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Subject: Automobile: Thanks for the Wait rss

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Jason Aemisegger
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My purpose for posting here is to share my thoughts about the production value of Automobile. I am hoping that someone at Mayfair see's my post and hears what I have to say.

Today I picked up my copy of Automobile. As I suspected, the game had been stripped of all the quality components of the first printing. No wooden cars, wooden salesmen, wooden demand tiles, and smaller and lower quality innovators and factory tiles. Not even close to the quality of the original printing. All for a nice hefty price of 50 dollars.

We waited close to two years and numerous release dates for this game and these release dates came and went. Very little communication from Mayfair at any time about when to actually expected this game. In fact I asked a marketing representative from Mayfair at Gencon 2010 when to expect Automobile and he was full of the same vague answers and lack of knowledge that it seemed everyone at Mayfair was full off. The last I saw was the Mayfair list of upcoming games, released to dealers, listing the release date as Q1 2010. But this a totally different topic and issue.

Everything I had suspected came true when the game was released. Years of waiting patiently for Automobile and we are rewarded with production shortcuts to cut costs. Mayfair you really should have rewarded us for the extra wait. But instead went with cardboard and cut corners on providing any of the quality bits that we come to expect from Euro type games.

Overall I am disappointed. Sure its the same game but I really have come to like the higher quality pieces in my games. Hell I am already spending 50 bucks on a game. Why would I want slightly better production quality than a copy of Monopoly. My point is I feel they really missed on the expectations of their customers. Games like this are already a specialty market product, don't cut corners, especially when the standard for this game was set so much higher.

Thanks for listening

Your Disappointed customer.

Jason



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Mark Tyler
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CptSquash wrote:
I am hoping that someone at Mayfair see's my post and hears what I have to say.


No need to hope when you can send your comments directly to Mayfair. Here is their contact page: http://mayfairgames.com/page.php?id=10
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Dave Kudzma
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The art was good, they used real names and likenesses, and the card board chits were at least twice as thick as any other game I own.

Sure, there could have been wood, but the game would have been even more expensive. The original was $75 usd wasn't it?

I've bought inferior quality games with better game play than many better produced competitors as well.

I hear your objections but I do not think it's all that troublesome.
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Steve Bachman
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It was common knowledge that the Mayfair edition would not include the many wooden bits. So rather than purchasing the Mayfair edition, knowing that you would be disappointed by your expectations, and then publicly ranting about it, why didn't you just pick up a copy of the 1st edition that you really wanted?

I guess I'm having trouble following your logic here, particularly when you are tying to tell a business you aren't involved in how to operate.
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Randall Bart
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The wooden cars were very nice, the wooden dealers were good. The wooden drums and wooden cubes are functional, but so are cardboard chits. The wooden slabs for factories are just strange; punched cardboard would be better.

But the original board was afflicted by childish use of fills. I must say that the amateur graphic design in the original completely overpowers the rest of the art. I find it humorous that anyone can talk about anything in the look of this game without complaining about that atrocious board.

So thank you Mayfair for fixing the board. It's too bad you dropped the wooden cars, but we can get those from Mayday.
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Sean Heath
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The first time I played Automobile was this past saturday. I instantly bought the game after I played it and said 'wow, this is only fifty bucks!'.

Mayday is coming out with a deluxe car token set that comes with the wooden cars if you want the wood bits so badly.

http://maydaygames.com/180-piece-deluxe-wooden-car-automobil....
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Tony Hamen
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It makes me laugh when I see posts like this, and some people are like I can't believe you have the GULL to be disappointed. I feel it is to each his own, and some people are going to be unhappy and some won't. I would've been disappointed had I preordered and had to wait this long to get my game.

Regardless, I agree that this printing of Automobile is a bad one, and now I'm stuck in an unfortunate situation. I've played the game once and loved it, and would really like a copy. I had only found out about the game once Treefrog prints had skyrocketed in price. Now I either have to pay 120 for the version I want, or 50 for a version that has a completely gaudy dysfunctional board IMO, cardboard, and an oversized box.

