Pimp My Board Game

a pursuit of fruitless endeavors and endless refinements

Tag: thunder road (Page 1 of 3)

New Track for Championship Formula Racing

Even though I’m still a bit distracted with the new Catacombs expansion, I found some time to print out a new board for Championship Formula Racing.

Abu Dhabi was released on the CFR Kickstarter page as a downloadable extra while Jolly Roger Games figures out what to do about the board vs car size issue.   Since I skipped the issue by picking up my own car miniatures, the board is a nice little bonus edition.  Doug Schulz, the main designer behind this CFR renaissance, has a lot of extra boards (and how to make your own) on his site but I don’t think any are print-ready and in the same style as the CFR game.

Printing this was obscenely easy.  I went from getting the file, adjusting the size, sending to printer and picking up finished print all in a Sunday afternoon.

First thing I did is run the board file through Photoshop and cropped a small section out to print at home to test the spacing.   The test was successful and so I checked out Walmart’s photo site online and found the best option they had was a 20 x 30 print size.  I opened up the file again and added to the overall print size to match 20 x 30 and filled in the new space.  I’ve talked about using Walmart awhile back when I made my Thunder Road custom boards and this was no different. Well, a little different as I “splurged” and decided to get the mounted backing print. It’s a $10 difference.  Art board is about $6-$8 so it was worth it to go ahead and have them mount the print.  The total was about $30 and I found out when I went to pick up the print that there was a smaller option not listed on their website that would have required no extra space for cheaper.  Ah well. I’m still happy with the results.

As you can see, the Abu Dhabi board is a little bigger than the standard boards.  Luckily the box has enough room to fit a 20 x 30 tri-fold board (down to 10 x 10) so I’m not worried.

The print quality of the file is great and very legible.

It would be great to see Jolly Roger Games release more of Doug’s tracks but this extra one will help for now.  It looks like a lot of fun with the long straights and all the lane-ending S-curves.

CNC Progress

This week, I was able to start my CNC machine project.  It’s slow going as I’ve never had to assemble anything this complex and so I’m taking my time.  I could have opted for the pre-built version but reading up on the kit a bit more, several users noted that it was good to build it yourself so that if things go wrong in the future, you’ll have an idea of what the problem might be.  I’m not sure if that will really work for me but the building process itself is pretty cool.

cncparts

So here we have all the kit pieces laid out on my new workbench I made a couple of weeks back.  The large device at the back of the table is my photo enlarger, which was the real purpose of this room- to build up my darkroom again, but I found that I broke a key piece of the enlarger so I have to source out a replacement.  In the meantime, the room will also serve as my pimping workroom, or “The Lab,” as I call it.

cncvwheels

The kids were away so I actually moved everything upstairs and worked at the kitchen table, catching up on the latest Walking Dead episodes from the mid-season break. The picture above are “V-wheels” that were a bitch to press together (my thumb is still sore).  Eventually, I opted for two sets of pliers to get those bearings in the plastic wheels.

cncguides

Next I put the V-wheels in the Y-axis plates. These plates will hold the main board “table” of the machine.

cncrails

And they attach on these rails that connect the front and back of the base of the machine.

cncbottom2

The base then attaches to the Y-axis plates and also gain some T-nuts and another guide plate.

cncbottom1

And here we are.  This is about one-third through the assembly instructions.  Next is assembling the X-axis and Z-axis components and putting the motors and belts on.  Then finally is the final assembly.  After that comes the electronics and setting up the software and everything else.

In gaming news, I stumbled on this interesting little preview:

image from BGG, from the game publisher

image from BGG, from the game publisher

This is Gang Rush Breakout from CMON and Ankama. Those of you that have followed me for awhile might notice the game looks similar to a classic game that I’ve been nuts on pimping: Thunder Road.  While this game (from the brief publisher descriptions) doesn’t seem like it has a lot in common with Thunder Road mechanically, it does have a pretty cool look to it and I’m looking forward to hearing more about this game.

It is due to release in April, shockingly without a Kickstarter but since Ankama seems to be driving the publishing aspect of the game, maybe that is just the way they do things.  Ankama is responsible for Krosmaster Arena, which also avoided using Kickstarter.  I’ll likely wait to play this at Gen Con before I really commit to picking it up but I have some high hopes for it.

Speaking of Gen Con, I got the notice that they are opening up the event applications in a few weeks so I better get on this.  Last year I missed the early deadline and my events didn’t make it into the general admission until after the main event signup date.  I’m going to make sure my events get in on time this year to see if that helps the attendance any.

I’m planning on running my Loopin’ Chewie Tournament again as it was a lot of fun and though there weren’t many in attendance, they all seemed to have a good time.  I will likely run one more event as well but I’m not sure which it will be.  I could do Thunder Road again or I’ve been thinking about running a PitchCar variant of mine.  I’m also stupidly into Mantic’s Walking Dead: All Out War and had a blast running a custom event at CabinCon so might try something like that.  Decisions, decisions.  Only have a few weeks to figure it out. Maybe I’ll flip a coin.

