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Subject: Less active than war gamers... rss

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Thrift Thopter
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While I don't think the subdomains really need to be renamed, I do agree with Patrick's classifications of them.

I feel that while the genres of "thematic" games and wargames both are focused on their themes, thematic games usually tell a story, while wargames usually tell the history of war. As others have said, there are "thematic" games that are warlike, and wargames sometimes use fantasy or scifi themes, but I generally don't have trouble figuring out if I think a game is more of a thematic game or a war game.

Back to the original question, I'm still just slowly, getting into wargames myself, but I'm subscribed to the wargames subdomain like all the others, and I'll try to give my take on what I've seen their, while I still have an outsider's perspective.

Like Daniel (Coats) said at the beginning, most of the people who hang out in the wargame subdomain have something that brings them together. They are all interested in the history of war, and like to recreate famous battles from history in their games. The games of the other subdomains, while they might share some themes or mechanics, most subdomains don't have the same overall relationship between games that wargames have.

Discussing how well different games simulate historical conflicts is also a topic that most people might find more interesting than comparing the depth of games with perfect information, figuring out what games might give you the widest variety of deck customization possibilities, debating which games have the most balanced resource conversion mechanics, or even asking, "What's a coolest game with a certain theme?" These are just some examples, but you get the point.

This unifying interest between them, also generates non-game related threads related to that interest, which creates an enviorment which encourages them to discuss anything related to war history they might have on their mind. This in turn leads to more frequent discussions taking place, and the knowledge that there are others around who might want to discuss what they want to discuss. This is why their forum can get multiple threads a day, when the other subdomain forums get less than one a week.

Overall, I just think that wargaming is the easiest boardgaming sub-genre to devote oneself to rather than just enjoy multiple games from the genre, or devote yourself to a single game like some do with Chess, Go, or Magic: the Gathering.

As for this subdomain in particular, it's not that people don't want to get "hard core" about the games or themes that make it up, but if someone was seriously interested in simulating a certain situation in a narrative-oriented game, they'd most likely be into role-playing games, where you can pretty much do whatever you want, and discuss it in the RPGGeek forums. It's possible that RPGGeek may be stealing some of the population, who might otherwise be interested in this forum, if there weren't so many more interesting forums over there. I do subscribe here, but I do so, more the way I would to a recommendation forum, to help out whoever may come along, rather than I would to a forum with a community, where I enjoy reading the amusing topics people come up with. While someone could start posting in the subdomain forums every day, to try to make it feel more like a community, there's nothing already here to unify people the way there is in the wargame subdomain forums, at RPGGeek, and at VideoGameGeek.
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Andrew Kluessendorf
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At first I looked at the title of this thread and thought "No possible way!" And then I re-read it and realized it didn't say "Less attractive than war gamers..." - So carry on. :)
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Ted Spencer
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Originaldibbler wrote:
... Everyday people post in the WARGAMES subdomain...Why are we (the thematic games people) so silent?
There's more to talk about between wargamers. Consider the different histories: world, nations, states, armies, war/battles, wargames, wargame design, series designs, the history/evolution of wargame design/production. Then there's the different representations of certain battles/fronts over time, personal history, family history, history as a wargamer, styles of wargaming, ways to store wargames, tips on caring for components. And that's just a partial list.

The conversation is going to be different about thematic games. It isn't like you can discuss how to better reresent an Orc. And no one's family worked on the Galactic Council. So the connection to the game, the connection to the genre of games is very different.

Don't get me wrong. One of the most thrilling games I own is Defenders, an epic fantasy co-op! But other than saying that, I just don't know what else to say about it. As much as I love playing it, and as much as I get into the role, I prefer to play almost any hex & counter wargame.

That doesn't address why thematic game players are not posting as frequently here, but it does address your comparison.

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This thread proves something, though: any BGG forum can up its activity if someone posts something with "war gamers" in the subject line.
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Ted Spencer
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
This thread proves something, though: any BGG forum can up its activity if someone posts something with "war gamers" in the subject line.
Unless it's on the Thematic Games subdomain! whistle
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TS S. Fulk
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I gave up reading this when you said Agricola was thematic. It's a game with a well-tied theme, but there is nothing thematic about farming in the middle-ages. whistle

Garfink wrote:
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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TS S. Fulk
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What makes farming and war themes more serious than fictional ones?

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."
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Katzebar wrote:
...Even people who are big into that kind of thing probably don't own a whole lot and probably have a hard time getting groups large enough to play. In the meantime, it's almost worse on the digital front because I've heard reports of people taking months to play a game of TI3 with PBEM.

I, myself, have a hard time even justifying the purchase of thematic games that catch my eye. Starcraft looks so juicy to me, with people reporting that they have won just by unit placement or in a handful of turns...It just fills a void in my pitch-black heart. But then you look at the price tag. You think of your friends, each one at least a half hour away in completely different directions, all with their own jobs and lives, you just walk by that sad, giant box that continues to collect dust on your LGS's shelves.

