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Subject: You might think I'm crazy (new games vs. old) rss

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Dave Martin
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OK, now we have 60,000 games on this website. Looks like about 3,000 new games each year, recently. More designers, publishers and players than ever.
So, you might think I'm crazy, but I can't find many games published in recent years that I consider worth buying!

Here's (me trying to explain to myself) why:

1) THEME: It seems the themes have changed in recent years. If your game has the words 'magic', 'zombies', 'blood', 'monsters', or 'horror' anywhere in its title, theme, or pieces, I'm not interested.
What themes do I like? Civilization, age of discovery to age of imperialism, merchants, and (yes) farming. I like games with resources, especially if particular resources have particular uses.

2) RANDOM ELEMENTS: I think that more games are using random elements today. I like when the outcomes of games are determined by the participants, not the (eg) dice. But I must admit, random elements are now being incorporated in a more clever fashion sometimes (eg. Macao, where those random elements do not determine who wins).

3) I CAN'T USUALLY 'TRY BEFORE I BUY': People that I game with rarely buy and introduce new games - they leave that to me, and most of them would be happy playing the same 2-5 games for 3-4 years. So I'm the one looking at new games, and trying to determine from reviews and rules what the game is like - which sometimes makes me gun-shy about buying.

4) I HAVE TOO MANY GAMES: I've been trying to downsize rather than increase my game collection, so I become more scrutinizing.

5) THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES: Lots of new games out there, and I don't have time to look at anywhere close to all those that fit my preferences, let alone all of them.


I've bought a few games in recent years, but more often I research them for a while, then turn them down. My favorites are still Notre Dame, Puerto Rico, Acquire (quite old), and Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery.

Anyone out there agree with me? Disagree? Want to prove me wrong with your favorite games from recent years?
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Rob Steward
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Relatively recent games which use resources (or similar), have no game-deciding randomness, and no fantasy/horror themes... I'd say there are definitely several. Here are some:

Florenza - renaissance art theme, resources, usable buildings, artists, very involved
Navegador - exploration theme, rondel, multiple viable strategies
Norenberc - guilds and goods theme, income and recruiting
Vasco da Gama - shipping theme, several great/subtle mechanics
A Castle for All Seasons - role selection, variable-value resources
Havana - light, roles somewhat like in Notre Dame, resources and buildings
Shipyard - shipbuilding theme, multiple rondels, unique action selection mechanic
Vinhos - wine production/selling/exhibiting, heavy game

And a few more, which maybe don't match the criteria as well. Submitted without further comment...

Homesteaders
Dominant Species
Constantinopolis
Opera
Royal Palace
Masters of Venice
Comuni
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Jamie Vantries
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Dave Martin wrote:
OK, now we have 60,000 games on this website. Looks like about 3,000 new games each year, recently. More designers, publishers and players than ever.
So, you might think I'm crazy, but I can't find many games published in recent years that I consider worth buying!.................
............
5) THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES: Lots of new games out there, and I don't have time to look at anywhere close to all those that fit my preferences, let alone all of them.

Huh? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
 
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Dave Martin
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Burnham wrote:
Dave Martin wrote:
OK, now we have 60,000 games on this website. Looks like about 3,000 new games each year, recently. More designers, publishers and players than ever.
So, you might think I'm crazy, but I can't find many games published in recent years that I consider worth buying!.................
............
5) THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES: Lots of new games out there, and I don't have time to look at anywhere close to all those that fit my preferences, let alone all of them.

Huh? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.


I'm not saying definitively that they don't exist... I'm saying that I can't seem to find them!
 
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Dave Martin
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DigitalMan wrote:
Relatively recent games which use resources (or similar), have no game-deciding randomness, and no fantasy/horror themes... I'd say there are definitely several. Here are some:

Florenza - renaissance art theme, resources, usable buildings, artists, very involved
Navegador - exploration theme, rondel, multiple viable strategies
Norenberc - guilds and goods theme, income and recruiting
Vasco da Gama - shipping theme, several great/subtle mechanics
A Castle for All Seasons - role selection, variable-value resources
Havana - light, roles somewhat like in Notre Dame, resources and buildings
Shipyard - shipbuilding theme, multiple rondels, unique action selection mechanic
Vinhos - wine production/selling/exhibiting, heavy game

And a few more, which maybe don't match the criteria as well. Submitted without further comment...

