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Richard Löwenherz
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I just got the Twilight Imperium base game, spent several hours sorting the pieces, cutting out the miniatures, painting the edges of all those tokens and getting familiar with the rules and then... I finally played it. I like the game a lot and I am looking forward to play it again and eventually getting my hands on the expansions.

And yet I am very unhappy with the components of the game box. This is where my rant begins...

What the frak is wrong with you, Fantasy Flight Games?
You made a fantastic game, but here are 6 things I hate about it*:

d10-1
The most obvious problem I have are the badly produced tokens.

Usually I wouldn't care, but a huge game like TI is kinda special to me. I usually do a lot to improve my favourite board games, but this is something I cannot fix. I expected more from a well known title from ffg. This is just cheap.

d10-2
Speaking of being cheap - why aren't there any boxes, bags or inlays included whatsoever? I am aware that people who play games like TI usually have their own storage solutions and are not really fond of plastic inlays, but some cheap paper boxes for all the cards would have been nice. Something. Anything! How are those cards supposed to stay unharmed? Oh, I forgot: They were damaged right out of the box before I even touched them...

A few card boxes and some bags should be included. Seriously.

d10-3
This was an expensive game and yet it comes with only 4 dice - you need at least 8 to play it. Don't tell me 10-sided dice are too expensive! We used 8 black dice and 2 yellow dice to count casualties.

d10-4
My biggest issue is the missing frame. This is - I am repeating myself - a huge game. We (5 players) needed 2 tables to play it: 150cm x 150cm (60"). The "galaxy" alone ist 70cm (28")wide. I guess 130cm² (~50") are needed at least and I guess we are not the only gamers who use more than one table to play TI on. Can you imagine what happens if someone bumps his knee against one of those tables and the whole game breaks apart? Even without an accident like that - after many hours of gameplay the tiles will slip and you will constantly have to fix the board and making everything worse.
We actually taped our tables together and then taped 6 wooden cubes from El Grande directly on the tables to stop the "galaxy get out of place".

It kinda worked, but why is there no frame? It would improve the game so much!

(I also tried to use 2 playmats (for card games like Magic or the Star Wars lcg), but guess what? The TI galaxy is too big for those.)

d10-5
Another huge complaint (or is it a question?):
The game comes with 10 different playable races but only 6 different colours for miniatures and technology cards. This makes sense, because there are only 6 players at most (without expansions) and those spaceship miniatures are expensive and take a lot of space in the box.
But why do we need tokens in 10 different colours? Why does every player need to have 2 different colours? Why aren't there just 6 different sets of tokens in the same colours as the miniatures? I just don't get it!

d10-6
By far the biggest problem (obviously not): Check your rulebooks on page 23. "ìElectî Votes"? "ìFor or Againstî Votes"? What is happening? laugh





* Well, ok 5 things.
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Starkiller
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This is also my favorite game, and very special to me.
However, I think you have several personal preferences here and are complaining they are not included in the base game....and they would drive up the price of the game for those who don't care.


Cookieman wrote:

d10-1
The most obvious problem I have are the badly produced tokens.

Usually I wouldn't care, but a huge game like TI is kinda special to me. I usually do a lot to improve my favourite board games, but this is something I cannot fix. I expected more from a well known title from ffg. This is just cheap.

This I can understand, although I've never required my games to be perfect. Personally, good enough, but I can understand someone disagreeing.

Cookieman wrote:
d10-2
Speaking of being cheap - why aren't there any boxes, bags or inlays included whatsoever?
A few card boxes and some bags should be included. Seriously.

Most boardgamers have their own personal preference for storage, whether it is just using zip-locks or something elaborate. The effort to go get ziplocks out of the drawer is too much? Really? Personally, most included storage solutions are wasted on me.cool

Especially as most included storage solutions do not have room for expansions....95% of TI3 players will want. More expense not needed.meeple

Cookieman wrote:
d10-3
This was an expensive game and yet it comes with only 4 dice - you need at least 8 to play it. Don't tell me 10-sided dice are too expensive! We used 8 black dice and 2 yellow dice to count casualties.

