of COH at GenCon -- apparently that first run had to be pulled off of shelves due to the warping problem. By the time the game was officially released here in the US, reports of warped boards in the released run had already started to leak out. I knew that potentially warped boards would be a poor match for the Richmond climate, but I really wanted the game badly. So I bought it anyway on October 18, the day it was released.

Before taking the shrink off the box, I made sure I had a big, clean area covered with newspaper, as well as a full can of Mod Podge Matte Acrylic sealer. I set up a small space heater in the room, to artificially lower the relative humidity, and got to work.

Each of the big map tiles got a fairly thick coat on one side, with special attention to the bare edges, which seem to suck in moisture. I accelerated the drying process with a hair dryer, and within 15 minutes they were dry enough to flip over without sticking to anything. I gave them another coat on the back, again with a bit extra around the edges. I left them out to dry, and hoped for the best. Total expenditure: about $5 for the spray, and 30 minutes worth of trouble.

It's now 6 weeks later, and my map tiles are about as flat I could ever wish -- they sit flush with the table top all around, and join together perfectly. Even the pointy bits on the corner pieces have resisted the urge to curl. They're also (somewhat) spillproof, and more resistant to friction. I store them in a sealed plastic bag inside the box, just to minimize the amount of damp air that can get next to them while they're on the shelf.

Granted, I may have been one of the lucky ones who got non-warping tiles, anyway -- I have no way of knowing. But November was unseasonably mild and damp, and we keep a humidifier running when the heat is on. And they're still nice and flat.

I've been spraying chipboard pieces for a long time, but it's usually just to protect irreplaceable counters and smaller map tiles (e.g., Magic Realm). This is the first time I've tried coating something for the expressed purpose of keeping it flat. The results have been gratifying. I'm thinking of applying the same treatment to my still-in-shrink replacement tiles for Betrayal at House on the Hill, but that hasn't proven to be a great game for my taste, anyway, so we'll see.
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Robert Manore
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Warlord beats Troll, Troll beats Elf, Elf beats Water Sprite, and basically everything else beats Enchanted Bunny.
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Awesome idea John! Thanks for sharing!
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Bryan Fischer
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Co-founder of Nevermore Games. Follow me on Twitter @bryanfischer
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I've used Mod Podge for a number of things, one of which is to seal artwork. It's an interesting solution and I like the texture it leaves behind. I doubt you'll have any problem with your tiles warping now.

Good idea. +1
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John Sizemore
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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www.NevermoreGames.com
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This is NOT a Chihuahua. It is a Sphynx cat. A bald, grouchy Sphynx cat who will bite you if you mistake him for a Chihuahua.
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Thanks, Bryan. Just to be clear: this was the Modge Podge spray-on acrylic, not the traditional brush-on stuff. The brush-on coating might not be a good idea for large pieces of chipboard like this, as it is water-based. I have tried a few different brands of the spray-on acrylic, though, and find Modge Podge to be the best for this purpose. It goes on heavy and even, leaving a very pleasant matte surface.
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