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Subject: Eurotrash-An emerging form? rss

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Not all games made in Europe, by europeans are abstracts played with painted wooden cubes on stylished gameboards... Like eg. this one...



Some games, like Hybrid from Rackham:


Tannhäuser from Take on you:


and the upcomming Okko lére dásigiri from Hazgaard:



...are all about miniatures, colourfull, exotic boards and bits, and loads of dice, and very heavy on theme and style. And Fantasy Flight Games have announced that they will release Tannhäuser and Okko in american versions.
So, if you can dig into the whole Euro/Amereitrash debate, or at least have oppinions on the different design strategies and approaches to games associated with tose labels, do you see these european games as Ameritrash, that´s just made on the wrong side of the Atlantic, or are there sufficient style differences between the US games and the european (french!) ones, to categorize them as something new and different, that could be termed as... EUROTRASH !?

EDIT: The purpose of the thread is NOT to add to any Ameri/Euro debate, by trying to add more stuff to it, but is actually about trying to find out more about a certain group of new games!
 
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Zopper Alf
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There has been a long tradition of Schmidt Spiele re-releasing or even publishing new games with miniatures in germany in the early 90s.
Same goes for Roleplaying games.

I think in germany there's also a market for those kinds of games but it's relatively small compared to the family gaming market...

Just take a look at Die Schlacht der Dinosaurier or Dark World.

There was also a strong community of play by mail players and most Games Workshop games have also been released as german editions for example...

Chill: Black Morn Manor, Warlock, Wizard's Quest...

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash. Some americans need to emphasize over and over again that they "have their own special kind of games"...

Please don't start this with European games, there has always been a niche and there will (likely) always be a niche for miniatures games and wargames.

Ciao,
Simon
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Troy Adlington
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Simon,

People need something to jabber on about. Have you seen TV lately??

Noise to signal ratio baby!!
 
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Zopper-Alf wrote:

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash. Some americans need to emphasize over and over again that they "have their own special kind of games"...

Please don't start this with European games, there has always been a niche and there will (likely) always be a niche for miniatures games and wargames.

Ciao,
Simon


Hi Simon!

I aggree with you about this, and my purpose wasn´t further labelling, and more debate about what type of game is worse or better. It was more about trying to find out, sort of from a "scientific" angle, if the european games of this style had some things in common, that they do NOT share with similar american games. To find out if a uniquely european approach to designing those kinds of games could be discovered.
I don´t know, maybe it was just stupid of me, but I thought it might be an interesting discussion!

P.s. The whole idea for this started, when I got to thinking about the recent announcements from BGG, that they are releasing american versions of various european games, like Tannhäuser, Anima and the above-mentioned Okko, that seem to me to have something in common.
 
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Zopper Alf
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No worries,
I didn't meant to sound cocky. Just pointing out that only because the mainstream games have become popular around the world didn't mean that there aren't still some niche game

You might also want to check out the many french wargames (also Italian games come to mind in this genre).

I only react a bit allergic to the term Ameritrash (altough I like the genre, but again: it's not sooo special that it deserves a dedicated fellowship)

Ciao,
Simon
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Mark McEvoy
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jtspecial wrote:
if the european games of this style had some things in common


French designers?

I think France is largely a hybrid (heh) of the German and American 'schools' of game design.


(I'm assuming these French-named designers are, indeed, from France. Correct me but don't kill me if they're from, like, Belgium or Switzerland).
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thatmarkguy wrote:
jtspecial wrote:
if the european games of this style had some things in common


French designers?

I think France is largely a hybrid (heh) of the German and American 'schools' of game design.


... Yes, it was something like that, I´m looking for, the hybrid form´s uniqueness! When different ideas meet and mingle, somtimes something new and different emerges.
 
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Eric Jome
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jtspecial wrote:
So, if you can dig into the whole Euro/Amereitrash debate...


Once again.

"Eurogame" and "ameritrash" have nothing to do with where the game was made or the nationality of the designers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or players. This has nothing to do with nationality. Never did. Never will.

