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Sergeants Miniatures Game: Day of Days» Forums » General

Subject: Worth it? rss

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Steven R
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I've watched SMG on BGG over the past year or so but had not jumped on board for a variety of reasons. I had the opportunity to watch the game play at a local game store recently and even allowed to play a couple of turns. I've since watched several video reviews and read through the updated rules...so, decision time purchase or not.

Where I'm coming from - I have about 60 28mm WWII Metal Figs that I've painted and based. I also have a large collection of WWII 'N' Scale vehiles/figs. I've played 'Spearhead', 'Crossfire', 'Bolt Action', Memoir 44, but I am currently using 'Flying Lead' rules (spin off from Song of Blades & Heroes) as it's fast, fun, and easily modified and can be downloaded for $8.



So, will I purchase SMG? I have to say 'No' with a caveat. While I liked what I saw and experienced it comes down to price. The quality of the components are very nice and I find the comic style art on the cards that some have complained about not to be a problem.

I had to factor in that the base game is limited and with a couple of expansions you would be looking at over $200 total for a complete game system (IMHO). As a dedicated board gamer and miniature collector/painter enthusiast, I think my dollar could be better invested. I'm not a 'hater' of the game, I would just prefer that Lost Battalion Games found a way to produce a similar product at a price point of no more than $100 - $120 (including some of the expansion materials) even if it meant sacraficing some of the quality and prepainted miniatures. I know many gamers feel the same and this is not a knock on the game itself...I see it rather as a compliment.

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Charlie Theel
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I hear ya Steven. It took me over a year and a half of deliberating and arguing with myself before I finally bought in. To really experience the game you need to buy DAy of Days, Road to Carentan, and a Squad bundle for each side in my opinion, so yes it's a hefty price. Most of us have spent much, much more than that thus far.

In all honesty, price to fun ratio I don't think this game has been a great value for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a great game and I've enjoyed it, however, it's not among my top 10 games (unless you just want to count miniature games) and I've had many more hours of entertainment from a $15 copy of The Resistance: Avalon than SMG.

I do like this game though and will probably never sell it, simply because of how unique and interesting it is. I'm hopeful we continue to see more solo scenarios released (a scenario system would be excellent) so I can play it more often. That would really up the value in my eyes.
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Helmut Apel
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+1 for solo!
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Martin Gallo
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One thing I found interesting about my feelings towards this game system. I bought DoD and a couple of extra squads and then played it, loved it and bought more. I have expansions and scenarios for this game that I have not even opened yet, let alone played (just this week while cleaning up I found a whole squad of US unopened troops!!!). And yet I still keep on spending money on it. The rules are still not quite "finished" and there seems to be a never-ending stream of small fixes and component issues (errata on some of the cards). None of my friends like the game (some ridicule it for its oddball mechanics, luck of the draw game play and lack of consistent or rational grenade, close combat or LoS rules).

So why on earth do I keep spending money on it? What absolute madness possesses me to waste precious resources on this game?

I have a great time playing it. Even solitaire it is fun. The rules "questions" still malingering out there are fairly minor and easily adjudicated before play (and really, what game is played without house rules?). I keep telling myself that I can use the figures for other games, but I never do.
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Jason Horton
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I would love to see an official set of solo rules as well.
 
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Donald Coon
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I do not think the game is worth it. It is visually stunning no question. The cost to fun ratio is way out of balance though. The rules are weakly written and very frustrating. House rules are fine, but make trying to play in the larger community difficult.

Every time I read the rules I get more frustrated. I just opened my Kickstarter and read the various rules and supplements (including the extremely frustrating Guest Stars 4 fold set) and immediately regretted my purchase. Rules are buried in folksy text and tons of important game play mechanics are buried in the various rules and supplements and are very difficult to dig out. I wish LBG would spend 1/4 of the amount of time on the rules as they do pumping out new product. The new product for me and my game group stopped being cool when we failed to be able to play it efficiently.

Also you can not really play this out of the box. You need a minimum of one major expansion to make the board big enough so the game does not degenerate into Move/Shoot/Resolve continue (one the DoD board size you almost never get to hide and almost always spot).

