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Survive: Escape from Atlantis!» Forums » General

Subject: Poor quality bits rss

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David Anderson
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After hearing again and again about how great the components in this new version are I was disappointed by how poorly finished they are. The shapes are great, but the finish is cringeworthy to the woodworker in me. The pieces look as though they were cut with a dull bit or from very curly grained wood. They look very "furry" to me. That would be okay for some woodland creatures, but dolphins and whales? I know they're mammals, but..... Also, the meeples do not have consistent shapes. An alert player would be able to track one over others because they are different sizes and have longer or shorter limbs from piece to piece. I'm considering refinishing all the pieces, but am unsure how to go about coloring them. Are they dyed?

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I'm quite certain they are painted, I had several where the paint stuck together, and chipped off one meeple or the other when I separated them.
(Pieces were promptly replaced)

I agree on the inconsistent size of the meeples, and their unfinished look that bothered me too.
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Patrick C.
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If you've read the many comments here you'll see that a number of people had problems with their bits but Stronghold has stepped in and quickly resolved the issue for each customer. I had a completely misshaped shark. I emailed them about it and they responded within a few days to let me know they were mailing me a replacement.

So why not just contact them instead of posting here? I realize I'm being a bit harsh, but there have been so many discussions about this issue and Stronghold has responded both here and directly so many times already.

If it's dark light a candle, don't curse the darkness. IOW, contact Stronghold.
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Shawn Simas
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They are very quick to send out replacements for any extra bad ones you have.

Also, there may be slight differences between them, but in a game you will find yourself not noticing this in the slightest.

Also, if you are the kind of player who wants to memorize the differences between all the different pieces like the blue 5 might have one arm .5mm shorter than the other or that a yellow 3 has a slightly different grain from the rest and use that to your advantage - you are not the kind of player I'd want to play this game with anyway.
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David Anderson
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travvller wrote:
If you've read the many comments here you'll see that a number of people had problems with their bits but Stronghold has stepped in and quickly resolved the issue for each customer. I had a completely misshaped shark. I emailed them about it and they responded within a few days to let me know they were mailing me a replacement.

So why not just contact them instead of posting here? I realize I'm being a bit harsh, but there have been so many discussions about this issue and Stronghold has responded both here and directly so many times already.

If it's dark light a candle, don't curse the darkness. IOW, contact Stronghold.


Thanks for your response. I did look through the first 5 pages in the forums and did not see this issue raised. I did hear how great the bits were from several podcasts I listen to and none of them mentioned this. I agree contacting the manufacturer would be the best recourse, but I don't have issue with just one or two pieces. They are all poorly finished to my eyes. I am going to try to look past this and enjoy the game, but as I said all I have heard were how great the pieces were and I was disappointed. IOW, I tried to do my homework before posting here.


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David Anderson
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DaJackel wrote:
They are very quick to send out replacements for any extra bad ones you have.

Also, there may be slight differences between them, but in a game you will find yourself not noticing this in the slightest.

Also, if you are the kind of player who wants to memorize the differences between all the different pieces like the blue 5 might have one arm .5mm shorter than the other or that a yellow 3 has a slightly different grain from the rest and use that to your advantage - you are not the kind of player I'd want to play this game with anyway.


I'd like to think I'm not this kind of player, but I work in a job where I can notice these types of differences at a glance. It would be hard for me to not feel like I'm cheating. Anyway, I haven't got it to the table yet. Hopefully, all this is for naught and it won't make a difference in game play.



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Klaus Brune
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DaJackel wrote:
They are very quick to send out replacements for any extra bad ones you have.

Also, there may be slight differences between them, but in a game you will find yourself not noticing this in the slightest.

Also, if you are the kind of player who wants to memorize the differences between all the different pieces like the blue 5 might have one arm .5mm shorter than the other or that a yellow 3 has a slightly different grain from the rest and use that to your advantage - you are not the kind of player I'd want to play this game with anyway.


In defense of the original poster... it is now burned into my memory that the #6 red meeple in my set has a flat top instead of a round head. I would have to make a mental effort to go out of my way NOT to notice it. It is noticeable without squinting even when I'm not wearing my glasses. If that makes me the "kind" of player that you want nothing to do with, then so be it. Accusing someone of not being a sportsmanlike player just because the component quality is not up to par is a low blow. And for the record, the differences I've noticed are more like 2.0mm, not 0.5mm

Stronghold is definitely quick to respond to complaints to keep the customers happy, more so than some other game companies that I've had to deal with for similar issues even, but the replacements they sent for the most part had identical problems. I also had the problem with the mountain tiles printed off-center and some white borders showing - thankfully the replacement tiles I received fixed that.

As for the meeples, I'm resigned to either (1) playing with the all meeples are equal value Challenge Rule (which I've come to prefer anyway, and so have my other players), or (2) ordering an entire new set from MeepleSource.com instead and just painting the numbers on myself.
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Kevin Nesbitt
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Yes, please do send us an email if we can be of assistance to you. We'll be happy to replace any meeples which are not up to our high standards.

