Mar 2, 2015

Accessories - 7 Wonders

Board game accessories are something that I have looked at a lot of, but I haven't actually bought many.  Now, I am lumping all gaming components that don't come with the game into my definition of "accessory".  To be honest, until recently I have only sleeved a couple of games, and bought a couple of small tackle boxes to organize tokens.

I have been looking into all sorts of accessories for the games I play the most often, but usually end up not getting them as they start to approach the cost of the game or possible expansions to it, and I just can't justify the cost. Recently I decided to actually try one, so I bought an organizer for 7 Wonders from +The Broken Token, and some card sleeves as well.  This is one of (if not the) most played game(s) in our collection and even with just two expansions (Leaders and Wonder Pack) it doesn't fit in the original box anymore.  Since that time I have also purchased the Cities expansion (it is still being shipped) which would have only compounded the problem.

The parts all come pre-cut in sheets, with two small tabs holding each part, which break easy enough.  The resulting parts are then put together using the tabs (into the slots) following the simple assembly instructions that come with it.

Assembly of a token tray
 The kit includes a new box insert and four trays.  Two are obviously for the coins and conflict tokens (they have the values burned into the bottom of the tray) and based on the pictures from the website the other two are for the tokens from Cities and Babel.  The instructions suggest that you glue these pieces together due to them being handled, which I did for the coin and conflict token trays.  I am glad I did as the ends of these two trays are the only "loose" connections in the entire kit.  I didn't glue the other two trays, and the tabs fit so well that I very much doubt it will be necessary later.
Assembled trays
With the box insert and the trays complete I transferred all my components.  The pictures below include the sleeves for the cards which I did later that day.  Everything fits, with lots of room left for the expansions when they arrive.  The only thing that really doesn't have a proper home is the score sheets, which for now fit easily in the section for the Babel tiles.

Components (minus boards)
Components with boards
A 'suggestion' I have (it is too minor to be a complaint) is that I would have preferred to have one or two more dividers for the cards, I really like to divide things up!  The use of the space on the cut sheets looked very efficient, so I doubt they could add any easily.  With the rules added in the box closes completely, for the first time in a long time.
Box with all the rules in too
The one complaint I do have is just the shipping costs to Canada. The cost comparison to shipping within the US is huge, even to locations that are just couple of hours drive from where I live.  In this case it ended up being ~1/3 of the cost, which was based on USPS, not the vendor, but definitely impacts the cost-benefit decision.

My wife and I had a chance to play a couple of games last night using the new sleeved cards.  The new box insert makes it a little easier to set up, but as compared to my tackle box setup it isn't a big difference.  I was worried about the sleeves as they seem quite thin, but they definitely help the shuffling and were getting needed, as we play enough 2-Player games that the 3+ cards were getting possible to identify when mixed with the rest of the cards.

We played both games with all our expansions, and they were high scoring compared to last time we played.  Both times my wife thought I was going to win by a bunch, but it didn't turn out that way!  In the first game I went for military (due to my leaders) and managed to get a couple of great guilds right at the end, my wife went for science and blue cards; final results was a 67 to 67 tie!
Our first game (from my wife's side of the table)
 In the second game I went for blue cards (which I rarely do) again due to m my leaders.  I ended up a bit short on resources and money, but still managed to build all three stages of Halicarnassus (B), getting one from the discard pile each time.  I didn't have much luck with what was in there until the last one, so I am not sure it was worth three plays in this game.  My wife did a little bit of everything, and I suspect that was the influence of Plato.
Our second game (from my wife's side of the table)
Overall I am very pleased with the purchase, and I suspect I will be even happier with it once I add Cities to the box.

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