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toucana
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Kingdom Death: Monster - A Hobby Game
   March 17th, 2019, 7:03 pm

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For well over twenty years a dominant trend in modern board games has been towards what are known as ’Euros’ - intricate worker placement games with strong historical themes based around economic engine building, resource management, trading relationships, and the development of area cartels and power blocs.

The great originals were Catan (1995) and Carcassonne (2004) which came from Germany. These so-say ‘gateway’ games were credited with helping to convert an entire generation of younger players to a radically new style of board gaming. They were quickly joined by a growing avalanche of other classic new Euro style board games such as El Grande (1995) which is set in 15th century Spain at the time of the Reconquistada, or Power Grid (2004), originally a crayon-rail game from Germany called Funkenschlag (Sparks) which mimics the macro-economics of the energy supply market.

Eurogames have become increasingly more intricate and richly themed as in Castles of Mad King Ludwig (2014) based around the deranged architectural follies of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, or Nippon (2015) which is based around the dramatic industrial revolution in Japan during the Meiji period from 1868 to 1912. The taste for Eurogames has become so pronounced in the English speaking boardgaming world, that it’s almost impossible to find a top ten round-up of new titles that isn’t dominated by them. Here is a recent board game reviewer’s vlog by ‘The Broken Meeple’ representing this trend:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbndHBPJZx4

His choices for top 10 games of 2018 are :
1. Architects of The West Kingdom
2. Empires of The Void
3. Rising Sun
4. Detective
5. Cerebria
6. Teotihuacan
7. Western Legends
8. Everdell
9. War Chest
10. Lowlands


Predictably, at least six of these fall squarely into the category of heavy-duty Eurogames, including the top listed game Architects Of The West Kingdom.

By chance, just after watching that particular video review, I stumbled upon another similar offering by a pair of Spanish speaking game bloggers, Penelope and Ismael, who call themselves ‘Discipulos de Armitage’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDGmXR8s0Ws

After switching on the subtitles and auto-translation, I discovered their top 10 Juegos de Mesa of 2018 are:
1. Las Mansiones de la Locura (Mansions of Madness) - 2nd Ed.
2. Tomb Of Annihilation
3. Eldritch Horror (Masks of Nyalarthotep)
4. The Order of Vampire Hunters
5. Runebound
6. Folklore - The Affliction
7. Arkham Horror LCG
8. Sword & Sorcery
9. El Simbolo Arcano (Elder Sign - Omens Of The Pharaoh)
10. Star Wars Rebellion


Even allowing for the fact that these reviewers clearly have a pronounced taste for horror/fantasy RPGs, and a positive fixation on H.P. Lovecraft inspired games about Cthulu, the lack of overlap with the English list is quite striking. The Spanish top 10 list doesn’t have a single Eurogame in it. I was already aware that leading French board game designers such as Antoine Bauza (Ghost Stories,Takenoko,Tokaido) tend to avoid Eurogame style mechanisms and themes, but it was a surprise to find that Spanish board gamers take so little interest in them either.

Are Eurogames really just a peculiar fixation shared mainly by Germans and Anglo Saxons ? I intend to study this further.

Last edited by toucana on December 26th, 2018, 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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