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Subject: Player Boards... rss

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Kenrick Fearn
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Hi All,

Whilst free speech still remains in the USA...I thought I would pen this little gripe about this game ...

At last I got my copy and I am very excited about playing it ...it was not cheap especially with the current state of the Euro/ Dollar exchange rate ...however I could not bare missing out on this very popular title ...

I have purchased a vast crop of games from Essen this year and todate I have been very pleased with all my purchases ...both in terms of game play and component quality ...that is until now ...

Page 6 of the rule book has a section on Player Baords ...are they taking the piss?? The game boards or rather the thin game mats are terrible ...they are thin, the counters ( which are good quality ) slide all over the place at the slightest knock ...they warp after being on my table for 30 mins have a glossy coat which enhances the counters ability to dance and slide all over the place ...also the tiles are of good quality too...it's just those bloody awful excuse for player baords that is really bugging me ...

They are not good in my opinion ...and that is my opinion ...I have seen the price of games Sky rocket recently and yet it seems in many respects the quality has deteriorated ...there are some publishers in paritcular where I seen this trend particularly manifest...will not mention any names here ...but several of these companies have recently been purchased by bigger companies ...

One game I recently purchased called Ulm published by Huch was incredabke quality yet 30% cheaper than standard euro fare ...and my regular games shop could not believe the quality for the price ...me too!

Roll Player ...a game where dice need to be placed on the board came with thick player boards with spaces cut out for placing the dice ...excellent game and even with the 73 large solid plastic dice sold at a reasonable price ...and a dice bag !!!

Another game that comes to mind is PostHuman again spaces cut out to hold cubes ...lots and lots of cards too...again a reasonable price from a small publisher ...

I am sure there are many more I could mention but with over 1,500 games it's difficult to remember them all...

So, I am a little annoyed/ disappointed that I have very thin, glossy mats that do not really do what they are designed to do in very satisfactory or effective way...

I know some folks will be more than happy with the mats in this game ...I was not expecting or even desire one inch thick boards or hard board ...but just something that will effectively do what it designed to do and not feel cheap and nasty ..

I have Vinhos Deluxe on my table ATM and that in my opinion is a quality game ...

As for prices for games in our hobby they seem to increase on an almost weekly basis, and more and more games publishers seem to be being purchased by less and less bigger companies ...I fear this trend will carry on ...as the spectre of games publishing monopoly looms ever closer ...

If the mats were just to provide info ...I would be satisfied but they are necessary to play the game ...hence my dissatisfaction at there quality and design ...

Okay...minor rant over ...thanks for reading ...and as I said before if I am trolled to death for daring to complain about something ...at least I ha e got it off my chest...this is my opinion and as a gamer of 35 yrs exeperience I am very concerned about the direction my beloved hobby is moving towards ...

But I need to keep asking myself how come Huch can produce a top notch quality game and it is top notch for 30% cheaper than other main stream publishers and Huch is not a big company plus I believe the game was published in Germany so arguably more expensive than China ??

All said and done ...games are a luxury item ...and I am fortunate enough to be able to afford them ...but it doesn't mean I am happy to pay a lot of money for inferior quality ...

Ric
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J M
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Supposedly the game was produced (not sure if produced or "assembled") in the US though I see the rulebook was printed in Germany. Wages are higher, so costs will be higher, and the components aren't as great but it's a trade-off and one I'm OK with.

Even so, I pre-ordered the Game Trayz boards.
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Y P
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This has been discussed to death elsewhere. If you get any blowback it will be from those who are sick of hearing about it. I think a lot of us agree that the production in general and player mats in particular leave something to be desired.

I picked up some 3rd party acrylic overlays that transform the player mats into awesome components. If you love the game other than the player mats you could do the same.

