Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

I know it’s only January right now, and Origins Game Fair isn’t until June – but if you’re planning a full week trip to Origins, you should probably start thinking about it now. I get asked a lot of questions about Origins and how to get ready for it. I want to share planning methods and tips for the convention that Mr. DDK and I have. We may not be the most seasoned when it comes to Origins (been a few times), but we’ve traveled a lot and we’ve definitely learned a lot!

Most of this article is written for travelers that are driving or taking other modes of ground transportation. I don’t have much advice for anyone flying because I’m not familiar with flying protocols.

October – November 2018

Hotel blocks and badge registration opened in October and November, respectively. We don’t usually book hotel rooms or buy badges that early. A lot of people do though. If you’ve got the money to spend, we would definitely recommend getting a room from one of the Hotel Blocks listed on Origins’ site – especially the connected hotels or one super close. By now, most of them are already booked. If you want to get a room at one of the connected hotels, you would have to be ready to book the moment the blocks open up. The hotel block registration for Origins 2019 opened on October 15, 2018. If you’re planning for next year (2020), be watching for the block announcement on their Facebook page or in their newsletter.

January – April
Hotel

These are the months when we scout hotels and decide which one to book. I’m not the best at stalking about the internet for the absolute cheapest rooms, so we probably end up paying more for a room than the expert scouts. There are tons of websites out there that can teach you how to take advantage of the discounts and sales and find the cheapest possible room.

When we look for a room, we try to find one within a mile of the convention center. The address for the Greater Columbus Convention Center is:

400 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

If the room is within a mile, that means we won’t have to drive and pay parking fees, and it’ll be roughly a 20-25 minute walk. Parking fees aren’t terrible for one day, but once you’re paying them for five days or more, it becomes a huge chunk of what could have been spending money.

We like rooms with a refrigerator so we have a place to keep food or drinks. We also try to get a microwave in the room or in the lobby, at the very least. We like to try to get a room with two beds or one bed with a pull out couch, just in case we have folks that decide to go with us.

Once we know what we want in a room, I will usually browse Kayak for rooms that have a free cancellation policy and a pay at the hotel feature. Once I’ve found a room that we like, I’ll book it, but I’ll keep looking at rooms all the way up to the last day that I can cancel my booking. I do that in case I find a room that’s cheaper, closer, or better than the one I booked. In all the years we’ve traveled, we have never cancelled one room for another, but it doesn’t hurt to keep looking. If we can save a few hundred dollars on a room, then why not? If the room is cheaper by less than a hundred dollars, I won’t bother cancelling our current room.

Badge Registration

Badge Registration for 2019 opened in November of 2018. We don’t typically buy badges until March, just because that’s when we have extra income. Work in your badge purchase when it best suits your finances. But don’t wait too late to register! Early bird prices have a cut off date and if you miss it, you’ll have to pay more for your badge.

There are a variety of different types of badges that grant you access to the convention for one day or all five days. We always go for the full show badges, but you should get the one that suits your plans.

May

This is the month that purchasing opens for Ribbons, Event Tickets, and Generic Tokens for the various happenings at Origins Game Fair.

Ribbons

I’ve never purchased a Ribbon at Origins, but I’m seriously considering it this year. You can find the info for Ribbons at the bottom of the Registration page. Ribbons have a super sticky part across the front top of the ribbon. When you get your Ribbon, you stick it to the back of your badge, so the front of the Ribbon hangs just below your badge. I’ve seen folks with a stack of Ribbons, stretching almost all the way to the floor. Some Ribbons are earned by accomplishing various tasks, like turning in a coupon and getting your free spin on a prize wheel. Wearing the Ribbon shows you’ve done it, almost like a badge of honor.

I’ve heard lots of great things about Origins After Dark and the Board Room and that they are worth buying. I’m looking at getting the Upper Deck Ribbon because they make the VS System 2PCG: The Alien Battles and I love Alien. I wanted to learn to play it last year, but it was extremely difficult to get in without a ticket or ribbon – and I couldn’t schedule it easily last year either.

Event Tickets

Event Tickets are special tickets that you can purchase which guarantee you entry to a particular event at a specific time. You can buy tickets for practically anything at various times. You can download the 2018 Event Grid (last year’s) from the current event page, here. That’ll give you an example of the events. Last year, I bought a Giant King of Tokyo ticket and Star Trek Five Year Mission event ticket. Buying tickets in advance for events that you know you’ll want to play is a great idea. Doing it early will guarantee that you save yourself a seat! I plan on purchasing Giant King of Tokyo and some painting sessions this year. If there’s another Five Year Mission game, I’ll be getting in on that too! Mr. DDK loaded up on Dungeons and Dragons gaming sessions with Baldman Games.

We’re always careful not to buy too many tickets in advance. I’m not good at micro managing and you almost have to be to manage a stack of event tickets. We’re also careful when buying tickets for game sessions that are too close in time to each other. Origins is huge and if we buy an event ticket for an event that starts right after one ends, it’s not likely we’ll make it on time and lose our seat. Mr. DDK didn’t have to worry about running between events last year because all of his were in the same room, just at a different table.

If this is your first time at Origins, only buy a few event tickets so you can get a feel for the flow and ebb at Origins. Event tickets are usually available at Origins too, not just in advance. Some events sell out rather quickly, like the D&D events. Last year, Mr. DDK bought D&D event tickets in advance for what he could, and then picked up generic tokens when we got there. Sometimes, folks don’t make it to a scheduled event that they purchased a ticket for, or the event has extra spots open up. If that happens, folks with generic tokens have a chance to get in on that event. That’s not always the case though, so if you’re specifically looking at the D&D events, I would suggest buying them as soon as possible.

Generic Tokens

Generics are tokens that are similar in appearance to small plastic poker chips. They’re decorated with the Origins logo and each is worth $2.00 towards the entry into an event that accepts generics. Most events that I inquired about last year accepted generics, so long as all the ticket holders were seated first. If you don’t use all your generic tokens, you can turn them in by a specific day and time for a refund. It’s good to have several generics on hand, and I recommend picking them up before you start exploring the convention.

June – Leading Up To Origins

Origins month! Now it’s time to get ready for the trip!

Preventing Con Crud

Con crud is catch-all name for the germs that folks get when they spend a lot of time at a convention and don’t take care of themselves before, during, and after the convention. I should really be taking a daily vitamin all year long, but I typically start taking a daily vitamin around the first of June. Taking a daily vitamin is a good way to boost the immune system and help prevent the onset of con crud.

We also buy several travel sized bottles of hand sanitizer. We like the ones that attach to the outside of a bag so we have quick and easy access to them. We like to keep healthy snacks and plenty of water on us while at the convention. Eating well also helps to prevent the crud.

Washing your hands often while at the convention is probably the best prevention practice, which I talk about more below.

Demo/Purchase Wish Lists

It’s around this time that I start checking up on the companies that are attending and what products they may be bringing. This helps me make a list of games that I want to demo and games I want to purchase. When I make a list of games that I want to purchase, I usually keep it short. This leaves room for the possible addition of something I didn’t realize was going to be available, or in the event I demo something that I really want to buy afterwards.

