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Subject: Article: Eurogames are inherently single player rss

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Keith Burgun
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I think Eurogame designers should focus on turning them into really great single player games - in digital form perhaps. Either way, the kinds of systems that Eurogames tend to be are *inherently* single player and not interactive. That's what this article is all about.

http://keithburgun.net/why-eurogames-are-inherently-single-p...

What do you think?
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J C Lawrence
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You assume the answer before you ask the question and then craft your definitions to only allow games which support your pre-selected answer.
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John Breckenridge
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Paying attention to what your opponent is doing and reacting to it is more important than you think.
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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The runners in a 100m dash are not allowed to interfere with each other. They still compete, and the winner is still happy that he won. Sure, they might as well have been running solo, but not all sports need physical contact.

Same goes for board games re direct interaction.
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Arguably the most popular genre of eurogames right now is worker placement. How are these single player?
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Alison Mandible
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I'm not sure what you mean by "inherently". These games are being made and a lot of people enjoy them as they are. It sounds as if you don't like making contingency plans and don't think games should ask you to.
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jbrecken wrote:
Paying attention to what your opponent is doing and reacting to it is more important than you think.


Puerto Rico, which is pictured in the header, is a great case in point. Its separate boards give the impression of multi-player solitaire, but the game is quite interactive. It's all about making sure others, specifically the guy on your right, take the Craftsman action.
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Glen Dresser
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You should have labelled the article as being about engine-building games, rather than about Euros. You later qualify that later in the article, but you'll get a lot of heat for overly equating Euros and engine-building games.

But I also think you're missing what the role of the multiplayer element in an engine-building game achieves. Imagine, for a moment, a single-player engine-building game with a static setup and no random variables. That would be a solvable game: once you've established the optimal strategy, there's nothing further to be gained from the game. Single-player versions of worker placement games (like the Agricola app version) provide randomizing elements to make it more interesting, yet not more strategic, since how well you can do often depends as much on the cards you get as it does on your strategy.

Now, compare that with a more superior (in my opinion) multiplayer worker-placement game, such as Caylus. It's been a while since I've played, but I believe the only random element is starting building placement. Yet it has a very clever model of action selection that makes playing it a really dynamic experience. Essentially, the actions of other players provide a somewhat chaotic and yet somewhat predictable element that all players need to adapt to. This is both more interesting than a game that is a pure, strategic and non-chaotic engine-building experience; and more strategic than a game that attempts to add randomization to an engine-building experience to make it less solvable.

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Caroline Berg
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keithburgun wrote:
I think Eurogame designers should focus on turning them into really great single player games - in digital form perhaps.

I respectfully disagree.

Reading this article made me think that you don't really understand what a true solo game is - mind you, this is just my impression, and may have nothing to do with the reality of the situation. For all I know you are an avid Barbarian Prince player. But just because Eurogames can be turned into video games with an AI system standing in for others players, does not make them inherently solo player game experiences.

keithburgun wrote:
Another huge issue with Eurogames in multiplayer situations is the sheer amount of stuff you’re supposed to be keeping track of.

Nor does having to keep track of a lot of complex parts of a game mean that everyone is overwhelmed by all the moving parts and cannot socialize when playing a game face to face. I love complex fiddly games, and playing them with a crowd has never hampered my ability to both focus on the game and talk to my friends while playing. Nor are Eurogames the only types of games that have many things to keep track of during a game, I'd be willing to bet some "Ameritrash" games have even more things to keep track of.

keithburgun wrote:
I think one of the reasons we don’t see a lot of “primarily single-player boardgames” is because the concept of taking out a boardgame, laying out all the pieces and playing it by yourself is… very strange to most people. I’ve done this myself and it’s fun, but it’s kind of a weird feeling.

