Micro-Pimps - Small ways to improve your games
Cate
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We have all seen the geeklist of the super-pimped games. They might have expertly painted minis or fancy wooden additions or even scratch redesigns. This is not that geeklist.

This geeklist is about the little things you did to make a game better. Making text a little more readable, swapping out pawns, or improving it in a very small - and perhaps easy - way.

Please add your own micro-pimps.
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1. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:259]
Board Game: Acquire
Neil Henning
United States
Nutley
New Jersey
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I used Scrabble tile racks for my Acquire tiles. I'm sure many other people have thought of this as well, but at one of the last meetups I was at a few players commented on what a great idea it was so I figured I would share.
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:29]
Board Game: Agricola
k harris

lexington
Kentucky
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I gave these as presents to my friends who have Agricola. They are to replace the starter token. I have still to purchase a copy of this great game.

This idea came from a post I saw here and if I find it, I'll post the original link. That person found the rooster in an elephant game or something like that.

From gallery of harrisk1



Edit: Found the original poster
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Sounded like a good idea at the time
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3. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:29]
Board Game: Agricola
Actually, I would think crawling around looking for someone's eye would be a pretty fun game in its own right.
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After I bought sets of animeeples and veggiemeeples to spruce-up our copy, I had a bunch of now-extraneous wooden bits left over. When we play Agricola we like to dump all the resource bits and chits into the box top to keep them handy. We noticed it was hard to pick up the little food chits, whether they were in the box or on the table. My wife

"I'm not bad I'm just drawn that way"
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suggested that I glue the food chits to the spare colored disks to make them thicker and easier to handle.

After a couple of failed attempts, I finally came up with a method that worked. First I sanded one side of all the yellow “grain” disks to remove some of the paint. Using a new blade on a standard hobby knife I carefully cut the back off all the round food chits, leaving bare cardboard. I then put a drop of Mod Podge (Elmer’s white glue did not work so well) on the back of each food chit, carefully centering the chit on the sanded side of the grain disk, and pressing them together with my fingers for a minute or so each. (There weren’t enough yellow disks for all the food chits, so I had to add a half-dozen orange veggie disks.)

After letting these chit/disk combos dry overnight, I thinly coated each one with more Mod Podge to “seal” the two things together. This should be allowed to dry for 24 hours. Another coat couldn’t hurt if you feel so inclined.

Now these new food chits are taller and much easier to pick up.

EDIT: Pictures!

Here are a handful of my pimped food chits:

From gallery of claymore_57


And here is a close-up side view of one:

From gallery of claymore_57

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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:29]
Board Game: Agricola
Scott Everts
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
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Way back when I first got this game people kept confusing the resources so I made stickers for them. Not so much a micro-pimp since it was like 300 stickers to punch and sticker! Plus made some 3x tokens too.

I made a PDF for them which turned out to be my biggest download ever.
Agricola Resource Stickers
Agricola 3x Resource Stickers


Board Game: Agricola


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5. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:254]
Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Craig Blumer
United States
Oshkosh
Wisconsin
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From gallery of wyldeoak


Wanted to jazz-up the start player marker and found this little stone pig on a recent vacation.
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6. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:254]
Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Toni Catino
United States
Candler
Florida
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This game got quite the overhaul so far, and I'm sure we're not done yet!
I mean, there's cute little animeeples, and then resource discs? Not likely~

External image

So far we've redone the stone, wood, wheat (still needs colour), and start player marker.

And it's not pretty (a cut-up popsicle box), but I was proud to get this tray divider finished! It's much nicer having all the darn pieces kept in place during the game. It sure beats piling them up all over the table. Here I was, thinking that two-player games were supposed to be compact!

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7. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:223]
Board Game: Alien Frontiers
Cate
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Mequon
Wisconsin
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I wish I remember who gave me this idea (it was someone on this website - if you know where it is posted, please comment) but the idea was to get some blank black dice to stand in the dice places that are not used so that there is no confusion when you are playing with less than 4 players.

Board Game: Alien Frontiers


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8. Board Game: Altiplano [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:276]
From gallery of PeterM2158
Susie_Cat
United Kingdom
Oxfordshire
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Not my idea, but following a suggestion by a Gameslore Guru at UK Games Expo, we gave it a go and we're very pleased with the result.

The tokens in Altiplano are a little bit... "lacking", especially compared to the pieces in the deluxe edition of Orléans.
So, after doing a bit of research here on the 'Geek, we bought a couple of hundred 20.5mm coin capsules. Cost us $12 including postage to the UK and about an hour of two of us punching the tokens and putting them in the capsules. Result? Excellent!

Here are some of Peter Mulholland's pictures to give you an idea of the effect:

From gallery of PeterM2158


From gallery of PeterM2158


Susie_Cat.
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9. Board Game: American Rails [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1456]
Board Game: American Rails
Glenn Martin
Canada
Ottawa
Ont.
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I noticed that this game includes 144 wooden cubes for marking rails and that the "Steam Locomotive Set" contains 144 little wooden locomotives.

Hmmmm...
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10. Board Game: Arctic Scavengers [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1219]
Board Game: Arctic Scavengers
Rob Robinson
England
Rotherham
South Yorkshire
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Player mat for storing cards.

As the cards are intended to be kept secret, myself (and a few others) often ended up drawing from the discard deck, and discarding on the draw deck!

