Greetings one and all; I'm rather new here, and I wanted to take this chance to type up something positive... I just got finished posting rant about something I'm angry about on another site (please don't ask), and I figure what better way to get myself out of a bad mood caused by typing up all my grievances than to go somewhere else and type up why I like that somewhere so much? Now, mind you, I'm not really talking about the forums... Which isn't to say I don't like the forums, I'm just not really invested here, so I really can't say anything about them.
What I AM talking about is Fantasy Flight... This May, I decided to officially transition from video gaming to board gaming as my primary hobby, for reasons that I'll dsicuss later in this post, but suffice to say that the overall experience has been a pleasant one. I jumpstarted my collection by trading off my heroScape collection, and using that the get various games on Board Game Geek. Now, I've done many trades over the past few months, and not all games I've obtained have been through trading, but that has been how I got the majority of them.
Many of the games I've obtained- including my new favorite- are those made by Fantasy Flight... Currently, my collection of Fantasy Flight board games includes:
WarCraft: The Board Game + Expansion Set
StarCraft: The Board Game + Brood War Expansion Set
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game + Fame and Fortune Expansion
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures
Android: Netrunner + 2 Expansions
Descent: Journeys in the Darkness 2nd Edition + Lair of the Wyrm Expansion Set (and I'm currently in another trade which is going to end with me getting Labyrinth of Ruin!)
I've also got a good number of other games, I won't list them all, but my favorites from among them include:
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Tales of the Arabian Nights
All in all, I'm loving the community, and though I do still enjoy playing new video games, I really haven't been buying many of them lately, mostly sticking to Humble Bundles and the like for my video game cravings, or simply going back to games I already had before.
In this time, I've contacted Fantasy Flight games twice for parts replacement... Both times with used games. The first time was a science vessel for StarCraft: The Board Game, which they sent me a replacement for free. The second time was a bit bigger... Android was missing a "generic counter", and the Trace Amount expansion I got was missing more than just a few cards... Twelve, to be exact. FFG not only replaced these parts, but even threw in a couple extra credit chips (a 1 and a 5) to boot, once again, didn't even charge me Now, mind you, as I already stated, I got these used- and while I do believe that companies should feel obligated to replace missing or damaged parts for new games, I think most people would agree with me when I say they don't have any obligation to do such with used games, and certainly not for free. I would have gladly paid for the parts, and even if they hadn't offered replacements at all, they still would have been within their rights. But they did it anyways- they went above and beyond being "reasonable", deciding that wasn't good enough, and reached out with what can only be described as generosity. And judging from the forums on Board Game Geek, this doesn't seem to be an isolated incident, I'm constantly hearing glowing praise for how generous they are with their parts replacement.
But more than just the act of generosity itself is what the act represented to me personally... Now, I said earlier I would mention why I've been drifting away from video games, and to put it simply: The reason I have ceased to be a fan of the video game industry at large is the very antithesis of what I am praising Fantasy Flight Games for... But now I must elaborate, as the first thing you probably think of is that someone wasn't honoring warranties or replacing damaged parts... That's not the case at all. What I am talking about is the blatant attack on private ownership and consumer rights that's been going on with video games lately. The rise of the digital format and the attempt to cut off the resale of used games is quite frankly sickening, and I'd even say comparable to theft at the very least, and possibly worse crimes... But I'll not delve any further into that tangent here, my point in this topic is not to turn this into a political soap box.
The reason I decided to switch to board games was because, quite simply, there's no real way to install DRM on them. You can't lock a board game to an account, and you can't prevent people from reselling them. But this in and of itself doesn't say that the companies actively respect this right, only that they are incapable fo taking it away. However, when you go out of your way to help someone play a copy of your game that they acquired through secondhand means, that is actively demonstrating that you respect your customer's rights to A) trade or sell their copies of your games if they decide they no longer want them or B) to acquire said games through such means, without having to involve themselves with an official retailer. Now mind you, this does NOT mean someone whose replacement policies who aren't as generous as Fantasy Flight's doesn't respect such rights, simply that Fantasy Flight has solidly demonstrated such beyond question- and as someone who was driven away from a hobby by seeing those same rights taken away, that really means a lot to me.
On top of that, I really enjoy the games that I've tried so far; I'd even go so far as to say that Descent 2.0 is currently my favorite game, and Civilization certainly is among my favorites as well (coming from a longtime fan of the series who was severely disappointed with V), and I'd really like to try out my copy of StarCraft sometime. I'm eagerly looking forward to recieving my copy of Labyrinth of Ruin (hopefully it'll arrive within the week), and I certainly intend to get the Trollfens sometime, and probably the Lt Minis as well... Plus, I know my younger sister (who plays the Overlord in my current Descent campaign) has mentioned an interest in the Lord of the Rings LCG, so I'll probably try and pick up a copy of the base set for her come Christmas (which will probably be how I end up getting Trollens myself). Actually, I'd say that more than any new games, I currently want the expansions offered for your games (alongside Sentinels whenever Vengance releases...)
Now, that's not to say you guys are perfect(you guys serious need to work on your packaging inserts), everyone has their flaws, but regardless of those shortcomings, Fantasy Flight Games has quickly become my favorite company in the hobby, and I look forward to giving you more business in the future.
So, to sum things up, thank you. Thank you for making great games, and thank you for going out of your way to show not merely respect towards your customers, but generosity as well.
Adam "MarioFanaticXV" Butler