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Subject: An Alternative Classification of Board Games (long) rss

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David F
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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I’ve posted this alternative classification/taxonomy of board games before, but that was in draft/wiki mode which the geeklist format facilitates. And I wanted to get this into the Game Design forum for your input, which is the most suitable home for it. Below follows the entire schema, by request from some users, for easy reading and reference. This is the most up-to-date glossary (moreso than the geeklists).

Game Formats
The highest level of classification. Previously known as 'Inter-Player Relationships'

Competitive: Beat your opponent(s), and you alone revel in victory. Exception: if you record a team victory with other players, but the team is not coordinative -- the game is designed such that one person can control the team and responsibilities are merely divided upon players -- then it's competitive (e.g. Axis & Allies). Also, games that do not have an inter-player relationship classification, or which are ambiguous, go here (at least until more similar games are released and they deserve their own classification).
– Nearly any board game is an example.
Cooperative: All players are on the same team and "play against the board" for a shared victory. The team is non-coordinative, which means responsibilities are simply shared among players, and one player could assume everybody's roles and play solo without any change in the game.
– Castle Ravenloft, Forbidden Island, Lord of the Rings, Pandemic, Ghost Stories
Coordinative: All players are on the same team and "play against the board" for a shared victory. The team is coordinative, which means responsibilities are not trivially shared among players, and one player could not assume everybody's roles and play solo.
– Space Alert, Wok Star
Semi-Cooperative: A team of players versus one player. The one player plays a competitive game, whereas players in the team play a cooperative game, complete with no coordination. Hence, this is an mixture between competitive and cooperative. A semi-cooperative game would show up in searches for both competitive and cooperative games.
– Catacombs, Descent, Fury of Dracula, Middle-earth Quest, Nuns on the Run, Scotland Yard
Teams/Partnerships: Teams of players compete with each other to achieve a shared victory. The teams are coordinative, which means one player would not be able to play for an entire team.
– Bridge, Charades, Cranium, Pictionary, Spades, Time’s Up!, Tichu, Tuo La Ji
2v2: Games which mainly play as competitive games, but with the option for a 2v2 coordinative team/partnership game with 4 players. Hence, this is a mixture between competitive and coordinative. A semi-coordinative 2v2 game would show up in searches for both competitive and team/partnership games.
– Ingenious, King of Siam, Lost Cities, Scarab, Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York
Hidden Loyalties: Teams/Partnerships, but you know only what team you're on, and not what the others are on. Neutral characters that have no loyalty are permitted.
– Bang, Battlestar Galactica, The Resistance, Shadow Hunters, Werewolf
- This could be rolled under Teams/Partnerships due to redundancy with the Deduction (Signaling) genre.
Edit: Now rolled under Teams/Partnerships.

Edit: Addendum due to Morganza's examples: these inter-player relationships consider only the winning condition, if winning and losing conditions are different (e.g. competitive win condition, coordinative lose condition).

Genres
Genre is the main point or flavor/feel of the game, how you'd summarize the game with just 1-3 sets of words, when you fill in the blank as you tell somebody, "Chess is a _______ game". Multiple descriptors are okay to accommodate games that bend genres and combine ideas from multiple predecessors (though whether it's done well and cleanly is another story). The genre is usually conveyed in the first part of a rulebook under "Object", "Goal", "Introduction" etc. Genre does not include theme, which is a completely separate and obvious taxon. (I strongly disagree the blending of Genre, Theme, and for that matter, Mechanics, in BGG’s Categories list. Also, some Genres are dumped in BGG's Mechanics and Families lists.)

Predominantly Abstract Strategy

Alignment: Manipulate pieces into specific lines/patterns in order to win.
- Connect Four, Gomoku, Wasabi!, YINSH
Capture: Trap and eliminate your opponent’s objective piece through superior deployment and positioning of units. Pieces have heterogeneous abilities.
- Chess, Hive, LOTR: The Confrontation, Mr. Jack, Stratego
Attrition: Eliminate the most (or all) opponent pieces in order to win, superior deployment and positioning. Pieces tend to have homogeneous, stackable abilities.
– 2 de Mayo, Checkers, Fish Eat Fish
Breakout: Get your piece(s) to the other side. Your opponent actively tries to hinder your progress by placing obstacles, capturing your pieces and/or removing paths.
– Backgammon, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Quoridor
Area Enclosure: Surround off areas; you own, or score VPs for, all the areas you enclose.
– Blokus, Domaine, Fjords, Go, Hey! That’s My Fish!, Through the Desert
Area Influence (Abstract): Control individual areas/regions (by leaving 1 unit or placing a control token). There is no resource-management system for introducing new units based on control of areas.
– Manoeuvre, Othello, Pandemic, Quads, Small World
Connection: Connect two fixed points with a line.
– Hex, Ticket to Ride, TransAmerica, Twixt


Predominantly Euro/Strategy/Family
Network Building: Build network(s) (interconnected lines with nodes) using owned, partially owned or neutral pieces, with an emphasis on building the longest chain and/or connecting to new areas.
– Chicago Express, Hacienda, Metro, Stephensons Rocket, Through the Desert
Tile-Laying: Place a piece and score VPs, with the amount often based on adjacent pieces or pieces in the same group/cluster, and keying off non-spatial properties like color, "feature completion", cluster size etc.
– Carcassonne, Ingenious, Tigris & Euphrates, Vikings
Investment: Buy into assets of variable value and get them to pay off through game mechanisms. Players have some indirect control over asset values (it is hard to screw others without hurting yourself, or cooperate with others). Bet on what you will be able to do in the future.
– Automobile, Mykerinos, Nefertiti
Collusion: Buy into assets, but other players have huge direct control in manipulating asset values. Rare to win without helping others and being helped, and managing shifting alliances, as it is hard to score for yourself without scoring for somebody else at the same time.
– Chicago Express, Imperial, Merchants: Lords of the Sea, Modern Art
Negotiation (Trading): Explicitly involves and encourages trading assets with other players, and winning is rare without participating in deals. Players openly, subjectively determine asset values.
– Bohnanza, Genoa, Monopoly, Munchkin, The Settlers of Catan
Steering: Navigate your piece(s) around obstacles which generally stay on the board from the start.
– Formula D, Powerboats, RoboRally, Snow Tails
Risk Management: The main form of non-incidental player interaction is taking on more/less risk if you are behind/ahead, and the winner is usually the one who took the most risk without getting burnt. The risk is driven from mechanisms, and arises from willingness to press your luck on random events.
– Blackjack, FITS, Formula D, Incan Gold, Thebes
Risk Valuation: The main form of non-incidental player interaction is taking on more/less risk if you are behind/ahead, and the winner is usually the one who took the most risk without getting burnt. The risk arises from valuing how much other players want something you also want, and pressing your luck on whether they will take it from you.
– California, Coloretto, No Thanks!, Ra
Efficiency Engine: Continually upgrade your personal mat/deck/play area to make it progressively easier to generate VPs, or generate VPs every turn. Often involves spending one or several types of "money" resources in myriad ways to gain VPs. Gain resources early, VPs late, and decide when to switch focus.
– Agricola, Dominion, Puerto Rico, Through the Ages
Payment Timing: Collecting and spending only 1 type of primary resource ("money"/"energy") to gain VPs, and with no progressively efficient way to obtain more resources (else that would be Efficiency Engine). The main point is to manage when to spend your resource and when to accumulate.
– Brass, Dream Factory, Hare & Tortoise, Leader 1, Nefertiti
Area Majority: Have the most (or 2nd/3rd/etc) # of pieces in multiple arenas of competition in order to score VPs.
– 1960, Age of Empires III, El Grande, Kreta, Stephensons Rocket
Objectives Race: Be 1st (or 2nd or 3rd etc) in accomplishing multiple objectives.
– Dream Factory, Finca, The Golden City, Thurn and Taxis, Valdora
Induction: Use a set of observations and truthful feedback to derive a general rule, out of near-infinite possibilities.
– Mao, Zendo

