Friday, 3 August 2007

Biting Back

I keep reading how the AT crowd, and especially the people over here at the F:AT blog are generally anti-Euro and how all this is nasty, poisonous to the hobby and generally negative. I just wanted to take a moment to explain why I, for one, sometimes come across as appearing to be anti-Euro. I don't actually like being called anti-Euro because there's a number of solidly Euro titles that I enjoy immensely, but I'm certainly very vocally critical of the design concepts behind the bulk of Eurogames. Maybe sometimes I come across as being more critical and sharper than I intend. Here's why.

Let me give you some background ...

When I first arrived at the BGG site several years ago I found lots of people raving about a whole bunch of games that seemed to be from a paradigm I knew nothing about. In particular I picked up that these games shied away from random mechanics or excessive length and that this was a good thing.

At this point I'd not played any of these games. But on BGG there were so many people saying how great these games were, and how fantastic it was that they were short, analytical and non-random that I did a silly thing. I started to presume that everyone was right and that these new games were totally superior to all the old, crappy random ones that I'd been playing and enjoying with my friends for years and years. I took this attitude on board to the point where when I first started using the 'geek facilities to rate my collection I was deliberately criticising and marking down some games I'd enjoyed for being overly random and too long because I just assumed all the new games, which had transcended this old fashioned approach, must be so much better. This attitude even came across in a couple of my early reviews.

Of course I was excited to try a few of these games, so I got my first two: Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. Settlers was first to get played and boy, was that a blast. Although it had random mechanics I could see how it was different to the games I was used to because to be successful you really had to play the game system rather than relying on luck, or negotiation or some attempt at real-life tactics like you could in the games I was used to.

Then I played Carcassonne and that just fell really flat for me. I lay a tile. Then maybe a meeple. Then another tile. Then I might get to complete a city and get some points. Wow. Big deal. I was playing it multiplayer at the time and of course the two-player version is slightly more interesting because of the screwage element, but not a whole lot. I really couldn't see what the big fuss was about on this one.

But hey, not everyone likes all the same games, right? So I got myself a couple more - the Knizia Lord of the Rings design and Ticket to Ride: Europe. I found LotR, with it's pathetically chummy co-op element and puzzle-like play to be tedious in the extreme - we won our first game and in the second we ended up competing to see who could finish the game with the ring just to inject some life into the damn thing and Sauron ate our little hobbity souls. I thought it so poor that I gave it away to a friend who thought his kids might like it. TtR:E was definitely better and I could see how it'd make a great family/gateway title but although we enjoyed our first few games it just got old really fast.

And so the Euro revolution really passed me by and I went back to playing and enjoying all the old titles that I'd loved so much in the past. And then a strange thing began to happen. Because my cyberspace peers in the gaming world just kept on telling me how brilliant these Eurogames were and how outmoded and dull the sorts of games and mechanics I liked were I started to feel like the must be something wrong with me and my taste in games. There was obviously something I just wasn't getting - perhaps I wasn't smart enough, or socially adept enough to play these games. I began to feel bad about myself and ashamed of the fact I liked older games.

Eventually I got really fed up with feeling bad and posted my Seven Reasons to Hate Eurogames list. That made me a feel a lot better because it generated such a great response. It got lots of thumbs, huge geekgold tips and best of all a bunch of comments from people I'd never heard from before who were basically saying "yes! Me too! I like games like this too!". Sure we were in a minority on the 'geek but at least there were others out there who, like me, had felt for a long time that they couldn't put their heads above the parapet and say how much they loved the games they loved for fear of attracting ridicule from the majority on the 'geek. Because saying things like that did get ridicule, no matter how nice and friendly the majority of the Euro crowd were, there were a small minority who preferred to stick the knife in. The other interesting thing about that geeklist was the fact that a number of Euro fans thought it was an ironic humour list and others, having looked at my game ratings, were posting in shocked disbelief that there were old-school gamers like me still around. Both those things go to show just to strong the pro-Euro bias on BGG was at the time.

A while later we had the first Ameritrash list, and Robert Martin coining the term and the AT fans, suddenly having a name to give to their obsession, really started coming out of the woodwork in droves. I started to appreciate that I wasn't being stupid for not "getting" Eurogames but rather I sought out different challenges than those offered by Euros that were no more or less difficult. We got a very vocal champion in Michael Barnes who wasn't afraid to stick the knife right back in to those people who'd been giving our taste in games so much grief over the years and, unfortunately, also into those people who'd been a lot nicer and even-minded about the whole thing.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

The point of all this rant is to illustrate the fact that for a long, long time - years in fact - there were a small crowd of AT gamers on the geek who spent all their time there being told, indirectly and in most cases completely unintentionally, that there was something very wrong with the games they liked and something very right with games that they felt were boring and over-analytical. That sort of suppression and pent-up negativity generates a whole lot of negativity and bad feeling. And when I criticise the Euro paradigm, that's what I'm getting out of my system, and that's why it sometimes looks like I've got a strong anti-Euro bias. I'm well aware that this makes me every bit as guilty as the people who were chewing out my taste in games in the first place. It's not an excuse - just an explanation.

The other reason that I'm sometimes overly venomous about Euros, especially on the 'geek, is because I want to counter the pro-Euro bias over there. I'm well aware that BGG is a site by and for Euro fans so it's bound to have a pro-Euro bias and usually I wouldn't have a problem with that. The problem is that BGG is such a great site that it's basically eclipsed every other boargame resource on the internet - most of the other sites out there are spin offs maintained by people who are very active on the 'geek and even on those that aren't people refer to themselves and each other by the BGG usernames and use BGG articles and resources as reference points. Even wargamers, who have their own site in consimworld, often seem to prefer to hang around the 'geek. Those of us who don't always see Euros as such a great thing find this terribly exasperating - the premier gaming site on the net seems stacked against us - so inevitably, we overcompensate when we end up posting our own opinions.

So next time you want to slam the boot in to an AT fan for being overly nasty about your favourite Eurogame stop a moment and think why they might be doing it. And then slam the boot in anyway, 'cos secretly we all enjoy a good fight.

125 comments:

Juniper said...

Paraphrase:

"We're sometimes negative because our feelings are hurt when others express opinions or preferences that are different than our own."

Oh, boo-hoo. And Wah.

Jan Lucas said...

I agree with this article. I got into games the other way around: through Euros - some of which I like - but gradually made my way to AT games both out of curiosity and thanks to the original lists mentioned. I found I liked AT games more. Consistently. On the whole I'm sick of the euro vs AT thing, but admit it makes me quite mad whenever a newbie on bgg now posts an AT related article, and the same old hacks like sisterray continue to turn up and spin lists off topic. Not one miserable article on AT at BGG is without insulting or sarcastic remarks from the Euro crowd. How annoying. This, AFTER the BGG purged itself of far more vocal people like Michael Barnes: you'd think they'd be happy.

Gadabout said...

"stop a moment and think why they might be doing it"

Yes, because as long as someone has a self-serving justification for being a sniveling, whiney little asshat, that's all that really matters.

Ken B. said...

Oh, nobody's whining. Just giving back what they receive.

I guess they should just take asshattery in stride. But then again, that would make your life much easier.

Michael Barnes said...

You know, when I was playing SPACE CRUSADE the other day I was thinking about how awesome the WARHAMMER 40K game setting is...and I was thinking about how I used to play SPACE HULK in particular. And I thought "How in the _hell_ did I wind up playing TICKET TO RIDE?"

I've never been anti-Euro myself...I just played JENSEITS VON THEBEN last night and I though it was pretty good. What I am against is how Eurogamers and a handful of internet tastemakers who earned their credibility more for the volume and visibility of their comments and reviews than for their quality or authority had hijacked the hobby and started promoting a paradigm where their values- including proper "ettiqutte" in how games are discussed, what mechanics are acceptable and what aren't, and how older games are somehow inferior or childish- became the "done thing" in the hobby.

In Matt's post over at The Leading Board Game Site Koldfoot said the whole thing meant as much to him as West Coast vs. East Coast rap. Which really says a lot to me...East Coast and West Coast rap had key stylistic differences, different themes, different sounds...sure, you could look at Dr. Dre and Tupac and say "they're both rap acts" but to say that they're both "just rap" is ignorant. Likewise, I think it's completely ignorant for these folks to say that "they're all just games". It's bullshit. People that are against concepts like genre, those who say it's "pigeonholing", are usually folks who want to feel like the need to prove that they're somehow enlightened or superior for liking a variety of different styles. Genre- in games, movies, films, literature- is a useful distinguisher between styles, modes of presentation, thematic values, and qualities even if to signify how something combines elements of several genres. I find it hard to take anyone seriously who claims that genre isn't important.

As far as the anti-Euro bias...I think it's fun. It's antagonistic and it completely flies in the face of this dopey, back patting atmosphere of insincere "community" that places like The Leading Board Game Site have fostered.

Jan Lucas said...

I like Barnes' writing and the the writing here at F:AT. If I didn't, I wouldn't visit this site, let alone post here. You clearly have other motives.

Jan Lucas said...

above response to gadabout. Didn't repsond in time.

Rliyen said...

When I was growing up the youngest of five, I didn't have that "brothers and sisters to play games with" Section written into my family contract. Although I

loved games, and enjoyed collecting them, it was as hard as pulling horse's teeth to actually get interaction from my family.

So, I ended up playing them alone. Still do that today, it's a hard habit to break.

But, enough about that. The main reason why I was more into boardgames than puzzles, or army men, or even Star Wars was because I found boardgames to be far more entertaining. Every Christmas, up until I was sixteen, I asked for boardgames. And, I got them. When I got older, a lot of my childhood was donated to my sister's school, because I thought it time to clean out some of my collection (So long SURVIVE! Yes, I am still kicking myself for that to this day).

This was, of course, before the Euros came out. Back in '95, I was introduced to Settlers. I played a bunch of games of it, and thought, "My God, I'd rather play Talisman than this crap!"

That's when I started looking at my collection, whose most recent addition was a copy of SOTC, and seriously considered updating it. I started looking around, and really didn't see anything that grabbed me. So, I went into a hibernation of sorts and did other things, like wasting a bunch o' money on CCGs (Magic, Doomtrooper, Shadowfist, Rage, Jyhad, Shadowrun) and forgot all about boardgames.