That is entirely your problem - and not the reason why there are so few solo games. Personally, I have no such qualms about playing alone. Or designing solo games. There are many reasons why there are not a lot of solo games in the greater market. I say this because BGG has a thriving solo player community and many solo print-and-play games. However, game companies prefer games that can be enjoyed by a number of different players. They do not tend to see solo games as an investment they are willing to make - unless the game can be expanded upwards, such as 1-4 players.

keithburgun wrote:
Playing these games single-player is vastly better than multiplayer because “other players” don’t add anything to the experience. If there must be bots, I want them to be as predictable as possible so that I can factor their actions into my machine-building.

Aside from this being pure opinion, I have a feeling that many other people love playing against non-computer AI for the very reasons you hate it. Players introduce randomness in a way no computer AI can yet achieve.

Also I think you underestimate the complexity of AI programming for video games, and the complexity of designing and testing a "good" solo game.

keithburgun wrote:
With mobile games being such a huge part of gaming, it’s kind of sad that we don’t have a huge, booming generation of strictly single-player strategy games that are as deep and robust as Eurogames are.

I presume you mean board games that are ported to mobile, because there are many single-player strategy video games, some of which even have superb AI. However, single-player strategy games, which have a very strong and robust following, are niche games, much like solo board games, so you perhaps aren't aware of all the options out there, since they are drowned out by ads for the latest FPS game-de-jour in the video game industry.
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Ben Draper
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There are too many flaws in your article to address them individually. But I'll summarize a few of the major ones:

1.
Quote:
...very little player to player interaction...


Your definition of player interaction seems to rely upon the destruction of opponents' assets, an oddly narrow definition when Eurogames exhibit at least a half dozen other forms of interaction (action drafting, price manipulation, negotiation, etc.) Many of the other flaws in your argument stem from this foundational definition.

2.
Quote:
...the core central idea of Euros is "building a machine".


Whose idea? You are projecting your own preferences on the intentions of Euro designers. Yes, "building a machine" may be the idea behind a particular designer's game, but it's hardly central to the entire genre.

3.
Quote:
...Agricola supports up to five players. There is no way anyone can keep track of that much crap happening everywhere.


This is patently false. I am hardly an Agricola expert, and I can quite capably track each of my opponents' boards and resources as well as their likely short- and long-term goals. I would wager that roughly half of the players I have played against were doing the same.

4.
Quote:
Any game system is going to have some optimal number of players, and for Eurogames, that number is almost always one.


An unsupported premise, followed by an unsupported (or weakly, at best) conclusion.


In contrast, your final two paragraphs are relatively insightful. Solitaire gaming is largely absent from published boardgame design. Many Euro games could be redesigned as strictly solitaire and be more robust than the largely tacked on solitaire options that currently exist.

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Kevin Salch
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Sure there are Solo games. Pretty much any of your pure Coop are really solo games.

But yeah have to agree that Engine Building games tend to be more "multi-player" solitaire.

But look at some of the "gateway" euros.

Settlers of Catan - Trading is necessary, otherwise it's basically a "race" game.

Ticket to Ride - qualifies as a "race" game but blocking and card management can be quite interactive.

Carcassonne - Very interactive, competition for large cities/farms can be quite fierce.
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Craig C
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The company internet police won't let me see your article, but I don't believe they're inherently single-player as much as they are usually more passive-aggressive than Ameritrash games, and that may give some people the impression of multi-player solitaire, depending on your experience with the game and the feeling you were hoping for.

Eurogames usually create tension and challenge by limiting something, like player actions per turn, resources or available spaces on the board. So while each player's choices are carried out in a bit of a vacuum, they are affecting other players by removing or altering their available options.

This creates a different game feeling, and might be what you're interpreting as solitaire. Ameritrash games are "Why yes, I did mean to punch you in the face just now" games, where Euros usually deliver more of a "Hey, I was just windmilling my arms and you happened to be in the way" vibe, which can sometimes turn out to be even more irritating. I watched the Tabletop playthrough of Tokaido, a classic Euro about a peaceful jaunt down a Japanese highway and that table was full of red-faced loud-volume reactions toward other players' moves. An armed invasion of Japan during A&A doesn't generate that much vitriol.

