In resposne to "Digital Cardboard and Electric Dice" from the Escapist Forums: While it would seem that some people might be interested in a nicely designed board game after developing a taste for strategy games on the PC, I've found that it's more the exception than the rule that someone who enjoys a fantasy RPG also enjoys a game like D&D. That is, until possibly the most recent edition, which plays much more like a board game. I think the biggest obstacle for them to overcome is the need, at least in some way, to have to play as their character (the roleplaying part of it), rather than just move him around and kill stuff, though that could certainly be toned down.

Another board game issue is the very nature of unpacking, setting up and then teaching players the rules, and again I'm coming from a standpoint of people who like to game, especially on computers, and some might even be lapsed boardgamers or roleplayers. So many of them have drifted firmly into the clutches of the PC and console that there's a pretty serious playability gap when there's so much available online. I had a particularly hard time selling one such group on playing a game of Arkham Horror lately for just such a reason.

Now, especially with cheap and easy voice options like ventrilo and the behemoth that is WoW, so many players are happy to recreate those tabletop moments in a virtual space, and having been a significant part of both the tabletop and the online gaming community, the differences between the former and the latter are diminishing more and more.

- mattaui

I'm rather surprised that the article called Eurogames less cutthroat than American games. If anything, trying to force the other players to dump their crops in Puerto Rico or blocking the other players off of an exit route in Power Grid is more cutthroat than more randomly determined mechanics in American games. The themes are less explicitly aggressive in Eurogames, but the competition is fiercer because you know that if you can just out-think the other players, you can win the game - something that doesn't apply in many American games.

I would say that simplicity of rules is a very good thing in all games; it's not merely a limitation board games are forced into. If the important rules are too complex to be easily explained, then you can't learn them easily. If you can't learn them easily, then the game designer must either punish the player until he learns the rules or give up on challenging the player. A simple game helps new players by letting them learn and expert players by making the higher levels of play easier to achieve and understand.

Good digital games already keep their rules consistent, but what very few do is allow players to fully understand the mechanical effects of an action. That limits the strategic depth of play. MMOs, for example, tend to make higher stats a good thing but the numbers get so obscenely variable that you really don't know how much more effective a +241 Gauntlet of Haberdashing will make you over a +201 Gauntlet of Impotence - you just know high numbers are a good thing, not that your abilities are noticeably changed. In some games, like RTSes or other non-turn-based games, even though it's impossible to approximate the rules with board game rules, simplicity still makes it more easily understood.

- Kilo24

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