While I agree more dice is much better, they are also the EASIEST thing to add.cool Just get more 10 sided dice. Again, trying to keep the price point down, for those who don't care too much. Those who do care, can easily get more dice.

On a side note, the best way to speed up dice rolling is to have more than one color of dice. I have 4 black and 2 orange. On a smaller battle, we roll for more than one ship type at a time. For example: if a player has 3 destroyers and 1 cruiser, he can roll them all at once-- the black dice are the destroyers, and the orange is the cruiser.surprise
And if there is a bunch of something, toss all 6 dice.

Cookieman wrote:
d10-4
My biggest issue is the missing frame. This is - I am repeating myself - a huge game.
We actually taped our tables together and then taped 6 wooden cubes from El Grande directly on the tables to stop the "galaxy get out of place".
It kinda worked, but why is there no frame? It would improve the game so much!

Because when playing with more players, you need to make it bigger.
Because you can make custom galaxy layouts that are not a circle.
Because a lot of players get black felt to lay underneath, and then don't need a frame.
Because frames frequently do not work that well....if they warp slightly, they are useless. Felt is much better.
Because no one will spend another $10 for the game.

Pick any one.
And, if it really bugs you that much, go buy some felt.

Cookieman wrote:
d10-5
Another huge complaint (or is it a question?):
The game comes with 10 different playable races but only 6 different colours for miniatures and technology cards. This makes sense, because there are only 6 players at most (without expansions) and those spaceship miniatures are expensive and take a lot of space in the box.
But why do we need tokens in 10 different colours? Why does every player need to have 2 different colours? Why aren't there just 6 different sets of tokens in the same colours as the miniatures? I just don't get it!

This seems a bit...random. My guess is: they had enough space in the cardboard layouts to do it, and so they did. If they had needed another piece of cardboard to just make CCs, they probably would have just made 6 colors.
Hooray for personalized CCs!
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Mark Gilbertson
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Dear Friend,

Like TI3 is to you, I make my own head hurt by playing 18XX games, the older ones in my collection having boxes, boards and components of dubious quality at best. Once the game gets rolling and I'm crushing the opposition (or more commonly getting crushed by them!), quality of playing pieces becomes a non-factor in my gaming enjoyment. TI3 has a TON of cool bits and pieces, but it's just a box of toys unless you use them as tools to achieve the board-game-bliss for yourself that 18XX creates for me. Time and wonderful game playing memories heal all wounds, and will eventually salve the sting of game components that fail to live up to our expectations,,,,,
 
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Kuba W
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Cookieman wrote:

d10-5
Another huge complaint (or is it a question?):
The game comes with 10 different playable races but only 6 different colours for miniatures and technology cards. This makes sense, because there are only 6 players at most (without expansions) and those spaceship miniatures are expensive and take a lot of space in the box.
But why do we need tokens in 10 different colours? Why does every player need to have 2 different colours? Why aren't there just 6 different sets of tokens in the same colours as the miniatures? I just don't get it!


It is much easier to store all race-specific elements separately and then set them up quickly when the race gets chosen. The symbol that appears on the tokens (command counters and... what were they called? the flags) is the same that the one on the other elements in the game - including the expansions these are: leaders, home system, representatives, racial techs, flagship card and maybe something else I don't remember. It really is easier to identify the race by these symbols when you get familiar with them.
 
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Ivan Kosak
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Cookieman wrote:
...

d10-1
The most obvious problem I have are the badly produced tokens.

Usually I wouldn't care, but a huge game like TI is kinda special to me. I usually do a lot to improve my favourite board games, but this is something I cannot fix. I expected more from a well known title from ffg. This is just cheap.

...


You can try to ask for replacement tokens if you send them photos of yours from FFG.
 
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Jonathan Tang
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Cookieman wrote:
I usually do a lot to improve my favourite board games, but this is something I cannot fix.

Not sure if you'd want to spend the extra money, but you can probably get some nice acrylic TI3 tokens from Litko.
 
