Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Ameritrash is dead! A look at what is hot on BGG

So somewhere in the trolling posts of our latest fan it was said that Ameritrash games are dead and that Eurogames are reigning supreme. We have all heard this line of horse shit before, it is nothing new, but it struck me as odd. I say that because of a number of conversations I have had recently. Michael Barnes has gone on record stating that he tends to sell more AT type games at his store than Euros. I took this fact with a slight grain of salt, it simply could be that MB pushed those games more or that euro-gamers feel uncomfortable dealing with him. I was recently visiting the newest FLGS here in Baltimore (one I have put my full support behind by buying most of my games there if I can) and I asked the owner the same question, and to my surprise his experience was the same as Barnes. That the classic euros like Settlers and Carcassone sold well but that the AT titles were much stronger across the board. Games like Twilight Imperium III, Tide of Iron, Battlelore (Yes I consider this AT), and A&A Mini's were outselling newer eurogames easily.


Again this is all very unscientific, So I went over to peek at that great board game resource site and looked at the hot games list. I was again surprised to find that, with one small hybrid exception, I had to go down the list quite a bit to find a new pure eurogame. Lets review, here is the list as of 7/25/07

1 Starcraft: The Board Game (AT, at least I assume based on the info available)

2 Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery (This can be call a euro, but its by an AT designer and has combat in it so to me its a hybrid)

3 Tide of Iron (AT)
4Talisman 4th Edition (AT redone)
5 BattleLore (AT)
6 Puerto Rico (Old Euro)
7 Settlers of Catan, The (Old Euro)
8 Heroscape Marvel: The Conflict Begins (Breeding a new Generation of AT)
9 Arkham Horror (AT)
10 Carcassonne (Old Euro)
11 Race for the Galaxy (This looks like a euro)
12 Twilight Struggle (CDG)
13 Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (AT)
14 Power Grid (Old Euro)
15 War of the Ring (AT)
16 Tigris & Euphrates (Old Euro)
17 Caylus (CRAP)
18 Shogun (RE-do of an older Euro)
19 Monopoly (WTF?)
20 Risk (AT)
21 Descent: Journeys in the Dark (AT)
22 Duel in the Dark (Light war game?)
23 Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition (AT)
24 Notre Dame (Euro!)

25 Railroad Tycoon (Hybrid)
26 Imperial (Euro)
27 Thebes (Euro)
28 Combat Commander: Europe (Wargame/AT)
29 Zooloretto (Shit!)
30 World of Warcraft - The Boardgame (Crappy AT)
31 HeroScape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie (AT)
32 Guatemala Café (Euro)
33 Pillars of the Earth, The (Euro)
34 Bang! (I will call the card game Euro)
35 Caylus Magna Carta (Euro)
36 Yahtzee (old School)
37 Colosseum (Euro)
38 Clue (old school)
39 Scrabble (Old School)
40 Tannhäuser (AT)

In order to find something that is not an Ameritrash game, an older eurogame or a hybrid game you need to goto #11 with Race for the Galaxy, a game that the BGG crew are gushing over even though they have only played a prototype. To get to a game the masses can actually buy you need to goto #24 Notre Dame. A game slated for mediocrity after getting slammed by Tom Vassal with a 6 (as we all know anything less than a 8 from him means the game blows)

So, in the top 10 hot games on BGG we have 6 solid AT games and 1 hybrid. Plus the same 3 very popular eurogames. Seems to me that the trend is moving away from eurogames and more toward AT. This doesn't surprise me much, tastes change and there really isn't anything new coming from the eurogame scene. Lets take Race for the Galaxy as an example. Of the 25 folks who have commented on the game a significant number compare the game to San Juan. Seems to me that we have another tweaking of popular eurogame mechanics with a freshly bolted on theme. Am I saying this is a bad game, certainly not, I will have to play it before I can comment on its quality, but I am saying now that its nothing new.

I also feel that one of the other factors in the stale feeling around newer eurogames is a result of one of the ten commandments of euro design. Short game length. Games that last less than an hour can only be of a certain complexity level. This tends to lead to game where 1 or 2 strategies are all that is viable and where varied game play is quickly eschewed in favor of the most efficient strategy. All of this makes re-playability suffer. A typical pattern with my game group is that a new eurogame will be played constantly for a few months and then all of a sudden it never leaves the shelf. They burn out fast and never make a comeback. I think as a whole the entire genre is doing this. All of the interesting mechanics have been used and re-used in different combinations and new games coming off the press feeling stale.

