In my spare time I've been working on things that don't need a computer, one of which is a supply of replacement tokens for our CE sets. Little cardboard circles don't last forever and are easy to lose. My friend Flip made new ones from generic blank white squares, the type you'd use in a classic wargame. Those work, but they're not pretty.
Before I show you what I came up with, let me list the requirements I was looking to fulfill:
- I'd like tokens that are about the same size as the existing ones: roughly 1/2" in diameter and 1/16" thick. Any smaller and they'd be hard to pick up; larger tokens would require scaling up the system hexes to match.
- I'd like tokens in a range of colors to match my destiny choices, with the new main colors being Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.
- The Mayfair CE set has a few powers that flip tokens over to mean various things. Either all of the tokens need to have the same back and side colors or these powers will need to be rewritten to adapt them to tokens that can't be flipped.
- In the future, I may want to make a set that uses different shapes, symbols, or something similar so that colorblind folks can play without too many problems. (Aside: did you know that the color choices in the main Mayfair set were made because they were easily discernable by a colorblind person in the Mayfair offices? I don't know if that story is true, but it sounds like a reasonable explanation.)
I was really hoping to find wooden pieces at or about the same size as the existing tokens, but I struck out. It turns out that CE tokens are pretty small compared to the wooden game pieces of today. The choice came down to getting close to the diameter I wanted or the thickness, and I chose diameter. Spielmaterial sells wooden circles (under "Pawns & other figures", then "Discs") in a wide variety of colors that are only a bit wider than the existing tokens but about twice as thick as my well-used tokens. (They're about 0.6" in diameter and 1/8" thick.) Ordering from Spielmaterial was quite simple; just pay via PayPal and let PP handle the conversion. A few days later and $25 lighter I was the prowd owner of a whole bag of white tokens.
Now, you may ask "Why white instead of getting a bunch of different colors?" I decided to be stubborn and paint one side myself so we had flippable tokens. I headed off to Michael's to pick up supplies. This is where I discovered the paint marker, which must have been one of the recent great inventions in arts and crafts. No brushes to wash, no worry about spilling dirty water, just shake it up and paint. Here's the results:
In the middle you can see the red tokens from my well used 10+ year old Mayfair set. Their replacements are directly to the right. You can't see the difference in thickness, but the wooden pieces are about twice as thick as my old tokens, and three to four times as thick as a brand new token. I also included the remainder of the token bag (I have enough to make another set of seven different colors and have a bunch left over for replacements), the paint markers, and printed-up Destiny Cards, which we actually used at Gen Con Indy. (Well, we used the ones that match the Mayfair colors.)
I did two coats for all of the colors, and I'm probably going to do a third coat on the reds because they have a lot of dark spots. (It's not so easy to see in this picture, but they do vary in color much more than any of the other color sets.)
Next time, I'll be back to cards. See you then!