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Subject: What is a euro game? rss

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Caysi McQuillan
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I've been seriously playing games for about a year now, and i have never been expained what this is. What classifies a game as a euro game? Also, I'm curious if i even own any of these (all my games are listed on this site)? Can someone educate me on these games? I would like to learn all i can about this hobby. Thank you!!
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http://boardgamegeek.com/strategygames/browse/boardgame
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It's a fuzzy definition. The rough dichotomy is between Eurogame vs Ameritrash.

At one point, that actually referred to where such games were designed, but there has been and continues to be so much cross-pollination that geography is meaningless.

In general, Euro-style games:
* are more abstract in their play
* have a theme which exerts only a weak influence on the actual game mechanics.
* are less confrontational about player interaction

Or for a slightly more formal definition and some examples:

http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Eurogame
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Board gamers are a funny bunch. According to them:

Representing the growth harvesting and transport of corn as moving a cube from the supply to your board to a piece of cardboard is abstract and dry.

But representing combat between an alien and a humanoid with the roll of a die is almost exactly like the real thing!
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partangel wrote:
What classifies a game as a euro game?

The term was formerly "German game", so called because it followed a design paradigm originating from Germany.

The characteristics of this family include a fixed and/or short playing time, fairly abstract rules and high quality components. Early designs were geared towards family play, and were encouraged by awards such as the Spiel des Jahres (or German Game of the Year awards). There were quite a number of non-German designers, too; it is interesting to note that the first winner of the Spiel des Jahres was Hare & Tortoise, a game originally published in Britain in 1973 for Intellect Games.

A small number of these games gained a foothold with audiences outside of Germany; the rising popularity resulted in deeper designs, geared more towards the hobbyist community, and more designers surfacing. Many of these designers were based outside of Germany, so the original moniker of "German games" no longer seemed appropriate. I am not certain when the transition occurred exactly, but this then resulted in these games being described as "Euros", or "Eurogames".

Of course, the lines are even more blurred than that; many recent Euros have been designed outside of Europe, with a number of really good designs coming from Japan, Australia and (of course) North America. As long as you remember it is the design paradigm which garners the Euro classification, the origin of the game does not matter.

I hope this helps; not very succinct I know, but then I never was one for brevity.
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partangel wrote:
I've been seriously playing games for about a year now, and i have never been expained what this is. What classifies a game as a euro game? Also, I'm curious if i even own any of these (all my games are listed on this site)? Can someone educate me on these games? I would like to learn all i can about this hobby. Thank you!!


From your collection, 7 Wonders, Dominion and Lost Cities are all eurogames- on the lighter end of the spectrum, but still eurogames.

Eurogames are also called "german games" or "designer games". It used to be the case that you could tell a eurogame because the name of the designer was written on the box. However, this practice has now become very widespread.
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frumpish wrote:
Board gamers are a funny bunch. According to them:

Representing the growth harvesting and transport of corn as moving a cube from the supply to your board to a piece of cardboard is abstract and dry.

But representing combat between an alien and a humanoid with the roll of a die is almost exactly like the real thing!


If the alien and humanoid were wood cubes then it would be dry. Anyway, harvesting and transporting corn isn't an interesting story. Not enough explosions.
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rabid_schnauzer wrote:
In general, Euro-style games:
* are more abstract in their play and
* have a theme which exerts only a weak influence on the actual game mechanics.
* are less confrontational about player interaction

Not entirely correct; but I suppose one out of three isn't bad.
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Eurogames tend not to have player elimination, have less direct competition/interaction, are less focused on high quality art and miniatures, tend to have less random luck elements, and are more focused on game mechanics and difficult choices.
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http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/09/18/cardboard-childre...

Quote:
TELL ME ABOUT THE SCENE

It’s easy to get yourself across the whole board game thing. There are two board games in board gaming. One of them is called Monopoly and the other one is called Cluedo. Oh, and there’s that other one, Risk. No, actually, that one’s too hard. Too long. Forget that one. There’s Monopoly and Cluedo. Stick them in the cupboard and lose all the bits and forget about them.