Then, in 1999, something snapped in me. I got on Ebay, and out of curiousity, I went to the boardgame section and started perusing. That, my friends, was a mistake. It was like putting cocaine in front of a recovering addict. My collection habits began to stir to the wardrums of auctions. I began going for any boardgame that seemed appealing, the cooler sounding theme, the better. I picked up Dune, Dune: The Duel, Shadowlord!, and Win, Place & Show, among others.

The games I skipped on were ones that really didn't interest me, looking back and recalling the games that I skipped on; I came to the realization: They were EUROS.

Besides the bad feeling I got from playing Settlers, 99% of the time I find the theme of most Euros do not interest me.... at all. Puerto Rico? Pillars of the Earth? Tigris & Euphrates? All these games illicit a big, double plus YAWN from me. If the theme does not interest me, then I am not going to play, and this is coming from a person that loves trying new games.

That being said, I do like some Euros. Prepare your tomatoes to be thrown at my head, but I actually like Lord of the Rings. Sure, the theme's pasted on with rubber cement, but for some reason, I can't hate the game for being a Euro. The co-op nature, playing against the board, and theme did it for me. It reminded me of Minion Hunter, where you are playing against the game, but you are also trying to stop bad things from happening. So, you divide up

the work and try to plod on through as best you can.

Another Euro I really like is Dragon's Gold. It's got adventurers, dragon killing, and bitching over how the hoard's going to be split in a minute or less.

Or, if you really can't decide how to split the treasure, you talk about Michael Vick's legal troubles and then trash the hoard after the minute is up.

However, when I got on BGG, I noticed how much Euros were highly regarded and valued, and the games I loved were treated with such derision as if I had

ordered Mad Dog 20/20 with my filet mingnon. It's sometimes irritating to read people's extremely negative comments about games from my childhood. So, I go

and check what they rate as a "good" game. Yep, as I thought. Euros.

Which brings me to an unscientific conclusion: "Most people who play Euros, while deriding AT style games, wouldn't know a good game if it bit them on the ass."

I don't expect everyone to like ATs, but for God's sake if you don't like them then come up with a better reason than, "TOO MUCH LUCK! TOO RANDOM! BAD 'HIT ON THE LEADER' MECHANIC! INSERT INANE EUROCENTRIC REASON TO DISLIKE AT GAME HERE!"

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

Michael Barnes said...
As far as the anti-Euro bias...I think it's fun. It's antagonistic and it completely flies in the face of this dopey, back patting atmosphere of insincere "community" that places like The Leading Board Game Site have fostered.


Seconded, becomes when it comes down to it if some nonce over there throws some shit he is always going to get it back ten-fold.

Michael Barnes said...

"TOO MUCH LUCK! TOO RANDOM! BAD 'HIT ON THE LEADER' MECHANIC! INSERT INANE EUROCENTRIC REASON TO DISLIKE AT GAME HERE!"

That's another thing that I'm very anti- on...how the Euro crowd "adopted" this bizarro language and particular style of writing to describe games...so you get these sad-sack middleagers who've given up on their model trains getting into board games and they see Vasel, Thornquist, Schloesser, etc. writing and when they go to post something...they ape those styles down to the discrete idiosyncracies of language and formatting.

When I was growing up, my friends would have called me "faggot", kicked my ass, and left me to play Atari 7800 by myself if I called a game we were playing "elegant" or "clever". And do you think we gave a fuck if a game was "balanced"? I never new "the luck factor" was a supposed problem until The Leading Board Game Site came along.

It's like the entire hobby has been pussified by Euros and their most dedicated adherents.

Adam Skinner said...

So you were disenchanted after playing a number of *gateway* games? There are a number of Eurogames that provide good screwage, like Shogun and T&E. Even a game like Through the Desert, with those cute little pastel camels can turn vicious. In fact, last night I played a bunch of euro "super-fillers" with some predominantly AT guys and they commented that I liked to "screw people" during play. This was after playing San Juan, Samurai, and Mykerinos, mind you.

I'm not saying that AT & Euro are the same thing; far from it. Just that there is great dickery satisfaction to be had hand over fist there.

Ken B. said...

And please let that be the last time the words "hand", "fist" and "dickery" are all used in the same sentence here on F:AT.

Didn't your parent(s) tell you that you'd go blind?

Rliyen said...

So you were disenchanted after playing a number of *gateway* games? There are a number of Eurogames that provide good screwage, like Shogun and T&E.

For the most part, yes, I was and still am in some ways. Like I said, I like some Euros. If I need a screwage factor, then I pull out Dragon's Gold. Gotta love a game that has a magic item that ENDORSES cheating and bickering!

Michael Barnes said...

Adam, for my part I was playing Eurogames as far back as 1995-96. My first was the 1st edition Mayfair SETTLERS. I've been around the block time and time again with Euros. I imported EUPHRAT & TIGRIS, EL GRANDE, ELFENLAND...all that shit before it was released here...back when it seemed unlikely that any of it would be released in English. I even had the German edition of DURCH DIE WUSTE. At one time, I had 500 and something games and about 80% of them were Euros. So no, I didn't just play a handful of gateway games and pass judgement on them. That's another thing that I'm completely against, this whole concept of "gateway games"...no doubt, some games are better for more seasoned gamers but when a HUGE percentage of a genre consists of what could be called "gateway games", then there's a problem.

Sure, there are Euros that have a little conflict, a little nastiness...and unsurprisingly those are the ones most of the AT crowd tend to favor. However, there's a vast gulf of difference between the type and potential for conflict in a game like SHOGUN and a game like, well, SHOGUN (or SAMURAI SWORDS, if you prefer).

It seems to me that Eurogamers don't mind a little screw if the game is short...but if you play a long game (over one hour) with them and they get screwed, they'll immediately post on The Leading Board Game Site how the game is broken, has a "gang up on the leader" problem, or is unbalanced. It's like they can't stand the possibility that their strategy gets '86ed by another player with designs on winning the game or something.

Jack Hill said...

I started Euros a lot earlier than most...1989 or so.

Back then, Euros were kind of different. Quite a bit more luck, 45-60 minute playing times. Lots of race games as well. There were some clever auction games.

And late 80's American games are kind of iffy once you drift outside Avalon Hill. Many are really awful. And even AH was beginning to be influenced by Euros. That Gangsters game you like is a watered down and overcomplicated version of a French game called Supergang. (The French version is better.)

But somewhere along the line the length creeped into 1.5 and 2.5 hours, and the innovation stagnated. I think some folks may have picked up the rush of "wow, these games are really interesting" and don't have enough history to realize they've stagnated.

That said, I still think Puerto Rico is one of the greatest games ever made. The German obsession with abstract mechanics means that there just isn't a lot of innovations. But when that game-making machine gets everything right, they do turn out remarkable games.

But rarely do they get something that clever and finely tuned. Usually it is something you can pretty much forget about after a few plays.

Replayability is usually not all that much of a concern among the Euro crowd. Although, some folks will play the same light, fluffy blind-bidding cow game (Zoff im Buffalo) over and over and over.

I don't get it.

Booder98 said...

To Mr. Barnes: I know that El Grande's theme has to be just about the thinnest one in existence, and that it's modeling nothing even remotely close to reality. But how can you not like a game that involves that much screwage?

Michael Barnes said...

Because it's boring. Everything you do, every choice you make, is dictated. There's no room for creativity, there's no room for drama (sorry, I don't find taking the tower off to reveal FOUR MORE BROWN CUBES THAN I THOUGHT to be all that exciting), and the theme...well, it could be about anything.

INTRIGE...DOMAINE...END OF THE TRIUMVIRATE...CITADELS...TRADERS OF GENOA...hell, even CARCASSONNE with the PRINCESS AND DRAGON or TOWER expansion...all are more "screwy" than EL GRANDE as far as I'm concerned.

Rliyen said...

It seems to me that Eurogamers don't mind a little screw if the game is short...but if you play a long game (over one hour) with them and they get screwed, they'll immediately post on The Leading Board Game Site how the game is broken, has a "gang up on the leader" problem, or is unbalanced. It's like they can't stand the possibility that their strategy gets '86ed by another player with designs on winning the game or something.

That sentiment alone reinforces my dislike of Euros, and of players who decry that sentiment ad nauseum.

Just say you got beaten by a better player who wanted to win and be done with it.

Michael Barnes said...

I think MARE NOSTRUM is an interesting case study for how Eurogame "criticism" based on what appear to be the established standards fails.

MARE NOSTRUM, which I think is one of the best games ever published, almost immediately got panned by most of the Eurogamer crowd when it was released. It was decried as having a "bash the leader" problem, the combat system was deemed to have too much luck, and of course it was declared unbalanced since it had assymetrical starting positions with Greece apparently weaker than the other civilizations.

When the BGG comments started rolling in for MARE NOSTRUM, it became pretty apparent to me that what I was reading was comments from people who were not really the right audience for the game and what's more it was clear that they had played the game only one or maybe two times and passed immediate judgment- ignoring the fact that it's a much deeper game than most Euros and that it hinges more on player interaction, conflict, and diplomacy than on following the rules the most efficiently. What's more, it's a completely "free form" game that doesn't have a script or scheduled decision points. So it pretty much is barely what is defined as a "Euro" anyway.

So the game took a beating critically although it had (and still has) a number of stalwart admirers who realized that yes, Greece can win- if you play the game a few times and learn to play it well. The problem was that it was 2003 and it was really the peak of Euromania and the new popular criteria for game virtues didn't favor this kind of game, let alone a game that didn't offer a "complete" experience with everyone having a chance to win in the first session.

How do you apply Eurogame barometers of quality to a game like TALISMAN or AXIS AND ALLIES? You can't...it's like trying to judge the merit of a James Joyce novel if all you've read is THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY.

So it goes back to genre. It's important to have genre distinction so that we can understand what makes something a good example of its genre. Just like with horror movies...I love horror movies, but I know that the mainstream reviewers, who are tuned to mainstream Hollywood products, are going to pan them. Yet, as a horror fan, there's a different set of values and judgments I apply to them. Sure, every now and then there's crossover but by and large I wouldn't trust a Roger Ebert review of a Dario Argento movie.

