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Naval War of 1812» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Naval War of 1812: A component review. Or - You want $75 for what? rss

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Chris Miller
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Worthington Games has a tendency to price their items pretty high compared to what comes in the box. I had that in mind when I noticed the release of Naval War of 1812: "200th Anniversary Limited Edition" at $75. I expected that the Limited Edition signified something would be in that box to justify the high price. After receiving the game and opening it up, disappointed is an understatement of my reaction. Here is what is in the box:

- A 24" x 21" mounted board. The term "mounted" here is only in the most technical of meanings; it's not a paper fold out. It's a thin six-fold board that is warped out of the box. Heavy and wide creases mark each of the folds, and the artwork looks a bit cheap.

- 54 cards. A mixed bag here.. they are glossy and the facing art is nice on some. However I dislike squared corners on cards and these came out of the wrapping with white marks and dings on the edges and corners.. I don't expect they will hold up well to use.

- 21 plastic ships in four colors. The ships represent merchant and warships for both the American and British forces, yet they are a single cast, with the colors marking the differences between them. The Americans will use the blue and white and the British use the red and grey. If that's not bad enough, the cast isn't very good. They have hulls, sails, and indentions for cannon ports, and that's about it. I love minis and at this price I would expect them to at least match those found in Merchants & Marauders - a game that comes with 26 ships in four casts, each MUCH more detailed, and listing for $10 less.

- Blue and red chips. Anyone that played family board games in the 80s will recognize these; dime-sized plastic poker style chips with ridged edges. These are used to mark damage and record score on the VP tracks. These feel like something that was scrounged from a yard sale copy of a Milton Bradley game.


And that's it. $75?! Are you kidding me Worthington Games?

I made a comparison to the plastic counters and those found in a Milton Bradley game from 3-4 decades ago. I see that the publisher has made comparisons here to the 1962 MB game of Broadside in how the board is designed. In looking at that game entry, I think that 50 year old $10 game actually may have better components. Yes, I am being serious. The other comparison that I made is to Merchants and Marauders, and I think it's fair component wise. That is a game with some magnificent ships, that happens to include more components and cost less at retail. You could compare Naval War of 1812 to dozens of other games and come up short.

So there it is - the low down dirtiest review I've ever posted on a board game anywhere soblue I still hold hope that the game itself will play well and in the end that is what really matters, but I just could not push aside my feeling of disappointment when first opening this box. I think at $40 I would have been disappointed in the quality of the game, but able to overlook it. At $75 and with a label of "Limited Edition" this is borderline criminal!

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Did you actually pay $75 for the game? It pre-ordered for $50 and sold online for about $53.00 at retailers. Cheap entertainment when you value it on hours of enjoyment rather than merely components, which I think are more than adequate for this type of game. I agree that two different molds would have been nice for each ship type.
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I think the issue applies to the 'limited edition' moniker.

For a limited edition, I believe the general expectation is really nice components. Well, that's mine at least.

I looked at the box and what it came with and passed on it because it looked like the components would really not match well with the title.

I'm a sucker for limited edition games because of the pretty bits. This just didn't seem to fit the bill.

To me it sounds like people are best buying the regular version of the game at a lower price and enjoying the game portion but skipping the poorly done limited edition part.

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LoweringTheBar wrote:
Did you actually pay $75 for the game? It pre-ordered for $50 and sold online for about $53.00 at retailers. Cheap entertainment when you value it on hours of enjoyment rather than merely components, which I think are more than adequate for this type of game. I agree that two different molds would have been nice for each ship type.
No I didn't pay full retail for the game. I generally use the retail price when comparing games however because that's the only fair way to do for a number of reasons. For one, many people will prefer to shop at local game stores, where full retail is the norm. Secondly, comparing what it's available for is too temperamental. For example Dreadfleet comes with ships that make these look like legos, plastic rock and island terrain pieces, and a nice cloth map/board. It's regularly available for $75 and was recently on sale at a major retailer for under $50, but the retail price is $100.

