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Subject: Do you think this game is overproduced for no real gain? rss

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Chris Ruf
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I see this as a bit of a trend in the industry these days. Make a game look over the top fantastic, when simply looking nice wood suffice (at least in my eyes).

A slanted board with angle cut pieces that are a simple track?

A decorative back to said board that could obscure the view of the table?

A massive main board for what amounts to tracks and 4 action spaces?

I'm not denying it looks amazing, but it's tough to swallow that I need a MASSIVE table and have to pay a premium for what amounts to a recipe fulfilment game. A deep one, but recipe fulfillment all the same.
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BG.EXE
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No such thing as overproduced in my opinion. Lots of games are produced to lazy standards. Glad to see games like Brass: Lancashire and Agra upping the standards.
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Bill Buchanan
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Legend5555 wrote:
I see this as a bit of a trend in the industry these days. Make a game look over the top fantastic, when simply looking nice wood suffice (at least in my eyes).

A slanted board with angle cut pieces that are a simple track?

A decorative back to said board that could obscure the view of the table?

A massive main board for what amounts to tracks and 4 action spaces?

I'm not denying it looks amazing, but it's tough to swallow that I need a MASSIVE table and have to pay a premium for what amounts to a recipe fulfilment game. A deep one, but recipe fulfillment all the same.



Ya, a game's table footprint is a big deal to me, as we don't have the biggest table in he world right now. It will definitely cause me to hesitate buying a game if I think it won't fit on my table.

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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
No such thing as overproduced in my opinion. Lots of games are produced to lazy standards. Glad to see games like Brass: Lancashire and Agra upping the standards.


Can't agree more. Spoke my mind.
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Chris Ruf
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
No such thing as overproduced in my opinion. Lots of games are produced to lazy standards. Glad to see games like Brass: Lancashire and Agra upping the standards.

So price and game footprint don't become a factor for you?

What the new Brass does isn't similar to what Agra is doing IMO. Brass has better art than the originsl and player boards now. But it's not wasting unecessary amounts of table space like Agra's GIANT board or slanted "progress" track. And the MSRP difference between the 2 versions of Brass isn't huge. Agra has no reason to be an $80 MSRP game other than the publisher wanted it to look stunning.

I'm not saying Agra needs to look like or have components on par with Castles of Burgundy or anything, but at some point gameplay trumps size, components, and price for me. But it also varies with the style of the game. I get it for immersive games like Mansions of Madness where the experience and atmosphere are what the game is about. But I seldom need Agra's level of indulgence for a euro. The board could still look as good and be smaller and the slanted track could have just been a normal flat side board,

The CMON version of Council of 4 is also overdoing it. It's style actually hurts the readability of the cards and board. And the minis in it are really unecessary. I even defended it until I finally tried it at CMON expo.
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bryden
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Legend5555 wrote:
I see this as a bit of a trend in the industry these days. Make a game look over the top fantastic, when simply looking nice wood suffice (at least in my eyes).

A slanted board with angle cut pieces that are a simple track?

A decorative back to said board that could obscure the view of the table?

A massive main board for what amounts to tracks and 4 action spaces?

I'm not denying it looks amazing, but it's tough to swallow that I need a MASSIVE table and have to pay a premium for what amounts to a recipe fulfilment game. A deep one, but recipe fulfillment all the same.

I am with you on this as many it seems just want to something pretty to look at or play with (at least there are no minis). I guess if you get Menzel you got to use him to his fullest to maximize your return.

Most times these days I question games that look overproduced as this is often done to compensate for something. I admit that I am following Agra as a possible long range purchase but this is due to the game complexities and not the way it looks. The step pyramid thingy is a bit of an annoyance.

I suspect that most will disagree with us but then again many pay extra for the shrinkwrap that never leaves the box. What can you do?
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bryden
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
No such thing as overproduced in my opinion. Lots of games are produced to lazy standards. Glad to see games like Brass: Lancashire and Agra upping the standards.

How about Abyss? He shoots, he scores.

