The Taxonomy of Board Games: Table of Contents and Subscription List
David F
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By nature of The Taxonomy of Board Games series, there is a lot of editing and reworking involved in the drafts I submit, based on user feedback. This list is for you to be notified when the list is in a quasi-final form.

I'm using a subscription geeklist instead of a subscription thread so I can guarantee there are no additions except my "Ready" comment (so you won't get spammed by the list itself as I edit, or others comment).

Edit: I'm also doubling this up as a table of contents.
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David F
United States
Emeryville
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
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The raison d'être for this geeklist is to help with recommending games and finding new games to put in your radar. People who seek recommendations for games can't describe their tastes accurately (e.g. they'd say they like "economic" games, but you and I have different definitions of that term), and those who recommend have to think long and hard about what to suggest. This hinders the ability to describe a board game accurately and concisely when asked by the curious. Also, I have to do a ton of research when thinking about a board game to purchase or play, because the "Category" and "Mechanics" tags are inaccurate or incomplete.

A board game taxonomy would help greatly with recommendations and exploring more games, kind of like how I know I like "malty", "wheaty" beers and rock music with Romantic traces (thanks to my local bartender and Pandora respectively), but still can't tell my wine tastes apart because this one tastes like that one, this one smells like apricot/raspberry etc, and they all have labels tied to regions don't mean a thing to me from their name.

I am "putting games into boxes and labeling them" in a manner which I hope is

- accurate,
so you agree these games should be put in this box, that the games in each box are similar.

- intuitive,
so you can tease out the definition without consulting this glossary too much. "Loire", "Napa", "Cabernet" etc are opaque, designed to confuse the beginner and reward only those who are serious about wine. A category called "Dice" does not convey any substantially useful information at all.

- simple,
as few duplicates and repetitions as possible, and as few "hybrid" categories as possible; the current classification system is not simple.

- complete,
enough tags to describe most board games, and most of the traits in each board game.

Board games can be tagged loosely along several dimensions. First, there are the numeric dimensions, where (nearly) objective numbers can be assigned to board games, and the relationship and interval between the numbers are clear.

- Playing Time
- # of Players
- Recommended # of Players

Then there are the ordinal dimensions, where numbers are more subjective. It might be known that a board game contains more of a quality than another board game, but how much is not clear. The BGG rating system is ordinal: the difference between a 3 and a 4 is not the same as between an 8 and a 9. For ordinal data, polls/surveys would do best at summarizing the data.

- Length (the replayability of each modular map/setup)
- Breadth (the complexity from rules)
- Depth (the complexity from decisions)
- Luck (randomness driven by mechanisms)
- Chaos (randomness driven by other players for each # of supported players)
- Degree of perfect information

Then there are the categorical dimensions. Here, poll/survey vs. personal opinion is a mixed bag. Polls/surveys would encompass a broader variety of games, more than an average person could analyze, and also wash out personal biases. But this has not worked out well on BGG because of the inconsistency with which tags have been applied to games, and so you need a committee of sorts to monitor this data and look out for redundancies and inadequacies. I hope to put forth a perspective between the two extremes. Obvious dimensions like Designer and Theme/Subject work well with the poll/survey methods in BGG, but there is cleanup and unification to be done with the others.

- Theme/Subject
- Designer
- Genre
- Mechanisms
- Inter-Player Relationship
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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
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Part 1: Genres

Alignment
Area Enclosure
Area Influence (Abstract)
Area Influence (War)
Area Majority
Breakout
Capture
Character Development
Collusion
Connection
Contract
Deduction (Elimination)
Deduction (Signaling)
Delivery
Dexterity
Duel
Economic (group)
Efficiency Engine
Induction
Investment
Majority
Melding
Objectives Race
Negotiation (Trading)
Negotiation (Diplomacy)
Network Building
Payment Timing
Psychological
Quiz/Word
Recognition/Speed
Risk Management
Risk Valuation
Shedding
Steering
Tactical War
Tile Laying (Non-Spatial)
Trick Scoring

Bold = New
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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
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Part 2: Mechanisms

Navigator (alphabetical)
Action Choice Cycling
Action Choice Drafting
Action Choice Timing
Action Points
Activation Points
Aging
Allocation
Attribute Matching (Cards)
Attribute Matching (Tiles)
Automatic Hand Refill
Betting (Escalation)
Betting (Prediction)
Binary Choice
Blind Bidding
Card Drafting
Creative
Customizable Deployment
Deal-Making Phase
Deck Stacking
Developmental Action
Demand Track
Guessing
Discard Pool
Encounter
Forced Move
Multi-Choice Cards
Multi-Choice Dice
Once-Around Auction
Open Auction
Pathfinding
Proposal/Judging
Puzzle Mat
Secret Objectives
Simultaneous Orders
Shooting
Simultaneous Action Selection
Spatial Movement
Spatial Placement
Spatial Points
Steady Hands
Supply and Demand
Supply Track
Surplus-Transfer Auction
Take-That!
Tile Drafting
Translation/Interpretation
Trick Taking
Upkeep
Worker Placement
Variable Turn Order
Voting
Other
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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
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Part 3: Inter-Player Relationship

Competitive
Cooperative
Team/Partnership
Semi-Cooperative
2v2
Hidden Loyalties
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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Part 4: Examples and Recommendations

List of how 25 games are classified, and the recommendations made for each game.
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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
selwyth's TBOG Recommendations Tool

The end-product: a game recommendations tool that utilizes the game genomes illustrated previously.
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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
flag msg tools
Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
badge
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The entire series in a flat thread read, so it's clean and all in one page.

This is also the finalized version, and has more up-to-date information than the geeklists.
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