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Subject: What is up with Geeks and Components?? rss

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William Boykin
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Seriously-

There have been threads and threads and threads about components on BGG from time immemorial. Everything from the infamous Asmodee 'Box Fart' for Mission to the Red Planet, to eternal sniping about 'paper' vs. 'mounted' wargame mapboards, to people wailing that their version of Agricola won't have animeeples, to carping that Twillight Struggle misspelled Chile (Chili??- so long as it doesn't have beans, I guess!), and now, complaining about paper money vs.- well, I don't know.

What is it about Geeks that we seem to have this IRRESITABLE NEED to kvetch about components?? I mean, Chess is chess, no matter what pieces I use to play the game with. Mancala? Same thing- piece of wood, or cups, and some pebbles, or chits, or whatever.

But you get a boardgame, and all of a sudden a Geek who feels NO problem about print and playing some free downloadable game all of sudden feels that his experience of Pandemic is RUINED because of the oversized player pawns! (Or the map isn't mounted, or the Orc's plastic spear bends instead of being made of wire).

I just don't get it. Y'all feel that games are too expensive...but then want them to be made out of solid wood (oak, preferably), NOT made in China, and hand painted by craftsmen.

Just don't understand it....!

Darilian

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Paul DeStefano
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You have a physical body.

When entertaining your mind with a game, why not also please the senses with fine components?
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Jake Kiser
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Sometimes my girlfriend eats meeples.

No, not a euphemism.
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Daniel Rocchi
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Darilian wrote:


I just don't get it. Y'all feel that games are too expensive...but then want them to be made out of solid wood (oak, preferably), NOT made in China....





As long as it's not printed in the Replublic of China.


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Michael Edwards
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Darilian wrote:
I mean, Chess is chess, no matter what pieces I use to play the game with.


Well, a car is a car. It gets you from point A to point B.

Some folks think of it just that way, and don't much care if they are driving a POS Pinto. Some folks spend waaaaaay too much time, on weird, dedicated fan sites, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over every little detail, mod, announcement, and update for their particular model or models. Hmm, sounds familiar.

If you happen to be a person who just likes the play of a game, then yes, components aren't going to be a big deal for you. I think most folks appreciate good components, and that they add to the atmosphere and enjoyment of a good game. Rich Corinthian Leather doens't help me get to point B, it just helps me enjoy the trip more. KAAAAAHN! Oops, sorry.

One of the things I personally enjoy with some euro games are the little touches, that are pointless to many. In particular, I like maps that are backprinted with a pleasing theme (like fleurs-de-lis, for example). You don't ever see the back in play, it just helps it look nice when it's folded up, and somehow - for me - just seems to add a little bit more to the general feeling of quality and pleasantness.
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Jim Cote
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Everyone has their own degree of tolerance for quality. If you admit that you have any tolerance for quality (eg, would you play a game that had colored water droplets for pieces, or rice paper cards?), then you are a hypocrite for calling anyone else a whiner.
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Sean Shaw
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Call it preferences.

I think the car analogy above is a good one. Another analogy could be books. Why even put covers on them. Why have hardcovers. Why even have nice paper. Just print it on toilet paper...afterall, it's still the same story or words inside.

Some people would be fine with that, others...like a little bit more. Maybe paper that's a little sturdier than toilet paper. Maybe a nice illustration on the cover. Maybe they even prefer hardback books. There's alot to be said about what one prefers.

Me, I prefer the book with the hard plastic cover and no-tear paper (maybe even written on an aluminum/paper mix) and nice easy to read text and great illustrations on the front...but then I like that type of stuff.
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Mike Kollross
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I am a creative person and adding production quality to my games makes me happy. If I'm going to be staring at a Descent board for 6 hrs I'm going to stare at this:

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M C
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It goes with the territory.

If we didn't care about the minutia of boardgames, we would hardly be boardgame geeks would we?

Why else would we talk about the best bookcases to store games in, debate whether to store them upright or horizontal, compare cards sleeves or trade information on the most game friendly storage containers for transport?
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ŁṲÎS̈
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This is simple to answer.

I'm ok with things like cubes for cows, and discs for farmers, because the game itself may be fun to play.

But when you want to get others interested (spouses, kids, etc.) you need to show them cool shiny things.

Then after playing, they might like the game for the gameplay.
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the difference between a "crowd" and a "mob" is one push
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My copy of Powder Grid came with glasine bags and actual drug mules!
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Wendell
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Osiris Ra wrote:
My copy of Powder Grid came with glasine bags and actual drug mules!


Wow, I'll have to watch to see if you offer this for trade!
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Jason Sadler
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I think wanting better components is natural. I think being angry about paper maps, paper money, and colored cubes is childish in the extreme.

I understand the desire to have cool components. Even in wargames, my friends get more interested in The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen than in The Killing Ground just by sight alone.