I would rather have the games that "don't look like much on the outside but has it where it counts". Just more fun that way.
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Chris Sauer
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NoDicePlease wrote:
boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
No such thing as overproduced in my opinion. Lots of games are produced to lazy standards. Glad to see games like Brass: Lancashire and Agra upping the standards.

How about Abyss? He shoots, he scores.

I would rather have the games that "don't look like much on the outside but has it where it counts". Just more fun that way.


Abyss was overproduced? Because of those black plastic bead holders?.......
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Bill Cook
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From a publisher's standpoint, I think there is real gain. Agra is getting a lot more attention that it would if produced in a stripped down version.

And compared to what a lot of companies are asking these days, the price isn't that bad.
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bryden
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I wouldn't suggest a stripped down version. I was drawn to it by the mechanics and the depth of the experience. When I saw the board and the pawn pyramid, I was waiting for an explanation as to why it was needed. I did not get an explanation. It does not save space, the pawns are oversized. It did not seem to add in anyway to the functionality of the game.

The board could be smaller. The pyramid should go and the board muted a little to improve action and play clarity. They just needed to exercise a small bit of restraint. They might make more profit to boot. Who knows?
 
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bryden
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Quote:
Abyss was overproduced? Because of those black plastic bead holders?.......

Basic card game with an unnecessary board and over the top art. None of the excess masks the fact that the "game" is little more than eye candy. Tichu has better aesthetics and overall is a better card game.

All in my opinion, of course.
 
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Bryle Cuff
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EMBison wrote:
Agra is getting a lot more attention that it would if produced in a stripped down version.


Agreed. This game only came on my radar because of how gorgeous it was.

Unfortunately now that I'm hearing mixed things about the game, the only thing keeping it alive for me is it's production.
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Jake Blomquist
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Legend5555 wrote:
I see this as a bit of a trend in the industry these days. Make a game look over the top fantastic, when simply looking nice wood suffice (at least in my eyes).

A slanted board with angle cut pieces that are a simple track?

A decorative back to said board that could obscure the view of the table?

A massive main board for what amounts to tracks and 4 action spaces?

I'm not denying it looks amazing, but it's tough to swallow that I need a MASSIVE table and have to pay a premium for what amounts to a recipe fulfilment game. A deep one, but recipe fulfillment all the same.


I barely notice production quality. I didn't realize that this game was overproduced, and to me it only matters if I feel like I'm getting charged more than I should for it. For the kind of game it is I would hope/expect it to msrp for $60 and then I could get it at a bit of a discount from that. Honestly it never even occurred to me that this would be anything other than your average $60 average production values euro.

Legend5555 wrote:
Agra has no reason to be an $80 MSRP game other than the publisher wanted it to look stunning.


If that's true (I haven't looked into it myself but I see no reason you'd make that up) my first instinct is to be annoyed. Though to be fair I think I remember seeing Papa Paolo for $70, and that I don't think is particularly overproduced, is it? Maybe Quined just charges more because it's a small publisher?

I didn't bat an eye paying $70 for $80 msrp Arkwright since that's just what it cost and it's a great game from a smaller publisher. And to be clear I really like the look of the game, but I wouldn't call it overproduced. Similarly I have no regrets whatsoever for paying $95 for The Great Zimbabwe.

But I really struggled with paying $85 for Lisboa, in spite of how much I love Vital Lacerda games and this one looked to be no exception. But because it was so overproduced I felt like I was being forced to pay extra for something I didn't care about.

This may sound crazy to some, but once a game gets that expensive I'm happier paying for a less extravagantly produced version, even for the same price, for weird psychological reasons. If I can convince myself that Quined just has higher than average msrp across the board I can be happy.

Bryle wrote:
Unfortunately now that I'm hearing mixed things about the game, the only thing keeping it alive for me is it's production.


Not to derail the thread, but what did you hear?
 
