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Subject: Critical component review - and how I fixed it ! rss

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Anthony Gambatese
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Ok ...
So let me start by saying that I do enjoy this game very much. It plays very well solo and for me thats a big plus, because I like to pull something out when the friends are not around - but I digress

Lets start with the board -
The graphics are OK. Nothing to write home about but not horrible either. Its functional for game play (but would have loved to see a really cool space board. They had a lot of opportunities here to make it look really cool, but like I said, it is functional.
The quality of the board, again is OK. Its a little thinner then the average game board (I compared it to Eldritch horror which I happened to have still on the game table. It kind of reminds me a little of several inexpensive Kickstarter games that I received, and I kind of had the same feeling about them too - wish this board was a little thicker.
Size - its big enough for its purpose but not so big that it takes up too much table space, again just wish it was a little thicker !!

Resources -
The cubes are actually really nice. I kind of wish they would have had different shaped cubes for each resource instead of using the same cube to represent all resources with 3 different denominations. I see what the overall goal was here - you are constantly shifting and moving those denominations around and it may have become to "fiddly" if each resource was represented - although a better way to manage them is needed ... more on that later.

The cards - Hmmmm, well Im kind of torn with this one. I wish the quality was higher. They are about the same size as your average CCG like MTG but just a smidgen thinner and there is no core of any kind(If you have every played with cards that have some type of core in them, like good playing cards for instance, you know what Im talking about) so they are actually quite a bit flimsier then MTG cards for instance.
I feel that this was an odd decision considering all you are doing is handling the cards, maybe not as much as say a deck builder, but still, it is the main mechanism in the game. - No real harm done though: I will just sleeve my cards, although I am going to have to get thin sleeves from Mayday or something like that because FF sleeves will just be to thick considering the shear number of cards -- the giant stack would be falling over all the time!!
I like all the art but I am a little confused by it. Its kind of all over the place as far as style. It ranges from photo quality to cartoon and everything in between. And there is no consistency to it either! Its not like the aggressive cards are all a certain style or the cards that give you a discount on future cards are a certain style -- confusing !!
The Balance of all the cards seems to be over the top. I have not found any must do strategy yet and I have several plays under my belt!! KUDOS for that, especially considering the number of unique cards !! Time will tell if any cards are actually OP but for now I have found nothing.

PLAYER BOARD -
Well, It is a dark grey bucket of suck to be blunt !! You are doing all you maintenance on this board (and there is a lot of that in this game) and this tiny paper mat is just inexcusable and is by far my biggest gripe with the game. I had seen the flimsy mats when I watched a few video play throughs and figured - how bad could it be?
Then, during my very first play, I reached across to get my resources dropped about 5 of them on my board and CHAOS !!! Had no idea what was where!! Even if the board was bigger it would at least be a little better! In late game when you are collecting a lot of money you cant even fit everything into the spot on the board and it starts spilling into the next area !!! GRRRRRR
Fortunately there was a fix - make a copy of the player board, enlarge it by %125, glue it to some foam-core, and then put some dividers in so things dont get mixed up if they get jostled around a little.
As you can see from the picture, for the number tracker I simply put a divider between the top and bottom numbers for the cube to rest against and now ... no movement!! This will do untill someone comes up with a good overlay but even still it will be a little small. I like the new size !!




Overall I love the game with a few minor complaints and one major one ...
I would chat more but I need to start terraforming !!
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Dave Moser
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barbarianprince wrote:
... In late game when you are collecting a lot of money you cant even fit everything into the spot on the board and it starts spilling into the next area !!! GRRRRRR

This really makes me wonder if you aren't making the same mistake that a LOT of other people here seem to be making. Are you taking only one or two actions per generation? If so, check the rules. Each player takes one or two actions per turn, but you all can continue taking additional turns, in order. The generation continues until all players have passed, and only then do you produce and start the next generation.

barbarianprince wrote:
...Fortunately there was a fix... This will do until someone comes up with a good overlay but even still it will be a little small. I like the new size !!

If you had checked the forums a little closer, you'd see that there are aleady at least two aftermarket overlays beings sold that appear to be quite well-made and popular. Nothing against your DIY version, of course, just wanted to point out that there are alternatives already available.


