The Top Classics of Ameritrash (and how they continue to survive)
- Sean FrancoUnited States
MissouriIf you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?
First, what is Ameritash? That gets discussed, debated, and defined non-stop on these boards, so I'm going to go with the famous quote by Justice Potter Stewart in 1964: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced ... but I know it when I see it." We all know Ameritrash, even if we disagree on individual cases.
Second, what is a classic Ameritrash game? Here, I drew inspiration from Matt Thrower's excellent breakdown of classic AT. However, I didn't follow his model in two very important ways:
1. I am only imposing a strict age requirement, and only on the first edition of a game. We'll say that the first edition had to have been published by 1990, an arbitrary year just after Doctor Who ended, but also around the time that Eurogaming was taking off. This was when Eurogames were emerging, but they were still the current thing rather than a separate or better thing.
2. I am, to the best of my ability, compiling statistics from not just the first editions of these AT classics, but also from subsequent editions and re-implementations. This means I'm pulling stats from games with multiple editions in the same entry (Titan), games with virtually identical editions but different entries (Tales of the Arabian Nights and Tales of the Arabian Nights), and games with very different rule sets but the same "soul" (The Fury of Dracula and Fury of Dracula). However, I am not including "sequel" editions that seek to change the scope or setting of the game (eg., Axis & Allies is included, but Axis & Allies: Pacific is not). Please let me know if I've missed an important edition's entry. However, I am specifically skipping miniatures and CCG re-implementations.
This is, of course, a starting list. I would like to add to it.
As far as the statistics go, I am taking the average rating (not Geek rating) from each game and multiplying it by the number of votes it received. This product then gets added to the similar result for each of the other editions of a single game, leading to a sum I am referring to as the game's massive. The quotient of the massive divided by the sum total of voters for all editions is our new average. It is this average that this list is sorted by. However, sorting by the massive also leads to an interesting list which indicates the overwhelming number of players a game has, even if it is more poorly regarded. I will include both as a reference at the end of this list. I am also trying to include, where I could locate it, the year of the Latest English printing of any edition of a game, to show how readily accessible it is to locate. The publishers mentioned with each edition were the publishers of the earliest edition of the game's entry, included as a point of reference.
At the end of this list, I will have an entry for nominating more games to add to this list. Please only suggest games as comments on this item. Please only put one game per comment, so that thumbs can help determine the general consensus of the nomination. Games published after 1990 will be ignored, as will the second and subsequent nominations for the same game.
- [+] Dice rolls