Welcome to 2017!

I hope your 2016 went well.  I’m pretty happy with how it went on the gaming front this year and so this will be one of those obligatory “review” posts.  This was a “do or die” year for this blog as I had to decide if I wanted to pursue this passion or give it up due to lack of time and commitment.  As you can tell, I chose to keep it going and I’m really glad I did.  I’ve had the chance to meet some great people and the research that goes into each post is really showing me that pimping games has really come into its own in this hobby.

In 2016, I showed off some of my favorite pimped games like my Thunder Road Advanced and the Rum and Bones “travel” set, the latter of which was featured in a CMON facebook post earlier in the year.  I also finally posted my Assault on Hoth set, which has been a work in progress over the last few years (thanks to Rogue One for galvanizing me to finish up).

I also did a lot of work on Pretzel Games’ Flick ’em Up!, messing with mustaches, slow motion video, and an Adrenaline/Flick ’em Up! crossover variant.  The video was especially fun to shoot and edit as it was something I haven’t done since college.  It was even popular enough to make BoardGameGeek’s “The Geek Weekly” in both their regular weekly installment and their year end wrap-up.

Ok, enough about the past. I’m really excited for 2017 as I have a lot of ideas rattling around that I want to get going and post about.  Some of them are completing languishing projects, like a globe-using game of Risk, while others are brand new that I’ve been hoping to start for a while now.

Christmas was great this year and the family got together to get me a very fun pimping toy, a low-end CNC milling machine:

I’m really excited about this machine and so you can definitely expect posts on this adventure (or possibly mis-adventure) over the next month or so.

I’ve enjoyed keeping my posts to about once a week but I plan to try to post more in 2017 and I may try out an ongoing series as well.  In case you missed it, Pimp My Board game is also on Facebook  and as a secondary blog feed on BoardGameGeek as well.

Thank you all for reading and commenting over the last year.  It’s always encouraging and I’m really excited bring you even more in the coming year.

10 monkeys with 2 and a side of bourbon

Cheers!

Storage Wars

I picked up some pluck foam the other day so that I could finally properly store my Dropzone Commander minis and it got me thinking of game storage solutions and where we are in the industry.

storage-dzc1

Pluck foam is a pretty common way to store miniatures and protect them during travel.  It is pretty inexpensive for foam and is infinitely customizable because the entire middle section is scored into tiny squares.  These squares can then be cut and pulled out in the rough shape of your model. As you can see from the image above, I’ve already started cutting the foam out to fit my Dropzone models and I have some more models and accessories laid out to help plan the layout for the rest of the box.

storage-dzc2

After a bit more cutting and pulling, I was able to finish out the main models. During this process, I like to maximize the space so I create some thin walls separating the models.  This makes the walls somewhat fragile so I take some white glue and tack down the walls to keep things more stable.

I used pluck foam to also store my pimped out copy of Thunder Road, showing that foam storage solutions aren’t just for table top minis games

storage-thunder

Pluck foam isn’t the only option to store minis. Staying with the advantages that foam provides (soft protection, light weight, and great customization), you can spend a bit more and work with custom foam cutting companies like Battle Foam to pick up really nice foam trays that are specifically cut for your models.

storage-descent

I like to keep my game boxes and companies like Battle Foam tend to want to sell you their bags as well but recently, these companies are catering to the board game market and offering custom foam trays that fit the game contents and the box they come in.  Above, I have an example of a foam tray set for the Fantasy Flight game, Descent: Journeys in the Dark.  Even though I don’t have these minis painted (maybe someday…), the storage trays work well to keep the minis and the cards/components separated. This helps in set up and tear down time and protects the minis from getting bent up or possibly broken.

Specific storage trays for a game are great but Battle Foam also offers the ability to customize the tray and even your specific model shape through their custom tray app on their site.  I’ve used this several times with great results for my X-wing Miniatures Game collection.  Most notably, I’ve used it for my custom Millennium Falcon carrying case.

falcon ex4

This option is likely the most expensive foam option available but the results are great if you have a highly customized project you want to protect.

Foam isn’t the only option out there, of course.  Recently, new ground has been made in laser cutting and these manufacturers are getting into the game.  Companies like Broken Token are now making full storage solutions for board games by producing custom cut boxes and organizers made of 1/8″ or 1/4″ birch wood.

storage-broken-token

image from Broken Token website

While I don’t have any of these products specifically, I have some friends who swear by them. The advantage these laser cut organizers have is their rigidity and size configurations, which allow the designers to set up organized trays that can be simply pulled out of the box and set up next to the board for instant game set up.

Like the custom foam options, these laser cut organizers can be some of the most expensive options out in the market today, sometimes costing as much as the game itself.