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François Mahieu
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I'm so glad not being the only one heavily disappointed by the components. The game is a blast. We all agree on this. Probably the best game from Essen. I had a blast playing it. It's fresh, thematic, smart... A huge thumbsup

But what are these components? surprise

Apart from the small cubes, everything looks rather cheap to me. The thin carboards, the choice of colors, the overall graphic design, and those pictures!?! A dog in a garden? It's a hazardous mix (mess) of googled photos, drawings, 3D drawings. There's a serious lack of constitency there.

I'm secretly hoping for a reprint with a brand new graphic layout, solid cardboards, and above all, hoping they'll hire some artist(s) for new consistent drawings.
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César Mendes
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I haven't played the game yet but I'm very curious about it.

The only thing making think twice to get the game is the price point according to the quality of the components that we get. I see a lot of people complaining about the components and the more I look the more I agree with them.

Unfortunately component wise this is a big miss and the marketing idea of having the game partialy produced in the US wasn't a god one if I get a 60€+ game with these quality components. cry
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Christof Impens
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Played the game once and I really enjoyed it. Glad I bought it at Essen because it's exactly what I hoped it would from reading the rules.

That said, I'm also glad I could buy it at Essen because it was only €50 there. That price is OK for me when I look at the huge amount of little cubes in the game, but still a tad overpriced. If I had to buy this at retail price (I see one price of €62 so far on a Belgian webshop), the high price would make me think twice.
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Florian Ruckeisen
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barbarianprince wrote:
The cubes are actually really nice. I kind of wish they would have had different shaped cubes for each resource instead of using the same cube to represent all resources

I highly disagree on that one. I find it WAY easier to use these universal counters and can't begin to think how annoying it would be to manage the resources with 8 different tokens. wow

Plus, with the universal ones, it's a joy doing that little "convert leftover energy to heat" cleanup - you just slide the energy counters over with your pinky, and bam, they're now heat! That is so wonderfully elegant, I am looking forward to doing that every round.

Quote:
No real harm done though: I will just sleeve my cards, although I am going to have to get thin sleeves from Mayday or something like that because FF sleeves will just be to thick considering the shear number of cards -- the giant stack would be falling over all the time!!

If it's any help, I measured the height of the stack before/after sleeving:

Stack of 209 project cards
59 mm (2.3 in) without sleeves
80 mm (3.15 in) with thin sleeves (Swan Panasia Standard sleeves)

The stack is in no danger of falling over with these sleeves. I do find shuffling the deck annoying, but I guess that's always going to be the case with >200 cards...
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Bart Rachemoss
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barbarianprince wrote:
The cards - Hmmmm, well Im kind of torn with this one. I wish the quality was higher. They are about the same size as your average CCG like MTG but just a smidgen thinner and there is no core of any kind (If you have every played with cards that have some type of core in them, like good playing cards for instance, you know what Im talking about) so they are actually quite a bit flimsier then MTG cards for instance.

The coreless claim is disputed here. Scroll down for images of a torn card that show what is inside.
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Sebastian Stückl
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BitJam wrote:
barbarianprince wrote:
The cards - Hmmmm, well Im kind of torn with this one. I wish the quality was higher. They are about the same size as your average CCG like MTG but just a smidgen thinner and there is no core of any kind (If you have every played with cards that have some type of core in them, like good playing cards for instance, you know what Im talking about) so they are actually quite a bit flimsier then MTG cards for instance.

The coreless claim is disputed here. Scroll down for images of a torn card that show what is inside.


Not just that, but the low quality claims are pretty ridiculous all around.
That involves all components, but the claims about low card quality are even less sound.
Not a single person complaining the cards have low quality has provided any reasonable arguments why they think this would be the case.
People just can't objetively rate card quality. (Or component quality in general)

Also, regarding cores, the OP clearly demonstrated that you don't have a reasonable way of telling if a card has one without tearing it apart...
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Anthony Gambatese
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BitJam wrote:
barbarianprince wrote:
The cards - Hmmmm, well Im kind of torn with this one. I wish the quality was higher. They are about the same size as your average CCG like MTG but just a smidgen thinner and there is no core of any kind (If you have every played with cards that have some type of core in them, like good playing cards for instance, you know what Im talking about) so they are actually quite a bit flimsier then MTG cards for instance.

The coreless claim is disputed here. Scroll down for images of a torn card that show what is inside.