If I could go back in time I would not purchase this game. As I have, I will make the best if it, and to be fair as a miniature game the visuals make it worth the purchase if you have spare cash. If LBG had used 15mm or 28mm they would have also realized more sales as the figs could be used for other game systems.
 
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Brian
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If SMG had been originally released with the 2.0 rules in 2011, then it would be easier to get others interested in this game. I love this game but I had to shelve it for well over a year while LBG continued to ignore the fact that the rules desperately had to be rewritten as soon as possible. The 1.72 attempt was not even close to good enough. Instead of taking their time and recognizing the importance of getting the rules right, they chose to release an avalanche of product and rushed 1.72. I thought that was a huge mistake and caused me to boycott SMG entirely during 2012.

Now that the rules are finally better, it may be too little too late as it's a bit of a struggle to get my former gaming pals even convinced that the new rules are worth relearning the system yet again. I fear this game I love is going to merely end up being the most expensive solitaire game I've ever purchased. I think LBG dropped the ball when they released the original game in 2011 without a decent rule set and then they did it again with all that 2012 expansion material and yet again when the Red Devils kickstarter campaign launched before they took care of the rules so the game could grow naturally.

The only way you can sell a lot of units is by gamers telling other gamers good things about your game system. Releasing new product into a cauldron of confusion does not accomplish this. The price point of the game was already against them. They needed to listen to the fans complaining early on about giving the rules a thorough and proper revision.

Overcoming the price point requires gamers telling other gamers not just good, but great things about SMG. I don't think that has happened like the fans hoped it would. It's too bad there isn't a time machine do-over because as great as I think this game is, SMG will probably be destined to fall short of it's true potential and the early multiple failed attempts at fixing the rules seem directly to blame.

[I still hope that it isn't too late and SMG sales will take off in the right direction at last.][Actually, I'm sure the sales are fine after RD, what I really hope is that I can even recruit people to play this game again.]
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Schu Bo
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I'm interested in possibly picking up this game, but after reading some posts, I'm a little concerned about the rulebook especially since it is quite an investment.
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Mayor Jim
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Brian, well said...
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Greg
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Rules have holes for sure, and they have gotten better with the 2.0 rules. That said, the thing that is most disappointing is that even though they have been aware of people's concern about the rules, they haven't made it a priority to have complete, clear and well thought out rules before releasing new stuff.

I just received St. Come du Mont recently and had expected to have complete and clear rules for them considering all the flak LBG has been getting about doing things right in the first place. I was disappointed that the rules are lacking. That said, I will fill in the holes with what makes sense to me. Of course that's more work for me, and it shouldn't have to be.

I really love the game and think it has huge potential. But unless LBG gets their head out of their ass and starts to answer questions and put those answers in a one-stop shopping place, and start to put the effort into having complete and clear rules with each release, then they may end up with a lot of production sitting around.

I've had fun every time I've played this game, so for me it's certainly enjoyable. But it has cost me a lot of money. Right now I don't think I can justify pouring more money into this game until I see major changes in how they approach the importance of rules, and that includes special rules for scenarios and having the proper Story Deck cards listed for the scenario, as well as the proper Orders cards listed.

If LBG put half the effort into the rules/scenarios as they do in the beauty of the components, then they'd have something special going for them for a long time. As it stands now, I see them as only doing the minimum to get by, and that's not going to cut it in the long run.
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Martin Gallo
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It seems to me that the game rules are fine, it is the expansions where things get a little unclear about integrating them in to the regular game.
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Greg
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Schuey wrote:
I'm interested in possibly picking up this game, but after reading some posts, I'm a little concerned about the rulebook especially since it is quite an investment.


Most of the rules are pretty good, but there are a lot of little details missing that are left for players to make rules on. It is quite an investment, so if you are willing to spend that much money (I'd say $300+) and time (to get through the rules and make your own rulings on occasion), then it is worth it. I've seen a lot of games where people aren't happy with the rules, so SMG isn't alone by a mile in that department. But....there's a difference in having to deal with lacking rules with a $20 or $50 game, as oppose to a game that you can spend $100's on.
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Greg
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martimer wrote:
It seems to me that the game rules are fine, it is the expansions where things get a little unclear about integrating them in to the regular game.


