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Subject: Steam or Village? rss

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TJ H
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I am trying to get a ~90min medium weight 4 player game.

I understand that both games are really different so it is hard to compare; however, as I usually purchase a game based on player counts & playing time, I need to choose between these two anyways.

To me, steam seems to add more to my collection because I currently do not own train game (or pick-up & deliver mechanic based game). I own many worker placement games but I feel like village is adding some (death of the worker / time as a resource) to my collection, too.

I was almost trying to get the Steam but soon realized Steam is much less played than Village (2014-01-01 to 2014-05-05). Village was played 1796 times by 1108 people; Steam was played 517 times by 312 people. It's even less than A Few acres of the Snow (although it is a great game, it is broken at this point).

So what makes it harder for people to get Steam on the table than Village?


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rob stencel

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Think train games in general are avoided by large portion of board gamers. They seem to have a stigma of being dry or specialized for specific group of people. I personally love village but never played steam. With group play with even mention of a serious train game gets you shunned from mentioning games for awhile.
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Nathan Clegg
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Steam has to compete with Age of Steam and Railways of the World for numbers as few people will keep more than one of these in their rotation. Not to mention Village is still fairly new and shiny and recently got an expansion. Steam's popularity isn't going anywhere.
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Chef D
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rstencel wrote:
Think train games in general are avoided by large portion of board gamers. They seem to have a stigma of being dry or specialized for specific group of people. I personally love village but never played steam. With group play with even mention of a serious train game gets you shunned from mentioning games for awhile.


Not sure where the statement that "train games are avoided by large portion of board gamers". Pretty broad sweeping statement with little data to prove it. Ticket to Ride (3 versions), Steam, Age of Steam, Brass, Railways of the World, and 1830 are all in the top 100. If you could back that statement up with real evidence then I might listen.

To answer the OP, Steam is a superior game. Village is another limited action worker placement where the only real "interaction" is taking a space from another person. Pretty boring. Agricola is a far superior game if you are looking for this type of mechanism. As for Steam, it is a somewhat more forgiving version of Age of Steam, especially if you play the basic version. The Standard version is close to the tension of Age of Steam while being a bit more forgiving when you can raise capital. Steam is a highly interactive and tense game that will leave you wanting more. Add to that 4 expansion map sets by Mayfair and countless expansions from Bezier games and others. For longevity, Steam is a better bang for your buck. If you want to have a leisurely game of creating the best family in a medieval village and play it a couple of times before getting rid of it, then go for Village.
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Daniel B-G
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If you want something firmly in the middleweight, go for village. Steam is an excellent game but too rich for a lot of gamer's blood. I'd discuss it with your group and see how they respond to the idea of a train game.

The selling points of Steam are...
Excellent balancing act of Long Term Planning vs Short Term Tactical play.
Direct interaction, but without being destructive (i.e. you never take something away from someone unless it is useful to yourself but there is always a risk that someone will take things from you).
Excellent replayability - if your group takes a liking to it, you might never need another game again.

However, some people have a basic dislike of Train games.
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rob stencel

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Get that from fact that people I have seen that play steam, primarily only play different type of train games, and the people I play games with avoid them at all costs. Granted very small sample of world, so take it for what its worth, but as the question was posted was why is it harder to get steam to the table, in my area, it would be because its a serious train game.

I don't put ticket to ride in that category, and am not saying their isn't a huge following for train games, just that they seem to have their own following and people either play them or don't that I know. Personally having witnessed the train game group play one of their more in depth games was all it took for me to swear off train games myself.

Honestly a lot of the games in top 100 are not going to appeal to everyone, and not saying its not a good game. Also will say games that tend to be more specialized and less likely to be tried by just anyone have tendency to keep higher ratings, as will have less low rating by people that tried it but found they didn't like the genre. Games like Twilight struggle come to mind. Will say that Trains games have a stigma of being complex and dry however.

Funguy wrote:
rstencel wrote:
Think train games in general are avoided by large portion of board gamers. They seem to have a stigma of being dry or specialized for specific group of people. I personally love village but never played steam. With group play with even mention of a serious train game gets you shunned from mentioning games for awhile.


Not sure where the statement that "train games are avoided by large portion of board gamers". Pretty broad sweeping statement with little data to prove it. Ticket to Ride (3 versions), Steam, Age of Steam, Brass, Railways of the World, and 1830 are all in the top 100. If you could back that statement up with real evidence then I might listen.