Please just tell me ... I dont have the stomach to actually see a torn card
Almost as bad as drinks on the board game table !@!!
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Anthony Gambatese
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Bastinator1 wrote:
BitJam wrote:
barbarianprince wrote:
The cards - Hmmmm, well Im kind of torn with this one. I wish the quality was higher. They are about the same size as your average CCG like MTG but just a smidgen thinner and there is no core of any kind (If you have every played with cards that have some type of core in them, like good playing cards for instance, you know what Im talking about) so they are actually quite a bit flimsier then MTG cards for instance.

The coreless claim is disputed here. Scroll down for images of a torn card that show what is inside.


Not just that, but the low quality claims are pretty ridiculous all around.
That involves all components, but the claims about low card quality are even less sound.
Not a single person complaining the cards have low quality has provided any reasonable arguments why they think this would be the case.
People just can't objetively rate card quality. (Or component quality in general)

Also, regarding cores, the OP clearly demonstrated that you don't have a reasonable way of telling if a card has one without tearing it apart...


"People just can't objetively rate card quality. (Or component quality in general)"
Really because I kinda did ... I rated it OK

"Not a single person complaining the cards have low quality has provided any reasonable arguments why they think this would be the case."
Really because I kinda did ...

Now I must admit this is just my opinion, but after reading your statement I took the card to my FLGS along with a card from Eldritch Horror. I asked 31 people that were there and 31 people felt that the card was of a lower quality, and this was even worse when they started comparing it to MTG cards (most of them were there playing that game so they had them available)
I mentioned playing cards earlier and I know this wasnt really a fair comparison because all your better playing cards (besides being black core) are also linen finish of varying grades and air options which will increase durability significantly but at the cost of superior picture crispness unless you go with the most expensive linen finish.
300 gsm black core card stock has between 10-12 levels of quality depending on where it is produced (China vs Germany for instance)
All im saying is the cards look great but bend and kink easy, are way more flimsy (31 verified people agreed) and of a lower quality - its not a "preferred feel" - its a flimsier card stock.

Like I said, once sleeved this point is moot
But thank you for pointing me to that comment by Frank Jaeger !!
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Sebastian Stückl
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barbarianprince wrote:
"People just can't objetively rate card quality. (Or component quality in general)"
Really because I kinda did ...


Uhm... no.
What you really did was you stated an attribute that you dislike, but that's only very loosely correlated to quality. If at all.
Whether a card (or any other component) is thin or "flimsy"(which is quite ambiguous btw) doesn't say anything about it's quality at all.
It does not tell you anything about the durability of that component, the quality of whatever material was used to assemble it, and you can't make any general assessment about the quality of a product purely based on how thick/hard something is.


barbarianprince wrote:
I rated it OK

Perhaps you should read your post again.


barbarianprince wrote:
"Not a single person complaining the cards have low quality has provided any reasonable arguments why they think this would be the case."
Really because I kinda did ...


Yeah, like claiming they don't have a core?
So what "reasonable argument" is left then?
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Frank Jaeger
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Hi Everybody,

although I had commented on this before, let me give you my point of view.

First on quality: Quality has nothing to do with thickness. In fact I am absolutely sure that the cardboard we used and use for the game board is of much higher quality than the board of any Chinese production. It can be thinner because we have smaller fibers, and that is a sign of quality card board. So I read the comment only as "I wish the game board was a little thicker" which is something I can fully understand. And something that, to be honest, we could do. It is just that this card board weight is our standard material for decades and is used in millions and millions of games. So we have the best deal on that (expensive!) card board. That is why we always use it unless something else is required. But would 0.1 mm or 0.2 mm on a game board really make a difference? It does nothing for the game, and the most important feature of the board are the tyvek-strips used to reinforce the folding lines. *That* is a feature, not 0.1 mm additional thickness.

Card quality: Again, I think this is about thickness, not quality. That is an important difference, like Sebastian Stückl pointed out (thanks for that). Generally, paper is an organic material and does vary in thickness. Even the weight is not always exact, but that is the measure for paper - weight, not thickness. Unfortunately, we cannot influence or forsee the exact paper we are going to get except it will be 300gsm, or very close. The difference is usually small, but it seems it is detectable in this case. I have a deck of TM cards in my hand right now, and I think they are absolutely fine, but my impression is not universal, of course.

Thickness gives an impression of cards, of course. If you compare black core cards - higher quality and about 30% thinner than cards of the same paper weight without a core - you can be mislead thinking the quality was lower, when quite the opposite is the case.

