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"Game Card Deck Printing Services Needed--ASAP!" Topic

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Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Dec 2020 2:17 p.m. PST


Ever since TVAG introduced its first Game Card Decks in support of "The Sword And The Flame" and "800 Fighting Englishmen," not to mention the game decks and Graphic Supplements for our wargame rules "John Company," "The Sun Never Sets," "Boilers & Breechloaders," "Rough Riders!," B'hoys," "Gone To See The Elephant," and "The Kris And The Flame," "We Only Kill Each Other," etc, we have relied on a certain printing company for this work.

However, when placing a reprint order for one game title and two game decks, I was informed today that the minimum order for ten each of any book and card deck would at least double. Not only would this be a major hit in and of itself, but would result in the printing of so many more copies of each item, it could take a couple of years to sell them all. This ties up a considerable amount of cash in an insupportably large inventory.

In short, I'm evidently up against it and turn to my fellow retailers and my many loyal customers for help in finding a new source for this work which will still be affordable as a Print on Demand (POD) provider.

I don't imagine the price of paper and ink varies so much, but minimum numbers of items required per printing job, and minimum price per order are the key.

Frankly, the increase in prices from my printers of long standing (from the first published TVAG titles) feels like one of those "Corporate" efforts to chase away small timers in favor of "heavy hitters" who order in far larger amounts.

I hope--I MUST hope!--that there is a competent, reasonable, but still hungry enough service provider out there who would be willing to work with TVAG, and that one or more of you out there can point me towards him.

I'm less concerned about rule books as these can be farmed out (for some loss of profit) to Amazon. But the Graphic Supplements and Game Decks will have to be offered only as PDF's for self printing by the customer, or dropped altogether. Self printing is practical for Cheat Sheets and the like, but large full color maps as required for "The Sun Never Sets," and 52 (and larger) decks of Poker sized, and smaller, cards just don't seem reasonable.

If there any ideas on how to address these issues, please drop me a line at

I promise to respond to everyone, and will post progress here at TMP.

Patrick Wilson,

Thresher0116 Dec 2020 2:50 p.m. PST

I suspect overseas printing may still be cheaper, but there are a lot of stressed businesses in the USA and UK which might give you a deal, if you can find them.

Worth checking, and might help keep someone employed.

Hitman16 Dec 2020 3:08 p.m. PST

Try Pulp Alley and see where they get their cards done. It might be an option.

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2020 3:26 p.m. PST

Maybe these folks? link

Thresher0116 Dec 2020 3:45 p.m. PST

I'd contact several and let them know you are putting it out for a competitive bid.

That might improve their price offers a bit, or not, depending upon the manufacturer.

Personal logo Cardinal Ximenez Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2020 4:20 p.m. PST

Give Ace Twill Printing a call and ask for John Cooper. (908) 665-9706
You can tell him I referred you. He does a lot of printing for me and provides great service for a good number of custom jobs. It's worth a phone call to see if he can provide what you need.

Wolfhag16 Dec 2020 4:46 p.m. PST

Steve Jones at Blue Panther games in SoCal has his own card printing machine and quick turnaround.


Cormac Mac Art16 Dec 2020 5:54 p.m. PST

This website offers 'print on demand' options

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Dec 2020 7:48 p.m. PST

I second wargamevault. They print my card based games, they're reasonable and fast.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2020 9:50 p.m. PST

I'm interested in these questions myself, and am looking for a US-based operation with domestic production.
To those who have used some of the sources listed:
What quality are the cards compared to typical commercially produced game cards? Will they stand up to repeated shuffling and handling?

And if you know:
How many cards can they do in a deck? Is it a set number?
Are the sizes and shapes fixed, or can they do square or round cards?

Wolfhag16 Dec 2020 11:13 p.m. PST

Blue Panther got his card making machine from another commercial company. I've been to his production facility and seen his work. It's pretty good and he's been doing it for 10+ years. As far as I know, he can do any number with rounded or squared-off edges.


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2020 8:04 a.m. PST

I should have been more specific— by square, I mean like 2"x2", 3"x3"— actual squares— and by round I mean actual circles. But thanks for the reply!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Dec 2020 9:17 a.m. PST

WGV does two sizes of poker cards, and at least 3"x3" and 6"x6" squares. No circles on their list. If you had need of a different size, I would bet they could negotiate that with their POD solution partner.

The cards wear and tear equivalent to a pack of bicycle cards from a store. I've never done a regular shuffle, riffle, bridge with the big tiles.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Dec 2020 11:18 a.m. PST

Gentlemen All!

Thank you so much for ideas and contacts! I will check them all and report back to you collectively, if not always individually.

And please, if you come to this thread late, don't assume I have all the contacts necessary! If you have a recommendation, post it here or to me.



Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Dec 2020 12:14 p.m. PST

And just to confirm, I have just now requested that 360 Digital Printing DELETE all of my existing files and confirm the act with a written letter.

That's it! My bridges are burnt, and there's only one direction left to go--forward!


TheStarRanger17 Dec 2020 1:43 p.m. PST

I don't see a mention of The Game Crafter yet. They print cards, counters, boards, boxes and stock game components
so pretty much everything for game prototypes, small-medium runs or print on demand.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2020 1:04 p.m. PST

Okay, The Game Crafter looks very interesting for my purposes. Dean, have you had any experience with the company?

TheStarRanger21 Dec 2020 10:29 a.m. PST

Not directly but I have looked at them quite closely for a couple projects, one of which was a playing cards variation and another for customized dice so I've used their design tools and templates, I just never got to the point of actually ordering a sample quite yet. I've been on their mailing list for some years and they keep on adding accessories and new printed/created items so in my opinion, they have a strong track record and history and they do support conventions and design contests so I don't mind promoting them. If you have any specific questions let me know as I have dug through a bunch of stuff there.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2020 11:21 a.m. PST

Dean, Thanks! Will you still receive private messages via the Starship Combat News forum?

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Dec 2020 11:22 a.m. PST

I'm glad that my original call for help has also benefitted my posters!

Meanwhile, "Mother and I are still collating."


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2020 11:48 a.m. PST

Hey, take advantage of the isolation time however you like!

TheStarRanger22 Dec 2020 8:35 a.m. PST

Parzival, sure or just email me direct at dean (at) star-ranger dot com

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.