Damon AsherUnited States
OK, I recently realized that I have a geek pet peeve: thin cardboard counters in otherwise good production value games from publishers that should know better. Thin counters or tiles bug me far more than unmounted boards; you don't have to pick up and handle the boards as you play. On the list of thin-counter shame:
Hollywood Blockbuster (RIP Uberplay)
Macao (come on Alea! This is the freakin' Big Box line, step it up!)
These are the ones that come immediately to mind, but I'm sure I'll add more as I come across them again.
Peeve number 2: unpainted miniatures. I am no painter, and I have a hard time distinguishing gray minis from one another on the board. What I usually do is color the base of each mini with a different colored Sharpie so I can tell them apart easily. I would much rather have a cardboard stand-up with nice art than an unpainted miniature. I'm not talking about dudes-on-a-map style wargames. There minis of different colors for each army are fine (unless there are factions within that army that should be different colors, WAR OF THE RING!). I mean games like Runebound where you have a single pawn that you need to pick out from all the other gray pawns on the board.
Fantasy Flight is a big offender here. Come on, can't we at least make each player pawn a different color? At least dip the bases? On the other hand, FFG also demonstrates the model I like the best with Arkham Horror: stand-ups in the game with the option to purchase painted minis separately. That's the way to do it! I'll invest in those bad boys if I love the game. So bravo FFG! And also BOOOO!
On a related note, if you're going to go with stand-ups, provide one stand for each stand-up. Do not make me destroy the stand-up bottoms by squeezing different ones into too few bases each game. Also, make sure that the bases actually hold the cardboard. I am surprised that Z-Man Games gave us those utterly useless bases with Magical Athlete. I can't remember right now if they did the right thing and at least provide one base per character, because I had to swap in some other stands I had. In any case, so close, yet so far!