You would think so, wouldn’t you? The reason why most people hate the thought of playing a board game is because they’ve had some terrible experiences with them. They’ve played Monopoly using the wrong rules, probably. They’ve distractedly watched the telly while taking a couldn’t-give-a-fuck guess at which bit of plastic committed a murder in Cluedo. And, God help them, they’ve spent five hours lost in that nightmarish world of boredom and Lovecraftian, maddening frustration I like to call “Fucking Risk”. I should tell you right up front how I feel about that Holy Trinity Of The Thoughtless Christmas Gift. I love Monopoly. I dislike Cluedo. And I detest Fucking Risk. We’ll talk about Fucking Risk again further down the line, because it’s a fascinating tale of a million attempts at fixing a terrible game. And of how some of the attempts worked.

Let’s talk about what’s actually out there, by using some of the stupid generalisations that exist. Let’s talk Eurogames, Ameritrash and Wargames.

The games we call Eurogames usually have very little luck, and very little direct player interaction. Eurogamers react to dice like Damien reacts to that chapel visit in The Omen. These are games that will have you setting up efficient little economic or military engines on your table, like a right little Nazi. These are games that usually won’t allow any players to be eliminated, because BOO-HOO THAT’S NOT FAIR. These games will be gentle with you. Reiner Knizia is one of the best-known designers of this type of game. His games are often maths-based, and often shite. The Eurogame style is often pushed as the be-all and end-all of quality gaming. Ticket to Ride is a game that is known as a “gateway game” to other games. Yes. Other Eurogames, maybe. But building a fucking train track hardly prepares you for spewing bullets at an Ork. Eurogames are also commonly about farmers, camels, bits of fruit, planks of wood, koala bears and slaves. None of which are very easy to get passionate about. It often doesn’t matter what a Eurogame is about, though, because very rarely does a Eurogame’s mechanic express a game’s theme well. (Dr Knizia, please stand up.) Eurogames are the board games you can play in polite company, over a bowl of wine and cheese flavour Monster Munch. There are, however, some spectacularly brilliant games in the Eurogame style. And the definition itself is ridiculous anyway, so ignore everything I said.

Then we have Ameritrash. In typical American fashion, many of the greatest Ameritrash games are British in origin, but they call them “Ameritrash” anyway. Ameritrash games are all about theme, and player interaction, and lashings of delicious luck. Almost all of the great games you played as a young boy or girl will have been Ameritrash. Heroquest? Yes. Space Hulk? Yes. Thunder Road? Yes. If you’ve ever rolled a dice to hit the guy sitting to your left with a poisoned lance, causing him to storm out of the door and march back to his mum’s house with tears in his eyes, you’ve played some prime Ameritrash. Ameritrash games are looked down on by many Eurogamers, because it’s all just luck and stupid goblins and chain guns and toys and for God’s sake grow up and help me increase the workrate of these slaves in my plum orchard. Just so you know where I stand, I’m an Ameritrash man at heart. And I actually like the word “Ameritrash”. It’s full of tackiness and self-deprecation and humour, and it fits just fine. But it’s a ridiculous definition, so ignore everything I said.

Then we have Wargames. Played by grim-faced men in darkened basements. Millions of poorly illustrated counters laid across boards the size of a squash court. Games that take three months to play to completion. Games steeped in accurate historical representations of some of the most horrible times in mankind’s existence. Wargamers look on as Eurogamers and Ameritrashers squabble about “games”, and smirk at the folly of it all. Then, they turn up the collars of their coats, and walk into the wind, head bowed, fists clenched. The weight of the world on their shoulders. Fading into the distance. One look back. A smile at us. A nod. “Leave this to me.” A tear? Maybe just a trick of the light. And then gone, never to be seen again.

This is all rubbish, of course. But it’s kinda sorta the scene. You need to know the scene, the battle lines, if you want to be part of this whole mess. This whole expensive mess. And where we are right now is that Eurogames were running the show for a while there, but Ameritrash games are having a bit of a resurgence. And Wargames are still in the basement.
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Moe45673 wrote:
These games will be gentle with you.