I've seen the argument against using retail price when reviewing games many times and I just won't do it otherwise. It is a $75 retail price game and always will be. It might be available now for $55 and in a few months it might be $40 but it's still a $75 retail game, and that really gets into the point of my feelings around the game - that Worthington Games set this as a $75 game despite the components. As I said in the original topic, this is a component review only, and the game itself may well be worth the money; I just opened it and haven't played it yet.


Tut_613 wrote:
I think the issue applies to the 'limited edition' moniker.

For a limited edition, I believe the general expectation is really nice components. Well, that's mine at least.

I looked at the box and what it came with and passed on it because it looked like the components would really not match well with the title.

I'm a sucker for limited edition games because of the pretty bits. This just didn't seem to fit the bill.

To me it sounds like people are best buying the regular version of the game at a lower price and enjoying the game portion but skipping the poorly done limited edition part.

That is part of it for me as well When I see "Limited Edition anniversary edition" I do expect it to be something special. Perhaps I'm wrong in that and also in the minority, but there it is. What makes this a limited edition? Just the extra tagline on the box, or is there something special in the box as well?
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I actually came quite close to buying this.

I *ahem* already own 3 war of 1812 games, and, I've got at least 1 more on my wishlist. So, this seemed to be a simple decision until I checked out the components.

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Thank you for your review of the components. It reinforced my decision to NOT get this game.
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MillertimeRC wrote:


Tut_613 wrote:
I think the issue applies to the 'limited edition' moniker.

For a limited edition, I believe the general expectation is really nice components. Well, that's mine at least.

I looked at the box and what it came with and passed on it because it looked like the components would really not match well with the title.

I'm a sucker for limited edition games because of the pretty bits. This just didn't seem to fit the bill.

To me it sounds like people are best buying the regular version of the game at a lower price and enjoying the game portion but skipping the poorly done limited edition part.

That is part of it for me as well When I see "Limited Edition anniversary edition" I do expect it to be something special. Perhaps I'm wrong in that and also in the minority, but there it is. What makes this a limited edition? Just the extra tagline on the box, or is there something special in the box as well?
I've just opened my copy as my Christmas present. I'm not overly disappointed.

Please don't take this as a 'shot across the bows', but I think there has been a little misunderstanding by the posters here regarding the naming of the edition. The game is a 'Limited Edition'. It is limited to 812 copies (I have copy 476 ). The expectation talked about in this thread of 'better' components, seems more appropriate to the expectations of a 'Deluxe Edition', where you would expect components to be of a 'deluxe' nature.

My own opinion of the game components? Well, the board is mounted - great, and it does need a little flattening, but it's a nice board. The cards are lovely and glossy. I tried shuffling them and they shuffle beautifully! So they don't have round corners. Not a big deal in my book. They look sumptuous. Dice - well, they're definitely dice! The rulebook - it's not on glossy paper, but that's not a big deal either. It's clear, well laid out and nicely illustrated. The rules don't appear too complicated either.

The main point of contention here are the ships. Certainly it would have been nice to have different molds for the ships, but the fact that they aren't doesn't make the game unplayable; to me they are fine.

I imagine the issue is down to cost and economies of scale. I don't have a copy of Merchants and Marauders, but I agree the ships in that game are nice looking. There were only ~812 copies of Naval War of 1812, while how many are produced of Merchants an Marauders?

I'm now looking forward to playing the game.

"Ships Ahoy. Bring her abbout. Man the guns!"
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My expectation of components is related to the price of $75. Now you tell me, did the contents of the box feel comparable to other $75 games?

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It is odd since Napoleons War was released by worthington the price has shot up for many of their games. WIth Band of Brothers at least, it was worth it just for Jim K rules, because I know he works a lot with the rule system and they are fined tuned. When I looked at the rules for this one they felt extremely simple and sort of copied off Hold the line but not well. The molds are actually from the viktory II series games, and maybe since they are made by another company the expense of the molds may have been greatly increased.
I bought 8 armies of figures from Viktory II for about $30, which included 8 colors, infantry, cavalry, art, and ships.. I think about 300 pieces as I recall. I like them because I can use the figs for a wide varirty of games..Hold the line, extra units in Napoleons War, Wooden Ships and Iron men, flying colors....
Board Game: Hold the Line


I was really interested in their last Napoleon game but it seemed pretty expensive too. They are a small publisher and I am sure they have to fight the printing prices with a smaller volume which I am sure is difficult.

