Board Game Bling
Now, this isn’t something that I’ve gotten into much yet, but I think it’s interesting to talk about because it’s definitely a part of our growing hobby. Like any growing hobby or popular thing, eventually people create the fancy version of something or some sort of bling for an item. That’s the case in board games very much right now, you can find bling for games on Kickstarter often, and on Etsy everywhere.
So what are some ways that you can bling out a board game, or that board games have bling?
First there are fancier editions of board games, might be called collectors edition where they only make a certain number of an ultimate edition where some of the pieces have been upgraded by the company in the game. This might be something that the company puts out like a 25th Anniversary Edition of a game, but another common spot is on Kickstarter where they will have a standard or retail edition of the game where all the pieces are normal card board or whatever it might be, and then there is an ultimate or special edition that has it’s own unique cover and upgraded pieces in it, of course which costs a bunch more.
The next biggest way that people can bling out their board game is known as a custom insert. A custom insert is especially useful for a game with lots of pieces. The main reaso for this is because while you can put the pieces into little baggies, you then have to dump them out on the table and it’s all a mess, you have to know how you put them back into the baggies, and get them to lay flat enough in the box. There are companies like Broken Token and Folded Space that create inserts for these games. A great example of how this works is Gloomhaven. In that game you have monster tokens, status tokens, damage tokens, terrain, and more, to fit that all into the box is just a mess. The insert that I have is a wooden one that I had to put together. It has a spot for all the tokens, the coins, and the monsters so you can lift out trays, keep them in their trays for storage while they are on the table, and keeps them from shifting around in the box. This doesn’t make your game looks any nicer, like a lot of the upcoming ones will, but it makes it more functional to play, especially the bigger games out there, like a Gloomhaven.
Beyond that there are a lot of other ways you can bling out a game. Board Game Geek has items known as Geek Up Bits which are plastic bits to replace the cardboard tokens already in the game, it makes it shinier and nicer. And there are a lot more items like this as well from Etsy. There are companies that are creating custom meeples for games, or 3D printing minis. You can get card holders that help you organize your place space for games like Arkham Horror LCG and Marvel Champions. These can range from cheap little things that might cost $10 to bigger things like for Marvel Champions that might be over $100 plus shipping. All of these things are going to make the game pop on the table more.
Finally, and I mentioned this above, you can bling out your own game with a 3D printer. There are sites, such as thingiverse.com where you can get 3D printer files and print out blinged out pieces for your own game. I’ve seen people who have 3D printed terrain for an RPG and then used that in Gloomhaven as well, or printed out things specifically for Gloomhaven. Out of all of the areas, besides organizers for some of my bigger games, this really interests me, because it means that I can bling out games I want to have blinged out without having to track down some specific Etsy shop and spend a large chunk of money. Now, buying a 3D printer is obviously a pretty large chunk of money as well, but kind of as I’m thinking about slowing down some in buying games, or there are fewer this year that are really standing out to me, this would allow me to really bling out some games and have cool minis and things to practice my painting on. I’d also allow me to create set pieces more easily for D&D games as well, which isn’t a requirement, but once in a while for big epic moments, that’d be awesome.
So those are just some of the ways you can bling out your board game. Obviously, the question is why would you do that, some of it is for convenience, like the organizers, and some is just because you can. And to tie it into food, they say you eat with your eyes first, so the same can be pretty true with board games, if it looks better on a table, you’ll probably be more interested to try it and the experience itself might be better because it looks good.
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