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Tips for Assembling Your Print & Play Games

It's no wonder that Print & Plays are getting increasingly popular - whether you're play-testing your own games, checking out a game that you're thinking of buying, or just love playing with scissors, they're often a great addition to your library.

However, sometimes they don't turn out quite as spiffy as you'd like. Or they disintegrate after the third or fourth game. Or you think it will take you ten minutes to put together, until - two hours later - you're still going.

Nobody wants that.

To help you get the most out of your Print & Plays, we've rounded up the Slinky Gibbon dev team and interrogated them for their top tips on putting these games together.

1. Guillotines!

(And no, we're not advocating that you instigate another French revolution.) Save yourself sometime and maintain a more professional look by swapping the scissors out for a guillotine whenever you have sheets of cards to cut out.

You can also seriously speed up the process up by slicing multiple pages at once, however if you prefer a more accurate result, slice pages individually, as stacking multiple pages will usually result in some alignment slip even after fastidiously stacking the pages.

2. Print single sided!

No matter how skilfully the designer may lay out the pages, most home and commercial printers won't have perfect front and back alignment. By printing single sided, you can slice the outside borders of the cards before pairing the front and backs - giving you truly reliable perfect alignment (pending your paper stacking skills).

2. Card sleeves are your new best friend

Sometimes printing on thick card-stock is not an option, and gluing paper together can result in a sticky mess. Another solution is to slice card front and backs individually and then sleeve them. This is particularly useful if you're creating your own prototypes or if you're playing a beta test prototype, as you only have to swap out one side of the card if it gets updated.

3. Reuse your old trading cards

Flimsy cards can be less than satisfactory to handle, and one of the easiest solutions is to slide collectable cards in between the front and backs of your print and play cards - particularly when using the sleeving suggestion above. Many people may already have some of these lying around - although if you don't, second-hand collectable cards can be even cheaper per card than buying a deck of cards from the dollar store. For me, the cheapest TCG per card is Magic: The Gathering, although Pokemon are pretty easy to come by as well.

4. Swap the glue for spray adhesive

Printing out a sheet of tokens and sticking them to a piece of cardboard seems simple... in theory. In reality, glue sticks just aren't sticky enough, and liquid glue leaves the paper bubbling and distorted.

Spray adhesive can be found pretty cheaply at most craft and hardware stores - use it to bond your sheet of tokens to your card before cutting it out, and you'll have sturdy tokens that are sure to last.

5. Foam Board

Got tiles in your game? Foam board is perfect for game boards, tiles, and other more structured components. (You'll want to break out the spray adhesive again here). Foam is also incredibly lightweight, making it easier to cart around.

Ready to give it a go? Grab our free print and play of Herding Cats (with Goblins)!

Got any more tips? Leave them in the comments below!

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