Fair enough with some of the titles you mentioned in comparison, but Vinhos Deluxe doesn't really fit. It cost me double the street price of Terraforming Mars to get it. I would certainly expect much higher quality components.
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Isaac Fryxelius
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Hi Ric!
IMHO the problem is not so much the player boards as it is the cubes. The cubes will slide on most surfaces, because they are a little inflated (with a slick coating). We did not know this issue when deciding to have these cubes specially made for this game. Still, we see no big problem with this - just like Ticket to ride or any other game with light weight plastic, you should avoid sneezing or let the cat walk on the table. And we really prefer these ones over wooden cubes for this game.
As for the player boards, the choice was to have them in high quality thin paper so they will lay flat. They are easy to bend back if they should warp, and I use them constantly to funnel the cubes back in their bags after playing. After 30 plays or so I still see no problem with that...
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John K
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MentatYP wrote:
This has been discussed to death elsewhere. If you get any blowback it will be from those who are sick of hearing about it. I think a lot of us agree that the production in general and player mats in particular leave something to be desired.

I picked up some 3rd party acrylic overlays that transform the player mats into awesome components. If you love the game other than the player mats you could do the same.

Fair enough with some of the titles you mentioned in comparison, but Vinhos Deluxe doesn't really fit. It cost me double the street price of Terraforming Mars to get it. I would certainly expect much higher quality components.


How much did you drop on the overlays? Thanks
 
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Sam Carroll
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I bought Pete's overlays from Boardgameboost; I think it was $40 for a full set of 5, or you can just order 1 or 2 if you think that's all you'll need. They're excellent, as all his accessories are!
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Y P
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freightrain12 wrote:
MentatYP wrote:
This has been discussed to death elsewhere. If you get any blowback it will be from those who are sick of hearing about it. I think a lot of us agree that the production in general and player mats in particular leave something to be desired.

I picked up some 3rd party acrylic overlays that transform the player mats into awesome components. If you love the game other than the player mats you could do the same.

Fair enough with some of the titles you mentioned in comparison, but Vinhos Deluxe doesn't really fit. It cost me double the street price of Terraforming Mars to get it. I would certainly expect much higher quality components.


How much did you drop on the overlays? Thanks

Got 5 of them from BoardGameBoost as well. $40 + shipping. Not sure exactly how much shipping was since I also got some stands for Star Wars: Rebellion in the same order. Pricey for sure, but high quality, well-designed stuff for a game I love so I don't mind. Definitely not a purchase that makes sense for everybody but to me it was well worth it. The overlays transform the player mats from a liability to a highlight of the playing experience.
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Matt Smith
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Isaac Fryxelius wrote:
Hi Ric!
IMHO the problem is not so much the player boards as it is the cubes. The cubes will slide on most surfaces, because they are a little inflated (with a slick coating). We did not know this issue when deciding to have these cubes specially made for this game. Still, we see no big problem with this - just like Ticket to ride or any other game with light weight plastic, you should avoid sneezing or let the cat walk on the table. And we really prefer these ones over wooden cubes for this game.
As for the player boards, the choice was to have them in high quality thin paper so they will lay flat. They are easy to bend back if they should warp, and I use them constantly to funnel the cubes back in their bags after playing. After 30 plays or so I still see no problem with that...

I love love love the game, but the problem is the combination of the player mat design and the cubes:
- Both have slick surfaces (very low coefficient of friction). The result is Bambi on ice (well, not quite that bad).
- The spots to track production values are mashed together. So if someone bumps the table with their knee (happens all the time), the MC production cube on 2 is now overlapping 2 and 3. So, was your MC production 2 or 3? Maybe you remember; maybe not.
- Besides tracking production values, you're also managing your resources on the same player mat. This means adding and removing tiny cubes to different areas on the mat, both above and below the production cubes. When picking up the copper (1) cubes, it's not uncommon to have one or more slip out of your fingers and shoot across the player mat, knocking other cubes out of place along the way. If that happens, you just take your best guess at what your production and supply values should be and carry on.

