Mobile Menu

Upgraded Bits are Nice, But Not Necessary – Board Game Rambling about Wyrmspan

Recently, Stonemaier Games sent us over a copy of Wyrmspan for review, and we think it is a brilliant game (more on that in the near future). Whenever we get review items from Stonemaier, they are sent to reviewers via the regional Stonemaier Games webstore. We have always been upfront with the fact that Stonemaier provides us the games at no-cost, but since they send it to us with free shipping, I always peruse the store and often will buy upgraded bits to add to my order.

In the past, we have purchased metal coins for Libertalia  when that was sent for review, we purchased the playmat for Expeditions  when that was sent for review, and this time around, we thought about purchasing the upgraded resources and metal coins for Wrymspan. Unfortunately, those were out of stock and while I was a bit disappointed, I was happy to review the game without purchasing better components.

I’ll be upfront about this – I am a big time sucker for cosmetic add-ons for games. I have neoprene mats when they aren’t required. I have metal coins, when cardboard coins are just fine. I have realistic Scythe resources when the regular resources work just fine. I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff, and the cost of upgrading your games adds up quickly.


So here I sat, with a retail copy of Wyrmspan, with nothing upgraded. And for the first time in a long time, I was content about what was sitting in front of me on the table. Part of that, or course, is due to how Stonemaier Games produces their games. They use the best cardboard, the best card quality, and always add something in the box that gives you a premium feel, but at a standard game price. For Wyrmspan, that would be the plastic eggs.

The longer and more I played Wrymspan, the more I appreciated the tokens. While realistic resources would have been nice, having those piled all around my player board was going to be a lot less space efficient than the tokens included in the box. And the tokens included in the box were really good quality, had great imagery on them, and nicely stacked into neat piles so I always knew what I had. Was it really worth upgrading an already fantastically produced game for 44.99 CAD plus tax? I thought so when shopping for my review copy – I don’t think so now.

There is nothing wrong with upgrading your games, and there have been times when I think upgrading games is necessary to enjoy it. For example, the cardboard tokens in Life of the Amazonia are horrifically bad, almost requiring you to upgrade to premium components. That being said, I think we need to spend more time being happy about what we have when we purchase a game, rather than instantly look to make it better. Companies are producing games of higher and higher quality, sometimes coming with a much higher price tag as well. But we need to believe that these companies are putting out the best possible product to retail – upgrading them is simply a personal desire, not one of necessity.


And you might find, like I did, that the retail version components are more efficient and practical than anything you might get in an upgrade kit!


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

Follow on:
Twitter: @AdamRoffel