Example- I think JENSEITS VON THEBEN is a pretty good Euro. It matches up with my parameters for what makes for a good Euro game. But it fails as an AT game almost completely. So when I say "I'm in the mood for a good Euro", I'll go for that. I'm not in denial like some are that there aren't key differences between AT and Euro games and the distinction makes it more clear what those sets of values are.

pronoblem said...

"When I was growing up, my friends would have called me "faggot", kicked my ass, and left me to play Atari 7800 by myself if I called a game we were playing "elegant" or "clever"."

Now, see... this all makes sense now. Reliving your childhood experiences but now in turn you are the one calling people faggot. You need to let go of the past, Barnes. I know it must have been rough growing up as an ugly and effeminate waif but you don't have to step on the backs of others to espouse your masculinity and machismo today. Either you have it or you don't. Cut out the act.

Oh, by the way... we linked to F:AT at our blog:

Hardcore Ludography

Ken B. said...

Pronoblem--thank you for the link.

Jack Hill said...

Barnes: El Grande definitely quite a bit more screwage than most of the games you list. (Except perhaps for Intrigue.)

Every turn in El Grande is easily discernable as "I take X points from person Y, and give them to me."

The game is entirely structured around that. The problem is that there is so much of it, and the nature of it is so bland that the screwage has very little meaning.

So it has more screwage, but no one cares.

Booder98 said...

>>>
So it has more screwage, but no one cares.
>>>

With all the bitching and moaning I hear when I play, evidently _someone_ cares. :)

Michael Barnes said...

So it has more screwage, but no one cares.

That about sums it up.

ekted said...

"What I am against is how Eurogamers and a handful of internet tastemakers who earned their credibility more for the volume and visibility of their comments and reviews than for their quality or authority had hijacked the hobby and started promoting a paradigm where their values- including proper "ettiqutte" in how games are discussed, what mechanics are acceptable and what aren't, and how older games are somehow inferior or childish- became the "done thing" in the hobby."

What you describe here is almost like a religion. And in both gaming and real life, we should all be atheists, at least with respect to popular opinion.

citadel said...

I'm surprised at people having a go at Pillars of the Earth. Yes, it all runs according to the timetable but it's one of the most thematic Euros with the most random events adding interest to the game and it has its fair share of screwage. The theme is I guess not that appealing to the adolescent nerd but I loved it.

I think I'm realising one the main reasons I like eurogames so much is that I get to play them. I can play 4-5 eurogames a week here but people who are great to play long AT games with only have the time once every few months. The people who do have time whine about how comlicated the rules are and how long it takes to play and drop out when they start losing. I need to move to a new city.

Also, what is with the whining about CCGs on this site. "Oooh, they cost soooooooo much money." What kind of criticism is that? Get a job, hippy. If they weren't collectable their wouldn't be the variety, they couldn't afford to pay the artists and they wouldn't be so addictively awesome. Hey that reminds me I've got a box of Shadowfist: Red Wedding to open.

reapersaurus said...

I just wanted to add to the people who shared the OP's feelings, of negativity against the years-long bias and abuse heaped on the games I grew up on. The years-long feelings of alienation and "huh? I don't get all this Euro fanatacism" tends to get hackles up once the subgenre was defined and discussed.
Thank you to all the games fans that contributed to clarifying this AT game genre.

Ken B. said...

When you say "this site", do you mean F:AT? 'Cause nobody's bitching about them here, at least not much--I've even done a "Top 10 CCGs" list as a blogpost.


"Can't afford them" != "Hate them". Though I tell you, some of the distribution methods they use are a little suspect (intended to move packs rather than benefit players).

Pat H said...

CCG's are a different animal than board games. They are kind of like a tupperware party.

Please ...discuss...

andy m said...

Currently BGGers are wanking over Age of Empires III to ensure that it stays above Tide of Iron in "the charts".

Citadel said...

I have read a lot of good articles about CCGs here. There are quite a few comments dotted around the comments on the site but I guess they are outweighed by the positive. I think the bloggers yourselves are not anti-CCG except maybe Mr. Barnes. Proved wrong three times in one day. I hate the internet.

Has anyone here played Age of Empires III? Is it any good?

Rliyen said...

Also, what is with the whining about CCGs on this site. "Oooh, they cost soooooooo much money." What kind of criticism is that? Get a job, hippy. If they weren't collectable their wouldn't be the variety, they couldn't afford to pay the artists and they wouldn't be so addictively awesome. Hey that reminds me I've got a box of Shadowfist: Red Wedding to open.

Wasn't whining, Cit, just stating a fact from my own personal experience. I still have my Shadowfist collection from Limited through Flashpoint. The other sets I don't have completed, but I do have them.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight:

-- Because you didn't like what someone said or wrote about something you like it somehow justifies an emotionally insecure diatribe on your part?

- Somehow what other people think is actually important to your own self-worth and we're supposed to care about that?

- You have a boo-boo. That we understand.

> "TOO MUCH LUCK! TOO RANDOM! BAD 'HIT ON THE
> LEADER' MECHANIC! INSERT INANE EUROCENTRIC
> REASON TO DISLIKE AT GAME HERE!"

Inane? They're simply a value system. You (I assume) care about theme and narrative and drama in your games and find such critical to your definition of a "good game". I don't care about theme or drama or narrative in the games I like, but I do care deeply about things like data transparency, manipulation of ambiguity and competitive efficiency. Yes, I think dice are boring examples of a potentially interesting decisions removed from the players and I simply don't care what they roll, ever, even if it wins or takes the game away from me. Yes, I don't care if it is about vampires, Fury of Dracula is still 10 minutes worth of pedestrian deduction game in 3 wasted hours. Yes, I don't care if the minis are cool and well detailed or painted or whatever, they get in the way of seeing the game position and distract the players from playing the (abstract) game I'm interested in -- cube confusion is a positive game attribute as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I don't care if you're in an emotional snit over something that happened in game, you're just an available resource to exploit like any other in-game resource and your temper tantrum is irrelevant to the game. And yes, these are my own ideas, carefully crafted and refined and earnestly held based on what is important to me and my values, not fashion or popularity or what other people think or value or say.

-- JCL

Rliyen said...

-- Because you didn't like what someone said or wrote about something you like it somehow justifies an emotionally insecure diatribe on your part?

Well, now. You didn't like what I said, so now it justifies a soulless diatribe on your part? Will wonders ever cease?

- Somehow what other people think is actually important to your own self-worth and we're supposed to care about that?

- You have a boo-boo. That we understand.

Clearclaw, I always suspected you were a douchebag. Thanks for removing all doubt.

Am I supposed to care what you think? I was explaining my view on a bias at the 'geek and the monkey poo flinging attitude over there if you so much as mention that you dislike Caylus, Puerto Rico, or any other beloved Euro over there.

Again, the sanctimonious attitude of a Euro player shines through.

but I do care deeply about things like data transparency, manipulation of ambiguity and competitive efficiency.

Go play your spreadsheet games with the other ferrous craniums, your presence here will definitely not be missed.

Clarissimus said...

My favorite Euros are the ones that have asymmetric starting positions (e.g. Settlers). The problem with most of them is a lack of replayability. For instance, I was introduced to Pillars of the Earth and the first time I thought it was pretty fun. But after a few more plays (on BSW) it was quickly getting old.

Even in a game like RISK! the random starting positions make for a different play experience every time -- and the crucial player interaction factor multiplies the variety.

(And to the next person who responds "Australia always wins" I say, "Why don't you gang up on Australia next time? Duh!")

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

Crikey - two good threads going on over there now
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/189685
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/188841

SenorOcho said...

citadel -

Where the heck did you get a box of Red Wedding? That set's been sold out everywhere I've looked for a while now...

Michael Barnes said...

Citadel- no, I'm not anti-CCG at all...I do think that the marketing of CCGs by the publishers has resulted in a lot of crap and it's really hurt a lot of retailers but there's a few CCGs that are among the greatest games ever published- MAGIC, NETRUNNER, and MIDDLE EARTH in particular. I think that anyone interested in hobby gaming that thinks that MAGIC "sucks" is a fucking idiot. The game is brilliant, the depth is astonishing, and the level of creative engagement and variety it reaches outstrips even the best AT games.

Clearclaw, cleverly disguised as Anonymous says:

I think dice are boring examples of a potentially interesting decisions removed from the players

This is the SINGLE BIGGEST PIECE OF MOTHERFUCKING BULLSHIT that has ever come out of the discussion of board games on the internet. I've heard it over and over again- that designers are somehow "lazy" or too "disingenuous" to come up with a resolution system that doesn't involve dice. Other than a straight roll-and-move game, I don't think I've ever played a game where the dice have made a decision for me. If dice are used to resolve conflict, I choose to get into that conflict or I have put myself into a position where someone else is going to roll dice against me. They didn't somehow steal my decision away. Hell, even in TALISMAN you get some control over where you go. In WAR OF THE RING they generate a resource management situation that effectively models logistical variables, demanding that the player remain flexible and be prepared for plans that don't come to fruition. In SETTLERS the dice are the impetus for trading and interaction but they don't "decide" anything for you.

The funniest part of the argument is that it's actually EUROS that make decisions for you, either through mechanics like card drafting or limited selection of actions. "Perfect information" style games that could play exactly the same time every game have a script. Hell, even PUERTO RICO has a script at this point.

Clearclaw, play a game of ROMMEL IN THE DESERT. I'm sure you'll force the other player to turn their blocks down so you can see them all, but compare the decision matrix in that game versus pretty much any Eurogame ever published. Or even most AT games for that matter. And you tell me that the dice in that game "decide" for you what to do.

Rliyen said...

Clearclaw, play a game of ROMMEL IN THE DESERT. I'm sure you'll force the other player to turn their blocks down so you can see them all..

And if his opponent doesn't, he'll opine that the person isn't playing within the "social contract" and he won't play with that individual again.

Every time that "social contact" is bandied about, I think, "I get what you're saying. Either I play 'your way' and 'your way' only, or else you won't play with me."

This place isn't Burger King, Clearclaw, you can't have it your way.

citadel said...

