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Extending the life of your games
Wednesday , 04 November 2015 , 07 : 56 PM

We have all been there: we make a sudden move and we tip a glass of water on top of your cards or game board. Cards ruined. Cardboard swollen. Tears. But there are ways to prevent, or at least minimize the effects of accidents like these. And here’s how.

1. Sleeves

A basic accessory for any avid tabletop gamer, card sleeves will protect your cards from most liquid spillage and wear-and-tear. If you are playing collectible and trading card games like Magic: The Gathering, you will need this to keep your expensive cards from losing their value. Keep in mind that many games require your cards to be absolutely indistinguishable from one another, like Resistance, Werewolf or Exploding Kittens; the slightest visible mark on the cards could make the game unplayable. And even if you are very careful when playing, the oils and sweat from your skin will degrade your cards over time. There are plenty of options when shopping for sleeves, like Mayday, Ultra-Pro and Fantasy Flight. Some games have cards for which there are no available sleeves, for those rare cases, laminating the cards may be an option, or even a light varnish coat.

2. Varnish

Boards and tiles get a lot of usage and sometimes get damaged due to drinks, sand, rough tables or the elements in general. Since it is usually not easy to sleeve tiles, the best option here is to varnish. A light clear varnish works best, but if you want to make sure, get some of the leftover punch-out board from an old game and test it first.

3. Zip bags

Zip bags are a very simple solution for small pieces and meeples, and most games provide them now. They will eventually wear out though and will need to be replaced. They also make your setup and pack up time faster and easier.

4. Box reinforcements and bands

After a lot of use and transport, boxes start to scrape and tear at the corners. You can use the varnish solution mentioned above on the corners, but if your box is weak you may need to reinforce it with strong clear tape to prevent it from breaking as well.

Transporting your game also comes with the risk of the lid falling off, meaning you spend the next 45 minutes searching for all those meeples in the car. For this you can use rubber bands or the specialized box bands from The Broken Token.

5. Game organisers

Even using ziplock bags is not enough for some games. The number of pieces is high and there are many different sets of cards that need to be organised and kept separate. Keeping things organised is key to keeping them undamaged so game organisers are a great addition to any collection. You can build your own with foam core or, if you don’t have the time, you can get some from ready to assemble from our range of Broken Token organisers.

6. Common sense

They say common sense is anything but common. If your game is new and not yet sleeved, don’t put those nachos and guacamole right next to it.

Keep babies at bay, both for the safety of the baby (most games have small pieces that represent a choking hazard) and so that they don’t drool on top of your brand new Dead of Winter.

We all love cats and dogs, but if your cat plays with your meeples, you are bound to lose some, and your dog, well, let’s just say you will need to wait for it to “expel” that D20 the next day.

Playing games at the beach? Great, just keep in mind that sand is evil.