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Subject: Less active than war gamers... rss

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Original Dibbler
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It has benn nine days that someone has posted in the THEMATIC GAMES subdomain... Everyday people post in the WARGAMES subdomain.

Why are we (the thematic games people) so silent?
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Daniel Coats
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Wargames is where it's at.
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Daniel Coats
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But mostly it's because the daily Case Blue joke. But seriously, I think there is a history angle that makes the community more active than just the gaming.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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dandechino wrote:
But mostly it's because the daily Case Blue joke. But seriously, I think there is a history angle that makes the community more active than just the gaming.


We play games. War gamers talk about things other than playing games.

EDIT:
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Paolo Robino
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kvenosdel wrote:
We play games. War gamers talk about things other than playing games.

War gamers talk about things instead of playing games.
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Eric Lai
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What exactly is a thematic game? I've always been confused about this categorization, it seems rather broad. Horror games are thematic, Wargames are certainly thematic, even some Strategy games are thematic.

This confusion maybe a cause for the lack of activity in the subforum, or this confusion maybe just me.
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Paolo Robino
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Garfink wrote:
What exactly is a thematic game?

Thematic Games contain a strong theme which drives the overall game experience, creating a dramatic story ("narrative"). Some well-known examples are Battlestar Galactica, Twilight Imperium and War of the Ring.

This type of game often features player to player direct conflict (with the chance of elimination), dice rolling, and plastic miniatures.

A Thematic Game is usually created around its main dramatic theme, which its rules and mechanics aim to depict. This is contrasted with Strategy Games, also known as "Eurogames." Eurogames tend to be built around an elegant set of mechanics, with a more general theme (e.g. Power Grid or Agricola).

Thematic Games are sometimes called Experience Games or "Ameritrash" games (meaning "American-style boardgames"). The latter name can be controversial, but is generally embraced by long-time lovers of this genre and not considered derogatory.
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Darrell Hanning
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You know, I've read that "definition" multiple times, now, and the only word that comes to my mind is "bullcrap".

There is nothing in boardgaming more tied to its theme than a conflict simulation. If you use the term "thematic" to mean anything other than how faithful something is to its theme, then you're just inventing an arbitrary definition. Which means any of us can also come up with our own definitions for words.

At which point language becomes useless.
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Eric Lai
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Maybe the answer is that there is simply a great overlap of categories and thematic games are a group that overlaps with most other sub-categories. For example; I (and many others) would consider War of the Ring a Wargame and Thematic, Twilight Imperium as Ameritrash & Thematic and Arkham Horror is a Horror & Thematic game and as you mentioned, Agricola is a Euro, worker placement that is Thematic....

Even though that there is some overlap between various games in most sub-forum categories, Thematic Games is certainly the one that has the most overlap, so much so that it almost seems redundant. Especially when there are Abstract games that are Thematic!

I think the broadness dilutes its audience and hence a relatively quiet subforum.

(Caveat: {Before anyone decides to go Troll on me} I am in no way advocating the extinguishing of the Thematic Games as a subforum, I am just making an objective observation with some of my own hypothesis. I think that the numbers of members participating in any one subforum speaks for that subforum's vibrancy without regard for any one person's objective or subjective opinions: ie. The numbers speak for themselves.)
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Christopher Scatliff
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I figured it was because they're all doing their chatting at Fortress AT.
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Adam Cirone
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Wargames do have a historical context to discuss, and since many wargamers enjoy reading and talking about history, this tends to generate good discussions. Wargaming as a genre has been around longer than most other game genres, so the there is a greater amount of "the history of wargaming" to discuss.

Many wargames cover the same wars and battles (Eastern Front being the most common), so much discussion can be had at comparing and contrasting how different designers portray various conflicts.
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DarrellKH wrote:
You know, I've read that "definition" muliple times, now, and the only word that comes to my mind is "bullcrap".
Agreed. Not to mention BGG is about the only place that uses the term "Thematic Games," which makes it even less representative of what's out there.

