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Enemy Action: Ardennes» Forums » General

Subject: Price vs component quality rss

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Mike Bike
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Hi all!

(Edit) I have updated this post with some new info on the bottom. (/Edit)

I was a little surprised when I found out about this game a few days ago. I am an avid fan of solo games, yet this game fell under my radar. So I left my D-day at Peleliu session and happily began to research my almost 100 % sure new game buy.

First problem, in Sweden it costs $152 to press the purchase button, excluding shipping. So I checked some of the few reviews and resources about the game to figure if it was worth the asking price.

Second problem, it seems that the component quality (map and counters) might be subpar standard wargame quality (have to research this some more). Not only that, there seems to be some production quality issues with misaligned counters.

I recently bought D-Day at Peleliu for $68 and found that the breaking point for me regarding component quality versus price. I don't know if Enemy Action: Ardennes has the same, better or worse component quality on counters and maps, but it seems to be similar. (if anyone could compare I would be interested)

So right now this is a wait to buy second printing for me. My thoughts right now:
Butterfield makes fun, engaging, historical, deep and realistic game systems.
Decision Games produce games just at my breaking point component quality vs price.
Compass Games produce games far beyond my breaking point component quality vs price. They also have production quality issues.

So why is the component quality vs price such a big issue for me?

1. When I play a boardgame, especially if it came with a considerable investment of money, I think it's really nice to push around some quality components. If the amount of love that goes into the game system reflects on the quality of the components and art it's a perfect match.

2. When I invest in a hobby I value durability. This is kind of self explanatory. I don't want broken or bad quality components falling apart a few plays later.

(Edit) So my question to Compass Games and Mr. Butterfield would be; would it be possible in the future to raise the quality a bit on the components? Make the counters a little thicker, print the map on slighty thicker paper and use heavier card stock for the same asking price? Or is it possible to lower the price on future titles in the series? The price tag gets a little high for your overseas customers (me). Do you think it is possible to lower the price in return for more customers (me included)?(/Edit)



*******************************************************************


Ok, so finally I would like to make some comparisons to other games I play and own to show you the competition (most of the prices are from Sweden excluding shipping):

$100 Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic
A deep, engaging and historically based game. Huge mounted maps, huge custom counters. Big high quality cards. Thick high quality event and rule books. Nice art. Weight: 2.6 kg.

$76 Fire in the Lake
A very deep study sim game system. Highly researched and intricate AI system. AI bots available for all 4 factions. Huge, gorgeous mounted board. 248 wooden pieces. Nice cards with nice art. Thick high quality counters. Lots of high quality player aids. Stunning art. Weight: 2.15 kg.

$82 Fields of Fire
Realistic combat mechanics and innovative game system. Three campaigns in three eras with special rules, cards and counters for each. Standard components. Nice art. IMHO a little on the expensive side but worth it. Weight 1.4 kg.

$50 used Ambush! including Purple Heart, Silver Star, Move Out.
Got this used still in good condition although it was produced in the 80's. Standard components. Someone has laminated all the maps so they don't fold anymore. Difficult to store but have increased durability.

$30 reprint Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident
A classic with a very fun and random game system. This reprint had a nice thick paper map, high quality manual and very thick laser cut counters.

$58 Dawn of the Zeds (Second edition)
Cool and fast playing solo game system. High quality manual. Very nice art. Thick cardboard map with additional paper map. Thick custom laser cut counters with some soot issues. The soot is a big quality issue for me and I hope they will find a better solution than to supply a napkin in the box. The box is small and low quality by the way. IMHO a little on the expensive side.

$68 D-Day at Peleliu
Very nice and tactical solo game system. Standard components. Good extra book with historical notes but printed on very thin paper. IMHO a little bit on the expensive side but worth it if you like the game system.

And so finally:

$152 Enemy Action: Ardennes
What seems to be a very interesting and engaging game system with one 2-player and two solo campaigns with custom maps for each. Standard counter and map components (maybe subpar?) The manuals seem to be of high quality. Nice map and counter art. Some production quality issues. IMHO seems very expensive. Weight: ? (anyone knows?) I would maybe buy this game if it was about $100 including shipping and I would still think it's a little bit on the expensive side.