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Jonathan Folkert
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sadistiko wrote:
Cookieman wrote:
...

d10-1
The most obvious problem I have are the badly produced tokens.

Usually I wouldn't care, but a huge game like TI is kinda special to me. I usually do a lot to improve my favourite board games, but this is something I cannot fix. I expected more from a well known title from ffg. This is just cheap.

...


You can try to ask for replacement tokens if you send them photos of yours from FFG.


In fairness, the cutting on those is much sloppier than with my copy (from a couple years ago).
 
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Scott Lewis
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Cookieman wrote:
d10-1
The most obvious problem I have are the badly produced tokens.

Usually I wouldn't care, but a huge game like TI is kinda special to me. I usually do a lot to improve my favourite board games, but this is something I cannot fix. I expected more from a well known title from ffg. This is just cheap.

I can say it's not universal from all printings - the copy I have has pretty clean-cut counters. It's possible in the printing you got (or maybe even just your specific copy) that the alignment on the cutting die was off? Not sure.

Quote:
Speaking of being cheap - why aren't there any boxes, bags or inlays included whatsoever? I am aware that people who play games like TI usually have their own storage solutions and are not really fond of plastic inlays, but some cheap paper boxes for all the cards would have been nice. Something. Anything! How are those cards supposed to stay unharmed?

To be honest, I find it very unlikely that whatever bags or boxes they would have included would have suited my personal storage preference, and would have just upped the cost of the game for no reason. Plus, any such things would likely have become obsolete with expansions.


Quote:
My biggest issue is the missing frame. This is - I am repeating myself - a huge game. We (5 players) needed 2 tables to play it: 150cm x 150cm (60"). The "galaxy" alone ist 70cm (28")wide. I guess 130cm² (~50") are needed at least and I guess we are not the only gamers who use more than one table to play TI on. Can you imagine what happens if someone bumps his knee against one of those tables and the whole game breaks apart? Even without an accident like that - after many hours of gameplay the tiles will slip and you will constantly have to fix the board and making everything worse.
We actually taped our tables together and then taped 6 wooden cubes from El Grande directly on the tables to stop the "galaxy get out of place".

It kinda worked, but why is there no frame? It would improve the game so much!

For me, again, this would have just added cost for no use. I would not have used the frame much, as the tables I've played on didn't really have big problems with slipping.


Quote:

But why do we need tokens in 10 different colours? Why does every player need to have 2 different colours? Why aren't there just 6 different sets of tokens in the same colours as the miniatures? I just don't get it!

Personally, I much prefer the way they did it. This is an epic game, and while "generic" counters would have worked, I like having the race ones that tie into control and activation. It's never been a problem in our games. (Often, we end up picking plastic colors that are close matches to the race anyway, but not always; in either case, it's not been an issue).

For an epic, thematic game like this, I'm all for adding MORE thematic options, big or small, rather than finding ways to reduce things to generic options.

Quote:
By far the biggest problem (obviously not): Check your rulebooks on page 23. "ìElectî Votes"? "ìFor or Againstî Votes"? What is happening? laugh

That is indeed weird, although not universal - my copy has proper quote marks for those weird 'i' symbols. I'm guessing there was a font/unicode issue in the software used for printing the rulebook in your printing.
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Ksistof Buzinski
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Hi, I support Richard concerns. I don't think that storage solutions are good. They are unacceptable, i would say. More or less - "throw everything into the box and forget it"... Even if cards will get damaged in the process.

There are not even enough of zip bags to separate all pieces...

I don't like having to buy additional dice just because they are saving on those, for ~ 80+USD price game...

Maybe this doesn't apply to all FFG games, but i have same experience with two games i own from FFG: TI3 and Mission Red Planet. In both general storage concept is the same: throw everything into the box and don't care. The only insert they provide in Mission Red Planet is awful, i had to throw it away to make all the pieces fit the box...

What is even more sad about this - no reviewer (like Sam, Tom Vasel) have mentioned this about the game in their reviews.
 