Also, little plastic bits is hardly the defining trait of ameritrash games. Any game that emphasizes theme over mechanics and has direct conflict between players is likely to cast an ameritrash shadow. In fact, the "theme over mechanics" versus "mechanics over theme" is probably the only worthwhile part of the entire discussion... and that's a continuum, not a black and white.

So, there is no "eurotrash". For that matter, what is a "euro"? What is "ameritrash"? Is Tigris & Euphrates a "euro"? Is Memoir '44 "ameritrash"?

Dig into the debate indeed... cuz you'll have to cut through a lot of bull to get to the good bits.
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cosine wrote:
jtspecial wrote:
So, if you can dig into the whole Euro/Amereitrash debate...


Once again.

"Eurogame" and "ameritrash" have nothing to do with where the game was made or the nationality of the designers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or players. This has nothing to do with nationality. Never did. Never will.

Also, little plastic bits is hardly the defining trait of ameritrash games. Any game that emphasizes theme over mechanics and has direct conflict between players is likely to cast an ameritrash shadow. In fact, the "theme over mechanics" versus "mechanics over theme" is probably the only worthwhile part of the entire discussion... and that's a continuum, not a black and white.

So, there is no "eurotrash". For that matter, what is a "euro"? What is "ameritrash"? Is Tigris & Euphrates a "euro"? Is Memoir '44 "ameritrash"?

Dig into the debate indeed... cuz you'll have to cut through a lot of bull to get to the good bits.



Let me say again, that I´m NOT Euro/Ameritrash debating here!
I´m pointing out that I have noticed a small but growing group of games, primarily from european/french game designers that seem to have some things, a certain style, in common.
If anyone has any comments on THAT, feel free to post them, in addition to whatever else you might have gotten out of what I´m saying here...
 
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Eric Jome
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jtspecial wrote:
I´m pointing out that I have noticed a small but growing group of games, primarily from european/french game designers that seem to have some things, a certain style, in common.


Is it relevant that they are European/French? Doesn't seem like it to me. Lots of people around the world making games like this these days.

What is this style that these games seem to have in common? From the pictures above, I see that it is lots of bits. Perhaps the cost of bits has come down?

I say that tongue in cheek, but there has been a rise in scale and quality of printing lately. It has nothing to do with euros or ameritrash, however. It most likely is an outgrowth of digital, on demand printing capacities for manufacturers and the cheap and easy interconnectedness of development, art, and pre-production based on Internet communication.

So, is that what you are interested in? How people around the world are able to bring to market complex, richly produced games like never before?

There is another aspect, then... are we seeing a swing of the pendulum between simple, short games and complex, long games away from the former and toward the latter? That the recent offerings across the board are more involved lately than the works created 5 or 10 years ago? I could see this being true - as development costs and time shrink, they enable board game developers to compete with the richly textured world of computer games by creating more varied offerings. It would probably take some grinding away at the database to try to detect a trend shift in the style of games across the years though...
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Zopper-Alf wrote:

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash. Some americans need to emphasize over and over again that they "have their own special kind of games"...



Of course it's nonsense. It's supposed to be nonsense. Do you think people "actually" take the Ameritrash stuff "seriously". It's a meme, a joke, it was created for fun.
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jason
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Obviously you don't frequent nightclubs. Eurotrash is hardly emerging. They've been around for years! With the ribbed sweaters and the gelled hair, and the distinct looks on their faces as if something smells funny. There was actually a Eurotrash-Amerisnoot hybrid board game released concurrently with the film "Night at the Roxbury" Check it out.
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Ken B.
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MWChapel wrote:
Zopper-Alf wrote:

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash. Some americans need to emphasize over and over again that they "have their own special kind of games"...



Of course it's nonsense. It's supposed to be nonsense. Do you think people "actually" take the Ameritrash stuff "seriously". It's a meme, a joke, it was created for fun.




Monkeyman gets it. It's a humorous buzzword that spawned some great discussion.