If you mean you play poorly all game and but can still win at the end because you draw the right card, then yes strategy games are gentle.

Oh wait, that is thematic games.
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frumpish wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
These games will be gentle with you.


If you mean you play poorly all game and but can still win at the end because you draw the right card, then yes strategy games are gentle.

Oh wait, that is thematic games.


I definitely prefer eurogames to AT, although I do find myself becoming more and more interested in wargames (mainly due to their superior solitaire selection). I still find that article hilarious.
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Moe45673 wrote:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/09/18/cardboard-childre...

Quote:
TELL ME ABOUT THE SCENE

It’s easy to get yourself across the whole board game thing. There are two board games in board gaming. One of them is called Monopoly and the other one is called Cluedo. Oh, and there’s that other one, Risk. No, actually, that one’s too hard. Too long. Forget that one. There’s Monopoly and Cluedo. Stick them in the cupboard and lose all the bits and forget about them.

You would think so, wouldn’t you? The reason why most people hate the thought of playing a board game is because they’ve had some terrible experiences with them. They’ve played Monopoly using the wrong rules, probably. They’ve distractedly watched the telly while taking a couldn’t-give-a-fuck guess at which bit of plastic committed a murder in Cluedo. And, God help them, they’ve spent five hours lost in that nightmarish world of boredom and Lovecraftian, maddening frustration I like to call “Fucking Risk”. I should tell you right up front how I feel about that Holy Trinity Of The Thoughtless Christmas Gift. I love Monopoly. I dislike Cluedo. And I detest Fucking Risk. We’ll talk about Fucking Risk again further down the line, because it’s a fascinating tale of a million attempts at fixing a terrible game. And of how some of the attempts worked.

Let’s talk about what’s actually out there, by using some of the stupid generalisations that exist. Let’s talk Eurogames, Ameritrash and Wargames.

The games we call Eurogames usually have very little luck, and very little direct player interaction. Eurogamers react to dice like Damien reacts to that chapel visit in The Omen. These are games that will have you setting up efficient little economic or military engines on your table, like a right little Nazi. These are games that usually won’t allow any players to be eliminated, because BOO-HOO THAT’S NOT FAIR. These games will be gentle with you. Reiner Knizia is one of the best-known designers of this type of game. His games are often maths-based, and often shite. The Eurogame style is often pushed as the be-all and end-all of quality gaming. Ticket to Ride is a game that is known as a “gateway game” to other games. Yes. Other Eurogames, maybe. But building a fucking train track hardly prepares you for spewing bullets at an Ork. Eurogames are also commonly about farmers, camels, bits of fruit, planks of wood, koala bears and slaves. None of which are very easy to get passionate about. It often doesn’t matter what a Eurogame is about, though, because very rarely does a Eurogame’s mechanic express a game’s theme well. (Dr Knizia, please stand up.) Eurogames are the board games you can play in polite company, over a bowl of wine and cheese flavour Monster Munch. There are, however, some spectacularly brilliant games in the Eurogame style. And the definition itself is ridiculous anyway, so ignore everything I said.

Then we have Ameritrash. In typical American fashion, many of the greatest Ameritrash games are British in origin, but they call them “Ameritrash” anyway. Ameritrash games are all about theme, and player interaction, and lashings of delicious luck. Almost all of the great games you played as a young boy or girl will have been Ameritrash. Heroquest? Yes. Space Hulk? Yes. Thunder Road? Yes. If you’ve ever rolled a dice to hit the guy sitting to your left with a poisoned lance, causing him to storm out of the door and march back to his mum’s house with tears in his eyes, you’ve played some prime Ameritrash. Ameritrash games are looked down on by many Eurogamers, because it’s all just luck and stupid goblins and chain guns and toys and for God’s sake grow up and help me increase the workrate of these slaves in my plum orchard. Just so you know where I stand, I’m an Ameritrash man at heart. And I actually like the word “Ameritrash”. It’s full of tackiness and self-deprecation and humour, and it fits just fine. But it’s a ridiculous definition, so ignore everything I said.

