Archive for the 'Board Games' Category

Castle Dice Review(Print and Play) – Kickstarter

Castle Dice logoI’ve just finished assembling my print and play copy of Castle dice by Fun to 11 games. I have had this game on my “to build” list for sometime but the number of dice I would have needed to source has always put me off a little. Fun to 11 games ran a kickstarter for Castle dice and had an option for dice only. I didn’t want to pay a small fortune in shipping so I elected for the dice only. As it turned out the dice only reward was meant for the US only (I miss read) but in what I can only say was a stellar level of Customer service, Fun to 11 games shipped the dice all the way to Australia (Big thumbs up and thanks).

Castle Dice All the Dice

A word of caution on Kickstarter, a number of people seem to see/treat kickstarter as a pre-order mechanism. This is not the case at all kickstarter is you providing an unsecured loan to the company or individual to launch a product. This means if the project goes south you’ll receive nothing (well maybe a refund). You can see the information AISC (Australian Investment & Securities Commission) has assembled on crowd funding. Basic rule of thumb as with any investment or business backing, do your research and don’t commit to more than you can afford to lose. Saying that I’ve supported 17 projects; 2 failed to meet funding goals so no cost to me, 7 I’ve received my goods for no issue, 5 I know the stuff is coming as the people running those KS already have 90% completed drafts (basically need funding to produce) or have started shipping, 2 are still active and 1 I’m unsure on but my pledge was minimal and was more of giving someone an opportunity.

On with Castle dice, if you live in the US and definitely want the game, I’d be inclined to just buy the game outright, it’s $65 shipped in the US and although I haven’t seen the printed commercial game in real life, the components look solid from the you-tube video’s. For myself as shipping to Australia almost doubles the cost of the game I used the print and play copy I received from the Kickstarter it contained cleaner artwork than the original print and play files. You might still be able to get these files from the Fun to 11 games website.

Castle Dice Castle Deck

The market cards are meant to be smaller the the villager and castle cards for ease of making them by hand I enlarged my market cards back to standard card size. This enabled me to simply print a front and back for all the cards on sticker sheet, then cut them out using a craft knife as slightly oversize card shaped rectangles. These I then carefully stuck onto the front and back of common magic cards and trimmed any overhang and rounded the corners back.  This was fairly mind destroying to complete 107 cards but they do look good if a tiny bit thick. I did contemplate using artscow however I might in the longer term expand my set to cover upto 8 players which will require me to print more cards and doing it at home through the same printer I can keep them consistent, plus new custom cards become a possibility. All the cards got plastic sleeved to make shuffling a tad easier and limit wear and tear.

Castle Dice Village Deck

For the playing mats and turn tracker I stuck these down to heavy box board and then covered them with clear contact to help minimize the wear and tear. I did discover that if I spray the box board with 3m glue and then stick the sticker sheet to the box board I seem to get much better adhesion and I had minimal warping. I tried this out the game pieces here as I had noticed a few my dungeon tiles the sticker sheet was lifting away from the box board. my guess is that the box board is very very dry and sucks any moisture out of the sticker backing causing it to lift slightly. I’m hoping the very light layer of 3m glue will provide a barrier and better adhesion, it seems to on these 5 test pieces.

Castle Dice Player Boards

Castle Dice Turn Board

Last up were all the tokens, I ran these through my trusty cutter and other than being a little thin they work well. I’ve played a couple of games and it would definitely be handy if the tokens were a little thicker and double sided. So I’ll probably work on remaking these int he future if the game itself gets enough play time (more on that later). The animal tokens are excellent and look very good on the table, the villager tokens in contrast I’m not so impressed with and I might find and use a different piece of artwork for these when I remake them. For resource markers I used clear glass beads which lets you read the numbers through the beads with little difficulty.