I think Pillars of the Earth has the equivalent for its type of game of randomised start position. It has no spatial element so there isn't a start position but the random drawing of the master builders each turn give a kind of equivalence to that. I guess it's just a matter of tastes. I can see it is limited because a lot of craftsmen do similar things and as always you are fighting for those glacial victory points. A lot of my favourite wargames don't have randomised start positions, others do.

Sorry, Rliyen. It's probably the other site that is more guilty were reviews consist of "3 - would be a better game if it wasn't collectable". Kind of like saying a wargame would be a better game if it didn't involve fighting.

Ken B. said...

Sorry Clearclaw.


You see, when I used to think that there were a "lot" of people badmouthing games I liked, I was mistaken.


It is merely a very vocal subset such as yourself. But gosh...you're just so overpowering with your condescension, you'll forgive me if I thought I perceived splatter damage on everyone else.

The fact that you posted what you did--without even a hint of irony--is almost deliciously hilarious. You are part of the problem. Actually, the lion's share of BGG is innocent of the crimes ascribed to them. You've just got a few guys like you who are polluting things for everyone else.


A music purist? Perfect information freak? Movie purist? All of this in one superb package?


I realize you give a frothing shit what I think of you; ditto, baby. But if we *ever* get an ignore user, you're the top of my list, ace.

Rliyen said...

Sorry, Rliyen. It's probably the other site that is more guilty were reviews consist of "3 - would be a better game if it wasn't collectable". Kind of like saying a wargame would be a better game if it didn't involve fighting.


No worries, Cit. And I am one of the detractors when it comes to Magic. It stopped being fun for me and became the "keeping up with the Joneses" nearly ten years ago. That's when I shifted to underdogs, like Vampire: TES and Shadowfist. To me, they were more fun.

Any Magic players out there who need some extra cards? I have some that need a home!

citadel said...

Citadel- no, I'm not anti-CCG at all...I do think that the marketing of CCGs by the publishers has resulted in a lot of crap and it's really hurt a lot of retailers but there's a few CCGs that are among the greatest games ever published- MAGIC, NETRUNNER, and MIDDLE EARTH in particular. I think that anyone interested in hobby gaming that thinks that MAGIC "sucks" is a fucking idiot. The game is brilliant, the depth is astonishing, and the level of creative engagement and variety it reaches outstrips even the best AT games.

Ah, I have misread some of your previous comments. I can see that the overproduction of CCGs has hurt retailers the most. You see plenty of CCGs on sale at my FLGS. I've collected some truely dodgy games as well. Anyone for a game of Blood Wars?

I got Red Wedding from Fanboy 3 in Manchester UK, the last box they had. I think Leisure Games might have a few boosters. I know a friend here in Glasgow has a spare box but I think he will only sell it to a new player in the area. It is a pity the recent Red Wedding print run was so small it sold out everywhere in just a few months.

Ken B. said...

CCGs are like pretty much everything else. Success breeds more; but of those that spawn from success, many are just cash-ins and almost just as many will not be remotely as good as the original, despite the best efforts of those creating them.

Magic is so unique in that it was first--*and* best. It is truly a rare thing that the original success is not eventually trumped by improvement of a successor.


The glut of them in 1995-96 and again in 2000 really damaged their perception as people tried CCGs based on properties they enjoyed only to find them severely lacking. I can't imagine a fan of Mortal Kombat was all that thrilled with the CCG version that debuted years ago and promptly vanished (hint: it was terrible).


But again, it's just like everything else. It's expensive, sure, but only when you want to expand. Technically, two players can buy a deck apiece and play those forever without ever buying another card. Of course, the problem with that is a lot of CCGs fail to be interesting at all outside of the customization aspect. Then there's the problem where you taste the "expanded" version of the game and have trouble going back.


I've played Power Magic years ago, and trying to pick the game back up and summon vanilla 2/2 critters for four mana just doesn't pack the same wallop, you know?

Anonymous said...

> Well, now. You didn't like what I said, so now it
> justifies a soulless diatribe on your part? Will
> wonders ever cease?

Absolutely. Souls have little relevance to games.

> Am I supposed to care what you think? I was explaining
> my view on a bias at the 'geek and the monkey poo
> flinging attitude over there if you so much as
> mention that you dislike Caylus, Puerto Rico, or any
> other beloved Euro over there.

Then it may amuse you to note that I dislike Caylus, Puerto Rico and AoE3.

> I think that anyone interested in hobby gaming
> that thinks that MAGIC "sucks" is a fucking idiot.

I think MtG (and most CCGs) are atrociously poor games for my interests, but then I don't find deck building interesting and the base pattern of dynamic instability and card combos is about as attractive as watching paint dry.

> Clearclaw, cleverly disguised as Anonymous says:

No, I simply won't create a Blogger account or login.

>> I think dice are boring examples of a potentially
>> interesting decisions removed from the players

> This is the SINGLE BIGGEST PIECE OF MOTHERFUCKING
> BULLSHIT that has ever come out of the discussion
> of board games on the internet.

Welcome to subjectivity.

> I've heard it over and over again- that designers
> are somehow "lazy" or too "disingenuous" to come up
> with a resolution system that doesn't involve dice.

Not from me.

> I don't think I've ever played a game where the dice
> have made a decision for me.

While that's not what I'm complaining about, I have: Yspahan. In Yspahan the dice determine what resources are going to be available on that turn. That's a potentially interesting decision removed from the control of the players. However to get closer to my point, it isn't that the dice directly replace an interesting decision, it is that as a random factor they remove the opportunity for an interesting decision. Take a trivial game like Risk but instead of dice for the combat resolution use a deterministic resource system which can variously amplify or degrade the unit count present in the battle. Now there are new potentially decisions in the game: management of resouces, resource logistics, timing of production capacity etc. Putting dice as the combat resolution mechanism removed (much/all) of the possibility of such interesting decisions. Of course the game won't resemble Risk much any more, but such is the price of quality.

> ... demanding that the player remain flexible and
> be prepared for plans that don't come to fruition

FWLIW I don't care about flexibility and plans fruiting or not or even degrees of simulation of whatever. Were the decisions in the game interesting? Was the problem posed by the game interesting? Those interest me.

> "Perfect information" style games that could play
> exactly the same time every game have a script.

Perfect information games survive on two things: ambiguity and butterfly effects. A significant number of the decisions have to be highly ambiguous and small variances in the exact decisions made must have large effects on the resulting game structures. The 18XX are excellent examples of such games as are more modern fare like Clippers, Bridges of Shangri-La, Stephenson's Rocket, and Imperial. Yes, with the exact same decision sequence in order they will play identically. Physics and most of the universe is like that: reproducible.

> Every time that "social contact" is bandied about, I
> think, "I get what you're saying. Either I play 'your
> way' and 'your way' only, or else you won't play with
> me."

I'm sure they're heartbroken over my abstention.

> This place isn't Burger King, Clearclaw, you can't
> have it your way.

Oh, but I can. That's the beauty of Free Will and Free Markets. If you as a player or a play group won't deliver the product I want, then I'll go find a player or group that will. I expect you to do exactly likewise. Laissez faire.

citadel said...

No worries, Cit. And I am one of the detractors when it comes to Magic. It stopped being fun for me and became the "keeping up with the Joneses" nearly ten years ago. That's when I shifted to underdogs, like Vampire: TES and Shadowfist. To me, they were more fun.

I went through a period of playing tournament Type 2 Magic and got tired of it quite quickly. It wasn't so much the cost as the fact that you would play against the same 3-4 decks all the time and it became dull. I wasn't interested in the minor optimisations. One of my friends plays on the Pro Tour and he says he finds the guess less fun the better he knows it. I still play occasionally usually in multiplayer but I do find I know the game too well to make it fun for me or my opponenents. That is why like yourself I have started playing more and more new CCGs.

Ken B. said...

I will say that it is grueling, almost fatiguing to keep up with Type II, and doing the "Rare Chase" every set will kill you.

Same thing happened to Marvel/DC Vs., by the way...that was the last CCG I picked up and played competitively, but they were even more aggressive in their release schedule, if you can believe it.

Zapata said...

There are good games. There are bad games. Period.

I'm not interested in definitions. What an Euro is, what an AT game is or should be. As soon as you begin with definitions and classifications, you're start dealing with the same neurotic stuff that became the daily norm on BGG. People obsessed by figures, stats, rankings. And meeples. Reminds me of the trainspotters, standing along the railway to catch a picture of every single wagon moving along, overexcited because they just saw an unusual number painted on the door. Scares me.
I grew up with Avalon Hill games. This is still the kind of game scale that I do prefer. GMT. Wargames, most of the time custom versions. I also love most of Martin Wallace games, because this guy knows what player interaction is. There are some so-called Euros that I do like. Ra is brilliant. There are others that I hate. S of Catans (sorry, it seems you have to apologize when confessing this), Caylus, or that crap named St Petersburg. Now, that's just my taste, not a divine truth. But I would never describe a game as an "Euro" just because it is wearing a "Made in Europe" or "Made in Germany" sticker. Is Friedrich an Euro ? End of the Triumvirate ? Vinci ? These are just pretty good game. There is plenty of bad AT games, only the fact that they are less pretentious gains them some sympathy. It still doesn't make them better games. "Pretentious": a word that fits perfectly our hypersensitive BGG's gaming prima donna's. Tried once to read their litterature, man that was boring. So, let's face it: I visit this site from time to time because I love to read Barnes. Especially when he allows me to re-discover a gem like L. of Robin Hood. There are no Euro-columnists or AT-columnists. There are good and bad ones. And the guy has talent. Too much talent to be regarded as a kind of funny AT-crusader only. The Euro vs AT thing is not a relevant discussion on itself. It was just a fantastic thread to follow on BGG, because it provided Michael the occasion to ridiculize the trainspotters.

Ken B. said...

Let me ask you this, Zapata--


How do you feel about the "manipulation of ambiguity?"



And if you answer, "I'm not sure!", you'll get a rap on the knuckles with a wooden ruler.

Anonymous said...

> The fact that you posted what you did--without even a
> hint of irony--is almost deliciously hilarious.

Ahh, you missed the irony then.

> You are part of the problem.

I agree that there is a perceived problem. I disagree that there is in fact a problem.

> Actually, the lion's share of BGG is innocent of the
> crimes ascribed to them.

