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Subject: Lend a hand: How thematic are these games in my collection? rss

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CARL SKUTSCH
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A while back I did a poll that I was very happy with (yes, some of them I am less than happy with, really) about theme in the top games (How thematic are these games? (a poll) What games do you think are very/not thematic?). Now I'm looking at culling some of my collection and I'm curious as to outsider's pov regarding theme in some of my games. (My friends who I play with tend to like their games with a nice pinch of theme.) What do I mean by theme? Nobody ever agrees, so you just decide for yourself.

Oh, and I've included a few games I have no intention of ever parting with, as points of comparison.

Finally, feel free to post why you think I should definitely dump the game in question OR keep that baby til the sun grows cold in the sky. (Yes, yes, I know it's my choice. I just like feedback. It's a quirk.)

So here's the poll (THANKS!):

Poll
How thematic are these games? (Please don't rate if you haven't played the game.)
  Dripping with theme Fairly thematic Mildly thematic Pasted on theme No theme I can see
Agricola
Madeira
ZhanGuo
Peloponnes
Tammany Hall
Bora Bora
Dungeon Lords
Mage Wars Arena
Grand Austria Hotel
Keyflower
Among the Stars
Nations
Panamax
La Granja
Terra Mystica
Food Chain Magnate
Village
      102 answers
Poll created by skutsch


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Curt Carpenter
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Have you played these games? You decide whether to toss games based solely on how thematic they are? Or are they already on the chopping block and theme is their only possibly saving grace? Seems really bizarre.
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Bryan Thunkd
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curtc wrote:
Have you played these games? You decide whether to toss games based solely on how thematic they are? Or are they already on the chopping block and theme is their only possibly saving grace? Seems really bizarre.
Picking which games to cull by poll is what seems bizarre to me. What does it matter what people on BGG think? If you like the game, keep it, if you don't, don't.

The BGG consensus isn't likely to match up to your preferences very well.
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Shaun Morris
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Thunkd wrote:
curtc wrote:
Have you played these games? You decide whether to toss games based solely on how thematic they are? Or are they already on the chopping block and theme is their only possibly saving grace? Seems really bizarre.
Picking which games to cull by poll is what seems bizarre to me. What does it matter what people on BGG think? If you like the game, keep it, if you don't, don't.

The BGG consensus isn't likely to match up to your preferences very well.


The way I understand it is, he has games that he loves included in order to act as a control, but most of these are unplayed and on the chopping block for one reason or another. I'm not sure that skutsch only plays thematic games but he may just be looking to fill an underrepresented category in his collection by getting rid of the lesser thematic games listed here.

I doubt his decision is being made solely based on the opinions of the BGG community. In fact, he even said that he included some games that he loves to serve as a baseline and would never get rid of them regardless of what BGG thinks so it's pretty clear that his decision is based on more than just what BGG thinks.
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Bryan Thunkd
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morris9597 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
curtc wrote:
Have you played these games? You decide whether to toss games based solely on how thematic they are? Or are they already on the chopping block and theme is their only possibly saving grace? Seems really bizarre.
Picking which games to cull by poll is what seems bizarre to me. What does it matter what people on BGG think? If you like the game, keep it, if you don't, don't.

The BGG consensus isn't likely to match up to your preferences very well.


The way I understand it is, he has games that he loves included in order to act as a control, but most of these are unplayed and on the chopping block for one reason or another.
In which case I'd say the best way to decide would be to play the games. Unless there's some rush to get rid of these games I don't see why any other method would be preferable.

morris9597 wrote:
In fact, he even said that he included some games that he loves to serve as a baseline and would never get rid of them regardless of what BGG thinks
How does that in any way imply this...
morris9597 wrote:
so it's pretty clear that his decision is based on more than just what BGG thinks.
If anything it sounds to me like he's using the games he loves as a test to see if the BGG consensus agrees with his own opinion of those games. And that if it lines up then he'll be more confident about accepting the BGG consensus about the ones he's thinking of getting rid of.

I think that logic is a fallacy by the way. Just because everyone can recognize genius when we see it doesn't mean that we'll all agree about more ambiguous examples.
 
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Shaun Morris
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Thunkd wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
curtc wrote:
Have you played these games? You decide whether to toss games based solely on how thematic they are? Or are they already on the chopping block and theme is their only possibly saving grace? Seems really bizarre.
Picking which games to cull by poll is what seems bizarre to me. What does it matter what people on BGG think? If you like the game, keep it, if you don't, don't.

