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Subject: What is so good about euros anyhow? [somewhat related poll included] rss

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Samo Gosaric
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DISCLAIMER - made 10 months after the original post.
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I think this is a good thread, but one where you have to patiently look for treasures contained within and that's probably why I love it, I'm just fond of this sort of endeavours.

CONTENT
- For people wanting to read what is in my opinion a good in-depth discusion on why do we game - pages 2-4.
- For tongue in-check humour to be taken lightly - the poll right here.
- For misunderstanding what the thread is about - some content on pages 1 and 5. It's just one of those "you had to be there" threads. Browse too fast, and you'll miss it.

I hope this will prevent possible page 6 looking like page 5 and hopefully looking something more like page 2. Thank you for taking your time with this rare beast of a thread.


FURTHER READING (same people, similar time, similar focus)
Playing the game or playing the opponents? - some thoughts on interaction

TRAILER:
stlkt wrote:
Interesting thread...

1. I don't know that I've ever seen a thread range so much between rant / flame and deep discourse.

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ORIGINAL OPENING POST
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Seriously. Looking at top ranked games at BGG and looking what mainstreamers suggest in recommendation threads leaves me perplexed and going: "really?".

Now let's get these things straight:

1. This is not about beloved (ymmv) German game designs that they did in the 1990s and continue to make today with simple rules, short playtime and lots of interaction that the whole family can enjoy. I call these "german games", but we can also call them "family games" as does BGG.

2. I am not some ameritrash fanatic, nor grognard. I wouldn't even say I love the above mentioned family games. I game with friends to have fun. And while I'm provoking a bit I honestly don't get what on Earth is FUN in euros?

3. When I talk about Euros I talk about what BGG calls "strategic games" (though we all know it means "euros"):
heavy brain burning games of (mostly) low interaction, medium to low theme integration and high emphasis on competitiveness of nonaggressive kind and things like "mechanics", "elegance", "open information", "balance" and other counter-intuitive terminology. (Also: what is so good about something being counter intuitive???)
Also you may help us understand the positive side of anti-euro terminology like: "cube pushing", "multiplayer solitaire" and "spreadsheet game".

3.1. Yes some euros, even distinguished ones are not in the norm (stereotype) described above. That is beside the point and if you want to make statement about loving exactly the kind of euros that is or is not described above, please do so.

3.2. Before we get all crazy, I decided to make a poll to put things into perspective and to make us see what KIND of gamers write in this thread. cool

