Game People Calling: Board Gamers: The New Hardcore

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Game People Calling: Board Gamers: The New Hardcore

With videogames pandering to our gaming wants, board games offer a last taste of that old-school hardcore experience.

Read Full Article

Interesting article.

Here's the thing about board games that instantly make them more "hardcore" (to use a term I despise) than almost any vidjamagame around: The time commitment required to even START most of these games is mind-boggling, especially to a person raised on the quick in-and-out of the modern game. 90% of video games, you turn on for the first time, and are right in the action (or strategy, or roleplaying, or whatever). For a lot of these board games, not only do you have to track down obscure manuals, codexes, pieces and parts, you also have to struggle to understand all of the material and bring it to a playable format in your own mind.

I'm not an avid board gamer, but I have played Settlers of Catan. I guess, once again, it comes down to what you consider to be "hardcore": Time commitment, I would assume is the above author's qualification.

I get regularly whipped by the hardcore Settlers of Catan players - both on XBLA and on the board game - and I'm good at Catan. Ditto Ra.

Games I'm only marginally familiar with like Puerto Rico? I'm dead before I hit the chair.

PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

Interesting article for sure.

Uh as for board games, I guess I only really play Risk and Heroscape. Both pretty fun through.

EDIT: I also found the LotR board game really fun.

JonahNYC:
PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

Only true problem with WH and 40k is that it is expensive as hell. A 10 pack of Space Marines cost like 30$(Canadian)

TheGreatCoolEnergy:

JonahNYC:
PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

Only true problem with WH and 40k is that it is expensive as hell. A 10 pack of Space Marines cost like 30$(Canadian)

It's about then that you start looking to alternatives. I've heard of people buying similar figures from other companies that do the job just as well.

After all, unless you're playing in a tournament, there's nothing in the rules that says "THOU SHALT ONLY USE GAMES WORKSHOP PRODUCTS!"

Nevyrmoore:

TheGreatCoolEnergy:

JonahNYC:
PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

Only true problem with WH and 40k is that it is expensive as hell. A 10 pack of Space Marines cost like 30$(Canadian)

It's about then that you start looking to alternatives. I've heard of people buying similar figures from other companies that do the job just as well.

After all, unless you're playing in a tournament, there's nothing in the rules that says "THOU SHALT ONLY USE GAMES WORKSHOP PRODUCTS!"

Oh I have nothing against the game, I'm just saying that collected Citadel Minatures from Games Workshop gets really expensive really quickly.

TheGreatCoolEnergy:

Nevyrmoore:

TheGreatCoolEnergy:

JonahNYC:
PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

Only true problem with WH and 40k is that it is expensive as hell. A 10 pack of Space Marines cost like 30$(Canadian)

It's about then that you start looking to alternatives. I've heard of people buying similar figures from other companies that do the job just as well.

After all, unless you're playing in a tournament, there's nothing in the rules that says "THOU SHALT ONLY USE GAMES WORKSHOP PRODUCTS!"

Oh I have nothing against the game, I'm just saying that collected Citadel Minatures from Games Workshop gets really expensive really quickly.

Neither do I. I was referring to using other companies miniatures in a Warhammer game. It's unorthodox, sure, but if they look similar to the army you're playing, then there's nothing saying that it can't be done.

Unless, as I said, you're playing in a tournament.

I'm not a board gamer, personally I think I'd love it but never really had the opportunity to get into it, but I completely agree. There's always been something that's bugged me about the lack of "hardcore" in "hardcore gaming", a self created gamer title. In pretty much any other hobby or interest, "hardcore" would indicate a high degree of difficulty, a vast amount of indepth knowledge on the subject, or at the very least a high/restricting entry fee, whether that be in time, money, knowledge, or skill that discourages mass appeal.

"Hadrcore video games" though? With the rise of console gaming over PC, it's generally affordable enough to get into for anyone in a 1st world country, not a lot of knowledge is required as it's all plug in & play, and much of the difficulty has been streamlined out of games to create a consistant gameplay experience from start to finish.

Certainly there's exceptions here, people who can truly be called hardcore gamers: gamers who built their own gaming PC's with all the fine tuning & overclocking, game collectors that have pretty much everything from numerous generations, and gamers that play and defeat the games on the hardest of difficulties or compete at competitive levels. And of course modders or people who make their own games. For the most part the, in my opinion the "hardcore gamer" would be more accurately labelled as a "mainstream gamer". The movie goer equivilent would be people who stick primarily to the big summer blockbusters, scoffing at the 'casual' movies, and never really getting into the vast selection of art house or indy movies or old time classics, let alone taking a look at or getting involved in movie making.