Predominantly Thematic/Ameritrash

Negotiation (Diplomacy): Explicitly involves and encourages making deals and alliances with other players involving the "I won't screw you if you don't screw me" nature, and backstabbing when appropriate. Winning is rare without participating in these deals
– Diplomacy, Intrigue, Lifeboats, Mall of Horror, Munchkin
Deduction (Cat/Mouse): Use a set of observations and truthful feedback to narrow down possibilities and catch your opponent at the right position. Your opponent moves around constantly.
– Fury of Dracula, Pandemic: On the Brink, Scotland Yard
Deduction (Elimination): Use a set of observations and truthful feedback to arrive at the right conclusion after narrowing down possibilities from a large list. The conclusion does not evolve.
– Clue, Guess Who?, Mastermind, Mr. Jack
Deduction (Signaling): Use a set of observations and player-driven feedback (which may not be truthful) to arrive at the right conclusion out of 2-3 main choices.
–Battle Line, Battlestar Galactica, Liar’s Dice, Poker, Shadow Hunters, Werewolf
Character Development (Adventure): The game revolves around moving around the board and collecting items and equipment that make your character(s) more powerful and better-equipped to achieve the objective. There is a combat element and (often) a health track.
– Claustrophobia, Fury of Dracula, Ghost Stories, Middle-Earth Quest
Character Development (Scavenging): The game revolves around moving around the board and collecting items and equipment that make your character more powerful and better-equipped to achieve the objective. There is no health track to be managed (or take 1 shot and you're dead), and minimal combat element.
– Hansa, Himalaya, Ice Flow, Lost Valley, Timber Tom, Valdora

Card Games

Trick Scoring: Count up points scored in acquired card tricks. Most/fewest points, or closest to target, wins.
– Bridge, Hearts, Mü, Poison, Spades, Sticheln, Tichu
Shedding: Be the first to "go out", usually by shedding more efficiently on your turn, or making your opponents lose turns. You systematically have fewer options the closer you are to going out.
– 10 Days in…, Big Two, Foppen, The Great Dalmuti, Mahjong, Mystery Rummy, Tichu, UNO
Melding: Accumulate or cycle through cards, then break and form card combinations in your hand as a means to an end, and play these "melds" altogether at once.
– 10 Days in…, Big City, Cleopatra and the Society of the Architects, The Great Dalmuti, Mystery Rummy, Ticket to Ride
Duel/Comparison: Form stronger card combinations (by addition, combos and/or higher-ranking sets) on the table than your opponents, usually with the same number of cards played for each player or same number of slots available to play for each player. The strength of the possible combinations is fixed and known.
– Battle Line, Fairy Tale, Guillotine, Lost Cities, The World Cup Game

Wargames
Area Influence (War): Control individual areas/regions (often by leaving 1 unit or placing a control token), and gain advantages by doing so. There is a resource-management system of raising more armies using resources collected based on area influence.
– Axis & Allies; Hammer of the Scots; Nexus Ops; Risk; Shogun, World in Flames
Tactical War: Outmaneuver an opponent, instead of slamming large army into large army, to win the game through easy kills from flanking, formations, disrupting supply, terrain advantages and other factors that are not tied solely to movement/positioning. Limited choice in what pieces you can move, often due to cards, activations, wounds etc.
– ASL, Commands and Colors, Conflict of Heroes, Space Hulk, Tide of Iron

Predominantly Party/Social Games

Dexterity: Involves physical skill and practice.
– Crokinole, PitchCar, Jenga, Twister
Recognition/Speed: Find or recognize sets of cards that match given criteria before your opponents do.
– Dutch Blitz, Factory Fun, Jungle Speed, Set, Snap, Ubongo
Psychological: Appeal to the way other players think (e.g. literally or figuratively, pictures or words) in order to get them to guess/choose your clue.
– Apples to Apples, Charades, Dixit, Pictionary, Say Anything, Time’s Up!
Trivia/Word: Tests and rewards outside knowledge of trivia and/or words.
– Bananagrams, Boggle, Scrabble, Wits & Wagers, Trivial Pursuit, Word on the Street








Mechanisms
Mechanisms describe the finer details of how the game plays, e.g. how resources are collected, allocated and spent. These would usually be found in the "Flow of Play" or "Detailed Rules" or "How to Play" section of rulebooks.

The scope of mechanisms completely runs the gamut. At its narrowest, you may refer to the "Thebes mechanism" or the "Tower of Babel mechanism", but this is too specific, making the label applicable only to 1-3 games (so few other similar games can be found), and making it complete jargon to somebody unacquainted with the game. At its widest, with something like "Chit-Pull System / Random Event", it threatens to overload every game with too much irrelevant information. I have sought to include only mechanisms of a medium zoom, and if you find some conspicuously absent, it might be because I deem its definition too narrow or wide.

BGG’s Mechanics list is much better than the Categories list, but suffers from the haphazard jumble of low-mid-high zoom mechanics, and some mechanics are dumped into the Categories list.


