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Swissness - for a better understanding
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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After having read some issues about TTR:Switzerland, I find it very important, that the Swiss gaming community get's more presence on BGG.
We're missunderstood, falsely accused and most of the time, just ignored. This hurts - I don't know whom and where, but it surely does!
I just want everybody to know, that Switzerland is more about than only cheese and chocolate, there's ... hmmm....wait .... ehh .... the TTR-Expansion Switzerland.
So this list is here to inform you about our history, customs, chocolate and the cheese of course!
I hope this list is a contribution to a better understanding of swiss people and their customs, and next time you sit round a boardgame with a swiss guy or girl, you will know why they behave ... eh .... let's say :strange.
Ad if you happen to be austrian, you'll finaly understand.
I do my best, so you might understand our national english.

In sense of a better understanding between nations, feel free to add any praises of Switzerland and the Swiss nation
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1. Board Game: William Tell [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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This is the guy that started it all: Willhelm Tell. A freedom fighter. He didn't bow his head in front of that silly austrian cap mounted on a pike. That's why he was sent to prison, but he escaped and killed the infamous and horrible austrian aggressor in an ambush.
So what do we learn about swissnes:
Swiss people will never bow their head except for collecting money on the ground
Swiss people will never attack openly, they ambush their enemies
Swiss people have still not forgiven the occupation of their country by the austrians.
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2. Board Game: Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:1884]
Cédric Rothacher
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1291 (the year when tribal chief jvbclvjcalj discovered Manhatten Island) three men swore an oath at the shore of the Vierwaldstättersee (lake of 4 Cantons). They promised to stand together as one against all outer enemies (austrians) and to fight for the freedom of their land. This is the start of the swiss confederation. To better provoque the austrians they then took their flag and stroke it out with a white line from top to the bottom- the swiss cross was born.
What do we learn about swissness:
If swiss men come together, any silly idea is taken seriously
No women in politics (alas only until 1971!)
No way we ever forget what the austrians did in 13th century, as our own flag reminds us to %&@???¢¡° them.
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3. Board Game: BattleLore: The Hundred Years' War – Crossbows & Polearms [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
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Halberd: This was our national weapon. At least against the austrians it was very efficient. The battle of Morgarten 1315 still is very popular in Switzerland. Then a big austrian army (9000 men) was destroyed (2000 casualties) in an ambush by the swiss freedom force (900 men - 12 casualties). The austrians did not expect an attack there and not this way: Usually the battles were fought in open field, man vs man, and of course battling was only for knights and soldiers, not for those barbarians from the mountains.
You can call the Morgarten-Battle a traditional democratic swiss ambush,. It took place on a narrow path between a steep hill and a lake. The Austrians had no chance and the swiss didn't make any prisoneers.
What do we learn about swissness
Swiss people never keep to international traditions, they are barbarians and proud of it!
We remember rare victories in sports for a very long time!
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4. Board Game: Mercenary [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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As time went by, the swiss confederation grew. Neutrality was invented and the swiss leaders started selling swiss boys as mercenaries all over the known world at that time. There was a lot of money to be made and the lack of scruple became the moral source of all the swiss banks.
Well, there are no more swiss mercenaries nowadays, except in the Vatican, but obvoiusly they're not up to date over there....
So what have we learned about Swissness:
Swiss people got more and more precious - so nobody (except the pope) can afford them today
Swiss neutrality means not: we help nobody, neither: we help everybody the same but: We help everybody as much as they can pay (austrians pay twice the price)
Swiss people have a faible for old and white-clothed men living in Rome
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5. Board Game: Soldiers [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:4278]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Theoretically every swiss man between 20 and 35 years old is also a swiss soldier. Proudly he has his army-gun on the wall in the living room where children can play with it, practice how to aim and shoot (this is a joke, we're not the US) and learn about the determination to defend switzerland against all inner and outer enemies, eg. .... eh ... phhh ..... well ..... Austrians?
What did we learn about Swissnes:
Swiss people keep high in esteem their own folkloristic traditions
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6. Board Game: Democrazy [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:9162]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Switzerland is one of the oldest democracies in the world. We have votes on nearly everything: Do you want an army? Do you want to be a part of the european community? Do you want new taxes? etc. You need 100'000 people signing a request for a certain vote and if the request is not against the constitution (eg. a racist request), there's a vote. If it's an important vote, about 30% of the population will take part.
WDWLAS?
Most of the Swiss people will never ever vote, but I assure you: they will fiercely fight for the right, not to vote, when there's a vote.
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7. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
 
