Let's switch the roles: English games that have not been translated into other languages
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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I've seen a number of threads and geeklists in which people asked for the English edition of European games. Well, I never quite understood what you guys on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean find so cool about all that dull stuff that has been produced here during the last 10 years or so. Neither do I understand what people on my side of the sea find so facinating about super dry games with wooden cubes, by the way - but there you go. On the other hand - don't we always ask for the things we don't have, while not appreciating what we already have around us?

Well, back to the topic: After having read a couple of those "pick this up and make it available to American customers" threads, I thought it might be interesting for you to see what awsome games from the US (or in some cases maybe the UK or whatever...) don't find European publishers.

Well, scretch that.

Of course, I can't speak for the whole continent, but at least, I can tell you which (mainly thematic) games sadly have never been published as a German edition. Curious? Then read on.

As a side note: In general, I'm personally not really bothered much by playing English editions, but I'm almost sure I would have already played a game like Android if it had been translated. It's sometimes really hard to bring English editions on the table (depending on the group), but I also experienced that thematic games lose their strengths when played in a foreign language that sometimes not all players have sufficient knowledge of. I also understand that
a) there must be 10 times as many English native speakers, so from a marketing perspective, it's basically quite understandable, and
b) that smaller languages like Danish or Slovakian or Lithuanian... even less likely see their own version of a thematic game.

What I want to say is: I don't seriously complain.

(Of course, if you can think of an English game that you would like to see published in your language, and if you feel the need to express that, just do it and add yours. The language doesn't necessarily have to be German.)
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1. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1031]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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I read a lot of bad comments on this game, so I sceptical. On the other hand, I'm very curious on Android.

I speculate: If that game had been translated, I would have already played it in the framework of one of the open gaming clubs that we currently have 4 different of in my current place of residence. And I believe I probably would have even liked it!

I mean, some of the hardest hard core players who play at least 4 days of the weak keep their hands off English editions, so what can you do when the local game collectors don't buy the games you want to play?! Heck, even the owner of the only FLGS doesn't play English editions!
 
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2. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1195]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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You know, when I got intersted in that particular game around 1998, it was pretty hard to find. In my (really totally rough) estimation, there may have been 30-40 nerd stores in the whole country where one could have purchased a copy of this classic that has never found a German publisher either. Neither did any of the spin offs. Also, you first had to find such a store, or be around "in the scene" to know where to get anything off the main stream. That was before the internet became a mass medium, mind you.

The theme is what probably would make this game a bad seller here - though that would have to be proven first. I personally knew quite a lot of people who were eager to take the next step after Risk already around 1995 when we were still in school, and none of us would have minded the theme. It was just that we didn't even know that more complex fighting games other than Risk already long existed.

As a side note: In fact, I invested some time and energy to inform myself about a follow up for Risk in 1998 - and was terribly misconsulted by a wargamer who I knew as a co-worker during Civilian Service (who, I guess, didn't tell about this particular hobby of his when handing in his refusal of military service). Well, that wargamer DID tell me about Axis & Allies, but also told me that it sucked ("Childish game with plastic toys..."). He'd rather suggest World in Flames. So, I got World in Flames as the next step after Risk - which I never got played with my friends, of course, although I had already been studying the rules for days as a preparation. But what can you do when you can't even afford enough table space. World in Flames, by the way, has never found a German edition either.
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3. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:425]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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I really like this game a lot! Unfortunately, as being a thematic game, a lot of the flair and charm gets lost in translation. Mispronounciations of flavour texts read aloud disrupt the atmosphere.

Also, there's still the rules. I guess BaHotH may count as a light thematic game in English speaking countries; however, imagine playing the game with a traitor who suddenly discovers a lack of vocabulary while trying to read through the traitor's tome...

The 1st edition didn't find a German publisher either.
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4. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:549] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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Last Night on Earth is showcase for all Flying Frogs. Years ago, a German editon was announced at HDS, but it was never released. Rumours say it's due to a lack of committment from the Frogs.