The crime of disagreeing?

> A music purist?

Not really. Music really isn't a significant part of my life. There's stuff I like but I probably spend less than a couple hours a month listening to music on average.

> Perfect information freak?

Only incidentally. I don't select for PI games, its just that the games I like are more likely to also be PI games.

> Movie purist?

I go to the cinema a handful of times a year. Not counting yesterday's mistake, it has been almost a year since the last time I went. While I try and ensure I see something valuable when I do go, I doubt I count as a purist.

> All of this in one superb package?

Stop drooling on me man!

> But if we *ever* get an ignore user, you're the top
> of my list, ace.

I love killfiles. They're so exploitable.

citadel said...

Despite not really wanting to play again I do find myself drawn back to Magic: reading spoilers and decklists. They do have a surprising ability to keep coming up with new mechanics. I think CCG deck building has something akin to feeling you are making your own game. Building a deck is like writing scenarios or trying to design your own game but with only a fraction of the effort. And you always finish so you get that satisfaction so often lacking in your half arsed design attempts. You fell like you've come up with something new when a few hundred other people have probably noticed that combo.

Ken B. said...

Alright Clearclaw...this is no time to start proving you're human rather than a bot. That's the first genuinely funny thing I've ever seen you come up with.


I am greatly distressed by people's ability to take the piss out of things recently. WHY CAN'T WE JUST HAVE A GOOD OL' BBS FLAMEWAR!



Irony? Really? Were you being ironic? I can't possibly have been wrong about you all this time.

Ken B. said...

And the crime isn't disagreeing. It's the manner in which it is done. Makes all the difference in the world.

Anonymous said...

> WHY CAN'T WE JUST HAVE A GOOD OL' BBS FLAMEWAR!

Because even the BBSers (and I was one for many many years) never really knew how to flame. It took the heyday of Usenet to reveal flaming as a fine art (figure about metaphorical July).

> Irony? Really? Were you being ironic?

No, not really. Not at all, not even slightly. I'm chronically anaemic.

> I can't possibly have been wrong about you all this
> time.

I'm glad to read that. It must be a great comfort.

> And the crime isn't disagreeing. It's the manner
> in which it is done. Makes all the difference in the
> world.

Such carefully selective sensitivity must be a trained art.

Gary Sax said...

As a purely subjective comment, I think clearclaw has as close as I could find to the opposite of my game preferences on all of BGG (it amuses me look through his reviews and ratings).

Add on the incredibly condescending attitude and he may literally be "Professor Euro" made flesh.

Anonymous said...

> Add on the incredibly condescending attitude and he
> may literally be "Professor Euro" made flesh.

You may wish to imagine that I'm continuously biting my tongue as I type. It is usually true (a bad habit). I enjoy the ambiguity too much to ever spell out when I'm being humorous or not.

What's more amusing is that I'm really not much of a Eurogamer. I don't particularly like or play family games, I don't play games for their social content and my sweet spot for length is somewhere between 120 and 180 minutes (seems about the minimum time required to establish enough investment to make the decisions interesting).

Tim said...

What I am against is how ... a handful of internet tastemakers who earned their credibility more for the volume and visibility of their comments and reviews than for their quality or authority had hijacked the hobby and started promoting a paradigm where their values- including proper "ettiqutte" in how games are discussed, what mechanics are acceptable and what aren't, and how older games are somehow inferior or childish- became the "done thing" in the hobby.

I must be confused. Were you talking about yourself again, or someone else?

J de said...

It's only a few months ago. I can see you are still hurting.

Jeff K. said...

Well, this is all pretty damned funny. :)
There's a hint of truth in what the OP said here. Yes, there was/is some "anti-AT" sentiment at BGG, but it IS a minority of users. Just look at the ratings for some clearly AT style games.

Memoir '44 - 7.64
Battlelore - 7.96
Nexus Ops - 7.3
Twilight Imperium (3 ed)- 7.66
Descent - 7.32

And so on and so on.. Each of these has a LOT of ratings, so it isn't just "niche" AT gamers rating them while "Eurosnoots" ignore them.

Bottom line - there is NO "Anti-AT" conspiracy at BGG, just a few vocal blowhards who like to trash games they don't like. Screw 'em. Who cares about the opinion of people like that anyway?

Yet you rally behind the banner of Mr. Barnes, who makes comments like this:
"In fact, this game is evidence that if Candyland were released today, fat bearded men and their grotesquely obese wives would be hunkered over it declaring how "clever" and "elegant" the mechanics are- just like they do with TTR."

Or this (re: El Grande):
"Dated, boring, completely unengaging, and suitable only for porky, bearded guys that enjoy micro-analyzing every move to optimize each turn"

Great. Let's not just insult the game, lets make derogatory comments about the PEOPLE who like the game. Much better. I don't even like TTR all that much (I rate it a 5) and i find this comment offensive. (I do rate El Grande a 10, despite the fact that I am far from porky - go figure).

I understand that some people treated AT games with hostility, but responding with more hostility is just plain stupid. It makes you look as moronic and narrow minded as the people you complain about. What makes it worse is that I know Mr. Barnes can do better. He speaks very eloquently about the virtues of AT style games (most of which I agree with), but when he talks about the typical Euro (or any game he doesn't like) he descends into overly-broad, empty commentary that paints the game as a piece of garbage that only only Eurosnoots with their heads stuck up their asses could like. Get over yourself, Barnes. You don't like these games - we get it. I suspect you already know that you aren't the ultimate arbiter of what is good and what isn't, but you sure act like you think you are.

The final nail in the "coffin of Mr. Barnes objectivity" is his praise of this "review" of Caylus:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/138826

I don't care that the reviewer doesn't like Caylus, but come on - this piece of crap doesn't deserve the status of review. It was just Steve Weeks ranting about how much he doesn't like the game (without ever really saying why). Apparently that's enough for Mr. Barnes who comments "Best review of Caylus I've ever seen". And ignore the comments about how "it wasn't meant to be a review". Hard to believe since it was posted on F:AT as their "official review of Caylus" at one point.

OK, what was the point of the above ramble? A few lessons for the AT'ers:
1. Pick better standard bearers. Weeks and Barnes really give you guys a bad image. (Although if Barnes drop the Jekyll-Hyde routine and stop the name calling he really could be a great point man for your "movement").
2. Focus more on pointing out the virtues of AT style games than insulting Euros.
3. Drop the fiction that most of BGG hates AT-style games. It's patently and provably false. You're not the persecuted minority that you so desperately want to believe you are.

Final word - props to the OP who at least realized that his own behavior was an overreaction to a perceived injustice. Maybe there'll be one less person throwing metaphorical rocks over this non-issue.

Jeff K. said...

Oops - The Caylus review was a "League of Untouchable Gamers" review, not F:AT. Sorry - don't want to ascribe that piece of crap to the wrong site! :)

bob_the_goon said...

Although if Barnes drop the Jekyll-Hyde routine and stop the name calling he really could be a great point man for your "movement"

Did you miss the part about euro-bashing being fun? Some of us see this as part of his charm. Plus there's been name calling and personal attacks from the other side, they just won't admit it *cough* Octavian, Legomancer.

Jeff K. said...

I don't see many of Barnes' comments as "fun". They're just insulting. Someone with his obvious skill with words could easily find a way to make his point with out being so hostile and derogatory.

Anonymous said...

Wow, is this blog boring.
It's no wonder I have not checked it in months. This place is like watching a bad sitcom. Fire Barnes and get the guy who occasionally writes for him. Seriously - still whining?

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

Jeff K. said...
I don't see many of Barnes' comments as "fun".


I find them fun, so how about you fuck off someplace you won't get so upset.

adrianbolt said...

I enjoyed the article, but with 64 comments I don't have anything new to add.

Boring? That's one of the few things you can't say about F:AT! It's always lively and interesting, well, mostly interesting. (But never mostly harmless!)

Jeff K. said...

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

Jeff K. said...
I don't see many of Barnes' comments as "fun".


I find them fun, so how about you fuck off someplace you won't get so upset.


Umm... yeah. Clearly I'm the one over-reacting. LOL. ;)

However, thank you very much for clearly identifying the level of Barnes' target audience better than I ever could. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that boring is accurate.
This whole emperor's new clothes thing gets tired after a while.

alan polak said...

what's wrong with being hostile and derogatory all of a sudden? Seems to me that the descriptions Barnes gives of the type of people who would like those games is pretty accurate and you know it. Like it or not gaming, like ANY other counter culture activity(comics,videogaming etc etc.) attracts a certain kind of person, the big sweaty unwashed socially challenged masses who have nothing in their lives other than gaming and who give the general public the idea that we are all like that. We're not all like that as Jeff K. points out. He is slim and trendy and obviously offended by swearing and being rude about people. Tough shit I say.

There IS a snobbery towards AT games at that other place. It IS a minority but it's still there and I think.....who fucking cares? Let em say we are a bunch of juvenile dumb asses who get off on playing with dice and plastic army me. Leave them to their spreadsheets and statistics and tuckboxes and all the other things that stop them from having any real social activity, like discussion. There isn't really any of that going on over there. It's all "what shall I get next?" or "new player! help me with tactics". Whether you agree with what is said here or not, and who cares if you agree with all or none....at least its a discussion and people like that Euro warlord guy (thunder) and Professor Euro and Sam Healey and whoever else can say what they want. When did it become part of the "social agreement" that we all have to like each other. I have never met anyone that posts here and probably wont. If I thought something sucked I would say it did. As far as writing styles I would argue it isn't they way Barnes writes about the games you like, what he says etc. Its the idea that he doesn't like what you like. And he vocalises it in ways you don't like. So he slams Yspahan, or Puerto Rico or... you get the idea. This is the underlying current at BGG. You must be an idiot if you can't see the elegance and genius behind Pillars of the Earth. If its Emperors new clothes over here then it is, still, wizard of Oz time 'over there'

Jack Hill said...

I never looked at Barnes' El Grande comments. As a pudgy, bearded guy, I actually think that El Grande COULD use some more analyzing.

How hard is it to work out that 4 points is greater than 3 points? (It is more complex than that, as you have the relative scores to worry about, but it isn't THAT hard.)

Clearclaw:

A: You CAN hit Other in the comment box and type a name.

