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Subject: Combination Card/Counter holder? rss

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Kelsey Rinella
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Rochester
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It seems as though a variety of games have some combination of cards and/or counters, tokens, cubes, and so forth for each player. It occurred to me that these collections would be more robust under occasional table bumping if each player had a small tray with short sides, two of which included angled cuts so that they could serve as card holders, as well. Has anyone done anything like this?

My initial thought was to make something as general as possible, to work with a wide variety of games, and perhaps personalize them somewhat for the members of my family and make a few others for guests. I'm not sure how subdivided the tray part ought to be, if at all, to maximize utility across a broad range of games. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
 
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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i wouldnt do compartments
great idea!
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Kelsey Rinella
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It occurs to me that one feature which might be very helpful would be if the bottom were composed of something transparent, so that the tray could sit atop a standard player board or character card and allow it to remain visible, but protected. Even better might be if it were possible to slide something like that into the base, so that it would move with the tray.

That might be over-engineering, though. It may well be just as good to just have a flat bottom, and put the player board in first. That would allow lining it with felt for ease of picking up chits and such.

So, yeah--I think you're right on the compartments.
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David Ott
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rinelk wrote:
It occurs to me that one feature which might be very helpful would be if the bottom were composed of something transparent

Transparency would also lend to keeping bits visible to all players in games in which that sort of thing is supposed to remain public.

But in response to the original question, I've yet to really find anything like that in what I'd consider a pretty thorough search. If anybody knows of that type of thing, I'd be real interested in hearing about it!
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Gregg S.
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How about a base and then some sort of insert that can be exchanged. Inserts can be for specific games or some may be generic enough to work with multiple games.
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Kelsey Rinella
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My initial plan was to use wood, since I already have adequate means of working it into whatever shape I'm likely to want. I can't think of a good way to work plastic.

What I'll probably do is use a circular saw to cut a slightly angled groove in some leftover 1" x 1" stock I have, and see how I like that as the card holder for the edge. Another alternative would be to us the 1" x 1" as the border, but use my dovetail bit to chop off some of it at a 14-degree angle, then do the same thing on the other side of a piece of molding and put them close together. This method has the advantage of giving me an opportunity to sand the surfaces the cards will touch, which might be important. Alternatively, I could just shove a piece of sandpaper or a file into the groove and hope that's adequate; it might be.

I have a ton of leftover eucaboard, which will probably do for the bottom, probably set into a groove in the edge (much as is common in drawers). Right now, I'm inclined to have it be rectangular and have interior dimensions of 8.5" x 5.75", which I'd guess is the size of an investigator sheet in Arkham Horror (but I'll check).
 
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Matthew Hart

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I know that some people in the community have made trays for specific games.One example is Eclipse. You use many cubes to track your resources. Someone made a tray out of clear plastic that holds the cubes so they don't get bumped.
 
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Kelsey Rinella
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Put together my first prototype this afternoon. I happened to have some outer corner molding sitting around, so I used that for three sides, with the 1" x 1" stock with a 15˚ slot in the back as the card holder (I tried it, and a little sandpaper in there seemed to do the job adequately).

Here it is with the right-angle clamp holding the second joint together:


And again, with the band clamp holding the whole thing together (the white stuff is freezer paper, to keep the glue from sticking where it oughtn't):


Right now the eucaboard bottom isn't held in by anything because I don't yet have the felt I plan to attach to it, and I'll probably want to reinforce at least the two front corners, because they're just held by glue on a pretty small, end-grain connection.


I put in a character card from Arkham Horror to show the size I was looking for. I wanted interior dimensions of 7 1/4" high x 11" wide. That should give me enough room to have a Mice and Mystics character card with item or other cards on both sides and a row of them above, an Arkham Horror character and assorted accessories, a King of Tokyo monster and whatever cards, evolutions, or energy would go with it, or one's hand and captured tiles from the Powerpuff Girls game. It's generously sized for some of those, perhaps too much so, but I think once I let my kids choose how they'd like theirs decorated, they'll be excited to use them with any game that could use them much at all.

One disadvantage of this design is that the lowest 1/2" or so of cards in the slot are not visible. Since that often contains crucial information, it's distinctly imperfect. I may look into options for using some transparent plastic there, instead, perhaps a length of transparent plastic corner guard attached to a thin wedge to raise it up to the 15˚ angle I find appealing for the cards.

Anyone have recommendations for improvements, or other thoughts?
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Kelsey Rinella
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Rochester
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I had a good idea: felt. It's a nice surface for the tray, I like it. Then I had a bad idea: let my preschoolers choose the felt for their own trays. My daughter went for a blue and purple tie-dye pattern, while my son chose solid yellow. But, hey, they're done!



Works pretty much as intended. Also helpful as dice trays when the arrangement of the stuff inside matters little. There're a few other pictures in my gallery which show the components for a few other games in there. I was particularly pleased with how well Chaos in the Old World fits, as I hadn't checked that ahead of time. Basically, it seems like a good design in a good size for my purposes.

Now to make some which don't hurt to look at.
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