Last week, we took a look at some of the different terms that are common in the board gaming hobby and broke down their meaning for the uninitiated. As with any group of people who share an interest, gamers tend to create a shorthand or nicknames for types of games, common behaviour, or different tropes that we see on a regular basis.
For this week’s CMON Feature Friday, we wanted to continue to examine some of these terms and help those new to the hobby with some of their definitions.
Sometimes you have a bad game. It happens to everyone. The dice don’t go your way, your cards aren’t coming up, or everyone seems to be picking on you. Hey, we’ve all been there. However, sometimes it gets so bad that mid-game you decide to take your ball and go home. Rage Quitting occurs when someone leaves a game out of anger. It can also lead to table or board flipping. Rage quitting is a pretty big offense in gaming. Remember, no matter how bad a time you’re having, someone else might be having a really great game. You quitting midway through robs them of that fun. And isn’t having fun what games are really about? Next time you feel your frustration boiling over, remind yourself it’s just a game. Have some fun with the situation. Try a strategy you never would before. Bad games can be seen as opportunities, as long as we’re able to separate ourselves from the need to win. Games are as fun as the people we play with, so make sure you’re someone that people are happy to see sit down at a table.
(Ludere tardus autem)
Analysis Paralysis, or AP, is a pretty annoying trait that some board gamers have become afflicted with. It refers to a player who is so overwhelmed by the desire to max out all of their turns, that they end up taking forever to make a decision, thus bringing the flow of a game down to a virtual standstill. Further compiling the problem, the other players usually have an eternity to wait for their next turn and so when it comes around, they execute their actions immediately, giving the AP player very little time before the momentum of the game is in their hands again. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of ways to address this affliction. Some gamers just need to look at a situation from every angle and they won’t feel happy unless they have the time to do it. If you have an AP player in your group, try agreeing to set time limits on turns before starting the game, or choose games with simpler decisions. We all have weird quirks about the ways we play, so try and be accommodating and understanding of others, so they’ll return the favor for whatever strange thing you do during a game.
A Worker Placement game is one where you’re in control of a team that you’ll send out to do your bidding throughout the course of the game. They could be robots, or family members, or some sort of animal. There are usually locations on a main or personal board where you’ll place your workers to gain a benefit associated with that space. This can mean earning resources, points, cards, favorable turn order, or some other in-game advantage. The tension from worker placement games usually comes from the fact that once a player claims a location with one of their workers, other players either can’t go to that same location or have to pay a penalty of some sort to do so. There have been a lot of excellent worker placement games over the years, but two new ones to check out are The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire (referred to as a ‘Thug Placement’ game by designer Eric M. Lang) and Lorenzo il Magnifico, which uses dice each round to determine the strength of the workers being placed.
Beer and Pretzels Games
A Beer and Pretzels game usually refers to a game that’s so light and filled with such randomness that a long-term strategy is nearly impossible to employ. These types of games often have silly or light-hearted themes to accompany the unpredictable gameplay. Many gamers have a problem with games that get a little too random, but a Beer and Pretzels game (at least, a good one) is designed in such a way that the fun of the experience trumps any grumpiness players may have over unexpected outcomes in a game. These games are usually pretty fast to learn and play. The goal is relaxed fun and if you know that going in, they can deliver the goods!
Those are just a few terms and classifications that we use in modern games. You might have known each one of them on the list, but keep in mind what is was like for you when you were first starting out. We’ll be back in the future with definitions for more gaming terms. As always, we want to know what you think. Reach out on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #CMONFeatureFriday to share your thoughts.