Poll
Which of these do you find fun in boardgaming?
16. So first thing first. What do you game for?
  *I'm scared of you* Kill me now! Meh, so overrated. It's ok. Fun! Orgasmic!
Out thinking other players in silent open information brain to brain competition.
Coming on top with better economic analysis of auctioned items.
Outwitting other players with superior bartering skills.
For being thrown down a chaotic ride one cannot control.
Imagining profound stories emanating from board pieces.
Chatting the whole game and winning because of one lucky die roll.
Gather with friends, drink some beer. Steve not you, you'll spill it over the board again.
Scheming, lying and backstabbing.
Screaming in the face of the enemy and attacking their dudes.
17. What about the finest qualities of boardgame design?
  Run away! Kill me now! I can't play this. I can play this. Fun! Orgasmic!
Symmetric, elegant, open information and deep. Everything else is a waste of my Mensa membership.
Theme must be dripping even from the box and when I open it I want to smell the blood of dead Orcs and see C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
Brand new fresh mechanics to dive in. And then we can play another (brand new) game. Ah, there is nothing like that first time.
Simple rules, nice pieces and enough luck that nongamers can win. (Or I'll sleep on the couch again).
I want options, lots of stuff, lots of pieces, lots of chaos. No, my expansion dependency is cured. Honestly. (Maybe just one more...)
Easy to teach rules, highly replayable game I can put out with friends over and over again without the need to buy more games. Stevie watch it with that pizza slice! #$%*! This game is vintage!
Occult, hermetic rules that recreate the complex reality we live in. Winning is only secondary to studies of alternative histories.
Player elimination? Check. Backstabbing? Check. Epic? Check. Anything under 3 hours of highly intense drama isn't worth my attention.
Short, 2 player and non-aggressive or my significant other won't play with me after I put the kids to bed. (You do the dishes tonight dear).
Charades.
Dice.
18. What do you like when you look at the board?
  Get me out of here! Looking at it I want to kill myself. Meh, so overrated. It's ok. Sound like Fun! That's so orgasmic!
Spreadsheety outlook that makes it easy to calculate values.
Same spreadsheety outlook in grown up palette of brown pastels.
Same spreadsheety outlook with family friendly illustrations.
Something simple and nice with not much data.
Something simple and austere (elegant) so that I can strategize better.
Something as colourful as possible to show that it's FUN (before my eyes starts to water).
Map of the world that shows real life/historic political situation I can immerse into.
Map of the world made in (look-alike) human skin that sets me in the *right* mood.
Multiple hexes I can put where I want.
Multiple plastic hexes I can make into a miniature representation of Galadriel's domain.
19. Let's talk boardpieces.
  Run away! Looking at it I want to kill myself. Meh, so overrated. It's ok. Sound like Fun! That's so orgasmic!
Cube galore. Simple and elegant. Just use pincers.
Plastic minis that don't fit back into the box, but I can paint them.
Prepainted plastic minis I paid extra for.
2 colour printed chits full of military data.
Lots of beautifully painted chits, I had to buy plano box for.
Meeples. All colours and shapes.
Must have dice. Lots!
d20
20. What about cards?
  I left the gas on, gotta go... Somebody kill me now! Meh, so overrated. It's ok. That rocks! Über Orgasmic!
Cards with accurate historical data (and not much else)
Cards with occult looking icons for international audience.
Cards with plenty +2 and +3 (all the rest is just flavour text).
Cards where flavour text is THE text.
Who cares about the text, it's the pics.
Cards with cool looking weapons, like wow man.
Each card in the deck must be unique!
Cards must have rarity rating.
Just cards. You know: spade, heart, club, diamond.
Specially made cards although they could have just used the traditional deck.
Cards that are even simpler than traditional deck, but better looking.
Hanafuda.
21. What about other players?
  Ihavetogonowbye! Uh, that sounds so... interesting. *death gaze activate* Meh, so overrated. I know what you mean. I feel you bro! That's me!
Best to enjoy the quiet intellectual exercise and not look at them. (when have they showered for the last time anyway?)
Best to enjoy the quiet intellectual exercise and look at them occasionally with the most competitive gaze possible as I just took the action they wanted!
It's good to have a mechanic like auction where we talk so we can get to know each other.
I have to talk, otherwise my brain explodes. How do you mean there's no trading in this game?
There's nothing like a nice evening of blatant propaganda, outright lies and messing with other player's minds. Oh, we're playing a game? Sure, why not.
We have our gaming nights so we can pretend we're powerful mages and aliens and Stevie doing his famous Predator impersonations.
As long as they bring they own beer and are prepared to be slaughtered, it's fine with me.
I game alone. Then I write articles on my blog.
22. What does a win mean to you?
  Nice knowing you. Havetogonow. So bored. *death gaze activate* Sucks to be you. I know what you mean. I feel you bro! That's me!
Proving my brain's worth against the worthy adversaries.
Proving that the Dice Gods love me.
It means that the sux0rs got p0wned!!!
Proving my well placed schemes finally came to fruition. Mwahaha!!!
The end justifies the means! It was within the rules. Go check, I dare you!
Ghnaah! Knees shaking. Adrenaline overload. Must put my head in the sink...
It's the journey that matters, not the destination. Oh, I won again?
It's just a win, no need for anybody to get upset. We can play a co-op now.
It means I get to sleep on the couch. Again.
I never win.
      293 answers
Poll created by sgosaric


4. Again the question in case anybody missed it:
What or Where is the fun in euros?
With that I declare this thread open. Troll and flame at will.
Disclaimer: Within the strict confines of BGG communality rules.

EDIT: A simple question of this thread was apparently lost to some in the chrome of this post so I made it bigger to help.
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Philip Thomas
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Your poll is too long.

Euros are intellectually stimulating, competitive and playable in an evening.
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Jon W
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Droll poll is troll.

Wait, troll poll is droll.
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Eric Jome
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You rated Bohnanza, Carcassonne, Power Grid, and Catan all an 8 and you have to ask what's good about euros?

How about this; you name names about games you think are euros that are crap and overrated and I'll explain what is good about them? As it is, your post and poll and ratings are so all over the map and weird I can't tell what the heck you are talking about.
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Alex H.
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cosine wrote:
You rated Bohnanza, Carcassonne, Power Grid, and Catan all an 8 ...


Race for the Galaxy has even been rated a 9.1, a game which many people consider the culmination of multiplayer solitaire.
I agree with Eric that we should probably discuss specific games since many of the alternatives in the poll are a little provocative. I don't feel it will contribute much to answering the OP's question regarding Euros.
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Hunga Dunga
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Drew Spencer
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Well I think the poll is pretty funny.