I agree Martin. The main game rules are fine. But the expansions and extra goodies in Red Devils is the thing that people look forward to playing, but then find rules lacking.

While I don't think LBG should be left off the hook, they had better get their act together for new release completeness in rules. But the game is playable and fun.
 
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Charlie Theel
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martimer wrote:
It seems to me that the game rules are fine, it is the expansions where things get a little unclear about integrating them in to the regular game.


Yes, I don't think 1 single expansion element has been released without a rules issue.
 
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Chris Ganshaw
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Personally, I have not seen as many of rules issues that others complain about. The game does have a steep "buy-in" price. But I certainly cannot see reducing the quality to lower the price. I understand asking for the ability to buy a soldier either painted or unpainted. However LBG wants the game to have a specific look on the table, so I do not expect to see that option. Having seen what some people do to field a "painted" WH40K army, I can't say that I blame LBG.
 
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Greg
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Banor58 wrote:
Personally, I have not seen as many of rules issues that others complain about. The game does have a steep "buy-in" price. But I certainly cannot see reducing the quality to lower the price. I understand asking for the ability to buy a soldier either painted or unpainted. However LBG wants the game to have a specific look on the table, so I do not expect to see that option. Having seen what some people do to field a "painted" WH40K army, I can't say that I blame LBG.


I agree about LBG not selling unpainted minis with soldier cards. They want it to look great and it does.

As far as the rules go, I agree that the basic mechanics and most rules are fine, but if you haven't had questions about stuff, then my hat is off to you because you must have a direct link to Jeff's brain
 
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Schu Bo
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Thanks for the responses. Probably going to see if one of my friends is interested in splitting the cost for the base set and see what we think. The look and quality of the components is definitely what is drawing me in and I wouldn't want them to change that.
 
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Bruce E. Schwark
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Is SMG worth it? Well that is really subjective.
In my case it is worth it, despite the investment.
I've been wargaming since 1973 and still have a closet-full of Avalon Hill, Battleline, SPI, and Victory Games. Problem is that there is limited to no opponents to be found who want to invest the time to play or learn the rules. Even those I know who will spend 4+ hours in one sitting playing an electronic game will not sit down face-to-face to play a boardgame.
At least with SMG I can interest my sons for a few hours, which they will not do even for Afrika Korps, or Air Force, or Third Reich. If I see my brothers, or brother-in-law our time is short so we will play SMG. They would gladly play some of the more advanced "meaty" games in my closet but Hells Highway just takes too long.

The griping over the SMG rules befuddles me. Perhaps I'm a bit more long-suffering than others. I recall the 1st edition Squad Leader, followed by the 1st edition Cross of Iron (which came with so many mistakes, AH had to replace the counter sheets), with each layer/expansion set the ruleset became so convoluted I know several who dumped the whole thing.
I could offer similar examples with Third Reich, and the RPG Traveler.

So when it comes to the SMG ruleset, it is a breath of fresh air. I admit there are a couple things they I want clarified, but only for the rare chance I'll get to play them in a tournament setting. Any questions/concerns I've had with the ruleset have not pushed me to exasperation or had me reconsider my investment which is nearly $700.

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Jeff Pseudonym
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Banor58 wrote:
Personally, I have not seen as many of rules issues that others complain about. The game does have a steep "buy-in" price. But I certainly cannot see reducing the quality to lower the price. I understand asking for the ability to buy a soldier either painted or unpainted. However LBG wants the game to have a specific look on the table, so I do not expect to see that option. Having seen what some people do to field a "painted" WH40K army, I can't say that I blame LBG.


I have to +1 this. While I have noticed a few grey areas in the rules when I played, I have not yet had any game breaking issues. While some things have not been as clear as they could have been, I have not played many games that I could not say the same thing about.

As for the price point. I find that it really depends where you are coming from. If you are more of a board gamer than this game will be steep. If you are from the world of miniature war-gaming then the price will be much much lower.

In the end I have played this a game quite a bit and it is often at our family game night. I enjoy it and am glad I bought in to it. But that is my opinion, YMMV.

-Jeff M.
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Greg
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Well said E.S. and Jeff M.

