Gaming Accessory: Bit Trays

Lots of games have bits. Lots of bits. Teeny-tiny bits. Some games even need bits to be passed around the table. A well-designed foam core box insert can help with this, but this is the 21st century. While I can’t order, “Tea, Earl Gray, Hot” from a box in the wall I can create things with my MakerBot Replicator 2 printer. Continue reading “Gaming Accessory: Bit Trays”

Terraforming Mars Custom Play Mat

Terraforming Mars Box
Terraforming Mars
Terraforming Mars had been on my “shelf of shame” for about a year or so. I recently wrote about my first impressions of the game (after playing a couple of times). I also wrote about buying acrylic overlays for the player boards. Today I want to write about a custom play mat that I had printed from Inked Gaming.

One of the frequent complaints related to Terraforming Mars is that the components are seen as being lower quality. The board is one of the main challenges. Even new out of the box, my board does not unfold to be completely flat. The other day I noticed that someone on Board Game Geek had posted a preliminary copy of some artwork that he was creating for TM. I thought to myself, “That’s awesome, because you know you need another custom game mat.” 😉 Continue reading “Terraforming Mars Custom Play Mat”

Terraforming Mars Acrylic Trays

Terraforming Mars Box
Terraforming Mars
Terraforming Mars is a great game! Unfortunately some of the components are somewhat lacking. As part of your goal of terraforming Mars you keep track of production of six different resources (money, steel, and so on). In the regular game this is tracked by placing a colored plastic cube on the appropriate number on your production track. Unfortunately this important information is easily lost by bumping the table, nudging your card, or an invading cat on top of the table. 😯

Fortunately there are lots of options, ranging from 3D printed plastic to wood to laser cut acrylic. Despite the fact that I own an 3D printer I opted to go with one of the acrylic options because they allow me to continue to use the standard play mat without worrying about bumped cubes. I purchased from the Etsy store for Board Game Boost. Continue reading “Terraforming Mars Acrylic Trays”

First Impression: Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars Box
Terraforming Mars
Some games have a theme with a very small scope. (I’m looking at you, “Patchwork.”) Some games have a grand tapestry of material to draw from. (Welcome to the table “X-Wing.”) And then there is Terraforming Mars — a game that spans multiple generations as players attempt to convert the planet Mars into an area suitable for human habitation. What a cool concept!

I first heard about this game because, well, everyone on Board Game Geek was talking about it. It’s still in the top 20 of “The Hotness” side banner as I write this. Being a science nerd as well as a game geek it felt like a good fit. I bought it, and then bought expansions, then watched some “How It’s Played” videos…then put the game back on the shelf.

Where was the fun in that? Continue reading “First Impression: Terraforming Mars”