But seriously, euros are not the most strategic, they're not the most thematic, they're not the most suspenseful, and they're not the most family-friendly games. They are, however, the games that are all of those a little bit. Other genres focus on one to the exclusion of another. Euros do it all pretty well, even if they do no one thing the best.
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Jon Gautier

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Gave up after two questions.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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banyan wrote:
Well I think the poll is pretty funny.

But seriously, euros are not the most strategic, they're not the most thematic, they're not the most suspenseful, and they're not the most family-friendly games. They are, however, the games that are all of those a little bit. Other genres focus on one to the exclusion of another. Euros do it all pretty well, even if they do no one thing the best.


Except when it comes to theme. Euros don't do that pretty well for the most part.
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Samo Gosaric
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cosine wrote:
You rated Bohnanza, Carcassonne, Power Grid, and Catan all an 8 and you have to ask what's good about euros?

German game, not euro.
it's not an 8.
it's not an 8.
German game, not euro.

Even if, so what? Are we talking ad hominem? There's a reson for an opening post being, well, a post.
cosine wrote:
How about this; you name names about games you think are euros that are crap and overrated and I'll explain what is good about them? As it is, your post and poll and ratings are so all over the map and weird I can't tell what the heck you are talking about.

alex352 wrote:
I don't feel it will contribute much to answering the OP's question regarding Euros.

The poll makes me happy every time I read it.
Why should I be concise, balanced and open-information type of gamer?

Dieroll Honker wrote:
Gave up after two questions.

Good thing you found time to post, then. thumbsup
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Samo Gosaric
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oeste wrote:
Helo again Samo, I saw the thread title and clicked on it before I saw it was you who posted it. I think you have some great points. While I like mental stimulation in my games, I also want them to actually be fun. If I am going to get together with friends for those games, I want to actually interact with those friends. Heavy Euros with boards that look like they came out of Excel don't appeal to me at all, however, I don't think Euros are the only culprits here. Some wargames could easily give way to people who want to sit around a table brooding over the next move with the only player interaction being the announcement of that move. Check out my latest geeklist, N/A; it deals with the idea that Euros did invent/advance some great game mechanics, but a little Ameritrash style flare does go a long way in actually making the game fun.

Every genre has some problems. (Oh and yes, Euros do look like somebody bred German games with Wargames. Or to be more precise: somebody bred the substance of family games (simplicity) with the style of hobby gaming. ("occult"))

Well, if I think the connection that poll has to the opening question (yes, there is one) I wanted to show with the poll that:
a) people game for different things and like different things
b) we can make fun of all of them (but somehow from statistical viewpoint it seem only eurogamers that take it to their hearts. )
c) that way we can make fun of ourselves.

I think the actually issue here is who you game with:
- predominantly male population in your gaming club of people who you may or may not know personally well
- mixed nongaming population of friends
- friends with families and little time / significant other with little time
- student population with huge amount of time (and some allowance from their parents)
Being primarily tied to one of these groups will define also what you look for in gaming.

banyan wrote:
Well I think the poll is pretty funny.

Thanks. So do I. On multiple reads.
Halfway though making it I though it deserves its own thread, but maybe later. Any I don't really mind for the confusion in creates as it does kinda point out one style of gaming (fun, chaotic ride).

banyan wrote:
But seriously, euros are not the most strategic, they're not the most thematic, they're not the most suspenseful, and they're not the most family-friendly games. They are, however, the games that are all of those a little bit. Other genres focus on one to the exclusion of another. Euros do it all pretty well, even if they do no one thing the best.

But I own multiple games for multiple occasions. What you say would make sense if we talk about 5-10 game collection.

Yes if I would have to pick one game to play with all sorts of people Settlers of Catan would be it (though for me that's not an euro but german game. My weird classification comes from here.)
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Samo Gosaric
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alex352 wrote:
I agree with Eric that we should probably discuss specific games

cosine wrote:
How about this; you name names about games you think are euros that are crap and overrated and I'll explain what is good about them?

