A Tribute to Ameritrash
Robert Martin
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What with all the attention given to the latest fad in gaming, I figured it was about time that we all looked back to our roots and gave some credit where credit was due. Yeah, that's right - it's time to stand up and recognize the Ameritrash game. So what exactly makes an Ameritrash game? Find out below.
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1. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1102]
Board Game: Titan
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Dice

Tons of them. Ameritrash games prefer a bunch of cubes to go rolling across the table instead of all this auction nonsense. Am I going to bid to try and take out your Titan? No way, he's going to be crushed under a tide of rolling cubes!
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2. Board Game: Dungeon! [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:4125]
Board Game: Dungeon!
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Fantasy Themes

Speaking of Titans, Ameritrash games don't mess around on the themes. There are only like three acceptable themes for Ameritrash games, and fantasy is one of them. Where would we be without good old J.R.R. Tolkien?
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3. Board Game: Chainsaw Warrior [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:7336]
Board Game: Chainsaw Warrior
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Excellent Titles

Come on, you're not going to find an Ameritrash game called Dinky Donkey or Who Stole My Fish? Ameritrash games have real titles like Chainsaw Warrior!
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4. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:336] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Board Game: Arkham Horror
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Millions of Chits

OK, if it doesn't have a chit for every noun (and verb) in the rulebook, it's probably not an Ameritrash game.
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5. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:328] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked]
Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Insane Rulebooks

The rulebook must read like a tax form. Every paragraph needs a number like "18.3.98.1.B". If we're not talking at least 15, 20 pages forget it. It's probably a Euro game.
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6. Board Game: The Fury of Dracula [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:2194]
Board Game: The Fury of Dracula
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Chrome

Rules that might occur in 2 out of every 400 games. Still, when they happen they are damn cool because they're straight out of the freakin book! Who doesn't remember the game where Jonathan Harker actually killed the Count?
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7. Board Game: Fortress America [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1824]
Board Game: Fortress America
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Military Themes

So if you're not going to do a fantasy game, military themes are pretty good, especially if the USA can win most of the time. Bonus points if foreign dictators appear on the cover.
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8. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:389]
Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Plastic Minis

Wooden cubes are for sissies! Back in the day miniatures were pathetic little toys but thanks to advances in technology and a company called Fantasy Flight, they really should be called maxis now. On second thought, scratch that.
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9. Board Game: Twilight Imperium: Third Edition [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:83]
Board Game: Twilight Imperium: Third Edition
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Slews of Cards

And we're not talking colored, numbered cards here. We're talking cards that are covered with microscopic text that you can hardly even read. Half of which reads like a bad sci-fi novel.
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10. Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:805]
Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Franchise Tie-Ins

What could be better than a tie-in to a major motion picture? Especially one with a horror, sci-fi, or military theme.
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11. Board Game: Supremacy: The Game of the Superpowers [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:16396]
Board Game: Supremacy: The Game of the Superpowers
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Nukes

Nukes are pretty fun. Every game should have some.
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12. Board Game: Dark Tower [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2590]
Board Game: Dark Tower
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Gadgets

OK, so Euro games may have King Arthur and the Cosmic Ashtray, but they don't have the Dark Tower.
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13. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:6416] [Average Rating:5.80 Unranked]
Board Game: Zombies!!!
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Horror Themes

OK, so I lied and there are more than just three themes for Ameritrash games. But I'm pretty sure even Blockbuster would group some of these categories together.
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14. Board Game: The Warriors of Batak [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:16271]
Board Game: The Warriors of Batak
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Garish Artwork

OK, so we haven't got this market cornered what with Splotter being out there, but the Euros tend to lean towards conservatism or at least quality when it comes to artwork. Amertrash games really go all out.
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15. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:3165]
Board Game: Family Business
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Guns

Fourth amendment, man! Or is it the third? I dunno. Anyhow, guns are in our Constitution so I'm pretty sure they should be in our games too.
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16. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:475]
Board Game: Nexus Ops
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Science Fiction Themes

OK, so this one was supposed to come before Horror Themes but I forgot it. Cue Richard Irving to call me on the fact that I can't count. Anyhow, Sci Fi themed games. There are a lot of them. This one has fluorescent minis. How much more Amertrash can you get?
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17. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1326]
Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D.
Roy Stephens
United States
Winter Garden
FL
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Player Elimination

Awesome list, and it is nice to know that all my favorites are on here. But, you forgot one of the key complaints of all the "I'm concerned about...." Euro fans: Player elimination.