The BGG consensus isn't likely to match up to your preferences very well.


The way I understand it is, he has games that he loves included in order to act as a control, but most of these are unplayed and on the chopping block for one reason or another.
In which case I'd say the best way to decide would be to play the games. Unless there's some rush to get rid of these games I don't see why any other method would be preferable.


I agree, but hey, to each their own. If skutsch wants to go with a poll in making his decision then hey, that's his prerogative.

Thunkd wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
In fact, he even said that he included some games that he loves to serve as a baseline and would never get rid of them regardless of what BGG thinks
How does that in any way imply this...
morris9597 wrote:
so it's pretty clear that his decision is based on more than just what BGG thinks.
If anything it sounds to me like he's using the games he loves as a test to see if the BGG consensus agrees with his own opinion of those games. And that if it lines up then he'll be more confident about accepting the BGG consensus about the ones he's thinking of getting rid of.

I think that logic is a fallacy by the way. Just because everyone can recognize genius when we see it doesn't mean that we'll all agree about more ambiguous examples.


Because he states,
Oh, and I've included a few games I have no intention of ever parting with, as points of comparison." So clearly he's not that concerned if the consensus of BGG is that those particular games suck. Which doesn't make your point about if BGG agrees with him, he'll feel more confident about getting rid of some of the games on the chopping block, wrong. In fact, I think you're 100% right in that assessment.

As to your last point, skutsch actually addresses that when he states, "(Yes, yes, I know it's my choice. I just like feedback. It's a quirk.)"

Regardless, of any of that, why do you care how someone decides to get rid of their games? They're his games and he can do whatever he pleases with them and get rid of them for whatever reason he so chooses.

Personally, I'm curious to see what BGG has to say regarding the theme in these various games. Not that it would decide what I buy, but it's always interesting to see what others think, even if you feel they're wrong.
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Jeremiah Cook
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I think a lot of arguments and needless quandaries would be avoided if we all thought to ourselves from time to time: WWSD?

...and then made a poll pertaining to the problem at hand. The world would be a better place.
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Bryan Thunkd
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morris9597 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
morris9597 wrote:
In fact, he even said that he included some games that he loves to serve as a baseline and would never get rid of them regardless of what BGG thinks
How does that in any way imply this...
morris9597 wrote:
so it's pretty clear that his decision is based on more than just what BGG thinks.
If anything it sounds to me like he's using the games he loves as a test to see if the BGG consensus agrees with his own opinion of those games. And that if it lines up then he'll be more confident about accepting the BGG consensus about the ones he's thinking of getting rid of.

I think that logic is a fallacy by the way. Just because everyone can recognize genius when we see it doesn't mean that we'll all agree about more ambiguous examples.


Because he states,
Oh, and I've included a few games I have no intention of ever parting with, as points of comparison." So clearly he's not that concerned if the consensus of BGG is that those particular games suck.
Nobody thinks he's getting rid of the games he loves. They were obviously never on the chopping block and are only in the poll as a control group for him to gauge if the BGG consensus is off base (according to him) or not.

If you thought that Skutsch keeping those games showed that he wasn't going to be swayed by the BGG consensus, then you didn't understand why he put those games in the poll. The fact that he used games he loves as a control group doesn't mean he won't be swayed by BGG to part with games he's not sure he wants to keep. So using that as evidence for your point was just misguided and wrong.

morris9597 wrote:
Regardless, of any of that, why do you care how someone decides to get rid of their games?
I don't particularly. I'm indifferent what he does with his games one way or the other. That doesn't mean I don't have an opinion about it. I do. I think it's a silly way to decide. Why do you care what I think?

morris9597 wrote:
They're his games and he can do whatever he pleases with them and get rid of them for whatever reason he so chooses.
And these are my opinions and I can express them as I please for whatever reason I choose. Your argument that Skutsch is free to do what he wants with his games can be used to argue that I'm free to tell him it's silly too.

morris9597 wrote:
it's always interesting to see what others think, even if you feel they're wrong.
Then I guess you're happy that I made my opinion publicly known.
 
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Pete
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I'm pretty sure it's never a good idea to get rid of games.

Pete (might try it anyway some day, but also might not)
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CARL SKUTSCH
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carterbeatsthedevil wrote:
I think a lot of arguments and needless quandaries would be avoided if we all thought to ourselves from time to time: WWSD?

...and then made a poll pertaining to the problem at hand. The world would be a better place.

