Sunday, March 30, 2008

Unplayed in My Collection 3-2008

Well, I made another geeklist to list out all the unplayed stuff I own. I'm up to 63 games I own and have not tried. Its sad really. At least I played or traded 13 of last 50 I had listed last July. Of course, that means I've added 26 others to take their place. Not quite the ratio I had been hoping for since for every game I tried or traded, I got two new ones. When will it end?

March Game of the Month

This wasn't a bad month for gaming - 38 plays of stuff so far (23 different games, 8 new to me). There wasn't one game that was always at the front of my thinking really, so this month's game is one that was on my list of games to acquire for a long time - Himalaya. Himalaya is a game that melds a large number of different mechanics - pick-up-and-deliver, majority control, and programmed movements. The board has 20 different stops, each with 2-3 paths connecting out to other stops. Each path is one of three types, which allows you to program your moves by simply indicating which type of path you want your caravan to follow. You may also (instead of moving), pick up a good, or deliver goods indicated by an order token. Delivering goods allows a player to increase their majorities in religion, politics, or yaks (money). At the end of the game, the player with the lowest religious power is out. Then the player with the least political power is out, then the player left that is richest wins the game. Yes, there is some luck in the goods that come out and the orders that are available, however there is also the whole - "trying to guess what the other guys are trying to do" thing. The game plays up to 6 (I have the expansion as well), though I only played it with 4 players so far. I think with 5 or 6, things would be a bit more chaotic, but I think with 4, its too easy for one or two people to "sneak off" while the other 2-3 screw each other over. This was a pretty good game. And while its not an every week kind of deal, it was good for a few laughs as you watched one player "follow" another and miss the boat or count on a player to do something and cry out as neither did as intended. This game is fairly highly sought after (it took me a long time to track down), as it was only printed in Europe by Tilsit. not only that, but the expansion is expensive (relatively speaking). I'm glad I found a copy as its theme and system is definitely unique enough to earn a solid place in my collection.
As I mentioned, a number of other games could have taken this spot this month. Escalation was fun and would get play in my family, Pandemic was a solid and fun co-op game, Mykerinos got some good play thanks to MaBiWeb, and my wife liked Qwirkle a lot (so did I). In the end though, Himalaya just edge these guys out.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Game Night

Friday March 28, 2008 - Game Shoppe
I headed out to the Game Shoppe in Bellevue for some Friday night game goodness(tm). Mike Garrett and I had planned to try and play a few things and had invited a number of folks, not knowing who might be there. I invited a guy I work with whom I discovered also likes games - John Davis. John was already there as I got to the store along with another guy, whose name I missed. The three of us were sitting down to play Queen's Necklace when Mike Spoto dropped in, so instead we switched gears and played Race For the Galaxy. John hadn't played before, but had played San Juan, so the mechanics were only slightly new to him. I started out with super sucky Old Earth as my base planet and a hand full of military planets and high end alien worlds - the worlds most awesome sucky hand. I spent a couple rounds trying to do anything while John built like crazy and the other guy built a crazy VP engine. However, I started getting military power in play and my last world was a windfall world which also saw a consume in the same turn for one VP - the one that happen to win me the game 31-30-30-13.
Of course, Mike Garrett had walked in seconds after we started and had been waiting around with some other guys he knew. John had to leave soon, so I suggest Wabash Cannonball (being fairly short and I wanted to play my new revision of the map to figure out if I liked the stock grid). I explained the rules and John decided he better just take off rather than get halfway through, so it was Mike and I and his friends Bryce and Jon Carper. Mike won the red stock, I got blue, Bryce yellow and Jon green. The turns started out as they have every time I've played this game - green and yellow sprint north and south, and red (always Mike) cuts off blue. I fought back by putting a red share on the block, which Mike foolishly bought. Meanwhile, I was getting nowhere. And I never got anywhere. Bryce managed to leech off everyone (except blue) for an easy win. I like the game and always feel "this close" to getting it - a lot like I used to be with Samurai.
Bryce took off after killing us, and Justin Kosec arrived, so I got out Himalaya, which Mike and I have been wanting to try out. Himalaya is a pickup and deliver, programmed movement, and area control game all rolled into one. There is a bit of randomness in the goods and deliveries to be made, but the rest is pure plug in the orders and hope someone doesn't hose you. I liked it - probably because I never got screwed. I actually think it'd be ok with 6 players, but Mike didn't care for the chaos. I won fairly handily and would happily play again. I liked the mix of mechanics and who'd have thought I'd like the guessing what the other guys are going to do piece to the game. As you'll notice in the first picture - I had NOTHING on the board after 5 turns, and yet managed a pretty good sized win. There must be luck or something going on, because I have no mad skilz.
It was getting late and Jon took off. We were debating being able to get in In the Year of the Dragon - something we all wanted to play. Mike Spoto came over and wanted to join, but we all agreed they'd close the store on us before we could get done, so instead we got out Tichu and taught Mike S and Justin. I teamed with Mike S and after a couple of vanilla hands, we were down about 100 points. Then I scored us a Tichu and we were in the running. Then Mike G called Tichu and I managed an over-Tichu on him and we were well out in front of Justin and Mike by the time we got kicked out. Not a bad way to end the night.

