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Subject: A problem with Ameritrash rss

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CARL SKUTSCH
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First, I am a firm defender of the term "Ameritrash." I begin life as a wargamer (yes, even in the cradle, I was pushing around those Tactics II pieces), moved on to dudes on a map Ameritrash, and gradually transitioned to Euros, which are now my main source of gaming pleasure. However, even though I play mostly Euros, I still like me a good dudes on a map game (I've got my eye on Cry Havoc). Fortress America remains one of my favorite games.

My problem (and it's not a big one, but it's Wednesday morning and I need a problem of some sort) is that "Ameritrash" describes three significantly different kinds of games.

First, there is the dudes on a map game. Axis and Allies, Fortress America, Ikusa, Space Hulk, and Nexis Ops all fit this bill. They might be described as wargames with lots of little plastic dudes. I love these games.

Second, we have the tactical combat games: zombie games and associated genres. I'm thinking Last Night on Earth, Zombicide, and similarish games like Arcadia Quest, Descent, and Imperial Assault. These games aren't wargames but they do have some of the dudes on a map feel and they do have tactical combat.

Third, we have the bits and theme games. Arkham Horror, Fury of Dracula, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Eldritch Horror, Mansions of Madness. Lots of cards, chits, themey board, but no tactical/strategic combat.

My problem is that the third kind of Ameritrash doesn't seem to fit well with the first two. My own personal problem is that when I say I like Ameritrash, I mean the first two, not so much the third (although I will play if that's what friends are asking for).

So, what cool terms can we use to differentiate these kinds of games? (thus triggering even more debates about how labelling doesn't work, or the label is insulting, etc etc)

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Matthew Vantries
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I think it should just be divided two ways, dudes-on-a-map and adventure games.
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K S
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skutsch wrote:
My problem is that the third kind of Ameritrash doesn't seem to fit well with the first two.

Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

I personally see a natural continuity from Nexus Ops to Zombicide to Betrayal at House on the Hill, and a lot of other folks do, too. That's why the "Ameritrash" concept exists. The label, like all genre labels, is arbitrary, imprecise and subjective. So while you may see a stark contrast between Eldritch Horror and Fortress America, others don't.

By way of analogy, I hate country music, but I love bluegrass and folk. To me, the difference between the genres is night-and-day, but others see them as so similar as to be hardly distinguishable, and fans of one are often fans of the others.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Insofar as I don't like any of the three ways you've diced it up, I'm fine having them lumped altogether.
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I consider any game played by an American sporting a tidy-whitey tee, lid adorned with baseball cap, and swilling a high-class beer like Goebels as Ameritrash.
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Robb Melenyk
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I just say "not a Euro" and that gets the immediate point across. Then describe the game.

No need to over-complicate it with more terms (see every music genre discussion ever).
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mortego
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not sure a label to identify sub-genres would catch on but you could always just retort a quick disclaimer when you say you like AmeriTrash games as to which "kind" you enjoy.
 
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Driss
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If there are other more accurate terms to describe games why use a general term and risk offending people?
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Shaun Morris
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darthhugo wrote:
I consider any game played by an American sporting a tidy-whitey tee, lid adorned with baseball cap, and swilling a high-class beer like Goebels as Ameritrash.


Goebbels is definitely NOT high class. Goebbels is to German beer what Bud is to American beer.

I personally prefer IPA's in the warm months and stouts in the cold months. Founders All Day IPA and Ithaca Flower Power are excellent for the summer with Founders Breakfast Stout and Stone Russian Imperial Stout being superb winter beers. Of course, this is not to belittle the many other terrific beers available, just putting forth my standard go to beers.
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Walt
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skutsch wrote:
My problem (and it's not a big one, but it's Wednesday morning and I need a problem of some sort) is that "Ameritrash" describes three significantly different kinds of games.

A quirky affliction: why Wednesdays? laugh

skutsch wrote:
First, there is the dudes on a map game. Axis and Allies, Fortress America, Ikusa, Space Hulk, and Nexis Ops all fit this bill. They might be described as wargames with lots of little plastic dudes. I love these games.