So my friends, Ameritrash is not dying away it is being reborn. American style games burnt themselves out in the past just as euros are beginning to do now, but with all the new AT titles being released and selling well, new life is being given to the hobby. Eurosnoots can continue to believe themselves the mature, elite of the hobby. However, the rest of us see them for what they are; fans of boring, simple games, that use a handful of game mechanics and avoid direct competition. Adults pretending to not be geeks, but playing games with little pastel cubes and themes so lame, that even the most hard up member of the opposite sex would consider batting for the same team before dating them.

Long Live Ameritrash, Long live Fun in gaming.

-M



79 comments:

Muzza said...

Your article is based on the 'Hot Games' list but what gets a game onto that list? I personally don't know and my intensive 45 seconds of research on BGG didn't dig up an answer.

What I am fairly sure of is that 'hot' does not necessarily mean 'popular' or 'endorsed'.

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusions mind...

Anonymous said...

muzza,

those are the hot games as accessed via Google.

Malloc said...

I believe they are the games that have the most activity on BGG, but truth be told I do not know what magic formula is used to make that list.

Malloc said...

My point is that these are the games showing the most interest by BGG members at the time of this post.

-M

Anonymous said...

If you enter "Monopoly" in Google and access the BGG geek site through the link given in the search results, that's 1 point for Monopoly.

So at the time Starcraft is the game by which BGG draws the most visitors from the Google site.

Michael Barnes said...

Nice work, Malloc. It's true- outside of the BGG bubble, Eurogames beyond SETTLERS, CARCASSONNE, and maybe PUERTO RICO and TICKET TO RIDE are pretty much a nonissue- they may as well not even exist. It may seem impressive that a game like CAYLUS sells 5000 copies worldwide, but consider how many copies of ARKHAM HORROR have been sold after what, three print runs and another pending?

What's happened is that games that have stronger appeal to people who would actually get into games _as a hobby_- i.e. not the couple next door or some blasted church youth group- have made a tremendous comeback thanks to publishers like FFG, Asmodee, and others recognizing that there's only so many Euro-style auction games you can sale before the ship sinks. The whole myth that Eurogames were going to break into the mainstream American conscience was just that, a myth perpetuated by self-appointed game evangelists forwarding their own pro-Euro agenda and using the internet to pretty much blanket the board gaming hobby's presence there with Euro-bias.

Fortunately for us, the tide has turned and it's the Euros that are on the ropes...they had a good run, and hell knows there were some great games that came out of that era but the period where someone would equate "I'm into boardgaming" with "I'm into Eurogames" is over.

STARCRAFT is going to be huge...it's ridiculous. Of course, from what I've heard it has some Euro mechanics but there's no getting around the fact that it's pure AT, and more gamers are going to get into the hobby through it than shit like ZOOLORETTO.

Jack Hill said...

Age of Empires is not a Euro?!?

A: Using the term hybrid for a game is a total cop-out, as Frank has declared.

B: The designer's history really cannot be counted on to determine a game. Otherwise, Alan Moon, Karl Heinz Schmiel, Bruno Faidutti, Klaus Teuber are all AT designers and all of their games are AT. They've all designed games that are seriously AT. Alan Moon was a wargame developer for Avalon Hill.

C: The game is centered around abstracted majority scoring with the combat relegated to more of an occasional threat. Combat is limited to simulaneous sacrifice instead of dice, and is only used to adjust that whole majority thing. I've been forced to play the thing twice, and I think we had one minor skirmish.

Total Euro.

Ken B. said...

Actually, the fact that it's based off of Google searches instead of BGG searches is more damning. This means that people are trying to find out more about the hobby, and they're doing it via games like Tide of Iron.

You could say, "But...Monopoly's on that list! Take that!" (This is the weak-willed argument that almost every gaming argument about 'success' boils down to..."Oh yeah, if sales are so great, then Monopoly is the king!")


The point is that people are searching for more information about these games through their exposure to big, fat Ameritrash games as much (or evidently moreso) than any of the games that typically populate the "Gateway Games" lists that scatter the 'net.


Empirical evidence. What a bitch.

Michael Barnes said...

I agree with Jack...AOEIII is almost totally Euro even though it has some hybrid-y elements like big production and at least a thimble full of conflict. At one point in its development, the game may very well have been pure AT (and possibly great AT at that) but it's been completely stripped down to be a "Euro-style" (says on the box) game. Consider it Glenn Drover's penance to the BGG Tastemakers.

