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Subject: Why should I kickstart/buy this game? rss

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Mike Russo
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I'm not trying to be condescending, but I'm really wondering why someone would/should buy this game? It looks like a lot of fun but $55 for cardboard chips with no artwork on them!? If they were a little bit higher quality like a poker chip I think the price would be fine, but for cardboard? Also, I've read other posts saying that the chips wear a lot because of all the shuffling in the bags.

...In short, is this game really that good to warrant the high price?
 
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Apollo Andy
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My opinion on the game doesn't really matter that much (and is totally biased, since I was involved in development), but is the amount of cardboard really that relevant for what the price should be?

For me, of all things, the components would be the least of my concerns, as I've bought games with crap components that have given me a lot more enjoyment (Biblios) than games with awesome components that I just didn't like. Or games that have a bunch of bits that don't do anything useful at all but were included to have more things to play with.

For me, replayability is by far the most important factor in whether a game is worth the price on the box and I can say that I've logged well over a thousand plays and am still discovering new things about the game, but I was also involved in testing, so take my word with a grain of salt.
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Josh Morgan
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Don't. I found the original 2nd edition to be lackluster and prone to breaking depending on the character matchups. First rating it started as an 8 and after repeated play it just kept going down until I eventually sold it and have never looked back.

The designer has released "patches" and "upgrades" and I see this as just continuing the trend for a ho-hum game.

I'm sure this game has it's fans and supporters (that's obvious from the Kickstarter), but if you're not in that camp, I'd highly suggest you play before you pay.
 
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Mike Russo
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Yes, I agree that the components aren't the only factor in the worth of a game, but they are still a factor. What good is a great game if the cardboard chips get all scratched and scuffed up from shuffling? Dominion, for example, has tons of cards with artwork that had to be paid for, the cards can be sleeved if someone is concerned about wear, and it costs less. These chips can't be sleeved and basically just have text on them. Someone could get a number of other quality, high bgg ranking games that have cardboard pieces, playing cards, plastic pieces, a board, dice, etc. for cheaper.

As I said, I'm not trying to complain; if I have a problem with the price I just won't buy it. I was asking as more of a philosophical/principle question. Why the heck is this game so expensive for cardboard chips with no artwork on them and limited durability?
 
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J V
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For what it's worth, the quality of the cardboard seemed better than what you get in a lot of games, and there is a lot of it.

To the OP though, if you want to know if it's good, you can play it for free on the Fantasy Strike website.
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David Sirlin
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The manufacturing costs are significantly more for these chips than for cards. It's also the heaviest deckbuilding game by far, as far as I know. That mass costs money to produce. The point of that is ease the burden of shuffling that's common in this type of game.

As Andy said, I'd think the focus would be more on the gameplay anyway though. It really is made to be replayed thousands of times. That's literal, as many players have already logged thousands of plays online (which is the same gameplay as the upcoming physical sets).
 
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Drew Dallas
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I've played my copy tons of times, not had any issue with chip damage from bag shuffling. Hell I don't even know how you'd screw up your chips from simple bag shaking.

Price, well thats another issue. Sirlin apparently doesn't seem to distribute through normal channels so the online discount places like coolstuff or miniaturemarket don't carry his games. Thus you are stuck paying MSRP for them. On the bright side that means money from purchases pretty much go directly to Sirlin so he might be encouraged to produce more games. On the not so bright side when you compare what you pay for his game at MSRP you could get comparable games at 2/3 the cost from the online discounters.

Edit:
Just my opinion but I think it is worth it. Puzzle Strike is easily onf of my favorite games and I get alot of enjoyment out of it. Sure MSRP is alittle steep but Sirlin makes good games so I don't have a problem paying more for the game since I know more of the profits go to him.
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Mike Russo
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Sirlin wrote:
The manufacturing costs are significantly more for these chips than for cards. It's also the heaviest deckbuilding game by far, as far as I know. That mass costs money to produce. The point of that is ease the burden of shuffling that's common in this type of game.