Cédric Rothacher
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This is the game that started this list. Yes, we're very proud over here of our railroad infrastructure. You can go nearly everywherein switzerland with our federal railroad, even on the Jungfrau, TOP OF EUROPE. 600'000 people a year visit this place in the bernese Alps. A great place to see the mountains. Chances are 0,5 % that on that day you go up and spend a lot of money to do so, there's no mist, no snowfall, and no storm. For the rest, the railroad will make it possible to travel through switzerland (e.g. from Basel to Chiasso) while you take a nap.
WDWLAS?
We like to put Tourists on top of the mountains, so the rest of our small country's not so crowded.
We don't like being observed - we prefere sleeping foreigners traveling through switzerland
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8. Board Game: Mind Your Language [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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We're so proud that in our country there are 4 official languages: german, french, italian and rumantsch. Additionally there are about 28653673247863 different kind of swiss german dialects. This makes an understanding between people very very difficult. What should we do?
WDWLAS?
To better understand each other, swiss people talk english
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9. Board Game: Château Roquefort [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:721]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Cheese: That's 90% of what Switzerland is about. The thing is not the cheese itself but the holes in it. The bigger the holes the more famous the cheese. The 'Emmentaler' has the biggest holes by far, and if you see pictures of swiss cheese most of the time it will be 'Emmentaler'. This cheese was invented in hard times. Swiss People invented a way to sell some airbulbs at a horrendous price all over the world.
WDWLAS?
Swiss people always find a way to sell you anything
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10. Board Game: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [Average Rating:3.47 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Chocolate: that's 90% of Switzerland at least. You can visit the chocolate factories and after the vsisit you're allowed to eat as much chocolate as you want. But most of the people feel already so sick because of 1-2h in chocolated air, that they don't eat as much chocolate as they think they would.
WDWLAS?
We've found a way to sell a lot of stuff abroad that truly spoken, makes us sick.
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11. Board Game: Alpen Express [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:6758]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Swiss Alps: That's 90% of what Switzerland is about. There are railrads and streets and cable cars and ropeways trough or on nearly every hill. Al the tunnels make our Mountains just look like swiss cheese with a lot of holes in it. So looking at the mountains makes us hungry. That's when wie melt a lot of cheese in a pot. The pot is put in the middle of the table and everybody around dunks it's piece of bread on a fork in the melted cheese to eat it that way. We call this meal a "Fondue". Eating a Fondue with some friends, surrounded by the cheesy mountains on a winter evening is a very spiritual experience, the more when somebody looses his bread in the melted cheese (what a shame) and has to commit seppuku not to loose his face.
WDWLAS?
Most of the swiss people lost their face. The ones who have not don't like Fondue.
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12. Board Game: Soccer Tactics World [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:3536]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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The European soccer championship will take place in Switzerland this Summer (2008). The Swiss team wants to become european champion! The Hype is getting bigger and bigger, even if we see that our national Team plays very bad. Well, there are 2 main strategies to reach this goal:
1 if all the other teams become sick from visiting chocolate factories,
2 if all the players of all the other teams loose their bread in the fondue and have to jump of the cliffs, because they take the 'don't-loose-your-face-thing' too serious.
WDWLAS?
Even if the Swiss are not so good, we fight mean!
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13. Board Game: Schuss the Skiing Boardgame [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Skiing is our national sport. But the Austrian took all the fun out of this fantastic sport by winning nearly all the competitions in the last 10 years. This is humilating for the great skiing nation we are. We'll never ever forget this one, too, no way! It's been writtten down on page 245'098 of the big swiss national book of complaints against Austria - and it will stay there like carved in stone forever
WDWLAS?
Swiss people surely will forgive - but you must let them win!
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14. Board Game: Defend Your Capital [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Often poeple think that ZÜRICH is the capital of Switzerland, but it is not. The Capital of Switzerland of course is BERN.
WDWLAS?
Swiss people know nothing about the rest of the world except, that those who live there must be ignorants!
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15. Board Game: Europe Engulfed [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:476]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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The fact, that we didn't fight neither WW1 or WW2 is also very important for our identity. Staying firm against the rest of the world - that made switzerland what it is. Of course we're still persuaded, that this was possible by our own strength - we didn't ever need any help in our whole history, and if we were not as humble as we are, we surely had conquered the whole world at least twice.
WDWLAS?
Swiss people are very very proud of their humbleness - and justifiably so!
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16. Board Game: World Banking Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Switzerland has some of the biggest banks worldwide. And Zürich is their place (not Bern, as the swiss government has nothing, I repeat: nothing to do with the hot deals of the banks, but of course taxes the gains). Money does not smell - I'd say this is not the thing - but money in safes in a swiss bank will not tell any story either - and that's what it's all about. Right on the Airport e.g. money from dictators or military leaders is gagged by some very experienced lawyers and then brought to the banks, where it's firmly closed in safes. That's why it's always so quiet around swiss number accounts, and that's why many people 'round the world are so grateful to find a place where they can send their money to.
WDWLAS?
Swiss people are so humble that they will rend any dirty service just to make feel people from all over the world very comfortable.
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17. Board Game: Jumping to Conclusions [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cédric Rothacher
Switzerland
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Coclusion of the List:
I'd say the main problem swiss people have, is that their not different from any other (except austrians of course!!)
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18. Board Game: Jass [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:4427]
Bernhard von Gunten
Switzerland
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Bern
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There is one point missing: Swiss gaming beyond Jassen!