Turning them into solitaire games would eliminate that interaction and make them less challenging, since the majority of solitaire games rely on rules or patterns of behavior, and once those patterns are determined (much easier to do in a board/card game than PC game) the thrill is gone.
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Ty Met
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I'm going to agree with most of the responses here.

This articles has flaws and blind spots galore. Even small things, like the definition of Eurogames/Ameritrash or you assuming the term "Multiplayer Solitaire" is used derisively. It smacks of fanboyism.

Your look at Agricola is iffy as well. Starving players out in multiplayer games does happen, but for me the interesting aspect of other players comes from seeing what they are doing, and using my little machine to ensure I am accomplishing what I need, especially if they are starving you out. Other players force you to tweak the strategy of your machine.

You also go on to say "In my experience, playing a Euro multiplayer means that 70 to 100 percent of the time, you’re literally just sitting there doing your own isolated thing. Then just “sometimes”, the thing you were doing was unwittingly interrupted because another player took the thing you were planning on taking. It’s not strategic or clever. It’s just annoying and disruptive."

You are just flat out wrong there. Strategy isn't just making a plan. It's adapting. The other player disrupting your next play? that is intentionally or unintentionally strategic as it accomplishes something for them, or causes you to reconsider your current game plan. Perhaps you don't adapt well and that's why you dislike the disruption.

And if it just turns into a knife fight where you all build nothing? Then you're all playing poorly, especially if not one person can figure a way out of the fray and build something slightly better than everyone else.

Maybe you also do not understand the machine building aspect of Euros like Agricola. It's not about building the perfect machine. It's about building the best bucket of bolts you can out of what's available, and hopefully it's just better than your opponent's.

As far as the social aspect? As well as the info times five? I never have a problem with having a coffee and talking while people plan turns in Agricola. Nor do I have any issue with looking at your player board and having a rough idea of where you are headed.

This entire article isn't actually about Euro games. It's about what you want Euros to be. You want to plan to make the perfect ticking machine with as few disruptions as possible... You're playing the wrong games.

Other players often add the variations. Changing what is available when. Changing how you accomplish certain things. Changing your machinery to cope with a wood hog.


Euros are not games where you sit down at the start of the game. Make a plan. Enact the plan. Encounter no resistance or problems. And win in the most perfect way. Until next play. Where you make a slightly better machine. Encounter no resistance. Win even more perfectly...,yawn.

Edit: Actually you are playing the right games. Euros. By yourself. Which are fun to some as solo games. I do enjoy Agricola solo once in a while. However, you're trying to convince a huge portion of the gaming community that you are playing them right. And they are playing them wrong(as multiplayer games) and they are better the way you enjoy them.

The article would have been better off as a "Why you should be enjoying more Euros as a solo experience" type thing. Not "You play Euros multiplayer? You're doing it wrong"
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Samo Oleami
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keithburgun wrote:


I think the article is pretty good!




What lacks it, is that you miss a bit of the contest and history coming to the hobby as "late" as 2010. If I read the article through the frame of "casual gamer encountering gamey 2010s euros" it makes perfect sense.

You refer to eurogames as:
- The most system-y [boardgames]
- a system-oriented, often highly deterministic boardgame, often coming out of Europe (often out of Germany, specifically
- they are primarily strategy games, not party games or social games
- eurogames tend to deal more in a “race” dynamic. Most Eurogames feature a complicated game system that rewards players with “victory points”, and at some point, the game ends and a winner is announced based on the number of victory points scored

What you refer to Eurogames is what they are now, but not what they used to be. Eurogames developed from German games - in the 1990s German games flourished into their own boardgame design paradigm, addressing a family market. And fuelled by the help of German publishers and SdJ award. These games were radically streamlined (simplified, short), yet accessible (even with some luck, to keep all the family members in the game). When these games hit the US hobbyist community (VS more casual style german market) they were interpreted in a way that resulted in eurogames (for instance simplification was understood as a focus on winning). This change was gradual, so it's hard to pinpoint, but from today's perspective I can delineate two different types of games. Games that could be called family games or German type games. And "euros proper".