It's a pretty fair Euro and better than most recent issues, but it's tremendously mediocre on every possible level. All these people bending over to receive it need to get out of the house more.

The best part is in the rules how it tells you that each color represents a different nation...which has absolutely no effect on the gameplay and is never mentioned again. Or how it includes these awesomely detailed caravel miniatures that are used as wild cards in sets of trade goods and to mark the turn.

Anybody want to buy a used copy?

The Euro Overlord said...

This is the only list that matters:

BGG Top 10 Games

1. Puerto Rico
2. Tigris and Euphrates
3. Power Grid
4. Caylus
5. Twilight Struggle
6. El Grande
7. The Princes of Florence
8. Battlelore
9. Die Macher
10. Shogun

This is the list that thousand and thousands of gamers go use. Not your wish list Malloc.

Starcraft is not even out yet and yet you yearn for a game that takes you back to when you first sprouted your first pubic hair!

And no Barnes the game will NOT be huge! It will be the same over the top artwork that diverts your attention from the fact that once you have waded through the novel of a rule book all you basically have is a pile of overproduced poop.

LilRed said...

@ Euro Ubersnoot

Oh please, the BGG top 10 as _THE_ list? Seriously if you think that a couple of dorks who ENJOY math dictate what makes a good game then just piss off. Go to BGG and join the circle jerk on alan moon's NEW space travel game and go praise how innovative it is.

The Euro Overlord said...

Hey lilred,

If you were a Big name on this site I would kick your ass then brand it, but since you are a nobody and not totally indoctrinated by these assholes yet means there is still hope for you!

The fact that you can't do math is not my concern. My concern is that YOU understand that the Euro is king.

The list on BGG uses a bayesian avg which is the most accurate tool we have to identify the top games. Malloc and Barnes are tools but not very useful except for blowing hot air on this pathetic blog. Ken B is here...well...Ken is here for... Why is Ken here? I still think he paid Matt to let him post.

(lilred lifted by his ridinghood to reveal the transvestite he his and is branded. No longer considered even a minor threat)

(Thunder)

Ken B. said...

Glen was pretty crafty in getting the plastic into Age of Empires III. He surveyed folks beforehand, but he's sort of been after this hybrid plastic/Euro thing for some time now.

I'm glad to see it's doing well. Glen seems like a really nice guy.

Michael Barnes said...

I'm glad it's doing well too...I don't know Glenn, but he seems like a good guy from what I've read/heard. But still, he needs to stick to his roots...it's funny that there's all these AOEIII players now using glass beads and wooden cubes...just to avoid using the figures.

Ken B. said...

I guarantee you that his sales would not be doing nearly as well without the plastic. That's drawing people in, the exact same way that Age of Mythology did. Except this time, he has an apparently solid design out of the box, posing a real problem for Euro fans--"I like this game, but gah, the plastic!"

I think they manufacture these little cubes by the billions somewhere, so they should have no trouble finding replacement parts.

The Euro Overlord said...

"it's funny that there's all these AOEIII players now using glass beads and wooden cubes...just to avoid using the figures."


We have grown up Barnes, we put away our army men long ago!

Ken you are a rank novice! Your attempts at ignoring me are too obvious. But the fact is Ken, I am ignoring you! You have been branded my little Barnes-worshipping fool!

(Thunder)

Pat H said...

Does anyone actually use the trade portion of the PC game AOE3? I mean really? For the love of God how did a combat focused rts get dummied down into a euro cube fest - yes the plastic figs are just cubes, double agents if you will.

Talk about raping a license. I might ask someone for wood once in a blue moon but it isn't a trading, city sim, or fluffy abstract game - it's about caving in your opponents head and razing his cities. Where did this all go astray?

The game is shite. The PC game isn't that good either - very been there done that.

There are probably listening devices inside each box - inside the least used mini's, a combat piece no less.

Malloc said...


This is the list that thousand and thousands of gamers go use. Not your wish list Malloc.


My list reflected what games people are interested in, looking for information about etc.

The BGG top ten is about as useful as nipples on men. It is followed closely by legions of eurogame fan boys who cry fowl if any of their favorite games falls off the top 5.

Again.. go take a poll at consimn or here and see if you get the same list of games.

The hot list better reflects what the masses are interested in and that is why I used it.

Also I do not yearn for Starcraft. I didn't really like the video game (I was a Total annihilation fan myself) and don't have any hopes that he board game implementation of a RTS will be any good.

As for AOE, I will give you that it is more euro than AT, but it looks a lot more like risk than St Petes.
I can't speak to how the thing plays, but to ignore the fact that the designer took a step closer to the AT line would be blind.