Then we have Wargames. Played by grim-faced men in darkened basements. Millions of poorly illustrated counters laid across boards the size of a squash court. Games that take three months to play to completion. Games steeped in accurate historical representations of some of the most horrible times in mankind’s existence. Wargamers look on as Eurogamers and Ameritrashers squabble about “games”, and smirk at the folly of it all. Then, they turn up the collars of their coats, and walk into the wind, head bowed, fists clenched. The weight of the world on their shoulders. Fading into the distance. One look back. A smile at us. A nod. “Leave this to me.” A tear? Maybe just a trick of the light. And then gone, never to be seen again.

This is all rubbish, of course. But it’s kinda sorta the scene. You need to know the scene, the battle lines, if you want to be part of this whole mess. This whole expensive mess. And where we are right now is that Eurogames were running the show for a while there, but Ameritrash games are having a bit of a resurgence. And Wargames are still in the basement.


laugh That is still as enjoyable to read now as it was the first time I ever saw it. thumbsup
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frumpish wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
These games will be gentle with you.


If you mean you play poorly all game and but can still win at the end because you draw the right card, then yes strategy games are gentle.

Oh wait, that is thematic games.


Except for that whole nasty player elimination thing - makes coming back to win at the end more difficult.
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Huh... I always thought "ameritrash" referred to those gimmick games like Mousetrap.
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StarkeRealm wrote:
Huh... I always thought "ameritrash" referred to those gimmick games like Mousetrap.


The term originally referred to the mainstream games typically found on toy store shelves. Later, people who liked games with lots of theme, conflict, and toys adopted the term as their own.
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What I said somewhere else (and is really clever, I think it is. It's a bit specific though as we were talking about a difference between old and new euros or German Games VS Euros).

sgosaric wrote:
Saying it most bluntly an euro is a game which originated from German school of game design crossed with an (US?) idea of board gaming as a hobby. In this process some original qualities of German games changed or were turned into something else, other stayed the same. So sometimes it's hard to cover all euro games as the idea of what an euro is changed (1990s german games are different to euros of 2000-05, which in turn are different to modern worker placements or deck builders).

I don't think anything makes an euro an euro. Euro is a state of mind, not a quality of a product - it's a certain philosophy towards game design.

german design ideas and goals:

theme as user interface
For me certainly something that didn't originate somewhere else (even if it's not a feature of all these games). Theme is not used as a goal (immersion, simulation) but as something to help people playing the game, either by creating a proper atmosphere and making the game inviting to new players (these were nongamer friendly games) or by making the connection between theme and mechanics intuitive, thus easing learning and playing the game.

A part of this is also use of theme to create a welcoming atmosphere (but not immersive atmosphere).

simplification
Probably the other side of previous issue. It's reducing everything to its essentials - which depends on your goals. The reason for it is probably the family market (simple to learn, plays in a short time). The consequence of it is why the theme is never more thoroughly developed.

keep them in the game
Something to do with the family market and shorter playing times. As was mentioned there's no player elimination, but mostly it's about keeping players constantly in the running (usually by a fair amount of luck). VP are also common precisely they run against the idea of zero-sum games which are much more definite and competitive.

Non-conflict competition
This has something to do with post ww2 Germany, but also with family market. There has been many strategies around this problem, one is trading (win-win negotiations), then auctions and then we're probably moving to the euro teritory.

euro design ideas and goals:

mechanicism
The idea that theme doesn't have to be immersive was interpreted as something else - that theme is not necessary at all. But what does then hold the game together? And so focus became on mechanics and some were fetishized simply for being novel.
This trend with time became the opposite to simplification. Recently it seems to be about many interconnected mechanics (clockwork design).

low luck
Probably born from the clash of american gaming culture (heavy with dice and other luck factors) with different german game designs. What changed is that competition factor became seriously pronounced and that hobby gamers wanted serious competition, but still without "hurt feelings" vibe of german american games. First champions of this were auction games, but they have then via worker placement turned into indirect competition games.

designer control
(My completely subjective take on the matter). With lower luck, there seem to be one unpredictable part of gaming left, which were players. In parallel with designer cult games of designer control were born - their bonus side is that they are not so group dependant as heavier interaction games (even auction games). As you're competing against the design and not each other, it also lowers the possible anxiety arising from the conflict.

balance
This one comes from both designer control (as in - it's the designers, not the players that must make the game "fair") and the idea of serious competing.

comparisson
It's of course more of a speculation trying to organize some thoughts in my mind. One idea I wanted to show is that certain qualities seen as euro are not really that common in euros, but originate in German school of game design. Other traits developed and changed into something similar yet different.