Spatial Actions

Spatial Movement (Choice): On your turn, choose only one of your pieces to move/activate, either by following its movement rule or spending movement points.
– Backgammon, Checkers, Chess, Conflict of Heroes, Hey! That’s My Fish!, Manoeuvre
Spatial Movement (Single): You have only one piece to move on your turn, and the direction and/or number of spaces to move is important.
– Clue, Hansa, Hare & Tortoise, Formula D, Quoridor, Valdora
Encounter: On your turn, move your single piece on the board, then resolve random event(s) or perform a highly random action (including combat).
– Battlestar Galactica, Claustrophobia, Fury of Dracula, Ghost Stories, Lost Valley, Middle-earth Quest
Spatial Placement: On your turn, place piece(s) (plural okay) onto a common board/pool, changing the spatial situation on the board.
→ No Rotation, Unrestricted: Pieces have no rotational orientation, and can be placed nearly anywhere on the board, forcing you to take the whole board into account.
– Go, Quoridor, Samurai, Tigris & Euphrates, Twixt
→ No Rotation, Localized: Pieces have no rotational orientation, and there are severe restrictions on where to place pieces (often by adjacency), narrowing down your focus on the board.
– Battle for Hill 218, Connect Four, Through the Desert, YINSH
→ No Rotation, Card-Driven: Pieces have no rotational orientation, and the legal locations to place are limited by the cards you play. Hence, your opponents do not know exactly where you are restricted.
– Big City, China, Oregon, Ticket to Ride
→ With Rotation, Unrestricted: Pieces may be rotated before being placed, and can be placed nearly anywhere on the board.
– Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, The Climbers, Ingenious, Taluva
→ With Rotation, Localized: Pieces may be rotated before being placed, and there are severe restrictions on where to place pieces (often by adjacency).
– Arkadia, Blokus, Carcassonne, Metro, Quads
→ With Rotation, Card-Driven: Pieces may be rotated before being placed, and the legal locations to place are limited by the cards you play.
– No examples!
Activation Points: Activate/order/command several units consecutively each turn (could be a fixed or variable number of units), whereupon they all make one similar type of movement, or one movement + action, before your opponent takes his turn.
– Axis & Allies, Claustrophobia, Commands and Colors, Hammer of the Scots, Risk, Space Hulk
Spatial Points: Allocate finite single-choice actions to your pieces for movement or placement, with the spectrum from spending them equally across pieces or spending them all on one piece. Allocating a total number of points to the movement of several pieces (but with the possibility of spending all of them on one) goes here. Placing different pieces consecutively, with choices on how many pieces to place where, goes here
– Dos Rios, El Grande, Kreta, Small World, Twilight Struggle
Forced Move: Manipulate pieces into alignments that force your opponent to make a deterministic, often detrimental, move.
– Checkers, Octego, Tantrix, ZÈRTZ
Pathfinding: Manipulate pieces into alignments that help you move multiple times at once.
– Checkers, The Climbers, Ice Flow
Puzzle Mat: Each player has a personal space (opponents cannot place on your mat) in which he strategically places, arranges and usually rotates pieces obtained from a central distribution system. The placement of the pieces must be non-trivial.
– Factory Fun, FITS, Galaxy Trucker, Thurn and Taxis, Ubongo, Vikings

Non-Spatial Actions

Developmental Action: Take an action which has little to no effect on the spatial situation of the board, and does not remove or alter your opponents' options. The action primarily helps yourself, and only affects other players indirectly. Does not include if this action is a continuation of, or is triggered by other mechanisms.
– Dominion, In the Year of the Dragon, Notre Dame, Roll Through the Ages, Thurn and Taxis
Action Points: Take 2 or more consecutive actions, with a similar set of action types to choose from for each, each turn. Options often involve both spatial and developmental actions.
– Brass, Conflict of Heroes, Hacienda, Pandemic, Space Hulk, Stephensons Rocket, Through the Ages

Other Non-Spatial Actions

Action Choice Drafting: Pick an action from a set of options available to all players, and this action becomes unavailable, more scarce, or more expensive for other players. The action is resolved immediately after you pick it.
– Agricola, In the Year of the Dragon, In the Shadow of the Emperor, El Grande, Mr. Jack, Puerto Rico
Worker Placement: Claim/Reserve an action from a set of options available to all players, and this action becomes unavailable, more scarce, or more expensive for other players. All actions are resolved at a later time by a specific order, allowing for majority, tile-drafting elements etc and complicating valuations of each action.
– Age of Empires III, Caylus, Egizia, Nefertiti, Stone Age, Tribune: Primus Inter Pares
Simultaneous Action Selection: Choose a single action at the same time as your opponents. You are trying to guess and outguess what your opponent will play and either match or avoid it.
– Hoity Toity, LOTR: The Confrontation, Mall of Horror, Race for the Galaxy
Simultaneous Orders: Take several consecutive actions at once in secret, and reveal them simultaneously with other players. Resolve the actions in a preset order.
– 2 de Mayo, Himalaya, RoboRally, Shogun, Space Alert
Voting: Simultaneously reveal your preference/allegiance with your vote(s), and votes will be tallied. Majority gains or loses.
– In the Shadow of the Emperor, Mall of Horror, The Resistance, Werewolf
Action Choice Cycling: The action you take this turn removes it from the menu of options you can choose from next turn, and it becomes available only after you have cycled through a few other actions (hence rewarding “balanced play”).
– Kreta, Mission: Red Planet, Middle-Earth Quest
Note: Rondel Wheel games like Imperial/Antike/Hamburgum/Finca are Action Choice Cycling + Spatial Movement (either Single or Choice)

Action Choice Timing: Get dealt a hand of cards, with no way of obtaining more, or one-time-only actions, and play them in a better order than your opponent. Identical to Action Choice Cycling, except there is only one cycle. Rewards saving actions for the right time. Several events must intercede between each action, or it would be too similar to Climbing/Trick Taking.
– El Grande, In the Year of the Dragon, Finca, King of Siam, LOTR: The Confrontation, Ra, Twilight Struggle
Binary Choice: On your turn, choose between two disparate options of the "fight-or-fly" variety -- take a risk versus cut and run. A third choice is okay, if it’s a neutral choice.
– Blackjack, Blue Moon, California, Coloretto, Formula D, Incan Gold, Poker, Ra, Roll Through the Ages, Small World, Ticket to Ride, Yahtzee
Proposal/Judging: A single player (with the role often rotated) decides upon outcomes, and other players try to sway him/her to their side through their offer or suggestion. The judge's decision, once made, is final.
– Apples to Apples, In the Shadow of the Emperor, Power Struggle, Say Anything, Tower of Babel