(putting on flame resistant gear and bracing for flak)

(Edit) During this discussion I have found out that my question to Mr Butterfield and Compass Games was wrong from the beginning. I have updated this post to reflect that. Enemy Action: Ardennes is of standard wargame and Compass Games quality, although the counters, map and cards seem to be of thinnest possible quality. Some counters were misaligned but Compass Games send out replacements when asked. The three rule books are 50+ pages each and are of higher than standard wargame quality. They are well-written and contain few errors.

My personal opinion is still that the game is expensive and even more so for overseas customers. I apologize if I hurt anyones feelings.(/Edit)
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Russ Williams
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sumpis wrote:
So my question to Compass Games and Mr. Butterfield would be; are you happy with your "trademark" being associated with great games but overpriced low quality components?

They're not "low quality" components, unless you think e.g. Combat Commander: Europe also has "low quality" components. (Most wargamers do not think CC has "low quality" components, as far as I have observed.) The counters from the two games are the same thickness (I directly measured stacks of counters from both games).

(It is true that the manufacturer packed a lot of the boxes with miscut countersheets, but Compass Games has clearly been very good about mailing correctly cut countersheets to purchasers who contact them about the problem. So it worked out fine, simply as if one received one's game a few days later than one actually received it.)

If you insist on very thick counters (e.g. like GMT's Space Empires), then you should not buy EAA. But accusing the publisher and designer of being "happy" with "low quality" seems unjustifiably unfriendly and accusatory. Not very thick does not imply "low quality".
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Gordon J
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I'm happy with my copy of the game. The maps, cards, and counters are all very nice. The player-aids and rulebooks are of very good quality. Most importantly for me the rules and design of this game is superb. Mr. Butterfield has come up with another fantastic design.

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Rob Tyson
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If you can't find Enemy Action for around $100, then you just aren't looking very hard at all.
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John VanDenBerg
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RobTys wrote:
If you can't find Enemy Action for around $100, then you just aren't looking very hard at all.


Even in Sweden?
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Mike Bike
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russ wrote:
They're not "low quality" components, unless you think e.g. Combat Commander: Europe also has "low quality" components. (Most wargamers do not think CC has "low quality" components, as far as I have observed.) The counters from the two games are the same thickness (I directly measured stacks of counters from both games).

(It is true that the manufacturer packed a lot of the boxes with miscut countersheets, but Compass Games has clearly been very good about mailing correctly cut countersheets to purchasers who contact them about the problem. So it worked out fine, simply as if one received one's game a few days later than one actually received it.)


I am not sure when counters are of standard wargame quality. I know that the D-Day series have received some critique for flimsy and thin counters. But the misalignment issue, even though solved in an exemplary way, points to "low quality". The funds for reprinting and express shipping the corrected counters could instead have been used to lower the product price. Then there's the quality of the paper map. Since I don't own it I can't compare it to anything, but I've read some comments that it might be of just passable lower quality paper. So to sum up, the counter and map quality is at (or maybe subpar) standard wargame quality ie nothing special that warrants a higher price than a standard wargame.

russ wrote:
If you insist on very thick counters (e.g. like GMT's Space Empires), then you should not buy EAA. But accusing the publisher and designer of being "happy" with "low quality" seems unjustifiably unfriendly and accusatory. Not very thick does not imply "low quality".


I didn't mean to be unfriendly. I just questioned if it would be possible to raise the quality and/or lower the price to attract more customers and sell more units and maybe achieve the same monetary goal, with the added benefit of being associated with great games and good production values.
 
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Mike Bike
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RobTys wrote:
If you can't find Enemy Action for around $100, then you just aren't looking very hard at all.

Then tell me where? It's $145 at http://compassgames.com/index.php/military-simulations/enemy...

 
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sumpis wrote:
RobTys wrote:
If you can't find Enemy Action for around $100, then you just aren't looking very hard at all.

Then tell me where? It's $145 at http://compassgames.com/index.php/military-simulations/enemy...



The very website you are posting this message on can help you find it for that price. Time to go to the market!
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Michael
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http://www.boardgameguru.co.uk/enemy-action--ardennes-31824-...
 