German games: friendly interaction
Euro games: low interaction

German games: accessibility and elegance in simplification
Euro games: intricate balanced mechanisms

German games: gamers are left in the running by adding luck or risk taking
Euro games: gamers are left in the running by fine tuning and balancing

some quick notes on ameritrash
American school of design has borrowed many ideas from german and euro games, while trying to retain the focus on detailed themes and dramatic situations (conflict).
- Cooperative games are an interesting case - arising from american school of design (RPGs) they transformed into something quicker and more puzzle like at the expense of a strong narrative. What euros kept was the idea of friendly interaction and low conflict, but simplified the rest.
- Interaction is another not so clearly cut case - AT has a genre (in)famous for low interaction, which is the dungeoncrawl. And it's no surpirise so with simplification and reduction of luck, we also got an euro dungeoncrawl (K2).
- And then there is a fine line between american everything but the kitchensink approach and euro intricate mechanisms all blended into one (it may also be that the latter was born from former). Difference tends to be what's the focus of the game - theme and drama or balanced competition.


And the very interesting discussion from where this originates: What makes a Euro a Euro?

For more basic level of understanding of ameritrash and ameritrash/wargame/euro divide this is obligatory reading:


Jezztek wrote:
Hello hello,

I think it's about time I threw in my hat on the subject of defining 'Ameritrash'.

I come from an art background, and we see a lot of similar confusion when it comes to defining art movements. A lot of times people want to break an art movement down into 4-5 exact unbreakable hard and fast rules. But in reality every rule has it's exceptions and every rule is bled in another genre here and there, so a lot of newcomers to art history tend to become frustrated and assume it's all just made up gobbletygook.

The problem is that when people try to define 'Ameritrash' they tend to use expressions of the quality 'Ameritrash' instead of trying to define the core of 'Ameritrash'. It's like if I were to ask 10 people to define 'dog' using one quality. I might get responses like: 4 legs, fur, floppy ears, wagging tail and so forth. Then the contrarians would go through each quality one at a time and find counterexamples or bleed examples: I knew a three legged dog once, so that means he stopped being a dog? Cats have four legs too, so do they qualify as dog? What about hairless breeds, are they not dogs? And thus the contrarians would assume the label of "dog" must be meaningless.

So to solve this dilemma we need to pan out a bit and attack the problem one level up.

Let me start at the very beginning. When we talk about Ameritrash vs Euros first of all we are not talking about the geographic location of the game's design or production. Ameritrash games can come from anywhere, Euros likewise. So why do the names have a geographic component? Because these labels are about one thing, Design Philosophy, and these design philosophies are movements. While these movements have their roots geographically, they have both spread well around the globe, but the names remain fixed on the geographic heart of movements they represent.

Ok, so what exactly is the design philosophy that drives Ameritrash vs. Euro games? When a designer is making a game he or she has a series of choices to make, and often these choices are something of a zero sum game. You can't have it all, so to speak. And as a designer you need to have priorities as to what you feel is most important, and are willing to build your choices around. Each side has it's "Core Priority" that really defines it's design philosophy.

The Ameritrash 'Core Priority' is Drama.
The Eurogame 'Core Priority' is Elegance.
The Wargame 'Core Priority' is Realism.

When a designer is working on a game it's is largely a balancing act between these three qualities (among others of course). And while all can coexist to some extent, as design for a game fleshes out eventually these qualities will begin butting heads.

All three genres have games about war, but each of them realizes these scenarios through the lens of their core priority. Let's say you are designing a game about war, you have most of the mechanics fleshed out but are trying to decide about whether to include any mechanics related to supply lines.

