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Renaming Board Game Genres



  • A game is a game, what's the difference? It's not like any region's games are better than another's.

    "Ameritrash" and "Eurogame" were once originally associated with their respective geographical regions because in America, many board games were designed to emphasize drama, whereas in Europe, particularly Germany, games were designed to emphasize challenge. While drama and challenge appear to be broad terms, there are usually some stylistic elements and design decisions which are frequently associated with either core focus. For instance, a theme-first-mechanics-later approach is usually taken by designers who emphasize drama, and of course, this sometimes conflicts with a mechanics-first-theme-later approach taken by designers who emphasize challenge.

    Over time, some Eurogames were designed in America and some Ameritrash games were designed in Europe. Whatever geographical connections these terms have are meaningless. Nonetheless, the core aesthetics both terms describe are still relevant.

    Honestly, these terms are good at describing the core reasons of why people play such board games in the first place. Defining board games mostly by mechanics is quite useless. Worker placement is a major mechanic in
    Burning Suns and Caylus, but both games play completely differently. Of course, a person could define a game by listing more mechanics, but now, multiple terms are used to describe one object rather than just one.
  • edited September 2014
    No. The geographical connections are there because most people will always and instantly connect the prefix of Euro with Europe and Ameri with America. Just because you say that doesn't mean that's the case for everyone else.

    There is also the negative connotation with the use of "trash" in Ameritrash. This term bothers me and I don't use it to describe good games made by Americans such as Dominion or Kingdom Builder.

    These are not honestly good terms at describing core reasons people play games. People have their own reasons they play games by using mechanics are one of the reasons, just like yourself as you continue to beat your dead horse of an argument.

    People here will not adopt your definitions because we don't see it that way and have disagreed with your reasoning. You should write a letter to Richard Garfield and see what he says to your arguments.

    You should also watch ScRym's Definitions of Game Lecture:
    Apreche said:

    You're got a really big hang up for such an insignificant semantic issue. There are already a whole lexicon of words used to describe board games that are used mostly universally by members of the community. Instead of trying to invent your own that nobody else will use, just learn the terms that already exist.


    My final advice:

    Post edited by Rochelle on
  • RymRym
    edited September 2014
    Hethalos said:

    Seriously, has anyone actually played something with more blood-and-guts conflict like Runewars, Titan, or Mage Wars where combat is a major, defining part of the game?

    Conflict is just pushing damage around, usually politically. Memoir 44 and Command and Colors are straight up military conflict games. There's little fundamental difference between a game where the conflict appears to be indirect due to "euro-ness" and a game where conflict is obviously direct.

    Your sole defining factor appears to be whether or not a game is political. A two player "war/conflict" game is just as much, fundamentally, about making an efficient engine, as a cube pushing "euro" game. The only difference is that you're calling the cubes "damage" and distributing them like victory points into buckets you call "units."

    There's nothing intrinsic that's different between the two types of games enough to warrant calling them by different fundamental titles.

    Post edited by Rym on
  • Junta! is the best political board game ever.
  • Rym said:

    There's nothing intrinsic that's different between the two types of games enough to warrant calling them by different fundamental titles.

    If he could look at a game tree or payoff matrix and highlight the difference between "Ameritrash" and "Eurogame" we'd have a lot more to talk about.
  • Descent and Super Dungeon Explore focus on combat and strategy on all sides of the conflict.
    Also, you can define a game by a major mechanic, or a related game/type of game. I compare Eclipse and Small World to Risk all the time, to my non-gamer friends. They are similar to Risk, as they are territory control games, but they also are advanced forms of a genre.
    I am more likely to try or ignore a game based on some mechanics more so than theme, but I am more likely to ignore a game if the theme doesn't appeal to me at all (like realistic combat sim games).
  • To each their own. You guys may hate those terms but I love 'em, and so do many others. Anyways, I think I came to the wrong website. I'll just shut the fuck up now, worship you guys as the "masters of board gaming semantics", and go back to BGG.

    I swear I shall never make another post here. Good bye for real. I hope I can get my account deleted in one way or another or just get blocked.
  • Nobody said anything about hate. Don't take it personal. "not useful" is very different from "I hate this".

    So no matter how not-useful you find this forum, or anyone here finds you, your account will remain undeleted and unblocked. See you again in a few weeks.
  • The reason the terms are not useful, Hethalos, is that they are antiquated and don't truly apply to anything that is relevant to the hobby. The old "Ameritrash" games have been more or less been labled as either bad games or non-games. The "Euro" tag for games isn't really relevant because of the fact that those types of games come from many different companies and designers both inside and outside of Europe. I would be willing to bet that North America will have some kind of prestigious award for board games like the Spiel de Jahres that stands as a beacon to the game's quality (if there isn't something like it already).

    Rage quitting because we disagree with you is pretty silly. Most of us agree that the hobby isn't black and white like it was 15-20 years ago. It is a lot more relevant to broaden the genres that games fit into instead of just this or that.
  • Devil's advocate - I still hear people use the term "Euro" every week at my local boardgame meetup. I also still see people use "Ameritrash" on BGG, and at least one website that has the term in its URL at FortressAT. There's a bit of a FRC bubble regarding the online discussion of boardgames.

    Either way, carry on.
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