Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

What Is A Euro-Game?

Euro-games were originally called German games and are sometimes called Designer games because the designer’s name is printed on the box.

A standard definition of Euro-games mentions that they have a short playing time, the rules are simple, there is no player elimination and there is some degree of player interaction where your move can affect your opponent(s).   For me, the main difference is that you have meaningful choices.

Almost everyone’s heard of Monopoly but this type of roll-and-move game gives you very few choices and no sense of control.  You roll two dice and move where they send you.  Now your choice is buy or don’t buy or trade.  If you already own the property you have the choice to build or don’t build.

Now let’s see…what if you rolled three dice instead?  You can use any one die for your move, another die to earn you money and the third to fine an opponent.  Now you have choices.  And what if, at the end of your turn, you were given the chance to invest in someone else’s monopoly?  Yes, every time Uncle Fred collected rents for the Boardwalk/Park Place monopoly, you would get a small percentage for each share you held.  Of course, the investment price is more for the more expensive monopolies.  Now you have even more choices.

This is just a simple example of what I mean by choices.  In a Euro-game, the choices you make decide your fate, not the roll of a die.

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4 Responses to “What Is A Euro-Game?”

  1. Rich said

    I have observed that in America, the term Euro-Game is used to differentiate games from German/European designers from games designed/publihsed by American companies (for which the rather perjorative term Ameritrash is used)

    But what do the Germans and Europeans call Euro-Games?

  2. sodaklady said

    Though many Euro-games are designed by Europeans, there are also some American and Asian designers, so who designs and publishes the game is not the deciding factor, but rather how the game plays.

    What do Germans call them? … they call them games.:)

    Seriously, as far as I know, everyone who plays this type of game calls them Euro-games because that’s where they originated and it differentiates them from the American roll-and-move games of yesteryear.

  3. Kevin S. said

    As far as I understand, Ameritrash refers more to the production level and rules of a game more so than the nationality of the designer/s. Much the way American movies have a reputation for being lavishly over-produced (for good or bad) Ameritrash games can tend to have expensively produced game bits, plastic figures, etc. I believe they also tend to focus on direct conflict, like armies clashing, or warriors battling, etc. The publisher Fantasy Flight Games tends to make these types of games, with Tide Of Iron being a good example. Tons of little plastic infantry, tanks, vehicles, etc. Hundreds of different cardboard counters/chits/cards, map-boards, etc.

    Personally I enjoy both Ameritrash and Euro-games, although I have a lot more Euro-games in my collection as they tend to be more accessible to casual gamers. Ameritrash games, like Tide Of Iron or Twilight Imperium (Also FFG) tend to have long, complex rule sets and lengthy playing times.

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