But keep trying EO one day that other nut will fall and you can pretend to be a man.

-M

The Euro Overlord said...

Here is what Glenn says. I am so proud of Glenn. You see Glenn tried things your way with Eagle games, he tried the Ameritrash style and went bankrupt. Glenn has now seen the Euro light!

"Designers shouldn't rate their own games. I just couldn't help it. I really like this game.
The theme is one of my favorites and permeates the game, making the mechanics very intuitive. The gameplay offers the players many deliciously hard decisions that seem small when taken individually, but add up to success or failure in the long run. The game rewards long-term planning, but rewards flexibility and adaptation to opponents' choices even more. There are many long-term strategies and combinations that can be tried (My favorites are: The Missionary/ Colonizer Strategy; The Captain/ Merchant/ Privateer Strategy; The Conquistador/ Discovery Strategy; The Merchant/ Trader Strategy). Some may work in one situation and not in others. All this adds up to a game that is extremely re-playable and fun.

Wooden cubes or meeples can always be substituted by the players who prefer them, but miniatures actually work best in this design!"

Great game Glenn!

The Euro Overlord said...

Here is what Rick Thornquist has to say! You can bank on this!

"... Very good game, bordering on excellent, that uses the worker allocation scheme from Caylus and then expands on it. Lots of strategy and lots of different paths to victory. "

The Euro Overlord said...

Now for what the Greg Schloesser has to say about Age of Empires III

"...While not a difficult game to learn, Age of Empires III is filled with important decisions and offers numerous strategic options. It doesn’t appear that one strategy is omnipotent, and astute players should be able to counteract efforts to dominate play with a linear strategy. Like the theme of the game, there appears to be quite a bit to explore and discover here.

What impresses me equally is that the game is “finished”. There doesn’t appear to be many – if any – rules ambiguities or gaffes, and there is an absence of design flaws or mechanisms that just don’t work properly. The game plays smoothly, is filled with tough choices and tension, and is polished. This is a fine design, one that can be played over and over again and still offer a fresh feel and new options to explore. Age of Empires III is clearly Drover’s best design, which hopefully bodes will for his new company."

When Greg says this is Glenn's best design you can count on that! Why is it his best design? Because he went EURO!!!

Pat H said...

Thank God boardgaming doesn't rank so highly in my life. I would just as quickly grab a fistful of dinosaur toys and a fistful of dice and make a game on the spot than have to play that garbage.

This is where we differ - the fun factor.

Now go back to endlessly playtesting Caylus to find how few the mathematical inconsistencies are.

Yeesh, please stop dry humping your autographed (insert game reviewer personality here) photo - it's disturbing.

Michael Barnes said...

Bullshit...Greg, Rick, et al. are giving this game such high marks because they've never played a spreadsheet game this elaborately produced, and it's also their way of telling Glenn that he's forgiven for making all those big, glorious AT games.

Greg's full of it...I've played the game three times and I've already determined at least one strategy that will pretty much win the game every time...and it pretty much excludes doing ANYTHING on the map. Trade goods will win almost every game you play, investing in exploration and colonization is too pricey and too logistically difficult to pull off when you can get points just for drafting the right trade goods for free and then spending your money on the right bonus buildings.

Now THAT'S a mechanic that can go to hell right there...bonus buildings...

But nonetheless AOE III is solidly "OK" to me, because it's a better Euro than anything the Germans have come up with in years. I've got a review going up on Gameshark.com in a couple of weeks.

The Euro Overlord said...

"I've got a review going up on Gameshark.com in a couple of weeks. "

Don't waste your time, the game has already been reviewed by the MASTERS.

(Thunder)

Michael Barnes said...

You're right, there's really nothing more to say once those titans of timidity have spoken their piece.

The Euro Overlord said...

The fact that they won't stoop to your level doesn't make them timid, it just shows they have class.

I'm the exterminator sent to deal with the rats.

(The Euro Overlord pulls another brick out of the Fortress and smiles as a small crack appears in the foundation)

Malloc said...


Now for what the Greg Schloesser has to say about Age of Empires III


This again is total bullshit.

So a reviewer with a euro bias likes a game from a traditionally AT designer better because it has euro game elements in it. Big Fucking deal.

That would be like Barnes giving a good review to Caylus the Zombie edition. Everyone knows he has a boner for all things undead.