Castle Dice Tokens

We’ve played through a number of games now from everything from 2 through to 6 players (yep stretching it out). For myself and the people who played the game with me we found the game a little to flat/detached with not enough player interaction. Although I should caution that as a group we tend to prefer games with lots of player interaction for example Citadels, Resistance although Munchkin gets rolled our reasonably often in one flavor or another. It’s possible we are simply missing something from the game play or that the game just dosen’t fit what we all prefer to play.

Saying that the game does play solidly, we had no issue with any of the rules and most players had picked up what was going on by about 1/3rd of the way through the first game. I can see it as being a fairly good game for younger gamers (okay anyone with Kids) although depending on age they might struggle a little with some of the card interactions but saying that 8-9 year olds handle Ipads like pros so it probably wont be an issue.  We did find stretching the game to 6 players with just the standard dice wasn’t to much  of a problem. In two of the  turns the person picking last ended up with little choice but this actually made it slightly more enjoyable as we had exhausted the available resources for the world and naturally the time to play was also lengthened.

Castle Dice Market Deck

I do have some idea’s to increase player interaction so as to spice things up a little but as they will be experimental and it will require not an insignificant amount of work on my half to create customs cards etc I may not get to it but in no particular order, there a little shorthand noted:

  • Bribe the Barbarians – play the card and send 1 group of rolled barbarians to any other player.
  • Wall w/ Ballista  – Destroy a bunch of Barbarians.
  • Stables – Send out your on cavalry to raid a neighboring castle (resolve after barbarians raiding castle and receive one of resource if successful)
  • Wall w/ Catapult – Pummel a neighboring castle, not sure how to make this work yet.

I guess the big question is would I buy this game now, answer would have to be No, it just doesn’t fit with what our group enjoys.  I would point out that on BGG castle dice is running at a solid 7+ which is a fairly impressive score for a game so I suspect this is a personal group preference thing more than anything (not every game will please everyone) . If your not sure give the print a play version a try before you buy.

“You can only be young once. But you can always be immature” – Dave Barry

Papercraft Build – Dungeon Plungin The Monsters

Dungeon Plungin Lich King Monsters ThreeAs part of getting myself back into the old paper craft miniature rhythm I had to (re)learn how to use my new cutter properly on my new PC. So for practice I decided to pull together another copy of Dungeon Plungin. I’d wanted to recreate a copy of Dungeon Plungin (DP) after my last half finished copy got soaked when the roof leaked, that was nearly 3 years ago so I’m well overdue to start a rebuild. I decided to print out and build all the monsters need for the current DP V3 and the new under development DP V4 (V3.8ish).

I’ve had some problems in the past with tall flat paper miniatures bending  under there own weight, even when using 220gsm card glued back to back. To help strengthen the taller miniatures I added a wire spine. Basically I grabbed a cheap wire garbage bag tie (mine were paper wrapped) and cut it to length . Then I glued the tie vertically from the top of the miniature to the bottom. This gives the miniature some additional rigidity, it can still be bent and flattened but hopefully wont self bend/bow when in use.

paper Miniatures Wire Spine

Wire tie in approximate location were it’s glued between front and back

I  built the DP V3 quests and monsters first, some of these already had cut files. For the practice I recreated most of the cut files from scratch. First up the Knocking Wall Quest, full of Imps, Devilings, Gremlins, Gargoyles and one minor Demon (big guy with wings). I played around with the colours on the miniatures so they are not all the same colour, other than that they are all stock standard.

Dungeon Plungin Knocking Wall Monsters

Next we have the Orcish raider and Troll Lair Quest. Instead of building the basic miniatures needed for these two quests I built the full extended pack of Orc’s, Trolls and Goblins. I haven’t counted them all but I’m sure if I wanted to I could field a fairly decent Orc based Army and I’m not even certain all the miniatures are used in those two quests, still variety is the spice of life. I once again  messed around with the colouring on a few of the miniatures.