Thing is - what is today considered to be an epitome of euro used to be just a tiny little genre withing the german/euro group of games. Workerplacement, drafting, deck building, various types of engine building - they weren't the core of euros. But they've become so in recent years.

There are games which used to be understood as euros which don't fit this new mouuld anymore: area control games, bluffing games, negotiation games (yup, all euros, or german games). Old classics like Tigris and Euphrates and El Grande do not "belong" anymore.

What happened as a backlash to these more and more complex for the sake of complexity eurogames is: return to casual gaming. The microgames genre, the whole lot of Resistance/werewolf type social games - they are on the rise in recent years. Also I think SdJ is gaining momentum yet again and brings interesting games. Camel Up for instance is game that tends to be seriously disliked by gamers and almost unanimously loved by casual games. So that's where we are at the moment. I kinda speculate these two waves might split in the future - casual games (social), hobby gaming (competitive).

So where we are now is what you describe in the article as:

Quote:
[Eurogames]They are not concerned with presenting a story, or a fantasy simulation of any kind, because that’s not what strategy games are about. They are not interested in delivering a social message, and they’re not interested in pushing the boundaries of computer graphics technology. They are simply trying to make robust little machines that present players with interesting decisions to make.


I would say much of bgg mainstream (which is eurogame dominated) would agree and endorse this statement (if it stood on its own). For me you describe exactly how I think american hobbyist gamers interpreted the german games they found, and thus from this meeting the euros were born.


Further reading:


My take on Euro VS German Games: Comment
This great Oliver's article that sums it up: Schools of Design and Their Core Priorities
And the wide frame of what do we game for: Playing to win or playing to play?
And an article many say you don't have to read, but you really should: Posted for posterity: Barnes' article on 'the game that ruined Eurogames'





THIS is for me a very crucial statement you make in the article:

Quote:
For some reason, I’d much rather just play many of these games on the digital versions, single-player, or against bots. It seems like when I do, I’m getting the stuff I love about the games, only faster and more pure.


Ah, the purity.

I think what it comes down to it is what I frame as "player controlled" VS "designer controlled" gaming enviroment. In a player controlled enviroment the designer simply creates a space, an arena, and gives players tools to use and even invent. A desinger in this case doesn't have to predict every little outcome.

However in designer controlled games, which what all euros (in this narrow sense that you speak of) have become, every little thing one can do in a game is predicted by the designer. There are numerous ways to describe this: some speak of exploring the game's systems, some speak of multiple paths to victory (mostly pre-baked).

The reason for designer controlled games to flourish is:
a) They're stable and offer the same kind of gaming experience with whatever group one will play them with. Player controlled games are by their nature volatile, a good group can make them fly, a bad one will make the game flop oh so bad. In a sense this is about foolproof desing.
b) Another feature is taking a lot of power to co-create a gaming experience from the players in order to focus these games solely on competition. Because player controlled environments can be very social (and strategic, mind you), the personalities of players that play the game will be felt on the gaming experience and the outcome. And because eurogames went full speed ahead towards competing at the absence of all other goals (with cries against randomness from cards, dice and players (!!!) designer controlled environment gives them the security they need. Because if you care about competing, then the whole game must be: balanced, all unfairness erased, all problematic areas double, triple checked.

So what we ended up with are these designer controlled machines, some players love to explore, but mostly you try to figure them out and optimise the hell out of them. This I think is what you call "a pure euro experience": optimising. Optimising (sorry folks) is solo-istic, it's done against the system, not against other players. Of course other players may influence it, block it and so on, but what you're optimising is against the game (the system).