My list of games to demo is usually pretty long. I like to experience as much as I can and meet as many folks as I can! I recommend making a demo list that’s larger than your purchase list. I don’t like having a large purchase wish list because then I feel like I need to go buy those things on my list and I’ll put off buying something else that’s not on the list.

I usually don’t plan on buying anything until after I’ve had a chance to demo a lot of the games on my demo list, unless it’s a game that looks like it might sell out. I would definitely recommend prioritizing the games on your lists in case some of them are hot sellers.

Buy Supplies and Make A Checklist

I always start my travel checklist around the first of June too. Making a checklist helps prevent me from forgetting anything. My travel checklists are detailed all the way down to which t-shirts I’m taking for each day. I know that might sound silly to some, but being organized helps keep my stress levels to a minimum. I write down everything, even if it seems like something obvious – like a phone charger.

Making a travel list also helps me see what I need to buy for the trip. For example, if I write shampoo down on the list, it’s not completely practical to take an entire bottle of shampoo. Buying travel sized toiletries will help save a little bit of luggage room. Saving a little room everywhere you can means you have more room to bring more things home. Do you realize how many sets of RPG dice you can fit in the space difference between the size of a normal bottle of shampoo and a travel size bottle?

Travel Food and Vehicle Prep

Chocolate, super sweet candy, and sodas are not good travel snacks. I would recommend beef jerky, trail mix, crackers, peanuts, and water or some other beverage like lemonade or Gatorade. I don’t bring anything that will melt or go bad in a hot vehicle. We make the trip by car and it takes us the better part of eight hours to get to Columbus, Ohio from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Having wholesome snacks also helps keep the number of stops to a minimum. It also helps to have good snacks for the hotel room too, so I always make sure to pack plenty of snacks.

We also make sure our vehicle has had its regular maintenance like an oil change and a tire inspection. We also check to be sure we’ve got a spare tire, jumper cables, plenty of gas in the tank, a map, and a GPS. I will sometimes check our route ahead of time and see where the long stretches are between gas stations and make a note to check the tank before reaching those points. Jumper cables should be in your vehicle at all times, regardless of the vehicle’s age. Spare tires are also important and we like to make sure we’ve got some funds set aside in case we need to buy another tire on the trip. Folks sometimes laugh at me for having an atlas in the car, but there could be times where you lose signal on your GPS or phone and you need to know where to go. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Weather Forecast

June is warm, but heads up – the convention halls can get chilly! We bring a light coat or a light weight long sleeved shirt with us to the convention.

We keep an eye on what the weather is supposed to be doing for the entire duration of the convention. We plan to walk to and from the convention, so we’ll need to know if rain is in the forecast. It didn’t rain at all while we were there last year, at least not when we were going to and from the convention. We took an Uber back and forth between the hotel and the convention last year. We also pay close attention to what the weather forecast is for the road trip.

Plotting the Course

We always check the suggested routes for which one appeals to us the most. Sometimes, we prefer the more scenic routes, and other times we prefer traveling through more populated areas. We cross check them with the weather and then select the one we think is best.

June – Convention Time!
Road Trip Time!

When departure day arrives, we make sure everything on our checklist is checked off and we put our selected route into the GPS app, and we head out! Depending on which day we leave, usually determines what time we leave. If we leave on Tuesday, we leave later in the morning, putting our arrival around dinner time. If we leave on Wednesday, we leave as early as possible (usually 7:00 or 8:00 am) which puts our arrival around 3:00 or 4:00 pm.

Pit-Stops and Safety

We stop as few times as possible, because that not only saves time, but also saves us a little on gas.

When we stop for a meal, we make sure it’s not super greasy fast food. Eating healthier on the road helps us stay alert on the trip. I know this all sounds cheesy, no pun intended there, but it’s the honest truth! I used to eat nothing but Cheetos and drink Mountain Dew while traveling and since I changed my diet, I’ve noticed a world of difference. When we stop for a meal, we make it worthwhile.

We also check the area around our potential stop for red flags. We never stop at a location that looks like it belongs in a horror movie – because I don’t want to be in a real-life horror movie scenario. We make sure the places we stop are well lit and clean on the outside. If there are storage buildings or trees close by, we don’t ever park near them. If there are a lot of folks hanging around outside a place, regardless of how they look, we will pass it by. We also look at the buildings in the area around where we’re thinking of stopping. If the area looks run down and unkempt, even if the place we’re wanting stop at looks okay, we will pass it up. It doesn’t take much effort to stay safe, just some common sense.

We also lock our vehicle at every stop, even if we’re only running in for a second, and we never leave the vehicle running. That’s just asking for someone to steal it. We like to cover our luggage with a solid colored sheet of cloth too, so anyone peering in won’t see what’s in the back of the vehicle. We hide anything that looks valuable, either under the seats or under the cloth in the back of the vehicle. And we also clean the change out of the cup holders. You would be surprised what folks will break into a car for.

Arrival!

When we arrive in Columbus, we like to check into our hotel room first if possible, just to be sure everything is in order. We haven’t really had any issues during an Origins trip (yet), but we’ve had issues with hotels in the past.

If we arrive on Tuesday, we usually take that time to relax and look over the website, making notes or changing wish lists. There isn’t much to do on Tuesday, besides visit the comic store and meet up with friends in the food court.

If we arrive on Wednesday, then we go directly to the convention center upon arrival in Columbus. Origins opens the on-site registration and badge pick up on Wednesday, as well as the gaming halls. The Exhibit Hall (Vendor Hall) is not typically open on Wednesday. We will oftentimes sit in the food court and browse the Origins event book and coupon book you get at registration.

Origins Game Fair

Everyone goes to Origins not only for gaming but to socialize with fellow gamers, the creators of their favorite games, and the companies that produce games. Origins is a very relaxed experience for how many folks attend. You wouldn’t think of 18,000 folks milling around as a relaxed experience, except the folks organizing this convention know what they’re doing. The GAMA organization does a wonderful job of it every year.

Quiet Time

This is an important topic for me and many other gamers as well. If you don’t already know this about me, you may be surprised to learn that I have some pretty severe anxiety issues. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I have panic attacks when strangers get too close to me. If I feel safe and comfortable, my anxiety isn’t an issue. A convention like Origins feels like home to me and I feel safe, so my anxiety isn’t an issue here.

I like how they have the convention set up. It never feels cramped in the gaming halls since the doors to them stay open most of the time. The only major ‘rush’ is when the Exhibit Hall first opens everyday. But once those folks filter in and disperse, which is actually quite fast, the Exhibit Hall doesn’t feel cramped either. The more popular booths will always have a crowd, but even those crowds are easy to maneuver while in the booth. The later in the day it is, the less crowded the booths are.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, there are lots of quiet areas all over the convention center to sit in. Most of the areas aren’t even designated as quiet spots, but they work great for folks like me that need a few minutes to rest. The Origins volunteers are helpful and understanding for anyone in need and can guide you to a quiet area or direct you to someone that can help.