B: You comment that dice remove "interesting decisions". One of the chief appeals of Euros over old-school abstracts is that they have narrower decision trees, so turns and games go faster.

When you jump back to AT games, those tend to keep the large decision trees (wargames would be prime example.)

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

To the anonymice;
Obviously not that boring or you wouldn't feel compelled to drop by and dis it ... not feeling threatened by anything are you ?

To JeffK:
You obviously are feeling threatened by what goes on here. What pulpit are you on that gives you the right to judge people who's behaviour you don't like .. (especially since it is what you are actually complaining about) ?

You dainty types really have such a thin skin - first you just can't keep out of any thread at the other sight that wants to talk about AT matters, and then you come across here and fire off more shit.

Anonymous said...

Came back to check replies.
LOL!
Feeling threatened and being compelled?
The other dude hadn't been here in months.
Pathetic.

Rliyen said...

Came back to check replies.
LOL!
Feeling threatened and being compelled?
The other dude hadn't been here in months.
Pathetic.


If you find it so pathetic, then why bother coming here and posting it?

Oh, I know why, it's because you know you'd get flagged into the next century if you did that 'over there'.

'Over there', you give the appearance of "Jolly, good show! Eh, wot?" and you're secretly thinking, "My god, what a prick."

Then, you come over to F:AT and spout off attacks and derogatory comments, knowing full well that there will be no reprisals. Real smooth, Ex-Lax.

Don't bother replying unless you can really say something other than netspeak and the new adjectives you've learned in elementary school.

adrianbolt said...

alan polak: You said BGG is "all "what shall I get next?" or "new player! help me with tactics"".
Those types of BGG threads are so frequent and leave me bewildered every time at the sheer pointlessness of them. I restrain myself because I only have two answers, "read some articles then make your own mind up" and "RTFM or in this case play the bloody game". And of course there's also the classic "should I buy game x or game y"!

Michael Barnes said...

However, thank you very much for clearly identifying the level of Barnes' target audience better than I ever could. :)

Standard issue condescension, and the exact sort of bullshit that drives The Leading Board Game Site and its biases. "I don't agree with you or what you say, and that makes what you say juvenile, less enlightened, or stupid". That's some freakin' sweet rhetoric there, bucko.

Oh, and thank you Jeff K. for your instructive comments about how myself and other F:AT denizens can be better board game community citizens and serve you better. That's mighty kind for you to pass your holy wisdom down to us lowlifes.

I must be confused. Were you talking about yourself again, or someone else?

Tim- didn't you get the memo? I'm an attention-seeking megalomaniac (along with being a violent redneck, a sociopath, and an internet celebrity). I'm just doing my job here.

I never looked at Barnes' El Grande comments. As a pudgy, bearded guy, I actually think that El Grande COULD use some more analyzing.

But Jack, you're a _cool_ bearded pudgy guy...and you probably have the most complete collection of AT games in the world. So you get a pass.

I think a lot of you goons seem to neglect the fact that I _like_ stirring shit up, and frankly getting a bunch of people in a titter over fucking BOARD GAMES is a never ending source of amusement for me...maybe it's because one day I hope you guys who clench your teeth over the fact that I point out that EL GRANDE fans tend to be fat, middle aged men will stop and think "wow, I take this way too seriously" and then go out and change the world. Or maybe I just like to fight. Or both.

Oh, and Clearclaw...it's time to stop proving to people that you went to college.

JCL said...

> Like it or not gaming, like ANY other counter
> culture activity(comics,videogaming
> etc etc.) attracts a certain kind of person,
> the big sweaty unwashed socially challenged
> masses who have nothing in their lives other than
> gaming and who give the general public the idea
> that we are all like that.

I attend 5 different gaming groups which play a mixture of eurogames and a few wargames on a regular basis with a total population spread across the set of them of well over 200. Within that set I can think of 8 people I'd call obese. I doubt the Silly Valley area is unique in this regard as I observed similar obesity rates in the UnityGames/NewEngland area. Possibly this is due the percentage of parents (and their older kids) being higher in the eurogaming set. Where' I've found much three to four times the obesity and BO rate with (in descending order) RPGers, party gamers, CCGers and life-style wargamers.

> A: You CAN hit Other in the comment box and type
> a name.

Huh. You're right.

> B: You comment that dice remove "interesting
> decisions". One of the chief appeals of Euros
> over old-school abstracts is that they
> have narrower decision trees, so turns and games
> go faster.

Yes. They (mostly) follow the rule of seven for the decision space, which makes sense given that the target audience.

> When you jump back to AT games, those tend to
> keep the large decision trees (wargames would be
> prime example.)

Asides from the question of whether or not wargames are AT (I'd tend to not-AT in general), I'm not so sure. As quick examples: Doom and Descent both keep the decision tree quite narrow, as do Runebound, World of Warcraft, Arkham Horror and Monsters Menace America.

JCL said...

> Oh, and Clearclaw...it's time to stop proving to
> people that you went to college.

Really? That would be impossibly hard to prove in my case as I never attended a college or university.

Jeff K. said...

Wow, Barnes, you really are quite the master of missing the point.

I don't give a rat's ass if you like the games I like or not. Rail against Euros all you want - more power to you. Trash El Grande till your voice is hoarse - plenty of people don't like it, and that's fine by me. You love AT? Awesome. I love some of them too. I have no game bias here to defend.

The point is that most people don't act like dicks when they put down a game, nor do they feel the need to insult a group of people just because they happen to like it. You do both things.

And I have no interest in you serving me better - when did I ask you to? I can take care of my own interests just fine, thanks. I was just pointing out that your behavior was probably not helpful in raising the status of AT style games. This has nothing to do with me - I already like 'em, and your childish rants aren't going to change that.

Nor do I think the AT community is made up of "lowlifes". Never said or implied anything of the kind. I just said that YOU (and Weeks) tend to act in a way that alienates people rather than drawing them in. Hey, if that's what you want to do, go for it. Just don't pretend you're doing the AT "movement" a favor in the process.

Maybe some of you should think about why you needed to respond to a clearly non-hostile post with such anger and outrage. Didn't you get hugged enough as kids or something? :)

the*mad*gamer said...

I am getting a little sick of all of these lectures telling Michael Barnes how to behave.

Let me tell you something, Aldie, Greg Schloesser, and Jeff K are not the collective "Miss Manners" of the internet.

I and thousands of other readers enjoy Barnes writings and behavior just the way it is.

What people find so refreshing about Barnes is that he is not part of the back slapping, free game tastemaker network. To say that Barnes alienates people is just stupid. He is now writing for Gameshark and pulling more people into the Hobby and towards the better AT games than anyone I know.

However, being the number one man in the boardgaming hobby has its price, its like controlling the Nexus in Nexus Ops, everybody wants to knock you off, but the fact is Jeff K is just a fungoid in lava, it ain't gonna happen.

So the next time you read something by Barnes and you think it might be devisive, you may be be right but then again it is probably just the truth and it pisses you off. Kind of like when Barnes said my "Caylus" review is the best. Well...It is!!!

But Barnes gets the credit for the nuclear bomb on Greg's Caylus board! A CLASSIC!

dgilligan said...

Pop Quiz:

Name the "taste maker" who made the following statement about Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition.

"TI3 ranks as my third favorite game (out of about 800) - it’s that good!"

Rich Hutnik (docreason) said...

Hello. This is docreason (top shill for Stonehenge, but hey, designing games for it is helping me with my depression).

I was one of the original people that was using Ameritrash as a term in the early 1990s. I am also likely one to coin the term, but can't prove it. I got caught up in the whole Eurocraze and still like the classics, but I am seriously burnt out of Knizia influence on games. I seriously believe more.

I did attempt to praise recent American style designs (calling them Ameritrash 2.0) only to see myself raked against the coals by some old school Ameritrashers who think I am ill-qualified to speak on the subject.

Ken B. said...

Rich, I appreciated the effort, but once you put Ticket to Ride on the list, I was mystified.

The whole thing did more harm than good. And yes, I recognized the irony.

MWChapel said...

Damn, go on vacation for a week, and miss all the fun.


Your Kung Fu is weak!...That's one!

Michael Barnes said...

Jeff- don't pull this backpedaling, backspinning bullshit- you said what you said, your meaning was clear and understood, and you're trying to somehow cast yourself as above the mudslinging so that you'll be in a superior position.


And I have no interest in you serving me better - when did I ask you to?

You provided a numbered, itemized list. You prefaced it by saying that it was (quote) "A few lessons for the AT'ers". You offered your suggestions about how we can suit you and the larger boardgaming community better.

Oh, and if you're trying to "rise above" the discussion here and hand down wisdom from on high, maybe you ought not be calling everyone "childish" or "dicks", you childish dick.

Really? That would be impossibly hard to prove in my case as I never attended a college or university.

Ah...proof that you don't need a degree to be a pretentious academician. JC, I really admire your tenacity and your honest, unabashed arrogance...seriously, I find it very refreshing when someone doesn't give a damn about being "polite" or "nice" and is instead straightforward and honest. Being "polite" is inauthentic unless you're genuinely expressing something.

Doc- man, I feel ya...but you're doomed to be the Nikola Tesla of the movement at this point.

Mr Skeletor said...

That would be Tom Vasel.
But I wouldn't really call tom a Eurogamer. He is just a game whore in general.

Mr Skeletor said...

In other news not having internet at home sucks monkey balls.

Jeff K. said...

OK, do I need to make a big flashing neon arrow to help you notice the point, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

I never asked you to "serve me better". It was all about how you and the AT'ers could serve YOURSELVES better. I agree that my message was clear. I don't agree that it was understood.

And if you don't like being told that you're acting like a dick, stop acting like one. Stop putting down people just because they happen to like games you don't. Stop belittling overweight people, who you seem to think must be inherently socially inept since they are the only ones who could possibly like Euros games like TTR or El Grande.

Are you ACTUALLY a dick? I have no idea. I've never met you, and for all I know this is some online persona you've created for yourself for the sole purpose of making a stir.

