Unbelievably Quirky Tabletop Game Components

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Coming from a miniature gaming background, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for games with detailed, interesting, and intricate components. Miniatures that are cool props that are fun to paint and make the experience more immersive, which, along with beautiful artwork, are some of the components that I look for when choosing a new game.

With that said, some games just have inexplicable components. Here are four, and why they leave me scratching my head.


Photo Credit: Mayfair Games

Settlers of Catan is an iconic game, and Starfarers is to Settlers what Smallworld Underground is to the original; a game that improves and streamlines the rules of the original in many ways. Looking at the components alone let’s just be straight: Freud would have had a field day.  It’s hard not to think that Ze Frank should have included this game set in the video for “ A Song for Freud“.

Photo Credit: Mayfair Games

All things considered, the components are relatively benign when left sitting in the box, rather than standing upright. And yes, I’ll admit sometimes I blushed when I would upgrade my ship’s weapons and had to represent them with what are obviously blue guns on the top of my ship. Or when upgrading my engines and clipped what are obviously yellow engine boosters to the bottom of my rocket ship.

But movement in the game is dictated by random colored balls that would be displayed at the bottom of the rocket ship, which you had to shake before letting them settle and reveal your ship’s movement distanceIt’s rather reminiscent of a Magic 8 Ball, except for the fact that it’s shaped like rocket and you shake it like a Shake Weight.

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Rod Herrra Used Under CC License 2.0

At least you’ll have lovely biceps.


Photo Credit: Wizkids

 I am a huge Star Trek Fan. I and  many others at Geek and Sundry have played and enjoyed Star Trek Attack Wing. I love it in spite of its many flaws, like the baby blue Enterprise-D in the starter set that needs to be repainted or the scale issues of the game’s models as the USS Defiant is the same size as a Klingon Negh’Var class ship. Scale is the least of the game’s concerns given that they released this ship that is bigger than my head:

Photo Credit: Teri Litorco

Add to that the $99 price tag (making a single ship expansion cost more than the starter set) and this particular component earns its spot on the fact that its completely and utterly impractical to transport or use for gaming because it’s substantially large.

If you took the bottom off of it, you could easily store all of the game’s available ships and components inside of it, and have room to spare.

All that said, I’ll still admit I own one because it’s a cool model.


 Photo Credit: Games Workshop

Age of Sigmar is Games Workshop’s reboot of it’s biggest fantasy game, Warhammer Fantasy Battles. When they rebooted the game, they also created a number of gaming accessories, as combat engagement distances changed along with the change in shape of the model bases.

 Photo Credit: Games Workshop

Ultimately, the AoS Combat Guage is a 3″ ruler, that also can measure 2″, 1″ and 1/2″.  Depending on where you are in the world, this ruler will set you back about $33 US.  It also comes with a leather strap so you can wear it around your neck, in case you need to measure 3″ somewhere else in your day-to-day non-wargaming life.

I’m a huge advocate for players spending their hobby dollars on miniatures and models rather than tools they can get at the dollar store, and unless you’re specifically buying this gauge to wear around your neck, your hobby dollars are probably better spent elsewhere.


Photo Credit: Artisan Dice 

They’re dice made from an animal that no longer roams the earth. And let’s be honest: bone and ivory isn’t exactly a consistent product in terms of density, given that it is an organic material. Yes, it’s darn cool, but I’ll admit I’d feel pretty grumpy if I found out the 20 face was carved on the heaviest side of my dice, especially if I’m spending $240 on each one.

What do you think of our list? Are there any other game components you feel are similarly quirky or impractical? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image Credit: Mayfair Games

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