Charging Stations

Last year, I thought I’d have to sit in the floor by an outlet in order to charge my video camera and my phone, but I didn’t! The Greater Columbus Convention Center has charging stations all over the place! They’re at tables, in the food court at a charging bar, in lounge areas, practically everywhere. It’s a convenience that I greatly thank them for.

Wednesday – At Origins

Unless they change something, Wednesday is the day we’ll be picking up our badges. The gaming halls are usually open and some events could be up and running. Wednesday is the day we use to scout out the locations for events we purchased tickets for and to visit the comic store, Heroes and Games, in the convention center. The staff at this store is always so nice and helpful and it’s a must visit place while at the convention.

We also look around the food court and see if there’s anything on the menus that we just have to try and make a note of it for later. There are a lot of great options for breakfast and lunch. The food court is spacious and bright, but they have dimmer areas too if you prefer it, and it’s a great place to sit with friends to get away from the bustle of the convention.

We try to hit the food court last so we can grab lunch and look over our booklets. When you register and get your badge, you also get a couple of Origins booklets, plus a coupon book. We’ll sit and go through the coupon book and select the coupons we’re most interested in and also browse the convention map and the event booklet for anything we might have missed.

If it’s not too late by the time we’re done with that, we’ll make our way back to the gaming halls to see if any of the booths are open and get in some early demos. If not, we’ll find some folks to play some games with!

Thursday to Sunday – At Origins

Thursday is probably the biggest day since that’s the first day the Exhibit Hall is open. Folks are trying to get in for the early show deals and trying to get any freebies they might have from the coupon book. Events are in full swing and folks are bustling around with bags full of games. The excitement is almost palpable in the air. There are vendors offering demos, supply vendors displaying their goods, artists and writers talking about their works, and folks from all walks of life coming together to enjoy the atmosphere and join in the excitement of playing old favorites and newly discovered favorites alike.

These four days are all similar in that we’re participating in various events, browsing products, and having fun! Sunday is the only day that’s different for us because that’s the day we check out of our hotel room and head home after we’re done at Origins. Many folks stay the night and leave on Monday, but we’re usually ready to head home by Sunday. It’s a whirlwind of excitement and fun for us everyday and the experience is well worth the trip!

Origins Game Fair Tips
3-2-1 Health and Hygiene Rule

I’m sure many of you have heard of the convention hygiene rule in one form or another. I’ve always heard it called the 3-2-1 Rule, but in recent years I’ve seen variations pop up. It’s basically this:

  • 3 – Get at least three hours of sleep each night of the convention.
  • 2 – Eat two proper meals each day of the convention.
  • 1 – Take at least one shower each day of the convention.

Sleep – Some variations say you need five or six hours of sleep each night of the convention. Every person is different. Some of us can function just fine off of three hours of sleep. Others need eight hours, or more. I’m somewhere around a six hour person and if I don’t get enough rest, I look terrible and I’m very grumpy. Don’t sacrifice sleep for more game time because you might regret it as the convention continues on.

Eat – Everyone needs at least two proper meals everyday of the convention. Mr. DDK and I get our three meals in, plus snacks. I love gaming, but I love food too. I won’t sacrifice food for more gaming. There is a time and place for each one and when it’s time to eat, then I go eat! Pretzels or other con-foods are not a substitute for a meal. There is an entire food court in the convention center with a variety of reasonably priced food and drink. Eating regular and proper meals is important for energy levels too. If you’re not eating properly, you are not on top of your game!

Shower – This is not just a courtesy for those around you, it’s a health thing too. You’re going to be in and around all kinds of folks. Some of those folks might have a germ or two and not know it, or they could have germs and not care. If you get those germs on your clothes, you’re transporting them around and spreading them. You need to shower every day to get those germs off. Don’t contribute to the spread of con crud, shower it off.

As a side note to go along with showering – do not shower in aftershave, cologne, or perfume – use soap and water, please. Use scented things in moderation. We’re not really in tight quarters in the gaming halls, but there are lots of people with sensory issues and a strong scent could trigger a negative response. Only in recent years, as my anxiety has worsened, have I learned just how debilitating a sensory problem can be. My sensory issue is texture and sound related, but I totally understand what folks go through when their sensory issue is triggered. Be kind to those around you and don’t drown yourself in scented things.

Clothes

Bring enough sets of clothes that you can wear different clothes everyday – pants included. If you can’t do this, or just don’t want to, have your clothes laundered. Wearing the same pair of pants for two days could contribute to the spread of con crud. I have a set of clothes for every day of the convention, plus backups. When we get back to the hotel, I toss my dirty clothes in their own bag so they don’t potentially contaminate my clean clothes. And that’s usually the first thing I do after we unload the car from the trip – I wash the clothes! Just because you’re not at the convention anymore doesn’t mean you didn’t bring the crud home with you.

Wash Your Hands

It’s very important that you wash your hands regularly, not just after using the facilities. And hand sanitizer is great if you can’t make it to the restroom right away, but it’s not a substitute for washing your hands. I make frequent trips to the restroom to wash my hands, especially after handling demo products or shaking hands with folks. Germs spread rapidly at conventions and the best way to stifle them is wash your hands and use sanitizer.

Cart or Bag?

Should you tote your purchases around in a shopping bag, a rolling basket or cart, a wheeled suitcase, or by some other method? Well, only you can answer that question! Last year, I used a wheeled suitcase and I’m leaning that way again. I wanted a wired basket or wheeled tote, like the ones shown below, but after lugging that suitcase around last year I think the basket might be too much of a hassle.

rolling carts

The suitcase worked fine and it was fully enclosed. While I feel safe at Origins, I am not that trusting that I would leave my belongings out in the open. The major benefit the baskets have over the suitcase is that they’re collapsible and the extra suitcase isn’t. The baskets are also larger, which could be good or bad depending on the situation.

There are plenty of folks that make purchases and carry their goodies using shopping bags, which works fine for them. But if you’re planning on making lots of purchases and you can’t easily make a drop off in your hotel room or car, then you might want to think about a cart or suitcase. Just be sure to keep your possessions out of aisles so folks don’t trip over them.

Conclusion

Origins Game Fair is lots of fun and a great experience. There is so much to do and there’s something for everyone who loves gaming. There are diverse gaming experiences for all kinds of folks, from board games and role playing games to live action role playing and video gaming. It’s an event that I recommend everyone try to attend at least one time, even if it’s just for one day. It’s an affordable convention in a beautiful venue and it’s located in a wonderful city.

I hope that sharing my planning steps and convention tips helps folks plan their trip according to their needs. If you’re attending Origins in 2019, I’ll hopefully see you there!

Feel free to share your tips in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Board out, game on!

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Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

I received lots of positive feedback in regards to my refurbishing of our game room table and I wanted to share the table’s background and the process of turning it from an eyesore to a decorative and functional piece of furniture.

The Table

Years ago… like back in 2010… we were given a table. This table was going to be thrown away by one of my husband’s co-workers. They didn’t want the table because ‘someone’ had left an iron on the table and it scarred it really bad. The table also had lots of deep scratches and blemishes from its previous owner(s).

table 01

My husband and I weren’t married yet (not even engaged yet) and he took the opportunity to acquire a table for our table-less game room. Since 2010, this table has traveled from the first rental property we were living in, to one other rental house, and finally to the house we now own. We had thrown table cloths over it all these years to hide the blemishes. The tablecloth would get caught on everything and get pulled off the table all the time.

