Almost Famous

Boardcrafting was in the New York Times (sort of)!

I was doing some vanity googling tonight, as one does – sometimes it’s fun to see where images of the Boardcrafting Catan boards pop up, and I saw a still image clearly captured from a video. On further investigation, it was a video from a NYT tech blog featuring Dan Shapiro talking about Glowforge.  Very cool!

In their early prototype stage, I shared the Catan tile designs with the Glowforge folks, and I’ve seen it in their marketing materials here and there. They’ve since created their own in-house Catan design, but this NYT video was shot when they were still using mine.

If you’re interested in laser cutting, check out Glowforge, I’ve got one myself and am very happy with it.  Plus, they made me famous.

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Refused Redemption and Corpsemonsters

IMG_20170917_170349Last night I completed my first playtest campaign of Deckahedron World!

It. was. epic.

Brian, Garrett, Greg, Jared, and I (and guest-star Joe as the Party Goblin) wove a tale of purple potatoes, murder, plagues, escapes, drug manufacturing, faction upheaval, grand theft, falling into traps, refusing chances at redemption, becoming a monster, destruction of civilization, and being rescued from yourself by your best friends, who sacrificed the biggest score they ever laid eyes on to do so.

I’m really excited about Deckahedron World, I’ll be playtesting one-shots at the Protospiel at Dundracon in a couple weeks.

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Role Playing Games

I’ve been dabbling in Role Playing Games like D&D lately.  I’ve been using a commercial online game supply maker to make some playing cards for a RPG I’m designing, and I’m pleased with the results.


I’m calling it Deckahedron

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Readying laser-cut Carcassonne

I’ve been finding some time recently to continue working on my designs for a laser-cut Carcassonne board.  It’s gone through revisions as I’ve been solving tricky problems and re-doing parts I wasn’t happy with.  Now I’ve got some wood to test it out, and I’ve laid out the design so that it’s ready to laser.

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Laser-cut Carcassonne

I have been working recently on designs for a laser-cut Carcassonne set.
I have completed a prototype of The River and some start tiles. I brought them all to KublaCon a couple weekends ago, and played many a game of Carc. I was super-proud to show them off at KublaCon, and will soon post some of the designs here at the Boardcrafting blog.


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Catan Treasure Chest

David Sopko has some very lucky friends. He created a wonderful wedding gift – a customized boxed set of Catan: Cities and Knights using Boardcrafting tiles, felt bags for the player pieces, and wooden trays for the cards.

custom catan box and game pieces

In his own words:

“Here’s how I put it together. I found an unfinished box at Hobby Lobby that was about the right size and invoked some of my rusty high school wood shop skills to build the separators and card caddies.

custom catan card holders

I then found the different colored dice bags from the local game store for the player pieces. Brown and orange proved difficult to acquire on short notice so I used glued city-shaped colored felt on black bags.

catan tiles and gift bags

The flip charts fit in the left compartment. Then the card caddies for the commodity and progress cards rest on top of the flip charts. The resource card caddy for the resource cards lays on top of the box separators. The player and other game pieces go in the center compartment.”

custom catan gift box and game pieces_full

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Combination Platter

Jorge's fancy catan birch set

The greatest thing about attending KublaCon last year was connecting with so many fellow board game enthusiasts, sharing ideas, and getting new inspiration.

Jorge showed me a great example of mixing Boardcrafting tiles (he has the “Fancywood” edition with cherry and butternut – I think it looks spectacular) with a Catan Table.

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Tile Extractin’ Backing Action

pushing from behind to extract a catan tile from the frameOne part of my Catan boards that doesn’t get enough attention is the backing. The backing is almost invisible during play, and it is obviously critical to keeping the frame together, but there’s one feature of the backing I haven’t highlighted before.

Between games, when players need to remove or re-arrange the tiles, you’ve got to pick them up from the frame. Since the backing is soft, a player can lightly press up behind a tile to pop up an edge to grab on to.

catan board leather backing fancy leather backing for catan board

Right now, I provide backings made from vegetable-tanned leather, a softer brown leather, and recycled PET felt.

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Grand Opening on

boardcrafting amazon store launch_birch set_accessary for settler's of catan

Last week, I launched Boardcrafting on Amazon. It was a bit of a challenge jumping through all their hoops – particularly for a small company like mine, as I don’t have any UPC codes or any pictures with a white background ready to go. But I know from my own behavior, when I’m looking to buy a gift or an accessory Amazon is the first place I go.

Right now the listing is an experiment. Besides the hoops that one has to jump through, it’s something like $40 per month to list products on Amazon. So I’ll be watching it closely and evaluating whether it’s worth it. Also to that end, I’ve discounted the Amazon price by 10%.

If you have time, I’d love for readers to have a look at the Amazon listing page and let me know if there are any ways I could improve it. Also, I know Amazon gives different search results to different people. If you could go to the Amazon homepage and search for “catan” and let me know how many pages deep in the search results you have to go before my product shows up, that would be helpful too!

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Laser-cut Hive Picnic

Laser-cut Hive tiles on a blanket
At the Stern Grove Music Festival this year I decided to encourage insect invaders on the picnic blanket. These are my personal set of Hive tiles, laser-cut and etched, with my own insect designs.

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