Maybe I could say in this regard that interaction in such euros is reactive (to the system) - it cannot create unforeseen situations.

However there is a caveat - while boardgame hobbyists love to compete, they're not too crazy about it. They're mostly not playing those games where pure skill will make a person win (like Chess and Go)*. That's why lot or euros are played by people who love to "explore the system" (so it's mostly about beating the system) and in recent years we get euros which seems far too complex for what they offer, almost as if this complexity is a mean on its own, a way to keep players busy and occupied (Terra Mystica I see as such a game). Exploring the system also gives a bit of a cap to the depth of such games - they're man made systems, one person can only devise something as clever as they can. Player driven games however rely on the human factor for their replayabilty and depth. However this potentially limited lifespan of game suits well the polygaming cult-of-the-newish eurogamer ethos.

And there's also that factor of low interaction which translates to "friendly gaming" (which is transferred over from German games paradigm). There's a market out there for spouse friendly games (ahem)




So I think in general your article is spot on some symptoms that have been going on in the development of eurogame genre lately. Just needs a bit wider frame.

I think the frame is: eurogames (in the sense you're talking about) are games made 100% for competing and considering human factors to be a hindrance to that, so interaction space is controlled/restricted.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
The runners in a 100m dash are not allowed to interfere with each other. They still compete, and the winner is still happy that he won. Sure, they might as well have been running solo, but not all sports need physical contact.


This is a good example of a lot of Eurogames. There is very little difference from running a 100m dash together and having the winner be the first one to cross, and timing everyone's 100m separately and then comparing results to find the winner. That's what a lot of Euro's are like - Dominion for example. Or 7 Wonders, although that one's more like a cross country race or marathon because you can't even see what all your competitors are doing.

However, the tension of knowing your exact race time and then watching as other runners go and waiting to see their time posted on the board might be a very different experience than running alongside the other runners. Multiplayer solitaire games are often almost like playing separately and then coming together at the end to see who did best, but that would be a very different experience (and probably much less fun).

And there are plenty of Euros that aren't like this. Stone Age certainly isn't. The first time our group played we were kind of all doing our own thing, but after a few times, a very large number of the decisions we take are dependent on how & what the others are doing.

And then what do you with something like Imperial, which scores like a Euro but has some Ameritrashy mechanics and a map & pieces more like a wargame?
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David desJardins
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keithburgun wrote:
What do you think?


If you "discovered the world of designer boardgames" in 2010, that explains a lot about your posting, and my guess is that it will be many more years before you can make much in the way of useful "recommendations to Eurogame designers".

Having tried Auro, I would say a problem with your recommendations and something you don't seem to appreciate about game design is that single-player games get to be the same thing over and over and over. The reason for introducing other people into the game is a different one than any that you consider---it's because having other people in the game means they do different things that are less predictable than computers and so the experience is different each time and thus they have much more staying power than computer games. Auro is an extreme illustration of this as the "opponent" is completely deterministic and therefore it gets old very fast. People will be playing Puerto Rico long after Auro is forgotten.
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Can someone explain why removing competitors makes an game more "pure"?

Makes it more predictable? Sure. Makes it more controllable for those who can't stand a lack of control? Sure. Removes the need for adaptation for those who struggle to adapt? Sure. Removes competition for people who don't like to lose? Sure.

Based on that article, every question I just answered with sure likely describes the OP. The tone of the paragraph about someone taking his planned action being disruptive and annoying particularly.

And as with everything. Everyone needs to not only justify their tastes, but make sure that you know their tastes are superior to yours.