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charlescab wrote:

I was really interested in their last Napoleon game but it seemed pretty expensive too. They are a small publisher and I am sure they have to fight the printing prices with a smaller volume which I am sure is difficult.
It's a shadow of what Command and Colors Napoleonics is, sadly.
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sduke wrote:
charlescab wrote:

I was really interested in their last Napoleon game but it seemed pretty expensive too. They are a small publisher and I am sure they have to fight the printing prices with a smaller volume which I am sure is difficult.
It's a shadow of what Command and Colors Napoleonics is, sadly.
I stayed with C&C Napoleonics and I have not been disappointed by it.
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You all are too kind. I opened the box and just laughed at myself. The genre fitting expression "board game buggery" popped into mind. This was definitely my last purchase from Worthington Games. And in fact, it has scared me straight on buying new board games at all. You can buy a lot of nice iPad apps for $50. Why take the chance on this, or a P500, or a KS project? From now on, I think I will be happy to take the chance on getting screwed $0.99 at a time.
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leegauge wrote:
You all are too kind. I opened the box and just laughed at myself. The genre fitting expression "board game buggery" popped into mind. This was definitely my last purchase from Worthington Games. And in fact, it has scared me straight on buying new board games at all. You can buy a lot of nice iPad apps for $50. Why take the chance on this, or a P500, or a KS project? From now on, I think I will be happy to take the chance on getting screwed $0.99 at a time.
Sooooooo, $50 worth of intangible bits and bytes worth of software has more value than a board game? Sooooooo, obviously real value is determined by the amount of entertainment value something provides to you, not by material components? Maybe you should just play the game?

Buy a Victory Point game direct from the manufacturer at full retail. That should turn you off from board gaming forever.
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LoweringTheBar wrote:
leegauge wrote:
You all are too kind. I opened the box and just laughed at myself. The genre fitting expression "board game buggery" popped into mind. This was definitely my last purchase from Worthington Games. And in fact, it has scared me straight on buying new board games at all. You can buy a lot of nice iPad apps for $50. Why take the chance on this, or a P500, or a KS project? From now on, I think I will be happy to take the chance on getting screwed $0.99 at a time.
Sooooooo, $50 worth of intangible bits and bytes worth of software has more value than a board game? Sooooooo, obviously real value is determined by the amount of entertainment value something provides to you, not by material components? Maybe you should just play the game?

Buy a Victory Point game direct from the manufacturer at full retail. That should turn you off from board gaming forever.
That's not a realistic comparison. What would be more appropriate is comparing value of two video games, one with ASCII graphics and one with fully rendered art quality. No one is talking about the game play value in this thread other than you - it's a discussion of the component quality as compared to the cost.
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There aren't any components in an iPad app. I didn't make that comparison.
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Your comment is "obviously real value is determined by the amount of entertainment value something provides to you, not by material components".

This is a discussion of material components, not game play value. If you want to discuss how this game plays, feel free to start a new thread reviewing your experiences with that. I will probably do the same when (if?) I get to actually play this.
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So a good example of this is the Conflict of Heroes system. Relatively new game designer, great quality components, great maps, multiple maps, great art and it started around 80 as well. The rule system seemed well thought out and had I think 9 scenarios. So it does make me curious in the difference between the two games. My best guess is smaller print runs would definitely make expenses more. And considerable marketing efforts by academy games to generate interests in ATB. War of 1812 from what I saw didnt have much marketing/promo done for it so it would definitely be a smaller following.
So how is the gameplay is the bug question for me? Since it is an different sort of game (not too many ship games in the light board game arena) may make it worth it as a collectible.. but from what I saw of the rules it didnt look too complex, and I am still wondering about the card play and how it effects the game
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Dave in Ledbury wrote:

Please don't take this as a 'shot across the bows', but I think there has been a little misunderstanding by the posters here regarding the naming of the edition. The game is a 'Limited Edition'. It is limited to 812 copies (I have copy 476 ).
Where did you get the information on it being limited to 812 copies, or what number you have? Mine is not numbered in any way that I can tell.
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MillertimeRC wrote:
Your comment is "obviously real value is determined by the amount of entertainment value something provides to you, not by material components".

