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Subject: Canal Mania 2nd Edition rss

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John Mitchell
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Currently on the Ragnar Brothers' website (http://www.ragnarbrothers.co.uk/):
Quote:
There are no more copies of Canal Mania left of the original 1000. However, we are making some changes to the game and are almost sure to produce a 2nd edition in 2007. If you want to be placed on the waiting list e-mail me. Watch this space for news!
 
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Quote:
we are making some changes to the game


I always hate hearing this news. Hopefully, the changes will be playable by those that own the first edition.
 
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John Mitchell
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chaddyboy_2000 wrote:
I always hate hearing this news. Hopefully, the changes will be playable by those that own the first edition.
Amen! I've emailed to ask.
 
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Gautier R
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anyone who knows the changes?
 
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John Mitchell
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Another page on the same website (http://www.ragnarbrothers.co.uk/html/canal_mania.html) says
Quote:
because of your feedback and continuing demand for the game we are making some changes to the board and 'Contracts' and are looking to produce a 2nd edition in the New Year.


 
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Anthony Simons
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I got in touch with the Ragnar Brothers and they're playing their cards very close to their chest. From what I can gather we will all know early next year what changes are taking place, and it is highly likely the two versions will be different enough to warrant the purchase of the new edition (rather like TtR and TtR Europe).
 
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Neil Palfreyman
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Top of the list should be some models that actually look like barges!
 
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Akke Monasso
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Neil Palfreyman wrote:
Top of the list should be some models that actually look like barges!


You misspelled 'narrowboats'.

But even narrowboats would be impossible to stack on the scoring track.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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fellonmyhead wrote:
it is highly likely the two versions will be different enough to warrant the purchase of the new edition (rather like TtR and TtR Europe).

So the new version should be called Canal Maniacs?

I hope the Ragnars issue the game with a different title instead of Canal Mania II. As a friend pointed out, they could redevelop the game along the TtR model - modified games, modified names, but recognizable as part of the family. More importantly - each playable as a seperate game.

Or they could go the Runebound (Twilight Imperium?) route...Same game with multiple tweaks leaving the older version(s) on the shelf collecting dust as the "unplayable" black sheep of the family.

Things like rules and new contracts are easily downloadable. It is the rumoured map tweaks that might result in a messy game for Version 1 owners. If the two games are playable - I think it would be smart to issue an "upgrade kit" consisting of

* New Rule Book (download)
* New Contract Cards (download)
* Stickers/Overlays that can be placed on the map (download OK)


But this is all speculation at the moment. Until the changes are posted, any discussions are purely hypothetical.

Addendum: I have enjoyed playing the first edition of the game. In fact, another group member enjoyed it so much, he purchased his own copy of the game also. So my comments above are from a point of view of satisfaction with the game as is currently.

I am curious what changes are made in the second edition and interested in incorporating those changes to my copy if they add additional play options for the game.
 
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RPardoe wrote:
Or they could go the Runebound (Twilight Imperium?) route...Same game with multiple tweaks leaving the older version(s) on the shelf collecting dust as the "unplayable" black sheep of the family.


I hope they are smarter than this... As a small company they need their loyal customers to survive. If they go the Runebound route they will piss off many of their loyal funs who will stop buying their games as soon as they come out and will wait for possible "corrected" 2nd editions...

(Runebound was the reason i and most people at my gaming group quit buying FFG products.)
 
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Joe Klecko
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Hopefully they offer the changes in some kind of upgrade kit. If they fail to do this, I'll never buy a product from them again, no matter how good it is.
 
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Gary Dicken
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Canal Mania – the Second Edition – a few words of explanation.

After fifteen years of designing and producing games it has come as quite a shock to sell 1000 copies of Canal Mania inside four months. With plenty of retailers trying to order more, it is inevitable that we should decide to produce another run of the game. Having re-played the game a considerable number of time ourselves during the last year (i.e. since the original design was completed) and bearing in mind the comments of reviewers around the globe (not least those contributing to BGG) it is also inevitable that we feel the game could be improved. So much so that we simply could not bring ourselves to do a straight re-print of the game, despite the cost benefits.

In producing a second edition we realise that those who bought the first edition will feel somewhat aggrieved, not least because it has been their interest and comments that have brought us to the position we are in now. We hope that by putting the up-dated rules on our web-site and by making it possible to download PDFs of the new contracts and map (if possible), players will be able to modify their existing game, should they so wish.

A frequent criticism of the original game has been downtime. The second edition does not provide a solution. As with most games by the Ragnar Brothers a player is given some interesting problems, and some players will find it difficult to provide a solution quickly. More experience of the game can speed things up, but still there are permutations that do demand concentrated thought. Some players can apply themselves between turns; others of us find that drinking beer is a good resort.

We are working as quickly as possible so that the second edition can be released in the early part of next year and we intend publishing on the web-site as soon as the new games start arriving in shops. Meanwhile we are also working on a new Ragnar Brothers’ game that we are set to launch at the Birmingham Expo in June. Another project is re-producing History of the World in an exciting (wait for it…) new edition. So busy times for the three old timers – and don’t forget we do have day jobs.