We all come from different backgrounds, so some people are used to fighting through some rules clarifications that are a lot worse than SMG, while some are used to dealing with more clear cut rules. So a lot of how people perceive rules issues is sometimes dependent on what they are used to or have experienced in the past.

As I've said, the base rules/mechanics are fine, and a lot better in 2.0 than 1.72.

That said, some of us have been on here for a while and very active in trying to get clarifications from a while ago. So perhaps some of our views are biased in the fact that aside from the investment (I'm at $800), some of us have spent a ton of time here in helping get things straightened out, so that now where we sit with the 2.0 rules helps new players have better introduction to the game. While I wasn't on the rules committee, I was part of a lot of discussions previous to that, which involved issues that needed to be addressed and were addressed. So some of us that may "complain" about rules issues, may be bringing in the memories of stuff in the past, but at this point, it's not fair to harbor those feelings, as they were from the past and that work/time paid off with better 2.0 rules for us and new players to enjoy.

However, after all that, I had expected LBG to take more time to work on the rules for the new expansions, so that we didn't have to come here and ask questions much. I really don't think that is too much to ask for a company to do. When I teach a game to people, I want to know what I'm teaching them and not "figuring it out on the fly". The core game is great now and that will be what I start teaching people, but when I want to bust out St.Come du Mont buildings, or the "Guest Stars", I want to know what I'm teaching. It's one thing to figure things out when teaching/playing with ones kids or other family members, but when teaching hardcore gamers, it can be different as they have certain expectations that others may not.

As Jeff M. mentioned regarding the price point, minis gamers will be used to having a steep investment, while board gamers will not be as used to that. That holds true for the rules too, in that some war games will require more time to figure things out, especially if it's a single book of rules that don't come as part of a game set. Whereas board gamers may be less used to the extra work required, though there a ton of less than good rules sets for board games too. The thing with SMG is that it is kind of a hybrid of board game and minis war game, so it is attracting both to it and some people from each different background may struggle with some of the differences from what they are used to. But given time, they should find it to be a mostly great experience.

To that end, I've been doing my own playtesting so that I can figure out some of the bugs and make rulings on them. I've done that for the Crater pieces we got in the RD Kickstarter, which also helped in getting clarification from Jeff B. about how the special rules worked in that scenario #209. If I hadn't commented in my AAR session report, then Jeff wouldn't have seen that issue (and another one for that scenario) and commented on how it is supposed to work. So if people don't say anything or complain about specific rules issues, then they will never get resolved and others will/can get frustrated, where they wouldn't have if those things were addressed prior to release. I also just finished testing another scenario, #216 Heed The Call for the Hasty Positions set. I have already played HP, as I had it before RD, but I wanted extra practice to see any issues that can come up when teaching it, as well as I wanted to test the British Infiltrator Tactics Module so I know how to teach that. That helped as I was able to rule on things I was unclear of, and I also found a Team Card that didn't have a PREEMPT, ANY or REACT on the top, as it was blank. I posted a picture and found that others will have it. It seems that it is supposed to be a REACT card. So in "questioning" things, we can get answers.

Back to backgrounds and why I'm particular about clarity. I've helped playtest various games and have been a designer in a customs project and had input on certain designs or elements of designs for published releases. I'm currently involved with Mice and Mystics and have been doing so for over a year now. I wasn't involved in their first release, but have been on their first expansion Mice and Mystics: Heart of Glorm that is already out and for the next one that will be the size of the base game. There were questions people had for the first release, so part of our focus since then, was to spend the time it takes to make the new rules/abilities/scenarios as clear as possible. We started in March on this release and still have a ways to go, as the designer warned us that committing to testing it would likely be a year's worth of time with testing and playtest reports required regularly, as well as contributing online to rules, abilities, editing and such. So with that as my background, I see what other companies do to help alleviate rules issues as best as possible. It's never going to be perfect and there will always going to be people that will have questions or just not "get it" right away, but with time and effort, those things can be reduced.

So there it is. I love SMG and think it's a great game. But I also have expectations that improvement can be made in certain areas and don't feel that it is wrong to have those expectations.


