Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Custom Card Deck - ECW

Custom Card Set for ECW Activation

For activation in most of my in-house rules I've been using a deck of playing cards, and have a command figure with the relevant hearts/clubs/diamonds/spades suit and number to indicate the formation being commanded - see almost any of the AAR photos.

Whilst it's simple and works pretty well, there is always the issue of hunting around the table to try and work our where the four of clubs is.

I'd heard from a number of people that it was getting pretty cheap to have custom playing card decks made. Whilst Artscow had been mentioned I was put off by its US pricing, but a quick Google turned up Personalised Playing Cards, based in the UK.

Whilst their web design app seems a bit old fashioned and clunky it does the job. You specify a common card back, whether you want the playing card symbols in the corner, and then a unique image and text for every card (52+2 jokers).  The biggest downside is that there is no way to see all the cards in one go - so you have to be careful to make sure you've defined every card, and haven't duplicated any - especially since the Copy function is very useful, There are also options for having unique backs on each card, and a cheaper option of having 40 Top Trump style cards if you just need simple numeric parameters. My card deck cost £15.99, not bad.

The cards are "Bridge" sized, so marginally smaller than the more common "Poker" sized. The card feels a little thinner than standard cards, but they are coated and shuffle well, and I reckon they'll last at least a couple of years - by which time I'd probably want to update them anyway,

For my first ECW deck I used Hearts and Diamond for the King's Army, and Clubs and Spades for Parliament. King was the CinC, Queen the guns, Jack the Dragoons, and the rest assigned to generic roles of infantry and cavalry, left, centre and right, and first, second and third line. There are enough cards for two in most roles, so one pair of suits was dominated by Edgehill era commanders, and the other pair by Marston Moor/Naseby. I wasn't too precious about who commanded what, I just wanted some suitably contemporary commanders.

For the pictures I tried to source images of the named commanders, OK for key roles, but poor the others. So for the rest I just took a load of photos of my 20mm ECW figures. The two Jokers I made special event cards.

Overall I was really impressed by the result. Delivery was under a week, and I can't wait to play a game with them. A set for Medieval is underway, and then after that Napoleonics.

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