Another alternative is to create tray organizers similar to the laser cut options by cutting all the material out using foamcore.

storage-tann-foamcore

image from BGG user Maxime Verrette

Boardgamegeek user Maxime Verrette created the intricate example above with foam core for his Tannhauser game.  It is likely the cheapest option out there and has all the benefits of the pricey laser cut options with the exception that it takes a lot of careful work.

In my last example, I cheap out completely and pick up one of the favorite options for boardgamers: Plano organizers (typically for fishing tackle boxes).  This option has been around for years and is one of the favorites because it is cheap, easily accessible, and very durable.

storage-tann

my time/cost effective Tannhauser storage solution

Since the Plano boxes come in a variety of sizes and configurations, you can usually find a box that will work for the game you are trying to organize.  These storage boxes can also be customized but you’ll likely need something more powerful, like a dremel, to carve out the plastic or cut out the walls you need to fit the larger pieces you intend to store.  Combine this option with plastic baggies and you have an extremely budget-conscious storage and organizing solution.

As you can see, when storing your prized gaming components, there are a variety of options.  Each of these options have pros and cons and it’ll be up to you to decide what works best for the game you are hoping to protect and store.

Gen Con 2016, Part 4

click here to see part 1 of this series.

click here to see part 2 of this series.

click here to see part 3 of this series.


00_pika

Sunday was the last official day of Gen Con 2016 and I’m always a little lost on what to do.  The Dealer Hall is a good option to find last minute deals or get in that last demo of a game you’ve been eyeing.  This year, I was trying something a little different- I was running a few events.

I’ve run events in the past and swore I’d never do it again but those events were a huge chunk of time and very taxing.  The events I had planned this year were just an hour each and playing some of the games I enjoy most.

loopin chewie logo final 2016 copy

First up was a Loopin’ Chewie Tournament.  I had some ideas on how to run one based on how A Gathering of Friends runs their Loopin’ Louie tournament so I was ready to go with 7 sets of Loopin’ Chewie and some fun prizes.  Unfortunately, only 4 people showed up.

04_Chewie_tourney

the few, the proud

We still had a bit of fun putting the players through a gauntlet of various play styles and much to my surprise, our youngest competitor came away with the most wins and the Golden Paddle award.

04_Chewie_winner

judge me by my size, do you?

We had set up the tables early and I had a lot of people checking out the game and quite a few families stop by to try it out.  We also left a few games up while we tore everything else down.  More families joined in and played a few games.  Even though the overall turnout for the event was small, there was a bit of interest in the game and so I’m confident next year will have more people.

04_Thunder2

Next up was my pimped out Thunder Road.  We had 3 out of 4 players show up so this event was a little better attended than my tournament.  The guys enjoyed the game and my road variants and so it was definitely worth running.

04_Thunder1

The location the Con gave me was perfect as it was situated down one of the main event hall walkways.  I had quite a few other attendees stopping to talk about the game and the nostalgic memories it brought back as well as gawk at my pimped out components.

After my events were done, I dropped off my stuff at the hotel and came back to the convention center to finish out the rest of the dwindling hours, checking out things I missed earlier.

02_riverdragons

River Dragons was a cool simultaneous action game where players are trying to get their pawns across the map via river planks that you set out during the game.  The publisher only had the Giant version pictured above available to buy but I’ll definitely check the regular version out when it is reprinted.

02_Walkingdead

Mantic Games had their retail copy of The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game available for demo. The bits look great and I can’t wait to get my full Kickstarter copy.

02_WH40k

Earlier in the Con, there were some pretty epic set ups including this massive Warhammer 40k battle.

01_ships

Or this great looking Age of Sail homebrew game.

01_WM

 Privateer Press always has some of the most amazing board set ups for their demos and tournaments.

03_cosplayWolv

00_cosplaysent

While not known for its cosplay, Gen Con still caters to that crowd to good effect.

Marike Reimer, Best in Show

Greeting the Sunrise, Marike Reimer

Marike Reimer had a submission that won Best in Show in the 2016 Painting Competition. There is some amazing freehand work on that model.

01_firestorm

Homebrew add-ons like this massive Space Station for Firestorm Armada are all over the Con event hall. It’s great to see just how many players love to go to extremes to create immersive environments for the games they love.  The essence of pimping games.

Gen Con wrapped up with a trip to the airport and a last relaxing meal before the flight.  I got home and unpacked and found that I actually had a pretty good swag haul.

05_swag

I was able to pick up the Flick em Up expansion and some new Wave 9 X-wing ships. I was able to grab some Mantic Walking Dead promo zombie figures and some Event exclusive Dropzone Commander packs.  Then there was the annual Gen Con die and some Catacombs and Stellar Conflict promos.  My Duke tournament “medallion” (Flava Flav style), some CMON exclusives and some fire/smoke tokens from Broken Token round out the goodies.

All-in-all a great convention and I can’t wait to see what happens next year.

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