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Subject: The promo concept rss

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Ignatius MP
Spain
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Hey there!


Nowadays it's very usual to find games that have a promo which can be found in expos, bought for a high price in the official website and so on.

My question is: what is the concept of playing promos(not only aesthetics ones)? Are they thought after the game is finished or are they subtractions from the original idea? A game without them is flawed? Or are they merely extras not so tested and simply incentives for fans?

If both cases apply, which is more common? The idea that a game can be flawed because it's bought in a regular shop kills.


Thanks!
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Benjamine Allen
United States
Grand Ledge
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I don’t think they are necessary for gameplay, and just cause us completionists to feel like we need something more. Plus something cool to get at conventions that you sometimes may be able to get elsewhere later.

Sometimes I feel that way with expansions, that the game isn’t complete, so did they take something away from the base game to get that first expansion.
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Trent Boardgamer
Australia
Perth
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Most promo's I've seen somehow align to a theme or purpose for what they are for. As in they really are designed to promote the game for some specific event or such.

As for balance and use etc, it's always been quite varied from my perspective, even when looking at multiple promo's for the one game.

I'd imagine most promo's are thought of separately from the game and more from a marketing perspective after the fact.

No, I don't consider a game incomplete without promo's. I see most as extremely optional and don't tend to use very many promo's in most of my games. (Off the top of my head the only one I use as standard is for Dominion)
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
Canada
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Promos cover the whole gamut, from 'pure aesthetics' to 'fundamentally changes gameplay'.

Sometimes they're made at the same time as the base game, others come along months or years later. Some improve gameplay, many don't really change much, others can be a detriment. Really it's not any different than expansions other than the general size (much smaller) and distribution method.

Personally? I tend to avoid games with a plethora of promos because it annoys me that I'll have to track them down to have a full set, and the 'per-piece' price is usually outrageous.
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Terence Aries
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They are extra's and a game without them isn't flawed.
Most promo's either directly duplicate a different card already in the game, only with different artwork, or add to the game in a small way.
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Chris Stanton
England
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Sometimes they don't fit thematically & so are promo cards rather than being part of the main game
Sometimes they are random bursts of inspiration

They are unlikely to be 'removed from the game' in order to be promos.

If you want to look at & compare promos against the base game, I'd suggest reading Every Man Needs A Shed on a regular basis or have a look at https://www.snowdoniacentral.co.uk/trains . Tony Boydell's mind is a strange but fertile place.
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jos horst
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Fire_Forever wrote:

Personally? I tend to avoid games with a plethora of promos because it annoys me that I'll have to track them down to have a full set, and the 'per-piece' price is usually outrageous.

This. What annoys me most is the feeling I'm being played.
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Nicholas Johnson
United States
St Paul
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Almost all promos I see tend to be some joke idea or rejected bit from the main game. They tend to usually not be particularly polished and usually a reference to something.

Promos I own that I can think of:
Millennium Blades - Dice tower character. Requires me to now have a D6 when playing the game.
Onitama - Goat and Sheep. Very non aggressive cards. Slows the game down if you get too many cards like these.
Roll for the Galaxy - Diversified Economy/Terraforming Colony. That first side does nothing but raise a million questions about how that works whenever it comes up.
Mysterium - Weird objects added that aren't prominently featured in any of the hint cards. With their newest expansion first print promo I have no idea how to reference the fact that it's saying the psychics committed the murder?
Santorini - Most are fairly normal powers, if a mouth full to read off, but one in particular makes the game extremely random.

Keep in mind my definition of promo is mostly those hand outs they do at convention booths and really small things. Kickstarter exclusives and such is a whole 'nother ball park.
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Crazed Survivor
France
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It reaaaaally depends on the game and the promo.

In my opinion promos are a really nice way to improve the replay-value of a game when you have played it so much that you need to spice it up.
As such, even though I own a ton of promos, I usually play my games vanilla first, and include promos when I'm familiar with the game. I thus can enjoy what they bring and can be positive that the game is complete without them.

There are games where they add a welcome element of variability to an otherwise rapidly stale game (Hero Realms for instance.)
There are other games were you don't notice that promos are promos and could include them from the start. Their promo status then become questionable since they are fairly balanced and seem to naturally be part of the main content (Aeon's End.)

And then there are games where promos are completely broken, and should be used for fun purposes only, with everyone being aware of the extremeley swingy nature they will bring (Ascension.)

I have a hard time including expansions and promos in multiplayer games, but I've enjoyed promos in many solo games. I like them for what they bring.
I think they're interesting items, but I loathe the fact that some are exclusives and too hard to come by.

Is a game complete without them? Unless you're a completionist or play a game 50+ times, completely, yes!
Most of the time.

So far I own promos for:
Star Realms. Swingy and broken, especially when playing with Gambits and events.
Ascension: Deckbuilding Game. I've never considered Ascension to be balanced to begin with.
Aeon's End. Balanced, enjoy a lot. Drown in Flames is OP but you have to adapt your playstyle to it so that's fine.
Hero Realms. Meh.
Seasons. Fun but complex and sometimes annoying.
Onirim (second edition). Amazing, should have been included main game.
Sylvion. Too random and annoying. Can break a game easily.
7 Wonders Duel. Really good and interesting for combo players.
The 7th Continent. Barely noticeable, should have been included main game but not necessary either.
Gruff. Complex but interesting. Dunno if it's broken.
Sentinels of the Multiverse. What can I say, these things are completely amazing.
Vikings Gone Wild. They're an expansion by themselves, and a pretty good one with that.
SUPERHOT: The Card Game. Poor game, poor promos.
Tunhell. Never used the promos.
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Jason
United States
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I always play with the promos for Adrenaline. Having a little more weapon variety is always fun. Plus, the chainsaw feels especially thematic for an FPS.

I also picked up some for Ghost Stories. Primarily, I just wanted the guard tower, but it made sense to just grab them all given how cheap they were vs. how high the price of shipping was.

I have some other's that I haven't used. And, I've thought about Clank! promos, but none of them look that fun.

In general, I think promos are best when they add more of the same to a game. The more they change rules, the more likely they are to be broken or not very fun.
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Ignatius MP
Spain
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And generally speaking? Do they improve the game experience?
 
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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ritter wrote:
And generally speaking? Do they improve the game experience?


It depends on the game and the promo. There is no right answer because it's different for every single game, and to some extent it will also vary by who's playing.
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Pete
United States
Northbrook
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Conceptually I dislike promos. Each copy of a game should be the same.

Realistically, when they're passing them out at the convention, I just love getting them.

Pete (is OK with this hypocrisy)
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Crazed Survivor
France
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ritter wrote:
And generally speaking? Do they improve the game experience?


I thought my answer was clear enough?

There is not generally speaking. It's a case by case thing.
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