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Subject: A question about the boards in various tube versions of Pente rss

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Justin Case
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I recently rescued an old "tube" version of Pente, made by Decipher, which has never been played (the stones are still sealed in plastic bags). The problem I have is that the board is a fairly stiff vinyl that doesn't want to quickly relax and lie flat on the table.

I'm not talking simply about the fact that it has been rolled up for so long. I'm a huge fan of vinyl take-along boards and have them in various sizes for a lot of games -- my tournament chess sets, go, xiangqi, International Checkers -- and all of those boards are a lot more "floppy" than this Pente board, which just has a thicker and less flexible feel to it.

What I'm wondering about, and hope someone can help with the answer, is the roll-up boards in other versions of Pente. Are any of them made of a nice loose and floppy vinyl that will easily lie flat, maybe with only a quick roll in the opposite direction before you put it on the table? If you have or are familiar with more than one version of roll-up board, is there any difference between them?

I do think that I got a great deal spending only $1.99 on this set, I just wish the board would lay out flat and smooth on the table without any hassle or fuss.

meeple
 
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Chris Halaska
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Eugene
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Hmm, I've never had that problem, nor come across the "stiff" version you found. I've found 5 or 6 different copies of Pente in tubes (plus more in boxes), and they have included different versions (black vs. red tube, different colors of stones, different copyright years). All have had the floppy vinyl board you mention.

I guess you'll just have to keep hitting the thrift stores & yard sales until you find one with the floppy board, then keep the stones from the stiff one & chuck the rest!

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W M Shubert
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My guess is that your pente board used to be floppier, but with age the vinyl has stiffened up. A lot of soft plastics become harder as they get older; eventually they also become brittle.

My recommendation would be to find a vinyl go board that matches the size the pente beads require and use that. I think the decipher boards were smaller than the 19×19 size that is standard for go, but a bigger board will work just fine for pente.
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Justin Case
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x2fer wrote:
I've found 5 or 6 different copies of Pente in tubes (plus more in boxes), and they have included different versions (black vs. red tube, different colors of stones, different copyright years). All have had the floppy vinyl board you mention.

That's interesting.... perhaps one reason the Decipher sets apparently weren't real popular? But that is good to know, too -- I'd hate to think I'm on a hunt for something that doesn't exist!


x2fer wrote:
I guess you'll just have to keep hitting the thrift stores & yard sales until you find one with the floppy board, then keep the stones from the stiff one & chuck the rest!

That's amusing for a reason you don't (yet) know! The set came with yellow and green stones, which pleased me because I have several sets of red and yellow stones, but no green ones, and fortunately I will get to keep those. But the yellow stones are the biggest dang Pente stones I ever saw! They're just all out of proportion to the green ones; I wouldn't even think they were really part of the original set, except that they are in a bag identical to the bag the green ones are in. So apparently Decipher had some quality control problems throughout.


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Justin Case
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wmshub wrote:
My guess is that your pente board used to be floppier, but with age the vinyl has stiffened up.

I'm all but certain that's not the problem; some of my other vinyl boards are a older by a full decade and show not the first sign of decreased floppability. This board is more like the cheap roll-up boards I've seen so often at chess tournaments, boards that just will not lie flat and smooth. They're quite aggravating sometimes.


wmshub wrote:
My recommendation would be to find a vinyl go board that matches the size the pente beads require and use that. I think the decipher boards were smaller than the 19×19 size that is standard for go, but a bigger board will work just fine for pente.

Size isn't the problem, 19x19 is the size of standard Pente boards as well, but I would just kinda sorta like to have a genuine Pente board if I could find a floppy one.

As an aside, I have my eye on a nifty little 9x9 vinyl goban from a place in England that I'm thinking of buying, since I haven't seen one that size on these shores.

meeple
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W M Shubert
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Gambiteer wrote:
Size isn't the problem, 19x19 is the size of standard Pente boards as well, but I would just kinda sorta like to have a genuine Pente board if I could find a floppy one.
Oh that's right. I was thinking of gomoku maybe? I know that I had a set of one of those 5-in-a-row games and I noticed that its board was 15×15.

Quote:
As an aside, I have my eye on a nifty little 9x9 vinyl goban from a place in England that I'm thinking of buying, since I haven't seen one that size on these shores.
Probably not what you want, but I just have a .pdf file with a 9x9 go board on it. Whenever I need one, I print up a copy; it lays flat and can even be folded. A standard 8½×11 sheet of paper is the perfect size for a 9×9 go board.
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Justin Case
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I just found a photo of one of the non-floppy boards!!

It's on eBay though, and there's no way I'll be able to get permission to use the photo and then pass it through the approval process here before this discussion goes totally cold, so here's the listing link for now:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370665902888

I suppose I'll need to come back here and delete the link when it dies completely, but that's okay....

But look how the board edges curl up even with the weight of the stone bags on them! That's a little exaggerated, probably because they surely just took the board out of the tube only minutes before making the photo, but that's what I have here.

As soon as I thrift a floppy-board set I'll be looking to sell the one I have now, so don't be shy, speak up loud and clear if you want it!

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Justin Case
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wmshub wrote:
Probably not what you want, but I just have a .pdf file with a 9x9 go board on it. Whenever I need one, I print up a copy; it lays flat and can even be folded.


Thanks, but I have acres of printable boards and games and such in my archives, including things that have long disappeared from the interweb, but I look on those as my backup resources. For me, part of the pleasure of playing good games is having nice equipment, and I really enjoy having nice vinyl boards for my traveling games when possible.

All I need now is roll-up boards for Afrika Korps and Napoleon at Waterloo, and I'll be one happy gamer!

meeple
 
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