In October of 2018, I had finally had enough and we were thinking about getting a new table. But I had an epiphany, and why it took me eight years to come up with it, I’m not sure. I was thinking about my ‘battle map’, which is a half sheet of particle board that’s spray painted green and has a one inch grid drawn in pen on it. We use it at our FLGS for large D&D battle royales, or to expand the table size for D&D games. It’s just a piece of particle board – not a table. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to turn the table into a new battle map with a dry erase top…”

Then it hit me! There are acrylics and other finishes for that. I decided to refinish the table instead of buying a new one and so the project began!

Supplies
  • Table
  • Hand Sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper Towels or Rags
  • Paint – Color of Choice
  • Yardstick
  • Square Tool
  • Ruler
  • Sharpies – Color of Choice
  • Polycrylic
Project Time

About 12 Hours – This is from beginning of sanding to the final coat of Polycrylic.

First…

Regardless of how nice your tabletop is, you’re going to need to sand it to prepare it for paint. DO NOT SHORTCUT PAST THIS STEP. This is important. I’ve seen lots of projects go wrong because someone thought they could bypass the sanding step. Sanding the tabletop will smooth out any imperfections so you don’t get weird textures showing up through the coats of paint. In the pictures below, you can see how bad the iron burn was an just how deep the damage went. After sanding it many times, it was smooth enough for paint to hide it. Had I not not sanded the table, the paint would cover the burn, but the bubbling scar would have shown through.

Once you’re done sanding, take a some moist paper towels or rags and wipe all the dust off the tabletop. Be sure all the dust is cleaned off and do not use any chemical cleaners. Chemicals could have an odd effect on the paint, so be sure you only use water. My table was quite pretty after the layer of finish had been sanded off. It’s a shame that I couldn’t sand out the iron burn or I might have left it like this.

Second…

After the tabletop is sanded and wiped off, you can begin to paint it. Depending on how you prefer to paint will determine if there is a primer involved, how many coats of paint, etc. I used a paint and primer combination from Lowe’s (LINK), which was around $12 when I purchased it. I only purchased a quart because I didn’t plan to use it for a large scale project. I also chose a flat finish so I wouldn’t have any trouble drawing on the painted surface with my Sharpie markers.

paint

The Valspar paint claims to cover in one coat, but like every paint out there, that’s not really the case. I put three coats of paint on the tabletop to be sure there was complete and even coverage. I used a roller to apply the paint and not a brush. I prefer the look of rolled paint to brushed paint on surfaces like this. You can see in the picture below, there is a touch up spot on the right that was still wet when I snapped the picture.

table 06

There was also some water damage (toward the bottom right corner of the picture) to the table that I couldn’t sand out without cutting into the table and partially replacing the top. It’s noticeable in this picture, but not so much now that’s it’s finished.

Third…

Once the paint is dry, you can begin to draw the lines on your tabletop. I used a ruler to help measure and the yardstick as my straight edge to draw the lines. I used a silver colored Sharpie brand permanent marker for the lines on my table.

sharpie

I chose silver because I wanted the line color to be noticeable, but not too bold. Black was definitely too dark for me and it would also make dungeon lines harder to see. I had thought about using brown or copper, but I thought it would still be too dark for my liking. The silver I chose has a cool ‘shifting’ look depending on how the light hits it. Gold might work as well and have the same shifting look as the silver, but I haven’t looked into it. I’m more of a silver person anyway.

table 07

I was asked a bunch of times about my method for how I chose a starting point for the lines on a round table. It’s super simple – I put the yardstick on the table’s edge and drew a line. It looked good enough for me, so I started from there. I’m sure there’s a super complex mathematical method to make the lines exact, but I didn’t care about ‘exact perfection’.

If you don’t like your first line, or any line, it’s an easy fix. A quick touch up with the paint and a little drying time and then you can start again. I got lucky and my first line looked good enough for me.

Marker Tip: Be sure you do not draw with the tip of the marker. This will chew up the marker long before you run out of ink. Use the side of the marker tip and not the point of the marker tip.

table 08

Once you’ve got your first line, use a ruler near one end of the line and measure one inch from the line. Use a pencil and make a light mark, then go to the other end of the line and do the same thing – measure an inch from your line and make another light pencil mark. Then lay the yardstick on the table and line up the edge with the two marks. Once you’ve got the yardstick lined up, place the tip of the marker on its side and slide it down the edge of the yardstick.

If the table is longer than your yardstick, which was the case when I got to the center of the table, make multiple marks along the length of your line and draw as far down as you can. Then move the yardstick and line it up with the partially drawn line and the other measured mark and finish the line.

Measuring Tip: Make sure you measure the same way each time. What I mean by that is, if you place the ruler on the center of the line’s mark and then on the far side of the next line’s mark, your squares are not going to come out as the exact same size. That’s because the marker line is thick, unless you use a pen or something with a fine tip.

table 09

Once you’ve finished drawing all the lines in one direction, you can start drawing the cross lines. To start this, I used a square tool and put on one of the lines to make a 90 degree corner, then placed the yardstick against it and drew a very light pencil line. I checked corners along several of the lines to make sure they were all square and then drew the line again with my Sharpie.

table 10

Once you have your first cross-line, the rest of the lines are drawn the same way as your first batch of lines.

table 11

I recommend checking your squares with the square tool to make sure they’re all uniform and something doesn’t get off track somewhere. I was paranoid enough that I checked every single line. Some of my squares may be slightly off in size, by like a hair, but they’re all square!

Fourth… Final Step!

When all the lines are done, you’re ready for the final step of the process. It’s time to coat the table with your finish of choice. There are tons of options out there, but I chose the most cost effective for my particular project. I chose to use Polycrylic (LINK) because it was only $10 and not $50 – $100 like all the clear Dry Erase finishes I found. If that price decreases, then I will likely refinish the table in Dry Erase so I can use those type of markers.

acrylic

This finish works best if you apply several coats. I used a nylon brush and applied four coats to the tabletop. I would recommend applying the finish just before you go to bed or leave the for an outing, that way it will be dry when you get up or return home. You’ll be able to place items on the table when it dries, but the finish needs at least two weeks to cure before you try drawing on it. I tried to draw on it the next day and everything stained it. I consulted some folks at Lowe’s and was given the advice on allowing it to cure. Allowing it to cure means you’re giving it time to fully harden.

Making Your Mark!

The Polycrylic I chose does not work well with dry erase markers. They tend to stain the finish and there was only one way I found to salvage it without a complete re-work. I had to use rubbing alcohol to remove the marks on the stained area, let it dry completely, and then re-apply the finish. I tested a variety of colors of dry erase markers and each one stained the finish. I tried Expo’s Vis-à-Vis wet erase markers and found that only the black works perfectly. The red, blue, and green all have a tendency to lightly stain the finish.

visavis

Once the finish has cured long enough, there should be no trouble cleaning off the black Vis-à-Vis marker. It only takes a damp paper towel to easily and quickly remove the marks. I’ve let marks stay on the table for hours and had no trouble erasing them. I can’t say how long the marks can stay without them staining the finish because I haven’t dared to test that. I might try it on the very edge at some point, but right now, I prefer to keep my work intact.

