During a discussion on gaming in general, I wondered what percentage of wargamers also willingly play Euros. And, of course, everyone had a completely different guess with their attendant theory on how that number came to them.

Based on comments overhead at CSW Expo, the games I saw being played in the Annex at the Expo, what gets talked about in the "On The Table" and "Out of the Wrapper" folders on CSW, my guess was that 50% or more of the wargamers also play Euros. The other gamers in my group were guessing MUCH lower. My theory is that, while wargamers generally have a strong interest in a specific engagement, time period, method of combat, whatever... they also game to have fun and, therefore, will willingly cross over to Euro/Ameri-games. (I stress the willingly part - not just playing them because it's all they can get their SO to play or due to a lack of local opponents.)

The only database I can glean info from to test my theory is BoardGameGeek, which has a decided slant to Euro/Ameri-games. Will this give me a balanced look at the depth of crossover? Do hardcore wargamers use BGG and bother to record their plays, their collection, etc.? Is there a better site from which to dredge this information?

Something to look into...

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Comment by Chris Fawcett on July 21, 2008 at 8:42am
I was pretty much a consim snob until recently, much to my own loss as it turns out.

I resisted even playing Settlers when it first came out, thinking such games were worthy only of the label "toys," certainly beneath my sophisticated views on what made for "real" games. After all, I'd been on the hard stuff for a looong time, and I wasn't about to play around with these foo-foo things. But, I finally relented when three of my good wargaming buddies told me to shut up and just try it....

I was absolutely pathetic in my first game, but something spoke to me in that experience, and I insisted we play maybe five or six more times, right then, right there. I don't remember if I actually won any of those games, but the Euro genre won over a convert (though still only tentatively at that point). Later, at a 1-day minicon I organized, amidst the "real" wargames and such on the tables, I saw some guys playing this funky looking game in the Mediterranean, with brown plastic ships and little multicolored crate-looking things, and flags all over the place. It looked goofy, but the guys looked like they were taking it seriously (it was Serenissima, and I didn't know it then, but that game eventually became one of my "holy grail" games until I recently found a new copy). I was exposed to the genre, but I didn't really get into it until much later.

Shortening the story a bit, I spent a long time in an area where there was little gaming opportunity of any sort, and mutiplayer games became the norm when tyring to get something together. After this exile from regular gaming, I moved to a much larger metro area a year ago, and discovered more facets of the boardgaming hobby, especially the Euros. I am still a wargamer and enjoy the better military games out there, though I have become much more discriminating about the games I like. I am also semi-formally studying game design theory, and some of the lessons I have been learning have exposed most of the wargames (many I thought I liked) as poorly-designed games, while at the same time, many of the Euros I am running into are found to be very good games. Not all of either category, mind you, but the number of bad wargames does exceed the number of bad Euros I've encountered. It may be that I was pretty much buying too many wargames up to a few years ago, so the odds of getting a bad one were much greater. I've long been critical of our hobby in that regard, that we consumers have allowed the crappy games to get published because we somehow couldn't refuse to buy them.

There are excellent wargames, mind you, and I'm not about to bash the hobby that's been a source for great enjoyment for me for over 30 years, but with a wider exposure to better games and a refined outlook on what makes a good game good, I have earmarked a whole slew of marginal games from my shelves for elimination from my collection. Most of them are older wargames that I have decided I'll never have the chance to play again, some are very badly designed games (based on any number of design criteria) that I don't want to waste my limited time on anymore.

So, bottom line is I am a gamer who loves a good game: Euro...wargame, it doesn't make that much of a difference anymore. And at least half of the gamers I know would describe themselves the same way.
Comment by Bill Wood on July 21, 2008 at 6:17am
I have not played any Euros of any kind.
Comment by Skip Franklin on July 20, 2008 at 10:19pm
I like Blokus, Carcassone and a few others. My collection of "other" games is growing.
Comment by Kai Jensen on July 20, 2008 at 6:13pm
In this context, a "Euro" refers to a boardgame that (generally) does not have a war motif, rarely uses dice and is commonly built around a theme. If I understand it correctly, they are called "Eurogames" because German game designers were cranking them out in great volume before American game designers jumped on their bandwagon. Examples from the current market are "Agricola" (a farming game), "Stone Age" (ancient peoples developing art, weaving, metal working, etc.) and "Brass" (development of textile mills, coal mines and shipping at the beginning of the steam power).
Comment by Eric Walters on July 20, 2008 at 8:24am
I don't mind playing Euros, it's just that I don't buy them much (I do have a copy of SETTLERS OF CATAN and FURY OF DRACULA, if those count). Problem isn't that I don't enjoy them, it's that I'm out of room and the traditional wargames, military history books, cigars, fine wine, and pure malt Scotch pretty much soak up my disposable income. But if I'm invited to learn/play something, I don't turn that down unless I've got a commitment to play something else. Some of these Euro games are pretty clever and enticing...
Comment by Greg Blanchett on July 19, 2008 at 11:32pm
I tried Amun-Re, but I can't get into games where I'm playing to figure out or against the "system". So for me the answer is "No Euros"... however, I do go for lighter wargame attempts at "crossover" games like Commands & Colors.
Comment by Dave Murray on July 19, 2008 at 5:06pm
I play both, but I am at heart a wargamer. I do look on BGG but only once or so a week where I check into Consimworld most days. Of the 15-20 gamers I come across very few check out either Consim or BGG. the people i play with are generally split between euro and wargamers - not much cross-over - a couple maybe.

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