Friday, March 28, 2008


4-player Samurai continues to kick my ass. I just finished another game of Samurai on MaBiWeb. Its been too long since I played 4-player and I screwed myself early on. I went for the northern island and instead of keeping my concentration there, I kept jumping around the board. In the end, I had 8 totems (the winners had 10), but no majorities. In 4-player, you really need to force the other players to "help" you win pieces. I didn't and thus had no efficiency in this game. Final scores (majorities-others-total):
(win)Rob: 1 - 6 - 10
(win)Justin Easley: 1 - 6 - 10
Jason Easley: 0 - 5 - 5
Charles: 0 - 8 - 8

Sunday, March 23, 2008


So I picked Qwirkle up a little while ago, when I saw that you can still get this directly from the producer (Mindware). I even got a free tote bag ($9.95 value). At any rate, I haven't had a chance to drag this out yet, but today I got my wife to play a game with me - which turned into four games, as she loved it. She liked it despite my winning 3 of the 4 games. In fact, she loved the simplicity of it. Match the colors or the shapes, that's it. In fact, she suggested that there needed to be more shapes - and maybe there does. Here's a game that wouldn't be that hard to make, if you could find 150 pieces of something. Wood is ok, but there's sanding and painting. Plastic is ok, but the weight and cost could be an issue (for the record, I looked around a bit and found a place that could cut black acrylic in the right shape for around $160 - producing more than enough pieces for four "super" sets of Qwirkle. Of course, that would mean finding three someones that wanted to go in on the venture and then we'd still have to stamp/paint the pieces - yada yada yada. Hey, the optimal choice would be to get Mindware to produce a "super" set. I'd buy it. More shapes and pieces would mean you could add two more players! You only have to make one small change to the rules - 6 pieces still makes a qwirkle, but you cannot have more than 6 of one color in a row. Anyway, my set has a couple imperfections, so I may try and see if I can get a couple of replacements, but it really doesn't take away anything from the game. As far as I know, you can still buy this directly from Mindware.

More Mykerinos

My second 3-player Mykerinos game finished up on MaBiWeb. This game was with Mike Garrett and Justin Easley. This one was strange in that it felt like Mike was dictating the area control part, but was not scoring very well. In the end, it was close between Justin and I, but I couldn't stop him from scoring points left and right and he won easily 56-60. Online play is helping me grok this game finally.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Something New and Something Old

Mike Garrett stop over last night and brought along Duel in the Dark - a game about the English bombing Germany during WWII. That was as much as I knew about the game, but its newer, has good word of mouth, and is two-player. Mike got out the game, which is loaded with pretty nice looking bits and started to explain things. I started as the English, which meant that I'd be attacking and Mike would be fending me off. Basically, this is how things work - the board is setup with weather, clouds, fog, wind direction. Each of the weather things effects different parts of the game. Then the English player secretly determines which city they will bomb and using their movement cards, "programs" out their movement to the city and back. Then the German play throws out a bazillion tokens indicating flak, lights, fire crews, smoke screens etc. Then you start. The British have a single play that flies interference for the bomber and can blow up some of the German stuff. The German player has 4 plane squads that can harass the bombers. Damage and such is abstracted through points. When the British bomb a city, you get points, but you give the German points every time they harass the bombers, and so on. At any rate, I picked a random city and somewhat random path there and back. I used my single plane to blow up all of Mike's airfields in the south, which did score me some points later in the game. However, my return route took me back over a lot of flak, and in the end, the game was a tie. Not bad for a first play. We then switched side and Mike managed to bomb Berlin and get away while avoiding most of my setup. First lesson learned: this game is a SUPER glorified rock-paper-scissors game. You simply have to out guess your opponent. Maybe there is more to it than that, but that's what I saw. Anyway, it was fun though I don't know that I'd play it all the time. After Duel in the Dark, we pulled out an old favorite that I haven't played in a really long time - Carcassonne: The Castle. This is my favorite of the Carcs, because of a number of things. I really like the opportunistic scoring where you want to score certain amounts of points to get the bonus tiles. Mike and I went back and forth in this one and in the end, I won by a slim two points. I may leave this out and see if I can't get my wife to play a game or two.