Did I get harsh? Sure, but only after I was told to "go fuck myself" after I had the temerity to actually criticize your behavior (in pretty mild terms, I might add). Clearly some of you are only up for discussion if nobody dares say anything negative about the almighty Barnes. Pretty damned ironic considering how YOU rant against internet personalities and tastemakers, and how you made a rep for yourself by talking about them a hell of a lot more harshly than I've talked about you.

Your ability to twist and misrepresent other people's words is beyond staggering. Let's take this, for example - a quote from this very thread from you, attempting to describe my initial post:

"I don't agree with you or what you say, and that makes what you say juvenile, less enlightened, or stupid". That's some freakin' sweet rhetoric there, bucko.

OK, yeah, you got me - I actually think that insulting and belittling people who have never done anything to you is a bad thing. Since that's the ONLY thing I've ever criticized you for, I can only imagine that's what your referring to. Of course, in your post, it sure sounds like I'm the kind of guy who just can't stand it when people don't agree with me. I must truly be a horrible individual. :)

And, Weeks, yes I read your post. It was very amusing. However, since you seem physiologically incapable of saying (or thinking) anything that doesn't glorify Barnes, discussing anything with you strikes me as pointless.

the*mad*gamer said...

Jeff,

You make it sound like I am obsessed with Barnes! That is just not true!

(Pulling down shirt sleeve to hide Tattoo of Barnes avatar)

jon said...

When the BGG comments started rolling in for MARE NOSTRUM, [people were] ignoring the fact that it's a much deeper game than most Euros and that it hinges more on player interaction, conflict, and diplomacy than on following the rules the most efficiently.

I love the asymmetry of MN and don't really care if it's imbalanced, and the trading and set collecting are also appealing.

But there are problems, and chalking them all up to shallow, silly Euro players who didn't get what they were expecting is arrogant. There's a lot of pointless busywork, the game state is a mess (but is critical to understanding what you're about), and the player interaction/diplomacy aspects can turn it into the same game we've played hundreds of times before: attack him, he's winning (and sure, there's some fun to be had there, but...).

I'm definitely the target audience for this game, and I certainly don't apply some "BGG elitist" standards to determine what makes a game fun. This perceived divide between "real" folks/ATers and the "BGG elitists" is pretty artificial. The antagonism makes for fun rhetoric, but it's getting to feel too much like a conspiracy theory. Which can also be fun, but not when it takes itself too seriously.

Malloc said...

Hey, I am late to this party because I was playing AT games ll weekend at the WBC.


anyway, I have to I find most eurogames (even the good ones) too dry and boring to play. I also find that most of the new eurogames are just crap, and I think a lot of euro-gamers would agree that there is a glut of shitty euro-games on the market right now.

Lastly I want to point out that I really do not like playing games with euro-snoots. I don't wanna play something where people sit in silence for 1.5 hours making moves and occasionally saying "hmmm..." I wanna play a game where I can tell the guy across the table "i am going to wipe your pansy ass off the board", as I take out his last thug with my vamp, and raid his joints with my thugs.

Note its not what I am saying, but the fact that when I say it the people in the game do not take it personally, they know it is all part of the act, part of having fun . I expect their response to be "Your pack of pussies couldn't take out a nursing home.... bring it on"

-M

Anonymous said...

If you find it so pathetic, then why bother coming here and posting it?

Because sometimes there's actually something interesting here - when it's not Barnes crying again and again and again. Obsessed about fake people haranguing you gets old.

Oh, I know why, it's because you know you'd get flagged into the next century if you did that 'over there'.


Like - exactly this. None of this has a single thing to do with BGG.

Jeff K. said...

Malloc, I totally get what you're saying. While I do like Euros, I agree that they're generally a dry, analytical experience. Not all of them, of course. When my friends and I play El Grande it's anything BUT a dry experience - in fact, the curses tend to fly fast and furious. But, overall, Euros are pretty quiet games and not suited for when you really want to kick the crap out of your buddies. There's nothing in the Euro experience that is similar to your opponent sending 4 fungoids from across the board with their energize card to kill your plasma dragon in the swamp, and they then play the card that gives TWO of their fungoids +2 to their battle rolls.

Of course, the same could be said for chess, which is why a lot of people don't like that game either.

I also agree that the newer crop of euros are getting old. The genre is seeing a lot of "been there, done that." I'm hard pressed to find a new euro that I feel the need to buy since they all feel like something I already own.

So what's next on my radar, if not a Euro? Tide of Iron. It's more in depth than Memoir '44 or Nexus and it has richer combat than Mare Nostrum. So, it fills a void in my collection and looks like a hell of a lot of fun. Even the rules were fun to read. :)

And that brings me to one area that AT totally kills Euros in - diversity. Once I have a fair number of area control games, building games, action point games, and resource gathering games, I don't feel the need for any more. With AT games, the mechanics matter less than the theme - or, rather, the theme drives the mechanics a lot more, so the same basic mechanics are implemented in a very similar way. Thus, someone can own Memoir '44, Battelore and C&C Ancients and be happy to have 'em. Changing the theme in an AT game changes A LOT. Caylus with a different theme would be, well... Caylus with different pictures and names for the pieces. :)

So, really, I do get why people don't like Euros. Seriously. What I don't get is why people like Barnes have to be so hostile towards those that do. I mean, what's the point?

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

Jeff - just when I was going to upload my megawattage neon sign to tell you to fuck off you go and slam down a post about games and your opinions on them ... totally way to go ...... and then you couldn't resist it and you had to have one last crack at someone.

Haven't you got it by now - fuck, the thread is long enough - people here talk about games a lot differently than 95% of the people at the other site, not because they think it is cool talking like that but because that is how they talk/behave in real life.

THIS IS WHAT THIS BLOG WAS CREATED FOR.

Now if you can handle people who are obviously quite different to you (and I'm not going to judge either way - at the moment) then hang around, give your opinions, be thick-skinned at a lot of the comments, and have fucking fun because that is what we like in our games.

Michael Barnes said...

First off Jeff- I'm not hostile to people who like Euros, because I LIKE THEM MYSELF!!! I game and hang out regularly with die-hard Eurogamers and I even go way the hell out of my way to make sure I have stock of the games they like because I WANT THEM TO HAVE THE GAMES THEY ENJOY. But you know, their style of play does tend to be different and frankly, like Mal, I don't particularly care to play games with them. No big deal. I have my own folks I like to play with. If you want to talk about "tilting at windmills" or whatever the trope is, then you're doing it yourself.

Something that I think really gets lost on people is that a large, majority community like BGG is, in fact, a way to gauge public opinion and trends. It's not some illusory thing that I made up when I started talking about Eurogame bias in the hobby. It's not just coincidence that when a couple of people- yes, sometimes the aforementioned "tastemakers" make a comment about a game and twenty other users employ the same criticism. It's not a "conspiracy"- it's just typical communal groupthink, although it's really fucking funny to see people like Jeff K. take those goofy allegations of conspiracy so seriously when I know I sure as hell don't.

As for being "hostile"- sorry, I'm just giving my opinion, and I'm going to give you my honest opinion about things. If that's a hostile opinion and you don't like it, then so fucking what- note that you think I'm full of shit and move on. There's plenty of threads over at BGG that will suit your needs. But if you want to lock horns here, then that's perfectly fine...just don't expect a facade of politeness and civility if there isn't anything to back it up. Believe me, I'm much more interested in being nice, friendly, and helpful but I'm not going to fake it- being honest _is_ being polite.

Michael Barnes said...

Tom Hazlett, the Patron Saint of Straight Talk, ladies and gentlemen...that's exactly the point- most of us here post, write, and interact the same way we do when we play games...so if you come here expecting g-rated language, gladhanding, and back patting...we're gonna disappoint you.

JCL said...

> And that brings me to one area that AT totally
> kills Euros in - diversity. Once I have a
> fair number of area control games, building
> games, action point games, and resource
> gathering games, I don't feel the need for
> any more. With AT games, the mechanics
> matter less than the theme - or, rather, the
> theme drives the mechanics a lot more, so
> the same basic mechanics are implemented
> in a very similar way. Thus, someone can own
> Memoir '44, Battelore and C&C Ancients and be
> happy to have 'em. Changing the theme in an
> AT game changes A LOT.

Odd. I played Memoir '44 and Command & Colours: Ancients and thought they were effectively identical games. The only difference I noticed was that the distribution of values on the cards was a bit different between the two games. What I got really really tired of however, way back when, was the endless parade of , "Yawn, yes, somebody thinks their dick is bigger than someone else's." Hardly interesting. Fine, people exist in a pecking order and even sometimes think that pecking order is important or somehow meaningful. They even get emotional about it -- go figure. I'd have thought we noticed that in kindergarten and gotten over our fascination by now.

> Believe me, I'm much more interested in being
> nice, friendly, and helpful but I'm not going
> to fake it- being honest _is_ being polite.

There is a difference between honesty and self-control you know. Seppuku is a poor form of honesty with your intestines.

What I find morbidly fascinating in this thread, and in AT discussions in general, is the continuous attempt to overwhelm reason with emotional response. Its there that the divide between the camps really seems to lie.

Anonymous said...

"What people find so refreshing about Barnes is that he is not part of the back slapping, free game tastemaker network."

No, he's just a part of a DIFFERENT back slapping tastemaker network. To read all the people from this sites network slapping his back in these comments and others on this and that other site and then read that comment is pretty hilarious. Poor deluded fools.

Anonymous said...

I also like ponies and wearing ribbons in my hair.

Ass First Names Later said...

For me I could care less about this discussion. That's really the point.

I don't care if someone is vitriolic or whom they are vitriolic towards. But honestly, politely, it is truly very boring.

"Oh no, but you posted in it." - Please don't tell me you can't figure out the flaw in that crap logic.

The Euro Overlord said...

Fine job...Jeff K

I am pleased

You're goooood

with my help you could be the best!

(Thunder)

Michael Barnes said...

This is my bottom line- if patronizing, puerile, condescending discussion of board games coupled with a bogus atmosphere of "maturity", "politeness", and "sophistication" is going to be the established norm in the hobby, then I am proud to be considered as juvenile, vulgar, hostile, and detrimental to the health of that community.

euro overlord said...

did someone say ribbons and ponies!!!! you knew i wuldn't miss that one!!

JCL said...

