** IMPORTANT Everyone who orders a set will get one whether this Kickstarter funds or not. The sets are made and are ready to ship! Please see FAQ and read below for more information. **
Do you hate dealing with cardboard money in your games? Does counting flimsy paper currency that is hard to handle slow down your gaming? Tired of using dice, stray meeples, bits of games or anything else that you can scrabble up for markers in a board, card or miniatures game? Do you have a great set of poker chips that you bought to use for issues like these but it is so bulky or heavy that you don’t even like to take it off of the game shelf? Are you frustrated that a quality metal coin set which even partially meets your needs costs $200 and up - and you need a new one for each game?
These coins are anodized aluminum. Anodizing is chemical process that adds a color to a metal surface. This creates an attractive shiny color coating.
Each coin is 25mm in diameter, 2.5mm thick and weighs 5gm. This is almost the same size and weight of a US quarter but about twice as thick. Each coin is two sided so it can be in an activated/unactivated state.
This coins set comes in a hard shell case with tough fabric over the shell. There are 2 zippers to keep the case closed. The case will hold 420 coins if completely filled. There is a zipper pouch in the cover for storage.
- Power grid: beautiful components, miserably cheap plastic coin- Travel ON! coins better to use, more denominations, easy to read coin denominations and easy to hold hidden cash in hand.
- Puerto Rico: hard to pick up cardboard coins
- A Few Acres of Snow: cheap plastic coins that are hard to pick up generic plastic, the coins are much better, especially with using the 2 denomination coins .
- Acquire: still hate handing out paper money even after a zillion yrs of playing
- Brass: Lancashire: Big clumsy cardboard money in a few odd denominations, coins much easier and more convenient to use.
- Dinosaur Island: great dinos, need to clone good cash markers (note: deluxe set has elegant coins but they are heavy to hold and not easily transferable to another game).
- Isle of Skye: holding cardboard money in sweaty palms degrades it quickly. Nice same size, easy to pick up coins much more convenient.
- Jambo: Played Jambo using the Travel Coin Set. Jambo has ok money and markers but coins enhance the game as it there are more coin values, especially adding the 2 and 10 values. Plus it is easier to see who is winning and where you are in the game. The case kept the money neatly. We also used coins to mark turn as they were less likely to get mixed up as you can see below.
- Magic the Gathering: there are blue, red, green, white and black coins in the set that can be used as markers or lives. The double sided coin coin shows tapped/untapped side.
- D&D markers: Coins come in gold, silver and platinum (white) for campaign cash. The 25mm diameter fits on typical D&D map square for marking lives or movement.
- 18xx game money: Lots of money manipulation. It is easier to count and hand out coins. These are much lighter and easier to transport than poker chips.
- Networks: only 2 denominations of small square money - coins easier to use plus more denominations make money changing much easier
- Pioneers: ugly cardboard.
- RR connect the dots: Iron Dragon, Eurorail, Martian Rails etc; awful paper money. Using coins avoids wasting valuable game time fumbling paper. Plus it is easy to keep coins hidden in hand to keep cash private.
- Spyrium: classic bad cardboard money in only 1 and 10s, same tiny size, coins way easier and more convenient
- Gloomhaven: skip the damage and experience wheels that turn with even a slight bump - use coin markers instead, The coins look neater on the map when dropped by monsters.
- Transatlantic: coins beat paper money (see connect the dots RR games above)
- Yamatai: more cardboard money but with holes in the center. Coins easy to handle.
- Miniatures: these coins can mark distance by placing a line rather than using an awkward ruler since they are 25mm in diameter (a hair less than 1 inch). They can also be damage or other token markers. Note also that they can mark movement points (the blue in the second picture).
You can choose the coin denominations in the 60, 120 and 180 sets for an extra $5. These coins will all be from the second production run.
First Production Run Sets
These are the GenCon Refugee Elite 240 coin sets. They were planned for sale at GenCon but the cases did not arrive in time. These sets will ship within about a month of the end of the Kickstart campaign (based on how quickly Kickstarter sends me the backer information). They are priced $11 cheaper than the 2nd production sets because some of the coin denominations have a color variation when viewed on the edge. It will be corrected in the second production run but backers can get these sets at a discount now due to this and also get immediate shipping. These are not customizable.
