I know, I know, is there even such a thing as 'too many' games? Probably not. But when you are having to store them on the floor (not storage space according to my family), in cupboards, on shelves and under your children's beds, then maybe a new board game is an unrealistic want? My family also doesn't seem to understand basic concepts like 'expansions don't count' so I have to scratch those off the list too. All is not lost, though. Through a very rare and specific form of voodoo, I have unlocked Fathers Day, Birthdays and Christmas' to board games. I have employed a dark art known as 'board game accessories'.
These delights are not essential purchases and often a lot cheaper than games themselves, making them ideal fodder for any board gamer, especially one needing a gift. Let's dive into some of the best options and hopefully give my kid some ideas for Sunday...
Zatu Dice Tray
I would never have imagined desiring a dice tray. Then I managed to convince my wife to play King of Tokyo and she went mad. Not with Kaijuic rage, but because of the incessant sound of heavy plastic dice pummelling a wooden tabletop. We used to roll into the box, but that makes a dull wet fart of a sound that pleases no one. Enter the dice tray. Specifically the Zatu Small Hexagonal Dice Tray. Rumour has it these were created by mistake on an intended reorder of the large hexagonal trays. If true, that mistake has led to what I will call 'the best Zatu dice tray'.
Silliness aside, Zatu now makes a number of different shaped and sized dice trays that are all pleasingly solid and pop together at the corners with popper studs. This creates solid 'walls' for the dice to bounce off. The tray can then be unpopped and folded flat for easy transport. Simple. Cheap. Perfect.
Board games can be big, complicated affairs. Even when they are not, they can contain a lot of chit. That's a technical term for a cardboard token by the way, not a misspelled curse. The inserts that are included in the games are often woefully inept, especially if you like to sleeve. This leaves you with a few options: bag and box everything as best you can, make your own insert, or buy a pre-made one.
Pre-made inserts often come 'flat packed' and made out of wood. Once assembled, they provide not only storage but deck holders and trays that can actually be used 'in game' to aid with storage and set up times. The wooden ones often have ingenious design elements baked into the insert, but can be frustrating to construct, expensive, and add a lot of weight to the games. Step forward Folded Space. They use a specially modified and strengthened form of foam core that is light, cheap, and easy to construct. Obviously, they are not as sturdy as wood, or as intricately designed, but I have found them to be incredibly helpful at setting up and putting away games quicker. Check out this Paladins of the West Kingdom insert for an example.
Following on from inserts are Geekboxes. Some games don't warrant a full insert but still have plenty of tokens and some games just don't have inserts made for them. Geekboxes are literally little plastic boxes with lids, and they are perfect for board games. The right height and width, with a durable plastic build, this might be no thrills, but I'm soooooo thrilled by them. They are cheap enough to chuck on any order as an extra. Don't let your dad miss out.
Some accessories aren't that cheap, but they are pretty essential. All gamers know the hassle of transporting games. You could technically make do with a ‘bag for life’, but I’ve seen a few of them undermine their own titles by ripping open and depositing my games onto the floor. Enter GeekOn! and their fantastic range of board game transportation devices. Check out this Ultimate Board Game Backpack. Go on, I'll wait.
Look at all the games! Look at the quality! The padding! The waterproof exterior! The extra pockets for board game accessories! Yes, you will still take more games to board game night than you will be able to play, but you'll do it in style.
Play a Game with your Dad
Of course your dad will love the accessories, but he'd also enjoy you sitting down to play a game of their choice with them. It's only once a year. And then birthdays. And don't forget Christmas.