MaBiWeb added Mykerinos to the line up recently and finally made it public. This is one of those games that I tried and liked, but was terrible at playing. The mechanics aren't that hard, but I never quite got a feel for the game. Bobby Warren, Mike Gingold and I started a three-player game and I finally broke my winless streak. The main difference for me? I got into the museum - I booked 3 of the 5-spot rooms. That makes all the difference in the world. I won 65-45(Mike)-57(Bobby). I enjoyed the online version (not only because of the win) mostly because you "score" in real time - you can see exactly what things to do your score and what the score is for other players. Its not terribly hard to do in real face-to-face play, but this was much clearer to me. I can see this getting a bit of online play this year.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Mike Garrett has asked for another game, this time around, I thought I'd blog the whole stupid match and include some running commentary. Think of this as an ultimate session report. I realized that I didn't "publish" the running score at all, oh well.
This is my standard choice for a two player start and the exact same start set I've used in the last three games with Mike. Each of the 3's, 2-wild, 2-ship.
I started and used a fairly standard opening move - placed a 3 for maximum effect, and placed my 2-ship on one of the cities with two totems to win. Either city is about the same, I picked this one for no reason in particular. The three city is pretty key in a 2-player game - you do not want all three pieces going to the other guy. In all three losses, Mike let me have all three. This time, he is apparently not going to let that happen.
Mike has apparently learned his lesson and (much to my surprise) unloads his 3-wild and his Ronin. The Ronin is always good for a steal, so I'm surprised he used it now on this. Unfortunately, he has put me in a bad spot and is poised to take all three totems from this city.
To keep Mike from all three, I nail down the hat - I also give him a shot at the other hat. He passes up that and lays down his 2-ship and a 2-wild. I have to hope now that his tiles keep him from being opportunistic the rest of the game. My preference is not to lock onto one type this early, but its looking annoyingly like I may be for a bit. Getting my two swap tiles in my hand is nice and a drawback - I don't want them yet, and they are limiting my other choices.
Mike finally does something boring - he places a 3-Buddha tile for maximum effect. What to do?
I gambled. I swapped out the tiles and used a crappy 1-wild to take a Buddha. I hope he doesn't have a 3-rice AND I hope I get a decent draw. I did get a decent draw - my 3-wild came up. Now the worst that can happen on the swapped rice is he gets his 3-rice in which case I can tie him. He could get a ship too, but that's a lot to waste on a single rice.
Mike laid out his 4-hat. I have lost my train of thought now. I have no clue what to do - I stall and throw out my 1-wild. I'll probably lose a rice.
Yep, gave Mike a rice. I got my Ronin though, so maybe I can use that to my advantage. I still have lost my way for the moment. I'm playing defensive rather than attacking.
Mike took the easy piece (a hat) with his 1-wild, leaving me to take the three pieces I've setup with my last move. No surprises here.
Yuck. I'm in a crappy position. Mike has at least 2 Buddhas and one rice pretty well wrapped up. I think the BEST I can achieve at this point is a tie - and only if I play VERY carefully. I need to get Mike to help me clear the hats without him stopping to take the Buddha and rice in the middle of the board. If he takes those, I'm pretty sure nothing I do will win the game. I'd be very pleased with a draw now.
He didn't quite take the bait. Instead, he's trying to nail down some rice. Looking at the tiles he has, I think I should be able to get two of those three top totems. If he has the swap and uses it for his 3-wild, I'm hosed. As long as he just takes one thing up there, I should be able to tie this up.
He had the swap and went for the 4-hat??!? I won rice and he tied the hat. Now it'll be easy to split the other two - he gets a hat, I get a Buddha. He should have gone for the 3-wild. That would have given him the lead in rice and a chance at the hat. I just realized a flaw in my plan. If he swaps that hat with a rice, he will extend the game long enough to win (probably). PLEASE DON'T HAVE THE SWAP!
Hrrm. He had the swap. Unfortunately for him, I think he swapped the wrong piece. I think he really had to swap out for one of the rice on the end of the island. Instead, he swapped the hat towards his zone of control - putting the Buddha in my reach. He needs two turns to capture those two pieces. He doesn't have two turns, nor does he have the ability to keep me from that Buddha. I'm leading with one majority now (hats). When I win the Buddha on my next turn, I'll have two majorities...