And the review itself reads like it was written after reading the rules and not playing. What eurogame isn't made of lots of little decision s that seem small but add up over time? Oh and it rewards long term planning... wow thats new!

Look it is great that Greg, Rick and Tom write so many reviews but their opinions are so watered down and controlled by their wanting be stay with the "scene" and not offend anyone that they are practically worthless. I find it more more useful to read a few of the non name BGG reviews or the comments of a number of people.

So back on the topic, there seems to me to be plenty of interest in AT titles.

-M

Darilian said...

Kudos to the guys here at F:AT-

If a EuroDork wants to spend so much time actually TRYING to be amusing, (but still having nothing original to say) this means that he must feel threatened in some way. Everyone knows that the USUAL form of address from a EuroDork is the Passive/Aggressive whiny "Well, its ok to like to this game, but dice are bad, the game has dice, so therefore its bad. But thats just MY opinion....."

For a EuroDork to actually spend some time to do something vaguely entertaining means that they live in fear........ *s*.

Darilian

The Euro Overlord said...

You are right darillian. Most Euro players are peace loving.

But they have had enough and this time have hired some muscle.

I will spare your branding as I am feeling satisfied for the moment after besting Barnes.

Run home to your mother boy.

(Thunder)

neonpeon said...

"Greg's full of it...I've played the game three times and I've already determined at least one strategy that will pretty much win the game every time..."

These reviews don't sound like they were written by anyone who's played the game. I swear, they read like a mad lib (without the funny)...maybe more like a boilerplate contract. Let me try:

"[game name] is a brilliant but simple game that can be played in under 90 minutes. The elegant [resource|auction|tile] mechanic packs the game with decision-making, but the complexity is low enough to minimize downtime. Your opponents' decisions influence the variety of actions a player can take, forcing him not to overly rely on one particular long-term strategy. The [x] possible actions per turn open up a world of strategic depth, but are not so overwhelming that they cause analysis paralysis. Finally, the [hidden|innovative|interesting] scoring mechanism is quite clever, and eliminates the runaway leader problem. [strike editornote="removed this for showing emotion"]It makes for quite the intense endgame.[/strike] This could be one of [designer's name]'s best designs yet, and is perhaps a candidate for this year's Spiel Des Jahres. "

Darilian said...

You know, I'll go to some lengths to try and be amusing in some of my posts, but I do try and have some ORIGINAL thought in what I have to say.

Rather than dredging up some other persons post from another website as 'proof' (like anyone can prove that a given game sucks or not), why dont you try and come up with something to say about these games YOURSELF. To be honest, I don't give a RAT's A@@HOLE what Greg, Rick, or Glenn have to say about the game. Honestly, you MIGHT win some points if you told me what YOU- the dork behind the avatar- had to say about the game.

Ultimately, I trust PEOPLE- even DORKS- more than I trust some internet personality.

Color me amused.

Darilian

The Euro Overlord said...

"Color me amused"

Color your ass red, its branded.

If you want to hear my opinion, take a number pal. You will hear it when I'm good and ready but for now I got some rat killin' to do!

(Thunder)

Darilian said...

Whoo HOO!

I got noticed by a Dork with a fearsome Avatar. That must make me an internet personality now!!!! I'm sooooo kewll!! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!!! LOOK AT ME!!


Up next;
Narcissism in today's society- Is it responsible for the explosion of Dork on the internet? In our next special investigative report, we look at some real Dorks and see why they feel the need to be so, well, dorkish. The answers might suprise you! (Early Hint- Breast Feeding).

Darilian, signing off.

Malloc said...

Damn overlord! you just go spanked by a reader!

Thunder, my ass!

And whats with the Steve Weeks rip-off with the whole branding thing? Where is Bubbles?

-M

charnnas_the_imp said...

what is ur fasination with branding other guys in the ass dude??

all u do is post other peoples stuff, ur the fuckin hack man, crawl back in ur hole

(and not some other dudes hole like wad you want 2 do)

The Euro Overlord said...

Sorry charnnas_the_imp I like women.

Try Barnes or Ken

Pat H said...

Ah yes - the lazy days of summer. Thanks for the diversion Euro over-a-barrel Lord.

(Drizzle)

Darilian said...

Actually, I wouldn't be suprised if the Euro Overlord is not, in Fact, Weeks (the MAD Gamer).

Similar MO, and use of phrasing.

But I could be wrong. More to the point, I don't care.

Bring on the AT WHORES!!!!!!

*Proudly showing my "ass brand"*

Darilian

I've been branded by the Euro Overlord and all I got was this lousy signature line.