Now why are we using the black core carton if the other material is thicker and people think it is better? Because of shuffling. Black core carton is durable, does not break when bent, and is best to shuffle. MTG cards are also black core card carton. The same stuff we use.

So your next question is: why did we not use a thicker black core paper? Yes, there is one, indeed. It is 410gsm. It has two disadvantages here: first, shuffling is much more difficult, especially since the stacks of cards are already quite high. And secondly because of the thickness we would have had to pack the cards into three decks, which would increase the price.

I hope I could shed some light on the material issue. If you have questions, post them here, I'd be happy to answer but allow some time for that, please. It is the week after Essen during the high season in the industry and this year is crazy anyway so I may take a bit before I can reply.

Cheers
Frank.
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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Saying the cards of TM are low quality because they are thin is like saying Beats headphone are good quality because they are heavy.


The only thing that is problematic with TM is the insert. The rest of component are either good quality or standard quality.
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Anthony Gambatese
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Bastinator1 wrote:
barbarianprince wrote:
"People just can't objetively rate card quality. (Or component quality in general)"
Really because I kinda did ...


Uhm... no.
What you really did was you stated an attribute that you dislike, but that's only very loosely correlated to quality. If at all.
Whether a card (or any other component) is thin or "flimsy"(which is quite ambiguous btw) doesn't say anything about it's quality at all.
It does not tell you anything about the durability of that component, the quality of whatever material was used to assemble it, and you can't make any general assessment about the quality of a product purely based on how thick/hard something is.


barbarianprince wrote:
I rated it OK

Perhaps you should read your post again.


barbarianprince wrote:
"Not a single person complaining the cards have low quality has provided any reasonable arguments why they think this would be the case."
Really because I kinda did ...


Yeah, like claiming they don't have a core?
So what "reasonable argument" is left then?


I keep getting the feeling that you think I am personally attacking you --- this is very confusing to me. I am just stating my opinion which also happens to be the opinion of MANY other people ... I am not wrong nor are you its just what it is - an opinion.
I believe that card quality / playability of game cards has to do with the card in question not being flimsier then the normal - these cards clearly are. They may be higher quality but from the point of continued use as a game card I believe the card is sub-par at best. The superior quality of the paper that is used and the fiber count will effect the quality of the image on the card for sure - but thats not whats in question here !! FLIMSY is in question.

Still cant seem to shake the feeling that you are personally offended by my attack of the quality of this game especially at its price point.
May I ask what if any personal stake you have in this game that you are so passionate about it - hmmmm long pause ----

I see - your entire board game list consists of 6 random games with no rating at all and a 7th game (this game) with a rating of 10
Thats a pretty high rating for a game! You must really like it!!

So again I was wondering was one of the artists your brother - maybe your dad made the decision to use the sub-par card stock and you are thinking this is a personal attack on your families honor ??

I am just being funny here by the way - ya know, dry sense of humor
We are each entitled to our opinions after all
Well you are entitled to your opinion --- according to you I am not allowed to rate the card quality !! whistle

Really this is not an attack on you just an opinion
Peace and Love !!
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Anthony Gambatese
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frank jaeger wrote:
Hi Everybody,

although I had commented on this before, let me give you my point of view.

First on quality: Quality has nothing to do with thickness. In fact I am absolutely sure that the cardboard we used and use for the game board is of much higher quality than the board of any Chinese production. It can be thinner because we have smaller fibers, and that is a sign of quality card board. So I read the comment only as "I wish the game board was a little thicker" which is something I can fully understand. And something that, to be honest, we could do. It is just that this card board weight is our standard material for decades and is used in millions and millions of games. So we have the best deal on that (expensive!) card board. That is why we always use it unless something else is required. But would 0.1 mm or 0.2 mm on a game board really make a difference? It does nothing for the game, and the most important feature of the board are the tyvek-strips used to reinforce the folding lines. *That* is a feature, not 0.1 mm additional thickness.

Card quality: Again, I think this is about thickness, not quality. That is an important difference, like Sebastian Stückl pointed out (thanks for that). Generally, paper is an organic material and does vary in thickness. Even the weight is not always exact, but that is the measure for paper - weight, not thickness. Unfortunately, we cannot influence or forsee the exact paper we are going to get except it will be 300gsm, or very close. The difference is usually small, but it seems it is detectable in this case. I have a deck of TM cards in my hand right now, and I think they are absolutely fine, but my impression is not universal, of course.