I agree the care needed to not disturb the cubes on your player mat distracts from the overall experience. Since this game is so awesome, I also purchased the acrylic overlays from Boardgameboost. I agree with Y P; they transform managing the mats from an annoyance to a joy.
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Donny Behne
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While I found the design very good, the component quality overall was a miss for me. Player mats are a definite issue. Card stock is also quite poor compared to other games I own with a comparable number of cards. The "money" cubes flaking is upsetting as well. I realize why, but ultimately, if they're going to do that, maybe use something else. "It's how they were made, a corner flakes off" isn't a valid excuse to accept a component that appears damaged after only a few plays.

I will always be enamored with the design, but the production leaves a lot to be desired.
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Rich Bright
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spartax wrote:
I bought Pete's overlays from Boardgameboost; I think it was $40 for a full set of 5, or you can just order 1 or 2 if you think that's all you'll need. They're excellent, as all his accessories are!


For what it's worth, I also purchased these (full set of five that fully enclose the player boards). They were pricey, but I feel it fixed the one gripe I had about the game.
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Cliff Fisher
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Regarding the comparison to Vinhos Deluxe on component quality - It is absolutely a valid comparison.

Terraforming Mars MSRPs for $70. MSRP of the base Vinhos Deluxe will be $79.99. My entire KS pledge with stretch goals and shipping a 12 lb. box was less than $100. Even if the price points are marginally different, it's a valid comparison. Plus, once you buy new acrylic overlays or plastic game trays, you're up to $80+ even if you happened to get it from CSI for the online discount, and at $105+ if you paid retail.
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Kenrick Fearn
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Hi Guys

First of all I would like to apologise as I had no idea there was already such a hue and cry about the quality of some of the components of this game ...mea culpa...

I guess that was my laziness sorry ...

But I am glad to see in many ways that many others feel the same ...and most of the replies to my initial post have been very pleasant ...thank you

I have taken the step of ordering the the plastic overlays for the player mats as I feel the game is worth the investment ...if not grudgingly!

The cost of the overlays will certainly make the game more expensive than my copy of Vinhos Deluxe and quite frankly it lacks the quantity/ quantity of items in my copy of Vinhos Deluxe ...

But to me the copy of Ulm by Huch says it all ...a game can be produced with superior components for at least 30% less than the current price range offered for similar types of games ...why can one company do this yet others can not ?

It comes down to greed in my opinion ...nothing more or nothing less ...exploitation of those who will be prepared to pay a premium whilst the said companies are prepared to provide the absolute minimum ...why no draw bag in my copy of FFGs Arkham Horror card game ...comes immediately to mind ...they produce dice bags anyway ...why not include one !!!

This trend seems to have increased with elevated price increases and the consolidation of small publishers being controlled or purchased by one or three big distributors / publishers ...


I have no objection to paying a premium price for a game, and indeed I have done on many occasions ...but I also would expect the quality to be of premium nature ...

I purchased 14 games from Essen this year ...13 of which had great components and reasonable level of cost ...although one or two were a bit pricey ...but they had excellent components so this increased price was to a degree off set by the contents within the box ...but this year more than ever I had to box clever ...and really do my home work to avoid over paying and underwhelming myself ...

I guess the other thing is ...we are all individuals and our expectations are also different along with what we perceive as being a good standard ...to some publishers they may believe the quality of their components are satisfactory ...whereupon to others that standard falls woefully short ...and that will never change ...but in that case the price point of the game should reflect in part the contents of the box ...thin crappy player mats with cubes that flake should not be selling at the same price point of a game that has clearly superior contents ...but that brings us back to greed again ...

I am a certified member of the cult of the new ...but I find myself more and more turning my back on various publishers no matter how much I like the theme or mechanic if I feel that I am being exploited ...there are enough major corporations doing that to me in my normal life ...I certainly don't need it in my beloved hobby !

Ric
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champalaune christ
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I have asked for the futur french released TERRA FORMING MARS bt INTRAFIN ( french distributor ) a very good map with inserts that the cubes don't slide easily,


TERRA FORMING MARS english was product by LUDOFACT USA ,

christ from France
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Peisistratous wrote:
...
...but that brings us back to greed again ...