Dungeon Plungin Orcish Raider Monster One

Dungeon Plungin Orcish Raider Monster Three

Dungeon Plungin Orcish Raider Monster Two

Dungeon Plungin Orcish Raider Monster Four

Dungeon Plungin Orcish Raider Monster Five

The next quest is the Witch of the West Wood, Onemonk created the miniatures for the quest back in 2008 so they have a more Onemonk feel and the whole quest and the monsters has a tongue in cheek feel with dire bunnies, squirrels and O-Wee-O guards. As with the other monsters in the other quests I did some minor recolours.

Dungeon Plungin Witch of the Wild Wood One

Dungeon Plungin Witch of the Wild Wood Two

Last official quest for V3 DP is the Tomb of the Lich King. No recolours this time although I did spend sometime adding backs to the skeletons and reapers, then discovered Erf_Beto had already done this, you can grab his back and front versions here and here. A long time ago I did mod some standing rats and you can see those in my builds below, you can grab those from the Oversoul Games forum.

Dungeon Plungin Lich King Monsters One

 Dungeon Plungin Lich King Monsters Two

Dungeon Plungin Lich King Monsters Three

There are 5 Quests currently for DP V4 (V3.8). Some of the quests reuse the miniatures from V3, some are a mix and others are all new. For the moment you can grab all the V4 (3.8) play test stuff from the Oversoul Games forum. One of the major changes between V3 and V4 is the toughness of the monsters so the mix and levels are a little different. I did not make any mods to any of the miniatures as they are currently subject to change as the version evolves.

The first quest is the Dogface Demon quest filled with Kobolds and a single Gremlin, which I’ll grab from the ones above:

Dungeon Plungin Dogface Demons Monsters

Next Quest for DP V4 is Rock Solid, it’s your fairly normal rat, snake, spider cave quest with an earth elemental for the Boss. The rats I’ll reuse from the Lich King Quest above.

Dungeon Plungin Rock Solid Monsters

Both The Where Wolf , Castle Gryphon and Trolls Lair quest, consist of Greenskins, Wolves and a few gargoyles, no new monsters so no extra pictures for those three quests. In the base monster pack for V4 there are other monsters included either for you to create your own quests or possibly as the Oversoul crew have something planned. Below in no particular order are the additional monsters included in the base monster pack for DP V4.

Dungeon Plungin Extra Monsters V4 One

Dungeon Plungin Extra Monsters V4 Three

Dungeon Plungin Extra Monsters V4 Two  Dungeon Plungin Extra Monsters V4 Four

Dungeon Plungin Extra Monsters V4 Five

With the DP miniatures I assembled them as standard tab bases, this allows me to store the monsters in a smaller space and perfectly flat plus make use of some new bases I’ve ordered which I’ll post about once they arrive. As for my DP set I just need to finish creating some room decorations, primarily chests and maybe a few tables. Then it’s onto the hero’s and my Dungeon Plungin set will be finished and ready for the next Friday/Saturday afternoon of board gaming with friends.

Papercraft Build – Inked Adventures Dungeon Cut-Up Basic

Inked Adventures Dungeon 4 (S01)I have a real soft spot for nostalgic themed games, papercraft or artwork, this little build fills two of those. Ever since Inked Adventures released their basic Dungeon cup setup I’ve been wanting to build enough for a dungeon layout. So I put some time aside over the past few weeks  and have now built enough tiles to populate a fairly decent sized dungeon, I can see I need to create a few more tiles but for the most part I’m done. As you can tell by the release date it’s taken me a fair bit of time to get around to building these, some of this relates to me trying to find a good material to mount tiles to but I’ll mention more below on that.

All Inked adventure tiles are hand drawn which I find a very nice look. There are 41 pages of dungeon goodness contained in this pack; rooms, corridors, stairs, trap tiles, 2d doors and 3d standup doors multiple versions of both. The beauty of the Dungeon Cut-Up set is even if your not into altering dungeon segments using GIMP/Photoshop, Billiam from Inked Adventures  has created this set so you can use a pair of scissors and glue to create your own custom tiles. There are 4 pages of “extra” bits which you can use to either decorate your tiles permanently by sticking them down directly to the tiles or by turning them into loose tiles you can add mid game.

