They are not the cardboard ones. It was my idea to release them as a set and in the numbers that they are. They are expensive there’s no doubt about it and if you’re having trouble making ends meet then this is not a viable choice for you. For those who can afford it I can tell you that they are a huge upgrade over the cardboard roundels. To purchase enough of them to play a game would be just over $113, but this set is $75. The savings that they show you are based on 16 sets of 10 but realistically you would need 19 sets. Sure, you would get a few more roundels by purchasing 19 sets but you don’t need all of them. By only getting 5 France, 5 China, etc. you lower the price by $18.
I came up with these numbers by playing a number of games and discovered that Japan, for example, needed more than 30 but less than 40 roundels. There might be the odd game where Italy becomes an absolute beast and takes over more than 15 territories but those games would be few and far between. You still have your cardboard roundels if something like that ever happens. My goal was to make up a set that would be somewhat affordable and I appreciate Doug’s efforts to make that possible.