The GenCon Refugee Elite 240 coin set is pictured below left with an example of the storage space and foam inserts in the set pictured below right.
Pictures of the GenCon Refugee sets and coins awaiting a trip to a new home:
Second Production Run Sets
The second production run coins and cases will be ordered and produced after the end of the campaign (See estimated shipping date below). This will include all sets and stretch goal coins other than the GenCon Refugee Elite sets.
The Mini 60 coin set is for the gamer who craves lots of storage but just needs coins for markers, lives or measuring. It contains 10 coins of each of the following denomination: 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 .
For an additional $5 backers can order the Mini Me 60 coin set. Backers choose which 60 coins are included in the case. I will send an email after the end of the campaign to see what coins the backer wants included.
The Magic 120 coin set will have the following coin denominations: 1 (30 white coins) 2 (25 blue coins) 5 (25 green coins) 10 (20 red coins) 25 (20 black coins) plus the case.
For an additional $5, you can Make Your Own Magic by choosing which 120 coin denomination and numbers you want included in the case. I will send an email after the end of the campaign to see what coins the backer wants included.
The Dungeon Delver 180 coin set will have the following coin denominations: 1 (30 white coins) 2 (30 blue coins) 5 (30 green coins) 10 (25 red coins) 25 (25 black coins) 50 (20 silver coins) 100 (20 gold coins) plus the case.
For an additional $5, you can choose The Dungeon Master 180 coin set which allows backers to choose which 180 coin denomination and numbers of each you want included in the case. I will send an email after the end of the campaign to see what coins the backer wants included.
The Elite 240 coin set will have the following coin denominations: 1 (30 white coins) 2 (30 blue coins) 5 (30 green coins) 10 (25 red coins) 25 (25 black coins) 50 (20 silver coins) 100 (20 gold coins) 500 (20 brown coins) 1000 (20 yellow coins) 5000 (20 maroon coins) plus the case. This is the same set as the GenCon Refugee Set pictured above.
There is no customization option for the 240 coin set.
The Executive Elite 300 coin set will have the following coin denominations: 1 (40 white coins) 2 (40 blue coins) 5 (40 green coins) 10 (30 red coins) 25 (30 black coins) 50 (25 silver coins) 100 (25 gold coins) 500 (25 brown coins) 1000 (25 yellow coins) 5000 (20 maroon coins) plus the case.
There is no customization option for the 300 coin set.
The CEO Elite 350 coin set will have the following coin denominations: 1 (45 white coins) 2 (45 blue coins) 5 (45 green coins) 10 (35 red coins) 25 (35 black coins) 50 (30 silver coins) 100 (30 gold coins) 500 (30 brown coins) 1000 (30 yellow coins) 5000 (25 maroon coins) plus the case.
There is no customization option for the 350 coin set.
1st Stretch Goal: $50,000 Each backer who spent $40 or more will receive an extra 5 white (1 denomination) coins from the second production run. This reward will be shipped at no cost to purchasers of the GenCon Refugee Elite 240 coin sets.
2nd Stretch Goal: $100,000 Each backer who spent $40 or more will receive an extra 5 Blue (2 denomination) coins from the second production run. This reward will be shipped at no cost to purchasers of the GenCon Refugee Elite 240 coin sets.
3rd Stretch Goal: $150,000 Each backer who spent $40 or more will receive an extra 5 Green (5 denomination) coins from the second production run. This reward will be shipped at no cost to purchasers of the GenCon Refugee Elite 240 coin sets.
4th Stretch Goal: $200,000 Each backer who spent $40 or more will receive an extra 5 Red (10 denomination) coins from the second production run. This reward will be shipped at no cost to purchasers of the GenCon Refugee Elite 240 coin sets.
The GenCon Refugee 240 coin elite sets will ship approximately 1 month after the end of the Kickstarter campaign.
The second production run will take at least 3 months after the end of the Kickstarter Campaign to produce the coins and boxes. I would estimate shipping would start about 4 months after the campaign ends.
I will post updates on www.dercoinmeister.com weekly. I will also post updates here at least every 3 weeks. All cases will be shipped USPS priority. All shipping costs are extra.