Survive does have a higher rate of incident for misshapen meeples than we would have liked. However, the number of copies with meeples that are in fine condition GREATLY outweigh those that are in need of replacement. This being said, we are not satisfied with any of our products until each and every one of our customers who purchase them are also satisfied. Even one affected copy is one more than we would have liked.

The factory has taken full responsibility for this issue and continues to offer their help producing replacements for us. We've made it clear to them that Stronghold Games stakes our reputation upon our commitment to quality. We're hoping that in the very least, those who encounter our customer service approach will see the care and attention we provide to our customers.

In addition, we are working on a plan to permanently correct any and all issues with the meeples on the copies affected, as well as for those customers who wish to utilize a set of meeples which are completely indistinguishable from one another. We will have more news on this as soon as possible.

Anyone purchasing a copy of Survive should realize that they do so with an excellent chance of receiving a copy in fine shape. For those who need replacements, Stronghold Games continues to process any requests for replacement in a timely manner.
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Kevin Nesbitt
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Gruumsh wrote:

Stronghold is definitely quick to respond to complaints to keep the customers happy, more so than some other game companies that I've had to deal with for similar issues even, but the replacements they sent for the most part had identical problems. I also had the problem with the mountain tiles printed off-center and some white borders showing - thankfully the replacement tiles I received fixed that.




Klaus,

Though we make every effort to ensure that the meeples going out for replacement are hand-picked to be free of any defects, it is possible that for some reason one or more of your replaced meeples were still affected. Please consider resending a request to us and we'll be most happy to send again.

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I just wanted to chime in and say what great customer service Stronghold Games has. I got my copy of Survive about 2 weeks ago and upon opening the box, noticed that 3 of the whales had the tales broken off. They were all in the same spot and it almost looked like someone had tried to use adhesive to previously glue on this obvious weak spot. I contacted Stronghold Games via email and also posted in the Survive Forums. I had Kevin and 2 other reps from Stronghold Games immediately contact me and offer to replace the broken whales. I told them no thanks, that I had sanded and glued the whale tails back on and they were fine to play the game with. Even though I told them I didnt need replacements, yesterday I received a package from them containing 3 brand new whales.

I think this shows what a solid company Stronghold games is and that they have a committment to their customers that you dont see very often these days.
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David Anderson
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We got the game to the table for the first time today. When it's all said and done the quality of the bits did not affect game play despite their lack of polish or consistency. There is so much happening on the board that I doubt I'll remember which meeple is which or notice the slight defects. My wife and I both had fun and look forward to playing again soon.

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Joel Eddy
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I just received a copy of the Stronghold edition of Survive! Escape from Atlantis and everything is great, except for the blue meeples. The black numbers on them are all virtually illegible. I emailed them and asked them if there was anyway they can send out new ones where the numbers on the blue meeples are clear. The rest of the colors are fantastic.

*crosses fingers*
 
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For those who arent painting inclined... There are now "paint pens" that can be bought at hobby shops and even large stores like Target, Meijers, etc with which you can mark in the numbers yourself for as little as 3-5$.
A yellow or white pen should work best. Though the silver pens seem more common and also would work.

eekamouse wrote:
I just received a copy of the Stronghold edition of Survive! Escape from Atlantis and everything is great, except for the blue meeples. The black numbers on them are all virtually illegible. I emailed them and asked them if there was anyway they can send out new ones where the numbers on the blue meeples are clear. The rest of the colors are fantastic.

*crosses fingers*
 
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I would like to pipe up and say how absolutely pleased I am with Stronghold's professionalism, responsiveness, and dedication to customer service. I contacted with some issues and they were promptly & courteously dealt with.

I can recommend them without hesitation. I plan on buying a beer for any of the Stronghold reps attending BGG.CON this year.

Good customer service should be recognized & rewarded.
Thanks guys!!
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Ed
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travvller wrote:
So why not just contact them instead of posting here?

I think his concern is wholly warranted and appropriate to post. Why should he keep his concern private?
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Patrick C.
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Quote:
think his concern is wholly warranted and appropriate to post. Why should he keep his concern private?


Because the concern has been posted over and over and over and the solution is always the same - contact Stronghold.

As an online seller myself I personally get peeved with buyers who automatically jump to critical feedback on what is essentially a human error and act as if I did it on purpose. It's whining. It's annoying. If Stronghold were knowingly sending out crappy bits that's one thing. But they aren't - they're at the mercy of the factory that made these games. They can't open up each copy and inspect them. The only thing they can do is fix the problem if you contact them.

So yes, I DO find these kinds of posts annoying.

It's not as if I haven't had my share of problems. B&B messed up an order of mine. I contacted them and they made it right. I had a screwed up shark in my Survive! game. Just received the new one today!

So what exactly is the point of bitching here first before contacting Stronghold? It's not as if the issue of messed up bits wasn't already known.
 
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David Anderson
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travvller wrote:
Quote:
think his concern is wholly warranted and appropriate to post. Why should he keep his concern private?


