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When designing a board game to publish on the web, what components are safe to assume that most people will already have in their collection?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted
  • chess
  • checkers
  • six-sided dice
  • playing cards
  • pen & paper
  • coins
  • simple play pieces (meeples or other incarnations)
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Especially pen & paper are extremely versatile. I would add "a printer" to that, which gives you some features that pen & paper don't have. – Erik P. Oct 29 '10 at 13:16
I added in the items from my answer and marked this as the accepted answer. Thanks. – Don Kirkby Nov 5 '10 at 4:44
I'd leave chess out... – Kempeth Nov 5 '10 at 7:26

You can look at what the Cheapass games come with and what they suggest you borrow from other games. Typically they assume players have:

  • Dice
  • Pawns / meeples / etc
  • Counters such as coins / beads / etc
  • Pen and paper
  • A stack of paper money
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  • pens/pencils
  • paper
  • dice
  • playing cards
  • coins
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I'll state the obvious ones:

  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Six-sided dice
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Only six-sided dice for most people, though. If you need D10s or something, then you limit your audience. – Richard Gadsden Oct 29 '10 at 9:29
Dominoes are a strange addition to the list; I wouldn't think of them as universal. – Jadasc Oct 29 '10 at 13:11
Thanks for the feedback, @Richard and @Jadasc. I've incorporated it in my answer. – Don Kirkby Oct 30 '10 at 4:49
Dominoes are common but not so common you can expect people to have them. Yes, they might be easy to find (not so sure anyway), but only if you really knew in advance you needed them... – o0'. Nov 2 '10 at 23:07
  • Nearly everybody has "play money" around in some form or another - from Monopoly, Life, or similar games
  • Many households that lack a chess set will still have pawns from Sorry, Parcheesi, etc..
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