Board game upgrades transform the games we bring home from the FLGS into unique and personalized setups. The first type I knew of was custom storage.
I remember how exciting it was when there was a new release of Dominion. After the third expansion it became tedious to haul the boxes around when we wanted to play a game. My best friend, a first-class organizer, decided to ditch them. We spent the day bagging, labeling, and color coding (by expansion) the cards. They now live in a few of those cardboard boxes you use for collecting cards. It all fits conveniently in a beach bag for ultimate portability.
It was an act of love for a game that we often take on the go to play at parks, cafes, and coffee shops.
Owners Take Great Care to Preserve Their Games
Let's look at a few examples to understand the love and care owners put into their games.
Forum member John Shepherd explains in this BoardGameGeek thread the step-by-step process he used to upgrade his copy of Antiquity. I've never played. But it is easy to see the effort Shepherd has taken to get the game components right. I'm impressed with the level of detail.
Another upgrade that I found online were these DnD Meeples by Danny Perello. They are from the game Lords of Waterdeep. The original game featured cubes to represent the classes of the adventurers. Perello crafted his own set of meeples in the shape of wizards, rouges, clerics, and fighters to add some extra flavor to the game.
I don't think any conversation about board games would be complete without a reference to Settlers of Catan. It is perhaps not surprising that people enjoy building their own tiles. I adore this version with a wooden frame which fits together like puzzle pieces. This allows you to hang your game on the wall as a decoration! Just take it down when you are ready to play.
Where to Buy Your Own Board Game Upgrades
You don't have to break the bank to do it. There are a variety of ways to find custom game pieces.
Meeple source is one of the most well-known outlets. They have game components for Agricola, Pandemic, Lords of Waterdeep, Ticket to ride, and more.
Another type of upgrade is the insert. They fit in the board game box to keep pieces organized. Check out Insert Here which sells them for many games.
Buying Individual Game Components
You need to check out this thread if you are designing a board game or need parts for an upgrade. Forum user Meaker VI details all the places online which sell components. It is sorted by type making the list easy to scan. It is the most detailed listing that I have found.
Drop a comment if you want to share your personal board game upgrades.