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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Rant on component quality - Did I get a lemon printing? rss

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tibbles von tibbleton
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Even though I don't have any opponents willing to play yet, I decided to purchase a copy of TI3, because...why not?

Anyways, I've been punching out the components yesterday and today, and I gotta say, I'm disappointed in the component quality. I'm curious if it's just my copy or what?

In the base box a lot of my cardboard tokens did not want to come out, the Command counters that weren't printed in a little trapezoid especially. Many of those single counters had the cardboard layers start splitting apart. And for the Bonus tokens, the printed layer wasn't even properly 100% cut out so when I went to remove them, I lost corners. Needless to say, that is very disheartening when you're unpacking a new $80 game. I've never had this happen with any other game, even other FF games, pretty sure my removal technique is not to blame.

Oh, and they pack the cards in that nice tight brick that stays together. So, naturally what happened? The plastic wrap crushed the edges on the first card. The first card being the Imperium Rex card. So, the random-draw, game-ending card, is marked. Not hugely marked, but it looks like its been played 20-30 times and the edge stands out in the otherwise new card deck.

The Shattered Empire expansion cardboard thankfully seemed normal, everything punched out easily and without splits. But then, I shuffled up the cards with the base game and noticed the card edges are a different shade. For the base game, the edges are white, for the expansion they're gray. You can tell my looking at the deck whether you're about to pull an expansion or a base card...What the heck?

I also think the plastic miniature quality looks kinda cheap, but then I'm probably spoiled coming from Games-Workshop overpriced, but fricking awesome minis.

I contacted FF's customer support to say what happened and express my displeasure. Their response pretty much was, "The game is from 2005 and used production methods new for the time. Thank you for your feedback." Uhh, yeah, but my printing was the 2014 print run, I don't think your cardboard is a decade old.

What do I do? Just fill out their replacement token form and request like 30 different token replacements?
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Steve Williams
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tibbles wrote:
What do I do? Just fill out their replacement token form and request like 30 different token replacements?


This. It's unfortunate you got so many issues out of your core copy, but I'd be surprised if they wont replace the stuff for you.

And are you sure you got a 2014 printing? Is the FFG logo on the side Red, or Silver? And do your race sheets say that PDS's cost 1 or 2 resources?

Red Logo with 1-cost misprinted PDS's means you've got a 2005 printing.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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The PDS resource cost is 2 and I had a 2014 product catalog in the box, so my gut says 2014 printing
edit: Silver logo too.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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I guess I'll inventory which tokens I need to replace.

But what about that card border color? Isn't that strange they're a different shade? Is that true of everyone's?

This just bugs my OCD side and makes me feel like I'm cheating by looking at the side of the objective stack.
 
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Phil Triest
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Some pics would seriously help your rant. My copy had no problems at all.
 
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Scott Randolph
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I've bought 3 copies of TI3 base game, I have extra player colors for the units (Neon Green, Sky Blue, Lavender, White, Brown, etc).

I have had to shave, trim and otherwise "repair" the plastic components for every copy of the game I have purchased:
1. The GF's won't lay flat and have lots of flash
2. There's generally at least 1 DN that is utterly deformed
3. Cards with unreadable print, Action cards are the most common offender

...that's the bad news, the good news is FFG customer service is fantastic and they will replace any defective parts without question or cost.
 
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Scott Lewis
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With that many replacements requested, I would second that having pictures of them would hurt. FFG's customer service is excellent, but when the quantity is so large, it would help make sure that someone doesn't think you are overreacting. (They might not anyway, but it never hurts to cover your bases).
 
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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It certainly sounds like you got a lemon copy. Your complaints sound justified to me, and I also would not be happy with the issues you describe.

I don't think it's a pattern. My copy came in great shape, and I've never heard of one that is as bad as yours is.

I echo the other posters here -- just grit your teeth and go through FFG's token replacement. I'd include a picture if you can. It helps credibility, though FFG's customer service is usually very good at making things right.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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Thanks, good to know it's just my copy. Hopefully the replacement process goes smoothly.

Edit: I think we've all seen split cardboard, I'll snap some pics for my replacement mail, but won't bother to upload them here. This though, is what I mean by the card edges being different colored:



And 1 guess which card is Imperium Rex.
 
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Jeff S
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As for the cards being a different shade on the side - those would be different printings, so problems like this aren't quite so uncommon. Sleeving them could help hide the issue.
 
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Lance Harrop
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SFRR wrote:
I've bought 3 copies of TI3 base game, I have extra player colors for the units (Neon Green, Sky Blue, Lavender, White, Brown, etc).