This is a discussion of material components, not game play value. If you want to discuss how this game plays, feel free to start a new thread reviewing your experiences with that. I will probably do the same when (if?) I get to actually play this.
I'm not talking to you. I'm addressing Lee Gauge who said "You can buy a lot of nice iPad apps for $50. Why take the chance on this, or a P500, or a KS project? From now on, I think I will be happy to take the chance on getting screwed $0.99 at a time."

Why do you feel the need to defend this statement? Oh right... you thumbed it.
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charlescab wrote:
So a good example of this is the Conflict of Heroes system. Relatively new game designer, great quality components, great maps, multiple maps, great art and it started around 80 as well. The rule system seemed well thought out and had I think 9 scenarios. So it does make me curious in the difference between the two games. My best guess is smaller print runs would definitely make expenses more. And considerable marketing efforts by academy games to generate interests in ATB. War of 1812 from what I saw didnt have much marketing/promo done for it so it would definitely be a smaller following.
So how is the gameplay is the bug question for me? Since it is an different sort of game (not too many ship games in the light board game arena) may make it worth it as a collectible.. but from what I saw of the rules it didnt look too complex, and I am still wondering about the card play and how it effects the game
That's part of my feelings on this; I have so many games that cost the same or less and have so much better components. There just isn't anything in this box to explain the $75 pricing.. honestly I have questioned if the price set was a mistake!

For example, these are the chips I mentioned before. These are used to mark damage to ships and track VPs on the tracks.

External image


These obviously were left over from something else, or just taken as something that was the cheapest option available. Seriously.. this is like a slap in the face! At $75 they couldn't come up with something better than this?

Regarding the rules and game play, from what I've seen and read it feels like an abstract game with a naval theme pasted on. I'll try to get it played soon, I don't really mind abstract games with pasted themes. There isn't much in there to feel like naval war; no wind or environmental conditions for example.
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It's shameful what Worthington has done. My gosh, look at their deceptive web site.

http://www.worthingtongames.com/detailN1812.html

They're showing the actual game board, game pieces, player cards along with a downloadable PDF of the rule book... and it looks exactly like the components that ship with the game! You bastards! Now, when I buy this game I'll know ahead of time exactly what I'm receiving so I can't complain! You bastards! Plus, they have the audacity to suggest that it's worth $75, but only charge $50! You &*#@ bastards!
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$50 SALE THRU 1-1-13 snore

Price: $75.00 $50.00
Retail: $75.00
You Save: $25.00
This item is in stock
Sale Ends: 1/1/13

It's a $75 game. That is the list price and what they normally sell it for. It's on sale for the next few days at $50.

Obviously you disagree with my opinion and you've made that clear. Good enough.
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MillertimeRC wrote:
Where did you get the information on it being limited to 812 copies, or what number you have? Mine is not numbered in any way that I can tell.
The informaation is given in the write-up on the Worthington website, but also the rulebook has a printed limited edition 'stamp' on the inside back page (page 7), with the copy number (written in pen) e.g. 'xxx of 812'.
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So it does - thank you!
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MillertimeRC wrote:
[q="charlescab"]

Regarding the rules and game play, from what I've seen and read it feels like an abstract game with a naval theme pasted on. I'll try to get it played soon, I don't really mind abstract games with pasted themes. There isn't much in there to feel like naval war; no wind or environmental conditions for example.
Well I would be happy to play it with you sometime... right after we play Space Empires :)
 
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