Monday, March 17, 2008


Mike Garrett and I finished our re-rematch game of Samurai and this time, Mike held command of the board for nearly 2/3 of the game. My last two tile draws were my 3-wild and my Ronin (in that order). Having the Ronin as my last piece annoyed the hell out of me, but it ended up working to my advantage. Having spent the whole game losing, I was able to perform a dramatic swing and ended the game with two majorities to Mike's none.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Couple of Games

Stephanie and I went out to dinner with Mike Garrett and Amy Jo Schafer last night, and then headed back to our place and got a couple of games in. I pulled out Zooloretto, because how can you go wrong teaching a non-gamer like my wife a game that won the Spiel des Jahres? So I went over the rules and then spent forever digging out one animal type (play this with five players and save yourself some trouble). We all seemed a little out of it, and Mike seemed to be in the most control, with Amy and Stephanie taking a lot more animals than they wanted (especially Amy). I had two type in my barn, when I realized I had a pen I hadn't even used!! In the end, I filled up 3 pens and squeaked out a 2 pt win over my wife. Mike, who had seemed to be in good position throughout the game, actually came in with the low score.
After that, Mike suggested Tichu. I pulled it out and started explaining it, and realized that I've never taught it before. The general mechanics aren't too hard (my wife has played Frank's Zoo, so she had some general sense of ladder games). However, we bypassed explaining the scoring and calling Tichu to make sure Amy and Stephanie had a handle on the general play of the game. After a few hands, everyone seemed to get it, but we never bothered keeping score. I had one Tichu hand, but it turned out, that I wouldn't have got it as my wife had an Ace Bomb that hand. Sheesh.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Mike Garrett asked for a two-player rematch in Samurai, so I obliged. This time, my draws weren't as favorable - it took me a good while to get a few of my tiles that would let me play more than one a turn. In the mean time, I did my best to spread the influence around as Mike jumped out to a good lead in hats. then I got a run of tiles, including my piece swap and Ronin, that allowed me to snag 4 pieces and end the game all in one fell-swoop.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Mike Garrett and I finished a game of Samurai on MaBiWeb. I've said it many times - I really like this game, because your approach has to be different depending on the number of players. Now, I will say that I got some really good draws to start the game (we selected our starting hands). I basically jumped out to the lead and then tried to kill off one of any of the totems to end the game. I was surprised, but this is the first game of Samurai I've played this year (and in a while). I started last year with a lot of plays, but burnt myself out a bit. Maybe I'll start playing a bit again.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Wabash Cannonball

I've created my next revision of the Wabash Cannonball map (#4). I used a couple of ideas (and images) from Mark Tyler - I used his field image and forest image and his stock grid. I lightened both images and changed his red/green grid to grayscale. I also stuck with my original scheme for showing the costs and values of the spaces. Because of the stock grid, I had to move the action grid and the industrial cities grid to the lower portion of the board, but I think that's ok. I also went with a much much higher resolution (300 dpi) in order to try and reduce some of the blurriness of the type. I also used a few other tricks to get most of the sizes that I wanted for the text (the image linked to above is not the full high-res version). Now I need to print this and give it a test play.

Speaking of... We played the other night, and I got killed. Dead last. After winning my last two games. I've been thinking about strategy and I think Mike Garrett is right about one thing - you don't want to necessarily win the second share of "your" company. You probably want the third though. you also have to go after shares of companies when other player's positions are tough because of money. The first couple of rounds, a partner in the company can mean extra chances to really run up the value of a railroad. Two players in red can nearly cut off blue - not cutting off blue can mean B&O stock owner(s) making a lot of cash. On the other hand, running a line by yourself means that no player has any interest in helping you (or not hurting you). When the third share comes out, you want it if you already have one - that or you want it to go out to another party (not your partner). There's a fine balance to be worked for between sharing the profits and using someone to help you make a load of money. I'm also not sure you can win sinking all your chips in one company. Even with an acquisition later, it still is too hard.


