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Would you play an abstract with the complexity of a wargame?

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Author Topic: Would you play an abstract with the complexity of a wargame?  (Read 620 times)
The Grinch
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2014, 08:57:48 pm »

No.  Details and chrome are easier to assimilate when they represent something real.
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2014, 06:39:11 am »

No, I can't do that. No matter what game I am playing, I assume a very strong role-player mentality. Presumably, I have this approach because most of my gaming during my formative teen / early adult years was with role playing games. Even though I've moved on to other gaming, I've never turned it off.

So, I have a hard time conceptualizing games that do not have some amount of chrome, topic, or theme. At some level, I really need to feel like I am in someone's shoes.

Incidentally, I think this RPG approach to gaming keeps me from being "gamey" with systems, and helps me solo stuff. I am always thinking about what makes sense, and I typically shy away from actions that are purely for "getting ahead" in a game, even if well within the rules. People who wonder about solo gaming can't seem to understand that "winning" is often a relative term... Even though I am playing to win, I am not "playing to win," but for the story.

-------------------------------------

Something else, I once claimed on BGG (I think in General) that every game could be boiled down to a spreadsheet. This is certainly true of wargames, where units, mechanics, hex locations, everything could be reduced to cells, numbers, and equations. Now I don't have the technical expertise, but I've pondered the possibility of taking a relatively simple but unquestioned wargame, such as Afrika II, and converting it into some sort of pure spreadsheet. Could you then convert it into some kind of abstract game, with brightly colored wooden pieces, marbles, and a board that has no semblance whatsoever to a traditional wargame mapsheet?  I mean completely different, where what used to be hexes is now a deck of cards, the dice are now some kind of clever party game voting mechanism, and the units themselves are now stationary as the board, or something like that.  In the end, the victory conditions would be some sort of mathematical equivalent to the original game, and the new abstract monstrosity reasonably matches the same results, although perhaps in a more abstract language.

I don't know, and to be honest, I'm really just rambling during my first coffee Monday morning at work.

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Calandale
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2014, 11:17:42 am »

Translating between different representations is a fairly easy process. Whether or not those representations
can be grasped by human players is another matter.
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2014, 07:50:51 am »

So basically it boils down to mnemonics. Complex non-abstracts are easier to learn because our brains map game systems to real-world objects to grok relationships between them. Interesting.
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Calandale
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2014, 11:37:40 am »

I disagree that's ALL it is. There are people who will only play games on one
subject matter (say WWII). The subject actually matters. For me, the very
fact that a game represents a real process allows me to compare it to that
process and then simulate other choices with the system. I tend to drop
games which don't adequately represent their subject matter - things like
Dominant Species, BECAUSE they are too complex to just be games.
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usrlocal
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2014, 05:13:55 pm »

You ever tried Elemental Rift?
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Calandale
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2014, 05:35:25 pm »

Not I
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usrlocal
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2014, 05:41:54 pm »

Never mind. It's a bad example in the end. Game elements do (vaguely) map to real-world stuff.

Hmmm....
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Calandale
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2014, 05:44:31 pm »

You have to remember, I have trouble with things mapping a little off.

I just don't see much point to complexity burden that's not meant to simulate
something. I can understand (I guess) the desire to play something as chaotic
as reality as a pure challenge - but I'd guess it's a pretty small niche which
would go after pure abstracts with that quality.
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dragonblaster
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2014, 07:33:51 pm »

The problem is that eurogamers
are reaching a point where they crave more game there, but they
are just layering on more complexity to what are essentially abstracts.
I guess it works for some of them though.

Very true!  Makes investing your time in them seem wasted.  Why learn a hodge podge of **** only to stroke a mechanic?  You guys play Amerigo yet?  THat one absolutely killed the euro for me.  Exactly what Calandale is talking about.  It is supposed to be about The New World but it's really just 5 Abstract games interacting.
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