Homesteaders
Dominant Species
Constantinopolis
Opera
Royal Palace
Masters of Venice
Comuni



Thank you. I have 'looked at' some of these, and can't seem to decide I want them. Others, I'll have to check out. Navegador, I have, and I like.
 
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Dave, Having new games coming on the market is great ... I like some of the same old too ... but change can also be the spice of life.

And always playing the same type of game can be ... well old. I like my old records too ... but I can find some new music that works.

Just keep digging .. and open your eyes to some new ideas and game styles .
 
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Russ Williams
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Dave Martin wrote:
2) RANDOM ELEMENTS: I think that more games are using random elements today. I like when the outcomes of games are determined by the participants, not the (eg) dice.

...

My favorites are still Notre Dame, Puerto Rico, Acquire (quite old), and Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery.

Since I know that at least 3 of those 4 favorites have random elements, I think you're crazy.
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J C Lawrence
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All four do.
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Dave Martin
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Yes, all four have random elements (though PR, for example, only has starting player, order, and plantation availability). But in all 4, the winner is usually determined by the players; and in ND and PR, it is almost always so.
 
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RJD
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Dave Martin wrote:
OK, now we have 60,000 games on this website. Looks like about 3,000 new games each year, recently. More designers, publishers and players than ever.
So, you might think I'm crazy, but I can't find many games published in recent years that I consider worth buying!

Here's (me trying to explain to myself) why:

1) THEME: It seems the themes have changed in recent years. If your game has the words 'magic', 'zombies', 'blood', 'monsters', or 'horror' anywhere in its title, theme, or pieces, I'm not interested.
What themes do I like? Civilization, age of discovery to age of imperialism, merchants, and (yes) farming. I like games with resources, especially if particular resources have particular uses.

2) RANDOM ELEMENTS: I think that more games are using random elements today. I like when the outcomes of games are determined by the participants, not the (eg) dice. But I must admit, random elements are now being incorporated in a more clever fashion sometimes (eg. Macao, where those random elements do not determine who wins).


Hi! I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with any other part of your post, but I did want to comment on these two points. Random elements and highly fantastical or horror driven themes are not a recent addition to the hobby. They've been a strong part of the gaming hobby for decades, and while they had perhaps taken a back seat for a number of years to the emergence of Euros, they have never disappeared. That's all I wanted to say. Carry on!
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Einmal ist keinmal
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Clash of Cultures is coming out soon by Z-man games. It might interest you.

I agree with you, especially about games with silly, adolescent themes. I'm sure they are selling a lot, but they're just not for me. I do own a few in that genre, but most of them do not appeal to me at all.

That being said, I'm not sure I'd say that these are the only games being published recently. There are plenty of new offerings in the Euro game genre as well.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Dave Martin wrote:
5) THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES: Lots of new games out there, and I don't have time to look at anywhere close to all those that fit my preferences, let alone all of them.


Colour me baffled, though perhaps this last point explains all the earlier ones. In just the last 3 years alone there are countless highly rated and award winning games that fit most if not all your criteria:

7 Wonders
Merchants & Marauders
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game
Troyes
Innovation
Ora Et Labora
Fresco
The Castles of Burgundy
Vinhos
London
Navegador
Glen More
Trajan
Village
De Vulgari Eloquentia

And these are just the most well known off the top of my head… dig deeper and there are dozens more.

If you don't have time to follow the forum obsessively like most here, just spend 10 minutes using the advanced search feature filtering to your hearts content and you'll get a very well vetted starting point.

You can easily filter out all the themes and undesirable elements and limit results to only those recent games that have been highly rated by hundreds of users leaving you with plenty of options to explore at your leisure.