Ok how about like this, I went through top 150 BGG games and copy pasted some titles:

Games I know are crap as I played them:
Cuba, Le Havre, Dominion (on-line), Pandemic

The tolerable euro, but not one I would seek out (this one being very fun is a bit beyond me):
Power Grid

Games I suspect that are crap and won't even try playing them:
Puerto Rico, Agricola (okay I've got a borrowed copy, but avoided trying to play it for over a year), Caylus, 7 Wonders, Age of Steam, The Princes of Florence, Stone Age, Goa, Railroad Tycoon, Endeavor, Hansa Teutonica, Samurai, Troyes, Amun-Re, In the Year of the Dragon, Notre Dame, Saint Petersburg, The Pillars of the Earth, Fresco, At the Gates of Loyang, Vasco da Gama, Macao, Vikings, Web of Power, Small World, Egizia, Dungeon Lords

Games I suspect that are crap, but are willing to give at least a try if in the right mood:
Tigris & Euphrates, Steam, Through the Ages, Brass, El Grande, Carson City
 
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Andrew
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I think the primary appeal is intellectual stimulation: exploring a system with other people, and chatting about it later. It's more about giving the brain a bit of a workout than about winning, proving one's IQ, or beating someone down.

This explains the other characteristics of a Euro:
* Low aggression - it's an intellectual rather than an emotional engagement;
* Low interaction - skilled play is prioritised over diplomacy;
* Elegance - cost versus intellectual stimulation benefit measurement on rules;
* Weak theme;
* Low outcome-luck (there's usually plenty of luck in Euros) - aligns good play with winning.

In these games, harm and benefit tend to be obscured so you need some level of experience before you can see tension, drama and aggression. If you're a newbie still struggling to figure out what's going on, you won't notice when someone screws you. You've written elsewhere that you don't like the exploratory phase of playing a game (before everyone knows all the strategies and tactics); heavy Euros aren't for you.

On terminology, I reckon "multiplayer solitaire" and "spreadsheet game" are ignorant (except for the heavy train games, where they do use spreadsheets).

Cube-pushing is accurate though, Euros have lots of cubes.
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Steven Backues
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1. Kudos for good use of the subdomain forums

2. The poll was amusing. Probably not very useful, but I got a kick out of it.

3. My enjoyment of Eurogames is derived from (and secondary to) my enjoyment of abstract games.Fundamentally, it is about the intellectual challenge/the battle of wits, uncluttered by luck or lots of excess rules. Eurogames are a little bit weaker in this regard, but make up for it by
A) Supporting multiple players
B) Having a little bit of theme
C) Having an enjoyable sense of empire building, and
D) Being preferred by my wife

4. You may well have tastes that run counter to the majority of BGGers. Given that BGG itself is a self-selecting subpopulation with tastes that differ than the majority of the gaming world, this is no big deal. There is no need to be baffled by this fact. Yes, trying to understand where other are coming from is admirable, but you (both here and in other posts) seem to project more of an almost angry "what is wrong with you people?!" attitude. People have different tastes. No need to get upset.

5. I think that semantics are becoming a significant problem. Like other posters, looking through your ratings I am failing to see much of a correlation either way with Eurogames, except that you use the word a lot. What I see is this: you have taken a word that is commonly used (although with a somewhat vague definition), and assigned to it your own idosyncratic definition. This may be a useful schema for internal deliberation, but isn't very helpful if you then want to use that word to have a conversation with everyone else. Particularly since your definition of "Eurogame" seems to be basically "Games I don't like." If you do like it, then it doesn't count as a Euro? I mean, your German game/Eurogame distinction makes a little bit of sense to me (though only a little bit). But how can Dominion be a Eurogame and Race for the Galaxy not?

Also, the main thing I got from your perusal of the top 150 games is that you have played precious few of them and written off a whole lot of them without even trying them. Maybe you are right to do so. Maybe you know your tastes that well. But on the other hand... of the four "Eurogames" you mentioned you don't like, 3 of them (Pandemic, LeHavre and Dominion) are games that I don't much like either. The fourth, Cuba, I have never played. And I rate Power Grid 7.5, exactly the same as you do. So if these are how you are defining Eurogames, well then, I don't like Eurogames either. But in fact there are many games on your "haven't bothered" list that I do very much like (although also others that I don't).


6. Regarding of lack of interaction, that is where I can definitely sympathize with you. There are a number of Eurogames (e.g. Agricola and Race for the Galaxy) that I have rejected due to lack of interaction. On the other hand, there are others (Puerto Rico, Caylus) that do have enough interaction for me (although it is context specific; with a more casual group I would rather play something more social, such as Settlers). It may be that I have a lower threshold for interaction than you do, or a different type. I don't need active communication, I just want to be able to affect my opponent's position, and actually feel like I am playing against the other people, not just sitting around a table with them playing against the game. As a question: do you consider 2-player abstracts (e.g. Chess) to be interactive? I do, but not everyone does.