The Euro Overlord said...

Darilian,

The exposing of your ass proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you belong in this wretched blog.

Weeks is finished
Barnes is Toast
Skeletor's nuts are next to Roast!

I am unknown to all of you!

I am , THE EURO OVERLORD

(Thunder)

The Euro Overlord said...

Was that little poem a Haiku?

No?

Then Fuck you!

Michael Barnes said...

If Euro Overlord any any real balls, he'd try his hand posting this "rhetoric" over at BGG...SURELY there's an audience there for these sorts of verbal blowjobs to the Euro ideal...

Neonpeon- you're right on the money...I wouldn't be surprised if any of these "great reviewers" have a template they follow, doing a "replace all" on "game name" before submitting. Oh, and you've got to have a bulleted list...that's _critical_ to make it look like you have authority.

Juniper said...

My obscure subgenre can beat up your obscure subgenre.

Clarissimus said...

"Bang!" is a Eurogame? I know it has those language-independent symbols, but it also has:

1. Lots of theme. No way this game could be remade as building structures to impress the Duke of Brandenburg or whomever.
2. Players have to attack and kill each other to win.
3. Player drink beer to regain health.
4. No victory points! I'm going to skip to six because this actually counts for two.
6. Plenty of luck.
7. Player elimination -- in fact, it's quite possible for a player to be eliminated before he even gets to take his first turn. (I think this also counts for two.)

So 8 reasons to 1 that "Bang!" is AT, not Euro.

Ryan Walberg said...

Regarding the Hot Games list, ISTR it was revealed that it's based on game page views. Ergo, the games that are running banner ads will sit on top, as will the popular Google searches.

None of this matters, of course, because none of us is qualified to look outside our view of the world to determine what everyone else thinks of our hobby.

But I do agree that Euros are getting very tired. Myself and two of my gaming buddies have burnt out on Euros to the point where even a new game is a boring experience. I play Rails games three times a week and that works for me.

Everyone seems to forget that Glenn Drover sold them a defective product (Railroad Tycoon) and then got out of his business before he had to provide replacements, then started a new company (how convenient) to publish his new game. Keep in mind that his bit of screwmanship put Uberplay at a loss as well.

Jack Hill said...

Regarding Age of Empire III:

Frank Branham (shhh! it's a secret, remember) claims that the game "has some kind of interesting bits, but comes down to a giant, and kind of tedious majority game. Majority means auctions, and majority games are so totally 90's."

Mike Siggins doesn't think all that much of it either. But he is now mostly obsessed with Phil Eklund's games. (rightly so. THERE'S an AT designer someone should do a column on.)

The Euro Overlord said...

"Pancho Villa, Dead or Alive!"
there's a game worthy of a column!

Right...(said like Doctor Evil from Austin Powers)

Darilian said...

Ok, now that we're back to a substantive argument...


Ryan raises some good points about the 'methodology' of the original article. Hits from Google register 'interest', and not actual sales. (Lord knows how many people have picked up the LGS copy of World of Warcraft, only to put it back down on the shelf again.)

However- interest is useful in gauging 'buzz'. The last Euro game that has garnered any serious 'buzz' was Caylus, at least around here. That was the last time that I had people who didn't play games that often ask me, in breathless tones, "Have you ever heard of "EuroGames?". I still get a lot of people asking me about "Spiel des Jahres" games- but most of these are 'gamer's gamers'. They are the ones who go to BGG, read about games like they are cars that you get an objective review about in Consumer Reports, and generally want to quantify everything. (Which game is more fun? A real question, asked more times that you would believe.)

However, the games that 'newbies' or 'civies' pick up, are ALWAYS either the big Fantasy flight games or the 'light' Euros like Settlers or Carcassonne. They might come TO the LGS for Trivial Pursuit 6, or Balderdash, or Boggle, but they at least LOOK at World of Warcraft, Axis and Allies, or Descent. And a lot of times they buy them.

So while I don't think that Euro games are going away- Settlers is still HUGE HUGE HUGE- I also don't think that they are going to dominate the gamer market as much as some might have you believe.

Darilian

Darilian said...

DnD doesn't sound very Eurogamey to me....won't you loose your Euro Microbadge if you even TOUCH a polyhedral?

Plus, everyone knows that ADnD is the REAL DnD. The Basic set? Please- that's where "Elf" is a character class.

Darilian

Rliyen said...

Sorry charnnas_the_imp I like women.

Yeah, BO, women that look like men.