Auctions

Open Auction: Place open bids for items. Highest bidder wins the items (or the items are distributed via some other allocation method). Signaling takes place during the process.
– Amun-Re, Biblios, Chicago Express, Dream Factory, Modern Art
Blind Bidding: Place closed bids for items. Highest bidder wins the items (or the items are distributed via some other allocation method). Signaling takes place after the process, when bids are revealed. You usually have limited information on your opponents' bidding options (especially the maximum), unless you memorize.
– Cleopatra and the Society of the Architects, Modern Art, Samurai Swords, Turn the Tide
Once-Around Auction: Each player makes a bid in turn order and only has one chance to bid. For the first player, it is like Blind Bidding; for the last player, it is like Open Auction. For everybody else in between, it's a mixture.
– It’s Alive!, Modern Art, Ra, Stephensons Rocket
Surplus-Transfer Auction: A mixture of auction and trading, in which the "winner" of the auction must compensate the "losers" in order to gain the benefit of a contested action/item.
– Edel, Stein & Reich; Löwenherz, Neue Heimat

Cards-Related

Trick Taking: Highest card (or trump) takes the trick, a set of cards everybody has contributed to a common pool, after everybody has contributed a card. This is Action Choice Timing applied to an (all-pay) Once-Around Auction.
– Bridge, Foppen, Hearts, Mü, Spades, Sticheln, Tuo La Ji
Climbing: Contribute cards into a common pool, often with the rule that you have to beat the previous cards, until everybody except one passes, or a limit is reached. This is Action Choice Timing applied to an (all-pay) Open Auction.
– Big Two, Blue Moon, The Great Dalmuti, Poison, Tichu, Zheng Shang You
Automatic Hand Refill: After playing card(s), your hand refills automatically to its original size, and this is the sole or primary way to obtain more cards. Does not include if your hand size is 1.
– Battle Line, Commands and Colors, Ingenious, Lost Cities, Scrabble, Tigris & Euphrates
Discard Pool: Turns involve discarding a card, and refilling your hand with a random card or a card from a common discard pool, not necessarily in that order.
– 10 Days in…, Domaine, Lost Cities, Mahjong, Mystery Rummy
Multi-Choice Cards: Your cards can be used in two or more explicit ways, but you have to choose one. Does not include if the cards’ two uses are “use text/icon ability versus discard/trash”. Does not include if the card requires other cards to unlock multiple choices (e.g. combos, pairs, runs etc); the card must explicitly state its multiple purposes. Does not include “joker” cards. Does not include if the card simply provides available options for placing a piece (e.g. green card allows placement anywhere in green areas).
– Manoeuvre, Middle-earth Quest, Pandemic, Twilight Struggle, War of the Ring
Card Drafting: Each player looks at a set of cards and picks one for himself, then passes the remainder to an opponent. Repeat until no cards are left and each player has the same number of cards.
– 7 Wonders, Citadels, Fairy Tale, Midgard, Notre Dame
Tile Drafting: Each player takes a turn in choosing or buying an asset or long-term special power (i.e. not an action) from a central pool, removing it from the menu other players can choose from. Minimal distractions should occur between each tile "draft".
– California, Coloretto, Factory Fun, Guillotine, Saint Petersburg, Thebes, Through the Ages
Allocation: Look at a set of cards, either all at once or sequentially, and distribute them among different piles. Opponents often have a chance at obtaining a pile each after you have distributed the cards. Does not include the “Draw X, Keep Y” ability.
– Bacchus’ Banquet, Biblios, Merchants of Amsterdam, Piece o’ Cake, The Resistance, San Marco
Attribute Matching (Cards): Play a card that matches a card on the table based on preset criteria. That is, the cards have the same color/number/adjacent number/adjacent letter etc. The card does not significantly change the spatial situation on the table, and only replaces the previous card or goes beside it, else this is Spatial Placement.
– Anagrams, Dominoes, Dutch Blitz, Mystery Rummy, UNO
Attribute Matching (Tiles): Recognize that two or more displayed tiles on the table share the same preset attributes.
– Attribute, Boggle, Jungle Speed, Memory, Set, Snap
Deck Stacking: Gradually alter a set of outcomes such that random events favor you more -- "stack the deck" -- usually through seeding and/or weeding a deck of common cards. The event outcomes can benefit you either directly, or through your partial knowledge of the deck make-up, which you use to prepare for the outcome.
– Battlestar Galactica, The Settlers of Catan, Shadows Over Camelot, Through the Ages
Advance Warning: Phases have random length of turns, and you are warned in advance of it ending, often through the guise of "when the Xth instance of this card shows up, the phase ends". Does not include draw-deck depletion. Does not include player-driven warnings
– Incan Gold, Merchants of Amsterdam, Pandemic, Ra

Dice-Related

Movement/Action Dice: Roll dice to determine the action(s) and/or movement(s) you may take. Does not include rolls of the dice to determine random results, including combat results.
– Alea Iacta Est, Backgammon, Formula D, Monopoly, StreetSoccer, War of the Ring
Multi-Choice Dice: Roll dice, and the results can be used in two or more ways, but you have to choose one. Does not include if each die requires other dice to unlock multiple purposes. Does not include if the different ways are merely different combinations of movement points (in which case it goes under Spatial Points).
– Claustrophobia, War of the Ring, Yspahan

Game Systems

Upkeep: Pay resources at specific, pre-determined intervals in the game. These payments must scale up with the size of your empire, civilization or some other form of output-producing engine, and dire consequences result if you're unable to meet them.
– Agricola, Dungeon Lords, In the Year of the Dragon, Stone Age, Roll Through the Ages, Through the Ages
Supply and Demand: The cost of assets become more expensive/cheaper as players buy/sell more of it.
– Brass, Wealth of Nations
Demand Track: The value (usually VP value) of assets is determined centrally by the players, and this value is "artificially" induced (as opposed to Supply and Demand, where buying/selling determines value).
– Arkadia, Biblios, Merchants: Lords of the Sea
Supply Track: Tiles are placed centrally for purchase, and if they are not bought or in demand, their price falls, or they are removed from the track.
– Cyclades, Puerto Rico, Saint Petersburg, Small World, Stone Age, Through the Ages, Vikings
Secret Objectives: Each player has secret missions they are going for, which would win the game or give a large midgame/endgame bonus.
– Alea Iacta Est, Clans, Egizia, Masons, Nexus Ops, Power Struggle, Ticket to Ride
Customizable Deployment: Before the game starts proper, alter the starting setup for your pieces based on what strategy you would like to pursue, or to react to opponent threats, with hidden information that your opponent slowly learns over the course of the game.
– Battle for Hill 218, BattleLore, Blue Moon, Campaign Manager 2008, LOTR: The Confrontation, Magic: The Gathering, Manoeuvre, Napoleon’s Triumph, Stratego, Triumvirate
Variable Turn Order: Players are able to influence the order in which they take turns. Just changing the start player (but retaining the same order) does not count.
– Age of Empires III, Automobile, Brass, Citadels, El Grande, In the Year of the Dragon, Thebes, Tinner’s Trail
Aging: Pieces "get older" or decay with each turn, and might eventually die.
– In the Shadow of the Emperor, Kaivai, Kremlin, Warriors of God
Loans (Money): Get money now (money has to be an actual resource, not a VP carrier), and pay back a larger amount later, to convert more efficiently to VPs. Emphasis on using loans as a temporary respite when money is short.
– Brass, California
Speculation (VPs): Get VPs now and pay back a larger amount later, to convert more efficiently to VPs. Emphasis on tension and ambiguity regarding whether you can recoup your initial investment.
– Automobile, Chicago Express, El Capitán, Imperial, Lost Cities