We played another game of Vinci - Jason Maxwell, Matthew Frederick and Mike Gingold that is. This time, we tried the mod I put together with the Asia Map. It worked out pretty well, except for a little bit of weirdness with the civ stack. At any rate, the game started badly for me, as I really really really wanted the double fortress civ. It put me in a whole that I never got out of. In fact, the payoff was about one round too late for me. Jason, who I forced out of his first civ after one turn managed to nab the barbarian horde at just the right time and didn't even have to do anything his last turn to win the game. We went back to the original ending (simply 120 points) and I think we all agree that we like it better this way. Asia is a pain in the butt map, as it has a LOAD of jungle/forest spaces, making conquest much harder in the southern parts of the map.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lots of Games

Friday March 7, 2008 - Game Shoppe
I headed out to the Game Shoppe for some Friday night games. My wife and a friend of hers from work planned to get a bite to eat, then join us, so I brought mostly lighter fare this week. When I got there, Mike Garrett was finishing a sandwich, and Mike Spoto was there waiting to see who would drop in. Ron Chapman came by, so we elected to start the night with some Race For the Galaxy. I started with a production world, and try to get an engine for prod going, but couldn't get any synergy towards that end - in fact, after getting my second world down, I had 6 development cards (none good) in my hand. I churned out enough VPs for third to Mike G's double 6 military world build. I elected for something short then so that we wouldn't be in the middle of a longer game when my wife got there, so I pulled out Exxtra for our next game. I like this little push your luck game as a filler. This game was pretty straight forward, and there wasn't much hosing of each other as a lot of X's came out. Ron and I were looking like it would be close, but Mike G pulled out a win. Mike continued his winning streak as we moved on to No Thanks!. Ron hadn't played before, and looked like he was going to steal a win, but Mike G had a pile of chips that put his score at like 9. Ron wanted to try it again, and while things played a bit differently, the results were the same.
My wife, Stephanie, had arrived with her friend Amy Jo Schafer, so Mike started the 6 of us off Heimlich and Co. This was the Spiel des Jahres winner in 1986 (which is apparently the year the Germans decided that the more the theme is tacked on, the more likely the game is to win the Spiel des Jahres). So, this isn't a bad game, but the whole spy theme is not at all important (or interesting). Basically, there are a number of colored pawns. Each player is given a color in secret. On your turn you roll a dice and may move any pawn(s) the total on the die (roll a 4, move 1 guy 4, or 2 guys 2, or 4 guys 1, etc) around the scoring zone. When a pawn hits the scoring marker, all pawns score the amount of wherever they are. When the total scores reach a certain point, everyone writes down a guess as to who is which color. When a few more points are scored, the guesses are revealed, and you get a bonus for being correct. Well, Mike G won. He scored two correct guesses that put him well out in front. Mike S and my wife both didn't even look to see what color they were - which is all well and good, but meant they weren't playing to win (unless by chance). This type of game is ok, but you really is more fun if everyone is trying. Its a bit like Edel Stein and Reich - you can certainly just randomly pick your action, but then the point of trying to figure out what the other guys are doing is truly pointless. Apparently we hadn't had enough of "guess the other player's action" as we then played Incan Gold - a group type press your luck against the other players. I hadn't played this (or Diamant), so was interested, and found a nice little game. I finally pulled out a win in something, stopping the Mike G win streak, but it was close - Ron hadn't taken any gems and was in the temple by himself at the end. He felt he needed one more take to win the game (which he did), but he pulled a disaster to finish with nada. The group then wanted to try out TransAmerica, which I knew nothing about nor had ever seen played. This turned out to be a decent game, but one I think it is best with 5-6 players (it evens out the chance of being really screwed by the route). This one was fun, and I think that Mike S won this one. My wife and Amy had to work in the morning and were getting ready to bow out, but we talked them in to trying Ca$h and Gun$. I've conceded to Mike G's pressure to raise my rating (I moved it to a 7.1 since I keep asking for it), but despite my having fun with this, I think this one is going to fall off my radar for a bit here. Its light and can be fun to be sure, but its not an every week game. After the girls left, we pulled out Wabash Cannonball. Mike G returned to form and killed us with a runaway win. He basically had his hand in all the railroads and then sat back and let everyone help him. I would have liked to have done something about this, but I got yellow too cheaply to start the game, and then was in a bad position to win shares of other rails and couldn't get more cash into yellow. Since nobody else would ever capitalize (there is a serious group think issue here), I struggled to catch Mike. As I saw it, nobody else was willing to dilute Mike's position in all the companies. Since he was splitting cash with EVERYONE, his positions needed to be cut to a 1/3 at best. This game is good, but like Puerto Rico, is probably best with people that have played this about the same number of times, as it takes a couple playings to start to see how to work the systems. To finish the night, Mike S pulled out one I had heard of but not played - Escalation!. This is a Knizia card game that is along the lines of Poison in that you try to get rid of your cards while taking as few as possible. Each round you play a card or set of cards. The next card or cards must total (face value) more than the previous play. If you cannot, you take the pile. Pretty straight forward. Mike G thought so as he seemed to enjoy taking the cards hand after hand. Mike G must have used up his winning karma, because he was so far out of the lead that we all had a good laugh. The game was fast, so we played one more, and Mike G's luck failed to change one bit. Though I can't remember the winner of the first game, I did finish the night winning by just a couple points over Ron.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Rome (Charles) vs Carthage (Mike)