You're not even an entertaining troll. At least Professor Euro had arguments to fall back on.

You, you're nothing more than poseur trying to act like a big dog when in actuality you're nothing more than a chihuahua.

Back to the manly woman's nether regions that spawned you, chucklehead.

FOT, I'm done.

The Euro Overlord said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darilian said...

Comment Deleted by Author, mostly because the thought of interrupting such a fine piece of Internet Masturbation seemed sacrilegious.

The Euro Overlord said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Russ Fade said...

"Color me amused"

Color your ass red, its branded.



LOL!!!! This guy is growing on me.

C'mon, let's get this fight going! I want blood!

mtlawson said...

Yeah, the more the Overlord talks, the more the Overlord sounds like an AT-er.

--Mike L.

robartin said...

What's up with the 1 point text Malloc?

The Euro Overlord said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Russ Fade said...

Yeah, the more the Overlord talks, the more the Overlord sounds like an AT-er.


Really. If anyone on here actually thinks this guy is here to represent Eurogamers, I have some prime swampland to sell them. Also, how about a poker game?

I initially thought it WAS Barnes but . . . Barnes has better punctuation. Also, EO is posting WAY too much for this to be an in-house joke. Yeah, I'm going with Steve Weeks. If so, we'll find out when the gag is up. Weeks is Texan enough to own up to it.

(thunder)

The Euro Overlord said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Euro Overlord said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Muzza said...

I think the Google search results equals heat method is a very fine way of constructing a 'Hot List'. It's certainly going to be a truer indicator of the general Status Quo than the Top Rated list on BGG, which is taken from a very narrow section of society.

I'm quite surprised how poor a showing the Euros have on that list. I'd also expect there to be more traditional family type games like Trivial Pursuit or Pictionary. That AT does so well surprises me, but it is a pleasant surprise.

It certainly looks like the Euro fad is dying off a bit. I'm sure there will always be some games in that style but hopefully we won't need an entire shelf do display Alhambra and it's many expansions.

Pat H said...

Wo wo wo...Looks like the ref in this one was Tim Donaghy.

Michael Barnes said...

Oops...sorry I missed it...I was busy having a life...

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

The euro overlord wakes up after his torrid night with Rick, Greg, and Mr Vasel - scratches his aching balls, and then screams in agony

"NOOOOOOOOO .... it was all a dream - noooooooooooooooooo"

(And, as the EO lies quietly sobbing and stroking his favourite meeples, in the fading light the viewers notice a small red F:AT glowing on his butt.)

Mr Skeletor said...


I initially thought it WAS Barnes but . . . Barnes has better punctuation. Also, EO is posting WAY too much for this to be an in-house joke.


It sure as hell better not be an in house joke, and if it is that person better cut the shit because two threads have now been ruined with this unfunny garbage.

ubarose said...

Euro Overlord

You really should just start your own blog. That's where everything you written here belongs. Everything that you have written is just going to be lost if you leave it here. In the future, anyone looking for the battle of Michael Barnes and the Euro Overlord won't be able to find it on F:AT because it is under an unrelated subject heading.

If you copy your work over into your own blog, I will add a link to it in my personal game blog. However, in the future I would ask that you stay on topic here at F:AT. This is a blog, not a message board. Disrupting a topic specific discussion on a blog is considered spam. If you want to discuss something other than the current topic of discussion, you can start an entry in your own blog.

Also, if our other readers who keep a game related blogs let me know, I will add a link for your's too.

Finally, if there is a topic that any readers want discussed here on F:AT, please send submissions, suggestions, topics and questions to fortressat@gmail.com.

the*mad*gamer said...

"Yeah, I'm going with Steve Weeks. If so, we'll find out when the gag is up. Weeks is Texan enough to own up to it. "

Hey guys! Sorry The Euro Overlord is NOT me! there are many tell-tale signs that it is certainly not me. For one, I would have developed the characters of Rick and Greg more to show their symptoms of "Cube Confusion"

Next, I would never have had Ken as a stable boy, a man from my own hometown?

And finally, me playing D&D these days is like Greg Schloesser playing electric guitar, it ain't gonna happen! HA!

Steve

Malloc said...

While I certainly admire the copious amounts of free time the Euro Overlord seems to enjoy, his comments were just a little to far off topic and totally based on fiction for me not to nuke.

My apologies to Steve Weeks and all the other protectors of Freedom of Speech. The EO is welcome to start his own blog to talk about his fantasy battles with F:AT bloggers, but this post is mine and it has nothing to do with that Jackass walking around tossing wooden cubes at peoples asses.