The examples above are mostly D&D related, but we also use the table for our Star Trek Adventures (Modiphius) games. That system uses ‘zones’ and not a grid system. Even with the grid lines on the table, I can still draw out the zones without them being a distraction because of how light they are compared to the black marker. The walls I drew could easily be two zones in a Star Trek game or a building in D&D. These marks were on the table for about two hours before erasing them.

Conclusion

My table is very low tech compared to the super fancy tables that I’ve seen. I like using low tech accessories because they’re much less work for me in the long run. I’d rather spend thirty minutes drawing out a map than spend hours trying to figure out how to draw a map, download a map, and then get a map from a program to fit correctly on a TV table insert. I’m kind of a ‘theater of the mind’ type of player/GM as well. We draw out maps for combat to make it easier to visualize where everyone is. This type of gaming accessory is perfect for me and my players. Is it perfect for every group? Definitely not, but it’s perfect for us.

This is a project that anyone that’s inspired to do so, can take and modify to their budget and abilities. We used an old table, tools we had on hand, and only purchased what we needed. The project cost us less than $30 because we had most of the tools needed. I only needed to buy a yardstick, paint, Polycrylic, brushes, roller, and Sharpies. Don’t like grey and silver? Pick tan and gold! We used neutral colors that we liked, but also ones that would fit with the various games we play.

table 12

Colossal Red Dragon (D&D Icons Miniature) against a party of medium sized adventurers.

My table project is not fully completed yet. I want to finish the edges of the table in either silver or grey and maybe modify the tabletop into a turntable. The turntable option is one that I likely won’t have done for a little while because of the mechanisms involved. If I don’t go with a turntable, I might put pull out trays around the edges for folks to put their drinks/dice/books/etc on so they have more room in front of them. You can be certain that I will share the updates when I finish them!

Do you have a project you’re proud of?
What are your future projects?
Share them with me here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

Qapla’!

 

Greetings Fellow Gaming and Star Trek Fans!

 

pinkie-hi

I hope that you found my site because of your love of gaming, Star Trek, and/or comics! I play a lot of board games, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and roleplaying games. I love Star Trek, most science fiction, and almost anything space related. I started this blog for Dice Masters related content and have since expanded into everything that I love. I write a variety of articles, so be sure to subscribe to keep up with the various articles so you don’t miss something you’re interested in.

The first thing you’ll find in this article is a list of links for my various social media pages and Facebook groups, as well as a section of links for folks that sell a variety of gaming accessories. Below the links, you’ll find the About Me and My Blog, Basic Rules, Contacting Me, and my Closing sections.

Dice Dice Kitty Links

Dice Dice Kitty Facebook
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty Facebook page!
Dice Dice Kitty Instagram
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty Instagram!
Dice Dice Kitty Twitter
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty Twitter!
Dice Dice Kitty YouTube Channel
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty YouTube Channel!
Dice Masters Dyersburg
This is a link to the group for my FLGS. If you’re in the area, stop on in for a few games!
HeroClix Dyersburg
This is the link to the group for my FLGS. Be sure to stop by if you’re in the area!
Dyersburg Board Gaming
This is the link to the local board game group at my FLGS. We’d love to have folks stop by and play!
Attack Wing Dyersburg
This is the link to the group for my FLGS. We’re always up for a space battle!

Sellers of Nifty Accessories

What fun are games without a little customization? These are folks that I have ordered accessories from and have reviews up for their products. Most of these were accessories for Dice Masters, but many of these sellers have the ability to produce a variety of items for various games.

The 3D Geekery
They have a lots of 3D printed goodies for Board Games and Dice Masters! They even do custom orders that are non-game related. Check them out! Their Dice Masters storage units are amazing! You can also type in the3dgeekery.com and it will take you straight to their Facebook page.
Litko Game Accessories
Dice towers and tokens galore!
Turn One Gaming Supplies
Seller of awesome sleeves and if you want a Roll Master Mat, they have them.
PlaymatMasters on Etsy
Want an awesome custom playmat design? Check this dude out!
Inked Gaming
Have a playmat design but need it printed? This is who I use.

About Me and My Blog

The first time I ever did a public ‘article’ was on July 18, 2015 in our local Dice Masters group on Facebook about Captain Cold: Leonard Wynters. I wrote several articles in that group but it didn’t take long for me to realize that a Facebook group wasn’t the best place for publishing articles. I dug up an old WordPress site I’d started and hadn’t done anything with and began transferring my previous articles. My Dice Dice Kitty persona was born at that moment on November 8, 2015 and has spread to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

My blog used to be primarily about Dice Masters, but I’ve grown it to include Board Games, comics, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and even occasional recaps of our roleplaying sessions. I’m also a huge fan of My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so you’ll see I use lots of screen shots from those IPs for article pictures and other various things. I also attend conventions when I can and do coverage for those on my Facebook and Twitter.

I like to do a variety of reviews and unboxings and I hope folks find those helpful and informational. When it comes to my reviews, I do not play favorites with companies and I always give my honest opinion. My opinion is not fact, of course, but it is at least another perspective to take into consideration when it comes to products that folks want to spend their hard earned money on. I encourage everyone to seek out multiple reviews for a product so that they have as much information and perspective as possible!

I also try to do interviews with celebrity guests, vendors, and attendees at conventions. I do not discuss politics or political positions in those interviews and I try to avoid religious topics as well. I look at it this way – If I’m watching an interview about a celebrity or anyone else, I want to hear cool behind the scenes stuff or how they feel about the character they portrayed, not current world topics. There is plenty of coverage for that – elsewhere.

Here are some of the types of content you’ll find and when to expect them:
~ Comic Box Recap – Typically weekly, whenever I finish reading the comics in my subscription box.
~ Board Game Review – Component and game play reviews – no set publish date.
~ Star Trek Adventures Session Recap – Kage Hoshi Division recaps are published after our sessions, and we try to play at least once a month.

Here is the list of potential content in the works:
~ Monthly D&D Campaign Recap (Whenever I start my game back up)
~ Star Trek related content about episodes, actors, books, etc.

Cancelled Article Series
~ HeroClix Figure Spotlight – Cancelled due to low views.
~ Dice Masters Confusing Card of the Week – The fate of this series is currently being decided.

I have a lot of content across all my social media and YouTube as well as articles here.

Basic Rules

I keep my private life out of my blog, so you won’t see articles about politics or religion. This is not the place for it, so I do not allow any political or religious related content – regardless of any good intentions. These types of statements will be removed without warning.

I do not approve of anything obscene, vulgar, or offensive being posted in comments on any of the sites I host from. These type of statements will be removed without warning.

I don’t like folks being mean to each other. There is enough cruelty in the world and I don’t want it on any of my content. Please, express your negativity in a more constructive way and don’t direct it at anyone.

