Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: "Trading in the Mediterranean" trope? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sometimes I notice in Tom Vassel's video's mention of "trading in the Mediterranean" as the most pasted on (or overused) theme possible. I wonder if somebody could help with the naming of actual games that formed this "trend"?

Candidates (guesses)
thumbsup
Genoa (well trading in Genoa, which lies at the Mediterranean coast)

Oltre Mare

Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean

thumbsdown
Puerto Rico,(Caribbean)

San Juan (Caribbean),

Goa (India),

Mare Nostrum (more than just trading/bidding going on).



EDIT: figured out how to add pics
EDIT 2: moved Mare nostrum
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Vasel
United States
Homestead
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Love Games, Love 'Em!!!
badge
Check out DiceTower.com!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's more of a euphemism for "trading games set in medieval or Renaissance time period." Whether the game is set in India, the Caribbean, etc. - it all has the same feel. And yet we still see more games with this theme come out every year. Bleah.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Seoul
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Le Havre
Not the Mediterranean but same idea.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nordican wrote:
Le Havre
Not the Mediterranean but same idea.
But this one has contemporary theme + Le Havre is at Atlantic coast. I think this one is still different theme-wise.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Virre Linwendil Annergård
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Forza Bajen!
badge
... and still sober
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The more obvious ones are stuff such as
Hansa , of course it is the Trope Done right... In the Baltic

(Okey so I been reading on TVTropes all day and Hansa is one of my favourite games...)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TomVasel wrote:
It's more of a euphemism for "trading games set in medieval or Renaissance time period." Whether the game is set in India, the Caribbean, etc. - it all has the same feel. And yet we still see more games with this theme come out every year. Bleah.

wow, I'm flattered, I didn't think you'd be the first to respond. blush

What would you say are quintessential trading-in-the-Mediterranean games? The most typical or the one guilty for the trend? The Princes of Florence (not trading, not medditerean, but still, the one Michael Barnes blames for everything ), Catan, generic "middle-ages" setting, but indeed very influental).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TomVasel wrote:
It's more of a euphemism for "trading games set in medieval or Renaissance time period." Whether the game is set in India, the Caribbean, etc. - it all has the same feel. And yet we still see more games with this theme come out every year. Bleah.

Maybe not quite the same thing as "Trading in the Med'", but my peeve trope is what I call "Bidding in the Renaissance." Princes of Florence triggered my awareness of the vague similarity in many Renaissance-themed games that you noticed. Notre Dame sealed it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bert Nerdsen
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Serenissima (first edition) directly came to my mind.

If Mare Nostrum is a candidate, then don't forget Civilization.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Seoul
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
bert_nerdsen wrote:
Serenissima (first edition) directly came to my mind.

If Mare Nostrum is a candidate, then don't forget Civilization.

Oh, now you've cross the line of good taste. Calling Civ a "trading in the Med" game? Shame on you.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bert Nerdsen
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nordican wrote:
bert_nerdsen wrote:
Serenissima (first edition) directly came to my mind.

If Mare Nostrum is a candidate, then don't forget Civilization.

Oh, now you've cross the line of good taste. Calling Civ a "trading in the Med" game? Shame on you.

The conditional clause was well-considered. Wouldn't call Mare Nostrum such a game either.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Norway
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Tom, I am so tired of games with that theme. But I hate another one more; "The winner is the person that gain most victorypoints by gaining favours by the king"...", how overused is that theme??!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
flag msg tools
SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nordican wrote:
Oh, now you've cross the line of good taste. Calling Civ a "trading in the Med" game? Shame on you.

Civilization is the archetype of trading (and some other things) in the Mediterranean. It's just that the others aren't as good. And Civilization demonstrates why "pasted on" is just plain wrong in it's case, and I suspect at least some others named as well.

Taking Civilization as an example, it shows why the game type works. It's got a good topology, with land round the outside and a sea all are around in the middle. It's got familiarity with the peoples and places involved. It's got a theme that works - people really did trade around and across the Mediterranean, and fight the odd conflict.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bert_nerdsen wrote:
If Mare Nostrum is a candidate, then don't forget Civilization.
I was just giving suggestions, pr questions, I am nowhere near sure.
I think you and others are right or half/right, civ games hace certainly much more going on than just trading and cover much more time-wise and geographic wise than just Mediterranean and Middle age. So I would agree with you.

