Good customer service is always welcome and nobody likes bad service. In fact, we’re more likely to complain about bad service than we are to praise good service. In this article, I’m trying to redress the balance a little and talk about the good customer service I have come across in the board game hobby and give some extra praise to those companies who have gone above and beyond.
If you have followed me for a while, you probably know that I like to have metal coins in games, instead of cardboard chits or paper money. Recently, I purchased the wonderful Iron Clays poker chips when I bought the deluxe edition of Brass: Birmingham and I must admit, I really like those as well. In this article, I want to talk about how board game components can change the enjoyment of a game – for better, or worse.
There was one creature waiting in each corner of the square battle arena and a tower of tiles was in its centre. It was the quiet before the storm as the players looked at their five tiles and silently contemplated the best way of playing them. It was vital that tiles were placed in the right place at the right time to score the most points, while denying other players their chance of racing into the lead. After all, only one of the players would be victorious in this Kombo Klash by Hub Games.
You will never, in your life, see cats co-operate to create gravity-defying sculptures. It just doesn’t happen. Cats tolerating each other is about as far as it gets. However, that’s exactly what happens in this latest mint tin dexterity game. I can already hear you asking me: “Are you Kittin?” by Alley Cat Games.
I think like pretty much every hobby, playing board games is about having fun. You might prefer to play solo, you might like to play with your partner or you have a group of friends you play with. You probably play different types of games with different people. Maybe you play lighter games with your loved one in the evenings, because you’re both tired after work and want to have some relaxing time together, but when you play with your games group you want something complex and thinky to really stretch your brain. Ultimately though, I think it’s all about having fun.
Now, that many of us no longer meet in person, many face-to-face games groups have stopped meeting and have gone online. Of course, online isn’t the same as “in real life”, so I want to use this article to look at how my virtual board gaming experience compares to playing with people sitting around a real table.
The irrigation system was ready, but there was still work to be done on the trellises. The windmill, cottage and tasting room were still just ruins and only the first third of the wine cellar was accessible. The crush pads were all clean and ready to receive the first harvest of grapes, yet the fields were still bare. Orders for some red and white wine had already come in and two types of grapes were ready to be planted. It was the beginning of a vineyard that was going to be splendid. Mama and Papa were looking forward to putting the work in and creating a heritage that would make the family name proud. At the same time, it was daunting, because they knew nothing about Viticulture by Stonemaier Games.
The task in hand wasn’t going to be simple, but the rewards were huge. You could become ruler of Naqala if you were able to influence the people of the land to help you reach your goal. You were hoping to get the help of the djinns, but they would only listen to you if the people were on your side. It seemed impossible, but you knew that you could talk to each group individually and over time you would eventually have the help of all of the Five Tribes by Days of Wonder.
I have previously written about small box games in my article “Compressed collections” which can create a lot of gameplay with only a few components. However, even larger box, or big box, games are sometimes very inventive when it comes to using components in a clever way to create more gameplay and possibilities than would otherwise be possible. After all, board games have it much harder when you compare them to computer games. They have a limited number of components that come in a box, even in a large box. So I want to look at how the same components can be used in many different ways.
“Hm. Deep Purple looks good. Life’s A Peach is also very warm and rich. Oh, and of course, we want the Cactus Jack. That would be the perfect triad of colours.” You step back and look at the colour samples you just painted onto the wall in the kitchen. “Yes, that’s it.” You’re so pleased to have come up with this perfect colour scheme. It had been harder than you had expected. Mixing the 13 cyan, 14 magenta and 15 yellow in the right combination had been a bit of job, let alone getting all the red, green and blue to mix up the cyan, magenta and yellow, but the result was more than worth it. “Yes,” you say out loud, “that’s the perfect Swatch by Minerva Tabletop.”