It is the level of anger and disapproval that is confounding.
 
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Matt Davis
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Some of these reductio ad absurdum arguments are a little nonsensical. Books printed on toilet paper? Water droplets as game components? Sure, theoretically it's the same, but there is a certain level of durability required in just about anything that you intend to use more than once. The paperback vs. hardback comparison is more on point, and we're all willing to pay various amounts for varying levels of component quality on that score and many others.
 
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Eric Knauer
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Quote:
What is it about Geeks that we seem to have this IRRESITABLE NEED to kvetch about components??


It may seem silly to some, but to me components are a form of art and thus subject to evaluation like other mediums of art are. Think about it, games often consist of elaborate sculptures and pictures made by very talented artists. My need to kvethch about components is the same need that exists when I see a movie like The Dark Knight and compare it to an earlier version featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. Some people can watch both and be perfectly entertained while others like myself have certain standards and admire the amount of creative energy that went into the former and get offended when such little thought and mediocrity exists the latter.
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Mark C
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Osiris Ra wrote:
My copy of Powder Grid came with glasine bags and actual drug mules!


You know, I saw that, but decided to pass when the publisher confided to me where they hid the bags to get through customs.
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Adam Slape
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This question answers itself. We're geeks...rules lawyering, grammar correcting, obsessive compulsive, and annoying as hell. We never make mistakes and we expect the same from the companies that deal with us.

Edit:
By the way, you spelled irresistible wrong. Not even close.
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William Crispin
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I have too many games that I have not played and I like well made and attractive components. They do add to my playing experience. That said, I consider that a personal character weakness/oddity and I can not imagine getting on here and whining about it when my personal preferences in a games production are not fulfilled. I am okay with being a geek but I would prefer to not be known as a childish geek who cries about his toys not being perfect.
 
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the difference between a "crowd" and a "mob" is one push
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In all seriousness, I describe myself as a "magpie". I see pretty shinies and I want them. I will buy a prettier game even if I might not love it, which is not something I would do with a heavier game if its bits are not up to my standards.

FACT: I am buying Jamaica, even though I have not played it yet nor seen the reviews. But the theme and presentation have sold me. And I will have it in my collection before I buy Power Grid, which is a game that I found that I love. Why? PG loses in presentation what it gains in gameplay. Now, mind you, I will eventually own both. But my order of precedence is set by component quality, use of theme, and artistic presentation.
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Bill the Pill
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DarkCelt wrote:
Darilian wrote:


I just don't get it. Y'all feel that games are too expensive...but then want them to be made out of solid wood (oak, preferably), NOT made in China....





As long as it's not printed in the Replublic of China.



Are there a lot of games printed in Taiwan?
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Patrick Hickey
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Darilian wrote:
But you get a boardgame, and all of a sudden a Geek who feels NO problem about print and playing some free downloadable game all of sudden feels that his experience of Pandemic is RUINED because of the oversized player pawns! (Or the map isn't mounted, or the Orc's plastic spear bends instead of being made of wire).

For the record, the print and play people LOVE printing up production level quality versions of games they could print on paper. And sometimes going even beyond that.
 
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Beau Bailey
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GreyLord wrote:
Call it preferences.

I think the car analogy above is a good one. Another analogy could be books. Why even put covers on them. Why have hardcovers. Why even have nice paper. Just print it on toilet paper...afterall, it's still the same story or words inside.

Some people would be fine with that, others...like a little bit more. Maybe paper that's a little sturdier than toilet paper. Maybe a nice illustration on the cover. Maybe they even prefer hardback books. There's alot to be said about what one prefers.

Me, I prefer the book with the hard plastic cover and no-tear paper (maybe even written on an aluminum/paper mix) and nice easy to read text and great illustrations on the front...but then I like that type of stuff.


Where do you find books with hard plastic covers and no-tear paper in general supply? I am unfamiliar with such a location
 
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Sean Shaw
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I got one or two, be prepared to pay an arm or a leg however, and normally they are only for certain types of texts.
 
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stephen
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I do let component quality feature affect my game purchases, its not my only criteria but if I am going to spend my hard earned cash on something I want something that I will get the maximum pleasure out of. To me quality pieces usually means pieces that are durable and easy to use.

Often I find that when corners are cut you get flimsy cards that bend too easily or generic plastic bits that roll across the board, or they fall over or are hard to pick up. These sorts of problems get in the way of my enjoyment of the game because they make the game more difficult to play or set up which in turn mean the game gets played less and thus I get less value out of it.

There are way too many games in the market than I can buy, so I will buy the game that appeals to me in gameplay and components over one that only has gameplay that appeals and since I look to this site to inform me of all information about a potential purchase I welcome other people mentioning quality issues with components.

I could drive any car, but it makes sense to buy one that provides comfort, economy and crash protection and in that regard all cars are not the same.
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