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Subject: Is cube pushing or cube-heavy games outdated? rss

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Chris Wood
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I have a economic/stock game I'm designing where you move cubes (goods) around the board in a simulation of the transport of commodities in 1890's Chicago. The goods move in a circular and reciprical fashion and players work together to make it run effectively.
Most of the actions you take are processing goods (moving cubes around a rondel), transporting goods (moving cubes around the board), and producing goods (exchanging cubes with others or putting more on the board.)
Some of these actions are called "key actions" (like transporting meat to the eastern states) in which, once completed, allow you to:
1. Increase the profit of the industry (giving you higher dividend)
2. Take a share card

There are a couple other minor mechanics that involve game and round timing, price manipulation, dividend activation, etc.

There is a lot of subtely in trying to maximize your returns and trying to perform certain actions that will help the industry that you hold the most stock in. But since the board is a quasi-engine, you must do other actions to make the actions you want possible. There is also a timing element to cause payouts on shares at the right time with the right industry.

SO WHAT I'M TRYING TO FINALLY GET AT IS: considering the nature of the game above, is this an outdated game compared to what is coming out now? A couple of years ago it would have stood fine next to the likes of Chicago Express (stock trading), Colonia, and Hansa Teutonica (cube pushers). But you look at Tzoklin and crazy Feld stuff, then I'm not sure. What is your opinion?
 
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Eric Knauer
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“Cube pushing” is usually used in a pejorative way by someone who doesn’t like a dry, Euro style game (often involving resource conversion) and doesn’t have anything to do with the components per se. If it's fun and has some original elements, I wouldn't worry about it being dated or not.
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J C Lawrence
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Sure, it seems a fine thing.
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Jonathan Challis
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Cubes are good for the right games. Ameritrashers don't like them much, but eurogamers tend to look for games with them...
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Would you consider the following to be cube pushing games?

Puerto Rico

Homesteaders

Pandemic
 
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I love me some wooden cubes.
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Steve Earl
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The game sounds great to me and you've obviously invested a lot of time into it and are getting a lot of satisfaction from it.

I don't think the term 'cube pusher' can ever mean a 'dated' or 'bad' game- it is purely descriptive. After all, if you're not pushing cubes then you're most likely to be 'pushing cards' or 'pushing chits', I don't see the difference.

I heard Zee Garcia use this expression, yet it seems Pandemic is one of his favourite games.

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Phil Hendrickson
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I know it's more expensive, but if you could replace cubes with mini resource meeples (carrots, cows, stacks of lumber), a game plays with much more theme. It's okay to use cubes to represent something like shipping containers (which are rectangular anyway), but why not represent resources with something that looks like the resources? It's a small thing, but meaningful. When we upgraded our Agricola set with a deluxe wood token set instead of various colored discs, the feel of the game improved 100%!

Cheers for shaped wooden tokens instead of cubes. Huzzah!
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Chris Wood
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DrumPhil wrote:
I know it's more expensive, but if you could replace cubes with mini resource meeples (carrots, cows, stacks of lumber), a game plays with much more theme. It's okay to use cubes to represent something like shipping containers (which are rectangular anyway), but why not represent resources with something that looks like the resources? It's a small thing, but meaningful. When we upgraded our Agricola set with a deluxe wood token set instead of various colored discs, the feel of the game improved 100%!

Cheers for shaped wooden tokens instead of cubes. Huzzah!


I think that is a great idea; case in point: DnDeeples had a dramatic effect in Lords of Waterdeep.

Right now the goods are as follows:
Livestock (brown cube)
Meat (processed livestock; same brown cube)
Grain (yellow cube)
Steel (silver cube)
Rail (processed steel; same silver cube)
Coal (black cube)
Brick (red cube)
Limestone (white cube)

I think that a brown cattle-shaped animeeple would be great, especially if you have a bunch in the stockyard area, and then they can be processed in meat-packing plants into brown cubes as meat!!!
I think grain is a cinch since that is found in Agricola and some websites that sell resource meeples. Anyone have any pics of wooden things that can be used as the other goods?





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