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Ksistof Buzinski
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Starkiller wrote:
"Most boardgamers have their own personal preference for storage, whether it is just using zip-locks or something elaborate. The effort to go get ziplocks out of the drawer is too much? Really? Personally, most included storage solutions are wasted on me.
Especially as most included storage solutions do not have room for expansions....95% of TI3 players will want. More expense not needed."

I can understand your view. Yes. But you should try to understand opposite opinion - there are boardgamers (i'm among them) who love to have perfect order in their boardgame box-es + not damaged components.
This would require additional efforts from FFG, yes. But won't hurt you - boardgamers who don't care about inserts, zip-locks and similar things.
In other words, i see two options here:
a) apply current principle for the storage (do nothing, throw everything into the box, no inserts, scarce dice): a1) boardgamers who don't care - they are ok with that; a2) boardgamers who care about proper order in their boxes - unhappy.
b) add some more zip-locks, some inserts (plastic will work fine!), additional dice: b1) boardgamers who don't care - they will stay being ok with that; b2) happy boardgamers who care undamaged components and order.

Why not to invest those 1-2 additional USDs in production to make even more people happy with your product? Box size will definitely fit all additional inserts etc. easily.

 
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Starkiller
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kika80_Litwa wrote:
Starkiller wrote:
"Most boardgamers have their own personal preference for storage, whether it is just using zip-locks or something elaborate. The effort to go get ziplocks out of the drawer is too much? Really? Personally, most included storage solutions are wasted on me.
Especially as most included storage solutions do not have room for expansions....95% of TI3 players will want. More expense not needed."

I can understand your view. Yes. But you should try to understand opposite opinion - there are boardgamers (i'm among them) who love to have perfect order in their boardgame box-es + not damaged components.
This would require additional efforts from FFG, yes. But won't hurt you

Yes it would. It would cost more.
kika80_Litwa wrote:
In other words, i see two options here:
a) apply current principle for the storage (do nothing, throw everything into the box, no inserts, scarce dice): a1) boardgamers who don't care - they are ok with that; a2) boardgamers who care about proper order in their boxes - unhappy.
b) add some more zip-locks, some inserts (plastic will work fine!), additional dice: b1) boardgamers who don't care - they will stay being ok with that; b2) happy boardgamers who care undamaged components and order.

Why not to invest those 1-2 additional USDs in production to make even more people happy with your product? Box size will definitely fit all additional inserts etc. easily.


Why not? Because of option c)
People who would not buy it if it cost any more.
FFG obviously cares deeply about this.

Sure, you would buy it if it cost $5 more.

Some of us are on extremely tight budgets.
The only reason I even own this game is because I won it in the Great Geek Game Giveaway (4G).

I've seen many threads of 4X games, discussing which one to purchase....cost of this game always comes up as it is, and always works against it in the cost vs # of games played, whenever money is a serious concern.

About 4 years ago I remember reading a discussion on BGG between manufacturers (as a small business owner, I like reading about costs and ROI and ratios and other boring things) about how the 'big box' games were no longer viable for any manufacturer to produce because of the rising cost of plastic, but especially due to the rising cost of shipping. They didn't know FFG numbers, of course, but they were using TI3 as an example and talking about how there was no way TI3 was still profitable to produce, and would have to be 'downsized' in TI4.

They were obviously wrong (thank goodness!) but the cold reality of costs rising is still true. Only FFG knows where the break-even point is, but it has to be very thin.

Add to this that very few potential buyers are a combination of:
a)really care that all the components fit nicely in a storage solution
b)do not want to do it themselves
c)are willing to spend $5 more on an already expensive game, but are not willing to spend $5 for a custom solution of their own.

It makes economic sense to not cater to that small section of potential buyers, when FFG can make it cheaper for the rest of customers:
1)those who don't care about organization
2)those who want to do custom organization anyway
3)those who want the game cheaper more than they want a nice storage solution
4)those who variant and add to the game so much they need a custom solution no matter what.

I understand you don't fit into any of those categories, but unfortunately, you apparently have a minority position, and FFG has decided it is not economically viable to add in that little bit extra.
 