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Linked Article wrote:
Then just “sometimes”, the thing you were doing was unwittingly interrupted because another player took the thing you were planning on taking. It’s not strategic or clever. It’s just annoying and disruptive.
I have yet to figure out the difference between this and
Linked Article wrote:
One of the more accurate criticisms of Eurogames is that they tend to have very little player to player interaction. Unlike wargames or even abstracts wherein you’re typically removing the opponent’s pieces from play, Eurogames tend to deal more in a “race” dynamic.
this, to be honest. In both cases the plans of the player are waylaid because another player interfered, which is equally annoying and disruptive. Also, all games and game classes you listed are meant to be played to win. (Not in the dorky sense that ruins friendships, but in the sense of good-natured competition that the rules define a goal and expect players to duke it out to meet that goal first or best.) Thus there is no fundamental difference between the classes of games you mention: Waylaying plans of others means you improve your position for the win, and that's all that matters. And whether that is by withholding resources or hitting game pieces is nothing but a matter of preference.

I strongly feel that if you stopped trying to fit every euro into a 'race jacket', and looked carefully at how the interactions work their magic, you'd gain a bit more respect for the types of interaction which don't rely on blatant piece hitting or raw take it or leave it-randomness; and that thus your basic premise of euros being inherently single player is ... well, bogus. And that's putting it as nicely as possible. Of course many interactive patterns are overworked in this day and age; and several others criminally neglected. But that's quite another story.
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Statalyzer wrote:
Quote:
The runners in a 100m dash are not allowed to interfere with each other. They still compete, and the winner is still happy that he won. Sure, they might as well have been running solo, but not all sports need physical contact.


This is a good example of a lot of Eurogames. There is very little difference from running a 100m dash together and having the winner be the first one to cross, and timing everyone's 100m separately and then comparing results to find the winner. That's what a lot of Euro's are like - Dominion for example. Or 7 Wonders, although that one's more like a cross country race or marathon because you can't even see what all your competitors are doing.

Even Dominion, if you have a lot of gold, I'm more likely to take the Thief. If you have Militia, Library becomes a lot more valuable, as does Chapel if there's a Witch. If you're collecting Gardens I might want to pursue ending the game as quickly as possible by depleting piles.

Dominion isn't solitaire, at all. 7 Wonders is perhaps a bit more, but even in that there's an element of blocking in choosing which cards to use to build Wonders with, choosing resources which mean your opponent will struggle to build their Wonders, direct comparisons in military, science becomes less attractive the more people are pursuing it. What you can build and the scoring of some cards depends on what your opponents have and will play.

I literally have no idea what you mean by not seeing what your competitors are doing. You can see all of the cards they have played, the resources they will need to build with, whether they are pursuing military or science strategies, and even what cards will become available to them!

If these are the best examples, I think people are playing them wrong.
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clearclaw wrote:
You assume the answer before you ask the question and then craft your definitions to only allow games which support your pre-selected answer.

Perhaps he does, but that can still produce useful insights -- articulating a the category of euros that are essentially single player is still useful for understanding games more deeply.
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Ben Draper
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Statalyzer wrote:
And then what do you with something like Imperial, which scores like a Euro but has some Ameritrashy mechanics and a map & pieces more like a wargame?


Imperial isn't similar to Euro, Ameritrash, or Wargames. It's a Train game through and through.
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Samo Oleami
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I would just like to point out that I read OP's article as a speculation - - i.e. food for thought. I would recommend reading it a such, I think you get more out of it this way.

So, this response is mostly about me thinking about stuff.
cymric wrote:
In both cases the plans of the player are waylaid because another player interfered, which is equally annoying and disruptive.


Thinking out loud:

I understand the issue through the way how my "RAM" (mind space) is used by the game - how the game distributes my attention and my thinking power for various goals.

With Ameritrash for instance - the simple resolution system with dice, means a lot of combat is out of my hands, so I focus my attention on the opponents themselves. When FFG started adding in the euro elements, like in MEQ, it asked my brain to do strategy instead of working on the narrative (which was the reason I've played those games). And it simply wasn't solvable with whatever focus i did, as this was unprinted in the game design.

