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What board game components are the most important?

Supporter

When looking at board games and considering all of their components, which ones are the most important to you? High quality cards? Nice miniatures? Good graphic design? 

Or do the components not really matter as long as the game is great?

Lets talk about it!

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10 months ago

I don't think there's one answer to this. The rulebook is a good one, but that's not what I think of when I think about components. I would say if there's one component in a game that gets used/touched/moved a lot more than any other, that component is the most important and should be the highest quality. I'm thinking the cards in #Wingspan, the dice in #King of Tokyo, the tiles in #Azul. Those are all great examples of high quality components that really make the game a nice experience to play, aside from the actual decisions and events in the game.

Supporter10 months ago

I don’t consider the rule book to be a component either. 

I put the rule book into its own category because it’s that important. I was more thinking about card quality or board quality. Dice. That kind of stuff. 

Owner10 months ago

For me, this would really depend on the frequency of your interaction with the said component for the game. And assuming the game already has solid mechanics, it's usually the art/graphic design, cards, resources, and the insert, in order of high to lower priority. The lower priority items I can live with more, and there's always the option to upgrade if the game is worth it. 

Supporter10 months ago

Right. I think the components that should be the highest quality should be the ones most integral to the function of the game. If you have incredibly cool miniatures that are solid gold...but you only use one miniature for a small part of the game, what’s the point? Better to have invested that development cost into high quality cards that you use every round. 

10 months ago

That's a difficult question.  I don't know that any single component is the most important, all the components have to work together to provide a good experience.

Supporter10 months ago

That’s true of course. But some are more important than others. 

10 months ago

Personally, I think having a good rule book is crucial. If I can sit down, read the book, and have an easy time getting to the game (even if it's a complicated game), then that's a win. Rule books that are a struggle to understand keep me from even starting to play.

Do a game's mechanics count as components? Because that's what I'm going to say first and foremost. I know it's cliché, but it's true. More importantly, I want mechanics that tie in to the theme of the game. If the mechanics promote the theme, it's awesome. If they feel tacked on (or if the theme feels tacked on), then it's not so awesome.

Aside from that, I think art that fits with the game's theme is important. I almost said components as well, but then I was reminded about #Champions of Midgard and the food and wood tokens, which are simple wooden cubes colored red or brown. Despite those not looking like food or wood, it doesn't hurt my experience any. 

As you can see, I'm a theme guy. I like my games dripping with theme, and anything that can help accomplish that is good in my books.

10 months ago

Personally, when I think of a game's "components" I don't think of the rulebook, but you're right that if a game has a bad one, it makes the game really tough to get into.

10 months ago

Yeah, the "components" part can be argued, and it'll probably come out to the rule book not being one haha But, it comes in the box, so I count it :) 

10 months ago

Haha, that's a pretty easy distinction. I like easy distinctions. I'll allow it! lol

10 months ago

Thank goodness! haha

Supporter10 months ago

I won’t. Rejected. 

10 months ago


Supporter10 months ago

Amen to the rulebook. That is the most important physical component. 

Supporter10 months ago

Are you talking about the physical nature of the rulebook or the actual writing of the rulebook?

Supporter10 months ago

Yes 

Supporter10 months ago

Yes...? To what?

Supporter10 months ago

Yes to both. Obviously the writing of the rulebook is super important as it's the layout and graphic design.

But the physical nature of the rulebook is often ignored. For instance, who came up with the idea to make the rulebook 11.5x11.5 so that it would fill up all of a game box?? This really chaps my hide, especially for heavy games that I need to use the rulebook for the first several plays. You open one of these puppies and there is no room on the table for it, because that is where the game is if you want leave the rulebook open on the table, you can do that, but you probably won't be able to read the rules from your gameplay position. If course paper quality is a big deal as well. I hate it when the light glares on it to hard, rendering you unable to read what you are looking at. There are other things I could gripe about, but I don't know what good it would do. 

Supporter10 months ago

Definitely. Rule books are important.

Supporter10 months ago

Good question.

I think it depends so much on the game. But, as a general rule I think that graphic design is most important. But, mostly I want the game to sort of disapear. Sometimes it does so, by sucking me into it's world as in #Scythe. Sometimes, it does so by the components sort of disapearing and allowing you to inspect the gears of the game beneath.

But, I will always weight gameplay above component quality. I want good components, I want to not need too fight the components. But, if the game is a good/great game, I will happily put up with sub standard quality materials.

10 months ago

Having the game "disappear" is an interesting--and accurate--description. I love when a game sucks me into the theme, and that generally has to do with the art, but the gameplay is also really important in that too. 

Supporter10 months ago

That happens when there is a perfect intersection of theme, mechanics, and components. It’s a beautiful thing when it happens. 

10 months ago

Yup. Totally agree. It's more rare than I would like, but it does happen. What's a game for you that has this beautiful marriage?

10 months ago

Of course it is. haha I desperately need to play this!!! 

Supporter10 months ago

Yes. Yes you do. 

Supporter10 months ago

Gameplay that meshes with theme is super important for games. But, at the same time I don't mind playing a fairly abstract game if the mechanics are good. 

10 months ago

Abstract games are fine too. But if the game is supposed to be thematic, then lay it on thick please and thanks.

Supporter10 months ago

I’d pick a thematic game over an abstract one seven days a week and twice on Sunday. 

10 months ago

I mean, yeah, if there was an option, I'd always choose thematic. But sometimes other people want something more "abstract" so I oblige them. Because I'm a pushover nice like that. 😊