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Erwin Anciano
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I can understand the other problems, but I don't get the frame complaint? Did previous versions of TI have a frame included? Is the frame some kind of huge cardboard that folds and has cuts for the hexes?

 
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Scott Lewis
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Mochana wrote:
I can understand the other problems, but I don't get the frame complaint? Did previous versions of TI have a frame included? Is the frame some kind of huge cardboard that folds and has cuts for the hexes?


As far as I know, there has never been a frame provided with the game in any edition or printing.
 
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Ksistof Buzinski
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akinfantryman wrote:


Why not? Because of option c)
People who would not buy it if it cost any more.
FFG obviously cares deeply about this.

Sure, you would buy it if it cost $5 more.

Some of us are on extremely tight budgets.
The only reason I even own this game is because I won it in the Great Geek Game Giveaway (4G).

I've seen many threads of 4X games, discussing which one to purchase....cost of this game always comes up as it is, and always works against it in the cost vs # of games played, whenever money is a serious concern.

About 4 years ago I remember reading a discussion on BGG between manufacturers (as a small business owner, I like reading about costs and ROI and ratios and other boring things) about how the 'big box' games were no longer viable for any manufacturer to produce because of the rising cost of plastic, but especially due to the rising cost of shipping. They didn't know FFG numbers, of course, but they were using TI3 as an example and talking about how there was no way TI3 was still profitable to produce, and would have to be 'downsized' in TI4.

They were obviously wrong (thank goodness!) but the cold reality of costs rising is still true. Only FFG knows where the break-even point is, but it has to be very thin.

Add to this that very few potential buyers are a combination of:
a)really care that all the components fit nicely in a storage solution
b)do not want to do it themselves
c)are willing to spend $5 more on an already expensive game, but are not willing to spend $5 for a custom solution of their own.

It makes economic sense to not cater to that small section of potential buyers, when FFG can make it cheaper for the rest of customers:
1)those who don't care about organization
2)those who want to do custom organization anyway
3)those who want the game cheaper more than they want a nice storage solution
4)those who variant and add to the game so much they need a custom solution no matter what.

I understand you don't fit into any of those categories, but unfortunately, you apparently have a minority position, and FFG has decided it is not economically viable to add in that little bit extra.


Hmm, ok, I see your point...
Yes, I agree, cost of this game is high, too high, overpriced. And it is sad to say knowing that shipping cost of half-empty and badly organized components is included into that...
I have bought it as used one too

I think, hmm, I'll still fit one of your categories...
I didn't think about potential "customization according my needs". I think, mainly because there is no huge Demand and Market for such a products here where I live.. But i have to look around and read forums how other people solve that, for sure.

PS: I think that "cost vs # of games played" ratio makes no sense for this game at all. It should be changed to "cost VS hours of fun" spent on this game. But who counts hours... boardgamegeek.com doesn't help with that. Don't you agree?
 
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Starkiller
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I agree this game is worth the money and should be calculated by hours spent.

It's just hard to prioritize....like, before I won it, I knew I would love it. (I loved Axis&Allies, and this fixed all my problems with that game.)
However, I was not sure anyone else in my game group would like it. So, it was a possibility that I could spend $100+dollars for the game & expansion, play it once, and then have it sit there for years until I found another group of people to play it with, or maybe wait until my boys grew up.soblue
This is a significant problem/consideration when this would be the only game purchase I would make all year.yuk I was counting every dollar and considering it carefully.
Many people I've seen go through the same thought process, so price is a problem for many people.

As it turned out, I won the game AND my game group liked it. Now, a couple years later, I am developing a second group of gamers who love it, primarily high school-ers. So it all worked out.laugh
 
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Joe Koltes
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I've found that a big Plano tackle box holds the base game and both expansions quite nicely with room to spere for any 3rd party add-ons you might like. Just my 2 cents worth
 
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Brad Miller
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Those miscut counters are bogus. I'd contact FFG for replacements.

However, I don't really agree with your other issues.
 
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