Bottom line – be nice and friendly. There is enough hate in the world and I want folks to feel like they can safely explore my sites without fear of being exposed to current world issues. I don’t believe in the absolute censoring of folks, but there are platforms available for that discussion and this is not that platform.

Contacting Me

While I have folks from the community on my private Facebook page, I do not share my private social media pages with everyone. I have a Facebook page (Kitty Masters) that I use to share my content on Facebook. If you message Kitty Masters, you will not get a response. You can contact me through email at dicedicekitty@gmail.com or on my official blog Facebook page, here.

Closing

I hope that you find at least one thing you enjoy or that is of interest to you in my content. I’m so thankful that you visited my site and I appreciate all the likes, followers, and subscribers for taking that extra step and hitting those buttons. The bigger my sites get, the better variety of content I can provide!

If you’re looking for my previous sticky post with all the Dice Masters links, you can find it here.

Is there a convention you want to see me at?
Is there a board game I need to check out?
Want me to write about something in particular?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty.

 

Boldly Go!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

If this is your first time visiting my blog, then I greet you with a big smile and a warm hug! Most of my blog is dedicated to Dice Masters and HeroClix, but I’m a board gamer as well. I felt like it was time to expand my reviews into the board game world and get to know a whole new community of awesome folks!

My FLGS has started a new ‘featured game of the week’ event where we encourage folks to come in and play the featured game. We decided to crack open a copy of IDW‘s Mine All Mines to start this new event series, as well as kick off my board game review articles!

Mine All Mines on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Box Art

Rules

Every game has them and every game needs them. They can be as simple as the rules in Fluxx or as complex as a Warhammer rulebook, but all games need rules! The rulebook for Mine All Mines is not overly complex and it’s easy enough to follow. You still will likely need a dedicated individual to sit down and study the few pages of rules and go over potential scenarios in their head before playing, that way there will be minimal down time.

My one complaint about the rulebook is that it doesn’t cover various scenarios that could potentially pop up. This leaves players to come up with house rules on the fly which could make someone feel they’re getting a bad deal if the scenario is house ruled against them. This is why I suggest having one person study the rules and do a play through with someone that will help raise questions about certain interactions. This will not cover everything that could come up, so be prepared to house rule on the fly.

I’m hoping that IDW releases an updated PDF with answers to all the questions we have about game play, but until then, there is a user submitted rulebook on BGG. You can find it here. I found it incredibly useful while trying to nail down some of the odd rules questions that came up. *Nice work on that rulebook!*

Components

Who doesn’t love colorful pieces of plastic!? The gems/gold are really cute and add a bit of that 3D feel to the game. It wouldn’t be near as fun if the gems were represented by cards. Someone said that they wished the gems looked like the cut versions of the gems they’re meant to represent, but I like the raw look much better. And they have a gem pouch for storage!

Bag and Gems

I like the cardboard punches for the mines and that they have the plastic bases, but I do not believe the bases are necessary. They could have just as easily made the mines from cards, which would have given you a labeled place to put the gem/gold stashes. I almost wish they would have done a tray of some sort and fashioned it to look like a pile of stones. It would have helped to keep the tiny plastic pieces in place so they don’t get scattered easily. But the cardboard punches are fine and serve their purpose! I don’t like the plastic bases though, because they could damage the cardboard mines over time and multiple uses.

Mines and Stands

There are three different decks and five different “Dwarf” decks. Each deck is easily distinguished from the others by their card backs, making it very easy to separate and pack away.

Main Decks

Dwarf Decks

The artwork on the cards is colorful and very pretty. I also love that the Jewelry pieces actually have mostly unique and accurate pictures on them and not just a generic jewelry related picture. The Dwarf cards are each unique and very easy to distinguish from one another.

Dwarf Deck Cards

Each type of Dwarf has the same image, just with a different colored nameplate to tell you who the manager (or owner) of that Dwarf card is.

Gold Dwarves

All of the decks will require shuffling and will wear over time. I would highly recommend using protective sleeves that are clear on both sides to sleeve all the cards. All of the cards in this are what they call ‘standard’ size. These Ultra Pro sleeves are perfect for Mine All Mines.

Standard Size Double Sided Clear

The Marketplace looks like it’s supposed to be a stone table with plates on it. It’s sturdy enough and since it only stays in place for the game, there should be next to no wear on it for the life of the game. The first player tile is a pick axe, which is thematic and cute. It’s also made from the same cardboard stock as the other pieces and I’d expect the life of the piece to be the same as the Marketplace.

Marketplace and Pick Axe

There is one component that the game is missing that I wish it had and that’s a place to keep your gem stash. We’ve been keeping our stash on top of the two cards you have to discard from your player deck, but it really could have used a stash tray of some kind. I’ll eventually find or make my own component for that.

Setup & Clean Up

Both the setup and clean up for Mine All Mines is quick and easy. It doesn’t look like it would take up much space with the limited amount of components, but don’t let that fool you. I think that’s my only real complaint about the game itself – it’s awkward in it’s setup. We tried to find a way to accommodate the awkwardness and it’s not the setup that the rulebook suggests to do it. We put the Marketplace and the two rows of cards on one end of the table, and the mines at the other end of the table – instead of all of it being on one the same end.

As far as clean up goes, I think the game cleans up faster than the setup. You only need to flip the cards over and match the backs up. The gems all go into the pouch and the punches and plastic stands go easily into the box insert. I’m sure there are custom inserts for Mine All Mines and if you sleeve your cards, you’ll need a different insert to accommodate the sleeved cards without damaging or marking the sleeves.

Game Play

Each player needs to accumulate gems and gold to buy Jewelry or Support cards. When you buy those cards, they usually give you victory points that help you win the game. You can also acquire an achievement card if you meet the requirements for it, which gives you additional victory points.

In order to get the gems and gold, you have to use the cards in your hand to mine and dig for them. If you play a Dwarf as a friend to another Dwarf that’s already in a mine, you get additional gems/gold. If you play a Dwarf as an enemy to one that’s already in a mine, you get to steal a gem or gold from the player that manages that Dwarf.

It’s fairly simple – as that’s really all there is to it. The complexity comes in when you’re trying to decide if you want to play a Dwarf as an friend or foe to other Dwarves. What Jewelry you purchase also plays into your decisions. You could buy that one bracelet to stop another player from getting it and completing an achievement, but is that new card going to be a bracelet too? Mine All Mines is easy to learn and easy to play, but difficult to master.

There is a fair amount of luck involved too. Each player’s deck of seven cards is identical, but when you begin the round, you have to randomly discard two cards. Each player could have very different cards, or very similar cards which changes what you could or would play. The randomness of Jewelry cards also plays into things, as do the random achievement cards and support cards. You might have all necklaces showing but the necklace achievement isn’t an option for that game. The Marketplace also adds some randomness as you never know what someone will swap with the aid of the Dealer card.