Although, when civ games tried to get shorter and lighter (like SoC) and with that moved to some other genre the trope was born: bidding/trading in middle age/ renaissance.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PICS!
virre wrote:
The more obvious ones are stuff such as
Hansa , of course it is the Trope Done right... In the Baltic

BradyLS wrote:
Maybe not quite the same thing as "Trading in the Med'", but my peeve trope is what I call "Bidding in the Renaissance." Princes of Florence triggered my awareness of the vague similarity in many Renaissance-themed games that you noticed. Notre Dame sealed it.
The Princes of Florence

Notre Dame

bert_nerdsen wrote:
Serenissima (first edition) directly came to my mind.


And last but not least:
Catan

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If we're going to call it a trope, we should at least stick to the games that actually fit. Hansa? Settlers? San Juan? None are in the Med. And Notre Dame? Come on: geek cred dwindling, people.

Add Tyros.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tommynomad wrote:
If we're going to call it a trope, we should at least stick to the games that actually fit. Hansa? Settlers? San Juan? None are in the Med. And Notre Dame? Come on: geek cred dwindling, people.

Add Tyros.
My trope is "Bidding in the Renaissance." Not "Trading in the Mediterranean." Thankyouverymuch.

...Anyway, good call on Tyros.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Mumford
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
ceci n'est pas une pipe
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tommynomad wrote:
If we're going to call it a trope, we should at least stick to the games that actually fit. Hansa? Settlers? San Juan? None are in the Med. And Notre Dame? Come on: geek cred dwindling, people.

Add Tyros.

Add Traders of Osaka.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh I hoped there was a trope already present, not that we have to invent it first.

But no fear.

"Trading-the-Mediterranean"
AKA "bidding-in-the renaissance"

Meaning:
doing some non-aggressive actions in most inoffensive environment as possible.

Reason:
we don't won't to offend anybody, neither with mechanics (trading, bidding, worker placement, whatever) nor with theme, but as it is for adults it must be serious looking (no sci-fi, fantasy), without really being serious (no contemporary theme).

Other possible names:
worker placement in middle ages (building castle more or less - Caylus, Kingsburg, Castle for all seasons, ...)

Other uses for name:
- what euro game designers think is a theme

Opposite: actual historical theme
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Johnson
United States
Vernon Hills
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Commerce in the Faux-naissance"?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick McInally
Canada
Etobicoke
Ontario
flag msg tools
When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning
badge
Rust monsters: separating the wheat from the chaff since 1976.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Speaking as someone who finds many of these games derivative and disinteresting, slagging euros for the theme of "medieval trading" doesn't seem much more genuine or fair than slagging a wargame themed with "WWII" or "Rome vs. Carthage".

I don't think the problem is pasted on theme but, rather, a lack of exciting new mechanisms in the game. At a certain point, an interesting math problem is just an interesting math problem... so if you've got a few interesting games that throw new, albeit very similar, problems at you each time, another game that throws new, albeit very similar, problems at you won't really feel all that necessary.

The same can be said of wargames. There are dozens of games dealing with the Battle of Bulge, to name one example. Someone not particularly interested in the engagement would probably be happy with just one and find the rest derivative. They might even say "wargame with a pasted on theme!" and who's to argue with that? Yet another person might own every single title ever published dealing with the battle... and play most of them.

At a certain point, when it comes to the breadth of titles available, it's not the theme but the game itself that matters.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mac Mcleod
United States
houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Those feel different.

That kind of war game is typically a simulation and history lesson of actual battles.

Different simulations of the battle at different levels of detail (D-DAY, 5000 historically accurate counters.) Memoir:44 D-DAY Scenario, 80? counters).

The equivalent medieval trading game would have real historically accurate ships, historically accurate trade goods, wind and storm rules, pirate rules, cannons, political rules for the countries (these guys hate traders, these like traders, these traded in these three trade goods), etc. It would probably be based around the various Indies trading companies.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sobriquet wrote:
Speaking as someone who finds many of these games derivative and disinteresting, slagging euros for the theme of "medieval trading" doesn't seem much more genuine or fair than slagging a wargame themed with "WWII" or "Rome vs. Carthage".

I would say it is different. 10 different but thorough wargame approaches (at least compared to TitM) still show an interest in the theme. Or maybe they feel the theme is interesting to the customers. In the TitM thrope however is more of a case of trying not to offend anybody - just like politics really (everybody in the middle, everybody pretty much boring). It's more of nott doing what you think they won't like than what they will like (or another example: like Disney before Pixar).


In TV thrope terms is a case of bowdlerising, which I think is different than your case. It's a mainstream or trying-to-be-mainstream disease.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls