Asmodee North America New Parts Replacement Policy

Let’s say you buy a game from somewhere. Anywhere, really. A friendly local game store, or Amazon, or even from a friend.

Then you open up the game and…oh my, there’s a piece missing! Or malformed! Or it broke when you tried to punch it out of the cardboard!

What do you do?

Usually, you contact the game company and they’ll just send you the piece or pieces.

Game companies are really good that way.

Well…not any more, at least where Asmodee USA is concerned.


They are implementing a new Parts Replacement Policy that is…shall we say, not as friendly as everybody else.

The basics (in case you can’t read that screen shot, my apologies if you can’t) are that instead of contacting Asmodee and getting the part replaced, you now have to ask the store to request a replacement from Asmodee. Asmodee will then ship them a new copy of it and you can exchange it for the defective copy.

Continue reading “Asmodee North America New Parts Replacement Policy”

AEG Adjusts its Views on Expansions

I saw an interesting post on the Smash Up Facebook group the other day. It was a link to a post on the AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) blog by CEO John Zinser regarding their policy on expansions in 2020 and beyond.

Last year, AEG made the pledge that they were going to publish fewer games and concentrate on quality instead. This was in addition to changing how they went about some of their sales plans: moving some game franchises to Kickstarter, etc.

AEG seemed to fall into the trap where every game was considered to have at least one expansion, even some games before the base game was published.

That’s not always a good thing.

To quote Zinser:

“I also understand that expansions were a big part of AEG’s business plan for many years. CCGs and RPGs are built to be expanded and that is often how the long tail money is made and also how you keep players engaged in those games.  As we transitioned into card games the expansions continued. Thunderstone, Smash-Up, and even Mystic Vale all IMO benefited from expansions.

We also tried to expand some games that did not need it like Fantahzee.”

I’ve never played Fantahzee, but it doesn’t sound like a game that needs an expansion.

Smash Up

I’m a man who loves expansions, though I understand that certain games don’t need one. For me, games like Mystic Vale and Smash Up thrive with a bunch of expansions because the games consist of a bunch of cards. Who wouldn’t mind more cards that do new and innovative things?

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Friday Night Shots – Negativity in Response to Reviews

Welcome to the first in what may be a series (or at least a semi-series) of Friday night posts that are at least partially inspired by Canadian Club whiskey (that we tend to drink on Friday nights).

Tonight’s topic is the idea of negativity in response to reviews.

My good friend (well, I consider us good friends, but I am at least an avid reader if nothing else) Dan Thurot recently tweeted about the extreme response he received to his very lukewarm (if not downright negative) review of Jamey Stegmaier’s Tapestry

He tweeted about a thread on Boardgame Geek about his review and the garbage fire that the thread became very quickly.

I’m not going to go into the details of the review or whether or not I disagree with it (though I don’t, for many of the same reasons my friend (actual friend, not just in my  mind) Katanan  mentioned on the BGG review post).

What I want to get into is why people who enjoy a game have to trash almost any negative review that comes out about that game.

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Why I Won’t be Buying Mobile Terraforming Mars

(Edit 12/10/19: Asmodee has released a patch on all platforms. 

TM Updates

Still no word on the other issues, especially the weird order of choosing cards, but this is definitely a start!

(Edit 12/6/19: Apparently Asmodee has responded to some negative iTunes reviews by saying they are working to make the asynchronous experience better. If they do, I will certainly report that here and maybe even buy the thing.)

Original post below

When Asmodee Digital announced that they would be producing an app for one of my favourite games, Terraforming Mars, I was ecstatic.

When it came out on Steam, I was reasonably happy but the game had some issues.

When the iOS beta opened up, I eagerly joined it. By this time, some of the issues had been addressed (the initial 15-day timer for online multiplayer games was horrible, but now they had added a 30 and 45-day timer which made asynchronous play a breeze).

I was pretty happy, though acknowledging that there were still issues that needed to be addressed.

Unfortunately, during the beta, developer Lucky Hammers closed their doors and Asmodee had to take over the app. I’m not sure if that’s the reason for the lack of improvements, but nothing major has really changed in the two updates (I think) that happened after Lucky Hammers was gone.

The app released on Wednesday, December 4, and it apparently still has all of these issues.

Terraforming Mars Mobile
It’s good to know what colour you are, but everybody else?

Terraforming Mars mobile is available for $11.99 CDN (I’m not sure what the US price is, but maybe $7.99 or $8.99?) on iOS and Android.

Continue reading “Why I Won’t be Buying Mobile Terraforming Mars”

Deciding on Buying a Game – Crystal Palace

One of the things about us gamers are that, yes I know it may sound strange to you, we all like to buy games.