Board Game: Arctic Scavengers


Arctic Scavengers - Play Mat
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11. Board Game: Arena: Roma II [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1396] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Board Game: Arena: Roma II
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Switched out the original dice (right) that came with Arena: Roma II for ones that were not so light and bouncy (left).

From gallery of ecargo
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12. Board Game: The Ark of the Covenant [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1544]
Board Game: The Ark of the Covenant
Uncle Bouncy
United States
Wisconsin
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From gallery of Uncle Bouncy
From gallery of Uncle Bouncy
From gallery of Uncle Bouncy


Some glittery gold paint made the Ark a bit more impressive looking
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13. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:315] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror
Bob Cairns
United Kingdom
Belfast
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When playing Arkham Horror I like to use the Necronomicon as the first player marker, its needlessly huge but it adds a bit of ambiance
From gallery of Bobbyskizza
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14. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:315] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror
Erin Sparks
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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As the cards and extra stuff grew too numerous to keep in the box, I went to Hobby Lobby and found a hollowed-out evil tome to keep them in.

Board Game: Arkham Horror
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15. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:315] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror
I'm not sure that this even counts as a micro-pimp, more of a nano-pimp perhaps. Anyway, the bits I like least in this game are the cardboard money chits:
From gallery of David N

So, surprise, surprise, we use the bills from the original Arkham Horror:
From gallery of David N

Isn't that much better?
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16. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Final Hour [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:4005]
Board Game: Arkham Horror: Final Hour
Mikolaj Laczynski
Poland
Warsaw
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I really like this game, but I feel the components look like prototype pieces. For example the "destroyed building" tokens look something like this:
From gallery of mikolajl
My friend decided to replace them with pieces of broken brick:
From gallery of mikolajl
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17. Board Game: Attack! [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:5902]
Board Game: Attack!
Actually, I would think crawling around looking for someone's eye would be a pretty fun game in its own right.
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Kansas City
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I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.
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Before you take the armies off the sprues, find the bigger units of each type. There should be five each (for each color) of the larger planes, tanks, men, and artillery -- these stand for 5 of those units.

Paint a small dot of some contrasting color (I used bright yellow) on an obvious place on the "big" units to make them easier to spot. When the pieces are all jumbled together in a bag or tray they can be difficult to distinguish otherwise.

This few minutes of work will save a lot of trouble during actual play.
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18. Board Game: Australia [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2508]
Board Game: Australia
Jeff Binning
United States
Rollinsville
Colorado
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The windmill used in this game is a bit too tall, and blocks the view of the board for players. We set it up along side the board where everyone can see it, and use the windmill piece from Settlers of Catan Card Game to mark its location on the board.

Board Game: Catan Card Game

(photo by Robert Osvalds)
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19. Board Game: Automobiles [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:750]
Board Game: Automobiles
Rob Robinson
England
Rotherham
South Yorkshire
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Box topper with info for the cubes drawn:

Board Game: Automobiles


There are cards included with the game, but as I draw straight from the trays, I found they didn't align quite as perfect as I'd have liked them to.
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20. Board Game: Automobiles [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:750]
Board Game: Automobiles
Rob Robinson
England
Rotherham
South Yorkshire
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Board Game: Automobiles


I have a load of 'Microscope Slide' boxes kicking around. I realised one fits nicely inside the Automobiles box and holds the wear cubes better than any ziploc.

Angling the contents in the lid looked somewhat like a spectator stand.

Eureka! Bung on a bit of advertising bling for some sweet micropimpage.
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21. Board Game: Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:2568]
Board Game: Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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I pimped out this naval minis game with some nice markers from Litko. They are much better than the paper thin cardboard markers that came with the game.

Board Game: Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea


Board Game: Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea

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22. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1247]
Board Game: Backgammon
Design variations:

From gallery of trioker


When I started learning the game, the hardest thing to remember was how to settle the pawns in the starting position. In order to help me position them, I have taped some small colored lines serving as a reference of the last pawn stacked in a starting arrow.

Not much, but it did help!
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23. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1239]
Board Game: BANG!
Ken Coble
United States
Temecula
CA
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EARTHMAN GO HOME
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Microbadge: Revolt on Antares fan
So it turns out my great idea - using spent brass for life counters - is an idea that many, many people have had. Still, I was pretty happy that I had some brass from my cowboy-est gun (a replica Remington 1875 that I inherited from my dad) in a quintessential cowboy caliber (.44-40) for this micro-pimp:

Board Game: BANG!


(ps - picture by my old friend and longtime gaming buddy Chris Norwood - if you like it, thumb the pic!)
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24. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:79]
Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Dan
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Yeah... I see what you did there.
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Microbadge: Caffeine loverMicrobadge: Plays Games with SpouseMicrobadge: I Can Has Cheezburger?Microbadge: Waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse (I'm prepared)Microbadge: Ooh, shiny!
I added 8 red glass beads to represent each characters one-shot power.

Something to pick up, rub and possibly threaten others with...

Mainly a reminder that you CAN do it.
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25. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:79]
Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Jay Waschak
United States
North East
Ohio
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Microbadge: ChristianMicrobadge: In love with my spouseMicrobadge: Data MinerMicrobadge: Cleveland Browns fanMicrobadge: "Computer, erase that entire personal log" - Captain Benjamin Sisko
And, another easy one. Just pick up a few Super Battle Droids and you have a nice looking Cylon boarding party for Galactica and New Caprica.
Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game



-Jay
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