Shipping costs are brutal - especially to Canada and anywhere else outside the US. I will try to find cheaper ways to ship for the second production run. I don't know if there are any quick fixes for the GenCon Refugee sets. Any suggestions are welcome!
This is a one time Kickstarter project. It is intended to fill a void in gaming accessories. I am not interested in starting a new company that makes gaming accessories. I have already started and ran a company for over 20yrs and am not looking to do that again. I don’t see there being enough demand to ever do this again through Kickstarter.
Once the Kickstarter campaign is completed, all remaining stock will be available through the website at the MSRP of $5 higher per set than quoted here while quantities last. Individual 10 coin packets MAY be available if you are looking to add a few coins to your set. This depends on how much overstock is left after the backer orders are filled. Reordering is expensive, especially as the manufacturers demand a minimum order quantity. If there is enough demand to make reordering cost effective, I will make extra sets and individual coin packets available through the web site: www.dercoinmeister.com.
I have been a gamer all my life and maybe longer. I was the person who always wanted to play one more hand of cards or play one more turn or one more game. This interest took a bounding leap forward when I discovered a copy of Avalon Hill’s Gettysburg at my Civil War buff (but non game playing) uncle’s house. I avidly played war games in high school when we anxiously awaited the latest Avalon Hill releases and played them endlessly (yes, I know - dated again). My fascination with games fluctuated somewhat after high school due to distractions such as college, marriage, family and career — plus admitting that playing games was the height of “dweebity” (i.e. not for “normal people”).
Life took an abrupt right angle turn when I discovered responsible citizens who seemed normal in every respect … except they liked playing board games! This changed my leisure time activities, friendships and spending habits dramatically.
In 1982 I decided to spend a day at GenCon just see what it was like and have not missed another one since that fateful day. I was there when Settlers of Catan and Magic were first introduced. Of course, I initially ignored both. I later found issue #1 of Counter in a London Game store (gamer OCD: you consider game stores a prime tourist attraction when visiting a new city or country) and promptly subscribed. Since no one was writing about the games I saw at GenCon, I began sending convention reports and reviews to the magazine, for over 10 years. You can find me hanging around game stores, at cons (GenCon, Origins, Geekway) or generally finding ways to spend less time working and more time gaming. In my other life, I am married, have a family, am a depressed Illini and Bear football fan, grow Bonsai, teach Martial Arts, still work part time instead of retiring to support my gaming habit and am continuously still trying to learn German 50 years after my first course in College. I am getting closer though - jawohl!
Being a dedicated gamer, I like my good gaming bits. Not being able to purchase a quality, portable coin set irritated me for a long time. The one area where game manufacturers seem to skimp on production values is for the money or markers. Shuffling bits of paper or cardboard for payouts or marking often interferes with good gaming. Good quality coins in one game aren’t useable for other games. Metal coins are extremely expensive and rarely are usable for more than one game. Besides, how do you carry them around? I don't want to carry around a heavy sack of metal and sort them every time I play. I might as well just carry around a massive case of poker chips - it"s miserable but they at least come in a case.
I have tried substitutes for what manufacturers provide in the game. This hasn’t worked out well. An affordable, portable, quality, attractive set of coins that are versatile enough to use In variety of games simply wasn’t available.
After complaining often that someone should create this type of coin set, I started thinking about how to make the coin set I would like. The first question I had to answer was: why hasn't anyone done this? This started a long process of investigation, learning and discussion about what it would take to produce a quality, affordable set of gaming coins. The answer ultimately turned out to be that it would quite hard and required some significant changes from the standard thinking about the how coins are designed, minted and used while keeping portability and still make the sets affordable.
The conventional wisdom (as expressed to loudly and forcefully by a number of people) on coins seemed to be that they should be nickel or brass, be multiple sizes, multiple widths, have ornate (overly ornate to my eye) designs and are focused on one type of gaming: fantasy, pirate or limited to a single game sets of a few denominations. In addition, metal coins are quite expensive, usually about $1+ per coin. Gamers are looking at a $200+ cost to even get a minimum variety of coins for more than 1 game.