I have had to shave, trim and otherwise "repair" the plastic components for every copy of the game I have purchased:
1. The GF's won't lay flat and have lots of flash
2. There's generally at least 1 DN that is utterly deformed
3. Cards with unreadable print, Action cards are the most common offender

...that's the bad news, the good news is FFG customer service is fantastic and they will replace any defective parts without question or cost.


I particularly love soaking the carriers in hot water so I can straighten them out, then dipping them in cold water so they will set.

One the other hand I've only had one deformed dreadnaught.
 
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Adam Lucas
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Those curves in the carriers aren't intentional? I thought it was some sort of futuristic look the sculptor was going for.
 
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Scott Lewis
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coppro wrote:
tibbles wrote:
I guess I'll inventory which tokens I need to replace.


It may be too late to join in the thread, but if you get a list of the sprue sheets you need, that would probably make both their life and your life easier, since they usually replace entire sheets rather than individual components.

I'm not sure they "usually" do as opposed to "sometimes" do. I've heard stories of cases where they have, but every replacement I've ever received has just been the exact components I requested, nothing more.

It may depend on the game and the exact component, too. For the TI3 ships, they may do the whole sprue since the base game (at least when I got it) has all the plastic on sprues as opposed to pre-cut and bagged like most other games do.

It won't hurt to ask either way, but I just bring this up so as not to EXPECT to get a whole sprue when they may just send the specific piece you need.
 
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Henry Coleman
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tibbles wrote:
Thanks, good to know it's just my copy. Hopefully the replacement process goes smoothly.

Edit: I think we've all seen split cardboard, I'll snap some pics for my replacement mail, but won't bother to upload them here. This though, is what I mean by the card edges being different colored:



And 1 guess which card is Imperium Rex. :(


You will have two Imperium Rex cards if you have shattered empire so you can just use the other one.
 
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tibbles von tibbleton
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As an update: I did request a list of about 20 replacement tokens and FFG was good about accepting the request and has mailed them. I didn't have any plastic issues so I'm assuming I will get individual tokens rather than sprues, which is fine. Will see by fri, but everything should be resolved.

...Though I do still maintain if you print decks of cards designed to be shuffled together, use the same card stock so they match
 
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tibbles von tibbleton
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coppro wrote:
tibbles wrote:
As an update: I did request a list of about 20 replacement tokens and FFG was good about accepting the request and has mailed them. I didn't have any plastic issues so I'm assuming I will get individual tokens rather than sprues, which is fine. Will see by fri, but everything should be resolved.

...Though I do still maintain if you print decks of cards designed to be shuffled together, use the same card stock so they match

Did you not ask for replacement cards? Those look defective to me!


Just the marked Imperium Rex. I'd need an entire new brick of cards if I wanted the edges to be the same color. Since I apparently got a 2014 print run, means they're no longer doing the black edges like the expansions printed in 2013.

It boggles me how they can change that up (other games with cards manage to keep consistency across expansions), but unless everyone else's 2014 printing has black edges, think I'm kind of stuck. I don't want to ask for an older printing set of cards, even if they had one to send then I might have errata issues instead.
 
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Scott Lewis
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It could be they switched factories, or that the cost of the materials changed, or a variety of other possible reasons.

I think once they get shuffled up, it won't be a big deal (as long as Imperium Rex itself doesn't stand out specifically, of course). Among the action cards or political cards, there are just so many cards that it would probably get lost in the wash.

Granted, consistency is better, but there is probably some reason that we just don't know as to why they switched.
 
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Phil Triest
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sigmazero13 wrote:
It could be they switched factories, or that the cost of the materials changed, or a variety of other possible reasons.

I think once they get shuffled up, it won't be a big deal (as long as Imperium Rex itself doesn't stand out specifically, of course). Among the action cards or political cards, there are just so many cards that it would probably get lost in the wash.

Granted, consistency is better, but there is probably some reason that we just don't know as to why they switched.


A solution for all this which has already been stated is card sleeves. I used the cheap Mayday sleeves. They worked a treat and have kept my cards in very good order after 20 plus games
 
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tibbles von tibbleton
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Wow, that was unexpectedly generous of FFG. They actually did send an entire new card deck as well as a couple entire cardboard sprues when all I requested was some command counters/flags off them. Unfortunately still white edged cards, but dang, I'll over look that for an entire set of spare cards.

Big thumbs up for their customer service on that one.
 
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