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Magnetic pieces vs Magnetic board

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CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009

Greetings!

I kinda hijacked the original poster's thread on this: http://www.bgdf.com/node/737

....so I thought I'd create a new subject on it.

Basically I wanted to know if it's better to create a magnetic board and have the pieces stick to the board, or if it's better to create magnetic pieces and have them stick to a metal (or ferrous compound) board.

My original idea was to have the board be the magnetic part because I was worried that the magnetic pieces would stick to each other when the game is put away. I didn't want to spend a lot of time separating pieces before playing.

The game I'm making is called Territorial Space. It's a sci-fi game on a hex board I created in Paint.NET. The hexes are a little over an inch in size and for the most part only one ship is allowed per hex. Since there's a lot of dice rolling and there's a potential for a lot of pieces to be on the board at one time, I wanted something magnetic to keep the pieces where they're placed. Minimizing a bad dice roll (meaning it lands on board and scatters everything) was part of the design.

Here are some specific quotes from that old thread that I'd like to answer:

TRAZ:
just sayin'....
Are you hardwired into plastic? Have you asked anybody about wood? You might be surprised.

--I'm not hardwired into anything, really. I liked the mold idea because I liked the idea of hiding either the magnets or the washers/nuts/metal bits (depending if the board is magnetic or if the pieces are magnetic.--

-CB-

SiddGames:

CloudBuster wrote:
This rubbersteel stuff sounds great! The reason I wanted to make the board magnetic instead of the pieces is that I didn't want all the pieces sticking to each other. I thought if the board were the magnetic one, all the pieces could stick to it. This is especially important when playing the game. In certain situations, there can be more than one piece occupying a single hex on the board. I don't want these pieces clacking together when they're put on the same space. When you made your game, did you have to spend time separating all your tiles before you could play? How did you prevent them from sticking together?

How large are your pieces? If the magnets are all oriented the same way, say vertically and with north/south in the same orientation, I don't think they'd actually stick together. I learned this just recently when my young son got his first Bakugan. For those who haven't seen them -- they are small plastic figures that fold into a ball. These are rolled over "cards" that have a metal insert; when the magnet in the bottom of the figure passes close enough to the metal card, the magnet sticks to the card and the little plastic hooks inside the figure/ball release, making the Bakugan "pop out" into its figure form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv4nAcnVjmQ

This video is pretty lame -- sorry! but you can see how it pops open when the magnet "catches" the metal. The magnet is strong enough to trip the release and stick the figure to the metal card, but weak enough that they can't stick to each other from more than a few millimeters away (farther than the distance allowed by the size of the surrounding plastic) -- and with the same pole facing the bottom of the figure, they will never stick to each other bottom-to-bottom (north-to-north or south-to-south). Hope that makes sense.

--My pieces aren't going to be larger than an inch long because I need them to fit in the hexes. I like the board sized the way it is (although with further playtesting I might need to change that). For now...nothing larger than an inch.

As far as orienting the magnets...your idea might work with long, bar-type magents, but would it work with small, disc type magnets? Not sure. Thanks for the response! It gives me something to think about!--

-CB-

Black Canyon:

CloudBuster wrote:
This rubbersteel stuff sounds great! The reason I wanted to make the board magnetic instead of the pieces is that I didn't want all the pieces sticking to each other. I thought if the board were the magnetic one, all the pieces could stick to it. This is especially important when playing the game. In certain situations, there can be more than one piece occupying a single hex on the board. I don't want these pieces clacking together when they're put on the same space. When you made your game, did you have to spend time separating all your tiles before you could play? How did you prevent them from sticking together?

I understand why you would prefer a magnetic board and metal bases now. I didn't use strong natural magnets for my game but thick magnetic sheet instead, cut into what basically amount to tiles. However, in my game you wanted the tiles to sort of stay together. Concerning your design, like Sidd said, if your pieces are large or thick enough and you make sure to orient all of your pieces the same way with respect to polarity then you should have no problem.

--Yeah...once again...my pieces are kinda small. Does polarity matter on disks? I suppose you've still got a North South East West on a disk, but I don't think I wanna think about that when dealing with lots and lots of fairly small pieces. I think I'm going to make the board itself magnetic and I'll put little washers or some other small metal pieces into the molds if I end up going that way.--

Thanks for all the suggestions and help!

-CB-

asgloki
asgloki's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2011
many pieces on the board

I too have a problem with having many pieces on the board and was trying to think of a way to keep them from moving around accidently, or if the board gets knocked. I was thinking of having little holes in the board so the pieces can stick in, or plastic covering like the scrabble board.

the magnet idea sounds like it would be expensive.

suf
suf's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2010
Wealth of Nations like market boards

I like the way market boards are built in Wealth of Nations. There are shallow holes where each cube should be (perhaps about 1/2 mm deep). Even though the pieces don't really stick to anything and can still be moved accidentally, they can survive small table movement and helps keeping things organized. If there are many pieces on the board I think this is a good start. The cost is that you need a thick paper (~280 g/m2) which has to be punched and then glued on the board. Check this http://boardgamegeek.com/image/369244/wealth-of-nations?size=original

Maaartin
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Joined: 05/15/2011
East and West poles

Quote:
--Yeah...once again...my pieces are kinda small. Does polarity matter on disks?

Sure it does. In all such magnets I've seen, North is on either the top or the bottom side (I mean it's never on the side).

Quote:
--Yeah...once again...my pieces are kinda small. Does polarity matter on disks? I suppose you've still got a North South East West on a disk

A magnet having East and West is yet to be invented. :D

Quote:
but I don't think I wanna think about that when dealing with lots and lots of fairly small pieces.

But that's very trivial: First stack your discs into a bar - this way you ensure they all get oriented in the same direction. Then simply put the magnets into all the pieces the same way (i.e. be careful not to flip them).

EdWedig
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Joined: 09/15/2009
The company I used to work

The company I used to work for, many years ago, was able to laminate a metal mesh inbetween a printed sheet and posterboard. That way, magnetic items could be stuck to the board. IIRC, it was not that expensive, but may be costly for a board game.

Check around, there are places that could probably do that.

-Ed

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