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Matthias Habelitz
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I am a gamer and I like great quality. It's mindblowing, better than a lot of Kickstarter games - I love it and I am willing to pay a few euros more to get the game that exactly has the quality I want. It's compareable to the Vital Lacerda EGG Games - just great!
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Andrew B C
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WBuchanan wrote:
[q="Legend5555"]


Ya, a game's table footprint is a big deal to me, as we don't have the biggest table in he world right now. It will definitely cause me to hesitate buying a game if I think it won't fit on my table.



Just lay down on the floor.

Maybe buy some set pieces so that the floor-play fits in with the theme.
 
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BG.EXE
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NoDicePlease wrote:
boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
No such thing as overproduced in my opinion. Lots of games are produced to lazy standards. Glad to see games like Brass: Lancashire and Agra upping the standards.

How about Abyss? He shoots, he scores.

I would rather have the games that "don't look like much on the outside but has it where it counts". Just more fun that way.

I'd say wide miss.

Legend5555 wrote:

So price and game footprint don't become a factor for you?

Footprint, no. Only Twilight Imperium and Mega Civilization start requiring two tables, but Costco has 6 foot folding tables for about $50. I have one, and my friends bought a second to leave at my house specifically for games like TI.
Price is a strange thing. Agra is only around $50-60 (I paid more for my pre-order, but if you go to the main online stores right now you'll pay $57) which is fairly standard for games. So that wasn't a worry. TI4 took a few seconds of thinking because it's a bit over that $100 line, but you get a TON of game for it. Would I buy Barenpark for $150? Certainly not. But I bought Kingdom Death and think it's worth much more than I paid. Value is very contextual, and I think Agra is worth above the price I paid.

NoDicePlease wrote:
When I saw the board and the pawn pyramid, I was waiting for an explanation as to why it was needed.

Aesthetics are a perfectly valid reason for anything. There are many reasons the iPhone doesn't look like a Nokia flip phone and "appeal by appearance" is certainly one of them.
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Chris Ruf
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
Value is very contextual, and I think Agra is worth above the price I paid.

I don't disagree, but if the game wasn't over done you could be paying less. And it's not as if the dip in quality would be extreme. It's not like the art would need to change. But are tall octagons really that much better than cubes? Is the slanted board really helpful? Or so much prettier that you wuld rather have it that way instead of flat? Would a smaller board (and I'm not saying extremely smaller) really be less pleasing to look at, or less functional?
 
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Jake Blomquist
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Legend5555 wrote:
boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
Value is very contextual, and I think Agra is worth above the price I paid.

I don't disagree, but if the game wasn't over done you could be paying less. And it's not as if the dip in quality would be extreme. It's not like the art would need to change. But are tall octagons really that much better than cubes? Is the slanted board really helpful? Or so much prettier that you wuld rather have it that way instead of flat? Would a smaller board (and I'm not saying extremely smaller) really be less pleasing to look at, or less functional?


I'd agree with you if it actually translated into savings, but I'm not convinced that that's the case. If it really can continuously be bought for less than $60 (as it apparently can be now), that's about the minimum a game like this ever goes for anyway unless it hits deep discount, or at least roughly what I expect to pay regardless of component quality.

Though I also understand that sometimes you just draw a line in the sand. I for example will basically refuse to buy any game with miniatures. I played a demo of Blood Rage recently and enjoyed it a good amount for what it was, and it seems like I could even get it for less than $50 at this point, but the fact that the box is full of miniatures makes me less interested independent of the quality of the game or the price tag.
 
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BG.EXE
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I'm personally fine with paying more for a nicer product. If there was a $20 version of Agra with the same rules that looked like Castles of Burgundy, I'd still buy this version.
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Chris Ruf
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jblomquist wrote:
Legend5555 wrote:
boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
Value is very contextual, and I think Agra is worth above the price I paid.

I don't disagree, but if the game wasn't over done you could be paying less. And it's not as if the dip in quality would be extreme. It's not like the art would need to change. But are tall octagons really that much better than cubes? Is the slanted board really helpful? Or so much prettier that you wuld rather have it that way instead of flat? Would a smaller board (and I'm not saying extremely smaller) really be less pleasing to look at, or less functional?