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Cole Dano
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Or if you'd rather pay in Euros https://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/806502

Just take a look at the BGG Market, about 1/3 of the way down, left hand side of the main EA:A page, for more.
 
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Richard Hellsten
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My opinion:

Counters are ok but they are thin. Mine were badly miscut. It's very easy to get replacements but the wait is frustrating.

Maps are fine, nothing special. Rule books are very very nice. Cards are slightly on the thin side but I know that some people prefer that.

For some reason Compass games are the most expensive wargames publisher in Europe, but there's nothing you or I can do about it. This game is overpriced in my opinion but it was pretty much on the absolute limit of what I was prepared to pay due to its uniqueness.
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Rob Tyson
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sumpis wrote:
RobTys wrote:
If you can't find Enemy Action for around $100, then you just aren't looking very hard at all.

Then tell me where? It's $145 at http://compassgames.com/index.php/military-simulations/enemy...



Google is your friend.
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Mike Bike
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HorizonMan wrote:
Or if you'd rather pay in Euros https://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/806502

Just take a look at the BGG Market, about 1/3 of the way down, left hand side of the main EA:A page, for more.


Thank you all for your market and buy suggestions, problem is all of them are $100 and up (some are under $100 but not including shipping)

RAVENBURG wrote:
My opinion:

For some reason Compass games are the most expensive wargames publisher in Europe, but there's nothing you or I can do about it.


Compass Games are in the US, not Europe?

Yes, we can do something about it by telling it like it is. I think that this game could sell about 100% more copies with another business model. Let's say the profit would still be the same, but the customer base would be doubled and Compass Games reputation would be much better off in the long run.

I have all three D-Day games because I like the system and the feel of the games. I think they are a little overpriced but they belong to a smaller niche of boardgaming and perhaps the shipping to Sweden is more expensive from smaller game companies, so it's okay.

I also have Sekigahara Unification of Japan because of it's nice clean aesthetics in both game system and components.

Then I have Samurai (GBoH) because I'm a geek. Never played it, but I like samurais and I like the art. It has 1,140 counters and two large maps.

I could get almost three Sekigahara games or all three D-Day games or 4 copies of Samurai for the same price as one box of EAA. Yes, I could afford EAA, but I will not buy into that kind of business model.
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Randy C
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I hear you.

The component quality in Sekigahara is so much better than Enemy Action. The game is so beautiful I have glued my pieces down on the board and have it displayed on my wall!

Enemy Action on the other hand, yikes! Cardboard counters and unmounted boards. I have only played it maybe 75 times, and already one of the maps has a small tear in it. the tear does not affect game play but I know it is there. My combat chits are so worn on the edges that any printing there would be unreadable. Lucky the printing is in the middle.


All kidding aside, knowing what I know now, I think Enemy Action is worth every penny of the $150, probably even much more.
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Rob Tyson
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sumpis wrote:
HorizonMan wrote:
Or if you'd rather pay in Euros https://boardgamegeek.com/geekmarket/product/806502

Just take a look at the BGG Market, about 1/3 of the way down, left hand side of the main EA:A page, for more.


Thank you all for your market and buy suggestions, problem is all of them are $100 and up (some are under $100 but not including shipping)

RAVENBURG wrote:
My opinion:

For some reason Compass games are the most expensive wargames publisher in Europe, but there's nothing you or I can do about it.


Compass Games are in the US, not Europe?

Yes, we can do something about it by telling it like it is. I think that this game could sell about 100% more copies with another business model. Let's say the profit would still be the same, but the customer base would be doubled and Compass Games reputation would be much better off in the long run.


It's a good thing you know everything/anything about the cost of actually getting products published. Why, I bet with your business model we'd all be riding pink unicorns on our way towards our magical bathroom with toilets made of solid gold.

Quote:
I have all three D-Day games because I like the system and the feel of the games. I think they are a little overpriced but they belong to a smaller niche of boardgaming and perhaps the shipping to Sweden is more expensive from smaller game companies, so it's okay.


Bzzzt! Wrong answer. The D-Day games are from Decision Games, a larger company with a much more extensive catalog. So, I guess it's not okay now?

