Summary

Alea Tools sent me a sample pack of their magnetic markers for review. I have played with them for several sessions now and I give them a thumbs up.

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Details – Alea Markers in Use

Alea markers have a great feel to them. Smooth surfaces all around and a nice weight. The plastic seems durable, though I haven’t given it the dog chew toy test. :)

In-game they are great to use for status markers, condition trackers, and foe identification. That last one I tried in my most recent session with great success. I use D&D minis and most of them seem to be dark in colour, so it’s hard to pick out what mini anyone is talking about.

“I just hit the bugbear for 10 damage.”

“Which one?”

“The brown one.”

“They’re all brown!”

So, last game I used one Alea marker colour per foe. For example, red skeleton, white skeleton, green skeleton; red zombie, white zombie, green zombie. This worked excellent for tracking each mini separately for movement, damage, conditions, and so on.

The markers are magnetic. They stack well and stick together nicely. We’ve had a few issues when trying to place the markers beside each other though. Sometimes they repel each other.

Awhile ago I picked up a dry-erase magnetic whiteboard from Costco. You can see it pictured below. The markers stick very well to this. In addition, as you can see in the second picture, the markers work through battlemaps placed on the magnetic board as well.

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One idea I haven’t tried is to get a strip of magnetic plastic from a craft store, cut it up into small chunks, and glue the chunks to the bottom of minis. In theory, this should help adhere minis to Alea markers for even more knock-over and bumping resistance. (There’s always that player every game who bumps the table big-time, right?) In addition, such magnetized minis would work well with the magnetic whiteboard too, methinks.

If you have tried this with the magnetic strip, leave a comment below to let me know how it went.

As far as pure utility, the Alea markers are great. We also use bottle caps, bingo chips, and poker chips for the same purposes and they work just as well too. Alea markers have a nice form factor and have magnetic super powers going for them, so I’ll leave it to you to decide their utility for your games.

Thanks to Craig at Alea Tools for the chance to review these gamemaster aids.

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