Over in the Comments section of Fortress: Ameritrash, someone recently took us to task for not illustrating what makes our favorite types of games "good". Obviously, unlike Michael they'd missed the entire point. It's pretty telling that as many as half our posts there are humor-themed (whether we make someone laugh is of course debatable, but that's the intention).


It is useful as a classification, but only superficially; after all, "AT" games don't always come from America (see GW and Nexus, among many), and we don't consider them to be "trash". It does allow conversation about similar games--and fans of those styles of games--to pool and congregate without a long spiel about the typical elements of those types of games.


As far as the OP--I think it's GREAT to see new, heavily themed and gorgeously produced games being developed by our friends across the pond. After all, that's the stuff I like! And even better, coming from different perspectives and add to it the great strides made in game development even over the past several years, and that can only mean great, thematic bits-fests with nice, clean rules. BRING IT ON!
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franklincobb wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Zopper-Alf wrote:

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash. Some americans need to emphasize over and over again that they "have their own special kind of games"...



Of course it's nonsense. It's supposed to be nonsense. Do you think people "actually" take the Ameritrash stuff "seriously". It's a meme, a joke, it was created for fun.




Monkeyman gets it. It's a humorous buzzword that spawned some great discussion.

Over in the Comments section of Fortress: Ameritrash, someone recently took us to task for not illustrating what makes our favorite types of games "good". Obviously, unlike Michael they'd missed the entire point. It's pretty telling that as many as half our posts there are humor-themed (whether we make someone laugh is of course debatable, but that's the intention).


It is useful as a classification, but only superficially; after all, "AT" games don't always come from America (see GW and Nexus, among many), and we don't consider them to be "trash". It does allow conversation about similar games--and fans of those styles of games--to pool and congregate without a long spiel about the typical elements of those types of games.


As far as the OP--I think it's GREAT to see new, heavily themed and gorgeously produced games being developed by our friends across the pond. After all, that's the stuff I like! And even better, coming from different perspectives and add to it the great strides made in game development even over the past several years, and that can only mean great, thematic bits-fests with nice, clean rules. BRING IT ON!


Yup!
I somewhat regret having used the ameri/euro terms in my opening post though, but I only used them, because they should be familiar to most BGG users(!) to illustrate some broad categories of games and different approaches to designing them.
And as for the different perspective thing, that´s what I´m searching for, what it adds to the whole gaming thing!
 
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Zopper-Alf wrote:

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash.


No kidding. The whole Ameritrash business relies on a false understanding of the games market.
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Ay, that makes more sense..
Thanks for pointing that out Michael and Ken.
Although I still have the feeling that some persons take it far too serious (but I didn't really follow the "discussions").

Anyway, I definitely am looking forward for some of the games and already talked with a frenchman if he could get Tannhäuser for me...

I love "small" miniatures, or better games where you don't have to buy a ton of minis to get starting.

I already mailed a friend of mine who is into asian history in general and showed him the new game..

Sorry for the misunderstanding, and again: I didn't want to sound cocky in my first post
Simon
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cosine wrote:
jtspecial wrote:
I´m pointing out that I have noticed a small but growing group of games, primarily from european/french game designers that seem to have some things, a certain style, in common.


Is it relevant that they are European/French? Doesn't seem like it to me. Lots of people around the world making games like this these days.

What is this style that these games seem to have in common? From the pictures above, I see that it is lots of bits. Perhaps the cost of bits has come down?

I say that tongue in cheek, but there has been a rise in scale and quality of printing lately. It has nothing to do with euros or ameritrash, however. It most likely is an outgrowth of digital, on demand printing capacities for manufacturers and the cheap and easy interconnectedness of development, art, and pre-production based on Internet communication.

So, is that what you are interested in? How people around the world are able to bring to market complex, richly produced games like never before?