Social

Creative: Make up a good story to sway others to your side or to express your point. Includes acting, drawing, clay sculpturing etc.
– Dixit, Charades, Say Anything, Telestrations, Time’s Up! Werewolf, Wise and Otherwise
Guessing: Get positive or negative feedback from other player(s) regarding the answer. There is right and wrong, no gray area in between.
– Dixit, Charades, Mastermind, Time’s Up!, Zendo
Translation/Interpretation: Instruct other players to perform specific actions, but the instructions require players to become versed in a new language with its own sounds, gestures etc.
– Aargh!Tect, Tokyo Train, You Robot
Shooting: Shoot pieces with accuracy and the right strength. Includes flicking.
– Affentennis, Carrom, Catacombs, Crokinole, Elk Fest, PitchCar
Steady Hands: Place/remove pieces slowly and steadily, to prevent the structure from collapsing.
– Hamsterrolle, Jenga, Polarity, Toc Toc Woodman, Villa Paletti
Betting (Prediction): Predict that you will achieve an objective, then try to achieve it, with higher reward (and higher loss) dangling over riskier objectives. Your opponent cannot respond to your prediction, and can only try to foil your objective.
– Blackjack, Mystery Rummy, Spades, Tichu, Tuo La Ji, Wits & Wagers
Betting (Escalation): Place wagers on outcomes, with opponents being able to raise the stakes until players pass. The outcome is nearly entirely pre-determined, but unknown or known only partially by the players.
– Backgammon, Bridge, Mü, Liar’s Dice, Poker, Pow Wow
Deal-Making Phase: There is a special phase set aside for players to trade goods and/or make deals. Proposed deals usually have to involve the active player, and the active player may be able to mix other actions in with the deal-making process.
– Genoa, Lifeboats, Mall of Horror, The Settlers of Catan, Wealth of Nations




Further Reading
The Taxonomy of Board Games: Table of Contents and Subscription List
The Taxonomy of Board Games (Part 1: Genres)
The Taxonomy of Board Games (Part 2: Mechanisms)
The Taxonomy of Board Games (Part 3: Inter-Player Relationships)
The Taxonomy of Board Games (Part 4: Examples and Recommendations) - introducing the recommendations tool
selwyth's ToBG Game Recommendations Tool - a recommendations tool using this taxonomy.

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Interplayer relationships: (Competitive with a common enemy -- not sure of a good soundbite for that) The players play against both the board and each other -- At most one player wins, but the board may defeat them all. Examples: Castle Panic, Amoeba Wars, The Republic of Rome
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→ With Rotation, Card-Driven: Pieces may be rotated before being placed, and the legal locations to place are limited by the cards you play.
– No examples!


Urban Sprawl (though that may be pushing it one level of indirection too far.)
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Oliver Kiley
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Cool Couple of questions:

How would civ building games and/or Sci-fi 4E games (expand, explore, exploit, exterminate) games fit into this system? I would guess that these games, which have multiple sets of features all interacting, would have multiple genere's associated with them, but maybe not?

For example, a game like Galactic Emperor (which I have not played mind you), might have some euro 'genres' (tile laying, negotiation- trading) and fall into the tactical war / areas influence (war) . . . but maybe I'm wrong or missed others. The mechanics are probably easlier to figure out for a 4E game, although the list of mechanics can get pretty long.

Cheers!
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selwyth wrote:
Connection: Connect two fixed points with a line.
– Hex, Ticket to Ride, TransAmerica, Twixt


You connect more than two fixed points in TransAmerica, and you don't just connect two fixed points in Twixt. You connect any of the points on one line with any of the points on another line.

Ticket to Ride lets you connect several different pairs of fixed points. Then again, I wouldn't be sure TtR is a connection game as it's theoretically possible to win with a completely disconnected network.

selwyth wrote:
Area Influence (War): Control individual areas/regions (often by leaving 1 unit or placing a control token), and gain advantages by doing so. There is a resource-management system of raising more armies using resources collected based on area influence.


Best to just call this "Strategic War" to avoid confusion with the other genre of Area Influence.

selwyth wrote:
Open Auction: Place open bids for items. Highest bidder wins the items (or the items are distributed via some other allocation method). Signaling takes place during the process.
– Amun-Re, Biblios, Chicago Express, Dream Factory, Modern Art


No distinction between open auctions where anyone can bid any time and open auctions where the bidding is by strict turn order?

selwyth wrote:
Shooting: Shoot pieces with accuracy and the right strength. Includes flicking.
– Affentennis, Carrom, Catacombs, Crokinole, Elk Fest, PitchCar
Steady Hands: Place/remove pieces slowly and steadily, to prevent the structure from collapsing.


I would remove these mechanisms from "Social" and make a new category called "Dexterity." It is different enough to be justified, as dexterity games are totally their own thing. Not all dexterity games are social either...when playing Polarity I tend to be dead silent.
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Two questions.

1. Where would a game like Triumvirate fit in to your idea of a card game? It uses trick taking, but players don't score points for the tricks.

2. How do you consider Blokus an area enclosure game? You aren't trying to enclose area, you are trying to put more of your pieces on the board. Enclosing area so only you can use it is certainly a great strategy point of blokus but it is not the way you score points. You could view it as the area you "enclose" is actually the pieces you place, but again your points aren't derived directly from the pieces on the board, rather the pieces the left over.