To answer the OP, Steam is a superior game. Village is another limited action worker placement where the only real "interaction" is taking a space from another person. Pretty boring. Agricola is a far superior game if you are looking for this type of mechanism. As for Steam, it is a somewhat more forgiving version of Age of Steam, especially if you play the basic version. The Standard version is close to the tension of Age of Steam while being a bit more forgiving when you can raise capital. Steam is a highly interactive and tense game that will leave you wanting more. Add to that 4 expansion map sets by Mayfair and countless expansions from Bezier games and others. For longevity, Steam is a better bang for your buck. If you want to have a leisurely game of creating the best family in a medieval village and play it a couple of times before getting rid of it, then go for Village.
 
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Chef D
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DAAAN wrote:
If you want something firmly in the middleweight, go for village. Steam is an excellent game but too rich for a lot of gamer's blood. I'd discuss it with your group and see how they respond to the idea of a train game.

The selling points of Steam are...
Excellent balancing act of Long Term Planning vs Short Term Tactical play.
Direct interaction, but without being destructive (i.e. you never take something away from someone unless it is useful to yourself but there is always a risk that someone will take things from you).
Excellent replayability - if your group takes a liking to it, you might never need another game again.

However, some people have a basic dislike of Train games.


I mostly agree. However, I see Steam, and even Age of Steam, as middleweight games. The rules are easy to teach and understand. Even more so than Village. The agonizing decisions is what makes it delicious. Yes the decisions are tough. The game is not scripted what to do. Emergent and creative play are paramount to winning. Yet none of the actions are hard to understand rules wise. Village on the other hand can be a bit opaque, like most Euros, to figure out how other people are doing. Steam is much more of a knife fight where you know where everyone stands and what they want to do. Opening up cities to allow others access while make routes longer for you often is what wins the game. You need to collude with others to a point that makes it more advantageous to you.
 
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Salim Khoury
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xlist21 wrote:
I am trying to get a ~90min medium weight 4 player game.

I understand that both games are really different so it is hard to compare; however, as I usually purchase a game based on player counts & playing time, I need to choose between these two anyways.

To me, steam seems to add more to my collection because I currently do not own train game (or pick-up & deliver mechanic based game). I own many worker placement games but I feel like village is adding some (death of the worker / time as a resource) to my collection, too.

I was almost trying to get the Steam but soon realized Steam is much less played than Village (2014-01-01 to 2014-05-05). Village was played 1796 times by 1108 people; Steam was played 517 times by 312 people. It's even less than A Few acres of the Snow (although it is a great game, it is broken at this point).

So what makes it harder for people to get Steam on the table than Village?




Plenty of good points have been made but I'd add that if you lean towards a train game then RotW is the better version for a "medium" weight experience, I own Steam and love it but have played RotW and will own it soon only to be able to choose between the two games based on the types of players that may be playing. Lastly neither game fits your 90 min hopes...
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Chef D
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rstencel wrote:
Will say that Trains games have a stigma of being complex and dry however.


Yet Steam is not complex. The intense interaction with people is anything but dry. Perpetuating this stigma is like saying all "Dudes on the Map" style games rely completely on dice and luck. Let's take a game like Arkham Horror that many people will say is "dripping" with theme and anything but a dry game. However, long turns of people reading their own cards can be utterly boring and despite the pretty cards, boards, and bits, dry as hell. While I will never say that all games are for all people, you might be pleasantly surprised what some train games have to offer.
 
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Chef D
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Salimo wrote:
xlist21 wrote:
I am trying to get a ~90min medium weight 4 player game.

I understand that both games are really different so it is hard to compare; however, as I usually purchase a game based on player counts & playing time, I need to choose between these two anyways.

To me, steam seems to add more to my collection because I currently do not own train game (or pick-up & deliver mechanic based game). I own many worker placement games but I feel like village is adding some (death of the worker / time as a resource) to my collection, too.

I was almost trying to get the Steam but soon realized Steam is much less played than Village (2014-01-01 to 2014-05-05). Village was played 1796 times by 1108 people; Steam was played 517 times by 312 people. It's even less than A Few acres of the Snow (although it is a great game, it is broken at this point).

So what makes it harder for people to get Steam on the table than Village?




Plenty of good points have been made but I'd add that if you lean towards a train game then RotW is the better version for a "medium" weight experience, I own Steam and love it but have played RotW and will own it soon only to be able to choose between the two games based on the types of players that may be playing. Lastly neither game fits your 90 min hopes...:(



I feel the basic game of Steam is far superior to Railways of the World. First off, it needs a table the size of an airplane hanger. Second, the openness of the board makes it too open, even with the full player count. Meaningful decisions are limited to one strategy, getting a superior network in the Northeast. I agree the board is beautiful and the bits look great when the game is laid out, but it lacks the tense decisions of even the basic versions of Steam. With player expansions for Steam all the way down to solo, it makes a more universal system for train pick-up-and-deliver style games.
 