I've only played a couple of these, but Nexus Ops, while being a bit war-gamey, is all about fulfilling missions, as I see it. Butting heads, a staple of most multiplayer war games (Risk etc.), is not effective. (A bit like Mac Gerdts' Imperial.) But, I guess I'm okay with calling Nexus Ops a multiplayer wargame.

skutsch wrote:
Second, we have the tactical combat games: zombie games and associated genres. I'm thinking Last Night on Earth, Zombicide, and similarish games like Arcadia Quest, Descent, and Imperial Assault. These games aren't wargames but they do have some of the dudes on a map feel and they do have tactical combat.

When you say "tactical combat game", which I think is a fine name, I think of BattleTech, Car Wars (unless you go heavy toward the RPG side of the game), or Ogre.

skutsch wrote:
Third, we have the bits and theme games. Arkham Horror, Fury of Dracula, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Eldritch Horror, Mansions of Madness. Lots of cards, chits, themey board, but no tactical/strategic combat.

My problem is that the third kind of Ameritrash doesn't seem to fit well with the first two. My own personal problem is that when I say I like Ameritrash, I mean the first two, not so much the third (although I will play if that's what friends are asking for).

I agree, and I'd add Firefly: The Game. I think of these as Experiential Games: the game is about the experience, not clever mechanics, insightful strategies, etc. BGG's term of Thematic Games also fits. Maybe another way to look at them is as Mechanical RPGs: no GM, and no need for a GM since everything happens through mechanics.
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Eric Chiriboga
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The third genre you listed is probably my favorite among the three, as far as Ameritrash goes.
 
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Cris Whetstone
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I get what you are saying but when you put those differences next to the variety of games that are lumped under the title of 'Euro' those differences you point out in Ameritrash styles really don't seem like much. I'm with Bryan. They make sense to me in broad terms.
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morris9597 wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
I consider any game played by an American sporting a tidy-whitey tee, lid adorned with baseball cap, and swilling a high-class beer like Goebels as Ameritrash.


Goebbels is definitely NOT high class. Goebbels is to German beer what Bud is to American beer.

I personally prefer IPA's in the warm months and stouts in the cold months. Founders All Day IPA and Ithaca Flower Power are excellent for the summer with Founders Breakfast Stout and Stone Russian Imperial Stout being superb winter beers. Of course, this is not to belittle the many other terrific beers available, just putting forth my standard go to beers.


Had them all.

Goebels is the best.
 
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morris9597 wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
I consider any game played by an American sporting a tidy-whitey tee, lid adorned with baseball cap, and swilling a high-class beer like Goebels as Ameritrash.


Goebbels is definitely NOT high class. Goebbels is to German beer what Bud is to American beer.

I personally prefer IPA's in the warm months and stouts in the cold months. Founders All Day IPA and Ithaca Flower Power are excellent for the summer with Founders Breakfast Stout and Stone Russian Imperial Stout being superb winter beers. Of course, this is not to belittle the many other terrific beers available, just putting forth my standard go to beers.


Bought a case of the Stone RIS bombers in the mid 2ks, shipped from some online distrib. That was one mind-blowing brew. Although it won't be as nearly as good as its first few months, I still have one bottle in my beer fridge.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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darthhugo wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
I consider any game played by an American sporting a tidy-whitey tee, lid adorned with baseball cap, and swilling a high-class beer like Goebels as Ameritrash.


Goebbels is definitely NOT high class. Goebbels is to German beer what Bud is to American beer.

I personally prefer IPA's in the warm months and stouts in the cold months. Founders All Day IPA and Ithaca Flower Power are excellent for the summer with Founders Breakfast Stout and Stone Russian Imperial Stout being superb winter beers. Of course, this is not to belittle the many other terrific beers available, just putting forth my standard go to beers.


Had them all.

Goebels is the best.

