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Geek Chic GM Valet

We just received our GM Valet from Geek Chic.

This is the “medium tall” model.

GM Valet

We choose walnut and standard hardware to match it to our Geek Chic Emissary table.

We decided on a few options added:

  • We choose to have our GameKnight logo engraved into a medallion.
  • We added a burgundy-lined ‘Entropy Engine’ – better known as a dice tower to common folk.

Our take:  Another amazing luxury accessory from Geek Chic.  Great quality, and a unique heirloom item that you simply can’t find anywhere else.

The fold-down top that turns the valet from a bookshelf into a a desk is a standout feature.  This allows the valet to sit quietly in a room  and at a moments notice convert into a desk.

Another nicety is that the GM’s Valet is built on wheels.  This is great for keeping it nicely positioned near a wall until you your game night where you can roll it into position for the GM.

If we have a couple of nits to pick, its about the drawers.  Most furniture has drawers that are mounted which rails\guides that make the drawer slide more easily and keep it even.    Without these guides, you need make sure you pull the draw from the middle so that both sides of the draw are opening at the same rate.  If you don’t the draw will get slightly wedged.  It’s not a major issue, but something to be aware of.

If you are an avid RPG’r and don’t have the cash to drop on a sultan table, buying a less costly table and a GM valet might be the ideal as it creates a separate space for the GM, and the players.

We’ll update this in the future after some actual plays.

It says some handy bins with configurable dividers.  Notice our bin full of Life & Death chips that we use for tracking health\hit points.

GM Valet

A shot of the ‘Entropy Engine’

 

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Dwarven Forge: Cavern’s Kickstarter

By Dave Breen

Looks like our friends at Dwarven Forge have been very busy since their highly successful Kickstarter for Game Tiles.     They just launched another Kickstarter project to create a new line of Cavern style tiles for use with your favorite RPG.  The tiles are designed for use with 25mm miniatures.

people of the pitI was recently running a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure called The People of the Pit, and discovered that the original Game Tiles style didn’t have the right design to for the module.  The rough edges of the caverns just didn’t convey the right image when using standard dungeon style Game Tiles.

I’m very excited at the possibilities that the cavern setting will provide.   Given how effectively the team at Dwarven Forge delivered on their last project,  I’m lending my support to this project also.   See our review of Game Tiles for more information on how we rated Dwarven Forge’s original Game Tiles product.

My only challenge is figuring out how many sets to buy, and how many ‘add-on’ packs I’ll end up wanting.

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Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles – a review

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By Dave Breen

Back in April we decided to back the Game Tiles kickstarter project by Dwarven Forge.    On October 23, our reward was delivered.   Mr. Fed-ex guy appeared a bit weary as he carried those boxes of Game Tiles up my walkway.   When he handed them over, I found out why, the boxes were deceivingly heavy.

Before the Kickstarter, Dwarven Forge was an established company with a great reputation for providing amazing terrain made of resin. The downside was that the cost was prohibitive.  I had looked into picking up some before the Kickstarter and didn’t pull the trigger on a purchase due to the high cost of getting a set that would be large enough to create a sprawling dungeon.

The objective of the Kickstarter project was to create a less expensive version of their dungeon terrain out of a new type of material.   The material appears to be plastic or perhaps a very heavy type of rubber like you would find on the end of a rubber mallet.

The Game Tiles project on Kickstarter was a huge success, reaching almost 2 million dollars in funding.

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The tiles are heavy, which is a plus as it keeps them from shifting around during play or while building your dungeon.

I opted to spend extra to get pre-painted tiles as my painting skills are far from good.  I’m awfully glad that I did, as the mountain of tiles would have taken me forever to paint.

I took a trip to the local Target to pick up some  plastic storage containers so I could sort them into bins so I can easily find which all of the various pieces.

It took a few hours to unbox my tiles and sort them into their appropriate bins.   The first thing you will probably notice about Game Tiles is their density.  These things are deceptively heavy for their size.  Looking at these, you might think they are some type of lightweight plastic, but you would be wrong.

The next thing you’ll probably notice is how durable they are.  If you try hard, you can bend the tiles a bit.  To actually damage a tile, I believe you would need to go out of your way to do so.  I can’t imagine a normal play scenario where they would get damaged.

The job of pre-painting is nicely done.  Certainly much better than I could have done myself.  Even on the smaller dungeon dressing items, the paint was carefully applied.  I’m sure that experienced miniature painters would probably find fault, but more than satisfactory from my standpoint.

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If you happen to have one of Geek Chic’s Emissary tables, you’ll be pleased to know that Game Tiles fit perfectly in the game vault.

Building with Game Tiles is a fun experience.  As one of my friends texted to me.  “Quite possibly the coolest thing I own”.   I think I agree.

In terms of flexibility, the variety of different tiles allows a great deal of configuration options.   While I don’t think every RPG map can be simply built, many can. To determine what you can make,  Dwarven Forge has even created a web-based design tool that allows you to layout your dungeon and even print a map. If I had one minor quibble is the lack of an easy way to make narrow corridors.