I'd agree with you if it actually translated into savings, but I'm not convinced that that's the case. If it really can continuously be bought for less than $60 (as it apparently can be now), that's about the minimum a game like this ever goes for anyway unless it hits deep discount, or at least roughly what I expect to pay regardless of component quality.

Though I also understand that sometimes you just draw a line in the sand. I for example will basically refuse to buy any game with miniatures. I played a demo of Blood Rage recently and enjoyed it a good amount for what it was, and it seems like I could even get it for less than $50 at this point, but the fact that the box is full of miniatures makes me less interested independent of the quality of the game or the price tag.

But it could retail for 60 and thus be purchased for 40-45ish. And the drop in quality wouldn't be that much.
 
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Chris Ruf
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
I'm personally fine with paying more for a nicer product. If there was a $20 version of Agra with the same rules that looked like Castles of Burgundy, I'd still buy this version.

And I already said earlier it didn't have to be downgraded to CoB levels. Just toned down a bit so that it's MSRP is around 60.
 
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Legend5555 wrote:
I'm not denying it looks amazing...
I am! For all the effort put in it is very hard to read as a game board (where were the play testers when we needed them?) and that city is so damn brown! I only got a good look at the beautiful game box after playing the game, but what a contrast and what a disappointment for what might have been... cry
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
I'm personally fine with paying more for a nicer product. If there was a $20 version of Agra with the same rules that looked like Castles of Burgundy, I'd still buy this version.


Sign me up for the version that looks like Castles of Burgundy. That would be amazing.
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We opened, punched and played this yesterday.

Firstly, the game is good. We enjoyed it and can't wait to play it again now we understand a bit more of the depth. If this was tosh, then no-one would buy it. The fact that it looks amazing both on the table AND on the shelf are extra selling points.

But rather than people here arguing, isn't the wider point that it's great that people can buy all kinds of watches that all perform exactly the same function, but look totally different and cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to tens of thousands?

We are part of a great hobby. I hope Mr. Keller and Quined sell many copies of this game. But if people don't want to buy it, there are many, many other great games too. There's literally hundreds and hundreds with more coming all the time, some catering to a price-conscious/ footprint conscious crowd, and others to people like me.

Happy times.
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Jake Blomquist
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trevorandlinda wrote:
We opened, punched and played this yesterday.

Firstly, the game is good. We enjoyed it and can't wait to play it again now we understand a bit more of the depth. If this was tosh, then no-one would buy it. The fact that it looks amazing both on the table AND on the shelf are extra selling points.

But rather than people here arguing, isn't the wider point that it's great that people can buy all kinds of watches that all perform exactly the same function, but look totally different and cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to tens of thousands?

We are part of a great hobby. I hope Mr. Keller and Quined sell many copies of this game. But if people don't want to buy it, there are many, many other great games too. There's literally hundreds and hundreds with more coming all the time, some catering to a price-conscious/ footprint conscious crowd, and others to people like me.

Happy times.


This is a very good comment, and I agree completely with the sentiment. But I think the people who are concerned are the people who see the recent trend and are worried that the high production values crowd is going to win out and relatively soon the only game in town will be $200 super deluxe games. This is the kind of leap that I roll my eyes at when people make it in other contexts, but I'll admit to getting swept up in it when it comes to board games.

I think part of it, at least for me, is that I already only really like a fairly particular kind of game and so change can be felt more greatly there. Vital Lacerda for example is my favorite designer, and it looks like for the foreseeable future I'm stuck either paying EGG prices or just not playing any of his new games. And I'm not happy about that, but I am (slowly) coming to peace with it.

But thanks for giving some perspective. I hope you're right that there will still continue to be at least some companies making the kinds of games I like (and it's worth noting that there were less than ten Essen titles this year that I was legitimately excited about, including a few reprints) without overproducing them.
 
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