Replicate a Board Game

Introduction: Replicate a Board Game

I love old board games. Video games are cool, but they just don't have the same feel. Unfortunately, many of these great old games are no longer in print and are virtually impossible to obtain. Each box above costs $300-500 on the internet, with no assurance of its condition or contents. That makes the total cost of this game and its expansion pack somewhere in the $800 range, if you can even find it (Avalon Hill is no longer in business). Therefore I find the best way to play all these without your friends getting mad that you accidentally spilled coke on their valuable game is to make an inexpensive copy.

There are two ways to go about this. I will discuss both.

Step 1: The Fun Way

The fun way to do this is to draw it out. Get some particleboard, easily found at most hardware stores, in whatever thickness you want. Measure out and draw the sections on the game board on a piece. My board was easier, because I was first able to draw out the borders between territories and then use those as guides for the landscape art.

Next color in all the areas you need.This may take some experimentation with colors. I had to find three different shades of green as well as all of the other colors.

Take a look at the last two pictures. Success?

Step 2: The Fast Way

Maybe some of us aren't so artistically inclined, or maybe we don't have the time. It is a lot of pieces. Here is a second method. This one produces a better image, but costs more. I took a scanner and scanned large sections of the game board, cropped them to the individual panels and printed them. These were then glued down to a cardboard board.

The board was corrugated cardboard half cut through to preserve it intact yet let it bend.

Another good board material is compressed cardboard as seen in degroof's instructable.

Step 3: Finishing Thoughts

The rest of the game isn't too hard to replicate. I scanned and printed the cardset on cardstock and laminated it. The counters were made from chips from a holesaw, but they could also be made from the pressed cardboard. If the game has little plastic figurines it will be harder, but at a stretch one can always use colored stones.

If I had to do this all over again, I would have traced the board and transferred the graphite onto the wood. It's all a fair amount of work, but it doesn't cost a couple hundred dollars and you get the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.

You could also invent your own board game this way.

Contest Questions:

I made a board game using an old one as a template so I would be comfortable toting it around. I didn't want to ruin old, valuable boards playing on them with my friends.

I drew directly on wood in one version, using a paint pen to do the white lines, and pasted scans on cardboard in another. I printed out cards and made game pieces the same way.

I did this all at home in a few weekends. It just took a little time. And patience.

I learned that everything is alot easier to finish than start. As you can see from my last picture, I still have one more panel to go on my wooden board.

Any questions you have I would be happy to answer!

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    3 Discussions

    Awesome board! Great job!
    My older brother plays Settlers of Cataan. He did a similar thing with extra road pieces and towns; he built them on his own and painted them on his own. Why pay the company tons of $ for a few pieces of plastic and paper?

    Again, nice job thinking outside of the box!

    Dream Dragon
    Dream Dragon

    7 years ago on Introduction

    That looks good and I agree, some of those old board games are great, and it's a shame they are so hard to get, but it's important to note that there is copyright and intellectual property involved and you COULD land in hot water for making a direct copy. (Even if the company no longer exists it may have been absorbed into a larger entity don't want THOSE lawyers on your back)

    That said, if the game is out of print and genuine versions are that expensive, I think most people will forgive you for making ONE copy for personal use. As long as you don't start selling them.

    It would be worth considering making a few changes though, maybe a different map or some other variation, if only for the sake of creativity.

    Thanks for sharing your project.

    Foaly the Centaur
    Foaly the Centaur

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for bringing up that point and I agree, it's definitely not right to start making and selling these. I just intend to play with my friends and retain the copies I make. However, it is always helpful to have this skill for repair if no replacement parts are available.