As Andy said, I'd think the focus would be more on the gameplay anyway though. It really is made to be replayed thousands of times. That's literal, as many players have already logged thousands of plays online (which is the same gameplay as the upcoming physical sets).


Agreed. They are significantly more money than cards, but what about the fact that the cards for other games have artwork that had to be paid for on them? Setting aside cards versus cardboard chips, how is it that a game like "Confusion : Espionage and Deception in the Cold War" (just as an example) has all of those plastic pieces, a board, dry erase markers, and dry erase booklets to write in cheaper than this game with cardboard chips? And that game says it weighs 7 lbs when shipping it!

Yes the focus for any game is on the gameplay, but the components are important as well. They are two sides of the same coin. I don't care if it can be played online or not, I want to know/understand why cardboard is costing as much as other games with heavier and more durable components.
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Matt Sargent
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It takes the basic idea of Dominion, but instead of buying VP cards, you buy cards that let you attack your opponent. Also there are ten different characters that each start with three unique cards in their deck that push you towards particular strategies. It's a good game. I own it, but I bought a used copy. I'd rank the deck builders as follows:

1. Dominion
2. Puzzle Strike
3. Tanto Cuore
4. Penny Arcade
5. Ascension
6. Resident Evil
7. Core Worlds
8. Thunderstone
9. Nightfall

If you want to know if you like the game, you can try it out online: http://www.fantasystrike.com/game/index.php
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el_chupacabra wrote:
Agreed. They are significantly more money than cards, but what about the fact that the cards for other games have artwork that had to be paid for on them? Setting aside cards versus cardboard chips, how is it that a game like "Confusion : Espionage and Deception in the Cold War" (just as an example) has all of those plastic pieces, a board, dry erase markers, and dry erase booklets to write in cheaper than this game with cardboard chips? And that game says it weighs 7 lbs when shipping it!


Are you remembering to compare MSRP for MSRP? Unless my source is inaccurate, it looks like Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War's MSRP is $60. If you compare an MSRP price of one game to another game in a channel where its sold for 35% off, then any game can seem overpriced

Personally, if I compare MSRP for MSRP, the Puzzle Strike components seem about right to me compared to many other games in the 50-60 range, especially if you factor in the mats + screens which according to the kickstarter it looks like they might be standard in the next printing.
 
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Mike Russo
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noon wrote:
It takes the basic idea of Dominion, but instead of buying VP cards, you buy cards that let you attack your opponent. Also there are ten different characters that each start with three unique cards in their deck that push you towards particular strategies. It's a good game. I own it, but I bought a used copy. I'd rank the deck builders as follows:

1. Dominion
2. Puzzle Strike
3. Tanto Cuore
4. Penny Arcade
5. Ascension
6. Resident Evil
7. Core Worlds
8. Thunderstone
9. Nightfall

If you want to know if you like the game, you can try it out online: http://www.fantasystrike.com/game/index.php


I'm already sold on the game itself; I think it looks pretty cool. I'm just stuck on figuring out if it is worth the price.
 
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Mike Russo
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SirHandsome wrote:


Are you remembering to compare MSRP for MSRP? Unless my source is inaccurate, it looks like Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War's MSRP is $60. If you compare an MSRP price of one game to another game in a channel where its sold for 35% off, then any game can seem overpriced

Personally, if I compare MSRP for MSRP, the Puzzle Strike components seem about right to me compared to many other games in the 50-60 range, especially if you factor in the mats + screens which according to the kickstarter it looks like they might be standard in the next printing.