Some much more than others!  But even those who are successful in curbing their game buying (or acquiring them in some other manner) still like to buy them. I’m sure they do get at least a little bit of a thrill when they pick up a new game, undo the shrinkwrap, open it (and sniff that new game freshness!!!!), and start punching counters.

I’ve gone through long periods where I’ve successfully fought that urge, and then some periods like recently where I totally succumbed.

Something I’ve never really thought deeply about, though, is how we make these game-buying decisions. It’s not always just a basic “oh, that game looks cool” or “I’ve played this before and want it in my collection” thought process.

Sometimes it’s back and forth like a point in a Bianca Andreescu tennis match (and welcome to all of you who came here after Googling her name! Stay for the boardgame content, please! We have cookies.)

I recently received a newsletter email from Capstone Games, and in it was mentioned a new game coming out in November called Crystal Palace.


It’s a game designed by Carsten Lauber about the World’s Fair in 1851 London.

Continue reading “Deciding on Buying a Game – Crystal Palace”

Birthday Post – 4 Games I’m Looking Forward To

It’s my birthday!

Yes, I’m turning the big 49 today, and in celebration, I’m going to tell you the 49 games I’m really anticipating over the next few months.

Ok, no. I’m not that much of a masochist.

Instead, the number 4 is part of 49, so here are four games that I really can’t wait to get to the table this Fall.

1) Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein (Plaid Hat Games)


Designer: Dan Blanchett

Artists: Mikhail Palamarchuk, Tony Sart

Continue reading “Birthday Post – 4 Games I’m Looking Forward To”

Preview Playthroughs Harming a Game?

Ok, it’s Friday night and I’ve had a bit to drink, so I thought I would opine on something that I’ve seen over the last couple of days (hopefully in a non-offensive manner).

I watched the Dice Tower “Testing Tuesday” playthrough of Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein by Plaid Hat Games (designed by Dan Blanchett with art by Mikhail Palamarchuk and Tony Sart).

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this game since I saw the awesome “how to play” from Girls Game Shelf and all of the accolades on Twitter from people like Meeple Lady (an awesome follow on Twitter if you aren’t already). It’s sitting in a pre-order right now, and apparently Plaid Hat has said that there’s been a production delay and it may be a month or longer before it’s available via retail (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Anyway, Tom, Sam, and Zee played the game, and it’s clear that this is not their type of game. It’s too macabre, and it is longer than the box says that it is (numerous complaints have been made about that, so much so that Plaid Hat has said they may be releasing a variant that will quicken play soon).

While Tom kept on insisting that he did like the game, but it’s just too long (as the game play time rose to 3+ hours and then to 4), it was clear that they weren’t having that much fun with it.

Since I haven’t played it, I obviously can’t comment on the play time and whether it harms the game. And I can’t comment on whether the game is fun, though it does look great from what I’ve seen.

However, to me this video gave a disservice to the game that I’m not sure is warranted. They were playing slow as it was (cracking jokes, making fun of things in the game like you are wont to do if you aren’t necessarily enjoying it) and I could see why it was dragging to the 4 hour mark.

Others have been raving about the game, and it’s very possible that a review from the Dice Tower (I don’t know who would do it) would be a positive review but talking about some of the faults that they found in the game during the playthrough.

What bothered me was that there were people in the chat talking about how they had been looking forward to the game, but watching this video had shown them that the game was too long and boring to actually get.

How many sales did this cost Plaid Hat?

I don’t know, but I do know that the general feeling about the game in chat was negative.

The video didn’t turn me off of the game. In fact (and maybe this is the alcohol talking right now), it made me determined to show that the game is good despite their experience in the game.

But it brought to mind something that I hadn’t really thought about.

Are these types of videos detrimental to games?

I’m not talking about playthroughs in general.

The Heavy Cardboard stream of Planet Steam was amazing to watch. They seemed to be enjoying it but at the end, the general feeling about the game was “eh.”

And that’s fine! It’s an older game for one (so maybe it wasn’t as bad), but the playthrough itself was entertaining and they saved the negative opinions about the game until they were actually done.

I just think some of these videos that come out prior to an actual review can be unfairly detrimental to a game when really there could be any number of reasons for the bad experience. Maybe they got rules wrong? I can’t say that’s what happened this time, but it’s possible for this or future videos.

I think they played a couple of rules wrong, but this was also just a first play of the game.  They had to consult the rulebook at some point, which also slows things down.

There’s no way to know whether it would grow on them or not (their feelings about the theme in general makes me think that it won’t change in this particular case).

I haven’t watched any of the other “Playtest Tuesday” videos, so I don’t know if it’s an ongoing problem with them or not.

But this one stuck in my craw.

Who knows? When I finally get the game, maybe my opinion will be similar to theirs.

But to me, it’s sad that so many people’s opinions were seemingly shaped by what might be a subpar gameplay experience by three prominent personalities in the games industry.

I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments.