Many tabletop gamers love to trick out their games: from painting miniatures to getting custom meeples to really fancy boards, there are a host of ways to take your gaming to the next level. Here are several tabletop gaming accessories I’ve gotten to try out recently.
The Dragon Pouch Dice Bag holds a lot of dice. It didn’t look very big at first, but then I dumped my Pathfinder dice in it and realized that they barely form a full bottom layer. It’s black velvet on the outside with an embroidered dragon logo, and the inside is a bright orange nylon. The fabric is nice and sturdy, and the bag stays open and doesn’t tip over.
The one downside to the thick fabric is that it doesn’t quite cinch shut all the way. There’s a plastic lock on the drawstring, but once you get to about this far, the lock can’t hold the tension any further. The hole is about as big around as my finger. I think it’ll be okay for most standard-sized dice, but if you have mini dice and you’re planning to toss the Dragon Pouch into a bag for travel, you might want to be careful.
The Dragon Pouch retails for $19.99 and is available on Amazon.
Back when I first got into gaming, I played a lot of Light Speed, a fast-paced card game that involved line-of-sight shooting. But since the cards were haphazardly placed all over a table, it was sometimes hard to tell whether your laser nicked the corner of a card or passed by it to a different target. My solution was to get a cheap laser level–but it was large and clunky (and I didn’t really need the level part of it).
The Gamesmith On-Target Laser uses the same idea but is a much more elegant solution. It’s a small laser pointer that projects a bright line, letting you easily measure line of sight (while you make “pew pew” sounds, if appropriate). It’s nice and bright, easily visible even in bright lighting. You can cast a really long line depending on how far away you hold it from the surface, though of course the line gets a little wider and more dispersed if you get too far.
The On-Target Laser was funded through a Kickstarter campaign last year and is now available for purchase. If you play a lot of games with line-of-sight requirements, this laser makes it a snap. One note: since the button on the end is a toggle, just be sure that if you throw this into your backpack or pocket you don’t accidentally press the button.
The On-Target Laser retails for $25.00 and is available from Gamesmith.
If you like to take your card games on the go, check out the QuiverTime card case. It’s a hard zippered case with a synthetic leather exterior, and holds over 1,350 unsleeved cards (or 770 sleeved cards). The case includes both a wrist strap and a shoulder strap, 5 Velcro dividers, 4 acrylic dividers, some end cushions, and a bonus of 100 transparent card sleeves. The lid of the case has a mesh pocket that can hold a few extras, though you wouldn’t want to put anything too thick in there since it will be lying across the cards.
The end cushions keep your cards from being shoved into the far ends where the corners are curved, and the Velcro dividers can be moved anywhere along the length of the case. If you’re carrying a game like Dominion or Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (as pictured above), you’ll find that there aren’t quite enough dividers to separate everything, so you may want to supplement them. On the other hand, you could pack a whole lot of small card games in it very easily and the number of dividers is probably sufficient.
The end straps are attached in a way such that the bag hangs right-side up, rather than tipped up (i.e. the logo is facing up rather than to the side), which feels a little awkward since the case is wider than it is tall. I suppose if you wear it across your back (as in the product photo) then it makes sense, though. I also did find that the zippers are a little tight going around the corners, but you can be pretty sure the bag won’t come unzipped accidentally.
I usually host games and don’t have to travel with them, but this will be handy for the couple of gaming conventions I attend, because I do like to haul a lot of games with me (usually without their boxes).
The “list price” is $89.99 but it’s currently on Amazon for $39.99.
I’ve mentioned Game Trayz before–they were one of my favorite things that I saw at Gen Con 2014, and Noah Adelman is still at it, making custom trays for some great games. Three recent products are the Brew Crafters Trayz, Splendor Trayz, and the Treasure Trayz.
Brew Crafters, from Dice Hate Me Games, comes with a lot of components:
The game comes with a bunch of extra plastic baggies for you to sort all the components, but trust me: you want the Game Trayz.
There’s one tray that holds all of the beer tokens and awards, another for the buildings, and then two trays for the resources (wooden cubes, money, loans, and basic beers). The trays are designed to be used during the game–set the resources on either side of the board so everyone has some within reach, and hand over the other trays as needed. Each of the wells is labeled so you know what goes where, and the trays for the large rectangular tiles have angled bases so you can press down on either side to pop the tiles out easily.
Each tray also has a tight-fitting clear lid, holding everything in place in the box–particularly important when somebody picks up the game and turns it over to read about it. There are just a few components that don’t fit in the tray–the cards, meeples, and a few of the unique tokens–so those still go into baggies.
I gotta say: after getting everything punched out and sorted into the trays, I was very pleased with the results. I can’t imagine trying to play this game without the trays–you’d have little beer tokens everywhere, and there are 24 different types of beers in the game, not even counting all the other bits.
With everything packed into the box (see the animated GIF above), the lid doesn’t quite close all the way, but it’s pretty close. And definitely a better solution than just having everything in individual baggies.
The set of trays starts at $27.99 for clear plastic (or pay extra for colors), and can be purchased at the Game Trayz website.
Splendor is a pretty popular game from a couple years ago that has really nice components but comes in a box that’s quite a bit larger than it needs to be. Now you can get a Game Trayz for Splendor that holds all the components (except the rulebook) in less than half the space. (You can’t really tell from the photo above, but the tray is just over half the thickness of the box.)
The tray has wells for the gemstone chips, a shallower well for the gold chips, a well for the nobles tiles, and two wells for the cards. The wells for the cards are large enough even for sleeved cards, which is a bonus. Everything has finger notches on the sides so you can pull things out easily; the square tile well has the recessed edges so you can push down on an edge to pop them out.
The whole thing has a clear lid that snaps on tightly–you put your finger and thumb in the wells next to the gold chips and squeeze to release the lid, so you don’t have to worry about things falling out in transit.
The Splendor Trayz starts at $15 for clear plastic (extra for colors) and can be purchased from the Game Trayz website.
Finally, the Treasure Trayz are a new item: they aren’t game-specific, but are instead small dishes that can be used for whatever resource bits you have around. They’re roughly clover-shaped (with a square base), rounded bowls, so it’s easy to pull things out of them. The lid fits on tightly and also snaps onto the base of the bowl when it’s in use, which also means they stack together.
Game Trayz also sells the custom bits from Stonemaier Games’ Treasure Chest–you can get realistic-looking metal ingots, bread, bundles of cloth, and many, many more. You can order a customized Treasure Chest with just the bits you want, and get Treasure Trayz to hold them all. I got three trayz and just a handful of the resources to see them, and they’re quite impressive. If you like customizing your games, these are definitely the premium option–pricey, but very nice. I haven’t decided what I’ll use my Treasure Trayz yet, but probably my PennyGems (another favorite accessory), which are currently just in a drawstring bag. These will let me set a couple dishes around the table without having them spill out all over the table.
For the Treasure Trayz line, visit the Game Trayz website.
So, what are your favorite tabletop gaming accessories? Anything I should be investigating?
Disclosure: I was provided these accessories by the manufacturers for review. Opinions are my own.