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Subject: Hansa Teutonica is thematic rss

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Matthew Tadyshak
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I commonly see thrown around the idea that this game has no theme what so ever. I will attempt to show this is false.

First, a little history. The Hanseatic was a European(mainly German) economic association from about the 1300s to the 1600s. For a short summery, the Hansa was basically a bunch of merchants who formed a group to make more money and to protect themselves and member cities from pirates.arrrh

Now the premise of the game is to set up your merchant network in Germany, represented by the cubes in the cities. Cities only have so much demand for goods, so there are limited spaces for merchant offices.


Next is the ability upgrade tracks. The actions represent your logistics ability. As the cubes come off, you have letters you can send out with orders, therefor more actions to do. The keys represent how many keys to the city you have collected. The more presence you have on the board, the more people hear about your awesome city keys making you famous.
The book is called the book of wisdom (thanks Google). Being wiser means you get better at moving your resources in the field around. The color track is your reputation in the Hansa. Some spots are only for trustworthy people.ninja Finally is the bag track. This represents a bag of money, and the richer you are, the more helpers you can hire.
The bonus tiles are routes on a trade route with higher demand at the time.


Hopefully this shows the game isn't totally abstract and has some theme.

PS. I have too much free time right now.
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Chris Ferejohn
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When I think of "theme" though, I don't think of "can these mechanics possibly map to the narrative of the game?", I think "do I actually feel like I am doing the thing the game represents?"

There are many games (Endeavor, Caylus, Anything By Stephan Feld) where while I can see how the theme maps to the game, when I'm playing I just think "I put two of my cubes down here and then put a cube on this square".

(That's not a knock, I like Endeavor, Caylus, and most things by Stephen Feld).
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Steve Zamborsky
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Hansa Teutonica could have been called "Cubes & Discs" for all I care; the theme is pretty much meaningless. Because it's so excellent mechanically, and because it's very abstract, it could have been about pretty much anything and I'd still play it.
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Andrew
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I posted a fuzzily remembered explanation from a games magazine, but I still don't understand why the bonuses are dinner plates...

Is the book logistics capability??
 
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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fateswanderer wrote:
I posted a fuzzily remembered explanation from a games magazine, but I still don't understand why the bonuses are dinner plates...

Is the book logistics capability??

The mere fact that we are having this discussion is an indication that the game is not "themanic", a term I coined to represent the degree to which a game theme is represented by the mechanics.
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