Quote:
I also have Sekigahara Unification of Japan because of it's nice clean aesthetics in both game system and components.

Then I have Samurai (GBoH) because I'm a geek. Never played it, but I like samurais and I like the art. It has 1,140 counters and two large maps.

I could get almost three Sekigahara games or all three D-Day games or 4 copies of Samurai for the same price as one box of EAA. Yes, I could afford EAA, but I will not buy into that kind of business model.


Guess you'll just have to suck it up, cupcake. Just admit it, you're just not going to get the game. At least you'll know you're taking a brave stand against tyranny.
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sumpis wrote:
RAVENBURG wrote:
My opinion:

For some reason Compass games are the most expensive wargames publisher in Europe, but there's nothing you or I can do about it.


Compass Games are in the US, not Europe?


Sorry if I was misleading. I meant, in Europe, Compass games are more expensive than any other publisher that I can think of.
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Mike Bike
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Calxx55 wrote:

All kidding aside, knowing what I know now, I think Enemy Action is worth every penny of the $150, probably even much more.


Yea, and I bought the VHS version of Avatar for 100 bucks just because it has such a good story!

RobTys wrote:


It's a good thing you know everything/anything about the cost of actually getting products published. Why, I bet with your business model we'd all be riding pink unicorns on our way towards our magical bathroom with toilets made of solid gold.


Well, it's not that complicated. First things first, you have to prepare a product that's in demand. Then for production and sales there's about three business models.

1. Produce high quality and demand high price.
2. Produce standard quality and demand standard price.
3. Produce low quality and demand low price.

Oh, there might be a fourth; forget the pay and make it for free, but that's more of a PnP.

But then there's also small adjustments you can make. You can lower the price and hope for more sales, or you could raise the price and hope the sales will cover the costs although you probably will get lower sales. You can also raise the price very high and hope the customer will think that it is a very luxurious product and buy it because they like very luxurious products. And so on.

Quote:
Bzzzt! Wrong answer. The D-Day games are from Decision Games, a larger company with a much more extensive catalog. So, I guess it's not okay now?


I guess it's because of higher shipping costs on smaller volumes to europe and the value of the dollar.

Quote:
Guess you'll just have to suck it up, cupcake. Just admit it, you're just not going to get the game. At least you'll know you're taking a brave stand against tyranny.


I view my comments on this issue as constructive critisism. It is meant to help make the producer better and sell more of their products. But it's also take it or leave it.
 
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sumpis wrote:

First problem, in Sweden it costs $152 to press the purchase button, excluding shipping. So I checked some of the few reviews and resources about the game to figure if it was worth the asking price.


Don't buy it, look for it used or trade for it.

sumpis wrote:

Second problem, it seems that the component quality (map and counters) might be subpar standard wargame quality (have to research this some more). Not only that, there seems to be some production quality issues with misaligned counters.


Addressed by Compass. Quality on par with Decision Games and prior Compass Games.

sumpIs wrote:
I recently bought D-Day at Peleliu for $68 and found that the breaking point for me regarding component quality versus price. I don't know if Enemy Action: Ardennes has the same, better or worse component quality on counters and maps, but it seems to be similar. (if anyone could compare I would be interested)


Same, different companies though and EA:A is larger.

Quote:
So right now this is a wait to buy second printing for me.


Not likely to happen.

Quote:
Compass Games produce games far beyond my breaking point component quality vs price. They also have production quality issues.


Don't buy their games then. Compass addressed the misaligned counters. Every war game company has component issues, the good ones like Compass address them.

Quote:

2. When I invest in a hobby I value durability. This is kind of self explanatory. I don't want broken or bad quality components falling apart a few plays later.


Your evidence that there is a durability problem for EA:A is what?

Quote:
So my question to Compass Games and Mr. Butterfield would be; are you happy with your "trademark" being associated with great games but overpriced low quality components? Or would it be better to be associated with great games with good/great quality components? Do you think it is possible to lower the price in return for more customers (me included)? Don't you think that there's a market big enough for solo boardgames with great component quality made by legendary designers in the future?