The Big Conclusion

Overall, I found that Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles exceeded all of my expectations .  If forced to find a flaw, there might be a few tiles that are not 100% flat (noticed on the larger sized floor tiles).  Even this was minor, as they lay flat enough that it would be barely noticed.

One more thing…

In case you somehow missed, it GameKnight has a contest running for a set of VictoryChips.
Details can be found here.  Even if you aren’t interested in winning some chips, please help us out by liking our page on Facebook.

 

 

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Battlefoam for Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures

 

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This post is for those of you are afflicted with dreaded acquisition disorder for Star Wars: X-Wing miniatures.

As you continue to acquire more ships for your fleet, you will start to think about storage solutions.  I started off with a Plano box and once I grew past that I started to search for something BIGGER.   My search lead me to the P.A.C.K 216 by Battle Foam.

This storage solution is essentially two parts.

Part 1 – The Bag

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The first part being a canvas bag and the second foam inserts that have been customized (i.e cut) to fit your miniatures and other game bits.    Here’s the manufacturers description of this bag.  At the time of this post, the bag was priced at $47.99

The P.A.C.K. (Personal Army Combat Kit) 216 can fit 4 inches (102 mm) of foam. Its rugged olive canvas exterior protects a hard plastic interior built for strength and durability. Its design includes a zipper on the bottom to allow for attachment to the P.A.C.K. 1520 XL or P.A.C.K. Plus. It was also designed for airport travel and meets all FAA regulations for carryon luggage.This bag comes empty, but can be ordered with pluck or custom cut foam.  Overall Bag Dimensions – 17W x 15L x 5H” (432W x 381L x 127H mm)

 

Part 2 – The Foam

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The second part of this setup is the foam inserts.  For this review, we used the “Star Wars Game Foam Kit for the P.A.C.K. 216 (BF)” which retails for 29.99.   Here’s what the manufacturer says about this kit.

In this kit, you will receive two trays that fit the the game pieces from the Star Wars X-Wing board game. This kit also comes with one foam topper and fits perfectly in a P.A.C.K. 216 bag. This foam kit does not fit in the game box.

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The first tray will hold the following:

  • 8x TIE Fighters
  • 4x TIE Advanced
  • 5x TIE Interceptors
  • 2x Slave I
  • 6x X-Wings
  • 4x Y-Wings
  • 6x A-Wings
  • 1x Millennium Falcon

The second tray will hold the following:

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  • Damage Cards
  • Upgrade Cards
  • Pilot Cards
  • Ship Pegs
  • Target Locks
  • Tokens and Templates
  • Dice
  • Ship Base Inserts
  • Ship Bases
  • Maneuver Dials
  • Measuring and Maneuver Templates

Opinion

Quality-wise I’m fairly impressed with the canvas case.  It seems durable and well constructed through-out.  I would be very comfortable traveling with my mini’s secured in this case.  I don’t think I would trust it as checked baggage on a plane, but would be fine as  carry-on.

The foam inserts are very nice and well cut.  For some of the ships, the foam spaces are a bit deeper than needed which makes it necessary to exercise caution when removing ships like the X-Wing.

The fact that it has two spaces for Slave-I ships is probably not the ideal use of space as I suspect most players will decide one of each of the larger ships is sufficient.  Personally a few more TIE fighter slots would have been preferable.

If you are the type of player who is constantly taking your game on the road to your FLGS, or conventions I believe you will be happy with this solution.  It’s high quality, and its easy to swap out the foam inserts if you want to create a new configuration.  Personally, I’m thinking about getting a different foam insert to use instead of tray made for cards and such.  Now that the next wave of ships has been announced, I can imagine wanting to add those the case.

Overall some might find it a bit pricy, but I’m very happy with storage solution can easily recommend it.

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Handmade Custom Chip Holders

Here are some pictures of a new custom chip holder that GameKnight has been working on.   They hold 100 chips (4 stacks of 25 chips), and what’s really cool about them is that they can be used as privacy screens in those games where you want to keep your GameChip stacks hidden.   The slot on the side is wide enough so you can easily see your chips, and allow you to easily remove the chips from the holder.  It uses a magnetic catch to keep the top closed.  They are made individually by a local craftsman, so they won’t be a high volume item.   Please send an email to sales@gameknight.com if you are interested in a set as these will be made to order.  Pricing is $25\holder.

 

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GameChips: Coming Soon!

The order with the manufacturer has been placed.  Once all Kickstarter rewards have been shipped, I will have a limited number of sets available for sale.  I expect this to happen by mid-June.

I’m currently keeping a list of folks who have expressed interest so that I can send out a notification once I have more details.   If you want to be added to this list, please send an email to alerts@gameknight.com and I’ll add you.

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Kickstarter Spotlight: Laser cut game accessories

If you follow my site, you probably know by now that I’m a big fan of component upgrades.  Check out this kickstarter campaign that has some cool-looking, laser-cut tokens for a couple of different games.   I’m tempted on the Lords of Waterdeep upgrades since I really can’t stand the cubes that come with the game.  There’s also an ongoing thread on BGG talking about a variety of ideas using laser-cut for board game accessories and components.

The pics on this post show the tokens for Lords of Waterdeep.