Because the concern has been posted over and over and over and the solution is always the same - contact Stronghold.

As an online seller myself I personally get peeved with buyers who automatically jump to critical feedback on what is essentially a human error and act as if I did it on purpose. It's whining. It's annoying. If Stronghold were knowingly sending out crappy bits that's one thing. But they aren't - they're at the mercy of the factory that made these games. They can't open up each copy and inspect them. The only thing they can do is fix the problem if you contact them.

So yes, I DO find these kinds of posts annoying.

It's not as if I haven't had my share of problems. B&B messed up an order of mine. I contacted them and they made it right. I had a screwed up shark in my Survive! game. Just received the new one today!

So what exactly is the point of bitching here first before contacting Stronghold? It's not as if the issue of messed up bits wasn't already known.


Patrick,

On the contrary, every review I had read or heard (at least a half dozen) raved about how cool the bits are. The bits did not meet the expectations that were presented by these reviews. I have no chip on my shoulder. Stronghold has presented itself as a standup company. They offered to replace each and every piece I have a problem with. After playing the game I feel the pieces are serviceable and in their own way cool. They just don't strike me as amazing due to their lack of polish. I will not be taking Stronghold up on their kind offer.

I don't view my original post as "bitching". I was let down after all the hype and shared my opinion and asked for some advice on how to fix the perceived problem. I think you read more into my post than I presented.



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I am glad that he posted his concerns about the quality of the components. I wish I had read this thread before getting a copy of Survive, as it would have convinced me not to.

After opening it, I was not pleased with the meeples as I could see many visual distinctions in all of them. Plus, after contacting Stronghold, I was told that there is no fix for the blue meeples being too dark to read the numbers other then fixing the problem myself with a paint pen.

Had I purchased the game directly from Stronghold, I would be asking for a refund. Since I cannot return it for a refund, I hope I can trade it. Color me unsatisfied. soblue
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turtleback wrote:
After hearing again and again about how great the components in this new version are I was disappointed by how poorly finished they are. The shapes are great, but the finish is cringeworthy to the woodworker in me.....


David,

I'm pleased you like the shapes..

Andrew
 
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David Anderson
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If you were the designer it would interest me in how they were made. If not well the pleasure is mine. I imagine the shape was routed in one long stick and then cut into individual pieces.


 
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David Anderson
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Reidzilla wrote:
I am glad that he posted his concerns about the quality of the components. I wish I had read this thread before getting a copy of Survive, as it would have convinced me not to.

After opening it, I was not pleased with the meeples as I could see many visual distinctions in all of them. Plus, after contacting Stronghold, I was told that there is no fix for the blue meeples being too dark to read the numbers other then fixing the problem myself with a paint pen.

Had I purchased the game directly from Stronghold, I would be asking for a refund. Since I cannot return it for a refund, I hope I can trade it. Color me unsatisfied. soblue


My intent was not to dissuade people from buying this game. My wife and I have played it a number of times and really enjoy it. We think it will work great with her non gamer family and our gamer friends alike. What this post was trying to do was enlighten people to the lack of polish of the bits since most written and podcast reviews I have seen/heard go on and on about how cool the bits are. People who read or listen to those reviews may be disappointed as I was at the finish of those bits. They do not greatly affect the gameplay in my opinion. The game itself is great as far as I am concerned. Once you get it to the table the lack of refinement of the pieces will matter little. You will be more concerned about that shark that is about to munch on your swimmer or the whale that will capsize your boat.



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Dean Adam
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I'd like to throw in a +1 on cautioning against taking the quality comments too strongly.

I'd ordered my copy before I'd read about the quality issues, so was pretty happy to find nothing I considered major when I opened it.

Yes there are some chips and irregularities, but nothing that's noticeable by ummm lets call them regular players I mean I poor all over my games when they arrive, looking at every little imperfection and screwing up my nose. My g/f sits there mocking me.

We've played survive about 8 times now, all with different people. Everyone has loved the pieces and board. Thought the shapes etc were cute and deserving of sound effects with every action. No one has ever pointed out a tear from a rough saw cut etc.

As for the irregular meeples, yup, got some of those and yes they can help with meeple recognition. But for my own pieces I just remember where I put them... my g/f reckons it gives me an unfair advantage, but my view is that she's cuter than me and no one ever likes to sink her boats or send the sharks her way kinda balances out the minor advantage I have knowing which piece is which. You'd have to play a lot, or go out of your way, to memorize the shapes for all the other players pieces...so I'd suggest just not making that effort.

If there is a really obvious piece and you're the only one whose noticed, or can't help noticing that kind of thing... then make sure you always have that color.

I'm not even that sure if it would help you, there is lots of ummm metagame in survive. We play with other couples a lot, and girls will often not attack girls, but then couples don't like to be too gratuitous attacking each other. So if you can id your partner or childs 6 piece, do you kill it.... with them knowing you did it on purpose? or does it handicap you cause you don't want to be an arse?

Its just like boat load of one color, some people see it as creating a target, others see it as a target that's too mean to attack...

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