Not sure I get your point here. Are you trying to imply here that they are trying to rip you off? Do you have access to the company's costs for creating EA:A? Paying the designer, marketing the game, producing the components,warehouse costs,shipping etc?

Quote:

What seems to be a very interesting and engaging game system with one 2-player and two solo campaigns with custom maps for each. Standard counter and map components (maybe subpar?) The manuals seem to be of high quality. Nice map and counter art. Some production quality issues. IMHO seems very expensive. Weight: ? (anyone knows?) I would maybe buy this game if it was about $100 including shipping and I would still think it's a little bit on the expensive side.


You were okay with paying $68 for D-Day at Peleliu, one solo game, but have a problem paying twice as much for what is essentially three games. I understand the cost shock, but disagree strongly with your stance.
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Mike Bike
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Fuzion wrote:
Not sure I get your point here. Are you trying to imply here that they are trying to rip you off? Do you have access to the company's costs for creating EA:A? Paying the designer, marketing the game, producing the components,warehouse costs,shipping etc?


No I haven't access to the costs, but it sure would be interesting to know.

Quote:
You were okay with paying $68 for D-Day at Peleliu, one solo game, but have a problem paying twice as much for what is essentially three games. I understand the cost shock, but disagree strongly with your stance.


If you look at my list of games, their prices and components, their width and depths and content you will notice that the price for the last game is somewhat higher than the rest without any special reason. If there is a special reason for this it would be nice to know what it is.
 
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Mike Bike
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Fuzion wrote:


Quality on par with Decision Games and prior Compass Games.


Thanks for the info!
 
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sumpis wrote:

If you look at my list of games, their prices and components, their width and depths and content you will notice that the price for the last game is somewhat higher than the rest without any special reason. If there is a special reason for this it would be nice to know what it is.


EA:A, I'll state it again then. Three games in one box. Three rule books, three separate maps, etc. Three games for the price of two. There is a reason and the continued complaints "overpricing" are getting old.
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Mike Bike
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Fuzion wrote:
EA:A, I'll state it again then. Three games in one box. Three rule books, three separate maps, etc. Three games for the price of two. There is a reason and the continued complaints "overpricing" are getting old.


Ok, I can buy that as an explanation. The rule books are about 50 pages each? That's definitely three game systems. I guess they have quite different rule sets?

edit: And different cards and counters also of course?
 
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The game is expensive but the quality is good and, quite simply, there is nothing else like this around. The D-pDay games are close, but this is an evolution of that idea.

Only quips are that the counters can be a little difficult to grip when you're manipulating stacks and you can have some accidents with them slipping out of your fingers, but otherwise components are top notch, in particular the rulebooks and play-aids. It's a joy to set up and play.

I paid over 200$ for this a little while ago and it ended up being my #1 game of the year.

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peterk1 wrote:
The game is expensive but the quality is good and, quite simply, there is nothing else like this around. The D-pDay games are close, but this is an evolution of that idea.

Only quips are that the counters can be a little difficult to grip when you're manipulating stacks and you can have some accidents with them slipping out of your fingers, but otherwise components are top notch, in particular the rulebooks and play-aids. It's a joy to set up and play.

I paid over 200$ for this a little while ago and it ended up being my #1 game of the year.



How did you end up paying $200?

So it would have been nice with a little thicker counters for that price maybe?

And you use plexi I guess. It's the same with the D-Day maps. I think it's nicer without plexi though. Would be cool with some kind of carboard maps with puzzle design, like Dawn of the Zeds or Duel of Ages 2.

It would be cool if even solitaire wargames evolved into something better.
 
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I don't know how the quality concerns even germinated... I've found the quality to be pretty standard of what is generally in production by GMT and Decision Games. I had one sheet of counters misaligned, replaced in about a week from the morning I emailed Compass, no questions asked... (about the same turnaround as Decision, my APTO arrived with a misaligned counter sheet the same week!)

I've always used plexi on my maps... moreover I always sleeve cards for durability and protection, in all my games.

U.S. published goods and shipping are sadly, very expensive once you leave the contiguous 48.

If you like solitaire titles, and the Bulge battles in particular, it is a good value, IMO, despite its high price tag, offering three purpose built types of play.

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