Inked Adventures Dungeon 3 (S01)Layout Example – From an angle

For my set I stuck with components that are multiples of 2inches, 3inches or 6 inches. This will make it simpler to use for Dungeon plungin and Basic fantasy, although I might make a few special rooms that don’t conform to these sizes later on. For the moment I’ve created 8 – 6×6 rooms, 8- 6×2 corridors, 2 – 6×1 corridors, 4 L and T junctions, 2 X junctions, 4 dead ends, 14 small doors, 2 double doors, 2 double joiners, 4 double rockfalls and 2 large pit traps.

Inked Adventures Dungeon 1 (S01)Bits created so far laid out

The rooms I created from the parts supplied by Billiam although I did a fair chunk of altering in Gimp to make them fit a 6×6 square. Other than the room with blue squares you could replicate most of the room designs with a pair of scissors, glue and  a little ingenuity or simply use the ones that come with the bundle (12 rooms included).

Inked Adventures Dungeon 2 (S01)Example Layout – Top Down

I mentioned at the top I’d been putting of creating these as I’ve never really found a suitable substrate for mounting tiles to. I’ve tested quiet a number of crazy ideas in my time from rubber carpet tiles to magnetic sheet. Not sure if it’s just the extreme weather down under but I’ve found all glues that are easy to use for tile creation (read spray glue even the good 3m stuff) do eventually fail, 3m takes the longest at around the 1-2 year mark.

Inked Adventures Dungeon 6 (S01)Kitchen mat backing, simply double sided taped on

After years I’ve finally narrowed it down to two methods, the first I mentioned in my city build thread 8mm PVC foamboard. A little heavy duty for this application plus chews up extra storage space so I’ve simply used grey boxboard 1400gsm (basically what commercial game boards are made from) and printed directly to sticker sheet, stuck the tiles down then cut around the whole lot giving a nice neat tile. To prevent slipping on smooth tables I used double sided tape to a fix non-slip kitchen mat to the backs. Nothing to out of the ordinary and it’s been done before but I’ve found this one of the better solutions for DIY tiles; No spray glue mess, No warping from glue, No lifting , Reasonably slip proof on a table and lastly they don’t take up to much room to store. My current dungeon tiles fill about 1/3 of an  A4 document box. To give the doors some weight I stuck them down to some thick (2mm) magnetic sheet, this will also let me stick them to the inside of the lid of the storage box later on to protect them during storage.

Inked Adventures Dungeon 5 (S01)I’ll add some dividers etc later on but just to give an idea on storage

If your not sure you like the style of the tiles or simply want to give them a try there is a free sampler pack which should give you an idea of what to expect. I did this myself while experimenting with tile mounting techniques, once I had a solution I grabbed the full set and haven’t been disappointed. I even grabbed the square tile version although I haven’t used them. I should probably mention that Inked Adventures has released some freebies for this set so grab those as well as they’ll give you more options.

Inked Adventures Dungeon 4 (S01)The whole example layout – yep missed a door on the right

As always have fun building and gaming and I hope to get some more posts up shortly, I have 6 projects 90% complete….I should probably focus on one project at a time rather than starting six at once :).

BoardGame – Dungeon!

Wizards of the coast (WOTC) has just re-released the Dungeon! board game. I played this game a heap as a kid, although it was one of the very early 1975 Aussie editions by  Jedko. So the game was actually older than me (still is).  I was very excited that WOTC had done a reprint and re-release and basically kept the core of the original game intact ie they resisted the urge to tinker with the game.

The game on re-release was very reasonably priced ($22 AUD) which worried me a little as I wasn’t to sure how good the quality would be. However I took a gamble and ordered three copies , one for myself, one for my brother and one for my good friend. The three of us played dungeon way to much together so I wanted to get a copy for each of us, as much for the nostalgia and memories as anything.