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Alex H.
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sgosaric wrote:

I wanted to show with the poll that:
a) people game for different things and like different things
b) we can make fun of all of them (but somehow from statistical viewpoint it seem only eurogamers that take it to their hearts. )
c) that way we can make fun of ourselves.


Ok, I somehow missed the tongue-in-cheek tone. I guess from this perspective the poll makes more sense.
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Alex H.
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sgosaric wrote:
alex352 wrote:
I agree with Eric that we should probably discuss specific games

cosine wrote:
How about this; you name names about games you think are euros that are crap and overrated and I'll explain what is good about them?

Ok how about like this, I went through top 150 BGG games and copy pasted some titles:

Games I know are crap as I played them:
Cuba, Le Havre, Dominion (on-line), Pandemic

The tolerable euro, but not one I would seek out (this one being very fun is a bit beyond me):
Power Grid

Games I suspect that are crap and won't even try playing them:
Puerto Rico, Agricola (okay I've got a borrowed copy, but avoided trying to play it for over a year), Caylus, 7 Wonders, Age of Steam, The Princes of Florence, Stone Age, Goa, Railroad Tycoon, Endeavor, Hansa Teutonica, Samurai, Troyes, Amun-Re, In the Year of the Dragon, Notre Dame, Saint Petersburg, The Pillars of the Earth, Fresco, At the Gates of Loyang, Vasco da Gama, Macao, Vikings, Web of Power, Small World, Egizia, Dungeon Lords

Games I suspect that are crap, but are willing to give at least a try if in the right mood:
Tigris & Euphrates, Steam, Through the Ages, Brass, El Grande,
Carson City


Quite a lot of these games really don't qualify as "Euros". Age of Steam and Small World really have nothing in common. And the same is true for T&E and 7 Wonders. You could just as well include any wargame that fails to attract your interest in this list. I am afraid we are not discussing a game category but classes of personal taste here.
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Ed Bradley
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Philip Thomas
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alex352 wrote:
sgosaric wrote:
alex352 wrote:
I agree with Eric that we should probably discuss specific games

cosine wrote:
How about this; you name names about games you think are euros that are crap and overrated and I'll explain what is good about them?

Ok how about like this, I went through top 150 BGG games and copy pasted some titles:

Games I know are crap as I played them:
Cuba, Le Havre, Dominion (on-line), Pandemic

The tolerable euro, but not one I would seek out (this one being very fun is a bit beyond me):
Power Grid

Games I suspect that are crap and won't even try playing them:
Puerto Rico, Agricola (okay I've got a borrowed copy, but avoided trying to play it for over a year), Caylus, 7 Wonders, Age of Steam, The Princes of Florence, Stone Age, Goa, Railroad Tycoon, Endeavor, Hansa Teutonica, Samurai, Troyes, Amun-Re, In the Year of the Dragon, Notre Dame, Saint Petersburg, The Pillars of the Earth, Fresco, At the Gates of Loyang, Vasco da Gama, Macao, Vikings, Web of Power, Small World, Egizia, Dungeon Lords

Games I suspect that are crap, but are willing to give at least a try if in the right mood:
Tigris & Euphrates, Steam, Through the Ages, Brass, El Grande,
Carson City


Quite a lot of these games really don't qualify as "Euros". Age of Steam and Small World really have nothing in common. And the same is true for T&E and 7 Wonders. You could just as well include any wargame that fails to attract your interest in this list. I am afraid we are not discussing a game category but classes of personal taste here.


Well,2 of them aren't Euros: Small World, and 7 Wonders*. The rest are all arguably within the euro genre, which is a wide one. I would say the games the OP has tried and disliked are not the best euros out there, while the games he refuses to try include some of the best Euros out there.

*edit: As has been pointed out, I mistook 7 Wonders for 7 Ages. 7 Wonders is of course a euro...
 
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Alex H.
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Small World not a Euro game? Not sure I agree. Also,what is 7 Wonders to you?
The term "Euro" is really not that suited for a serious discussion about game categories and their respective strengths/weaknesses. Better would be to speak of "train games", "auction games", "worker placement games", etc.

Also, the OP seems to follow Michael Barnes' distinction between "german games" and "euro games". If so, he is not very precisely applying the terms. Barnes use to include T&E in the "german games" category.
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Philip Thomas
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Small World is entirely direct conflict, and 7 Ages is far too long. Hence, I don't see them as euros. What exact category they fit in is another question.