Thanks for the support of gamers over the last six months, but also stretching back over the years. We’re having a lot of fun. Hope you are.

Steve, Gary and Phil – Ragnar Brothers

 
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Anthony Simons
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Daywalker wrote:
Meanwhile we are also working on a new Ragnar Brothers’ game that we are set to launch at the Birmingham Expo in June.


Go on, give us a clue!
 
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CHAPEL
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Downtime? Hmm, I never encountered bad downtime. I haven't an issue with the map configuration. I heard mostly positive comments on the game since I started playing it. Strange move to try an improve it so.
 
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Barry Kendall
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I'm happy that Ragnar Bros. had such success with this title. I find the canal era in both Europe and the USA absolutely fascinating (one reason probably is that I live within two miles of the oldest transportation tunnel in the USA, built for the old Union Canal west of Lebanon, PA).

I'm concerned to hear that the second printing will involve a significant revision. This makes me wonder whether RBs' playtesting system is up to the task of turning out a well refined product. Given that they are an adventurous lot when it comes to exploring themes, I suppose we shouldn't complain too much.

However, as at least one poster observed, buyers of their first-run games are the foundation upon which their commercial success is founded. I have neither the space nor the funds to buy new editions of games that are less than a year old although I would be receptive to affordable update kits.

I hope that something along this line is offered for the Canal Mania owners in order to get the most out of the game we have already purchased (and not inexpensively).

In regard to the "canal boat" miniatures, just by chance I happened upon a game component supplier's site. These boats are part of their listings and were not designed specifically for CM.

I considered sawing off the "smokestack" for a more "canal boat" look but the stack makes it easier to pick up the thing so I can live with it.

Regarding "stickers" to update mapboards, I'd prefer a full-sheet adhesive surfact to cover the entire board rather than the hex-here, hex-there approach which will eventually result in peeling corners on the sticker terrain alterations.

Or alternatively, double the second-edition print run for some components and make a board and contract kit available for first-edition buyers. I suspect that most of the fans who bought the game in the first place would buy a replacement board if we don't have to replace the entire game along with it.
 
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Barry Kendall wrote:
Or alternatively, double the second-edition print run for some components and make a board and contract kit available for first-edition buyers.


An upgrade kit for first edition owners would be a great idea.

Not many people have access to large format printers to be able to print large boards in .pdf format. And handmade Contract cards from .pdf files will not look half as good as the original proffesionally printed cards...
 
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Joe Klecko
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Daywalker wrote:

In producing a second edition we realise that those who bought the first edition will feel somewhat aggrieved, not least because it has been their interest and comments that have brought us to the position we are in now. We hope that by putting the up-dated rules on our web-site and by making it possible to download PDFs of the new contracts and map (if possible), players will be able to modify their existing game, should they so wish.[/size]


Downloadable PDFs are not going to cut it. If I wanted a print and play version of this game, I wouldn't have dropped my hard earned money to support these guys. I hope they do the right thing and offer some kind of upgrade kit (with the new board and contracts) for a small fee or allow owners of the first edition to send in their outdated board and contracts in exchange for the updated components.
 
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Anthony Simons
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The trouble is guys, if an upgrade kit is going to consist of a new board, a new deck of cards, new tiles and new rules then it consists of the entire game. I tend to agree if it was just a few cards and they had 100% compatability with the original deck then I would prefer an upgrade kit. However the impression I get is this is a whole reworking, not just a few extras.

Looking on the bright side; if you own only one of a thousand copies of the original then it's probably going to fetch more than you paid for it after the second edition comes out.
 
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Matthew Webster
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Daywalker wrote:

Meanwhile we re also working on a new Ragnar Brothers’ game that we are set to launch at the Birmingham Expo in June.


Is this http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/ what you are referring to ?
 
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Darrell Hanning
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I guess I'm in the minority here. I've enjoyed multiple playings of Canal Mania as it is. The Ragnar Brothers want to do some tuning on it? That's fine. I'm curious to see what those adjustments are, and decide for myself whether they're actually an improvement.

But nothing that they change for a second edition alters in the least how much I've already enjoyed the first edition. And I don't see where a game company of any size has any type of ethical or legal obligation for providing an update to a game that was sold to me with complete components. Just because they want to make some changes does not mean the game we already bought is "broken", and a game is only broken when you can't enjoy it, if you think about this.

I like what the manufacturer of my wife's car did with the next-year model, but since the model we bought works just fine as it is, I certainly don't expect them to give me an "upgrade kit". And if I want the subsequent release of an unabridged version of a book I bought previously, I do not expect the publisher to offer me new pages to insert in my original, abridged version.

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Steve K
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There's nothing wrong with the current Canal Mania, but perhaps like most products prolonged experience can reveal ways things can be improved.

Now, how does a publisher deal with that?

They could say "yeah, we could improve it, but that takes time and money, so we'll just commision a reprint".

