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Subject: Being snarky but how many of y'all think the Mayfair board is ugly? rss

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Justus
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I guess I was surprised I hadn't seen this thread started yet, so I took it upon myself to be the fly in the ointment, cause I certainly think its one ugly messy board. I suspect that I will appreciate the functionality of the board after a few more plays, but visually its an ugly mess of competing visual vocabularies.

Our host, also an architect, had a similar opinion, but the other guys at the game night didn't seem to have a strong feeling about it one way or the other. In comparison to the original board I guess the Mayfair version is better, but I'm not gonna give Mayfair's Professional Graphic designer credit for barely surpassing a bad amateur job...

/endrant
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Ken Dilloo
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I rather like the board, actually. It adds a lot to the theme, and is very functional. My only gripe is that the low end cars are silver bordered, and the mid-range are brown bordered. Seems like that should be reversed with the high-end in gold. Small gripe. Love this game, and glad I could get a reprinted copy.
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Jim Cote
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I think Automobile has inherited the "Medici Curse". Every version is doomed to look terrible.
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Justus
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Ok so its not just me on Medici also...good to know cause that's the one thing keeping me from buying that game also!
 
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Justus
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bigloo33 wrote:
I rather like the board, actually. It adds a lot to the theme, and is very functional. My only gripe is that the low end cars are silver bordered, and the mid-range are brown bordered. Seems like that should be reversed with the high-end in gold. Small gripe. Love this game, and glad I could get a reprinted copy.

I agree...and I think the brown bordered idea is a bad idea given the brown background....

Personally I also think it would be more functional without all the drop shadows and stuff. I think that the board would have looked much better if they tried to mimic look of boardgames from the 50's and 60's instead of trying to add a "3D" look to it.
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Marcus
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My main beef is the functionality of the Mayfair board. It lacks the useful labels and descriptors (e.g. turn sequence, powers of characters) on the original Treefrog version - these have been replaced by pictures and symbols which require you to refer to the rulebook to figure out what they mean, the first few times one plays the game. Another issue was the colour coding - instead of variations of brown and gray for both car types AND phases / actions, they could have used other colours.
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Randall Bart
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The original had amateurish graphic design. The new one looks less amateurish. It's still crummy, but it looks like professional crummy.
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Bruce Murphy
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Barticus88 wrote:
The original had amateurish graphic design. The new one looks less amateurish. It's still crummy, but it looks like professional crummy.

I'd say that it's prettier, but I'm not sure it's more functional.

B>
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Frank Burbach
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It doesn't look ugly to me, just very "busy". At first, it was somewhat intimidating, but now that I've played a few times, I appreciate the functionality.
 
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Randall Bart
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Both boards are okay. They are functional. There is nothing terribly dysfunctional to drive me crazy.
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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aaarg_ink wrote:
Our host, also an architect, had a similar opinion
Interesting. My opinion on this board, expressed multiple times now in different threads, is that this board has a very bad information architecture. A good board design should help reinforce the phases, stages and flow of the game. This board doesn't do that. To echo Barticus, they just put lipstick on this pig.
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Beverly Bowers
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I want to purchase the version of the game as shown in "Snowbird Swan's" video - I like the tiles for cash instead of paper money, and I think the board is much better than the Mayfair version.
Anyone want to sell? I'll make you a very good deal!
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gene velasco
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I have always liked the original board, with it's contrasting colors and beautiful car illustrations. The new Mayfair board is UGLY, and much harder to use.

Incidentally, the player colors on the car pieces are much more difficult for color blind players (like me). There have been many threads on this subject in the past, but one more time: board designers, consider color blindness when choosing your colors!
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Mark C
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Not ugly, but poorly conceived in terms of visual cues. I'm sure it's difficult for publishers to decide when it's better to make a board language independent, but I'm not a fan in this case. I'd have been happier with a cleaner design or labels, even if it retailed for a few more $. Given Martin Wallace's reputation, and the number of markets they probably sell this in, it doesn't surprise me that they tried to cut costs.

How hard for example, would it have been to use gold/silver/bronze for luxury/mid/economy instead of gold/brown/grey? Minor, I know, but one of many design choices that could have been done better IMO.
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Steve Rogers
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I really like Czarne's art for Rise of Empires and Planet Steam, but I'll happily play my Treefrog edition forever...and yes, I groused about the Treefrog edition for the use of an ochre background and pink boxes.

The Lookout/Mayfair board is different, not an improvement - and I like it not.
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Will Mellor
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Its really ugly and distracting to play. Which is quite a feat considering the old version was ugly.

It looks like someone with talent got their first commision and wanted to cram every possible thing on the board.
 
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Jim Cote
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ill6 wrote:
Its really ugly and distracting to play. Which is quite a feat considering the old version was ugly.

It looks like someone with talent got their first commission and wanted to cram every possible thing on the board.
Fixed that for you. devil
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Cole Wehrle
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I find the Mayfair board a little garish. To be honest though, I'm not sure if their garishness is that much worse than the uninspired muddy "dark fantasy" so typical of FFG etc.

I defiantly prefer the original layout. I'm also a little confused as to why Mayfair would change to location of the different roles. It makes sense to keep them to the other turn order so that you can slide the disks over a shorter area.
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Antti Pantti
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I think that the original board is ugly as hell. Might even say fugly.

The new one looks pretty classy and actually the nice graphic layout caught my eye in the first place, before knowing that much about the game. Of course it's crowded and looks a bit intimidating for new players, but I found it pretty functional after 1st playing session. I definitely think this new edition looks better than most games, for example Ticket to Ride which has been thanked for it's production values, has a pretty ugly board.

I'm a professional graphic designer (also with game art experience) myself, so I guess it's a matter of taste. I just like the brownish look in general, fits the historical theme.

 
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