Ready to explore the Dungeon

Opening the box up I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the components the board is solid and actually backed on a thicker board than what I’ve come to consider as normal. The cards are simple and colourful and the artwork overall well executed. If there is one item which was a little bit of a disappointment it was the player counters included, they are fairly unstable and don’t look that great they are okay but just not as good as the rest of the components or as functional. The only other bit lacking was no storage compartments for the bits basically just an empty box. Those minor quibbles aside the reprint is excellent value for money.

What you end up with after you unwrap the cards

I decided to work at fitting out the box to better hold the components as well as replacing the player counters. First up I had to come up with a layout for the box to fit all the components. To this end I cut out 2 x 1 inch frames of 8mm thick PVC foam board and glued these together which made a lip raised up from the base of the box by 16mm. This was primarily to accommodate the 16mm square dice. I then subdivided this into 3 rows 2 down each side to hold the cards and a larger section in the middle for the tokens and the new player counters these strips are just under 1/2 an inch wide. Below you can see a picture of the box fitted out ready for filling.

Next up I designed some card-boxes to hold the monster, treasure and spell cards. I based the design of the boxes on a shrunk down cigarette packet (cigarette companies got that right). I textured the boxes to resemble locked chests and did 3 different colors; blue (Spells/Spares), red (Monsters) and yellow (treasure). I am very happy with how these turned out and I plan to  strength the hinge area on the inside with a strip of sticky tape. I also came up with a new Silhouette/Robo/Cameo cut template that means the Cameo and SD marks are on the one page but does mean I need to release two slightly different cut files. I think releasing two cut files is slightly better than releasing two pdf versions as the cut files are normally very small 50kb as apposed to pdfs which can be 5-10mb, the only problem is I cant test the Cameo cut files so if someone uses it and it works okay please let me know.  I’ve included the deckboxes at the end of this post if anyone else wants them, I included 3 blank/unlabelled versions at the end of the PDF.

The last little improvement  I made was to the player tokens. Previously I had stumbled across some nice miniatures by Battle Studio, unfortunately they had no backs so I couldn’t use them for wargaming but for Dungeon! were facing doesn’t matter they were perfect. I basically bought 4 of there sets and then picked out the minis I liked, I then modded the mini’s. Firstly I colour coded the characters clothing to the right colours for the classes, next I laid them out the Onemonk way ie black borders and tabs, lastly I made some mods such as switching some weapons, in the case of the elf mage she is composed of 3 different miniatures. The mini’s themselves are sized almost spot on 25mm to the eyes although I did need to scale a couple a little. I used the flat Reivaj basing technique for these and made 20mm hexagon bases which fit well with the game board. I ended up with 16 character minis, 8 male, 8 female:

Top Row Warriors, Bottom Row Rogues
Top Row Mages, Bottom Row Clerics

I was very happy with the size of the paper miniatures at 25mm and I’m seriously considering scaling all future card miniatures to 25mm to the eyes as then I could base my terrain on 20mm instead of 25mm and save a little space. I still have some other additions I’d like to make like some custom treasure cards and an expanded rulebook but for the moment I just want to get the 3 copies all finished up to the below layout then I’ll look at additions in the future:

Flip Top Card Box Download:

Dungeon Card Box

Dungeon Card Box Instructions

Below are the cut files as usual I’m tricking wordpress and have renamed the extension to odt, after you download them rename the extension studio

Dungeon Card Box SD Cut

Dungeon Card Box Cameo Cut

In case  anyone wants the blank mesh, I’m releasing the below file into the Public Domain, I’d appreciate a mention if you use it but no obligation.

Dungeon! Cardbox Mesh Only

Enjoy the card boxes and if you see a copy of Dungeon! grab it you wont be disappointed for the price 🙂


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