"Train games", "auction games" and "worker placement games" are helpful subcategories of euro, (although, since many train games feature auctions, they are by no means clear cut). The eurogame category still retains its usefulness, especially from the point of view of this thread, where the OP is indeed tallking about eurogames in general.

The distinction between "german" games and eurogames seems to be a light/heavy distinction: if so I would prefer to call them light and heavy.
 
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Samo Gosaric
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alex352 wrote:
Ok, I somehow missed the tongue-in-cheek tone. I guess from this perspective the poll makes more sense.

oh yes
robotHUMOUR DOES NOT COMPUTErobot

No this is not a serious thread.
50% venting + 50% self parody.
May contain traces of truth and objectivity.

alex352 wrote:
Quite a lot of these games really don't qualify as "Euros". Age of Steam and Small World really have nothing in common. And the same is true for T&E and 7 Wonders. You could just as well include any wargame that fails to attract your interest in this list. I am afraid we are not discussing a game category but classes of personal taste here.

I did put them in the last section - as I'm not sure they are a valid target of my bias. Oh, well AoE and Smallworld I decides to put in the other box, but could fit in the other one as well (AoE as it's brain damaging burning and Smallworld for dryness and math-ness, but yes both are more interactive than your average euro). E&T has interation, so I'm willing to try it (but it's dry). I put 7 wonders because it's resource engine game - I don't get those at all.

I think the economic games differ enough from euros to warrant them a different category (but I don't see resurce engine games like Le havre, Caylus, etc. as economics games as they don't build some player influenced economy my the way stock market games do). So Age of Steam series doesn't fit into the MPS mould, but it still has that "competition of minds" that's alien to me.

I could also ask questions like this - how can you still love and play:
- games with(out) themes(,) dry as sand
- games with no talking and on board interaction (blocking)
- games where you play against the game not other people (optimizing your engine), yet these people sit next to you.
- games that make your head hurt and feel like work, only you don't get paid.
- games that forbid you to do more stuff than they let you do (Yes Shascht, I'm looking at your designs).


Quote:
I am afraid we are not discussing a game category but classes of personal taste here.


Good point, but that's where I started off anyhow - I don't get the personal tastes of BGG mainstream. I can't tell that I avoid euros on intelectual level - on instictual level they're alien to me (well a specific kind of euro, that happens to be most loved here on this site).

So alternative to original question:
I don't get why BGG, mainstream likes the games that they do, please explain it to me.
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Samo Gosaric
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Fwing wrote:
I think the players who dislike randomness lack courage




I can stare at d20 face to face like a man!
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Small World is entirely direct conflict, and 7 Ages is far too long.


For me, direct conflict alone does no suffice to not put a game in the "euro" niche.
7 Ages is not 7 Wonders which you refered to in your ealier post.
If "euro" is just another term for a strategy game (light or heavy) then what is Civilization? How can playing time alone put a game out of the "euro" group and into another category. If you substitute "euro" by "strategy game" it becomes even less apparent why playing time should matter as an indicator for categorization.

Anyway, as the OP now made clear, the discussion should not be taken too seriuos so I will not pursue this any longer.
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Oops, 7 Wonders is indeed a euro and not 7 Ages, sorry about that.

Euro is not a synonym for Strategy game. Relatively short length is one characterstic of euros but not necesarily of Strategy games: mechanisms for indirect conflict is another.
 
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fateswanderer wrote:
I think the primary appeal is intellectual stimulation: exploring a system with other people, and chatting about it later. It's more about giving the brain a bit of a workout than about winning, proving one's IQ, or beating someone down.

Very good answer.

But if I may inquire at what population of gamers are we talking about here? Predominantly male or mixed? Gaming in clubs or at home? Students or employed? Geeky background or avoiding precisely this group of gamers?

My feel is it's male population of people gaming in clubs.

fateswanderer wrote:
This explains the other characteristics of a Euro:
* Low aggression - it's an intellectual rather than an emotional engagement;
* Low interaction - skilled play is prioritised over diplomacy;
* Elegance - cost versus intellectual stimulation benefit measurement on rules;
* Weak theme;
* Low outcome-luck (there's usually plenty of luck in Euros) - aligns good play with winning.

if I traslate:
- not gaming with friends, but more in a sport-like, competitive manner in clubs
- not extroverted population or again gaming with people you don't know well.

Am I on to something or stumbling in the dark?
fateswanderer wrote:
In these games, harm and benefit tend to be obscured so you need some level of experience before you can see tension, drama and aggression. If you're a newbie still struggling to figure out what's going on, you won't notice when someone screws you. You've written elsewhere that you don't like the exploratory phase of playing a game (before everyone knows all the strategies and tactics); heavy Euros aren't for you.