And of course, the list goes on:
- Fortune and Glory? Nope. This is really such a pity. The game is sooo fun, and would be even a lot better in my native language!
- Martians Game? Nope.
- A Touch of Evil? Nope.
- Conquest of the Planet Earth? Nope.
 
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5. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:50]
 
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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The embodiment of the epic game of stellar conquest. No German edition, and none on the horizon. Same goes for 2nd and 1st edition.

(Well, I'm not sure I'd really love the game, though I should be the core customer for this product.)
 
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Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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Let's make this a more general statement: Space empire builders - one of the coolest themes around! The linked geeklist currently features 21 items. Some titles on the list have not been released yet, or, as being crowdfunded, can't really expect to appear with multi language rule books. Or do they/did they? I wouldn't know since only one single person out of the 20-30 gamers I personally know (with a collection of arund 1000 games) might own some those KS titles.

When I reduce the list to games released prior to 2012 - guess how many of the remaining titles were translated?

- InterSpace
- Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)
- Galactic Destiny
- StarCraft: The Board Game
- Galactic Emperor
- Supernova
- Galaxy's Edge
- Ad Astra
- EVE: Conquests
- Struggle for the Galactic Empire
- Space Empires: 4X
- Ascending Empires
- Eclipse
- Omega Centauri
- Burning Suns
- Cosmic Encounter

Three: Starcraft. Ad Astra. Eclipse.

Well, four, actually. Cosmic Encounter was published in 1985, but never again since.

By the way: I'm sure part of Eclipse's success is that it DOES come with a multi language rule book, while not requiring foreign language skills during the play.
 
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7. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:216]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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Speaking of Cosmic Encounter: Dune. No official German edition, but there are translations of the rule book somewhere (I have only played a French edition, so I have no idea in how far these translations were officially supported). No complaint again, a suitable rule book is quite sufficient for a game like this.
 
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8. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:345]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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Released 2005. Modern classic in its genre, it seems. Despite the recent reprint, our publishers show no interest in that game.

Well, I don't really care in that case. The visual appearance of the reprint is a real turn off.
 
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9. Board Game: Fury of Dracula (second edition) [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:404]
Adrian V.
Germany
Freiburg
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See above. Many FFG titels see a translation, but not this one.

I must admit that this game is anything but an auto-buy for me, no matter in which language it presents itself to me. I actually don't like to have many games and find my current collection of about 80 games a lot too big already. I currently have at least 15-20 games to get rid off. Send me a geekmail with an offer if you're intersted in items on my "for trade" list.
 
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Adrian V.
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Freiburg
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A whole family of games that hasn't seen any German edition for many years: D&D.

No Drizzt. No Ashardalon. No Conquest of Nerath. No Sting of Lolth. Not even the euro-ish Lords of Waterdeep! Poor Europe.

I'm not an expert in the field of game publishing, but there seems to be pattern, namely a problem with all WotC games.
 
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Adrian V.
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I actually mean wargames in general, but "wargames" cannot be selected as a family for a GL item.

It's not that I would be an enthusiast for wargames, and I personally have a suffiecient passive understanding of English to get along with a 50 pages rule book, so I'm not really concerned. This list, however, wouldn't be complete without at least metioning wargames. I'm sure this is a special domain, in which anything but English editions are rare exceptions. Does anybody of you grognards really mind?

The only examples for officially translated version of a 'true' wargame I can think of right now is Twilight Struggle (and it took years and years until it was finally released, btw).

And probably borderline, from a purist's point of view:
- Memoir '44 (a now officially supported fan based project)
- Battlelore
- War of the Ring

Notable: Tide of Iron was published in other languages than English; but not in German. FFG's partner HDS didn't want to make it. Director H. Bilz once explained in the company's forum that the explicit WW2 theme was too close to him personally (paraphrased).

 
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12. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:103]
Sascha Kutzmann
Germany
Krefeld
NRW
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This is the one i always think of when somebody complains about Games that are only in english. I would Kill for a german Version of this game.

EDIT: there are other Languages...but not German......i fail...thumbsdown
 
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