Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
100 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Is This a Good Way to Explain Euro vs. Ameritrash? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Intres
United States
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was visiting with my aunt yesterday and we started to talk about board games (She is always interested in what I'm into) when the terms Euro and Ameritrash came up.

Now I know there are specific defintions for them, but the best way I could explain it is this:

Euros tend to develop a system for a game and then add a theme to it whereas Ameritrash tend to develop a theme and then come up with a system to play the game.

I'm not sure if that's 100% correct, but it seems that it gets the differences across without to many confusing terms or examples.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rokkr wrote:
Dice.

Stone Age
A Game of Thrones
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MusedFable wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Dice.

Stone Age
A Game of Thrones

AGoT is ameritrash. Stone Age is just trash.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RowdyRodimus wrote:
I was visiting with my aunt yesterday and we started to talk about board games (She is always interested in what I'm into) when the terms Euro and Ameritrash came up.

Now I know there are specific defintions for them, but the best way I could explain it is this:

Euros tend to develop a system for a game and then add a theme to it whereas Ameritrash tend to develop a theme and then come up with a system to play the game.

I'm not sure if that's 100% correct, but it seems that it gets the differences across without to many confusing terms or examples.


That's about how I see it. That's not necessarily how they were actually developed, but it generally feels that way. Euros tend to be an abstract gaming system with a theme attached to it (sometimes quite well, sometimes not so well) to add flavour. Ameritrash seem to be a specific theme, where the rules are attached to the theme (sometimes quite well, sometimes not so well) to make the theme into a playable game.

So basically yes, I think your description is a decent way to explain the difference.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh P.
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see some very thematic Euro games and some Ameritrash games with themes simply pasted on to a dice-rolling system.

For example, Android seems to have some very Euro mechanics, but is very thematically rich.

I would say if you are going to explain the difference between Ameritrash and Euro games, it mainly boils down to a discussion of direct vs. indirect conflict. American games feature more direct conflict and player elimination, while Euro games have more indirect conflict (e.g. worker placement).
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rokkr wrote:
MusedFable wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Dice.

Stone Age
A Game of Thrones

AGoT is ameritrash. Stone Age is just trash.


You sir, get the gold star award for contributing to the discussion.

Regardless of your personal feelings about Stone Age, it does involve dice. As do Kingsburg, To Court the King, Yspahan, and an increasing number of games that are often glossed with the increasingly meaningless term "euro".
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh P.
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rokkr wrote:
MusedFable wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Dice.

Stone Age
A Game of Thrones

AGoT is ameritrash. Stone Age is just trash.


No, AGoT is a waro.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
joshp wrote:
I see some very thematic Euro games and some Ameritrash games with themes simply pasted on to a dice-rolling system.

For example, Android seems to have some very Euro mechanics, but is very thematically rich.

I would say if you are going to explain the difference between Ameritrash and Euro games, it mainly boils down to a discussion of direct vs. indirect conflict. American games feature more direct conflict and player elimination, while Euro games have more indirect conflict (e.g. worker placement).


I like that description, of course at that point you can just call them "direct conflict" and "indirect conflict" games and dispense with the almost meaningless, semi-prejorative "euro" and "ameritrash" labels alltogether.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Ottawa
Ontario
msg tools
Avatar
Rokkr wrote:
Dice.


That's a horrible distinction.

To me, taking a tile out of a bag (T&E) and receiving random cards (Citadels) is the same as dice as far as luck is concerned.

Just search the countless forum posts about this silly topic and you'll find tons of horribly un-entertaining arguments on the subject.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ameritrash is a summer movie with big explosions and monsters.

Euros care about characters and plot.
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
.308 Jake
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Passive aggressive wood vs. Aggressive plastic.
30 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Intres
United States
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the replies. It was either that answer or Boring vs. Fun. devil
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What about Tigris & Euphrates? I think most people would classify it as a euro but it has plenty of direct conflict.

I think any description you try to give will always have exceptions.

I suppose the I would probably distinguish between them by saying that a euro game tries to primarily attempts to provide elegance in design, where an ameritrash game primarily attempts to provide immersion in the theme.

I'm sure some games try to do both roughly equally though, and some games definitely fail at what they try to do. But I think that would be a decent way to distinguish.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
MusedFable wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Dice.

Stone Age
A Game of Thrones

AGoT is ameritrash. Stone Age is just trash.