EDIT: Also, TTR is definitely a Euro game, not abstract. If TTR can be considered abstract then so can almost any game really. In fact most other Euros would be closer to being abstract than TTR IMO.
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I found some minor quibbles with classification of a couple of the examples, but overall, this classification scheme is vastly superior to the existing BGG Mechanic (which is not very comprehensive), Category (which is a total mess of like 8 unrelated things), and Theme lists.

Great work. Where do I sign the petition?
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Morganza wrote:
Interplayer relationships: (Competitive with a common enemy -- not sure of a good soundbite for that) The players play against both the board and each other -- At most one player wins, but the board may defeat them all. Examples: Castle Panic, Amoeba Wars, The Republic of Rome


Nice, wasn't aware at all of this. I do know one game (Pyramid) where victories are attained alone but losses are obtained together against an enemy player, and one cooperative game (Red November) where wins could be obtained alone. There was also a question on the geeklist about games where you start out alone but might win together with others.

I have insufficient expertise in these games so I'm not sure. But I left myself an out saying that ambiguous games get dumped in Competitive! In any case, I'd think the winning condition trumps the losing condition (you should aim to win, not not to lose), so I'd put your examples in Competitive, and Pyramid in Semi-Cooperative for now.
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mussels wrote:
Great work. Where do I sign the petition?


Yes agree completely. So, IS there any means of updating the existing game database with this new system?

If so, and assuming it can be implemented, it would be awesome to build a search+filter mechanism into BGG's functionality to have a better system for finding similar/related games.
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selwyth wrote:
Morganza wrote:
Interplayer relationships: (Competitive with a common enemy -- not sure of a good soundbite for that) The players play against both the board and each other -- At most one player wins, but the board may defeat them all. Examples: Castle Panic, Amoeba Wars, The Republic of Rome


Nice, wasn't aware at all of this. I do know one game (Pyramid) where victories are attained alone but losses are obtained together against an enemy player, and one cooperative game (Red November) where wins could be obtained alone. There was also a question on the geeklist about games where you start out alone but might win together with others.

I have insufficient expertise in these games so I'm not sure. But I left myself an out saying that ambiguous games get dumped in Competitive! In any case, I'd think the winning condition trumps the losing condition (you should aim to win, not not to lose), so I'd put your examples in Competitive, and Pyramid in Semi-Cooperative for now.


Another good example of this is Cutthroat Caverns.
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Mezmorki wrote:

How would civ building games and/or Sci-fi 4E games (expand, explore, exploit, exterminate) games fit into this system? I would guess that these games, which have multiple sets of features all interacting, would have multiple genere's associated with them, but maybe not?


Efficiency Engine for civ-building usually, and I'm guessing Area Influence (War) (plus Negotiation (Diplomacy) in some cases) for 4E. On a case-by-case basis.

Civ Building and 4E are examples of themes, which is why you don't see them on this list, by the way.

I'll also mention that Civ Building games tend to have the Upkeep mechanism (it's my flag for seeing at first glance if a game is a "true" civ game).

Mezmorki wrote:

You connect more than two fixed points in TransAmerica, and you don't just connect two fixed points in Twixt. You connect any of the points on one line with any of the points on another line. Ticket to Ride lets you connect several different pairs of fixed points.


Bad/insufficient wording on my part. I mean after the fact, you've connected two fixed points for each objective you have. It's okay if any of the points on one line with any of the points on another line. The point is you're trying to connect something to something and your opponent is trying to block you.

Are you able to word it better than what I wrote originally and my last sentence?

Mezmorki wrote:

I wouldn't be sure TtR is a connection game as it's theoretically possible to win with a completely disconnected network.


Correct! TtR has 3 genres (pretty rare): Connection (connect the destinations on your objectives), Network Building (build the longest line and incorporate as many destinations as possible into your network) and Melding (collect sets of cards so you can build long lines and score more VPs). Melding covers the possibility to win with a completely disconnected network. More likely, you need to have a presence in all 3 main goals in order to win.

Mezmorki wrote:

No distinction between open auctions where anyone can bid any time and open auctions where the bidding is by strict turn order?


I wanted to just dump auctions into two main buckets (open and blind), and let the auction afficionados go sub-categorize auctions however they want. That's an interesting take though: I can think of two games (Chicago Express, Metropolys), where the open bidding in turn order really matters.

Mezmorki wrote:

I would remove these mechanisms from "Social" and make a new category called "Dexterity." It is different enough to be justified, as dexterity games are totally their own thing. Not all dexterity games are social either...when playing Polarity I tend to be dead silent.


"Social" is a rough grouping of a few mechanisms to make the list easier to read. Dexterity is already in as a Genre and contains games with Shooting and Steady Hands mechanisms. I think Shooting and Steady Hands require very different skills.

I grouped them roughly as Social, because when I play dexterity games, I laugh heartily when my opponents screw up. Prepare to have your silence shattered by evil guffaws if you play Polarity with me!

kvenosdel wrote:
Where would a game like Triumvirate fit in to your idea of a card game? It uses trick taking, but players don't score points for the tricks.


Right, it has the Trick Taking mechanism, but the genre is not Melding/Shedding/Duel/Trick Scoring (which is the case with a lot of "modern card games"). I'm thinking Majority + Investment right now, but I'll get back to you later after I get a rules refresher later today.

kvenosdel wrote:
How do you consider Blokus an area enclosure game? You aren't trying to enclose area, you are trying to put more of your pieces on the board. Enclosing area so only you can use it is certainly a great strategy point of blokus but it is not the way you score points. You could view it as the area you "enclose" is actually the pieces you place, but again your points aren't derived directly from the pieces on the board, rather the pieces the left over.


I confess I haven't played Blokus before (read the rules, not my cup of tea), but I've sat with friends as they played and the overwhelming consensus when I interviewed them was that they were all trying to enclose areas. And it fits the definition: enclose an area with your pieces (or make it impossible for your opponent to enter the area), and you score a crapload of VPs.

What are your goals when you play the game?

kvenosdel wrote:
Also, TTR is definitely a Euro game, not abstract. If TTR can be considered abstract then so can almost any game really. In fact most other Euros would be closer to being abstract than TTR IMO.


Yes, TTR is a Euro. It has 2 "predominantly Euro" and 1 "predominantly Abstract" genre. So it does have minor abstract-strategy elements. But my point is: don't get too hung up on my "predominantly ____". It's a rough grouping to make the list easier to read and to put it on familiar terms. And the "predominantly" covers the case that not all games in the rough grouping are Abstract/Euro etc.
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With Blokus your pieces are made up of squares. The goal is to have the most points but really its to have the least number of squares left over at the end of the game. Every square you have left looses you one point and if you manage to place all your pieces you will get bonus points.