If the EO would like to post aout the topic I will b happy to not nuke his posts.

-M

Ken B. said...

I've been in the game stores, and without fail, what do the younger gamers pick up? It's Descent. It's Zombies. It's Doom. Stuff that looks like the videogames and movies that they are familiar with and enjoy.

They see a bespectacled man with a bunch of steam engines, just doesn't have the same impact. Same with a middle-aged provost/king frowning at you from the box cover.

The Euro Overlord said...

The key word there Ken, is "Younger"

How old are you? What is totally crazy about you guys is that I would bet you are the same middle age guys you are bitching about!

The fact is most of the "baby boomers" are beyond playing with plastic "Zombies" but are ok being "one" with the cube.

Pat H said...

Once a kid always a kid. Some kids like playing with trains and some kids like playing with army men.

The Euro Overlord said...

"Once a kid always a kid"


Maybe that explains the high divorce rate in this country huh?

Mr Skeletor said...

My apologies to Steve Weeks and all the other protectors of Freedom of Speech. The EO is welcome to start his own blog to talk about his fantasy battles with F:AT bloggers, but this post is mine and it has nothing to do with that Jackass walking around tossing wooden cubes at peoples asses.

It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. He was spamming, pure and simple.

dbuel said...

I'm curious, where does interest in

1. Magic: The Gathering
2. RPGs
3. Warhammer 40k

fit in compared with the interest in AT vs. Euros?

Ken B. said...

There's a LOT of crossover there. Most people I know who are into the AT scene have at least dabbled (if not fallen head over heels) into one of those 3 games at some point and time.

In particular, I think Magic is brilliant. I can't afford to keep up with it, but as a game, it's pure genius.

robartin said...

Malloc, I just want to offer you a heartfelt thanks for going from 1 point text to 2 point text. Well done!

Joe Belanger said...

This is the only list that matters:

BGG Top 10 Games

1. Puerto Rico
2. Tigris and Euphrates
3. Power Grid
4. Caylus
5. Twilight Struggle
6. El Grande
7. The Princes of Florence
8. Battlelore
9. Die Macher
10. Shogun

This is the list that thousand and thousands of gamers go use. Not your wish list Malloc.


If a list's merit is based on the number of gamers that have decided on its order, then I'll go with this list:

1. Go
2. Chess
3. Mah-Jong
4. Backgammon
5. Monopoly
6. A deck of cards
7. Scrabble
8. Clue
9. Risk
10. The Game of Life

The list that millions and millions of gamers use.

EO, pushing up his glasses, rebuts "Uh, but a few thousand active commentators/data providers that know better and have more elegant tastes (provided by the taste-makers, from on high, praise be their names) are a better judge of merit than billions of people."

Your drop in the pond of a community is losing its potency. The world outside is much larger than you perceive. Like it or not, there are more copies of Munchkin Fu* flying off the shelves of the world than Zooleterio*.


* I endorse neither of these products as worthwhile expenditures of money, time or status with one's friends.

Octavian said...

Hate to burst your bubble, but we learned you were planning this article and so fudged the hot list so you could cream your jeans.

And call AoEIII a hybrid if you like, but it didn't exactly take the best of either of its parents IMO.

-MMM

Ken B. said...

IT'S A CONSPIRACY, MAN~!

Daren C. Jackson said...

As I hope to start writing more reviews on BGG, I was wondering if I might ask you, the Ameritrash experts, what turns you off about particular games. (This is assuming you can stop sucking each other's dicks long enough to think seriously about something).

As part of the game reviewing process, I like to suggest who might or might not like a particular game. Obviously Eurogamers vs. Ameritrashers is an important distinction. (Not to me so much, but to people like you.)

I started with Fawkes' BGG post on what makes an Ameritrash game, but I'm looking for a (serious) concise list of mechanics that turn off Ameritrashers. Here are some that I've been thinking about.
1) Efficient and intelligent play will not help you win.
2) No player elimination.
3) No backstabbing.
4) No kingmaking.
5) No nuclear weapons (basically no totally random fuck you cards).
6) Elegant mechanics emphasized.
7) Abstraction of any kind.
8) Clear, concise rules.
9) No tons of plastic bits.
10) Game lengths of less than 3 hours
11) Played better when sober.

Again, these are all the things I can think of that would turn off Ameritrashers to a game.

So, if you can get off your knees and wipe your mouths for a few minutes, could you suggest what I may have missed? Or any disagreements with the above?

thanks,
-daren