Last game you bought?

What probably no one asked for. My understanding, which I’m sure is some non-zero percent correct.

Yeah, two schools of thought seem to have emerged in the post-WWII era, labeled “euro” and “ameritrash.” Causation, who knows, but they do seem to align with the likely feedback from that global encounter.

German games could be summarized by “elegance” and “symbiosis.” Some key tenets of the “Eurogame:”

  • Separation of theme and mechanics - which doesn’t have to mean pasted on. They can be very sympatico with each other. But mechanics are never dictated by theme. See Settlers - who makes a road out of wood and bricks? No one I know. The balance of resources dictate the cost, not the theme. (shouldn’t we be making our roads out of stone and our cities out of bricks here? Anyone?)
  • Non destructive interaction - Blocking, ok. Taking something first, ok. Bumping, ok if the bumpee is compensated. Destroying? Never. Here’s El Grande, win by having more, not by removing you.
  • Elegant rules - minimal but meaningful
  • Symmetry - everyone has an equal chance. I think this is just German, nothing to do with a war.
  • Positive scoring - everyone makes something and gets a score. The winner did best.

American games could be summarized by “theme/story” and “discovery/exploration.” Maybe “fighting” too. Some key tenets of “Ameritrash:” (note that there’s nothing inherently wrong with Ameritrash, just we never agreed on a better term)

  • Theme based mechanics - Rules are bent and drafted to fit the theme, with as many exceptions and edge cases as needed. Balance can suffer.
  • Destructive or zero sum interaction - more fight than race or parallel competition
  • Explosion of rules and components - the emphasis on theme, story, and discovery led to the “more is more” mindset. Bigger boxes, different units, cards cards cards, etc.
  • Asymmetry - yeah, all these things are related. But with little focus on balance or elegance, this becomes an option. See Cosmic Encounter, Dune, Axis & Allies, etc.
  • Reductive scoring - I win by removing you or somehow destroying your game assets. Risk. Magic. Star Realms. Fortress America.

So I’m getting to what may be an interesting point?

1995-2005 saw these ideas begin to cross the Atlantic and we entered the golden age of the hybrid. There’s a lot of great concepts on both sides, and it more comes down to quality of implementation than strength of philosophy. But look at Spirit Island - a set of Euro ideals in the symbiosis and elegance (consistency of rules across scenarios and deities) alongside Ameritrash ideals of asymmetry and an endless deck of god powers. Good stuff.

I think with the dominance of the hybrid, “pure euro” has been pushed to the fringe as a caricature of what it once was. Kind of like all our political parties have been pushed to the extremes of what used to be broader and more palatable ideals?

The possibly interesting part: With that, I think the definition of “Euro” has moved from a set of design ideals into a set of tropes or mechanics. Weak actions that are upgraded during the game. Score tracks that score AxB points. Upgradable player boards. Dissociated minigames. 3-6 scoring archetypes which invite multiple sessions to explore them all. Even now, though, they have “randomized scoring objectives” that is a very Ameritrash concept.

Euro doesn’t have to be these things. But it is, just because it clearly separates it from the hybrid crowd and because it is currently proven to sell.

What is being done with Euros mean?

So if anyone is done with that, absolutely. These tropes weren’t great to begin with and we’ve all seen them enough times now. But I personally still think of “euro” as the design philosophy I listed at the beginning. And it’s still La Granja, New Frontiers, Terra Mystica family, Agricola… even Cyclades is pretty darn Euro by the bullets up top. So if you are kind of done with something people call Euros, but also still titillated by elegant, mechanics forward, positive scoring games, fill your boots, I guess?


If you want to be comprehensive, I’d say also that classic Euro tries to avoid or even out randomness (e.g. a card deck that will be used completely), while classic Ameritrash is WOO BUCKETS OF DICE.

But people who were playing “German games” (as they were called then in England) in the 1990s often think of interaction as a key part of the style, while people who were playing i the early 2000s may expect something more like multiplayer solitaire with maybe a contested draft.