> This is my bottom line- if patronizing, puerile,
> condescending discussion of board games coupled with
> a bogus atmosphere of "maturity", "politeness",
> and "sophistication" is going to be the established
> norm in the hobby, then I am proud to be considered as
> juvenile, vulgar, hostile, and detrimental to the
> health of that community.

And what about if it was all that, exactly, but it wasn't bogus? Would your position change?

LiamJ said...

Michael Barnes said...

"This is my bottom line- if patronizing, puerile, condescending discussion of board games"

That applies even more to f:at than it does to bgg. Just read the comments in this thread. And if i had to guess i would say say that it is a small percentage of bgg users that engage in that although some of them are high profile. i would say maybe at most 5% of posts and comments on bgg. on f:at it is more like 50% of posts and comments. and laughably the one who is complainging about people being patronizing, puerile and condensceding is the poster that is the most patronizing, puerile and condescending of all.

"coupled with a bogus atmosphere of "maturity", "politeness", and "sophistication" is going to be the established norm in the hobby, then I am proud to be considered as juvenile, vulgar, hostile, and detrimental to the health of that community. "

so the choice is either:

site that has small percentage of patronizing, puerile and condescending posts
atmosphere that discourages it

or

site that has large percentage of patronizing, puerile and condescending post
atmosphere that actively encourages it

no brainer which site will be successful and which site will stay a rinky dink site for malcontents and the socially maladjusted

The Euro Overlord said...

Excellent! The AT Movement is hanging by a thread and once Barnes falls it will truly be dead!


(Thunder)

Euro Overlord said...

i am so jealous of katey holmes

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

The Euro Overlord said...
Excellent! The AT Movement is hanging by a thread and once Barnes falls it will truly be dead!


***NEWSFLASH***

More limp-wristed tossers slink away from F:AT back to blandness at a leading boardgame site.

The Euro Overlord said...

Barnes, you low life imposter!

Listen to me and my other Euro brothers

Erase this Blog NOW!!!

(Thunder)

JohnD said...

The Euro Overlord said...
Excellent! The AT Movement is hanging by a thread and once Barnes falls it will truly be dead!
-----------------

even if that is true fortunately the rise of the new AT games themselves will be completely unaffected one way or the other by the success or failure F:AT or its current crop of backslapping wannabe-tastemakers

The Euro Overlord said...

If Dung grew on trees that is what the current crop of AT games would look like!


(Thunder)

The Euro Overlord said...

Memo to Barnes:

Your application for Boardgame Tastemaker has been DENIED!!!


(Thunder)

Jeff K. said...

OK, almost done here, I think. ;)

Barnes - OK, you're not hostile to Eurogamers. Got it. I'll take your word for it. That's not how I read your posts, but hell, it's the internet. It's not like I'd ever convince you that you were anyway.

Glad to hear you don't believe there's a conspiracy. Some posts (damned if I can remember whose now, and I'm to lazy to go back and read every goddamned post in this thread) indicated that BGG has an "Anti-AT" bias. I don't believe that's true, and I challenge anyone to try and demonstrate that it does.

Foul language? I couldn't care less. My wife and I are worried that our 2 year old's first word will be "fuck", and not because of the movies we watch.

I repeat - my ONLY sore spot is when I think people (not games) are being treated with disrespect without cause, and that's not as simple as cursing at them (although that can be a part of it). I just don't understand why people feel the need to do it. Argue, scream, curse, go at it, have fun. I just don't think it's a good idea do it in a way to demean and belittle others. It accomplishes nothing and people's positions get lost in the noise. I can't emphasize enough how strongly I feel about this as a principle, and THAT is what I react do. I don't give a royal turd, flying fuck or faerie's ass if you're talking about games, religion, politics or commemorative plates. Hell, I've called atheists on asshole behavior when they talk about religious people - and I'm an atheist.

Regardless, I'm done with this (I can hear the collective "Finally!" now! ;) ). I've had my say, others have had theirs, and I doubt we'll agree.

I'll wait for another interesting blog entry and stick to talking about games themselves.

Michael Barnes said...

Agreed, Jeff, agreed. But I do look forward to the next scrap too.

Sal said...

OMG!
"a few of the popular kids at that other site were mean to us so that means we can say the whole site is like that and it means it justifies us crying and carrying on and being insulting to people who have nothing to do with those other kids"
this bs is still going on over here!?!?!?!?!?!
ive heard of people being overly sensitive before but this is getting ridiculous!!!!!
it just sounds so much like a bunch of middle school girls who some of the cheerleaders were mean to so they reject the whole school and form their own little club who sometimes talks about other things but it always always always comes back to how mean those cheerleaders were and how mean that whole school is and how the best way to deal with it is to be mean to anyone and everyone and that makes us cool
are you sure F:AT stands for Fortress AmeriTrash and not Fortress of the Angry Tweeners?

Mr Skeletor said...

Can someone teach Sal about full stops and capital letters?

dbuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbuel said...

no brainer which site will be successful and which site will stay a rinky dink site for malcontents and the socially maladjusted

Blogger.com will be successful, and BGG will stay a rinky dink site?

That's awfully cruel of you

Shellhead said...

I've been playing AmeriTrash games for a long time, long before we had such convenient labels as EuroGames or AmeriTrash. I tried a variety of Euros starting in the late 90s, but couldn't readily explain my lack of enjoyment until the AmeriTrash movement got rolling at BGG. I am definitely an AmeriTrash gamer, and I generally enjoy the discussions here at F:AT.

That said, I am getting tired of the sniping at Euros or BoardGameGeek. I prefer AmeriTrash to Euros, but I just don't even feel like talking about Euros anymore unless it is to clarify an aspect of AT games that we are talking about. And I prefer the discussions here at F:AT to those at BGG, but I really don't see any need to compare the two here, unless maybe there was an interesting angle that was relevant to a discussion about AT games here.

I realize that trolls sometimes come here from BGG to start trouble, and if this was a real world situation, I would be happy to physically kick their sorry asses back to where they came from. But on the internet, I would rather not help feed the trolls. If a Euro fan has some interesting perspectives to share, even though they may not be favorable to AT games, that might be interesting to read here. For example, Professor Euro's input was interesting. But if they are just mindlessly complaining, I don't give a shit. Delete them or don't, but engaging in discussion with them when they have nothing intelligent to say is a waste of time.

Overall, there is a lot of terrific content here at Fortress: AmeriTrash. But recent topics have repeatedly lost their way due to the trolls and the responses to the trolls. Can we move on and leave the trolls behind?

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I have this straight.

The author of an article whose subject is essentially 'here's why I am justified in treating BGGers that disagree with me like shit' goes on BGG to call attention to the article:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1643995#1643995

and its the BGGers that are the trolls!?!

I love, love, love AT games but the people here make me embarrassed to admit it. I hate that they are making AT associated with junior high level name calling.

dbuel said...

Those of us who don't always see Euros as such a great thing find this terribly exasperating - the premier gaming site on the net seems stacked against us - so inevitably, we overcompensate when we end up posting our own opinions.

By the way, in response to the article -- this is a matter of perspective. The premier gaming site on the net? That's just perception talking.

BGG's Alexa rank is high for the type of site that it is -- it's about 11,000+ right now as I type this.

Meanwhile, Wizards.com's Alexa rank is about 1,800. That's higher even than Hasbro's, which itself is about 2,500. Games Workshop's is about 7,000. For other kinds of games? Nintendo's is about 2,000. Sony's site includes nongame stuff, so the fact that it's better than 1,000 is deceptive. Xbox.com, however, is ranked 783. Bungie.net, which is pretty much a Halo site, is around 3,600.

worldofwarcraft.com? 483.

BGG seems as important to gaming as it does because you spent, or spend, so much time there. It was you putting effort into it that made it feel important.

Muzza said...

Shellhead said:

Overall, there is a lot of terrific content here at Fortress: AmeriTrash. But recent topics have repeatedly lost their way due to the trolls and the responses to the trolls. Can we move on and leave the trolls behind?

Bravo.

Tom Hazlett (Southernman) said...

Well let's just review the 'anyone can post' rule here then. Much that I enjoy a good retort, how about whoever owns the thread just deletes anything that is totally off topic or is obviously starting to troll.
I'm sure the original intention was good (anyone can post there opinions here) but it does seem that the threads are being messed up a bit by some dedicated anonymous dickheads deteremined to make this very hard work.

We have the POWER - owners, use the delete key like the holy hand grenade that it is !

Matt Thrower said...

Final word - props to the OP who at least realized that his own behavior was an overreaction to a perceived injustice. Maybe there'll be one less person throwing metaphorical rocks over this non-issue.

I hope so. I don't intend to pick it up again - part of the idea of this was just to get it off my chest really.

I want to take brief issue though the the statement that my source was a percieved injustice. While you rightly point out that a number of AT-style games are now riding high in the rankings that's simply wasn't the case when I first arrived at BGG - it was Euros all the way. I'm very pleased that the top 50 is now more reflective of a variety of gaming styles but in truth I wonder sometimes whether this just happened slowly or whether the AT fanbase suddenly getting loud over at BGG had something to do with triggering the change.

Pat H said...

Fuck...Long weekend up here. Is there any beer left?

Michael Barnes said...

I want to take brief issue though the the statement that my source was a percieved injustice.

No Matt, we made it all up in our minds. It's all just smoke and mirrors. Just like all those silly, misguided people who think that racism and sexism still exist. I'm all right, Jack!

ANT said...

You do seem a bit delusional.

I am new to BGG and just recently heard about all this so looked into it to see if I could figure out what happened.

It doesnt appear to be about having disagreeing opinions about games.

You call people who disagree with you names and they react badly. No big surprise there. That is hardly and injustice.

It reminds me of the black guy whos a jerk to people and then when he is ostracized he is 100% convinced it is because of racism and not the antisocial behavior.

And Ive seen the game you play when this is pointed out too.

You say it was because of your opinions about games.

People point out that what people really reacted badly to was the namecalling and other antisocial and immature behavior.

You dont deny it and in fact say you are proud to be antisocial and immature.

Time moves on.

You act as if the previous discussion never took place and you go back to saying it was because of your opinons about games.

People again point out that what people really reacted badly to was the namecalling and other antisocial behavior.

You again dont deny it and again say you are proud to be antisocial and immature.

Rinse. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat.