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| | |-+  Making my own unit cards - advice sought.
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Author Topic: Making my own unit cards - advice sought.  (Read 703 times)
steve_holmes_11
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« on: 09 January 2019, 11:42:35 AM »

Plenty of these new-fangled skirmish games provide unit cards.
Playing card, or pokemon card size, whihc have all the units stats and special rules on them.

I can see various advantages over the traditional roster sheet.
 * Smaller bits of "clutter" that don't want a hill-sized portion of the table.
 * Able to manipulate the relevant card for just the active unit.
 * Can pair up unit and general cards for rules that allow that sort of thing.

I've had a go at creating some of my own, a lot of effort, and the results are not that impressive.

I don't think I'm short of kit.
 * Computer, laser printer and peper or 80 or 120g/m^2 card.
 * Using Microsoft Word, one card par page.
 * Printing using the 4 sheets per page setting.

Problems are:
 * Tricky to proof-read and ensure consistency at one card per page.
 * Something odd going on with margins - text isn't in the middle of the page when prints are chopped into A6 size.
 * Layout is manual and demanding - Word has a mind of its own regarding line and page breaks, despite how it looks on screen.


So enough grumbling.
Has anybody else done this?
Is there a better (inexpensive - preferably free) tool for the typesetting bit?
Am I missing a whole wonderful world of Word functions that would make life easier?

Thanks
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fred.
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« Reply #1 on: 09 January 2019, 01:05:36 PM »

There are some websites that can help with the layout and design. I think the best one I saw was intended for magic the gathering, but the cards could be setup for any game
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Raider4
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« Reply #2 on: 09 January 2019, 06:04:42 PM »


 * Using Microsoft Word


Urgh! This is where you're going wrong. On the rare occasion I'm forced to use Word I seem to spend a quarter of the time writing and the rest forcing the stupid thing to format it the way I want. And this is version 2010. I'm sure later versions are even worse.

You need a proper DTP program. Serif used to offer a Starter Edition version of PagePlus free, but this appears to have disappeared from their website.

If you have Office, you might have Microsoft Publisher. Not used it myself. Don't know if there are any others available?

Alternatively, my daughter does this sort of thing within Powerpoint, and seems to produce some stunning results.

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Orcs
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« Reply #3 on: 09 January 2019, 07:33:39 PM »

Free Page plus is on the URL below.

I bought page plus when it was Page Plus 1 20 odd years ago. I have upgraded several times and think is a good program


https://download.cnet.com/Serif-PagePlus-Starter-Edition/3000-6675_4-75547685.html
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GrumpyOldMan
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I'm all ears!!


« Reply #4 on: 09 January 2019, 11:28:58 PM »

Hello Steve

A number of programs available for designing and printing game cards:-

Magic Set Editor - https://magicseteditor.boards.net/

CCGMaker - website sadly defunct but still available through Web Archive - https://web.archive.org/web/20160111140055/http://ccgmaker.com/, downloads available through the Freewebs links.

godeckyourself (haven't tried this one) - http://www.godeckyourself.com/home.seam

Resources for card makers/gamers - https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/991506/resources-card-game-makers

Cheers

GrumpyOldMan
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #5 on: 10 January 2019, 12:38:07 AM »

I use Magic Set Editor like the GOM above. You can print off yourself, or I have set them to ArtsCow.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDeAiGo

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjMpMpEv

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDFtnrf

As you can see I can colour code background to army, or the border to the action etc.

I really like designing cards!
« Last Edit: 10 January 2019, 12:41:52 AM by Last Hussar » Logged

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steve_holmes_11
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« Reply #6 on: 10 January 2019, 04:57:15 PM »

Wow, great responses and thanks to you all.

Google found me a product called NanDeck.
It uses a powerful scripting language and has integration to haul data from an Excel sheet.
It looks powerful and flexible, but gaining competence in the language looks like the work of a week or more.
To his credit, the author seems quite responsive and has posted a few video tutorials.

http://www.nand.it/nandeck/


In the meantime I'm finding that PowerPoint gives me most of what I need.
Tables to provide a regular format.
Ease of poking the text in and polishing it up a bit.
Simplicity itself to clone a page and adjust it for the next card.
Also supports 2 x 2 printing.

Fewer features than Word, which is a good thing in this case.
No more of that "edit one word and see your document destroyed by the word-wrap avalanche of doom".
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #7 on: 10 January 2019, 06:13:30 PM »

Programming language to learn.

You've caught me.
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steve_holmes_11
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« Reply #8 on: 12 January 2019, 04:22:33 PM »

Programming language to learn.

You've caught me.

I'm not clear whether that's a positive or a negative.

For me it became a negative after I'd spent an hour poring over the manual and failed to find a couple of things I was looking for.

Were I a professional game designer, and using this on a regular basis, I'd consider investing a week of my time to reap the benefits of automation.
As a very occasional user, I'm happy to type it all in to powerpoint.
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #9 on: 13 January 2019, 02:18:44 AM »

Try magic set editor recommended above.  Its really easy
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DHautpol
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« Reply #10 on: 23 January 2019, 04:36:05 PM »

I've made my own unit cards to use with Victory Without Quarter, which is a card driven rule set.  My armies represent the Western armies of Hopton and Waller.

I bought a couple of packs of blank playing cards from Amazon, the brand Bicycle is a good quality playing card.  I made up the necessary unit and commander cards in PowerPoint and printed them out in Landscape with six slides to the page.  When cut into individual slides they can be attached to the playing cards with a spray-on adhesive; spray the reverse of the slides rather than the face of the cards.

I found a nice parchment effect to use as the background to the slides for each cards and overlaid this with the appropriate flags/cornets. I searched the internet for portraits of the respective commanders and brigadiers and used these for the commander cards; the Royalists were relatively easy to find but I needed to fudge a number of the Parliament commanders as, apart from the really prominent ones, there were no many portraits out there.  There is also a very nice font in PowerPoint called Blackadder ITC, which gives a nice period feel.
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #11 on: 23 January 2019, 06:34:05 PM »

For making my own cards I've just resorted to card sleeves, as used to protect collectable cards, print the card in a word processor or spreadsheet, cut to size, slide printed item and cheapo playing card into the sleeve.

Discover a typo, change your mind as to what the card should say, etc? Print corrected version and replace original bit of paper.
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