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Ben Delp
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Garfink wrote:
What exactly is a thematic game? I've always been confused about this categorization, it seems rather broad. Horror games are thematic, Wargames are certainly thematic, even some Strategy games are thematic.

This confusion maybe a cause for the lack of activity in the subforum, or this confusion maybe just me.


It's not just you.
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Original Dibbler
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fightcitymayor wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
You know, I've read that "definition" muliple times, now, and the only word that comes to my mind is "bullcrap".
Agreed. Not to mention BGG is about the only place that uses the term "Thematic Games," which makes it even less representative of what's out there.



I think the definition would be quite good if you add the phrase "and that is not a war game".
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Err.....more confused now....

Wargames or thematic gamers??? A gamer is always a gamer no matter what game he/she plays...
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Ben Delp
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Some general foolishiness would be good for the Subdomain. It would make it a fun place to be. It's worked quite well in the wargame subdomain; I take part in it every chance I get.
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Bill Eldard
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kvenosdel wrote:
dandechino wrote:
But mostly it's because the daily Case Blue joke. But seriously, I think there is a history angle that makes the community more active than just the gaming.


We play games. War gamers talk about things other than playing games.

EDIT:


And inadequate playtesting of most wargames generates a lot of posts about rules interpretations and gameplay anomalies.

Other factors include:

- Comparing the latest Bulge (Gettysburg; Russian Front; et al) game to the 50 previous games on the subject.

- The finer points of wargaming like how best to clip the corners on counters.

- NATO symbols vs. silhouettes



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Darrell Hanning
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Eldard wrote:
kvenosdel wrote:
dandechino wrote:
But mostly it's because the daily Case Blue joke. But seriously, I think there is a history angle that makes the community more active than just the gaming.


We play games. War gamers talk about things other than playing games.

EDIT:


And inadequate playtesting of most wargames generates a lot of posts about rules interpretations and gameplay anomalies.

Other factors include:

- Comparing the latest Bulge (Gettysburg; Russian Front; et al) game to the 50 previous games on the subject.

- The finer points of wargaming like how best to clip the corners on counters.

- NATO symbols vs. silhouettes





Let's not forget the discussions about whether playing wargames is antithetical to peace, whether playing wargames is the cruelty of ignoring the cruelty to war's victims, whether making SS counters white-on-black is glorifying them, whether anyone can ever play the WWII Germans without being the antichrist, etc., etc.

Ah, fun times.
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Originaldibbler wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
You know, I've read that "definition" muliple times, now, and the only word that comes to my mind is "bullcrap".
Agreed. Not to mention BGG is about the only place that uses the term "Thematic Games," which makes it even less representative of what's out there.

I think the definition would be quite good if you add the phrase "and that is not a war game".

That's what I was going to say (but I'd close "wargame" up and make it one word so that it could mean "conflict simulation" and not be confused with all the other games about war--like Small World).

The subdomain could be renamed "Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Fiction Games." That would tend to exclude games with serious themes about war, farming, or whatever. There would, of course, be overlaps. War of the Ring (first edition) would fit in the Wargames category as well as the "Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Fiction Games" category. And Neuroshima Hex! might fit both of those categories and "Abstract Games" or "Strategy Games" as well.

Which makes me think "Strategy Games" could also stand to be renamed. Maybe "Semi-Abstract Games."
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Bill Eldard
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Originaldibbler wrote:
fightcitymayor wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
You know, I've read that "definition" muliple times, now, and the only word that comes to my mind is "bullcrap".
Agreed. Not to mention BGG is about the only place that uses the term "Thematic Games," which makes it even less representative of what's out there.

I think the definition would be quite good if you add the phrase "and that is not a war game".

That's what I was going to say (but I'd close "wargame" up and make it one word so that it could mean "conflict simulation" and not be confused with all the other games about war--like Small World).

The subdomain could be renamed "Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Fiction Games." That would tend to exclude games with serious themes about war, farming, or whatever. There would, of course, be overlaps. War of the Ring (first edition) would fit in the Wargames category as well as the "Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Fiction Games" category. And Neuroshima Hex! might fit both of those categories and "Abstract Games" or "Strategy Games" as well.

