As the world continues to embrace the charm of traditional pastimes, board gaming has seen a significant resurgence in popularity. Not only are more people playing board games, but they are also investing in upgrading their beloved games to enhance the overall gaming and tactile experience. From replacing standard game pieces with detailed, custom-made versions to acquiring expansion sets, the trend of upgrading board games is on the rise.
The Charm of Upgrades
So why are so many people upgrading their board games? One reason is that upgraded components can add a new level of immersion and visual appeal to the game. Detailed miniatures, finely crafted tokens and coins, and even realistic resources can make every move feel more significant and satisfying.
Upgrades can also improve the playability of a game. Clear, high-quality components are easier to handle and often easier to see across a table, making the game more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
The Allure of Custom Metal Coins
An increasingly popular aspect of board game upgrades is the incorporation of custom metal coins. These coins not only add a tactile and visual appeal but also an audible clink that adds to the overall gaming experience. Replacing generic or cardboard tokens with these weighty, finely detailed pieces gives a satisfying sense of realism to in-game economies. Whether they're pirate doubloons for a seafaring adventure game, gold coins for a medieval strategy game, or futuristic currency for a space exploration game, custom metal coins are becoming a must-have accessory for board game enthusiasts.
If metal coins aren’t your thing, a popular upgrade for the game Brass: Birmingham is the inclusion of Iron Clays, a set of beautifully designed and weighty poker chips that serve as currency in the game. The tactile feel and elegant design of these chips add a distinct level of immersion and sophistication to the economic aspect of the game. They can also be used in other games that require currency, making them a versatile addition to any board game collection. The Iron Clays have received critical acclaim for their design, quality, and usability, and are considered a must-have for serious fans of Brass: Birmingham.
Where to Find Upgrades
Several online platforms have emerged as popular destinations for board game upgrades. Etsy, for example, has a plethora of handcrafted game pieces, storage solutions, and thematic accessories that can add a personal touch to any game.
MeepleSource.com is another site offering a wide range of upgrade kits for popular games. Here you can find beautifully designed meeples, custom tokens, and game-specific accessories that can take your gaming experience to the next level.
TopShelfGamer.com is well-known for its curated selection of game upgrades and accessories. They offer everything from realistic resource tokens to deluxe component upgrades, and even game-specific inserts to organize your game box.
For those looking for official game merchandise and upgrades, BoardGameGeekStore.com is the go-to place. As an extension of the renowned BoardGameGeek community, their store provides a wide range of game expansions, promos, and accessories, the most popular of which may be the GeekUp Bits and bags for games like Root, Calico, Dinosaur Island, Orleans, and Ra.
Popular Games to Upgrade
Let's take a look at some popular games and how enthusiasts are upgrading them.
The Quacks of Quedlinburg: This popular game of potion brewing is a perfect candidate for upgrades. A variety of custom tokens and player boards are available to make your brewing experience even more delightful.
Wingspan: Wingspan's beautiful bird illustrations lend themselves well to upgraded components. Custom bird meeples, egg tokens, and even birdhouse dice towers can be found to enhance this bird-themed game.
Scythe: With its richly detailed world, Scythe is ripe for upgrades. From painted miniatures to realistic resource tokens and game inserts for easier setup, there are plenty of ways to elevate your Scythe experience.
Concordia: Enhancements for Concordia often focus on the game's economic components. Upgraded coins, resource tokens, and even custom ships can make navigating the Mediterranean even more immersive.
Everdell: This woodland-themed game can be visually upgraded with custom animal meeples, 3D printed tree expansions, anthropomorphic stickers, and even a wooden Evertree replacement.
The Future of Upgrading
As the board gaming hobby continues to grow, so too will the trend of game upgrades. With the increase in 3D printing technologies and the continued creativity of the board gaming community, we can expect to see more unique and impressive game upgrades in the future (like waterproofing).
Whether you're a casual player looking to add a bit of flair to your favorite game, or a dedicated hobbyist wanting to enhance every aspect of gameplay, game upgrades offer a new way to enjoy the classic pastime of board gaming. So why not explore this rising trend and see how you can level up your own board game experience?