Thickness gives an impression of cards, of course. If you compare black core cards - higher quality and about 30% thinner than cards of the same paper weight without a core - you can be mislead thinking the quality was lower, when quite the opposite is the case.

Now why are we using the black core carton if the other material is thicker and people think it is better? Because of shuffling. Black core carton is durable, does not break when bent, and is best to shuffle. MTG cards are also black core card carton. The same stuff we use.

So your next question is: why did we not use a thicker black core paper? Yes, there is one, indeed. It is 410gsm. It has two disadvantages here: first, shuffling is much more difficult, especially since the stacks of cards are already quite high. And secondly because of the thickness we would have had to pack the cards into three decks, which would increase the price.

I hope I could shed some light on the material issue. If you have questions, post them here, I'd be happy to answer but allow some time for that, please. It is the week after Essen during the high season in the industry and this year is crazy anyway so I may take a bit before I can reply.

Cheers
Frank.


Thanks for this Frank ... by the way --- Love the game !!!
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Anthony Gambatese
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Wildhorn wrote:
Saying the cards of TM are low quality because they are thin is like saying Beats headphone are good quality because they are heavy.

The only thing that is problematic with TM is the insert. The rest of component are either good quality or standard quality.



Funny you should mention that ....

Welllll Beats headphones cant do my dishes ?? But then again thats not what their intended purpose is they are made to deliver great sound.
If that is true or not is an opinion.

These game cards are made to be played and in MY OPINION and many others opinions the flimsiness of the card stock is going to effect that. Image quality will be improved by a finer thread count but thats it.

Since you like analogies - I can rip the steel sheeting off of my truck and replace it with gold sheeting --- gold is a much higher quality metal then steel but its flimsy and soft and dents easy and is not the right choice for a truck body. How did I do ??

Peace Love and God Bless
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Matt Tucker
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This person is just stuck on them being low quality cards. They aren't flimsy, but he just keeps doubling down becuase he doesn't want to be wrong. Their are some good complaints you could make about the game, the art choice is odd though I've grown to enjoy it's direction and the player mats and insert are all valid complaints. However it's like you found that the common thread among detracting reviews was components and so just went with it. If anything my only complaint about the cards was they are black bordered which can be marked easily but it's not that big of a deal, the deck doesn't get shuffled that often.

Also theirs no reason for you to be going and trying to dig up personal attacks on someone. He doesn't have many games imputed into BGG? Must be a shill, lets devalue his opinions. Up until recently I had not put the vast majority of my collection onto the site becuase it's just a pain to go through and do. If I had zero games on my list my opinion is worth less?
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Anthony Gambatese
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Mahuloq wrote:
This person is just stuck on them being low quality cards. They aren't flimsy, but he just keeps doubling down becuase he doesn't want to be wrong. Their are some good complaints you could make about the game, the art choice is odd though I've grown to enjoy it's direction and the player mats and insert are all valid complaints. However it's like you found that the common thread among detracting reviews was components and so just went with it. If anything my only complaint about the cards was they are black bordered which can be marked easily but it's not that big of a deal, the deck doesn't get shuffled that often.

Also theirs no reason for you to be going and trying to dig up personal attacks on someone. He doesn't have many games imputed into BGG? Must be a shill, lets devalue his opinions. Up until recently I had not put the vast majority of my collection onto the site becuase it's just a pain to go through and do. If I had zero games on my list my opinion is worth less?


You heart me
 
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Joshua Schutte
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dice man, dice. The 10 cent fix to the game, bonus points if you have them in the 5 player colors
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Josh
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Mahuloq wrote:
If I had zero games on my list my opinion is worth less?

Yes. The value of your opinion increases exponentially with the size of your collection. This is BGG, not some Roddenberrian utopia.
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Matthieu Fontaines
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Quite ok with you on quality of cards, not a big deal. But they are less durable than, say, race for the Galaxy or Dominion cards.
After just two plays, I started to have some wear. I played rftg and dominion with the same players and it took much more games for the same result. And no, we haven't a epidemic of wet hand or heavy gripping...
So it may be the first game I sleeve. Not a big deal its just some €.
Concerning the players mat, we had also problems keeping the score cube not mooving.
I will try your "foam" solution, since I don't want to double the game price by buying plastic overlays.

I really love this game.
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