As an Ameritrasher you would be asking yourself whether by adding Supply Lines to your existing mechanics you would be bogging the game down making it less emotional and dramatic, which would not be a sacrifice you are willing to make, but if they could include it in a simplified stylized manner that would heighten drama (i.e. Fortress America) they would be happy to do so.

A euro designer would be asking themselves if there is way any way to include the mechanic seamlessly and elegantly into the core game, or would feel tacked on and add needless complexity.

A wargame designer, on the other hand, would be willing to sacrifice both a certain amount of elegance and a certain amount of "edge of your seat" drama if it meant fulfilling their core priority of realism.

So how does this all relate to the traditional definitions of Ameritrash? Well the conventional definitions try to list off expressions of this design philosophy, but since every game is different, every game expresses this core priority differently. Certain mechanics and qualities tend to gravitate to certain design philosophies, but there exists no mechanic or quality that exists solely within one genre and not another, there is always some bleed. Likewise there is no single quality or mechanic that is present in 100% of the games from a single genre.

But there are trends, and these trends will provide you your best clues as to what genre the game resides in. But keep in mind they are just that: clues. The clues to what genre a game is isn't the same thing as a definition of the genre. So let me take a moment to examine some of the qualities or 'clues' traditionally applied to Ameritrash:

How does Conflict relate to the core priority of Drama?

This one is any easy one, there are few things in life more dramatic then conflict. Love perhaps, but good luck create a board game that evokes that particular emotion. When you have your back to the wall, battling tooth and nail outnumbered by your enemies and still crushing them under your boot heel, that's dramatic. As such, to any designer trying emphasize the core priority of drama conflict is about as common as a quality can get.

How do Dice relate to the core priority of Drama?

Dice adds uncertainty, uncertainly is a fantastic tool for heightening drama. When I see a table full of players jumping to their feet in anticipation, or bursting out in cries of joy (or into yelps of obscenities) 9 times out of 10 dice are somehow involved.

How does Theme relate to the core priority of Drama?

These helps draw people emotionally into a game. The game ceases to be a simple multiplayer puzzle and instead becomes a world, and a world you are directly invested in. It's about feeling like you are commanding a legion and not pushing around cubes, manning a post apocalyptic battle car and not just moving a tile around a tabletop, it's pretty much inseparable to drama.

Those were your three examples, but I'll look to some other threads for the more common examples.

How do Nukes relate to the core priority of Drama?

Is there anything more dramatic in this day and age then potential for nuclear hellfire? It would be a earth shattering civilization changing event. Even if a single small nuke went off tomorrow and it was lobbed at Luxembourg or the like, it would be a major historical turning point. Now tat is dramatic.

How do Excellent Titles relate to the core priority of Drama?

Ameritrash titles tend to be dramatic titles, it's the first and most evocative step in establishing a theme. From the moment you hear titles like Chainsaw Warrior, or Fortress America your imagination is gearing up in way manner that "Hey, that's my cube!" just doesnt match.


How does Chrome relate to the core priority of Drama?

Chrome is all about being evocative of the theme, and heightening the sense of immersion in the game. It also subtly plants the idea that there are a wealth of possibilities and anything could happen during the game. Robartin put it best:

"Rules that might occur in 2 out of every 400 games. Still, when they happen they are damn cool because they're straight out of the freakin book! Who doesn't remember the game where Jonathan Harker actually killed the Count?"

That's Drama!

How do Plastic Minis relate to the core priority of Drama?

The toy factor! Again, a fantastic way to maximize the sense of immersion in a game's theme. If I'm pushing a cube, I'm pushing a cube. But when I've scooting a fully armed and operational War Sun across the table I can practically taste the power at my fingertips. The more you can get your players emotionally invested in the game, the more dramatic the experience will be for them. Plastic minis are fantastic in this regard.

How does Player Elimination relate to the core priority of Drama?

This is a fantastic dividing line between what kind of game player you are. The sense of having it all on the line, and fighting for your life is far more dramatic then everyone staying in till the end and we count up points. And the sheer joy of matching wits and strategies against your most challenging opponent, then in one deft move finally crushing them and wiping them off the board is the kind of drama that just can't be understated.