Got Septima as a gift for my birthday :smiley:

Unfortunately, unnoticed by me (and by my mum, who ordered the game), buried deep in the Amazon listing was the fact it’s the French version :frowning_face:


Friend heard me yapping about Courtisans, so he bought 2 copies for me and him. :star_struck:


Bought Daybreak and arrived from the post. Can’t wait to give it a try!


Well I bought Rebel Princess from Spanish Amazon. Couldn’t wait for the Bezier Deluxe version and it has three different types of card! Madness.

Also the utterly insane art on Razzia


Is it now out in the UK at retail?

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BoardGamePrices still has it as “preorder”.


My last outstanding KS just delivered and what a beast! This is filling up a 4’/120cm table. The core box is too large for a kallax cube and yet I’m still very excited for it. Having tested the TTS demo in a lockdown I’m itching to get it played. Woop woop! No more preorders or games awaiting fulfilment is also a banger. Well done me.


With some money my wife gave me for Father’s Day with encouragement to go to our FLGS, I picked up The Wolves, as I have really enjoyed the couple of plays of it on BGA.


I’m getting really tired of getting treated like a bot. Is this the new world? The new etiquette?

I’m losing track of the times I inquire about a game on BGG, no response, only to check back a week later and see that the game was taken down.

Or an inquiry into a game I’m selling, I send a quote, and then silence.

Of course we all forget to take down a game we sold on a different platform. Of course we all change our mind or find a better price. I guess closure and communication are too much to ask of the modern internet. I’m not an npc.


There’s probably a non-zero amount of money in a service that automatically sorts out your sales across multiple platforms.

Probably already exists


some stuff arrived :blush:
German expansions because they are cheaper


A quick PS to my rant: I need to realize that anyone 10 years younger than me is terrified of answering the door (let alone knocking on one), and twenty years younger is also terrified of answering the phone. Unless the parents made a specific and concerted effort on those things. Our twenty-something nanny looked at me in something like awe when I answered the phone from an unknown number and just…talked. I think the thread is unscripted communication with strangers and “explaining yourself” to someone without pre-existing context.

I can have more grace for missing life skills than for missing politeness. Poor kids.


My experience is anyone my age (50s) or younger associates phone calls with telesales first. For most of our lives we’ve had better ways of communicating with the people we actually want to communicate with, and in particular ones that don’t demand we drop whatever we’re doing and come and talk Right Now.


Pretty much the only calls I receive these days are either my mum, spam, or the pizza delivery driver saying they’re outside.


I associate phone calls with getting bad news.
I get this sinking feeling in my stomach when the phone rings. I am glad my mobile doesn‘t ring.

The only people calling on our landline are older family members and 1 family from among our friends. We‘ll get rid of it when the last of our landline phone units breaks which can‘t be too far off.

I hate answering the phone. The landline much more than the mobile but still. Send me a signal/threema message before calling and we can then use the messenger to talk. I actually prefer talking in person or messengers to talking on the phone. My hearing is not what it used to be and a lot of people are not speaking clearly enough and the phones mangle the rest. If I have to guess every third word it‘s not great.


For me phone is the worst of both worlds - I need to respond immediately rather than taking time to think about it, and I don’t have the cues of expression to work with, only a low-quality reproduction of voice. So I leaped straight into email as soon as I had the option.


I have to answer the phone because I use it for work as well personal use but I’ve got very good at just hitting ‘end call’ if its a spam caller

In an attempt to stop the culture of expecting immediate replies to emails, I have a signature on my email that says ‘I only read my emails between x hour and y hour - if you require an urgent response, please call my mobile’. It took me a while to train people on what is and isn’t urgent but I know now if people are calling, its because something needs to happen now.


I have never felt any real need to tell someone I’m not buying their game at the price they gave me, unless their price seems like it’s within haggling range. If it’s too high or the seller has a no haggling policy, as far as I’m concerned that’s the end of our interaction.

(Edit: that said, I just remembered that a long time ago I used to tell sellers I wasn’t interested at their price, and I got some very rude responses as a result. Perhaps that led me to stop, and forget that I ever did…)

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