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Subject: AE popularity? rss

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Tomas Plečkaitis
Lithuania
Kaunas
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Congratulations to AE for wining Game of the Year 2011 in our local board gaming club! We voted with our personal top10 from the list of 172 different games we played in the club during year 2011. After summarising AE won the first place! 7 wonders left on the second. AE is my personal biggest discovery in year 2011 too. I also like nearest concurent Catacombs very much that left on 4th place in my list.

Why such a great and unique game like AE didn't gain enough popularity all over the world? Small production ammount? Weak marketing? People have stereotip that flicking is for kids only? board warpage issue? Any thoughts?
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Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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tms_ wrote:
Why such a great and unique game like AE didn't gain enough popularity all over the world? Small production ammount? Weak marketing? People have stereotip that flicking is for kids only? board warpage issue? Any thoughts?


I think it's a combination of the perceived board issues and many thinking it's a dexterity game.

If put together properly, the board is a non-issue, and it really is a light strategy game with a dexterity element.

Still, it has sold out, so the game isn't doing poorly.
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Justus
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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Yeah it seems to be well liked among gamers who have played it (I am an odd exception in that way). I think its just a matter of giving it time so that people know that 1) it exists and 2) what to expect when they play it.

I personally would rather play purer strategy game or a true dexterity game so it fails for me in both directions. But I must say the concept is interesting.

I know its not possible production wise, but I'd love to play this game on a big 8'x8' table with crokinole sized pieces, I find the small fighter pieces very fussy to flick which ruins the dexterity portion of the game.
 
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Henry Allen
United States
Astatula
FLORIDA
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I also suspect that the game is somewhat vulnerable to 'group think' having a significant effect on the experience. For example, it seems that some groups think that 'turtling' is the best strategy so they play that way leading to a lot less tension & interaction.
 
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Jason Webster
United States
Connecticut
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The warped board is a big issue. Also The overpowering of the first person to level 3 Orange tech usually winning the game.
Finally, some in our play group just don't like the flicking aspect.
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Jeff Dunford
Canada
Kemptville
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Ascending Empires is my favourite of 2011. I only recently discovered that I'm not alone (although this was written in the summer):
Bruno Faidutti - My 2011 game of the year

Dnasearchr wrote:
The warped board is a big issue. Also The overpowering of the first person to level 3 Orange tech usually winning the game.
Finally, some in our play group just don't like the flicking aspect.

When you open the box, one of the first things you see is this statement:
Ascending Empires wrote:
Thank you for your purchase of Ascending Empires!

Please note these puzzle boards are susceptible to warping if left in humid conditions. After play, please store them in the plastic zip bag that is included with the game. If warping occurs, you may use your fingers to hold down the edges when flicking ships across puzzle sections.

If the puzzle boards (or any other components) are defective, please send the following information to zman@zmangames.com:

1. Your name and mailing address
2. A summary of the problem
3. A picture of the defective component

A replacement will be mailed to you in due time.


I agree that the board can be fiddly - it takes a few attempts to find the best fit of the pieces, as corner pieces are not identical and may not fit well. When I found the best fit, I labeled the bottoms of the corner pieces. But I haven't had any problem with warping (so far), and if it was a problem, I might get my board replaced (well, it might motivate me to make a custom board - but that's 'cause I love this game enough to "pimp it out"). Also, there are several options if you (or your ships) can't get past the seams, the cheapest of which is to replace the small ships with glass beads (e.g. by Chessex).

As for level 3 orange technology, I brought that up in another thread... and I agree it can be a problem especially in 2 player games. We've house-ruled it that for 2 player games, we switch level 3 and 4 orange technologies. That way, it's still VERY powerful if you can get to level 4 orange... but so is ANY level 4 technology - as it should be. The designer also suggested that if you find the battleship too powerful, try giving the battleship a defense value of 1 instead of 2.

Lastly, everyone has a right to their opinion, and if you or your players don't like flicking, then AE might not be the game for you. Personally, I like flicking and I don't like dice ("dice hate me"). I find it much more rewarding to make a good shot to destroy a ship or planet in AE than rolling boxcars to do the same in some other 4X game; one is somewhat of a personal achievement ("Nice shot! High-five!" or "Oooooh... choaked under pressure!") while the other is pure luck ("My 5 dice vs your 2 dice... I roll 1-1-2-3-3... and you roll 6-6. FML!").

To each his own.
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Jeremy Laverty
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
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I freaking love this game.. and I was a late comer too, due to all the perceived board issues.
 
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Kent Pritchett
Canada
Calgary
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We had our first play last night. everyone enjoyed it the game had us laughing quite a bit and it still had enough strategy to keep everyone interested.
 
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Gabriel Kitterman
United States
Silverton
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I'm surprised more people don't just use the glass bead solution. Its cheap and works perfectly.

Fantastic Game!
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