I enjoy winning, but I get a particular amount of glee by crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentation of their women! There is nothing finer than wiping out someone's last straggling group of soldiers, and then as they sadly remove their dead from the board, you demand that they go fetch you a soda, since they aren't doing anything else right now! The whole Eurogame "feel good" aspect of "Everyone is in the game until the end" is a bunch of crap. If I wipe you out, you are no longer a threat to me. Nothing is more annoying than the Eurogames with hidden bonus victory points at the end where some schmuck with a few route ticket cards can come back to win it all. A pox on your houses. I want to know who is a threat to me at all times. Like in Dune (book/movie): Duke Leto could threaten my power, so I will work to eliminate him.
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18. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:19971]
Board Game: Risk
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Conflict

Regardless of theme, almost every Amertrash game is going to feature conflict as noted by esteemed scholar MBarnes. Risk set the standard way back in the 50's and we're still slugging it out 50 years later.
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19. Board Game: Kremlin [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1216]
Board Game: Kremlin
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Randomness

I'm going to make a stand and say it - Randomness is fun! How awesome is it to roll a D20 and hit that 1 you needed to send the Party Chief to an early grave? Nothing adds excitement and drama to a game like some randomness. Sure, the most deserving player won't always win, but who cares? Games should be more about fun and less about winning.
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20. Board Game: Pizza Box Football [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3790]
Board Game: Pizza Box Football
Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Sports Themes

Sports themes kind of fell out of favor at some point in the 80's or so, but they used to be huge. Look at all the stuff Avalon Hill and 3M did back in the day. This one combines pizza and football - how much more apple pie can you get than that?
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21. Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1442]
Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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Plotted Movement

Simultaneous actions resolved by preallocation.
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22. Board Game: Nuclear War [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2971] [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Board Game: Nuclear War
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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Take That!

Games with little more to them than attacking the leader (or whoever you don't like at this moment). No multiplayer solitaire here.
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23. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:2424]
Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights
Michael Barnes
United States
Decatur
Georgia
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How about adding CREATIVITY, SENSE OF ADVENTURE, and IMAGINATIONto the list? Eurogames reward efficiency and strict adherence to procedure and if you really break it down, a lot of Euros are about doing a _job_. Whether you're a "master builder" trying to impress a king or planning postal routes, you represent a working joe punching the clock. Who the hell wants to do that? I play games to escape real life! I'd much rather be a sex-changed, grief-stricken, beastformed, penniless version of Sinbad! There's another level to it as well...Ameritrash games allow for creative and imaginative play, offering a much wider range of choices and options whereas Euros reward you for following procedure efficiently given a limited set of decisions. TotAN is the exact opposite of a Euro- it's all about imagination and creativity while the minimal mechanics completely take a back seat. When I play TotAN, I feel like I've participated in an epic adventure- contrast to Beowulf, where I feel like I've done nothing but participate in auctions in an attempt to "befriend" the titular character.
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24. Board Game: Empires of the Middle Ages [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:3474]
Board Game: Empires of the Middle Ages
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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Long Sequence of Events

No American game should have is sequence of play fit on a single sheet of paper.
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25. Board Game: The Longest Day [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:3638]
Board Game: The Longest Day
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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Long Playing Time

No American game should be playable in the amount of time a human being can survive without eating. (It must be a kick back from the fast food delivery industry)
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