How does a Long Playing Time relate to the core priority of Drama?

Again this is about emotional investment. When playing a disposable 45 minute mini-game you just haven't invested yourself in the same manner as someone heading into the 4th hour of their drawn out head to head conflict, it's just basic human psychology. If I've poured 3 hours of brain crunching into my plans and strategies I'm just far more invested in the outcome then if I was just dropping in for a quick filler. The more invested I am in the outcome, the more dramatic the game becomes.

How does Imbalance, Kingmaking, Ganging up, and the like relate to the core priority of Drama?

In the end Ameritrash games are about the people playing the game, and most importantly playing the game against each other. An Ameritrash should never feel like a thinly veiled puzzle masquerading as a game, or multi-player solitaire. With a multi player puzzle, where each player is basically try to solve the game, not beat the other players, balance is very important since the other players have comparatively little they can do beat down someone if things are unbalanced in that player's favor.

With head to head open ended conflict based games this is much less of an issue. In reality it's often times less about playing the rules of the game, but instead playing the minds of the other players. Trying to avoid drawing their ire, trying to look as weak as possible while making your position as strong as possible, often times the meta-game is the game, and that is inherently more dramatic then playing against the board. Ganging up, Kingmaking and Imbalance all just tend to come part and parcel in these type of games, and thank god for that.

Welp, I think those are most of the common qualities I see used to define 'Ameritrash', hope that helps answer your question. And I just have to say that I've only been here a few months myself, but without members like Robartin and Barnes I'd probably never have stuck around. Thanks much for making BGG a better place guys!


Basically ameritrash, wargames and euros are different design schools (I also add German games as distinct from euros). It's about what the game aims to do and what kind of solutions does it use.
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StarkeRealm wrote:
Huh... I always thought "ameritrash" referred to those gimmick games like Mousetrap.

There was the big ameritrash rebellion on BGG some years ago where "ameritrash" became a banner and a rallying cry for american style games (which can be also made in britain).

To see how this looked like, check this geeklist: A Tribute to Ameritrash
It's also very fun to read, make yourself some popcorn before you check it out.
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Actually you don't even need to leave BGG to know since there is pretty good wiki: http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Eurogame
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fellonmyhead wrote:
In general, Euro-style games:
* are more abstract in their play and
* have a theme which exerts only a weak influence on the actual game mechanics.
* are less confrontational about player interaction

Quote:
Not entirely correct; but I suppose one out of three isn't bad.


"In general", so it describes a trend as opposed to necessarily being the case for every single eurogame.

I'd also add that, in general, eurogames:

* Have a shorter playing time
* Have shorter rulebooks. (Partly because eurogames tend to concentrate on doing the basics as well as they can, whereas ameritrash goes for a more scattergun "chrome" approach).
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out of your collection, I'd say: 7wonders, dominion, carcasonne are the most common euro games.
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sgosaric wrote:


Basically ameritrash, wargames and euros are different design schools (I also add German games as distinct from euros). It's about what the game aims to do and what kind of solutions does it use.


I'd not thought about "German" games as distinct from "Euros" before, but I think you're tight: sometime in the 2000s the design goals changed (games got longer, more complex (note: this does not usually equate to "deeper"), more thematic, etc.). Overall, I think I preferred what you categorise as "German" games!
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:
rabid_schnauzer wrote:
In general, Euro-style games:
* are more abstract in their play and
* have a theme which exerts only a weak influence on the actual game mechanics.
* are less confrontational about player interaction

Not entirely correct; but I suppose one out of three isn't bad.


"In general", so it describes a trend as opposed to necessarily being the case for every single eurogame.

So? Still only one out of three...

I fixed those stray quotes for you, too.
 
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fellonmyhead wrote:

So? Still only one out of three...


So which do you think is correct? Then we can move onto specific examples.

Quote:
I fixed those stray quotes for you, too.


Cheers.
 
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
fellonmyhead wrote:

So? Still only one out of three...


So which do you think is correct? Then we can move onto specific examples.

Let's not.
 
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