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Iron Clays Review

iron clays

I am a board game player. I am also now the self-appointed family curator of a fairly decent sized collection of games. When budget allows for new cardboard recruits, my default is to seek out a new full game. Sometimes it flexes to admit an expansion to a beloved shelf-veteran. But when I saw the Iron Clays, all rules went out of the window. They went straight onto our shared Christmas wish list!

Iron Maidens

Having now received these beautiful counters, I am surprised it has taken us this long.

But why do we need them? Well, as gamers, we are now at a stage where our tastes are refining. Not just in terms of mechanics and theme, but also components.

If a game has great components, it can elevate the experience to something next-level. Sometimes it can even save one that has a few bumps in its design. Not often. But sometimes. On the other hand, if a game has poor components, then that’s a real knife-edge moment. Keep it despite the bargain-basement bits? Or lose it and seek something similar but better furnished?

Iron Investment

And that’s where upgrades like these beauties prove their worth! Swapping out cardboard for acrylic, plastic for wood…..Meeples, minis……there are eleventy billion ways to bling out box contents. But often those relate to a specific game. Iron Clays, however, are not confined to one box, one series, or even publisher.

Our personal pet-peeve are cardboard coins. Small, circular chits that ping about the table and struggle to be picked up. Having a hand disability with reduced pinch-grip compounds the issue. But they leave a sour note for us all.

Well, not anymore! Iron clays have come into our lives, and they aren’t leaving. Ever! Looking like casino chips, these have the perfect weight, thickness, and texture for parsing the night away with any game that has us spending it up. And pick-them-up I do. All the time. Throughout a game. I hold onto one when thinking. I hold onto one when moving. I even hold onto the one I am meant to be spending (husband has learnt how to prise them out of my other hand quite gently now!).

I know we could have opted for metal coins. There are plenty of sets which are both game specific and open to wider application (the Scythe set is a great example!). But I am not a big fan of the texture, smell, or sound of metal coins. The jingling and tinny clinking jangles my ND brain, and I never carry cash around with me for that reason. But that is personal preference, and I am entitled to emulate monarchic habits whenever I like (haha!).

Ironed Out

I actually have the superb and stunning Galileo Project by Hachette Board Games to thank for the push-to-purchase. Opening the box and playing with the counters in that game cemented my resolve to chuck out my chits! Okay so not permanently – other game coins get bagged up and boxed. But the dramatic announcement felt good!

I understand Iron clays were originally designed for updated versions of Brass Lancashire and Brass Birmingham but they have wide-spectrum versatility. Our version has 100 chips ranging in value from 1,5,10, 20 and 100. And whilst 1s and 5s get the most use generally, my husband’s superior gaming performances now frequently require the higher denominations (leaving me to “make change” with the smaller ones!).

Iron Ever Let You Go

As well as the chips themselves, the quality continues through into the transparent blue-ish hued plastic holder and the outer cardboard container. We used to have a bowl of “odd” dice as a centrepiece on our gaming table. But the beauty and versatility of these chips now makes them a permanent feature. One always within reach. Which is perfect as they are nearly always needed (or wanted) whatever we play!

Honestly, these Iron Clays really have opened my eyes. Previously resistant to investing in accessories, I am now actually looking for games with the worst cardboard counters just so that I can revel in superior counter smugness! If you are fed up with cardboard coins lowering your fun level, I highly recommend investing in Iron Clays. After all, stunning counters are for life, not just for Christmas!

That concludes our thoughts on Iron Clays. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Iron Clays today click here!