This is so so true. You are most perceptive!
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CARL SKUTSCH
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I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
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Pete
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skutsch wrote:
I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description of "theme," and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the game involved in this case is not that.

Pete (says that thing about beholders)
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Bryan Thunkd
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skutsch wrote:
I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
I'm not sure "dripping" is the adjective I'd use, but it's a fantasy universe where all the races have special abilities that logically make sense for those races.

How could it be more thematic? Other than replacing the workers with mini's instead of cubes, I mean.

 
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Shaun Morris
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Ya know, I was in the middle of a response when I just kind of all of a sudden I realized, this is a really silly debate. Rather than continue to drag this thread down any further I'm just going to bow out so we can both focus on more interesting things on The Geek.

To that end, I bid you a fond until next time.

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CARL SKUTSCH
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Thunkd wrote:
skutsch wrote:
I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
I'm not sure "dripping" is the adjective I'd use, but it's a fantasy universe where all the races have special abilities that logically make sense for those races.

How could it be more thematic? Other than replacing the workers with mini's instead of cubes, I mean.


You have abilities that seem sorta thematic, truish. (Some more than others.) For some reason you can only exist in your patch of terrain, which is arbitrarily scattered over the map evenly. Just like every land mass I've ever seen. Riiiight. You don't fight wars, ever, but you do block each other off. You all have temples and strongholds because you share the same general culture for some reason. Then you all jump into various religions, which help you because (incertain Euro mechanism justification here) your city bonuses help because, er. It is about as bland and pasted on fantasy theme as I can imagine. Now I can see some folks going for "mildly thematic." I mean, they are fantasy races, they do have Euro'y special abilities, truish. But dripping, dripping?!? Then what do you call War of the Ring (Second Edition)?

But don't listen to me, listen to your fellow geeks:
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Ok, and what about the people who say Agricola has no theme that they can see?!?

Some people on here are mad, mad I tell you.
 
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Thunkd wrote:
skutsch wrote:
I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
I'm not sure "dripping" is the adjective I'd use, but it's a fantasy universe where all the races have special abilities that logically make sense for those races.

How could it be more thematic? Other than replacing the workers with mini's instead of cubes, I mean.



How do minis increase theme at all, they are the exact same thing they replaced. Do we not have imaginations?
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If I were you I would get rid of Agricola, Food Chain Magnate and Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan.
 
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Shaun Morris
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darthain wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
skutsch wrote:
I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
I'm not sure "dripping" is the adjective I'd use, but it's a fantasy universe where all the races have special abilities that logically make sense for those races.

How could it be more thematic? Other than replacing the workers with mini's instead of cubes, I mean.



How do minis increase theme at all, they are the exact same thing they replaced. Do we not have imaginations?


I think minis add a certain extra flare. While they're not necessary I do love me some minis.
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Bryan Thunkd
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darthain wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
skutsch wrote:
I remain amazed that anyone thinks Terra Mystica is dripping with theme.
I'm not sure "dripping" is the adjective I'd use, but it's a fantasy universe where all the races have special abilities that logically make sense for those races.

How could it be more thematic? Other than replacing the workers with mini's instead of cubes, I mean.



How do minis increase theme at all, they are the exact same thing they replaced. Do we not have imaginations?
Personally I don't think they add much of anything, but some people can't seem to appreciate theme without them.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Jorath wrote:

You very funny man.
 
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Phil Triest
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Too funny. La Granja has a bunch of people thinking that is not a game full of mechanics for mechanics sake. I ticked the no theme I can see box there as with Bora Bora.
 
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Tomello Visello
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curtc wrote:
Have you played these games? You decide whether to toss games based solely on how thematic they are?
Thunkd wrote:
Picking which games to cull by poll is what seems bizarre to me. What does it matter what people on BGG think?

I am moved to suspect the motivation is more about posting a "survey" than about "culling".

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I was wondering where the weekly poll was?
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Trevor Taylor
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skutsch wrote:
(Yes, yes, I know it's my choice. I just like feedback. It's a quirk.)


I feel some people missed this line when they commented...

I find games need to be either top-notch or very quick in order to be enjoyed by me if the theme is pasted on (or worse abstract). Exceptions are where my wife enjoy it.

Although I found theme can sometimes suffer from the wrong players. Only by one notch on your scale at most, but if you ignore flavour text and call them cubes rather than warriors/rogues then you're not really embracing the them.

But I'm also from the camp which believes players should narrate their moves in any game (adding theme if they so wish) just so no-one asks immediately after what they did and slows up the game.
 
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