I say let people rant if it makes them feel better, and if there is something you can do to help than so be it and post. Otherwise, antagonizing the OP and telling him he has no clout because he is just a consumer and should be happy is ridiculous. In my circle of friends I know for a fact three copies have not been bought specifically due to the new edition's components.
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Einmal ist keinmal
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Or, the silly statements like "you should be happy that this wonderful, perfect company so graciously decided to reprint this game for you."shake
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Steve Bachman
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gentlegiantglass wrote:
I say let people rant if it makes them feel better, and if there is something you can do to help than so be it and post. Otherwise, antagonizing the OP and telling him he has no clout because he is just a consumer and should be happy is ridiculous. In my circle of friends I know for a fact three copies have not been bought specifically due to the new edition's components.

Where is anyone antagonizing the OP? And why would their opinion be more "ridiculous" than the OPs? As you say, to each their own - so let both sides speak just as freely.
 
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William Crispin
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Most of the people buying this game will not be people who were agonizing over getting the Treefrog version. For the majority of Mayfair's customers the difference between $50 and $70 for a game is probably quite significant.
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Jason Aemisegger
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Ward wrote:
It was common knowledge that the Mayfair edition would not include the many wooden bits. So rather than purchasing the Mayfair edition, knowing that you would be disappointed by your expectations, and then publicly ranting about it, why didn't you just pick up a copy of the 1st edition that you really wanted?

I guess I'm having trouble following your logic here, particularly when you are tying to tell a business you aren't involved in how to operate.


I discovered this game well after it was released. By the time I considered buying a copy of this game. The blackmarket had already shot up to almost twice the price. I am willing to pay a little more for a good quality game. Not get gouged by the secondary market.

I am a consumer of a product that is made by said business. I am certainly involved in how they operate, their existance is based on my purchase. That point is made in a egocentric way, but I don't feel like I am the only one that feels this way. I am just willing to put it down on paper.

Look I understand that Mayfair is trying to make money. I just think they could have done a lot better job on this game overall. I also don't think that I am in the minority when I say give me a little more substance for my money and I don't mind paying for it. Yes this probably means it wouldn't have been released for 50 dollars.

Finally, Yes I have had games that have been worse in production quality. I'm sure I would not be complaining if this was the first release of the game. Minus the board art the first edition of the game was very high quality. I also don't believe you if you say that you are truely happy with the differences in bits when you compare the editions side by side.

Hey its my opinion. Nobody asked me but I felt strongly enough to share it.

I saw this after I posted.
"For the majority of Mayfair's customers the difference between $50 and $70 for a game is probably quite significant."

I disagree. Mayfair makes a specialty product. They are not Hasboro and most of their games are not mass market. Being a specialty product and knowing the fact that they don't print their games In hundreds of thousands of copies, most of us realize that we are going to spend 100-200% more than that copy of Scattergories that you find at Wal-Mart. Because I'm willing to pay more, I am also willing to pay for quality. So its quality over quantity. These games are expensive anyway I'm pretty sure that a difference of $20 dollars makes very little difference, even less for a good game.


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Jason Aemisegger
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No plastic, I probably would have been happy with plastic. All cardboard. Except for the wooden turn markers and cubes.

 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Barticus88 wrote:
But the original board was afflicted by childish use of fills.


The biggest blocks of fill on that board are those representing the three car types. I don't see them ad childish at all, but as quite good representations of "any colour you want as long as it is black", wood veneer and chrome. More interesting than most colour choices. Incidentally you have looked at the actual board, not an image of it?
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Michael Maloney
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I guess I'm in the minority , but my vote goes to the new edition. The cardboard bits are nice and thick - and STACK - and actually have images of factories and people on them rather than being rectangular blocks of painted wood.

The only thing I would like to have seen in either edition would have been icons on the Ford, Sloan, etc tiles indicating their special abilities.
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László Horváth
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I don't own either edition, but looking at the pictures makes me want to buy the new one. The board design is much better, and cardboard chits are OK.
But paper money, why oh why!
Nevertheless, still going for the new edition, and 50$ is not too much for it.
 
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William Crispin
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CptSquash wrote:

I saw this after I posted.
"For the majority of Mayfair's customers the difference between $50 and $70 for a game is probably quite significant."

I disagree. Mayfair makes a specialty product. They are not Hasboro and most of their games are not mass market. Being a specialty product and knowing the fact that they don't print their games In hundreds of thousands of copies, most of us realize that we are going to spend 100-200% more than that copy of Scattergories that you find at Wal-Mart. Because I'm willing to pay a little more, I am also willing to pay for quality. So its quality over quantity.


And you would be wrong.

I agree with you that it would have been nice to have the best of both worlds (a nice board and wooden bits). I also would be willing to pay more for it. I am sure that regardless of how valid these data points are Mayfair well understands the pricing model of games.