Or they could say, "let's spend a bit of time and money and incorporate a few changes to improve the product and give our customers the best we can offer, and we'll even try to provide existing customers some kind of upgrade path".

The game I have plays great. Do you know what? It'll play just as great this time next year. Obviously, I'll check out the 2nd edition, but I don't need such an upgrade to enjoy the game I have.
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DarrellKH wrote:
Just because they want to make some changes does not mean the game we already bought is "broken", and a game is only broken when you can't enjoy it, if you think about this.


Sure, it might not be broken, but if the designers feel the need to improve upon the game, then they are implying that the first edition is inferior to the 2nd edition. Personally, I want to experience the game the way the designers intended the game to be played, which makes the first edition basically obsolete.

DarrellKH wrote:
I like what the manufacturer of my wife's car did with the next-year model, but since the model we bought works just fine as it is, I certainly don't expect them to give me an "upgrade kit".


You really can't compare boardgames to cars. When you buy a boardgame, it usually comes with the expectation that what you are buying is the FINAL version.

At the end of the day, these brothers have put themselves into a pickle. The next time they release a "limited" edition game, you'll have to ask yourself:

1) Should I buy this "limited" edition game before it's sold out and never sees print again?

or

2) Do I hold out for a possible superior 2nd edition since they won't make a professional upgrade kit for the 1st edition available?

It basically makes consumers hesitant to buy their games, which is just bad business if you ask me.
 
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If the game had been "broken" and this new version was to be the real deal then I would personally be a bit more peeved. It seems like this is more like Ticket to Ride / Ticket to Ride: Europe than it is Runebound 1st Edition / 2nd Edition. I look forward to the new version, the new version of Viking Fury and the next new game from them!

googoo
 
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Anthony Simons
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leroy wrote:
I enjoyed playing Canal Mania, however finding out that I spent a lot of money to buy a play test game from a company is annoying. I certainly won't be buying any new game that they produce.


I fail to see how any of us playtested it. Considering everybody I have shown the game to has been happy with it as it is (albeit with the odd observational comment like "they're tugs, not narrowboats" or "there's a lot of luck in getting the right cards") and some have even gone out and bought their own copy as a result I think this viewpoint is a little harsh.

joeklecko wrote:
When you buy a boardgame, it usually comes with the expectation that what you are buying is the FINAL version.


As in Civilization and Advanced Civilization? Perhaps you mean Monopoly? Alright then, the Settlers series? Maybe you have played History of the World before? Shall we even consider Carcassonne?

Your profile lists Ave Caesar as a favourite; I take it you're aware how many different versions of that game there have been? How about Battle Cry and Memoir '44 using the same basic system with different themes?

Alright, I understand what you are saying, but the sense I am getting from the Ragnars is that the game will be different enough, like playing Battle Cry and Memoir '44, that owning just one version might fulfil your needs or (if you're like me) you'll want both (depending to your tastes). I don't think we ought to expect the designers and producers of this game to bend over backwards for a few folk just because they decided to improve on their current design.

We're not talking MtG here or WH40K where you might be shut out of the latest tournament for not knowing the Xth edition rules.
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Paul Sauberer
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leroy wrote:
By their own admission, they cannot in good conscience do a straight reprint and are using feedback from themselves and the BGG community, i.e. playtesting, to improve the game. In the end they are a small company trying to put out the best games they can in the best way they can so for that I commend them, but I still can't help but feel somewhat used.


So what about the game do you not like? When you play it, what is bad about it?

If you don't have answers to those questions, then you have no complaint. You got a game that you enjoy and you got it before many other people have had a chance to own it and enjoy it. You will have a year's worth of play (or so) that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

If, on the other hand, you do have specific complaints about the play of Canal Mania, why would you want to force those same flaws on everyone else when the game is reprinted, just because you purchased one of the original thousand copies?

If you don't want to be an early adopter of Ragnar Brothers' games in the future because they might end up reprinting the game with some tweaks to the game, then that is your right. However, you will be giving up that chance to enjoy a good game early. Balancing out what is more important to you is solely up to you, but you will give something to get something either way you go.

I think the Ragnar Brothers were in a damned if they did, damned if they didn't situation. If they did a straight reprint, then there would have been flak from those who said, "Why didn't they tweak X since they were going to reprint anyway?"

No game is perfect. If there is a good opportunity to do an improvement, there is no reason for them not to. Those who got one of the 1000 original copies can decide whether its worth it to them to purchase the new edition, print out the downloads, or just enjoy the game as they have been able to do (while many others, myself included, have not).

If anyone is truly upset with the situation, they could probably easily sell their copy for $40 right now on the BGG Marketplace (maybe more when the online retailers run out) and then buy the new edition when it's printed. Any difference between the $40 and the price of the new edition can be cnsidered the price of being able to play it how ever many times it has already hit the table. In fact, if someone wants to sell me their 1st edition Canal Mania for $40, contact me via Geek mail and I will be happy to take it off of their hands to lessen their feeling of disappointment and betrayal.
 
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