I have a friend with a problem. He’s a board game addict. Not only that, he’s also a Game of Thrones (GOT) fan. For his birthday (last February, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while) I decided to try and make him a Cyvasse set. For those of you that are similarly afflicted, Cyvasse is a board game that comes up in GOT occasionally. I’ve never read the books, so I had to go off of the descriptions of the rules that some people have designed based on the text (Game of Cyvasse, A Wiki of Fire and Ice). A year ago, the different interpretations were quite different, so I settled on the Game of Cyvasse site’s rules.
The first task was to decide upon the materials that I should use. I decided to use Lexan as the substrate, and to paint the backs of the pieces so the color and design would shine through the plastic. In the photo above, I have cut some of the blanks out of the lexan sheet. I only had a miter saw to work with, so I carefully cut it into strips first (the saw cut length was just barely long enough to cut the narrow direction). Then, I cut the blanks out of the strips. A note about cutting lexan on a chop saw: GO SLOW! Unless you have a fine-toothed blade, the teeth will bite into the plastic and cause havoc. If you go very slow, you can get a good cut.
We had the idea of using transparent sticker sheets for the graphics. I couldn’t find blank sheets that were large (nearly 8″x10″), so we settled on using mailing address labels. These worked O.K. I worried that, because they had a matte finish, they would make the designs look cheesy. Luckily, if you work hard to get a good bond between the sticker and the plastic, when you paint the back of the piece it looks perfectly transparent. I couldn’t have asked for a better finished look. Also, the matte finish probably helped the paint to stick.
I wanted to provide the paint a little more protection, and to make the finished product look a little nicer, so we decided to put felt on the back of the play pieces and craft foam on the back of the field pieces. Notice in the photo above that I left the front protective plastic layer on the pieces. This kept the paint off of the front and helped prevent scratching. To adhere the backing, I used Scotch Super 77 spray adhesive.
There were some extra effects that I wanted to achieve with the water and mountain field tiles. I thought it would look really cool to have a subtle glittery effect to the water, so before spraying on the blue color, I sprayed a light layer of glitter on. For the mountain tiles, I used one of those fancy textured spray paints. I thought the water turned out beautifully, and the mountains were just O.K.
I’m really happy with how the pieces turned out. In the photo above, you can see how the play pieces seem to float on the play field. Also, you can see how the labels used for the graphics disappear into the background color. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience to sand the edges of all the pieces, so they have a bit of a rough texture. I did bevel the edges, though.
Finally, I needed a way to present the set. A convenience store near my office sells their old cigar boxes for a few dollars, so I was able to find this brass-inlaied box for about $5. It fit the pieces adequately, and added a bit of class to the whole thing.
Here is a photo of our first time playing the game. We were still deciding on how exactly the rules should work. I think this game ended in either a stalemate of forfeit. It’s fairly fun to play, but the rules need a lot of work. There’s quite a bit of ambiguity.
Overall, it was a fun project. I think Eric enjoyed the present quite a bit!