Here at Geek & Sundry, we love tabletop games! We do all sorts of game overviews, create how-to-play videos for boardgames, and our tabletop game show, Game the Game, will soon be returning to the airwaves. Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to explore the awesomeness that is the world of tabletop.
Yes, I know I said that all you need to play a game is the components and the floor, but sometimes it’s fun to get fancy. There are a lot of accessories out there that can elevate your night in multiple ways. From storage solutions to the actual table you play on, here are some of my favorite tabletop upgrades. These recommendations are all based on personal experiences with the products. With the exception of one of them (see if you can guess) I’ve bought or played with all of these things and can personally vouch for how great they are.
For RPG players, nothing is more important than your dice. Whether you roll little pieces of plastic or dice made out of mammoth tusks, these little beauties determine the fates of heroes and villains day in and night out. Which is why it’s so important to keep them happy. Sure you could throw them in a backpack and blow the lint off of them before you roll, but do you really want to trust your mission or your life with something that didn’t get a good night sleep? I barely operate at full capacity on a good day and I sleep on a mattress, not in a small plastic box crammed next to 6 or 7 of my friends. Dice vaults from Wyrmwood are the perfect way to ensure that your dice stay safe and sound, tucked into a bed of solid wood. I’m not saying that this will help you roll more 20s, but I am saying it won’t hurt.
Sure, you can play your games with the nice cardboard tokens that come in them. There’s nothing wrong with that and most of us do, but sometimes you want a little bit more. Stonemaier Games is probably more famous for their phenomenal library of games like Viticulture or Scythe, but they also sell a whole suite of fancy component sets called Treasure Chests.
There are three sets in all, featuring everything from little bundles of grain to small containers of uranium. Not only do they add a colorful visual punch to your table, they’re have a satisfying and hefty weight. Stonemaier also sells a couple different types of metal coins. What I like about coins is that they’re multipurpose. The same coins that you use in a board game can be used as counters in a game of Magic or as props for your cosplay. There’s something about the sound of clinking coins that I found satisfying whether I’m negotiating a deal in a board game or talking to my players as a Tavern NPC in a role playing game. If these aren’t your style, Fantasy Coins also sells a wide range of metal coins in a multitude of styles. When someone finds your 5,000 year old board game collection don’t you want them to know you gamed in style?
Board Game Inserts
If you’re looking for a more functional upgrade, why not indulge in a board game insert from Broken Token? I know that might sound a little silly, but these inserts are borderline must-haves for some games. All of Broken Token’s inserts are designed to store everything a game comes with – and often the expansions – in the original box, and sort components into little bins and compartments. For example, I have all of Suburbia’s expansions stored in a Broken Token insert; tiles are organized for easy set up, and the coin container can be passed around the table while playing. They cut setup and breakdown time in half, leaving you more time to actually play your games. Just look at this organizer for Gloomhaven. We love this game here at Geek & Sundry but storing this monster is daunting. Not so with this insert, and since it makes it easier to set up we can dive in and play more often!
Surely by now you’ve all checked out our Painter’s Guild show or followed along with some of Teri’s amazing articles? Painting miniatures is both a lot of fun and a great way to upgrade your gaming experience with your own hands. However, organizing all of those paints can quickly get out of hand. While there are a number of custom-made options out there – check out Broken Token’s while you’re shopping for inserts – a simple nail polish organizer works great! I picked one up over the holidays and now my painting table looks a little bit better than my toddler’s craft bin. Just like the organizers, this actually makes painting easier by cutting down the time I take doing stuff that isn’t putting paint on a miniature.
The Ultimate Table
Forget raindrops on roses. My favorite things are sunken game vaults, speed cloth game surfaces, dedicated dice bins, and chit holders. The ultimate in tabletop upgrades is a dedicated board gaming table. Bandpass Design is a new furniture company whose first table – The Dresden – represents an aesthetic departure from the norm. With various style packages and a removable top, Bandpass wants to ensure your table matches your home as well as it supports game night. The sunken play area ensures your dice don’t go flying and built-in cup holders protect your games from your more boisterous friends. When you aren’t gaming (or maybe if you need a break) you can put the top right back on and use it as, well, a table. It’s not only board game night they want to upgrade; I interviewed them recently and they revealed their plans to create entertainment centers for video game geeks, desks and workstations for the modern digital world, and more.
Want more tabletop goodness?
- Check out Azul for a game as gorgeous as a board game table.
- Treat yourself to a new set of dice for your dice vault with these Critical Role Dice.
- Celebrate the tactile joy of board gaming with these dexterity games.
Featured Image Credits: Bandpass Design
Image Credits: Wyrmwood, Stonemaier Games, Broken Token, Raf Cordero, Bandpass Design
In addition to Geek & Sundry, Raf Cordero writes for Miniature Market’s The Review Corner and co-hosts the gaming podcast Ding & Dent. Chat with him on Twitter @captainraffi.