This has nothing to do with greed. Almost no-one can make a living in this business. Even the CEO of Stronghold has another job to live on. There is also a big difference in salaries in different countries, meaning that different companies have different options and opportunities. Having successful Kickstarters can also have a huge impact on what a Company can afford in terms of Component quality.

We are all in this business primarily because we love games, and so we settle for very low returns. Some even lose money on their business, just so they can get a cool game with cool components out. That should not become standard because then the hobby is doomed.

Sincerely,
Jacob
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Peisistratous wrote:
The cost of the overlays will certainly make the game more expensive than my copy of Vinhos Deluxe and quite frankly it lacks the quantity/ quantity of items in my copy of Vinhos Deluxe ...

But to me the copy of Ulm by Huch says it all ...a game can be produced with superior components for at least 30% less than the current price range offered for similar types of games ...why can one company do this yet others can not ?
[...]
thin crappy player mats with cubes that flake should not be selling at the same price point of a game that has clearly superior contents

Component quantity and quality are not the only factors which determine the cost of a game.
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Jaime D.
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champalaune wrote:
I have asked for the futur french released TERRA FORMING MARS bt INTRAFIN ( french distributor ) a very good map with inserts that the cubes don't slide easily,


TERRA FORMING MARS english was product by LUDOFACT USA ,

christ from France


If we want factories and workers employed in the developed countries producing goods, that's the price we have to pay off. Lower quality, same price.
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Matthieu Fontaines
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Peisistratous wrote:

It comes down to greed in my opinion ...nothing more or nothing less ...exploitation of those who will be prepared to pay a premium whilst the said companies are prepared to provide the absolute minimum ...why no draw bag in my copy of FFGs Arkham Horror card game ...comes immediately to mind ...they produce dice bags anyway ...why not include one !!!


While your arguments are valid concerning your disappointment on the quality of material, there is no need to be rude and insult people.

Could have they made better choices? yes, surely.

Did they do it deliberately to rob you of your precious €? I don't think so. When you work many months on a game, you don't want it to be ruined by a bad fabrication.
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Bill Buchanan
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I guess it's awesome (ie. a good thing) that people that buy board games are so spoiled these days ...

I bought overlays,and made little boxes for them. It was fun.
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Kenrick Fearn
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Duinhir wrote:
Peisistratous wrote:

It comes down to greed in my opinion ...nothing more or nothing less ...exploitation of those who will be prepared to pay a premium whilst the said companies are prepared to provide the absolute minimum ...why no draw bag in my copy of FFGs Arkham Horror card game ...comes immediately to mind ...they produce dice bags anyway ...why not include one !!!


While your arguments are valid concerning your disappointment on the quality of material, there is no need to be rude and insult people.

Could have they made better choices? yes, surely.

Did they do it deliberately to rob you of your precious €? I don't think so. When you work many months on a game, you don't want it to be ruined by a bad fabrication.


Perhaps you should read again ...I was not being rude to any one individual per se ..I was talking genrally ...hence why I named no names ...I agree the component choice is hardly ever just down to the designer ...of course unless it is self published ...

Ric
 
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Kenrick Fearn
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Snapshot wrote:
Peisistratous wrote:
The cost of the overlays will certainly make the game more expensive than my copy of Vinhos Deluxe and quite frankly it lacks the quantity/ quantity of items in my copy of Vinhos Deluxe ...

But to me the copy of Ulm by Huch says it all ...a game can be produced with superior components for at least 30% less than the current price range offered for similar types of games ...why can one company do this yet others can not ?
[...]
thin crappy player mats with cubes that flake should not be selling at the same price point of a game that has clearly superior contents

Component quantity and quality are not the only factors which determine the cost of a game.


Very very true ...having worked in the gaming industry for several years I am aware of this ...but lets be frank games are published to make money ...and if something can be done at a cheaper price and the publisher can get away with it ...i.e an inferior product which but will increase their profit margins then in this liberal capitalist society we live in they are going to do just that ...

Minium input maximum profit ...

Ric
 
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