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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Dented Replacements - the Issue with Replacement Parts for Board Games

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30 May 2023 00:00 #339491 by oliverkinne
In the post, Matt showed a picture of a slightly...

Inspired by a Twitter post from Matt at Lost My Meeples, I wanted to talk about what I think a publisher's responsibilities are when it comes to replacing board game components. I think there are some things we will all agree on that a publisher should replace and others where we probably all agree that a publisher doesn't have to send replacements. There will also be plenty of things somewhere in between, that sit in a grey area somewhere and aren't so clear-cut.

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30 May 2023 15:08 #339492 by southernman
Dinged boxes - slightly on the fence here. I agree that it is just a box and for a ding or two I wouldn't expect a replacement in any case. But for severe damage (I received my Tainted Grail pledge that had one of the two boxes badly crushed on one edge, no component damage but i still asked for a replacement) I would ask for a replacement, especially if the box quality was part of the game package (as many kickstarters do).
And low/limited print runs on kickstarters, P500s, or just 'anniversary' editions where there will not be a manufacturer with spares in five years times means getting replacements quickly and/or protecting the components now is a new part of this niche hobby.

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30 May 2023 15:36 - 30 May 2023 16:17 #339494 by Msample
As long as the game is playable, I can live with damage. Awhile back I came home from a con and discovered in my haste to pack stuff back in my car I had pretty badly mangled the corner of my STAR TREK ASCENDANCY box. Still structurally sound, I let it pass w/o trying to get a new one - plus it was my fault.

I totally get the expense for shipping replacement boxes from the publishers standpoint - an empty one takes just as much labor and costs only slightly less than a full game. I think I am more lenient than some customers from what I've seen online - some def think that games should be pristine when they are unpacked. Some companies do a better job than others at packing - I've seen everything from custom foam packing inserts to boxes shipped "naked" inside a USPS priority mail box.

Finally for years the gold standard in replacement parts was of course FFG pre Asmodee acquisistion. The customer rep who ran it ( Thaad IIRC ? ) was legendary for being responsive . To FFG's credit, they seemingly maintained a decent supply of parts which while garner considerable customer goodwill probably looked poor on a P&L statement.
Last edit: 30 May 2023 16:17 by Msample.
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30 May 2023 15:47 #339495 by Shellhead
Thaadd at FFG was great. We had several friends in common, so I invited her to my board game events for a few years until she moved to Wisconsin. I think the first game we played together was Arkham Horror 2nd, just after the Kingsport expansion was published. Once, when I had a couple of gamer friends visiting from Indy, she gave us a tour of the original FFG Event Center (the small one on the edge of a cliff). She had her own workspace there, which was a small but very tall room with shelf after shelf of replacement parts.
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30 May 2023 15:54 #339496 by Jackwraith
Yep, that was Thaad. She was great.

I haven't had any real issues with any company that I've talked to. I've had two really great experiences: The first was with Leder when a friend spilled beer on one of the cards for Oath. I wrote them and told them I'd be willing to pay for it and got an email notice the next day that I had a shipment on the way. They sent the whole sealed pack that contained the specific card. Another real highlight was with Gamelyn, as I had traded for a complete set of Heroes of Land, Air and Sea that came with multiple copies of a spell card ("Sleep") that was OP and had been replaced by a different one ("Petrify.") I explained that I'd traded for it, so I would've been glad to pay for the new cards, but they sent them right away. The "worst" may have been Grey Fox. One of the point markers arrived broken and the round counter went missing, so I wrote and offered to pay for them, even though I wasn't responsible for the point marker. Their S&R person took some time to get to it (he wrote an email apologizing because he was so overwhelmed) but did eventually send the point marker, but I never got the round marker. I wrote back to him a couple more times and never got a response. I managed to trade it without that part, anyway (it's just a cardboard rune token that can be replaced by anything.)

But usually my experiences are pretty routine. My most recent was with Restoration, as I had an extra of one copy of a card for Sherlock Holmes in Cobble and Fog and was missing a copy of another. I wrote to them and they sent it out, along with the base card for the character, both of them with gold highlights on the faces, which was kinda cool of them.
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30 May 2023 15:55 - 30 May 2023 15:58 #339497 by southernman
Yep, FFG pre-Asmodee and Thaadd were gold standard. When the first BSG expansion came out we had played the base game so much that the (frequently used) skill cards had darker edges (pre-sleeving days .. well, for me) and when I combined them with the expansion cards they stood out so obviously in the deck, but after a polite email to FFG a replacement set arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later. And we still were playing the hell out of it as more expansions arrived, so eventually another email was sent to FFG saying that my board was showing heavy wear and would they be able to help a dedicated fan ... a couple of weeks later a replacement board arrived.
Last edit: 30 May 2023 15:58 by southernman.