Edit: One other thing to note. People can play the normal rules and not get involved in the advanced rules and have plenty of fun with the game.
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Jeff Billings
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martimer wrote:
It seems to me that the game rules are fine, it is the expansions where things get a little unclear about integrating them in to the regular game.


The expansions will have some updates next week under the http://www.lostbattaliongames.com/c-366-Sergeants-Terrain-Ex... page.

We have a limitation updating Terrain Expansions because they are released before follow on Chapter expansions. To address that we will add online examples of play for the X-Terrain and additional online scenarios. Each expansion will have updates completed before the end of March.

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Jeff Billings
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Hanomag wrote:
Banor58 wrote:
Personally, I have not seen as many of rules issues that others complain about. The game does have a steep "buy-in" price. But I certainly cannot see reducing the quality to lower the price. I understand asking for the ability to buy a soldier either painted or unpainted. However LBG wants the game to have a specific look on the table, so I do not expect to see that option. Having seen what some people do to field a "painted" WH40K army, I can't say that I blame LBG.


I have to +1 this. While I have noticed a few grey areas in the rules when I played, I have not yet had any game breaking issues. While some things have not been as clear as they could have been, I have not played many games that I could not say the same thing about.

As for the price point. I find that it really depends where you are coming from. If you are more of a board gamer than this game will be steep. If you are from the world of miniature war-gaming then the price will be much much lower.

In the end I have played this a game quite a bit and it is often at our family game night. I enjoy it and am glad I bought in to it. But that is my opinion, YMMV.

-Jeff M.


Thank you Jeff.

To the group on this thread - at great hazard...I ask this question. Is the price point the issue?

I have never seen any example of the game play being an issue. The rules are getting clearer and we will continue to identify problems and fix them. I think our customer support has proven valuable. So is the real question, can we provide the game at a lower cost?
 
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Charlie Theel
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Jeff Billings wrote:
Hanomag wrote:
Banor58 wrote:
Personally, I have not seen as many of rules issues that others complain about. The game does have a steep "buy-in" price. But I certainly cannot see reducing the quality to lower the price. I understand asking for the ability to buy a soldier either painted or unpainted. However LBG wants the game to have a specific look on the table, so I do not expect to see that option. Having seen what some people do to field a "painted" WH40K army, I can't say that I blame LBG.


I have to +1 this. While I have noticed a few grey areas in the rules when I played, I have not yet had any game breaking issues. While some things have not been as clear as they could have been, I have not played many games that I could not say the same thing about.

As for the price point. I find that it really depends where you are coming from. If you are more of a board gamer than this game will be steep. If you are from the world of miniature war-gaming then the price will be much much lower.

In the end I have played this a game quite a bit and it is often at our family game night. I enjoy it and am glad I bought in to it. But that is my opinion, YMMV.

-Jeff M.


Thank you Jeff.

To the group on this thread - at great hazard...I ask this question. Is the price point the issue?

I have never seen any example of the game play being an issue. The rules are getting clearer and we will continue to identify problems and fix them. I think our customer support has proven valuable. So is the real question, can we provide the game at a lower cost?


I think the price point definitely is a major factor. Many of us love your game but are much less forgiving because when you invest so much into a game you hold it to a much higher standard and expect things to be perfect.

Many people also get caught up in shiny new releases and feel like they have to collect everything. So they pay a lot of money for something they don't need and may not get a lot of use out of and them they get even more frustrated when rules are missing (St. Come Du Monte steeple rules, some guest star stuff being unclear, Road to Carentan scenario issues).

The cost amplifies the issues is my main point.
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Doug Head

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I certainly can't speak to the entire community, but here's my 2 cents...

Although I would always like to see lower prices, I would not sacrifice the current quality of the components for a price decrease. The product quality is amazing and the LBG customer service is outstanding. As an example, I was missing parts to an order and Debbie responded to me on a Sunday to assure me that the issue would be urgently addressed. I have not felt that I overpaid for any order and I've spent a lot.

What I would like to see are tutorial videos. I'm not aware of any other groups in my area that play this game, so I only have the BGG community to turn to when questions arise. So, if the answer's not here, I'm in trouble.

Lots of videos please!
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Jeff Billings
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I agree video training is needed.
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