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Subject: Is it possible to have to much chrome? rss

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Jeff Hinrickson
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Another question that just passed through my mind.

Is it possible that there are just to many pieces in a game that makes it unfun - with the thought in the back of your head "If only there weren't so many bits then maybe I would like this game more."

Not just knocking Fantasy Flight, but they are the ones that stand out as the publisher who puts out games with massive amounts of high quality bits, sometimes I do a bit of background research of a game that starts out as looking cool to me ends up losing its luster simply because there are just too many bits to deal with.

Is it possible to have to much chrome?
 
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GeekInsight
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If "chrome" refers to better bits - like getting pre-painted minis instead of standups - then no. There can never be too much chrome.

But, if "chrome" just refers to extra bits - like getting multitudes of little chits to fiddle with when a single tracker would have been better - then yes, chrome is bad. There are tons of games out there that have unnecessary upkeep and bits to fiddle with.
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M Evan Brooks
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Five words -- The Campaign for North Africa
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Joe Basham
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Too much is never enough!

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David Fair
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This is not the definition of chrome that i have heard used most often here on BGG.

Chrome usually means extra rules that introduce more realism at the expense of playability. Like that WWII wargame that makes the Italian units require more water because they have to boil pasta.
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Sean Tompkins
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I love interesting bits, even when it does add extra work to setup and pack up games. The only time to me that things are "too much" is when it makes the game too expensive to own - I'm thinking of Planet Steam, where the game could have been a $50 game with normal components, but is $100 retail because of the fanciness. Or heck, lots of the Fragor games - Poseidon's Kingdom and Spellbound -- they are more art installation pieces than games, and have limited appeal because of the price they command. Now, Fragors model is to make limited run deluxe-type games, and it works for them - but I'd like to see good games in MORE people's hands.
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Scott Hill
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Oh great, another board gaming term that no-one seems to agree on the meaning of.

When I first heard it, I thought it meant the 'non-functional' areas on a game board.

But, that's because I come from a Windows programming background, where 'chrome' is the stuff surrounding the main area of a Windows window or control (so, stuff like the title bar at the top, and the frames round the sides and bottom, of a window).
 
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David Fair
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Katzebar wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
This is not the definition of chrome that i have heard used most often here on BGG.

Chrome usually means extra rules that introduce more realism at the expense of playability. Like that WWII wargame that makes the Italian units require more water because they have to boil pasta.


I want that in my game(s). That is among the coolest things I've ever heard.


evanbrooks wrote:


Have at it. Invite 9 of your closest friends over for 1200 hours of military gaming. Don't invite me, I'm busy that year.
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M Evan Brooks
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Katzebar wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
This is not the definition of chrome that i have heard used most often here on BGG.

Chrome usually means extra rules that introduce more realism at the expense of playability. Like that WWII wargame that makes the Italian units require more water because they have to boil pasta.


I want that in my game(s). That is among the coolest things I've ever heard.


evanbrooks wrote:


Have at it. Invite 9 of your closest friends over for 1200 hours of military gaming. Don't invite me, I'm busy that year.


Obviously you have chosen one of the shorter scenarios.
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Ernest S
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Never to much chrome...

... sometimes too little game.
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Lance McMillan
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((Controversial "Trolling" Mode: ON))

Chrome is a term used to define extraneous rules which are added by the designer in a misguided attempt to add "flavor" to a game, rather than rules which are necessary to capture the essence of the subject the game purports to model. Chrome is often used as a crutch to shore up an otherwise weak design, to give the game a superficial illusion of "depth." Chrome tends to appeal to players who enjoy being able to "out-geek" their opponents by showing how much knowledge they have of the subject or well they've memorized the rules, as opposed to actually being able to formulate effective strategies.

Chrome is the mortal enemy of good game design.

((Controversial "Trolling" Mode: OFF))
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Ralph T
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haven't played it game like Arkham Horror appears to have too much chrome. Possibly other FFG titles that take 4+ hours to play.
 
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Matt Smith
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Lancer4321 wrote:
((Controversial "Trolling" Mode: ON))

Chrome is a term used to define extraneous rules which are added by the designer in a misguided attempt to add "flavor" to a game, rather than rules which are necessary to capture the essence of the subject the game purports to model. Chrome is often used as a crutch to shore up an otherwise weak design, to give the game a superficial illusion of "depth." Chrome tends to appeal to players who enjoy being able to "out-geek" their opponents by showing how much knowledge they have of the subject or well they've memorized the rules, as opposed to actually being able to formulate effective strategies.

Chrome is the mortal enemy of good game design.

((Controversial "Trolling" Mode: OFF))

Interesting definition. I've always assumed "chrome" meant upgraded components that don't need to be so nice to be functional, but add to the visual/tactile appeal of a game. Based on my definition, chrome is good as long as the price doesn't get out of reach of the average gamer. Based on your definition, chrome is never good.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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mvettemagred wrote:
Interesting definition. I've always assumed "chrome" meant upgraded components that don't need to be so nice to be functional, but add to the visual/tactile appeal of a game. Based on my definition, chrome is good as long as the price doesn't get out of reach of the average gamer. Based on your definition, chrome is never good.


