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Subject: Do you avoid non-bonus versions of games? rss

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Alex P
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I find myself getting excited about a game but then I find out there was a limited edition that included better components (A Few Acres of Snow, e.g.) that are only available to people who preordered the game or promo cards that are available for free only if you attended Essen or bought the game early (King of Tokyo, e.g.) and then my excitement dies and I can't bring myself to buy the game.

In the case of KoT, I live in Paris so I can probably find a retailer that has the promo cards but, if not, there's no way I'll buy it. I guess it's a way to control my purchases but once I want a game but I only have the possibility of getting a gimped version, I just skip it. Heck, I almost didn't buy Dixit: Odyssey because I couldn't find a retailer that had the one promo card (i.e. 85 vs 84 new cards to add to my 168 previous cards) - I found such a retailer in the end.

I guess this will be happening more often with Kickstarter projects offering exclusives to people who are willing to buy without even reading the rules. Unfortunately, while I have deep pockets (for now), I don't have much space and I like to limit my purchases to well-reviewed games that I've understood the rules to.

So, do you avoid "standard" or "non-freebie" versions if there's an upscale version out there?
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I've tried to go for the "better" version first before. Honestly, the whole promo and only for pre-orders crap is really getting old.

I'm sorry I didn't learn about Quarriors (or insert almost any other recent title here) until it was too late to pre-order. Thank you for waving some cool bonus I'll never get for a reasonable sum because I don't like to order games before any information is out there.

I'm also getting a little tired of the "we're only going to make 75 copies to sell at Essen" business model. How is that a recipe for making money? I realize some companies can't manage big print runs, but to purposely limit yourself like that seems silly.
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J C Lawrence
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I get interesting games. It is that simple: I get interesting games. If the promotion/special/whatever is interesting (which is rare) then I'll get it. If it isn't, then I'll ignore it. If the base game is uninteresting without the special but is interesting with it (not aware of an example) then I'd make sure to get both together.
 
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Werner Bär
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I rarely buy limited editions and prefer the standard version. I dislike some special editions which added fancy graphics - i prefer a clean simple look. And i really dislike things like wooden chests (nice to look at, but impractical for stacking.

I like to buy a game box that contains a complete game. When i see that there's already a promo item available when the game is released, i will most likely not buy the game at all, since i assume the 'incomplete' base game will be followed by lots of expansions.
 
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J C Lawrence
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cold_fuzion wrote:
I'm also getting a little tired of the "we're only going to make 75 copies to sell at Essen" business model. How is that a recipe for making money?


Winsome Games has been doing almost precisely that for years (tho their number is 80 rather than 75). The key is that Winsome Games is not in business to sell games. Winsome Games' business is to be get the titles they develop licensed by larger publishers. Selling copies at retail is a small bonus which brings attention to their licensable properties, but if done to excess reduces their ability to be licensed.

More generally the limited run model is part of the standard pattern for building 1,000 True Fans.
 
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Alex P
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Werbaer wrote:
I rarely buy limited editions and prefer the standard version. I dislike some special editions which added fancy graphics - i prefer a clean simple look.


Sure, the kind of bonuses I'm talking about are animeeples instead of regular cubes or wooden houses instead of cubes or disks (A Few Acres of Snow) or extra cards (Dixit or King of Tokyo). These add to the game or gameplay by adding more options or making things clearer to new players (e.g. you can see that there are three sheep and two boars available and not three white cubes and two black ones).
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Jesse Custer wrote:
So, do you avoid "standard" or "non-freebie" versions if there's an upscale version out there?

Definitely yes. I'm trying to get over promo cards and such, but there are games I still refuse to buy because they have a version with better components, which are either not easily purchasable or not worth the price. I passed on Space Alert for that reason (but may buy it someday), and Bushido: Der Weg des Kriegers is probably the worst offender, with its plastic miniatures. I'm currently on the fence about Discworld: Ankh-Morpork because of the collector's edition.
 
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I don't usually care for limited editions (especially if they cost more) and am usually fine with the regular version. For instance, I prefer the regular version of Caylus over the premium version. Both games come with the same gameplay components, it's just the art and materials (metal coins vs. cardboard) that are different. So differences like these don't mean anything to me.

However, if there are future printings that offer more, or better components that do affect gameplay, I will definitely make sure I get them over the first printing, even if the first printing becomes cheaper because of it. For example, I just recently placed an order for Railways of the World. I wanted to make sure I got the reprint because it actually included cards not included in the first printing (though they could be bought separately from the publisher) and the board and component colors matched up more closely. In these instances, I definitely will search out the better version.

