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It can be quite a bummer when you receive a heavily damaged package and its contents have also taken a blow… but there is also a big difference in people’s attitude towards what is considered a damaged product. One of our local game stores sells “damaged” game copies which often are discounted by 10-20%, we got our Sleeping Gods there with the tiniest of dents in the corner of the back of the box which we could hardly see, but according to the store owner that often is enough for customers to return a game.

There are arguments on both sides here. If you’d still like to sell the game in the future, even small damage will lower the resell value and it’s also understandable that you just want a product to be in perfect condition because you paid for it. But… the stories we’ve heard from people working at customer support are discouraging and have changed our view on this topic and we’re OK with receiving a damaged game box. We’ve also heard the complete opposite of people sending a message to customer support with a picture of completely ruined boxes (soaked even), just asking for a few replacing components.

“The contents are fine, just send me a new box!” is something we’ve heard many times. It’s not something you really think about but there’s not such a thing as “a new box”; they are shipped from the factory to a warehouse as a complete game. With margins being quite slim on physical products like board games, it’s an automatic financial loss for a store or publisher.

We once ordered a small box Mansions of Madness expansion at a certain big online store and it was sent in a cardboard envelope instead of a box. Clearly it had been crushed under something heavy in transport and it looked so bad we considered contacting customer support. But luckily we decided to first take a look at the contents and amazingly enough: they were fine! Not even the miniatures were damaged! Since we were going to store the contents in another MoM box we decided to not follow up on it and leave it be. Had the game been a gift for a friend that would have been a different story of course. This all being said, I’d say 95% of the games we receive have no damages at all and look pristine so luckily it’s still an exception. 🙂

Right, so what did we play last week? We played a competitive game of Aethermon Collect but we think we might like the co-op version of the game better because it presents a more interesting puzzle. We’ll play it co-op again next time to compare. We got a package containing Guilty: Houston 2015, an investigation game (and also our first 18+ title from Iello!) and Compile: Main1, a light competitive card game. We’ve only played it once so far and we’d say the gameplay is comparable to the concept of Air, Land & Sea only you get to construct your own “deck” just like in Gosu X or Smash Up. It was fun and quick enough that we’ll play it more often and we really enjoy that they’ll be releasing small expansion packs with three new ‘factions’ in it. To end the week we decided to play a game of The Guild of Merchant Explorers, which is nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres, congratulations!

And in case you missed it, we published an extra comic last week about the upcoming re-release of Witness, the whisper investigation game!

What’s the most damaged game you’ve ever received?

I bought a copy of Mystic Vale through an auction and the bottom of the box was quite torn up – pretty large gash in the box. Contents undamaged and game is playable. I got some packing tape and re-shaped the box and taped on the inside. It’s patched up enough where it doesn’t look horrible, but the box is damaged. (I let the seller know, not expecting that something be done, but because it was pretty banged up and no idea why.)

For minor box dings/dents – I’ll let those go for the most part. I’ve gotten some that got some small damage in transit because the publisher tried to save $$ on shipping and we got what they paid for. Things happen in shipping and I’m more on the “let’s play the game” side than the “look at the pretty box” side. (Also why I hate the “UV design for the box” stretch goal stuff over actual gameplay or bits.)

I’ve rarely received outwardly damaged games but for some reason, Imperial Assault and it’s expansions have been horribly mistreated during packaging/on their way to my local game store. The outside looked great, but the original game had cards with indents in them (I’m guessing from smacking about in the box with plastic bits jabbing into it), and the AT-ST had two right legs. Two of the expansions have come with character cards that have been scratched or mangled, one of them badly enough that I had to ask for a replacement just so that I could read it/it would last more than a handful of games. Other FFG games haven’t had this issue, just Imperial Assault. /shrug

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