Through the Ages Expansion – Printing Error Explanation

We’re sorry to announce that we still have no concrete release date for Through the Ages: New Leaders and Wonders. The card printing problem that led to the original delay last month is more difficult to solve than we expected. As a result, we hope to have the game out by Spring of 2020, but we can’t be more specific.

The problem we are trying to solve is that the card backs for the expansion look different than the card backs for the base game. This means players can make out how many expansion military cards their opponents have, or see whether the next prepared event is from the expansion. This is not information players should have.

We apologize for the delay this is causing. We would not be postponing the game’s release, however, unless it was to ensure that every player of Through the Ages and its expansion has a good experience.

The cause of this problem, we have discovered, is twofold.

First, the paper supplier that we used for Through the Ages went out of business. So we simply cannot get the same paper for the expansion. The new paper absorbs card varnish differently, resulting in the card backs for the expansion having a much glossier look than those for the base game.



Second, we have discovered that the card backs for different print runs of the base game do not match each other. This is something we attempted to avoid over the years of printing Through the Ages. But we have been using a third-party printer for these cards (not our usual printer), and it seems that our communication with them on the importance of keeping card backs uniform must have somehow broken down.

This means that no one shade we used for the expansion would match every existing copy of the base game.

Color problems

The solutions to these problems are also twofold.

First, with our card printer, we are testing different varnishes and papers to find something that is a better match for the existing base games. This process takes time, however. That is one cause of the delay.

Second, we now plan to include a new full set of all the Through the Ages base game military cards in every copy of the expansion. That will make us absolutely sure the card backs match for every game owner. This is the other cause for delay. There are added resources and costs involved in adding all the base game military cards to the expansion. And with three parties that all have to agree (us, the printer, and the card supplier), it is taking time to find a solution.

Also, this means including almost 300 cards in every copy of the expansion, rather than the planned 121. For that reason, we will probably have to raise the price. The original price was $25, and it will likely rise to $30. We apologize for this change, as well, and we hope players understand that this is the only way to ensure that they get the game experience they expect and deserve.

There are some nice side effects of this solution, too. It ensures that players can't distinguish base game cards from expansion cards by how worn the base game cards are. Having a full new military deck in each expansion means any game owner, no matter how well-loved their current military deck is, can play with the expansion without giving information away. And if you wish, you can keep two decks, so when you want to play without the expansion, you don't need to hunt through the deck and pull the expansion cards out.

One other important note: If you preordered the expansion and got a redeem card for it as proof of purchase, your price will still be $25. Also, we are extending the validation date on that redeem card through June of 2020. It says December of 2019 on the card, but that can now be ignored.

We’re still set on bringing players this expansion as soon as it's printed correctly. Our top priority is to make our players happy and to make their gaming experience as flawless as possible. We ask you to stay patient with this delay, if you can.