Top 14 Nice Things you Can Say about Through the Ages, FRED Distribution, and Keith Blume
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There has been some criticisms of the newly reprinted Through the Ages, its publisher (FRED Distribution), and the FRED head (BBG member Keith Blume).
I have personally played the FRED version a half dozen times and can tell you that while we would all love the game to be free of these minor production inperfections, the game is absolutely amazing. The production values are much better than the original and the minor issues do not detract from stelar game play (which for me is the overriding issue).

It is very easy to find the negatives in life and focus only on those. However, we must remember to seek out the positive, good aspects of everything and everyone. It is in that spirit that I invite the BGG community to join me in saying something nice about Through the Ages, FRED Distribution, and Keith Blume.
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1. Board Game: Six Cubes [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:13808]
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Yes, Through the Ages was short one cube of the 6 needed in each color. But, having only 5 cubes means quicker clean up since you will have less to sort & store after playing. Fewer pieces also means a reduced risk of a game piece falling the floor and resulting in the choking death of your chi-wawa.
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2. Board Game: Hot Property! [Average Rating:5.11 Unranked]
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Check out Keith's wife -- she is HOT! Kind of hard to blame the guy if he claims to have been a little distracted when he should have been proofing Through the Ages.
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3. Board Game: The Gathering [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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Keith Blume is RESOURCEFUL. When he could not get an invitation to the exclusive 2007 "Gathering of Friends," he dressed up as Alan Moon and crashed the event!
 
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4. Board Game: Unspeakable Words [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2497]
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The FRED staff all know the meaning of the word SNARKY. I consider myself fairly well-read, but had to look it up.
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5. Board Game: Dish Pan Hands [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Dish Pan Hands? ...not for Keith Blume. His first job out of high school was as a hand model, though his promising career was cut short by an unfortunate accident involving a hot iron. You probably have seen and appreciated his work throughout BGG. Remember -- the hands make the man!
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6. Board Game: Wallace & Gromit Going Crackers [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
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Keith "Gromit" Blume is part of the "In-Crowd" in the gaming world and often hangs out with legendary game designer Martin Wallace (lower right).
 
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7. Board Game: Monogamy [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:11043]
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Keith's mom is HOT!
 
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8. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:583]
 
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Through the Ages shipped in cardboard boxes holding 6 copies of the game per container and the shipping boxes were absolutely amazing -- they were QUAD-walled. Yes, you read that correctly -- QUAD-walled (a double-walled box with a double-walled insert). Double-wlled boxes are fairly common (1960 and LNOE shipped in them) and tripled-walled (double-walled + a single-wall insert) are used by Fantasy Flight Games to ship jumbo games Starcraft, Tide of Iron, etc. But, FRED has set a new standard in shipping box containers with these QUAD-walled boxes. Well done, FRED, well done indeed!
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9. Board Game: Bulls and Bears [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
 
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Keith Blume is LOYAL. He is a life-long fan of all Chicago teams and has season tickets to da Bulls, da Bears, and da Cubs. His dedication to his teams has never waivered -- even while Rex Grossman was having more turn-overs than a Saturday morning IHOP cook making flapjacks.
 
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10. Board Game: The 100 Games [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
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FRED has 4 games in the BGG Top 100:
* RRT
* Brass
* Through the Ages
* Struggle of Empires


....Z-Man only has three:
* Agricola
* 1960
* Reef Encounter
 
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11. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:757]
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Keith's contributions to the wonderful world in which we live is not limited to his current efforts at FRED Disribution. He has worked both as an architect (have you seen his new addition to the Guggenheim) and as a marine biologist (specializing in cetaceans). Immediately prior to joining Eagle Games, Keith was with Vandaley Industries and was their top latex salesman for 3 consecutive quarters.
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12. Board Game: Daddy Cool [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:8767]
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Keith is the ultimate family man. He routinely calls in sick at FRED so he can spend more time with his wife and 8 kids. Between April & October, you will not find Keith at work nor his sons at school if the Cubs are in town.
 
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13. Board Game: KISS-opoly [Average Rating:5.97 Unranked]
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The improvements (left) to the original cards (right) in Through the Ages are innumerable.

1. Larger
2. Rounded Corners
3. Higher Quality Card Stock
4. KISS

Any publisher who is smart enough to capture both the hardcore gaming market PLUS the Gene Simmons tongue-loving market is definitely getting my money.
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14. Board Game: Philanthropist: A Window on the World of Painting [Average Rating:4.78 Unranked]
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FRED Distrubtion is amongst the most philanthropic businesses in the U.S. They have pledged to donate all profits from their release of Stop Lights http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/29582 to the Art Institute of Chicago.
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