This is what I was thinking chrome was, it seems that I may have offended the chrome definition police.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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evanbrooks wrote:


I would agree there is a crap load of bits, but they seem mediocre in quality. These bits might be considered the Tin of bits.
 
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Scott Hill
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The BGG definition of Chrome appears to cover both extraneous rules and unnecessarily fancy components.

So, everybody wins!
 
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Lance McMillan
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mvettemagred wrote:
I've always assumed "chrome" meant upgraded components...


Curious. Until reading this thread, I've never heard "chrome" used in that context. I've only heard it used to describe "extra" (i.e. not necessarily required to play the game) rules.

Wargames are very prone to "chromey" rules, because designers often feel it's critical that there be a plethora of special exceptions to cover minor details. For example, if the 47th panzer division had an extra platoon of motorcycle couriers attached to it during the battle of East Overshoe, you can almost guarantee that some designer will include a special rule that the 47th division, unique amongst all other panzer divisions in play, receives a special +1 modifier to its reaction die rolls -- and then there will be a further exception to the rule that states when the weather for that turn is rain the unit doesn't get the special +1 modifier (because the designer read in some obscure reference manual somewhere that German motorcycles had a tendency to bog down when the roads were muddy).

These rules allegedly promote "realism," but only at severe cost to playability. But trying to convince any of the uber-geeky grognards that is a losing proposition... whistle
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Matt Kruczek
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Two examples from Star Trek: Fleet Captains

Good chrome: Every major recognisable Federation ship class and every crew member, each with a unique ability. Images from all the TV shows evoke a sense of being in an episode. It pulls you further into the Star Trek universe.

Bad chrome: The ship bases. Contain no information that isn't on the card and actually convey LESS information. Pulls you OUT of the narrative of the game with small font size, fiddling about with twisting them into the right position, assuming they've not stuck. The job can just as easily be done with a cube with no detriment to the game play.
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M Evan Brooks
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Lancer4321 wrote:
((Controversial "Trolling" Mode: ON))

Chrome is the mortal enemy of good game design.

((Controversial "Trolling" Mode: OFF))


Some chrome is essential to yield an experience that is a success as a game and as history. The problem is like a '59 Cadillac -- sometimes the chrome simply weighs down the design.
 
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Mike Fox
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
This is not the definition of chrome that i have heard used most often here on BGG.

Chrome usually means extra rules that introduce more realism at the expense of playability. Like that WWII wargame that makes the Italian units require more water because they have to boil pasta.


I don't think I've ever seen chrome used this way very much. I see folks using it in reference to the physical components. I'm not saying you're wrong or haven't seen it that way. It's more that I'm fascinated at the variance even on a site like this
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M Evan Brooks
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foxfan wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
This is not the definition of chrome that i have heard used most often here on BGG.

Chrome usually means extra rules that introduce more realism at the expense of playability. Like that WWII wargame that makes the Italian units require more water because they have to boil pasta.


I don't think I've ever seen chrome used this way very much. I see folks using it in reference to the physical components. I'm not saying you're wrong or haven't seen it that way. It's more that I'm fascinated at the variance even on a site like this


I think the definitional reference may be summed up as a differential between wargamers and Eurogamers. Wargamers are often more minimalist in that the parts matter less than the simulation value; Eurogames tend to have more "physical" components. Hence, to a wargamer, chrome means "rules"; to a Eurogamer, chrome means components.
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J Holmes
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jjloc wrote:

Is it possible that there are just to many pieces in a game that makes it unfun - with the thought in the back of your head "If only there weren't so many bits then maybe I would like this game more."

I have Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean which is a nice game, especially in risk management. The only downside is, it has like 500 cards for resources and other bits which seems way too many for what it is.
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David Fair
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evanbrooks wrote:
I think the definitional reference may be summed up as a differential between wargamers and Eurogamers. Wargamers are often more minimalist in that the parts matter less than the simulation value; Eurogames tend to have more "physical" components. Hence, to a wargamer, chrome means "rules"; to a Eurogamer, chrome means components.


Except, you know, that it was a EuroGamer who pointed out the "wargamer" definition in this thread.

In my experience, chrome is only used to describe components by those who don't know what it really means, and that can happen with wargamers or eurogamers.
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Scott Hill
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
evanbrooks wrote:
I think the definitional reference may be summed up as a differential between wargamers and Eurogamers. Wargamers are often more minimalist in that the parts matter less than the simulation value; Eurogames tend to have more "physical" components. Hence, to a wargamer, chrome means "rules"; to a Eurogamer, chrome means components.


Except, you know, that it was a EuroGamer who pointed out the "wargamer" definition in this thread.

In my experience, chrome is only used to describe components by those who don't know what it really means, and that can happen with wargamers or eurogamers.


As I pointed out previously, the BGG glossary definition covers both rules and components.
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
In my experience, chrome is only used to describe components by those who don't know what it really means, and that can happen with wargamers or eurogamers.


Translation: Only people who are wrong describe it in a way that differs from my definition.

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