Most of the games will be sold not to people who are very familar with the game but to a group who is selecting on Mayfair's name, shelf space in the hobby store, cover art, theme, and vague recollections that this Wallace guy makes good games. For these people, $50 is already at the far end of the price spectrum. These are not people who are looking for a $14 copy of Monopoly at Walmart but they are also not easily going to drop $100 on a boardgame.

You have made the second classic blunder, after "never get involved in a land war in Asia", of assuming that your valid personal perferences are shared by the majority of potential customers for a product.

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Randall Bart
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Dearlove wrote:
Incidentally you have looked at the actual board, not an image of it?

Yes I looked at the actual board, but I don't see how that is relevant. The first time I saw it laid on the table, I saw the board was full of childish abuse of fill patterns. The middle color comes out okay, though a tighter patter would be better. The high and low look more like camouflage than information (and oddly seem to overlap).

Fan improved board

The game board above is the best Automobile board I have seen. It could be improved by a little more contrast of the colors, but it does what it tries to do well. Appropriately designed and scaled fills would be better, but I would rather have solid colors than bad fills.
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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I'm very happy with the Mayfair edition. I sold off my Treefrog version at a profit and used that money to buy the Mayfair edition. To me, the board looks far far better than the original board which was ugly. I don't miss the wood either, the thick cardboard is fine.
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Barticus88 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
Incidentally you have looked at the actual board, not an image of it?

Yes I looked at the actual board, but I don't see how that is relevant. The first time I saw it laid on the table, I saw the board was full of childish abuse of fill patterns. The middle color comes out okay, though a tighter patter would be better. The high and low look more like camouflage than information (and oddly seem to overlap).

Fan improved board

The game board above is the best Automobile board I have seen. It could be improved by a little more contrast of the colors, but it does what it tries to do well. Appropriately designed and scaled fills would be better, but I would rather have solid colors than bad fills.

And then those with color blindness would complain about the lack of "fills". I guess you can't please everyone. I like the original board just fine.
 
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Ward wrote:
Where is anyone antagonizing the OP? And why would their opinion be more "ridiculous" than the OPs? As you say, to each their own - so let both sides speak just as freely.

I think the difference is that the OP talks about a game and a game company and your response talks about the poster.
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Barticus88 wrote:

But the original board was afflicted by childish use of fills. I must say that the amateur graphic design in the original completely overpowers the rest of the art. I find it humorous that anyone can talk about anything in the look of this game without complaining about that atrocious board.


Another reason to have not bought Last Train when it first came out
 
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Barticus88 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
Incidentally you have looked at the actual board, not an image of it?

Yes I looked at the actual board, but I don't see how that is relevant.


There was at leasehold person who thought the board too garish, but had only seen an image (I forget which sort) but changed his mind on seeing the actual board.

I find your description of childish self-descriptive. But otherwise we can agree to disagree.
 
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astroglide wrote:
Ward wrote:
Where is anyone antagonizing the OP? And why would their opinion be more "ridiculous" than the OPs? As you say, to each their own - so let both sides speak just as freely.

I think the difference is that the OP talks about a game and a game company and your response talks about the poster.

Valid point, if the OP had restricted his initial post to his opinions only. By adding in the "we" here and there, as well as "customers", he is attempting to speak for the rest of us as well. Personally, I disagree with his reasoning and do not wish for it to represent my opinion.

Additionally, my initial post wasn't about the poster per se, but rather the reasoning behind his post and complaint. In ways, it is like someone saving some money by buying a GMC Yukon, but then complaining that the quality wasn't up to par with the pricier Cadillac Escalade. Going into the purchase, the component differences were already known, so why is there disappointment?
 
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Are there any pics of the new board in the gallery? I see plenty of the first edition and the deluxe edition. I'm curious to see the Mayfair board.
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I'm just excited to finally play it. I've got plenty of games that have not one single wooden piece. The issue, I think, with Automobile is not that it needs the wood as much as being aware the "better" version is out there might make one long for such.

A similar discussion arose around Wallace's recent London (first edition). A fan who hadn't heard of the game until all the Limited copies were spoken for was ticked that he had to play with "only" the cardboard bits.

IMO, it's the reality of the hobby -- sometimes you'll miss out on the fancy stuff. Me, I'm grateful to Mayfair for re-releasing the game so I can play it.
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