Published on December 16th, 2013 | by Nicole Jekich
Top 5 Gaming Preparedness Accessories
How to Make Sure You’re Always Ready For Board Gaming
Having a great gaming experience can happen anywhere and everywhere: a board game night, party, airport or even the work break room. Since a ton of fun could be around the corner at any moment, it helps to be prepared with the right materials. Here are my Top 5 suggestions for accessories to always have on hand in a ‘gaming readiness kit’.
In my dice bag I always make sure to have a ton of dice. I play a lot of different games and a lot of roleplaying games, so a variety of dice makes my life a lot easier. I carry two full sets of D&D dice at all times; one set of D&D dice includes a four-sided die, a six-sided die, an eight-sider, two ten-sided dice (typically one is numbered 0-9 and the other 00-90), a twelve-sided die and a twenty-sided die. You can typically find sets like these bundled together at game and hobby stores, or on Amazon and they tend to come in color matched sets. I also always carry a block of six-sided dice, which are useful both as dice as well as countdown trackers. If you don’t care about all of your dice matching, you can also buy a “Pound O’ Dice” from Chessex, which is exactly what it sounds like. Carrying dice with you is also simple and can modes of transport can vary between plastic sandwich bags and zippered pencil cases to the widely popular Crown Royal purple cloth bag. Let your gaming accessories show off your personality!
Whether I’m playing Magic: the Gathering or just missing a few cubes from a worker placement game, some times you just need some glass beads. You can use six-sided dice easily, but sometimes you need a number of different colors to represent more than one player or more than one kind of thing being tracked. Gamers can buy glass counters from game stores, but will likely be marked up because they are sold as special gaming materials. It is easier and cheaper to buy glass and plastic counters in bulk from crafting stores or pet supply stores in the fish or terrarium accessories aisle. Have you been to a wedding lately? Banquet tables are often covered in colored beads just for decoration or do what I did when I was younger: take a small handful from your mom’s potted plants– just make sure you leave enough for the plant!
3. Pen and Paper
Whether you need to track a character’s hit points, make notes about who’s the Cylon or calculate the algorithm for how much sheep you need to buy in order to win, a pen and paper will never fail. Many games come with pads for tracking score but often in public gaming spaces those supplies have already been used up or are missing from the box. Having a pen and paper also comes in handy for creating new game pieces. Missing a colored wooden meeple? Tear out a square a draw a new one! There are multiple gaming uses for a simple pen and paper.
For those that would prefer to keep everything digital, pen and paper can be substituted out for your mobile device. Do not think that by adding phones to this list that I encourage constant texting, phone calls and facebook checking during tabletop games. I’m not encouraging anything of the sort. Phones like everything else on this list can be used as a resource to enhance gaming experiences. There are many great apps out there to simplify scoring and math such as Keep Score, 7 Wonders Scorer and Dominion Card Randomizer. These are all great examples that exist across different platforms that assist with the end game or even set up. When in doubt about rules, phones are a perfect resource to access videos from company sites or to YouTube for ‘Let’s Play’ videos to help clear up any rules or setup confusion.
Three years ago I luckily avoided getting the Swine Flu during my 3-day weekend at PAX. Luke and many of my other gamer friends were not so lucky and spent over a week in bed with chills, fevers and coughs. this happened partily because of the lack of clean game stations and no hand sanitizer at booths. Gamers, like any other people, are susceptible to germs and grease. Using a dollop of the product before sharing cards and gaming pieces with friends is a good habit to have. No more greasy game cards or no accidental sharing of germs and sanitizer has multiple varieties or small packaging for on-the-go use. Plus if you’re sick: stay home! There will always be more gaming events and chances to hang out with gamers.
I’ve heard that some gamers also carry around mini figures in case a battle or roleplaying session could use a fancier character representation. What do you always carry around in your ‘gaming preparedness kit’? Snacks, dice, card sleeves? Be sure to share your favorite accessories in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter page.