Each round moves fairly quickly, even if someone is taking their time trying to decide which card to play and where to play it. There isn’t a ton of down time between plays and everyone seems to stay engaged in what’s going on. There isn’t hours of game play either. For two players, there are four rounds which gives both players the opportunity to start two rounds. For three, four, and five players, the rounds are equal to number of players. Each player gets a chance to go first and then the game is done and points are tallied.

Conclusion

This is a great game! It’s visual pleasing, fun to play, and engaging. It’s a great game to play in gaming store with your friends or around the kitchen table with your family! It’s family friendly and the art is appropriate for all ages. The box recommends ages 10+ and that’s likely due to the complexity of some of the card wording as well as the difficult decision making on plays. I haven’t seen anything controversial, such as religious or political references in the cards or card text. If you don’t want your child to play a game that involves a mechanic where you ‘steal’ from other players, then I would not suggest this game. Taking gems or gold from a foe is a major part of the game play. You could reword it so that the Dwarf dropped the gem and they found it, just to avoid the stealing part.

I also wouldn’t recommend this game as a gateway game, only because experienced board gamers could easily overcome a brand new player and discourage them from playing again or even playing anything else. I would recommend this for a group of inexperienced players with a experienced player overseeing the game. Keep in mind that everyone is different so be sure to use your best judgement with brand new players.

I really do love playing this game, even with the lack of necessary rules in the rulebook. I could easily recommend this game for groups that are still new to board gaming as well as experienced groups that are looking for a quick and easy game that’s still fun and tactical.

What the Players Said

The players that played the game tonight all had great input about the game.

John H.
The game is fun and easy to learn. I think it needs a better setup on the table because it’s hard to see when it’s all at one end.

Olivia W.
I think it’s a fun game, but it has a really weird setup. I think the Support Cards need larger text for people that can’t see that well. I think it’d be cool to have something like a mini mine cart to keep my gem stash in after I dig them up. Not to mention, it’d be super cute.

Katie R.
Love it. I love all the pieces and the art on the cards. It was a little confusing at first because I couldn’t see all the cards until we moved them to opposite ends of the table. It’s a fun game and easy to pick up on once you start playing.

J. North
It’s fun and easy for inexperienced board gamers to learn and play. It’s also easy enough and fun for players of various ages. It definitely needs a better setup. The size of the cards in the Dwarf decks could be made a little smaller to help reduce the amount of table space they take up. But the best of the game is the plastic gem pieces.

Buy or Bye?

Buy – most definitely!

IDW Games shows that they’re out of stock, but you should be able to score a copy for MSRP or cheaper at your FLGS (or online, if you must). I always an advocate for players to support their FLGS!

Have strategies or tips for Mine All Mines? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

The 3D Geekery has some amazingly cool items that every Dice Master should check out and this review article is going to give you a brief look at some of those items. You can see my review video on YouTube, here.

Note – I mentioned in the video that I couldn’t find the prices for the items, but it turns out that I’m not very good at using Facebook and totally missed the prices. I’ve noted the prices in this article.

Dice Storage

The 3D Geekery has a few different sizes for their storage cases and they’re working on even more! The one pictured above will hold 32 character dice, which is two Team Packs or two Starters worth of character dice. This storage unit is perfect for holding each Team Pack or Starter separately. The dice fit comfortably in each lane and are held in by a gate that slides and snaps in place. The gates are not easily shaken lose or jarred lose, which prevents accidental spilling of dice if the unit is dropped. If a gate should ever slide open, it will only affect that one lane of dice, unlike a tackle box or bead box which spills all of its contents if it were to accidentally open.

They can customize the units with lettering on the sides, making it very easy to label each set, Team Pack, and Starter in its own unit. The colors can be customized as well, so you can color code your sets or color code by IP.

This storage unit passed all of my durability tests, which is a major bonus. Tackle boxes and bead boxes do not pass my durability tests.

Here are the links to the different albums:

Small Storage Units ($5.00)
Large Storage Units ($10.00)

Card Shields

I mistakenly called these ‘plates’ in the video. Here is a direct link to the album for their Card Shields. You can get a set of two for $3.00 which is really awesome! These are the ones that I featured in the video.

Blank Tiles

I really love the Card Shields! They are a must have for players that play in the more competitive scenes because DWiz and Shriek are such highly used cards. These are totally worth the price and you can customize the colors and lettering as well.

Tokens

They also make a variety of tokens that are generated by certain card abilities. They’ve already made Squirrels, Plants, and Stun Tokens! They are priced at $2.50 per set and each set has four tokens. Here is a link to the album, here. I featured Squirrel Tokens and Stun Tokens in the video.

Squirrels

The Squirrels are super cute and look like chocolate! Don’t eat them! You can change the color of the Squirrels if you don’t like chocolate. But who doesn’t like chocolate?

Squirrel

Stun Tokens look so much cuter than a regular six sided die or glass beads. Their Stun Tokens are very thematic and can be made in any color. I absolutely adore my pink Stun Tokens!

Colors!

The 3D Geekery has a wide range of colors and they add new ones periodically. You can see an album with all their available colors, here.

Final Thoughts

My friends at The 3D Geekery have done such an amazing job with their products and they’re very affordable as well! The storage units are so amazing and I must have more! I plan to order a set of the plant tokens for Poison Ivy and would love to see what they come up with for the Experience tokens that they’re working on. There is a Drizzt card that produces a Guenhwyvar token that I’d love to have a token for too.

All of my locals thought the items were amazing, cute, and very useful. Functional accessories are always the best and everything they’ve produced so far is functional and cute too!

The 3D Geekery has made accessories that can help every Dice Master out there and also kept those accessories affordable! On a scale of one to ten, one being “don’t bother with it” and ten being “Must have!”, all of their Dice Masters accessories get a ten from me!

If you missed the link above, here it is again: The 3D Geekery. Go check them out!

Thanks for reading and watching!
If you have an accessory that you think I need to check out, let me know here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Dice and Clix Fans!

 

A friend of mine that plays Dice Masters decided he would try his crafty hands as making dice trays. While I’m more of a tower person, I’m totally not opposed to using a dice tray for the other various games I play, like HeroClix and Dragoborne. Dice trays are super convenient and very mobile, where towers need assembly or careful transport.

I can honestly say that I was impressed with the quality and speed of his work. He uses various types of wood and can stain or paint the dice trays to suit. He stained the one for me and then coated it with a beeswax finish. Oh my goodness! It’s so soft, I almost want to cuddle it like a stuffed toy! I would most certainly recommend staining as opposed to painting because it looks so natural and it’s just gorgeous!

 

 

Details

These are the details on the dice tray you see in the pictures. Measurements are not going to be exact as this is handmade and not mass produced, so each dice tray will be slightly different. The measurements will all be very close though.

Dimensions (Inches):
Outside Wall – 6 3/4′ x 6 1/8′
Floor (Inside Wall) – 5 1/2′ x 6′
Outside Height – 1 1/2′
Inside Height – 1′

I took some pictures for size references. That is a Skyscraper Wonder Woman HeroClix figure that’s standing in the tray. These trays would make for a great HeroClix box to transport your pieces between matches, and also roll your dice in!