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Sicaria Occaeco
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rstencel wrote:
Get that from fact that people I have seen that play steam, primarily only play different type of train games, and the people I play games with avoid them at all costs. Granted very small sample of world, so take it for what its worth, but as the question was posted was why is it harder to get steam to the table, in my area, it would be because its a serious train game.

I don't put ticket to ride in that category, and am not saying their isn't a huge following for train games, just that they seem to have their own following and people either play them or don't that I know. Personally having witnessed the train game group play one of their more in depth games was all it took for me to swear off train games myself.

Honestly a lot of the games in top 100 are not going to appeal to everyone, and not saying its not a good game. Also will say games that tend to be more specialized and less likely to be tried by just anyone have tendency to keep higher ratings, as will have less low rating by people that tried it but found they didn't like the genre. Games like Twilight struggle come to mind. Will say that Trains games have a stigma of being complex and dry however.



Watching people play (most) board games is one of the most boring things ever. Playing is a whole different stimulant as you're involved in the game.

Before playing train games I thought they looked complex and dry. After playing them I think they're great. I find train games are not as complex as non-train gamers make them out to be. Most are very straight forward and easy to understand and make logical sense with the theme. I can explain most train games much faster than most euros.

Based on the OP I would get Steam or even Railways of the World for a lighter game. Pickup and deliver is worth giving a try.
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Matt Brown
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rstencel wrote:
Will say that Trains games have a stigma of being complex and dry however.


Don't mistake complexity for depth. Steam's rulebook is rather simplistic for the depth of choices it offers.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Other than scoring meeples by having them die of old age, Village is a very ho hum worker placement experience. Steam might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it brings more to the table.
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Dave K
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I think both games are well-executed and you won't be dissatisfied with either. The number one thing I'd consider between the two is the amount of aggression between players you're looking for.

Village is a sort-of-worker-placement game (you have workers, but it's not *quite* worker placement) and the interaction is almost entirely indirect. You take the spaces your opponents want and deny them specific actions. Those actions will be available again in the future but you have stopped them for at least one turn.

Steam has more direct interaction and while it's still technically denying things to them, it's more aggressive. First, there are auctions (well, assuming you're doing the full game) to get different abilities. The auctions are very important and can be extremely tense, especially in the endgame. You can also (depending on acting order) steal cubes from cities that you know your opponents were trying to ship from (assuming you're both connected) and once you have laid track somewhere, it's generally yours forever (so blocking is more permanent there).

Again, both are good, but that's the key difference that comes to mind between them for me.
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xlist21 wrote:
I was almost trying to get the Steam but soon realized Steam is much less played than Village (2014-01-01 to 2014-05-05). Village was played 1796 times by 1108 people; Steam was played 517 times by 312 people. It's even less than A Few acres of the Snow (although it is a great game, it is broken at this point).
Sir! Put the spreadsheet down, and step away from the stats!

Don't live by random pointless numbers likes those. It won't get you anywhere. And Snow isn't "broken" it just has certain higher power strategies.

And get Village, it's great. And get Steam, it's probably great too.
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I vote Chicago Express. Endless depth, plays in an hour, simple rules, lots of fun
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
xlist21 wrote:
I was almost trying to get the Steam but soon realized Steam is much less played than Village (2014-01-01 to 2014-05-05). Village was played 1796 times by 1108 people; Steam was played 517 times by 312 people. It's even less than A Few acres of the Snow (although it is a great game, it is broken at this point).
Sir! Put the spreadsheet down, and step away from the stats!

Don't live by random pointless numbers likes those. It won't get you anywhere. And Snow isn't "broken" it just has certain higher power strategies.

And get Village, it's great. And get Steam, it's probably great too.

I agree. Looking at what you're looking only evaluates how many times people who play those games log them.

What's important is what you and your group will play and enjoy more. I've said this before, but I've bought games more than once specifically based on why someone else said they didn't like it. So don't put too much weight in the raw BGG numbers, either, read some reviews, watch some videos, etc.

Personally, I love Steam. The basic game should be played once or twice, but once everyone has that figured out, switch to the standard game, and it becomes much deeper. And the differences between the two are not that much in terms of rules, but they add huge amounts of depth compared to how simple the actual rules are.
 
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