Good point; I need to compare apples to apples here. Still, I find a difference of only $5 between a game with all those components (as well as many others that are in the $50-$60 range) and a game with cardboard chips to be a little hard to swallow. Also, the player boards and screens you mentioned are (as far as I can tell) just more cardboard, and they aren't even included in the new version. They are only added as stretch goals.
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Chris Gray
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el_chupacabra wrote:
Are you remembering to compare MSRP for MSRP? Unless my source is inaccurate, it looks like Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War's MSRP is $60. If you compare an MSRP price of one game to another game in a channel where its sold for 35% off, then any game can seem overpriced


Wha...?? Why isn't the comparison "What I can buy Game A for" vs. "What I can buy game B for"? In this case, that is comparing the MSRP of Puzzle Strike (which is not discounted) to the selling price (admittedly discounted from MSRP) of another game.

As Sirlin's pricing regime is a little unique (though perhaps increasingly less so), if he wants to sell his games for MSRP, he needs to believe his MSRP $35 game gives as much value as an MSRP $45-50 game which is then discounted to $35. I think he does believe this. As the consumer, do you?
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Jeremy Linnell
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Another thread another example of Sirlin damage control.
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Malachi Brown
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At this point I have bought PS, then later bought it again, then bought the upgrade kit, and sold the old copy for cheap. I got both sets used, so my current monetary investment in this game is around $80. I played roughly 340 games with the first set I owned, and I have played another 70 or so since I have gotten the upgrade kit. That means I have spent roughly $0.20US per play of the game. I found the game to be enjoyable prior to the upgrade kit as well as after, and I suspect that the 3rd edition and expansion will also be enjoyable.

If I just compare the cost per play of PS to just about any other game I own, PS comes out to be far cheaper. I have games that I have spent $100+ on that I have only played once or twice, if at all. In fact, most of my collection probably clocks in somewhere north of $10/play.

What does that mean? It means that, in terms of value, PS has been a pretty good deal for me. I still haven't decided if I am going to get 3rd ed. and the expansion, just get the expansion, or nothing, but my point is that if you have a group of people that you can and will play the game often with, it is probably worth $110.

If, on the other hand, you expect to only play the game a handful of times (
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Mike Russo
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Malachi wrote:
At this point I have bought PS, then later bought it again, then bought the upgrade kit, and sold the old copy for cheap. I got both sets used, so my current monetary investment in this game is around $80. I played roughly 340 games with the first set I owned, and I have played another 70 or so since I have gotten the upgrade kit. That means I have spent roughly $0.20US per play of the game. I found the game to be enjoyable prior to the upgrade kit as well as after, and I suspect that the 3rd edition and expansion will also be enjoyable.

If I just compare the cost per play of PS to just about any other game I own, PS comes out to be far cheaper. I have games that I have spent $100+ on that I have only played once or twice, if at all. In fact, most of my collection probably clocks in somewhere north of $10/play.

What does that mean? It means that, in terms of value, PS has been a pretty good deal for me. I still haven't decided if I am going to get 3rd ed. and the expansion, just get the expansion, or nothing, but my point is that if you have a group of people that you can and will play the game often with, it is probably worth $110.

If, on the other hand, you expect to only play the game a handful of times (


Ah yes, that is another good point. The price per play is also an important factor in the worth of a game. It can be problematic to take that logic too far though. For example, since the publisher claims it is meant to be played thousands of times, he could then justify charging $200 for the game because it would come out to the same $0.20 per play that you have experienced.
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Apollo Andy
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Yeah, but the market would not support that because most people aren't going to get thousands of plays out of it. I'm sure for some people, given the amount of enjoyment they get out of the game, $200 would be a bargain.
 
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Malachi Brown
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Huh, I have no idea why my post got truncated... the text that got lost was basically, if you only plan to play the game a handful of times (and now I realize why it got truncated, I used "<20" without escaping it), say fewer than 20, then I would think that getting a copy of any edition of PS would be adequate. The depth is there, but it takes a bit of patience to really crack the nut due to all the possible combinations of elements.
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furtherbum wrote:
Wha...?? Why isn't the comparison "What I can buy Game A for" vs. "What I can buy game B for"? In this case, that is comparing the MSRP of Puzzle Strike (which is not discounted) to the selling price (admittedly discounted from MSRP) of another game.