I often have issues with take-that elements added on top of optimisation games - Manhattan Project in particular (also Catan caqrd game if I recall). As I felt the take that was tangential to the effort of running an engine (with all optimisation, tactics, whatnot). And in that way it felt disruptive, because the focus was different.

I think with direct conflict games, I know I will be in conflict and I'm focused on that. With building my own plateu/tableau/thingy and getting attacked by a take that effect I'm disturbed because of the focus shift. Which is why I liked Fleet a lot - auction gave players a tool to: make their own engines faster, prevent other people's engines being faster (taking those parts themselves). It felt more in synch with the idea of running an engine.

Maybe I'm a particular person (har har), but I'm either focused on other people, or I focus on myself (in games this would mean building a narrative), shifting the two focused isn't something I'd enjoy. This is why I like low overhead games, so that the rules tick in the background, while I'm focusing on the opponents. (Think T&E).

Especially with individual player boards - this focus (or partial focus) on solo optimisation also manifests itself materially.



And this here is just some good old argument. cool
cymric wrote:
Also, all games and game classes you listed are meant to be played to win.

I would challenge this.

I think with ameritrash (at least old school) the goal is to create drama and tension, and winning is subordinated to this goal. It's just a dramaturgical tool to support the main aim of the game, which is not playing to win, but playing for experience, tension, drama.

Similarly (guessing, not played enough) I'd say is with wargames and the quest for a narrative and simulation - the win condition just frames the main drive of telling a story.

I would say reading both/all these classes as same in this regard is your interpretation I argue against.

cymric wrote:
Waylaying plans of others means you improve your position for the win, and that's all that matters.

Sometimes this creates a story that matters more.
Sometimes this creates a reaction from a specific other player that is so hilarious it was worth doing it just for this reason.

cymric wrote:
I strongly feel that if you stopped trying to fit every euro into a 'race jacket', and looked carefully at how the interactions work their magic, you'd gain a bit more respect for the types of interaction which don't rely on blatant piece hitting or raw take it or leave it-randomness;

Uhm, Maarten?

You do realise you were arguing both were the same, but now you state your very strong personal preferences?

P.S. Regardless of how it looks, me and Maarten get along fine.
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David Gibbs
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BennyD wrote:
Statalyzer wrote:
And then what do you with something like Imperial, which scores like a Euro but has some Ameritrashy mechanics and a map & pieces more like a wargame?


Imperial isn't similar to Euro, Ameritrash, or Wargames. It's a Train game through and through.


What? Nope.

Imperial is a stock-holding game, yes. And, some train games (e.g. 18xx) are also stock-holding games. But being a stock-holding game doesn't make it at all a train game. The defining element of train games tends to be network-building (consider what is common to: Age of Steam, 1830, Ticket to Ride, and Empire Builder -- all solid train games). Imperial is not a network-building game.

 
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keithburgun wrote:
I think Eurogame designers should focus on turning them into really great single player games - in digital form perhaps. Either way, the kinds of systems that Eurogames tend to be are *inherently* single player and not interactive. That's what this article is all about.

http://keithburgun.net/why-eurogames-are-inherently-single-p...

What do you think?


It sounds like you fail to recognize a lot of the interactivity in many of the games, then when that interactivity happens, it upsets you because you failed to plan for it/expect it.

Also, if you think Caylus is a non-interactive, multi-player solitaire game, then you aren't playing a very good game of Caylus. Provost manipulation, passing early to cost other people actions, out-building in the castle, and more... lots and lots of interaction.
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I am almost entirely a euro-gamer, and one question I ask myself before I get a new game is "How interactive is this"? Some of my favorite games that I or my friends own are highly interactive euros: Glass Road, Power Grid, Glen More, Tikal, Ra, Helvetia, Keyflower, Libertalia, Amerigo, Five Tribes, 7 Wonders, Ginkgopolis, etc.
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