|You would have to be crazy to prefer blocks over these.|
Don't you hate it when a really great board game happens to be packaged with some truly lackluster components? While I love Lords of Waterdeep and Pandemic, I hate that both games utilize boring, colored cubes instead of something more interesting or thematic. Sometimes, the little things DO matter, especially when you're trying to invoke theme with something.
Thankfully, options exist for tricking out board games to make them much cooler and maybe even a little unique.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term "tricking out", I'll do my best to define it. People who are "tricking out" something are adding additional or replacement elements to make the product cooler or more visually pleasing to them. They might also want to personalize the product, making their copy of said product more unique. Usually this term is used when talking about customizing cars, but you can do it for your board games too, and there are some cool products you can pick up to make the job easier.
The Broken Token, for example, offers some pretty cool products for customizing your board games. Looking for a good replacement for those stupid cubes in Lords of Waterdeep? Pick up their awesome DnDeeples. When you need to get some Fighters for that frustrating mandatory quest you need to complete, you can now grab pieces that actually look like warriors. Also, you get a hundred of them for about $25. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Another company offering some pretty cool products for tricking out your games is LITKO. Love Pandemic, but hate the virus cubes and boring pawns? Well, LITKO offers some cool virus tokens and upgraded player pawns. While purchasing both products will cost you roughly $55 ($40 for the tokens & $15 for the pawns), I believe the price is worth it.
However, you don't have to purchase specialized bits & pieces to customize your game. For example, you can purchase a pack of petri dishes to store your recently acquired Pandemic virus tokens for about $10, you can pick up some cool miniatures to replace the crappy cardboard monster tokens in Betrayal at House on the Hill, or some cool fake coins to use for Settlers of Catan's welfare variant.
I hope this post inspires some people to customize & trick out their board games, making them more awesome. I can highly recommend The Broken Token & LITKO for professionally made additions and they have so much cool stuff. Also, keep your eyes open for other cool stuff that you can use with your board games to add theme or make the experience better. We customize so much of our products. Why not do the same with our board games?