As for games with promos, if there isn't a way to get the promo, then I will usually pass on the game completely. Some games I get immediately before knowing there will be promos at all, or more after buying, like the promo cards for the D&D board game series. In this case, I just try to get them cheaply, or print them off if I can and use them in sleeves with other cards. But for games I look at long after they are released, and there are promos I won't be able to get, then I will pass on the game (like Alien Frontiers and their Kickstarter Space Crane promo).

That's just the way I am. When I get a game, I want everything available for it in order to add that much more variety no matter how much or little the actual promo might bring to the game.

I'm not even sure if I'm going to get into trying to collect promos for games where you have to purchase non-game items in order to get it, like the way FFG is offering a new ally for Arkham Horror if you buy their first AH novel.
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Mike Jones
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I am either interested in a game or not.

Often times, I too would prefer to wait for a 'standard' version. They are often times cheaper and then I can buy more games.

Sometimes if I like the game, I might hunt down the 'promos' if there are 'expansions' and not just 'more expensive components'
 
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I have enough games I don't play much. I'm trying to avoid buying games I haven't played these days, I don't care what fancy bits they include.

But I understand from a marketing perspective why it's helpful to have a fixed number of production units that are guaranteed to be sold, and can see that including bonus stuff might help increase that.
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Shayne Gray
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cold_fuzion wrote:
I've tried to go for the "better" version first before. Honestly, the whole promo and only for pre-orders crap is really getting old.

I'm sorry I didn't learn about Quarriors (or insert almost any other recent title here) until it was too late to pre-order. Thank you for waving some cool bonus I'll never get for a reasonable sum because I don't like to order games before any information is out there.

I'm also getting a little tired of the "we're only going to make 75 copies to sell at Essen" business model. How is that a recipe for making money? I realize some companies can't manage big print runs, but to purposely limit yourself like that seems silly.

The funny part about Quarriors. I bought the game with promos from Boards&Bits after the game was released and at the same time there was one on EBay going for more than I paid for mine.
 
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Matt Davis
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GSReis wrote:
I passed on Space Alert for that reason (but may buy it someday)


It's still worth it. The glass cubes are just glass cubes, and the wooden ones don't really look out of place. Sure, I'm a total fanboy, but I think everyone should own Space Alert.
 
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Timothy Adamson
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I think I'd be more annoyed at versions I'd rather have being released AFTER I already purchased a game.

I mean, I want sheep not cubes, but not because it's a promo thing.
 
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Promos are nice if they happen to be in the box when I purchase a game, but I don't hunt them down actively or are interested enough in getting them to preorder games I don't even know if I will like them.

However, this depends on the game (and material) in question. I don't care about getting wooden animeeples instead of wooden cubes. But if there is a promotional limited pre-order only post apocalyptic world war 3 version of Agricola with rampaging mutated plastic animals, fortified farms, big and small wargear investments, tanks and ICBMs announced I might reconsider my position.
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Depending on the components (or box art) of the "upgraded" edition, I don't mind spending a bit more to appease myself.

It basically comes down to which I like better. If it's the upgraded edition, I'll buy that one. If the standard version appeals more to me, then I have no qualms about skipping out on the upgrade.
 
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I have no need for better version. That is a collectors mentality I think.
 
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Here is my own sad little story.

When it was announced that one of Mr. Wallace's titles this year was some Disc World piece of rubbish I rejoiced. At last a game from HRH King Martin that I didn't have to rush out and order and then count down the days until I finally got my sweaty hands on the game. Even better this one was being released by Mayfair.

Then I got news about the Treefrog collectors edition.

I console myself that I didn't go for the Deluxe version, because that would be ridiculous.
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Nathan Bailey
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I'm getting a bit burnt out by all the promos and exclusives. It feels like comic collecting in the 90's. Just sell the damn game.

Exclusives and promos that I can't get or have to hunt down definitely make me consider passing on the game altogether.
 
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Jason Reid
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I'm happy to get promos, almost exclusively to sell them. I don't suffer from Completionist's Disease, and if I can somewhat offset the cost of the base game (which almost certainly has been better playtested than the promo version) by selling a promo, I'll do it almost without hesitation.
 
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jasonwocky wrote:
I'm happy to get promos, almost exclusively to sell them. I don't suffer from Completionist's Disease, and if I can somewhat offset the cost of the base game (which almost certainly has been better playtested than the promo version) by selling a promo, I'll do it almost without hesitation.


That promo was tested, it just ended up on the cutting floor as a promo!
 
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