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Subject: Do you use board game "enhancers"? rss

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Todd Barker
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Do you bother with things like card mats, sand timers, card shufflers etc?

Do you have a favourite or most useful gaming accessory?

If you play right out of the box why do you not use extra enhancers when you game?

Do you think products like this enhance your gaming experience?
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Aaron Edwards
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My favorites (and the only ones I really use) are card mats and a dice tray. Card mats are nice because they make picking up cards much easier than picking them up off of a hard surface. Plus they look cool and don't scratch up the cards. I also use one of those leather trays meant to hold stuff you empty from your pockets (keys, change, phone, etc.) to roll dice into. It reduces the noise from dice rolling, which is important when you have a baby in the house, and keeps dice from knocking components around and flying off the table.
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Kevin C.
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I use a dice tower...keeps the dice nice and contained and has less of a footprint than the box top most times.

I also use a chess clock for some games. My son and I have found, for example, that Dungeon Command works better for us with time controls.

Play mats, not so much. I did download and laminate the ones for Quarriors, but mainly because it helped gameplay, not to protect anything.

Although, my friend brings playmats whenever he brings his MTG Legacy and Vintage decks over.

I certainly think things like this can enhance the experience. It can expedite or facilitate some of the logistics, but some things like playmats just look cool.

Kevin
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Todd Barker
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colmmccarthy wrote:
We have an egg timer that we bring out for the heavier brain-burn games to keep AP down to a minimum, but otherwise no (although we do find that a bottle of Jameson "enhances" the experience )


Is that something you all agreed on? I have a sand timer and have debated trying to enforce it for some of our games just not sure how it would go over.
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Jarrett Dunn
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I have a cover on my gaming table which is essentially mouse pad material.

I have 2 wood dice towers (one for each side of the table) built out of leftovers from the table (mainly because my wife and kids have problems actually ROLLING the dice, and a tray is NOT going to fix that).

And a card shuffler because so many of my card games have a HUGE number of cards (Cutthroat Caverns, Cosmic Encounter, etc.) that it is needed to be able to shuffle those massive decks (plus they are only like $15 on Amazon, hard to go wrong there).
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Paul DeStefano
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Dice tray (or tower) is essential.
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Tomello Visello
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toddbarker wrote:
Do you have a favourite or most useful gaming accessory?
Pen/pencil and paper. To record the scores for posterity and future amusement.

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Sean Haugh
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I have some card mats, and a dice tower, but hardly ever use them. I don't think I've even seen the dice tower in over a year. I like the *idea* of both, but in practice they are just 'more stuff' to me, and rarely have been worth their use over the table real estate they take up.

Edit: I do use sleeves for card based games
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secoAce -
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I use a large piece of felt cloth I picked up for like $2 as a scrap from a linen shop. It's enough to cover the whole table and not only help to protect the table, but is a softer surface with some give to help pick up cards and components.

I also have a stacked card holder. I got the idea from these forums and picked one up cheaply at Staples. Haven't really had a NEED to use it until Eldritch Horror which has 13 (!!!) different decks of cards! I wouldn't have enough room to lay them all out on the table without the card holders.

I also have my own supply of different colored glass beads which I use as counters--they feel better to toss around than cardboard--various dice, and of course tons of sleeves on many of the cards.
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Amy Martinez
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Dice tray
This helps the game go faster not have to go looking for stray dice.
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walloftruth
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I use small wooden or plastic bowls for holding cubes, currency, etc.
And I have a few shallow wooden dishes I've converted into dice trays. Never play without these things because they help games stay organized.
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Pasi Ojala
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Sleeves. (The medium-priced/quality, 4 euros per 100.)

They make cards easier to shuffle, and secondarily they protect them from scuffing (after only a few plays of 7 Wonders the black border showed the signs of giving out), grease, and almost, but not totally, from the occasional spill. Sleeves also make it impossible to distinguish base game and expansion cards even when they are purchased at different times.

Good lighting.

Both overhead and ambient, diffuse lighting.


(I have also bought gems and cubes of various colors, but they are primarily for one specific game, and not used as general gaming accessories.)
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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When I was a young man in the 60s and 70s, using enhancers while gaming was de rigueur. whistle
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Joe Salamone
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I generally do not use enhancers. I'm pretty happy playing most games with whatever comes in the box. I did buy some small chips that have values from 1 - 500 on one side and are blank on the other side. I occasionally use these instead of paper money for games like Saint Petersburg. The only thing I can think of that I would really like to get is a dice tower.

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Aaron Edwards
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mltdwn wrote:
I have a cover on my gaming table which is essentially mouse pad material.


Where did you get the mousepad material? I would be interested in making my own 3x3 mat out of the stuff.
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Erik Syvertsen
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We always use card sleeves, and almost always bring out the dice tower. I can't stand the idea of my cards getting scuffed up, and the dice tower keeps things nice and neat, as well as making everyone feel that every roll received a proper jostling.
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Phillip Millman
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We use dice trays but we also use plastic sheets for games the board doesn't lie flat or where tiles are laid out at the beginning of the game like Settlers of Catan or Zombicide.

P
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Kim Williams
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Yes, we're using more and more:

* Stackable glass bowls so we can pour bits back into their baggies easily at the end of the game, and to make things easy to grab.

* Beautiful dice - bought mainly for playing Pathfinder.

* Miniatures - we bought the first Reaper minis set, and use these for our characters in Pathfinder, and any other games where they're appropriate

* Treasure Chest - we backed Jamey's recent Kickstarter for realistic wood, iron ore, gems, stone and bricks, and look forward to enhancing all manner of games with them.

* Coins - we bought a set of coins with Tuscany, and then another set with the Treasure Chest which should give us enough for many of our games.



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Donald Walsh
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I have and use trays and towers for dice. I find the footprint of the game lends itself to what accessories work best.

Surprised that there's not much mention of card racks. I use dice towers and card racks for War of the Ring, and I would say both enhance game play, for our group at least.
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Sean Haugh
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entwife wrote:
Yes, we're using more and more:

* Stackable glass bowls so we can pour bits back into their baggies easily at the end of the game, and to make things easy to grab.




What a great idea! Always an annoyance here. Going to try it next game night
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Ryan Powers
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I'm a wargamer, so plexiglass and tile spacers.

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J M
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louper wrote:

Whoops, Joe's post reminded me that I DO use mini poker chips in games that come with paper money. Sadly, going back to what I said about it being another thing to futz around with, those games now don't get played as often because I don't want to haul the chips with me to game days and don't want to play with the paper money.

That's an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.


In my games bag, I have one Plano 3449, which holds about (and I'm guessing) 80-90 of the mini clay poker chips.
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Marvin Ramirez
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Sphere wrote:
When I was a young man in the 60s and 70s, using enhancers while gaming was de rigueur. whistle


When I clicked on the title I assumed this is what op was going to be talking about.
But yes I use play mats because it does make it easier to pick cards up off the table. I need to get a dice tray to stop those who love throwingn dice like there is no tomorrow.
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Jay Lacson
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Do sleeves count? I sleeve almost every game I can aside from ones with ridiculous numbers of cards (AH, BSG and the like). I like the protection it provides, but more importantly it gives the cards are slightly more substantial feel.

Edit: Ah, I do have Game Chips as well. Those are great.
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Christopher Boat
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I will frequently pimp out my games with better storage solutions, laminating, player aids, card sleeves, etc, but i've never seen the benefit of dice towers, trays, or playmats (unless they have important game information printed on them). I think it is probably because I play in so many different locations (home, friend's houses, local game store, etc) that it's just not convenient to lug around tools that won't fit inside the game boxes.
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