Good memory.

But what is the joy of learning new strategies in so-called deep games?

[My instinct is to find which of the all known strategies is best suited for a certain (chaotic, interpersonal) situation.]

-------------------------------------------------------

Elendil wrote:
1. Kudos for good use of the subdomain forums

2. The poll was amusing. Probably not very useful, but I got a kick out of it.

Thank you and thank you.

Elendil wrote:
3. My enjoyment of Eurogames is derived from (and secondary to) my enjoyment of abstract games.Fundamentally, it is about the intellectual challenge/the battle of wits, uncluttered by luck or lots of excess rules. Eurogames are a little bit weaker in this regard, but make up for it by
A) Supporting multiple players
B) Having a little bit of theme
C) Having an enjoyable sense of empire building, and
D) Being preferred by my wife

Interesting as I have no idea where eurogamers come from in terms of their background as the so-called gateway games are family oriented and aren't really meant for intellectual challenge. (That's why I would separate them as german and euro games or as family and strategic euros. Light and heavy euros hides the important distinction that these two groups are made with diffident aims for different populations). I come from MtG, D&D and slovene version trick taking traditional card game Tarock (like Bridge with more chaos, options and fluid partnerships) so for me the fun comes first.

On ABCD:
A - I've listened to some podcast about history of board games where the historian claimed 2 player games are what gaming is all about, and multiplayers are "perversions". For me more players means: social gathering which precedes any competition. It's maybe interesting that games which are really best with more people tend to be highly interactive and chaotic as a result (ameritrash paradigm). So multiplayer competitive game is a bit counter-intuitive (ha!) concept from the start.

B)- Theme in euros it appears is not immersive, but more connected to the process of learning the game. The game is intuitive if the theme helps you get the rules faster. The knowledge of some logic or procedure in real life, outside the game, helps you to internalize rules faster. What this means is that either a) euro players want to play new games all the time (some seem to), b) as you need more players for a game you might need to teach new people all the time. And here is a question: If a lot of people game in clubs, why do these people need easy to pick up games? You could pick up "lifetime to learn" games like GO or ASL. And c) - narration. I guess there is some please in looking at: look I've build this like in Power Grid for example. Though I don't differentiate it as much different to "look I have most money" or "look I've conqeured the world". Comments welcome.

C) Empire building is a weird genre of euro. It makes two possible goals: building your stuff and winning the game. It also makes point about enjoying the game even if you lost as you achieved something.
However these goals may be in contradiction to each other: I like RFTG, but basically I play it as if it were an ameritrash game, which means: I play it solely for theme immersion and completely ignore the "rich level of subtle interplayer interaction". So I don't care for winning or interacting (what game offers doesn't count as interaction I would like to engage in) and play only for making a nice tableau. Another thing I've noticed is when empire building game (of euro genre) has "take that" elements (like Settlers of Catan card game) the effect is more painful than in territory taking aggressive game. In games that are outright about aggression I have no problem in dealing with conflict, however in these games it feels that maybe the sole fact of each player hiving it's own board creates much more tension when somebody interferes as their ruining "your creation" not collective creation. And here I wonder what's going on. Clearly this genre has developed as some people wish less conflict in their games (playing with their significant others, family members, etc). but I'm not sure it works. I found it easier to manage conflict just the opposite way - to embrace it and to deal with it.

D) Hehe. The thing is my girlfriend loves thematic games (Arkham Horror, Tales of Arabian nights) and avoids stuff like Lost Cities. We did have a problem in getting in conflict games, but we crossed over in multiplayer games with conflict and had some success with Claustrophobia and Gosu. So the non-agressive part of euros is something you can evade with some effort if there's some motivation involved (like theme).


Elendil wrote:
4. You may well have tastes that run counter to the majority of BGGers. Given that BGG itself is a self-selecting subpopulation with tastes that differ than the majority of the gaming world, this is no big deal. There is no need to be baffled by this fact. Yes, trying to understand where other are coming from is admirable, but you (both here and in other posts) seem to project more of an almost angry "what is wrong with you people?!" attitude. People have different tastes. No need to get upset.

Completely agree.

However as not being part of BGG mainstream I contstantly have to explain myself (like in this thread, I mean Cosine, really?) while the love of mainstream is apparently self evident and no one explains it. I actually have no clue of their background and their reasons for gaming. Hence this thread and hence this kind of poll.

So yes, you (nonfamily)euro lovers out there. Tell me what's so great about (nonfamily)euros?

