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The Wheel and Mousetrap

My own thoughts on things that have already been thought out by others before me.

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"Economic Games" - Redefining the Term for Myself

Warren Smith
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Calgary
Alberta
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BGG Glossary wrote:
A game that models a micro-economic (i.e. business or industry) or macro-economic (i.e. nation or colony) system. Typically, players will have to invest in various factors of production: capital improvements (like power plants, RR track, settlements & cities), raw materials/resources (fuel, wheat/sheep/wood/brick/rock) & labor, in order to gain income, which is then re-invested into more factors of production to produce more income, etc. Money is NOT always present in an economic game, but it often is. Likewise the presence of money may not neccessarily indicate an economic game.
My problem with the term 'Economic' in games is that it seems to overlap with another term that gets used quite a bit - 'Resource Management'. I actually prefer the latter because it then frees the former to be used in the way that I shall now articulate1.

When there is a high level of interdependency2 on other players, an economy is created. When it is clear that there are non-zero sum elements in the game, an economy is created. Please consider these examples: When I build a building in Le Havre, you may use it. Unless you buy my raw materials for your factory in Container3, I may not be able to afford to load your goods onto my ship. Your cattle purchase in Glen More means that there is a market for cattle - I can now sell cattle.

Contrast those examples with these: When I settle a planet in Race for the Galaxy, I meet the old definition of 'economic game' in that I have a means of production. However, it does absolutely nothing for you. When I trade goods in Puerto Rico, I get doubloons from the magical, infinitely accomodating 'Bank'. Demand is always at its all time high.

Please note that I do not prefer Resource Management games to Economic games (new definition) or vice versa.

Thoughts?

1Like the old definition and virtually all other game classifications, the proposed definition exists on a continuum of subjectivity and could likely be applied to just about any game to some degree or another.
2I mean interdependency, NOT cooperation.
3This game is one of the purest examples of the proposed definition.
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Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:53 pm
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VIDEO: Mage Knight; No Retreat; Solo Games

Warren Smith
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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0:00 Monologue/Ramblings
3:30 MK intro
4:15 MK components
7:05 MK solo overview
9:54 NR intro/components
11:55 NR solo overview



Check out my other Board Game Home Movies!
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Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:58 am
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Kickstart My Heart - Sunrise City

Warren Smith
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Calgary
Alberta
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Clever Mojo games has enticed me with their city building game that promises only the highest quality components. I can totally see myself playing and enjoying this game with my family so I took the plunge. I had previously backed another board game project in a small way, but this is my first time backing in order to receive a game. It feels like a preorder, but without any sense of certainty. Of course, now that I've backed Sunrise city I really want it to get funded. The project is over half way there with 27 days remaining so chances are good. I can't help but feel a little bit nervous however that it might not come through. For now I will trust the kickstarter statistics that assure me that 95% of projects that reach the half way mark get funded. God speed, clever mojo games!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/clevermojogames/sunrise-...
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Sun Sep 4, 2011 4:11 pm
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Another Reason Why I Love BGG

Warren Smith
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There are many reasons, but something became abundantly clear to me today - the user perspective. BGG lets us look at games from our point of view. These are our reviews, our ratings, our website! As evidence of this, I submit statistics.

If you go to your geek profile and then choose 'stats' from the top row of tabs you'll notice that there is an option to view overrated and underrated games. If you click either one, you'll see those games in your collection that have a high delta between your rating and the rating of the community. Taking 'overrated' as an exmple, it will show you those games that you have scored lower than most. Those are the games in your collection that are overrated by others. BGG could have easily rigged it the other way and shown games that you over rated in comparison to others, but rather than belittle your rating they have made it the yard stick of comparison.

Contrast this user-centric approach to the self centered approach of banks. Accounting 101: They issue "debit" cards because when we spend money from our accounts, they owe us less. It's a debit to them.

I always knew I was special; BGG knows it too (thanks!).

Why do you love BGG?
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Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:14 pm
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Agricola Solo Storage

Warren Smith
Canada
Calgary
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I made the decision to put everything I need for a solo game into one box. Prior to this, I kept most of the Agricola cards outside of the box in tuckboxes for each deck. What I have done now is remove the +3 and +4 occupations from each deck so that I can fit the decks into the one box. I've also removed all extra boards, the 4 other sets of player pieces, most of the forest/field/house tiles and the Interaction deck. Considering that 1/3 of the 'I' deck minor improvements reference other players, I've never played solo with it. Neither do I mix my decks, though I can see me doing this in the future with the G-Deck (it plays just fine on its own though; great fun!). All the other components go into the FoTM box for access whenever I need to play with others. Here's a picture of what my box looks like.
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Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:50 am
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Andean Abyss Preorder

Warren Smith
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Although I consider myself overwhelmingly a Euro/Family gamer I too submitted my preorder last week. Here's why:

5) I already got my money's worth from Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-? and that investment is still paying dividends. Just because a designer has come up with a game that appeals to me, however, is not reason enough for me to buy more of his work so please read on.

4) Interesting subject matter. Many years ago I watched an interesting documentary on the drug problem in Columbia and I was able to recall a recently watched interview with the nation's president where he highlighted his efforts against the FARC. Despite my interest in history, I find myself drawn again to a modern-conflict game as a way of feeling more engaged in world events.

3) New card driven mechanic and scalable from 1-4? AA starting to sound really good now. Though I will play primarily solo, I am intrigued by the opportunity to host multiple players. One of the drawbacks to bringing a 2 player game to a board game night at someone's house is that you're still hogging virtually the same amount of table space as a multiplayer game so it would be kinda rude if space was already maxed out.

2) The BGG forum support from Volko and Joel for Labyrinth is world class. I know that if users like me can't figure something out amongst ourselves then these guys will be there to clear things up pronto. (Thanks!) I expect AA will be no different.

1) Embossed wooden bits. Yeah, baby, yeah.
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Mon May 30, 2011 8:05 pm
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Giving Perspective to the 'Social Experience'

Warren Smith
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Calgary
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A common topic of discussion on BGG is about the "social experience of gaming". Yes, there is such a thing and it is important. Yet, when I took a good hard look at myself and tried to determine why I play, the social experience weighed in at less than half the sum of all sources from which I derive enjoyment. (See below.)

Why do you game?


Thanks for reading. Now turn this thing off and git yer game on!
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Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:34 am
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The 4 Elements of Eurogames

Warren Smith
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Calgary
Alberta
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I'm no Stewart Woods and I need a short list like this for my sanity. To the point, 'Euro-ness' in games is on a continuum and is a subjective classification. These are the things I consider when making that classification for myself. Any game could fit into any one of these guidelines and so it is to the degree to which a game fits them all that is important. Just remember, this is not spam... it's SPIM!

Scalability: is it just a matter of blocking a few spaces or removing/adding some tokens per player? how different does the game feel with different size groups?
consider Agricola

Player Conflict: do all players get to finish to the end? how much can one player interfere with another?
consider the coin total secrecy rule in "Small World" vs attacking each other in said example. (coin secrecy is a way of discouraging conflict between the lead player and others who would have his head on a platter)

Interwoven Mechanics: are there various mini-mechanics for selecting turn order, acquiring/using resources, claiming something, moving on the board, setting up the board?
consider shipping, trading, settling, etc in "Puerto Rico"

Multiple, Balanced Paths to Victory: is there more than one way to win?
consider prestige, VP, goals, card points in "Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War"

Hey, thanks for reading! Until next time, be a saint... what else is there?


EUROGAMES
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Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:30 pm
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