Better than Goering?
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K S
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Has this turned (or "turnt") into BeerGameGeek?
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wamsp wrote:
Has this turned (or "turnt") into BeerGameGeek?


No. True beer geeks know that Stone is for newbs.

devil
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wamsp wrote:
Has this turned (or "turnt") into BeerGameGeek?


It h'ain't turnt.... it's turnded.

Now, grab yourself a Schaefer and warm up those buttered noodles.
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skutsch wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
I consider any game played by an American sporting a tidy-whitey tee, lid adorned with baseball cap, and swilling a high-class beer like Goebels as Ameritrash.


Goebbels is definitely NOT high class. Goebbels is to German beer what Bud is to American beer.

I personally prefer IPA's in the warm months and stouts in the cold months. Founders All Day IPA and Ithaca Flower Power are excellent for the summer with Founders Breakfast Stout and Stone Russian Imperial Stout being superb winter beers. Of course, this is not to belittle the many other terrific beers available, just putting forth my standard go to beers.


Had them all.

Goebels is the best.

Better than Goering?


Funny... I was just reading about the poor, brainwashed child of Himmler this morning. Well, not poor for her, but poor to the fact that she still thinks Daddy was an OK fella.

As for Goering... that bloated, opiate addict couldn't direct an air-force to save his life....

Oh, that's right... he had a cyanide lunch one fine morning.

 
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WetRock wrote:
wamsp wrote:
Has this turned (or "turnt") into BeerGameGeek?


No. True beer geeks know that Stone is for newbs.

devil


Stone?! Stone?!

Eff that shit.... Pabst Blue Ribbon, Baby!
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darthhugo wrote:
WetRock wrote:
wamsp wrote:
Has this turned (or "turnt") into BeerGameGeek?


No. True beer geeks know that Stone is for newbs.

devil


Stone?! Stone?!

Eff that shit.... Pabst Blue Ribbon, Baby!


Now, we just need to Skutsch poll to determine if Goebels is better than Stone is better than Coors.

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K S
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My personal ranking goes:

1. Yuengling
2. Arcadia Quest
3. Eichmann
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wamsp wrote:
Has this turned (or "turnt") into BeerGameGeek?


That's a fantastic idea for a subforum. whistle

--------

I tend to think of the difference between Ameritrash and Euro in regards to their end goal. Almost every Euro I've played is essentially a point's race or has an end goal of achieving the most "points."

There are some like Caverna, Five Tribes, and Stone Age that don't add up all the points till the end. There are others such as Alhambra or Lords of Waterdeep that have a running track of points around the board. All in all, the end goal is to score the most points.

With Ameritrash, the end goal is very rarely to score the most points (due to my limited knowledge of every single board game that has ever existed, one of you is likely to give me examples that ruin this whole thought process).

Pandemic has players discovering four cures. Betrayal has 50 different endings, none of which are a race for the most points. Wiz-War, uses the point mechanic, but the the game is truly about player elimination and capturing treasure. Star Wars Rebellion is in some ways considered a point's race, but only for one side of the board as the other player has a completely separate win condition.

It is for this reason that Ameritrash games tend to have such a wide variety. Since the win condition is usually not about achieving the most points (once again, I'm sure someone will prove me wrong, as that is the way this topic tends to digress) and about achieving some sort of goal you have things like risk (world domination), Ghost Stories (fighting off waves of Ghosts to defeat Wu-Feng), and Talisman (get the crown of command and kill off the other players) all existing under the same umbrella of classification.

--------

TLDR:

Eurogarbage: Tends to have a win condition involving achieving the most "points." There may be a theme, but calculated and strategic actions to achieve the most points is the focus of game play.

Ameritrash: Tends to have a win condition involving a specific Goal. This is almost always tied to the theme and sometimes sacrifices streamlined strategy for integrating that theme into the specific goal.
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K S
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Wait, is Pandemic considered Ameritrash?
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Robb Melenyk
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wamsp wrote:
Wait, is Pandemic considered Ameritrash?


Given WisdomForWizards definitions, pandemic would be ameritrash.
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