Mike G and I got in another game of Hannibal:Rome vs Carthage. Last time (my first playing), I was Dr. Lector, this time I got to play the Roman side of things. While I didn't really know what I should be doing, I recognized from the first game that the Carthage side was going to try and get Hannibal and his elephants coming over the Alps. The first turn was a pretty good waste of resources, but I think Mike and I wasted cards equally - both realizing that we were working resources in an area of Gallia that didn't matter much. As the game worked through the first couple turns, I finally realized I wasn't playing a war game. I was playing a game that was similar to Twilight Struggle, in that the game is about the political control of the board. Combat is not entirely unlike a coup or realignment in that it can just be a means to change the political status on the board. At any rate, Mike swung the balance towards him, but I never felt out of the game. In fact going into the last three turns, Mike seemed to feel things were in my favor. I didn't see it the same way. Mike started swaying Italy against me and I struggled to keep things close. Going into the last turn, I needed a 3 area swing to win the game. I got the three areas I needed, but the rest of my hand was 1 op point cards and I couldn't stop Mike from devastating me in Hispania. I think Mike had a good chance to close things out on me earlier in the game and I probably holed up in Rome to long, but it was close and tense most of the game. My only complaint? I didn't win a single combat the entire night - nothing. The cards hated me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


So, now I'm home from work, so I'll start throwing up a few samples.

Chip ideas

So here are a few images I'm thinking about. Ideally, I'd like the image to be recognizable enough to gamers to be able to get without the game's name/title being present. I may make an exception for AoS, since the logo is already curved and thus it would fit a chip. I'd like AGoT, but I just don't think it'll work. I think I like the Bang! on the $0.50 chip. The Memoir soldier may be an option - I think that's pretty readily recognizable.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Poker Chips

I'm finally going to get some chips. I've settled on the Nexgen River Poker Tour chips. I found a site that has 500 (mix your own set) chips in a nice wooden case for $137 shipped to me. The case has 5 wooden trays that pull out, so its not a bad price. I'm trying to figure out the ratio of chips I want. Realistically, 200 chips is enough cash for most boardgames so I don't want to skew the set too much towards that - I'd still want to have the set be a decent poker night set. At any rate, I'm planning to get yellow, white, red, blue, green black, and purple chips - likely as $0.50, $1, $5, $10, $25, $100, and $500. I'm going to get or make custom labels for the chips. I'm leaning towards board game "icons" for the chips. I'm thinking the AoS logo and possibly the train from the box cover for one chip. A meeple (for the 50 cent piece). The Tichu dragon may hit a chip. I might use the cover from the Power Grid expansion deck. Other favorite games are harder to pin down to a useable image (remember, the end picture has to fit on a 1" circular label AND still display the denomination as well). I'm probably going to stay away from dice. And Monoploy (despite its classic status and easy to recognize icons). What I need are some more suggestions. Throw them out at me people.