 

 

Stain Color: Cabernet

Finish: Beeswax

Floor Cover: Bare

Price:
For a dice tray identical to this one (stains can possibly be interchanged), he charges around $20 not including shipping. Shipping prices will likely vary, so be sure to check with him on the shipping.

If you want a dice tray that’s sanded and ready to be stained or painted, he charges around $15 not including shipping. Now, that’s just a bare bones tray – no paint, no stain, no finish – just assembled and sanded. It’s stain and paint ready though, so if you want to get crafty on your tray, you can!

Additions

Normally, the sound of dice rolling on wood can be loud and distracting, but this dice tray has a nice, soft sound to it. I still wanted to add felt to the floor for that additional sound buffer, and also to help that gorgeous stain color stand out. I grabbed a few sample colors to see which one I would prefer:

 

 

I couldn’t possibly decide between them so I made three floor covers that I can change out. I actually like all three colors equally. They all have their own charm about them. And the felt fits so well because of the size of the tray, that I don’t have to glue it. It doesn’t move or buckle when the dice roll across it.

 

 

Craig also told me that he can do wood burning as well, so he can burn designs into the sides of the tray or into the floor of the tray and seal it. Anything extra that he does will increase the price of the tray.

Contact Info and Ordering

Craig just recently created a Facebook page so that players from across the country can get in touch with him to place an order or ask him about making a custom piece. You can find it listed under Daten’s Game Supplies.

If you want a dice tray with different dimensions or a completely different custom item, you will have to discuss the pricing with Craig.

Final Thoughts

Even though I prefer towers to trays, I have discovered that I actually can use a tray like this in a variety of games. This tray made for a great HeroClix team tray to carry my team around between matches and as a dice tray to roll my dice in during the matches. I even plan to use it when I play Dragoborne, to roll my three tiny dice in. I can roll them, then set the tray to the side until I’m ready to assign the dice. This tray will definitely come in handy! Mr. DDK is absolutely tickled with it. He told me that he was feeling a little accessory neglected because I had a tower and he didn’t, but he’s totally a tray person so everything works out! He used the tray and put it over his Reserve Pool while he was playing and it kept everything neat and tidy.

One of the things I love most about this accessory is that it’s all hand crafted and all the materials are local materials. He uses beeswax from a local beekeeper and he uses mostly aged and reclaimed wood. He is very good at his work and he aims to please his customers!

If you would like to see it in action, check out these two videos from our Saturday Dice Masters featured matches, Round Two and Round Three.

What do you think of the Dice Tray?
Are you a Tray or Tower person?

Do you have a unique accessory or an accessory you adore?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

As always, thank you for reading and watching. I wouldn’t be doing this without all of you out there that are reading my articles and watching my videos. You’re all awesome!

Roll on Dice Masters!
Clix, may your crits never be misses and your probs never wasted!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

About a month or so ago, as Mr. DDK and I were strolling around Wal-Mart, we happened upon some tiny boxes. They were cute, compact, and appeared to be the right size for cards and dice. I picked one up and instantly knew it would hold a full team of cards and dice. Mr. DDK was unsure, but when you’ve worked in a gaming store as long as I have, you just know these things. We decided to buy one and test it out. There were lots of colors and I wanted them all, but I wanted take one home and give it a good test run.

03 Open View

The handles snap over the extended part of the lid and all the boxes I have snap fairly tightly. I wouldn’t suggest throwing a loaded box as it would likely come open and spill everywhere, but dropping it on a table probably won’t cause a spill.

01 Stack View

Colors (top to bottom): Purple, Berry, Blue, Mint, and Clear.

Team Box

We arrived home and I loaded up my current team’s cards and dice into the tiny box and snapped the lid into place. It was glorious. Not only did all ten cards and action reminder cards fit, so did all twenty character dice, eight Sidekicks, six Basic Action dice, an extra D6, and my pony life tracker. I went back to Wal-Mart and bought the remaining colors.

04 Contents

Here is the team box and its future contents.

05 Cards

Sleeved cards fit nicely in the box.

06 Side Card View

Sleeved cards will take up a little more space than unsleeved cards.

07 Dice

After the cards, the dice go in! And so does my Rarity life tracker.

08 Lid

The lid fits perfectly, even with dice forming a second layer.

09 Side View

Side view of the sealed team box.

10 Demo Team

These make great demo team boxes. Each team fits perfect into one box.

11 Stacked

They stack perfectly too.

12 Box in Bag

Or you can slide your team box into your dice bag, if it’s big enough.

13 Box in Bag

Mine fits snug in my smaller bags.

I love these boxes for demo teams. I put together a Batman Family team and a Deadpool team as demo teams. Each box holds all the cards, dice, an extra D6, and the dice bag. And because they’re in such an awesome little compact box, I now have more space in my tackle box. I can also keep these boxes in my car with my spare playmats, so I always have demo teams on me without needing to tote my entire duffel bag everywhere. And since these boxes are clear, I can easily see what teams in the boxes without having to open them like I would a deck box, risking a spill.

There are plenty of uses for these adorable boxes. Stickers seem to take well to the smooth plastic too, which is great for someone who loves to sticker their boxes – like me!

FAQ

These are the questions that I’ve been getting from my locals. My locals absolutely love these boxes too!

What are the dimensions?
Roughly 3.5 x 4.75 x 1.5 inches.

Where can I find them?
I found all of mine at Wal-Mart. I’m not sure where else these can be found in person, but it appears that Amazon has them too. I found another site that also has these same boxes, called Classroom Direct.

How much are they?
Amazon is super overpriced and definitely don’t go through Wal-Mart’s online site either! I would only use them if it was a last resort! I got all of mine for $1 each at Wal-Mart. It looks like they are normally $1.23 when not on sale. Classroom Direct was the cheapest online site that I found for them.

What other colors are there?
There are the colors I found and I think there is a reddish-pink one and a green one out there in the wild somewhere.

Bar Codes

Box Barcodes
If you take the bar code to your local store, they can probably tell you if they have it in stock or if they can get it.

Final Thoughts

WizKids – this a great example of how you can package a Team Pack and get the max number of dice for each character in it. I know it works – I did it.

For anyone out there that carries around demo teams or extra loaner teams, I would highly recommend checking out these boxes. There are so many other uses outside of Dice Masters too, so if you find something you like better or just get tired of the boxes, you can easily find another use for them. And they’re so affordable, it won’t make you cringe if you do replace them later. I’ve definitely gotten my $1 worth of use out of all of them, likely ten times over already. Functional accessories are the best kind!

Rarity Accessory

There are even smaller boxes than these that I use to hold my HeroClix Relics. I’ve used it for almost a year now and it was only $0.88! I never knew there were boxes that would accommodate Dice Masters.

relic Box

This is my Relic Box for HeroClix. The figures are to help with size comparison.

I’ve got a brief video on my YouTube channel that shows just how easy these are to pack, unpack, and use. Be sure to check it out!

What do you think of the cute, tiny boxes?
Do you have a unique accessory or an accessory you adore?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

As always, thank you for reading and watching. I wouldn’t be doing this without all of you out there that are reading my articles and watching my videos. You’re all awesome!

Roll on, Dice Masters!