Glamming it up
If you have played plenty of tabletop games, you will probably have come across many different times of game components of varying quality. Some games go all out and the components are amazing, really bringing the game to life. Other games only come with basic components. So what are your options to take these games to the next level and improve your game experience?
Deluxe components are usually enhanced versions of resources. Instead of using basic wooden cubes or discs, you can have sets of realistic resources, such as apples, wood, energy cubes or crystals. Seeing these deluxe components on the game board really makes a great visual impact and enhances the game experience. It also often makes gameplay easier, because it is often easier to distinguish between the different resources in play. Rather relying on different colours you can immediately see what type of resource you are dealing with.
There is also a huge market for metal coins, which come in many different types, which are often modelled for specific games, but there are also more generic coins available. So if you have a pirate games, you will probably be able to find pirate coins. These metal coins are obviously superior to simple cardboard tokens, and hearing the clank of the coins when you riffle through your money stash is really good. The weight of metal coins is also a benefit, often making it easier to count out individual coins.
Even if you don’t think deluxe components are vital to your gaming experience, think about the value of the game for resale purposes. A deluxe version of a Kickstarter game is more likely to keep its value, if not go up in value, when compared to a base version. Also, if you try and sell your game and advertise it comes with upgraded components, you are likely to achieve a higher price. Of course, you may never plan to sell your games, but for others this may be a consideration.
As you might have thought, there is a rather large market for third party deluxe components. There are a number of companies which sell enhanced components that you can either buy individually, or in packs for specific games. Companies such as Board Game Extras, Games Lore, Meeple Source and Top Shelf Gamer come to mind, but there are others of course. These companies are great and you will find solutions for most popular games – and if you look through the pages, you will find components that will probably fit your game.
Some companies also specifically sell enhanced component bundles for their games, and many Kickstarter games come in basic or deluxe versions, so you can choose if you want to spend the extra money to have upgraded components, or if you are happy with just the standard components.
It depends on how important components are to you of course. For some games it won’t really matter if deluxe components are used, but in other games they are more important and really lift the experience. Games that take you to another world and where the theme is really important really benefit from deluxe components.
So have you have backed the deluxe version of a Kickstarter game? Have you ever upgraded one of your games with upgraded components? How did it change your game experience? Or maybe you would rather spend the money on a new game? Please post your thoughts in the comments below.