And then, you let a nine day silence fall on the thematic games subforum.
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Steinar Vilnes
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It may be as simple as amerithrashers like eurogamers post in the main boardgaming forum rather than using the subforum for their respective boardgame subgenre?
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SteViln wrote:
It may be as simple as amerithrashers like eurogamers post in the main boardgaming forum rather than using the subforum for their respective boardgame subgenre?


I suppose so.
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SteViln wrote:
It may be as simple as amerithrashers like eurogamers post in the main boardgaming forum rather than using the subforum for their respective boardgame subgenre?


This is the reason
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Smoo wrote:
I figured it was because they're all doing their chatting at Fortress AT.


Likely. If the wargame forum was named something that the
hobby didn't identify with, it would be a lot quieter too.
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Enrico Viglino
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Smoo wrote:
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.


Not terribly when we can't agree on what it means to be a wargame.
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superflat wrote:
Originaldibbler wrote:
... Everyday people post in the WARGAMES subdomain...Why are we (the thematic games people) so silent?
There's more to talk about between wargamers. Consider the different histories: world, nations, states, armies, war/battles, wargames, wargame design, series designs, the history/evolution of wargame design/production. Then there's the different representations of certain battles/fronts over time, personal history, family history, history as a wargamer, styles of wargaming, ways to store wargames, tips on caring for components. And that's just a partial list.

The conversation is going to be different about thematic games. It isn't like you can discuss how to better reresent an Orc. And no one's family worked on the Galactic Council. So the connection to the game, the connection to the genre of games is very different.

Don't get me wrong. One of the most thrilling games I own is Defenders, an epic fantasy co-op! But other than saying that, I just don't know what else to say about it. As much as I love playing it, and as much as I get into the role, I prefer to play almost any hex & counter wargame.

That doesn't address why thematic game players are not posting as frequently here, but it does address your comparison.



There is plenty of those things to discuss in Thematic games too... Let us take a comparison of the fall of Imperium Rex to that of the fall of the Roman Empire.... discuss
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Ed Federmeyer
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Originaldibbler wrote:

... Everyday people post in the WARGAMES subdomain...


I always figured it was because there's usually so much downtime in wargames. Might as well cruise the 'geek while my opponent does his thing...


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GuySmiley wrote:
Originaldibbler wrote:

... Everyday people post in the WARGAMES subdomain...


I always figured it was because there's usually so much downtime in wargames. Might as well cruise the 'geek while my opponent does his thing...

;)


Playing solo, I find myself doing so to CREATE downtime.
I do my games in little bites, and need breaks.
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calandale wrote:
GuySmiley wrote:
Originaldibbler wrote:

... Everyday people post in the WARGAMES subdomain...


I always figured it was because there's usually so much downtime in wargames. Might as well cruise the 'geek while my opponent does his thing...




Playing solo, I find myself doing so to CREATE downtime.
I do my games in little bites, and need breaks.


I hear that. I'm doing a 7 Ages solo right now (is that one on your to-do list?) and I can only do about 1 full turn before needing to clear my head. So much stuff to keep track of, it's mentally exhausting.
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Enrico Viglino
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Smoo wrote:


(is that one on your to-do list?)


[listitem=2067585]Yep[/listitem]

Quote:
and I can only do about 1 full turn before needing to clear my head. So much stuff to keep track of, it's mentally exhausting.


For me, it's even simple light stuff. When playing opposed,
I can smoke and not focus heavily when it's not my turn.
I really despise being in a situation where I have to pay
attention to the game all the time. Alone, I'll wander off
and clip some counters between actions. It drags things out more,
but it's the only way I enjoy playing.
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Enrico Viglino
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Pfft...buried in the sub-forum, so those who might be
made aware of an attempt to enliven it shan't see it.


How like this place.


Anyhow, I was thinking of one further reason wargames get
a lot more action - many of the games have a heavy enough
commitment that talking about playing them is of more interest.
You don't see a lot of AAR's and the like of people playing the
lighter wargames - but a game which lasts several sessions allows
for the time to discuss.

Another factor may just be that the sub-forum has always
been given a bit more latitude than the rest of the site -
with less moderation. The more you restrict people's conversations,
and the more you re-categorize stuff, the less likely there will
be open discussions.
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Christopher Scatliff
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calandale wrote:

[listitem=2067585]Yep[/listitem]

The fact that I had already thumbed this item in a previous visit is illustrative of my memory.
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Cracky McCracken
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Originaldibbler wrote:
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?


Because it's supposed to be called Ameritrash... but thank God a bunch of do-gooders saved us from that travesty shake
AT players just post right at a game's forum.
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