The only other options are poker chip sets, card money or cardboard. These are cheaper but have multiple issues. Some injection molded coins are available without any numbers. The small size is an issue and they have been plagued with quality issues. Poker chips are heavy, bulky and really not useful for anything except substitute game money, IF you even want to try hauling around a very heavy case.
I originally looked at injection molded plastic. This is how poker chips are made. However they don't look as good and they tend to be very light, so they don't have the nice feel. Making another set of the same type of metal coins that were another variation of what was already available was a waste of time.
I was the opinion this was an insoluble problem - that's why no one was making a set I wanted. Then I started looking at Mardi Gras coins. They are made of aluminum so they are light. Anodizing gives them an attractive look and feel. A simple two sided designs would make them much more versatile and minting them all the same size would allow keeping them in a nice case. And they were less expensive to make than nickel or brass coins.
These fit the look good, feel good, portable criteria but they needed to be smaller and thicker. Finding a supplier who would make meet these criteria turned out to be a major challenge. Asking for 10 different colors turned out to be a novel request. They all wanted to make pastel colors which look good for some colors but not for others. White or yellow was not even a consideration After looking at multiple test coin sets, I finally found a mint would make the coins to my specifications. The other thing I found was that not all anodizing yields the same result. Some anodizing doesn't adhere as well so the color scratches and wears quickly. The mint I finally chose made coins with a very tough surface that won't wear easily and is hard to scratch. They were the only ones who would make true colors rather than all pastels.
I really wanted the sets to come in a good case. There are a lot of manufacturers who make injection molded plastic cases but to get the insert foam cut, get zippers and the additional storage on the top at a reasonable price was a challenge. This wasn't quite as hard the coins but it again required a lot of searching and begging for test cases. (Manufacturers want a minimum order quantity for custom orders), I finally found a manufacturer who would make the cases the way I specified. As a bonus, the case had a tough fabric cover which looks nicer, will wear well and won't scratch surfaces.
One other component of Quality is that the coin sets should have a high value. For me, value means getting a lot of use from the set. It should be versatile and easy to use. It isn’t enough to look good, be durable and feel good in your hand. I have an excellent set of poker chips that fills all these criteria but I never use them. The set is so heavy and unwieldy that I rarely even want to take it off the shelf. Hauling it out of the house to game is a non starter. If you aren’t using the the coin set it is has a low value and ultimately is a waste of money. I put together a list of potential game uses for the Gamer ON! coins above. The Game On! Travel Coin set will be a high value for backers.
The whole project finally all came together as the coins and sets shown above. Each set is light enough to carry easily. You can pop it into a bag or backpack to carry with your games. There is room in the case to carry other coins or gaming accessories. The coins look and feel good in the hand. They have a very durable surface. This is made the way I wanted a quality set to be.
As far as affordability, I planned to offer a budget set. But when I saw the coins for this elite set compared to the other samples I was considering, I was impressed with the beauty and workmanship. The elite coins are superior in color, anodizing, weight and appearance to all the other coins options I considered. The color differences are because the mints cannot all anodize the same way. The elite coin manufacturer was the only one who could provide a white coin, for example. Plus the cheaper coins scratched more easily or the anodizing wore through to the metal with just routine use. This quality all comes at a higher price but they are still cheaper, more versatile and a higher value than the other coin options.
I decided to bite the bullet and offer the best quality coins rather than a cheaper set that wasn’t as durable or attractive. As a wise man once told me: “You only cry once when you buy quality.” This is the coin set I always wanted to buy.
Risks and challenges
The coin development is done. The GenCon Refugee 240 Coin elite sets are available and ready to be shipped. The second production run coins just need to be ordered and produced. It is possible that an all out trade war between the US and China could affect production although these coins don't fall into the category of products that will be taxed. Other than that, if there are production issues, I will notify the backers but the mint I am using has been very committed to quality and good service so that seems unlikely also.
The time frame for the second production run is minting and anodizing the coins, which takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Having them shipped surface takes about 6 weeks. Assembly and fulfillment will take about a month. They should start shipping about 4 months after the end of the campaign. Any delays in the above timeline will slow down shipping but, hey, it could all run faster also.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)