Then of course you can simply post an exhaustive list of what you do and don't like in the recommendations forum and you'll get buried in a deluge of passionately endorsed games tailored exactly to your personal cardboard fetishes.
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Andy Mills
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Um.. why has no one mentioned Agricola?
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Geert Vinaskov
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I agree,

One thing I liked about old boardgames is that they are thematically very different from videogames and movies.

Nowadays it seems that everything is about pirates, zombies, fantasy, space or superheroes.
 
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Carc >> BSG
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I recently played an 'older' game (Show Manager) and was really impressed by its mechanics.
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Mitch Willis
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You might want to take a look at Endeavor...it has a similar theme to Age of Empires III and the way the buildings are used are somewhat reminiscent of Puerto Rico. There's very little randomness in the game...only the initial chit placement at the start of the game is random and they're all turned face-up for every one to see...
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Vanuatu
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and another vote for...
Dominant Species
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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manydills wrote:
Um.. why has no one mentioned Agricola?


Probably just a matter of how "recent" is being interpreted, which I personally took to mean the last couple of years. Given that Dave's been a registered member of BGG since 2007 (the year 'gric was released) I'm guessing he wasn't including it in his criticisms?
 
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David
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Dave Martin wrote:
1) THEME: It seems the themes have changed in recent years. If your game has the words 'magic', 'zombies', 'blood', 'monsters', or 'horror' anywhere in its title, theme, or pieces, I'm not interested.
What themes do I like? Civilization, age of discovery to age of imperialism, merchants, and (yes) farming. I like games with resources, especially if particular resources have particular uses.
Uhm, Eclipse last year got a huge hype. Fantasy and Horror are popular themes so it is to be expected that there are a number of games in that category each year. If you don't like it just ignore them. I'm sure if you take those 3000 games and strip away all horror and fantasy games you'll still be left with a respectable number of games...

Dave Martin wrote:
3) I CAN'T USUALLY 'TRY BEFORE I BUY': People that I game with rarely buy and introduce new games - they leave that to me, and most of them would be happy playing the same 2-5 games for 3-4 years. So I'm the one looking at new games, and trying to determine from reviews and rules what the game is like - which sometimes makes me gun-shy about buying.
I very much understand. I too am the one who buys the games in my groups for the most part. Try to expand and find places where you can try out things: new groups, shops, libraries, conventions. It doesn't have to be the huge conventions. Perhaps there are smaller ones that are easier/cheaper for you to attend. Or board gaming holidays: There are lots of board gaming cafés or even hotels around the world. Maybe one is in a place you wanted to visit anyway. I even read about a board gaming cruise once on Wil Wheaton's blog.

Dave Martin wrote:
4) I HAVE TOO MANY GAMES: I've been trying to downsize rather than increase my game collection, so I become more scrutinizing.

5) THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES: Lots of new games out there, and I don't have time to look at anywhere close to all those that fit my preferences, let alone all of them.
Don't beat yourself up about it. You see some and you miss some. Everyone gets that but not everybody misses the same games. So that's another reason to spread your connections: to hear about good games you missed.

Good hunting!
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Dave Martin
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

Some of the games suggested I have and love (eg. Sid Meier's Civ), some I have and are OK (eg. Endeavor), some I've checked out and decided not to buy, some I should take a second look at, and some I'll be checking out for the first time.

I was also making the point, though, that somehow games are not grabbing my attention and imagination like they used to. Maybe it's because I have changed. I fondly remember the 'wow' factor when I first played Puerto Rico, or when I opened the box and saw the components for War! Age of Imperialism (great theme and pieces, not-so-great rules and play). Moments like those have not happened to me for a few years.

(I guess I've been registered here since 2007, was on the site a few years before that, and have been playing boardgames - first Monopoly et al, then Risk, then A & A, then to the euros- since about 1972.)

What is my game group playing these days?
In descending order of # plays/year:
Macao, San Juan (6 player house rules with expansion cards - our group would all agree it's better than the original), Notre Dame, Pandemic, Sid Meier's Civ (latest version), Twilight Struggle and A Few Acres of Snow.


 
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I'm new, so don't eat me, but I like (my DIY version of) not-yet-released Chicken Caesar. Pretty sure there's no randomness besides start player...

That's all I've got for post-2007 though.
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