Sunday, March 09, 2008

Doin' it myself - making 18AL and 18GA part 1

I downloaded the tiles and rules for two excellent introductory 18xx games: 18AL and 18GA. Both deal with the development of railroads in a single state (Alabama and Georgia, respectively), and are both rated highly on BoardGameGeek. The designer sells the game, but also makes the files available for everyone to print and play.

I started with my old 2007 laminated wipe & erase calendar from work, and I used Krylon spray adhesive to mount the 8 letter-size PDF tilesheets to that on Thursday, and spent a couple hours on Friday afternoon after work, cutting out each tile. They turned out great, with a nice heft to them. Two of the tilesheets are shared between the two games, so I still need to either A. color the backs with a Sharpie so I know which ones are which, or B. bite the bullet and make two more tilesheets. I also forgot to make a grey tile for the final Birmingham upgrade, which I can do easily enough.

The Krylon spray adhesive did great. I only had 4 tiles peel off where I hadn't gotten enough glue sprayed onto that particular part. I also got too much glue on a couple - which wasn't bad as long as I let the glue harden for a minute before putting the tilesheet on the page. On the ones where I got impatient and slapped the tiles on immediately, the glue soaked through the back of the paper a little bit, causing minor discoloration.

I didn't do the tokens, because I think I'm going to get furniture plugs from a hardware store or hobby store to use for them. From what I hear on the internet, I can get bags of those really cheap.

The two maps were printed on 2 legal-size sheets of paper, with just enough overlap to combine easily. I got some small wrinkles in one of the two maps because I didn't have it level enough (I was doing all this in our small shed under the carport to keep the wind off) and the other one I managed to, again, mess up and get some soak-through of the glue.

I'll still need to make the tokens, stock certificates, trains, and possibly the money, although technically the money's not necessary.

For the benefit of my regular game-group readers, both games run in the 2.5-3 hour range with moderately-experienced players. I think a 3 or 4 player game for us would probably run about 4 hours, which is long for a weeknight but might be a good special-occasion one-off game.


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