You can enclose areas in the game but all it does is give you a place where only you can play thereby limiting the amount of pieces the opponents will be able to get on the board. It is a part of the strategy but not of the goal, and its not something you have to do to win either.

Hope that helps clear it up.

I'm also curious how Pandemic fits an Area Influence category. I haven't played with the expansion so maybe it was added in that?
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kvenosdel wrote:
With Blokus your pieces are made up of squares. The goal is to have the most points but really its to have the least number of squares left over at the end of the game. Every square you have left looses you one point and if you manage to place all your pieces you will get bonus points.


That is the same as scoring the most VPs. It's close to Shedding, but I'm not convinced the whittling down of options is strong enough.

Quote:
You can enclose areas in the game but all it does is give you a place where only you can play thereby limiting the amount of pieces the opponents will be able to get on the board. It is a part of the strategy but not of the goal, and its not something you have to do to win either.


That is the primary strategy, no? Would you ever make a move that wasn't aimed at shutting out other players' pieces and carving out a region for yourself?

The goal is to score the most VPs, but scoring the most VPs is way too broad. The primary route to victory is building toward your opponent early and quickly, and closing off areas so he can't enter them. That is the genre.

Quote:
I'm also curious how Pandemic fits an Area Influence category. I haven't played with the expansion so maybe it was added in that?


Not the expansion (the expansion added Deduction (Cat/Mouse). Pandemic is Area Influence + Melding. In Pandemic, you're playing Area Influence against the board in terms of containing the spreading disease cubes. You're also playing Melding by collecting sets of cards in order to cure the disease.

Part 4 has some illustrative examples (though some parts are outdated).
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Wondering if Memory deserves a mention as a specific mechanic (I couldn't find it, or its equivalent in the list, but maybe I just missed it). Something like:

Memory: Players must make significant game decisions based on information which is no longer available. Rare to win without remembering previous moves made, which you can't directly deduce by the current game state.
- Memory, Kupferkessel Co, Dracula, Pandemic
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Memory is a skill, just like Hand Management and Bluffing. Which is why none of them appear on this list (besides the fact that they are also too general since they are skills).

The game Memory (or Busen Memo!) would be under the Recognition/Speed genre and have the Attribute Matching (Tiles) mechanism.
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Mezmorki wrote:
mussels wrote:
Great work. Where do I sign the petition?


Yes agree completely. So, IS there any means of updating the existing game database with this new system?

If so, and assuming it can be implemented, it would be awesome to build a search+filter mechanism into BGG's functionality to have a better system for finding similar/related games.


The root of the current problem is the system. Right now, any user can add a category or mechanic and with enough BS, any can be accepted. Then, any user can add games, tack on a few categories or mechanics which he misinterprets the meaning of (since there is no consistent, over-arching dictionary that's constantly being checked for redundancy, clarity and completeness), for a person who, though he does his best to see if the categories/mechanics fit, still is not in the best position possible to approve it, both because he doesn't have good dictionary and because he's never played or read the rules to Obscure Designer's Mediocre Prototype. Then, to make matters worse, you cannot delete redundant, ill-fitting categories/mechanics, so the process iterates itself.

I forgot to mention that in addition to genres/mechanics/theme inbreeding, some genres also got inappropriately dumped into BGG's Families list (Climbing, Shedding etc). This cross-dumping shows that the system can't even get the right entries into the right attribute (and of course you can't move or delete afterwards).

MadTias had a nice soundbite in Part 4.

MadTias wrote:
Can't say I blame you though, re-working the site wikis would be a major pain. And after a while all the friendly geeks would have "improved" the new categories into something equally messy anyway.


There needs to be a committee in place to handle categorization of categorical attributes. Pandora, Netflix and Amazon all hire teams to police their categorizations, so that useful recommendations can be made. The most authoritative taxonomy for a subset of board games, at Pagat.com, is excellent because one person maintains it.

I'm building search+filter mechanisms into my Excel database, which I've shared in the recommendations tool, to allow finding of similar/related games. That's probably how it'll stay (hopefully some like-minded volunteers will help form a committee so that more games can be added to it quicker), unless there's a sea change in how the categories/mechanics/families are handled.

So, no petition. But give the thread a thumb, get it some more attention, and maybe something will happen one day.
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selwyth wrote:
Memory is a skill, just like Hand Management and Bluffing. Which is why none of them appear on this list (besides the fact that they are also too general since they are skills).

The game Memory (or Busen Memo!) would be under the Recognition/Speed genre and have the Attribute Matching (Tiles) mechanism.


Memory is a skill, yes, but some games have open information and some games have closed information. That's an attribute of the game.

How do you differentiate Memory from Set?

And then there are games like Acquire that can be played open or closed...
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How do you classify temporary teams? For example, in each trick has a different partnership. The game as a whole is competitive, but every card-play decision you make is in a team framework.

(Are there any boardgame examples where players can voluntarily defect to another team?)

How do you denote optional game elements? (For example, games that are played in 2-player teams with even player counts and fully competitively with odd player counts.) (This is different from the bazillion-expansions issue where you are effectively playing a different game with every permutation.)
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selwyth wrote:



selwyth wrote:
Nah, not writing anything more new on the subject, since you seem to be the only person left still reading.

Your point is very valid. For a consistent, accurate taxonomy/classification system of board games to stick, there must be a committee that actively moderates it based on a set of principles.

I'll still give the recommendation tool one more shot. I've been disappointed with its reception so far, and hope that adding more features (collection-based recommendations, multiple-game recommendations) will get it more recognition.


I just wanted to comment on what you said in the threads to one of your geeklists (quoted above here for convenience) - even though I probably will never use the recommendation tool itself (I have my own personal criteria for selecting games to play a/o buy which borders on completely arbitrary and essentially goes beyond any relation/correlation system), I do find your data, writings, assessments and breakdowns interesting and fascinating. Just wanted to note that, so you don't take the perceived failure of your recommendation tool as a sign that what you're doing isn't otherwise interesting and valuable in and of itself. It just means different things and is important to some of us in ways that aren't particularly tangible (beyond being able to thumbs/tip).
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Two questions.

1) Who is the ultimate moderator/admin/owner for BGG? I'm assuming it isn't some self-regulating AI routine or other sci-fi worst-case-scenario that's pulling the strings here. Not that we need to go battering on their door with pitchforks, but 'eventually' I would imagine the BGG database needs to be upgraded, re-structured, etc... and it strikes me that having a plan in place to migrate to a new (and improved) classification system would be a smart move.