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30 May 2023 21:16 - 30 May 2023 21:19 #339503 by Sagrilarus
I’m of the mind that you should pay for replacements. I mis-stickered C&C Ancients and asked for more blocks, and offered to pay the cost. GMT sent them at no charge. I felt badly. My mistake, should be my cost.

And games wear out. That’s ok. Virtually every part can be proxied, or can be used damaged or worn. Stop looking at games as museum pieces. Look at them as things that tell stories in their use, that grow over time, that have more narrative in their lifetime than they do in a single play. Write high scores in the box lid and note the person who got it. Name the meeple with the missing leg. Drop a scrap of paper in the box describing a world event that occurred on the day that you played. The next owner will get more out of that than having a pristine box.
Last edit: 30 May 2023 21:19 by Sagrilarus.
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31 May 2023 11:35 #339513 by Virabhadra
When a publisher discounts a game because the box is dented, is it because the game box is intrinsically valuable or due the risk of damaged components? Wouldn't it make more sense to shrink out the ding & dent copy and use it for replacement parts?

I barely have room to store my collection, much less "display" it, so I need game boxes to do two things: facilitate easy identification and protect the game components. Case in point, my copy of Shadows over Hammerhal looks like they drop-kicked it into the truck from the loading dock:



Miraculously, nary a spike nor spear tip were harmed. But it never even occurred to me to ask about a replacement for the box. Between the natural wear of shelving and unshelving and the fact that games of a certain vintage simply can't be found in pristine boxes, it isn't a high priority for me.

I sleeve everything up top to avoid the replacing components if at all possible, though.

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31 May 2023 13:10 #339516 by jason10mm
The comparison to watch boxes got to me. That was NEVER really a thing until recently when "box and papers" became a commodity to sell along with the hunk of steel (sometimes gold) and gears that was the actual watch. Watch boxes were solely for the purposes of getting that watch home and wrapped as a present, but now they can be even more elaborate than the watch itself, I have some the size of small suitcases.

Just like some games. Those old Avalon Hill boxes were pretty much ad space to sell you the game off the shelf and them the sole purpose was to store components and it was a guarantee that some corners would need to be taped in a year or so. But now game boxes are thick brutes you could use to build a house with, components are nestled within elaborate divider inserts, I often wonder how much cost those vacuformed molds add to the game versus how much curb appeal to justify the higher price point. Surely those empty spaces designed for expansions NEVER triggered anyones OCD to fill them :P

Given the often long train of overseas manufacturing from various plants, shipping, final assembly of what can be a bewildering combination of base game, ready made expansions, stretch goals, premium components, etc, it's no wonder that companies need, or should need at least, a robust correction/replacement service because mistakes do happen.

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31 May 2023 13:14 #339517 by Jackwraith
I'm assuming the discount is because otherwise said box simply won't move. People will avoid a damaged package on a game the same way they will at a grocery store. But I'm with you: the box is simply the shell that keeps everything in one spot and can be known on the shelf. I have multiple boxes that either look worn (Abyss, Chaos in the Old World) or ARE worn in some fashion (I've taped my Cosmic Encounter box twice, since it couldn't take the weight of all of the cards I stuffed into it and split down two different corners (one vertical, one horizontal.)) They're all fully functional and do what I want them to do.

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31 May 2023 19:43 - 31 May 2023 19:44 #339522 by birdman37
I got 40% off the retail price of a copy of TI4, just because the box had a ripped corner. I double-checked when I got it home, and everything inside was pristine. Couldn't be happier, and thick cellophane tape works wonders.
Last edit: 31 May 2023 19:44 by birdman37.
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01 Jun 2023 15:06 - 01 Jun 2023 17:18 #339534 by southernman
So who here washes, waxes, polishes their car regularly ? And who gets scratches, dings, dents in their cars repaired/repainted ?
And in those who do, or don't, is there a price point of the car that determines if they do keep up the aesthetic look of it ?

Most of the cars I have owned the body has just been a shell to keep its important parts (mechanical and organic) protected and dry.
Last edit: 01 Jun 2023 17:18 by southernman.

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