You sir, get the gold star award for contributing to the discussion.

Regardless of your personal feelings about Stone Age, it does involve dice. As do Kingsburg, To Court the King, Yspahan, and an increasing number of games that are often glossed with the increasingly meaningless term "euro".

Jebus, some of you people are as humorless as prunes.
Take the stick out of your ass.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
VETRHUS of Rogaland
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
An ash I know, Yggdrasil its name. With water white is the great tree wet; thence come the dews that fall in the dales. Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wood v. Plastic
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mika R.
Finland
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AT game
- Contains detailed game composition
- Describes the game's context (game world) using balanced amounts of linguistic and mechanical elements
- Doesn't let players have a full control on the game enviroment
- Allows direct social interaction through mechanics


Eurogame
- Contains abstracted game composition
- Emphasizes mechanics over linguistics in the game's context (world) description
- Allows players often to control the game environment
- Typically doesn't allow direct social interaction through mechanics

12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RowdyRodimus wrote:
I was visiting with my aunt yesterday and we started to talk about board games (She is always interested in what I'm into) when the terms Euro and Ameritrash came up.

Now I know there are specific defintions for them, but the best way I could explain it is this:

Euros tend to develop a system for a game and then add a theme to it whereas Ameritrash tend to develop a theme and then come up with a system to play the game.

I'm not sure if that's 100% correct, but it seems that it gets the differences across without to many confusing terms or examples.
That explanation definitely captures the feel of the genres IMO.


Dice/no dice, direct/inderect conflict, and wood/plastic are not defining of either genre. There are plenty of solid examples of Euros or AT with Dice or either type of conflict or components.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
I mostly reduce it to the shorthand: Which is more important, what you think during the game or what you feel during the game?
10 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
RowdyRodimus wrote:
Euros tend to develop a system for a game and then add a theme to it whereas Ameritrash tend to develop a theme and then come up with a system to play the game.


In my opinion, this is not a good way to distinguish these things.

We live in a largely post-euro, post-AT world today. Stereotypes of either genre don't really apply very well to many new games being made and, perhaps, they only ever applied in an idealized or general sense. If you really want to try to put it all together in a short statement, here's something to try on;

"Euros are about mechanics. AT are about theme."

See, both euros and AT can come from either mechanics or from theme when they are made. It is a myth that somehow euro designers don't care at all about theme and just paste one on. It is also a myth that AT designers don't care about solid game play and just throw together their and paste them on to a thematic idea. Both sorts of designers, if there can really be said to still be two different kinds anymore, have become heavily influenced by the other.

It is not so much about how they are made, but perhaps what the intention of the maker is... a euro is meant to be played. To be worked out, to be considered and to be studied; you talk strategy when you talk about how a euro is played - points and the value of actions and such.

By contrast, an AT game is meant to be enjoyed. You are intended to worry somewhat less about discovering the perfect strategy for victory, but instead play out the theme and enjoy the game in the playing. Mind you, it's still a game, you'll still be playing to win. But AT game (gamers?) are more accepting of a game where a carefully considered best play is not as good as a decisive, dramatic, good play now.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Germany
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
clearclaw wrote:
I mostly reduce it to the shorthand: Which is more important, what you think during the game or what you feel during the game?

If I think about the work I need to do the next day and feel bored shit out of hell, I'm playing a euro.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mika R.
Finland
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clearclaw wrote:
I mostly reduce it to the shorthand: Which is more important, what you think during the game or what you feel during the game?


If you play a game X and get a balanced mixture of decisions and feelings of pleasure after decisions, which game do you play then?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
whistler
United States
West Virginia
flag msg tools
Knob Creek Manhattan
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RowdyRodimus wrote:
Thanks for the replies. It was either that answer or Boring vs. Fun. devil


Simon Mueller wrote:
If I think about the work I need to do the next day and feel bored shit out of hell, I'm playing a euro.


Whereas I find AT to be dull and many euros to be fun.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RowdyRodimus wrote:
Now I know there are specific defintions for them...


That's where your premise falls flat on its face.

There are no such definitions. Period.

There are, instead, a group of blind men groping different parts of two animals in a room.

Although, upon further review, I will say I like the sound of Geosphere's analogy.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know this abstracts out many of the distinctions, but for a brief conversational allusion this comparison works best for me:

Euro = tight, short, and elegant
Ameritrash = loose, long, and messy
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.