Which makes me think "Strategy Games" could also stand to be renamed. Maybe "Semi-Abstract Games."


Why is it necessary to assign games to "domains" and "sub-domains?" The distinctions expressed in BGG are usually arbitrary. Case in point, the eternal squabbling over Twilight Struggle.

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Christopher Scatliff
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Eldard wrote:
Why is it necessary to assign games to "domains" and "sub-domains?"


Because "there's a great new wargame coming out" is more informative than "there's a great new game coming out".

This seems self-evident to me. That the question needs to be asked is perplexing.
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Eldard wrote:
Why is it necessary to assign games to "domains" and "sub-domains?" The distinctions expressed in BGG are usually arbitrary. Case in point, the eternal squabbling over Twilight Struggle.

Why is it necessary for a bookstore or library to set up separate sections for Fiction, US History, World History, Languages, Business, Gardening, etc.?

Why is it necessary for a music store to assign sections for Jazz, Classical, Rock, Country, and so forth?

Why does a video outlet like Netflix set up categories like Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Family, Animation, etc.?

I think you can see why.
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Bill Eldard
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
Eldard wrote:
Why is it necessary to assign games to "domains" and "sub-domains?" The distinctions expressed in BGG are usually arbitrary. Case in point, the eternal squabbling over Twilight Struggle.

Why is it necessary for a bookstore or library to set up separate sections for Fiction, US History, World History, Languages, Business, Gardening, etc.?

Why is it necessary for a music store to assign sections for Jazz, Classical, Rock, Country, and so forth?

Why does a video outlet like Netflix set up categories like Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Family, Animation, etc.?

I think you can see why.


They set up categories so they can find or sell stuff.

Personally, I find most of the domain/subdomain discussions on BGG to be tribal in nature.

Consider the arguments over whether or not the following games are wargames:

- Fortress America

- Twilight Struggle

- A Few Acres of Snow

And in the end, does it really matter?



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p55carroll
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Eldard wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:
Eldard wrote:
Why is it necessary to assign games to "domains" and "sub-domains?" The distinctions expressed in BGG are usually arbitrary. Case in point, the eternal squabbling over Twilight Struggle.

Why is it necessary for a bookstore or library to set up separate sections for Fiction, US History, World History, Languages, Business, Gardening, etc.?

Why is it necessary for a music store to assign sections for Jazz, Classical, Rock, Country, and so forth?

Why does a video outlet like Netflix set up categories like Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Family, Animation, etc.?

I think you can see why.

They set up categories so they can find or sell stuff.

That's kinda what BGG does too. It's a user-driven marketing center for board games. We provide a lot of our own advertising hype, then buy into it and purchase more games. But different BGGeeks are after different kinds of games, so sorting smooths the process.

Quote:
Personally, I find most of the domain/subdomain discussions on BGG to be tribal in nature.

Well, that's what we are--tribes of geeky board-game consumers.

Quote:
Consider the arguments over whether or not the following games are wargames:

- Fortress America

- Twilight Struggle

- A Few Acres of Snow

And in the end, does it really matter?

It matters a little. I take the arguments as a clue that these are all newfangled wargames, if they're wargames at all. So I won't make the mistake of expecting old-fashioned hex-and-counter wargaminess from them.

Beyond that, no, it doesn't matter. But neither does most else in BGG.

Even if the BGG subdomains are no more significant than the various "Lands" at Disneyland (Adventureland, Frontierland, etc.), they're still fun--especially when there's friendly rivalry between fans of the various camps.
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Christopher Scatliff
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Eldard wrote:
They set up categories so they can find or sell stuff.

Personally, I find most of the domain/subdomain discussions on BGG to be tribal in nature.


Without classifications, how do I know which of these review articles to read?

- Android

- Shifting Sands

- Caylus

Two of them would be a waste of my time. The third fills me with warm dystopian fuzzies. Thank you, categories, for saving me time.

There are 100 of my examples for every one of your obscure cross-genre examples.
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