There is another aspect, then... are we seeing a swing of the pendulum between simple, short games and complex, long games away from the former and toward the latter? That the recent offerings across the board are more involved lately than the works created 5 or 10 years ago? I could see this being true - as development costs and time shrink, they enable board game developers to compete with the richly textured world of computer games by creating more varied offerings. It would probably take some grinding away at the database to try to detect a trend shift in the style of games across the years though...



When the first obvious thing to put your finger on is the frenchness of the games, I think it´s an interesting place to start looking for what the games have in common.

And apart from the bits, if you check out the games a little more than that, they have more in common.

Maybe you´re right about the points you make about production. What we´re seeing here, might be that it has become easier to start up in the boardgame industry, and we´re seeing games from new independant people, that might not have gotten picked up and produced by the older, more established companies. Maybe what I´m "sensing" here is the appearence of these new hybrid forms of games made by people who have been exposed to games from the different design schools, and are now mixing and matching to get the best of both worlds?

Edit: I just reread the last paragraphs of this post, and I swear! I didn´t mean to sound pompous!
 
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Euro and Ameri prefixes no longer have anything to do with geography.

And they never had anything to do with relevence.
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jtspecial wrote:
I aggree with you about this, and my purpose wasn´t further labelling, and more debate about what type of game is worse or better. It was more about trying to find out, sort of from a "scientific" angle, if the european games of this style had some things in common, that they do NOT share with similar american games. To find out if a uniquely european approach to designing those kinds of games could be discovered.
I don´t know, maybe it was just stupid of me, but I thought it might be an interesting discussion.


The issue of American style games quickly got away from the games themselves. But I think one of the sources of discord was that the recent "American-style" games are not much like the games of the 70s and 80s at all. To many people, American style games were old games and all the new games that weren't wargames or collectable were lumped in with Euros because, apart from lurid geek themes they, have more in common than not.

I think the most objective way to categorize games is based on mechanisms. Dice based combat games are surely making a come back. Fortunately many of them appear to be rife with mechanical innovation as well.
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MWChapel wrote:
Zopper-Alf wrote:

The whole Ameritrash debate is nonsense and same goes for Eurotrash. Some americans need to emphasize over and over again that they "have their own special kind of games"...



Of course it's nonsense. It's supposed to be nonsense. Do you think people "actually" take the Ameritrash stuff "seriously". It's a meme, a joke, it was created for fun.


Actually, the word "Ameritrash" was coined in the late 1990s over on usenet (rec.games.board), and it referred to bad games prodcued by American game companies. It had nothing AT ALL to do with minitatures or anything that the "Ameritrashers" here on the Geek embrace as a separate genre. Back when the term was first coined, gamers who played lots of Euro-style games held no snobbish notions about how their style of game was better than things like Axis & Allies or other things most BGG'ers new to the hobby would consider an Ameritrash game. They (we, because I was in that camp) were snobby about roll and move games with no strategy in them at all.

Games that fit the original definition of Ameritrash included things like , Sorry, Payday, Monopoly (to some people), and so on. It usually meant games where you rolled the dice and moved around track. The term was almost an expression of regret that American companies couldn't produce and sell games that had clever mechansisms or interesting decisions to be made.

See this post from rec.games.board from January, 2000 for a picture of the debate going on then as to how to categorize and name different game styles. Ameritrash meant games like I described in my paragraph above:
http://tinyurl.com/3yqrpg

Dave
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David Vander Ark wrote:
Actually, the word "Ameritrash" was coined in the late 1990s over on usenet (rec.games.board), and it referred to bad games prodcued by American game companies.


Indeed, true. Of course, the word "queer" used to mean "weird", but today it is often associated with something else entirely.

The "ameritrash" community is trying to co-opt a derogatory term for themselves, turning it around and wearing it as a badge of honor. It's a long and glorious tradition.
 
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David Vander Ark wrote:
Games that fit the original definition of Ameritrash included things like , Sorry, Payday, Monopoly (to some people), and so on. It usually meant games where you rolled the dice and moved around track.
That's how I understood the word- without having seen the usenet debates. If eurogames were all about abstract mechanics and low quality bits I'd never play them
 
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