Swiss do like to play games (not only with our eastern neighbours). At the other hand it ain't easy to find people to play with.

Let's take for an example this guy from our village. At daytime he works for the local community, teaches kids and just seems to be a regular swiss father. But at game night, he shows his real face! This guy does not play to win, this man plays to defeat! People from our new gaming group are really frightend today.

So beware of swiss board game geeks! (And start running if you hear the name of cero!)

Btw: GREAT GEEK LIST !
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19. Board Game: Pikemen [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:4317]
Rick Holzgrafe
United States
San Jose
California
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The Swiss Pike was a wooden pole, anywhere from 3 to 7 meters long, and sharpened on one end. Along with the Welsh longbow and clothyard shaft, the Swiss Pike helped bring an end to the days of mounted, armored knights. Formerly, a knight was nearly invulnerable to any threat except another knight, and their heavy chargers could ride down and trample anybody else.

But a simple soldier armed only with a Swiss Pike and a bit of determination could bring down a mounted knight! You just wait for the knight to charge, then plant the butt of the pike in the ground, lower the point till it aims at the horse, and stay put (this is the hard part). Like a freight train, a mounted knight in full charge can neither stop nor turn on a dime. The pike will impale the horse and with a little luck, the rider too.

The obsolescence of battlefield armor eventually gave rise to my favorite sport of Fencing, where you must defend yourself as well as attack with your weapon, because you have no armor to passively hide inside.

And WDWLAS?

Swiss people are stupid brave and determined enough to squat down and hold still while a fully-armed-and-armored mounted knight tries to ride right over them.
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20. Board Game: 1844: Switzerland [Average Rating:8.50 Overall Rank:1678]
Paul M
United States
Elkhart
Indiana
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What I know about Swissness:

My first introduction - LINK
A landlocked country does have a navy - LINK
A wonderful example of nationalism - LINK
Switzerland is the birthplace of - LINK
And a pretty cool chart - LINK

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21. Board Game: Illuminati [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1799]
Big Guy
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Not to disparage the Swiss banking community or anything, but I think they're behind a secret plot to take over the world...
 
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22. Board Game: Holidays in Switzerland [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Dan Rosewater
Switzerland
Zürich
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Swiss precision watches

When you've visited all mountains , chocolate or cheese are all eaten up but still want a valuable souvenir... go for a swiss watch. But not a cheap battery driven quartz LCD one, a true mechanic one. Of course this will cost you the same as a new middleclass car, but when you can afford holidays in switzerland, then also an expensive watch.
Well if you don't believe me, even James Bond doesn't leave his headquarter without his Omega.

Luxury Brands to look for (excerpt in alphabetical order):
Audemars Piguet & Cie
Breguet
Breitling
Franck Müller
Girard-Perregaux
IWC Schaffhausen
Jaeger-LeCoultre
Montblanc
Omega
Patek Philippe
Rado
Rolex
Tag Heuer
Ulysse Nardin
Vacheron & Constantin
Zenith

And no, Casio isn't made in Switzerland
 
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23. Board Game: Tennis [Average Rating:4.87 Overall Rank:10363]
Gary Webster
United States
Littleton
CO
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And don't forget that the dominant tennis player for the last three years or more has been the Swiss gentleman, Roger Federer.
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24. Board Game: Tour of Switzerland [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Dan Rosewater
Switzerland
Zürich
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Not to forget Swiss traditional folk singing.
This is an example between Jodel and Zäuerli:

It sounds odd to you? So why do you think I added this arrrh
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25. Board Game: Money! [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1012]
Wendell
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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All the little chicks with crimson lips, go...
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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And let us not forget the cold, antiseptic sting of the Swiss franc, now the third-most important European currency behind the Euro and pound sterling!
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