Because it seemed like he was asking about the price of the components from a manufacturing cost perspective, so yea gotta compare apples to apples there

el_chupacabra wrote:
Also, the player boards and screens you mentioned are (as far as I can tell) just more cardboard, and they aren't even included in the new version. They are only added as stretch goals.


yeah, I just mentioned them assuming that the stretch goals will be met (based on current momentum). I have the screens and mats from the 2nd edition's Upgrade pack, the screens are cardboard but they're quite nice. The mats are made out of whatever mousepads are made out of.
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Drew Dallas
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If you haven't played it Sean there is an online version at http://www.fantasystrike.com I'd suggest that to anyone looking to get into the game as it has a tutorial and gives you 2 different characters each week to play with and try out for free. It is actually how I got hooked on the game and why I purchased the physical version.
 
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After 1 play with my friend's brand new set, which does have quite a fair bit of fun, the cardboard chips were already showing slight signs of wear and tear at the edges. I believe this game will not last long enough for more plays in the future. Looking forth to the future where the chips are converted into quality plastic chips instead, or cards.
 
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Corey Brin
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Wow I never realized until i read this thread that the chips had no artwork on them. I assumed they featured the great art you find on the packaging to represent the fighters. This game went from something i was interested in kickstarting to something I no longer want. As an artist myself I find that art really helps me get into games and the lack of art is disappointing.
 
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weijie_88 wrote:
After 1 play with my friend's brand new set, which does have quite a fair bit of fun, the cardboard chips were already showing slight signs of wear and tear at the edges. I believe this game will not last long enough for more plays in the future. Looking forth to the future where the chips are converted into quality plastic chips instead, or cards.

After 340 plays my first set were worn but still functional. I mainly replaced them because I was buying the upgrade kit and I wanted to have a similar level of wear for all the chips, original and upgraded.
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el_chupacabra wrote:
I was asking as more of a philosophical/principle question. Why the heck is this game so expensive for cardboard chips with no artwork on them and limited durability?

Regarding the price:
- Sirlin Games is a small publisher with a much lower sales volume than Fantasy Flight, Rio Grande and others. Sadly, this means that the games cost more because they can't be produced in such high quantities to significantly lower the price.
- As it was already agreed upon: Thick cardboard chips cost more to produce than normal playing cards.
- Other reasons I don't know about?

Regarding the durability:
The chips are very sturdy. I played 100+ games with my 2nd edition (before switching to mostly playing online). And lots of those were multiplayer games, so that a high number of chips went through a high number of hands each game. While the chips got small, visible marks on the edges after a few dozen games, I have yet to encounter tactile marks. I got the upgrade pack several weeks after the base set and because I was curious about the quality of the chips, I carefully compared the base set character chips with the upgrade character chips. In the end, I was able to say which the chips were that I have been playing with for weeks and which the new ones were, but often, it wasn't easy. On many chips, I had to look long and hard to find any sign of wear and play. And even the ones that had visible marks were indistinguishable from the new ones once I threw them in a bag and tried to repeat my little experiment by feel. So, while the chips don't look "mint" any more, they are still as good for play as they were a hundred games before.

Regarding the missing artwork:
The decision to go with chips instead of cards (for better shuffling) meant that no artwork could be used. To allow artwork anyway, the chips had to either be significantly larger (which would have meant an even heavier box, a higher price and harder to handle chips) or the font size had to be much smaller (making the chips very hard to read). I am also wondering what the artwork would have looked like if Sirlin went with cards instead of chips. Most cards would have shown gems flying around or random guys kicking and punching each other. And those couldn't really be the actual characters, because that would have made the puzzle chips hard to distinguish from the character chips.
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Lan
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So what are the benefits of paying for this game/expansion now rather than buying new/used when it is actually released? All stretch rewards are added to all copies of the game, digital bonuses are not very enticing, promo chips are only included if you buy both + guide.
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