Elendil wrote:
5. I think that semantics are becoming a significant problem. Like other posters, looking through your ratings I am failing to see much of a correlation either way with Eurogames, except that you use the word a lot. What I see is this: you have taken a word that is commonly used (although with a somewhat vague definition), and assigned to it your own idosyncratic definition. This may be a useful schema for internal deliberation, but isn't very helpful if you then want to use that word to have a conversation with everyone else. Particularly since your definition of "Eurogame" seems to be basically "Games I don't like." If you do like it, then it doesn't count as a Euro? I mean, your German game/Eurogame distinction makes a little bit of sense to me (though only a little bit). But how can Dominion be a Eurogame and Race for the Galaxy not?

They're both euros. Who said any differently? I also Like Genoa which is an euro (of old gemran style).

So what? Each formulation is subjective, push your own, let it clash with the others as the whole point of this thread is that we don't have a common ground. So why should we strive for one. I try to use the word euro games in terms as described by Barnes: german school of design (simplicity, no player elimination, easy to learn, short playing time) minus the interaction and chaos, plus competitiveness and increased complexity/weight.
Elendil wrote:
Also, the main thing I got from your perusal of the top 150 games is that you have played precious few of them and written off a whole lot of them without even trying them. Maybe you are right to do so. Maybe you know your tastes that well.

Yes I have low budget, games in english language are more expensive here than in states, I have no way of trying games before I buy as there is no boardgaming community here (we have a FLGS focused on table top minuatures and CCGs) so I am very careful. After some mistake buys because of BGG recommendation threads I feel there are many games out there I don't have to buy to discover I won't like them as I can tell that from the rules. I do know my tastes that well, and my gamers are even more picky.
Elendil wrote:
But on the other hand... of the four "Eurogames" you mentioned you don't like, 3 of them (Pandemic, LeHavre and Dominion) are games that I don't much like either. The fourth, Cuba, I have never played. And I rate Power Grid 7.5, exactly the same as you do. So if these are how you are defining Eurogames, well then, I don't like Eurogames either. But in fact there are many games on your "haven't bothered" list that I do very much like (although also others that I don't).

I'll check your collection.

I tend to geekbuddy people who either love - thematic, interactive or economic games.

Elendil wrote:
6. Regarding of lack of interaction, that is where I can definitely sympathize with you. There are a number of Eurogames (e.g. Agricola and Race for the Galaxy) that I have rejected due to lack of interaction. On the other hand, there are others (Puerto Rico, Caylus) that do have enough interaction for me (although it is context specific; with a more casual group I would rather play something more social, such as Settlers).

Maybe the key word here is "social", not "interactive".
Elendil wrote:
It may be that I have a lower threshold for interaction than you do, or a different type. I don't need active communication, I just want to be able to affect my opponent's position, and actually feel like I am playing against the other people, not just sitting around a table with them playing against the game.

I can tolerate a non talkative game if it's with people I meet often, like my girlfriend or a good friend who games a lot with us (it's only with them that I play RFTG). But mostly I play with nongamers and gaming is thus part of a social evening, so there must be some talking. I think ones preference in interaction level mostly come from - who do you game with and in what circumstances.

Elendil wrote:
As a question: do you consider 2-player abstracts (e.g. Chess) to be interactive? I do, but not everyone does.

Hm, good one. My instinct would be to say: no. Then again I see Carcassonne as a good game for precisely the kind of interaction Chess has. And of course I'm not sure there is a 2 player game where you must talk a lot. So yes, in the absence of even more interaction this is better than indirect interaction.
(Though I would pick Carcassonne over abstracts because I'm not in favour of open information games. Even those that I own (Chicago Express), I play with closed information).

-------------------------------------------------------

@Philip Thomas & alex352 & cosine

Maybe my acceptance to "let's discuss specific games" was a mistake.
I'd rather just ignore it from now on. It' completly pointless and everybody will just nitpick that this or that game is much more profound, deeply interactive and everything that sets it apart from euro design paradigm it's firmly attached to.

I think this debate has more focus if we go back to original question of "where is the fun in euros" as in - what do you find in euros which is not in other games, who you game with and why do you game with.

I do enjoy the qualities of euros, like simplicity and clarity of intent. I am just confused by games which avoid being a interface of player to player communication and focus on players trying to outsmart the game instead of other players. I mean if I compare for instance Le Havre and Bohnanza, the latter is clearly the one I enjoy better. But I also see Bohnanza as the better design as it creates more with less.

 
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