2) Regarding the recommendation tool. Seems to me that for it to work you would want it running through a website so users can actively add to it, and have it designed to be able to be moderated and/or adjusted after the fact in the case of misguided classification. If there was a way to tie/link it into the game database on BGG, maybe that would be a good way to proceed.

I tried out the rec. tool (and think it's pretty nifty), but it just isn't very good as a rec. tool if it only contains a fraction of the games available.

I'm not a web developer, so I can't comment on the difficulty of any of this.
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Morganza wrote:

Memory is a skill, yes, but some games have open information and some games have closed information. That's an attribute of the game.

How do you differentiate Memory from Set?

And then there are games like Acquire that can be played open or closed...


Set has the same genres and mechanisms as Memory, so they're siblings in this view. This view is not complete in a comprehensive BGG-listing sense, since the only 3 attributes discussed here are IPR, Genre, Mechanisms; other attributes include # of players, game time, rules complexity etc. Degree of open information would differentiate Set and Memory here, but it is another attribute, not a genre/mechanism. It has its own nuances which I won't tackle. It is difficult to quantify the amount of open information besides 100% perfect, or to reconcile different combinations of hidden information.

Morganza wrote:
How do you classify temporary teams? For example, in Mü each trick has a different partnership. The game as a whole is competitive, but every card-play decision you make is in a team framework.


That's a good question. I thought about a temporary teams grouping but couldn't find anything else strongly worth putting in. In Teams/Partnerships for now. Wars of the Roses and Verrater are other non-"traditional card games" that throw a wrench in things, since the victory is alone, but you need teams/partnerships to get there.

Quote:
(Are there any boardgame examples where players can voluntarily defect to another team?)


Verrater (Traitor). Maybe Red November? (I haven't played it yet)

Quote:
How do you denote optional game elements? (For example, games that are played in 2-player teams with even player counts and fully competitively with odd player counts.


In your example, under 2v2 (you could call it 2v2v...2 instead). For others, I only categorize the most common/accepted way it is played. This hasn't been an issue so far, since optional game elements often involve things that don't impact genres/mechanisms, like open/hidden money or with/without the investor card in Imperial. The only sticky one was Metro, but even that has a most popular way of playing, I thinkk.
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Ideally, we should also work on a taxonomy of themes in parallel, so that the reorganization can be done in one fell swoop.

Locations (i.e. Mexico, Europe, Outer Space, Generic)
Landscape (Urban, Rural, Wilderness, Underwater, Islands, Cave)
Historical Periods (Pre-history, Antiquity, Far Future, 19th Century)
Realism (High fantasy, Mythology, etc.)
Occupations (Farmer, Painter, Politician, Pirate...)
Industries (Manufacturing, Transportation, Finance)
Living Things (Flowers, Hedgehogs, Camels, Fish...)
Natural Disasters (Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes...)
Human Disasters (War, Slavery, Poverty, Terrorism)
Technologies
Pure Abstract, Near-abstract

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Nice start. I won't be partaking in any Theme attribute discussion, since I feel it is less necessary (you can determine theme just by looking at the box cover, but a Theme attribute would make it conducive to find other games of similar theme), but I'll follow with interest.
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selwyth wrote:
Morganza wrote:
How do you classify temporary teams? For example, in Mü each trick has a different partnership. The game as a whole is competitive, but every card-play decision you make is in a team framework.


That's a good question. I thought about a temporary teams grouping but couldn't find anything else strongly worth putting in. In Teams/Partnerships for now. Wars of the Roses and Verrater are other non-"traditional card games" that throw a wrench in things, since the victory is alone, but you need teams/partnerships to get there.


I was thinking of the three rounds of alliances in Struggle of Empires, but you're not really allied, you're just prohibited from attacking each other. (For example, it's not all that uncommon to make a deal with someone that includes them attacking your ally.)

There are also alliances, of a sort, that arise from gameplay as opposed to rules, where two players find that they have mutual interests to advance, for example people who are heavily invested in the same two countries in Imperial

In fact, that may be worthy of a classification by itself: indirect scoring. In Imperial you don't play a country, you invest in multiple countries, and that's hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around. (Same for 18xx and Wabash Cannonball and that whole genre.) In Attila six kinds of dudes play an area control game over there on the map while the players have an investment game on the table over here.
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Matt Musselman
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selwyth wrote:
Morganza wrote:

Memory is a skill, yes, but some games have open information and some games have closed information. That's an attribute of the game.

How do you differentiate Memory from Set?

And then there are games like Acquire that can be played open or closed...


Set has the same genres and mechanisms as Memory, so they're siblings in this view. This view is not complete in a comprehensive BGG-listing sense, since the only 3 attributes discussed here are IPR, Genre, Mechanisms; other attributes include # of players, game time, rules complexity etc. Degree of open information would differentiate Set and Memory here, but it is another attribute, not a genre/mechanism. It has its own nuances which I won't tackle. It is difficult to quantify the amount of open information besides 100% perfect, or to reconcile different combinations of hidden information.


Seems like kind of a specious distinction to me, intended to justify the rough patches of an existing model, rather than to fine tune the model.

It seems like there's some inconsistency on some things which you consider purely skills or attributes rather than mechanisms (e.g. being asked to remember a specific item or list of items) even though they're by design one of the reusable "building blocks" the game-playing process is composed out of, whereas other building blocks which seem just as much of a non-mechanism skill than remembering (e.g. steady hands, shooting, creative [presumably meaning drawing, acting, singing, sculpting], guessing) are included in the list without reservation.

In Memory, remembering where a matching tile resides is not just a skill which gives you an advantage against your opponents (like good planning might be in a tactical wargame). It is, by design, almost the whole activity of the game itself. Removing it from a description of what mechanisms Memory is made of would be akin to removing the auctions from a description of what mechanisms Modern Art is made of.

Similarly, in games like Pandemic and Kupferkessel Co, the designers made an explicit decision that you're not allowed to look through cards which have already happened. The act of remembering what has come before is not just a skill which helps you win (as it does in a majority of games in one way or another), and not just a symptomatic attribute of the game (like length, complexity, etc), it's practically one of the steps of your turn, and one of the building blocks of the game.

Not trying to be a troll, I promise. Just wanting to firm of the definition of "mechanism" so that as the list continues to evolve, it's less subjective what qualifies as a mechanism and what doesn't.

I'll still reiterate my original feedback that even despite agreement on some of the 1% corner cases, this list makes infinitely more sense than the existing BGG one, and I'd take it, without modification, in a heartbeat.
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