I've played many board games over time, from Catan to D&D, but I've never owned such games as I don't play them as much as video games since they require other human players and thus need to be planned in advance,

The only game as such I do own is Doom: The Board Game and its expansion, which is really fun since it plays like a board game and laid out like Space Hulk but has video game conventions like pick up and scripted events.

Board games are actually really easy. My group can't play Arkham Horror since we just beat it every single time, and there's nothing hardcore about Zombies, Small World, etc. Diplomacy/Twilight Imperium are hardcore since you'll lose friends over them, but no one plays them for that reason.

Board games are not for casuals? They all require massive dedication? What nonsense am I reading? 90% of popular board games take like ten minutes to explain to a beginner, and require no previous board game skills.

Of course, there are also tons of board games that are only for hardcore players. Puerto Rico for example has pretty complex rules. Some of the Catan variants are also pretty tough to get started with.

Board games are only as hard your lack of dedication to understanding the rules. I just saw some young kids play Risk and the way they played the game completely threw out the actual rules of Risk right down to the setup. It was such a mess because the first person on the first turn conquered Africa, Europe and Asia in the first turn.

It isn't as much as the game themselves are hard but the two factors of what people dedicate time towards and even then it exists in video games now. The first major segment of time is actually reading and understand the rules and each player has to understand them, this will take some time to master as sometimes the rules change by player amount.

This is also in video games however just like board games there is always an instruction booklet so that the player understands the rules, controls and gameplay of the game. But due to consumers ignoring the instructions and just jumping in video game tutorials were made and now consume depending on the game from ten minutes to 5 hours of gameplay before the player can have complete control. Both are normally huge time investments.

The second time is one that board game players can control as well as video gamers, stop playing. True if one decides to sit down and dedicate their time to play a game like scrabble or the World of Warcraft board game the game can end at the players choosing but playing a full game takes time which is undetermined. However video games also have that flexibility as well but the difference is about control. A video game can stop should the person or the person of a group decide to stop playing, not so with board games because of how much the balance would change if the rest want to keep playing.

So while the definition of hardcore has changed I would be hardpressed to actually say playing board games makes someone hardcore just like playing video games makes someone hardcore.

Also, Buddy? Really? That line and its meaning and the point of the movie was to point out that it is ourselves and our personalities that make us special and while we don't have superpowers to constantly prove each person to be special we have our own knowledge and experience that makes us better at something than another person.

I'm sorry but I can't wrap my head around this new hardcore/casual thing, and I hate these words. If you really think, that there are only board games that are only played by "hardcore" gamers I have to strongly disagree, there are much more "pick up & play" board games f.Example:
Halma, Monopoly, Barricade, Chess, Checkers, Go, Scrabble etc. Even many of the "Hardcore" board games are easy to pick up and play. I also have never heard of an underground movement. Maybe in Germany it is different than in USA but there is a huge board game scene and there are yearly Board Game conventions such as the "RPC" (Role Play Convention) in Cologne and "SPIEL" in Essen. So half of the Article is complete Bullshit, and the Autor just tries to ride on the dumb separation the gaming Industry makes between "Hardcore" and "Casual" by taking the stupidity of it to the next level.

Cool. Nothing quite replaces a little imagination and face-to-face time.

Dark World anyone?

Very interesting article, but then again I wouldn't *completely* dismiss chess as a sort of "softcore" board game. When you see the professionals playing they sure as hell invest alot more time into the game than most people do and are rather devoted to improving themselves and their strategies

Nevyrmoore:

TheGreatCoolEnergy:

Nevyrmoore:

TheGreatCoolEnergy:

JonahNYC:
PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

Only true problem with WH and 40k is that it is expensive as hell. A 10 pack of Space Marines cost like 30$(Canadian)

It's about then that you start looking to alternatives. I've heard of people buying similar figures from other companies that do the job just as well.

After all, unless you're playing in a tournament, there's nothing in the rules that says "THOU SHALT ONLY USE GAMES WORKSHOP PRODUCTS!"

Oh I have nothing against the game, I'm just saying that collected Citadel Minatures from Games Workshop gets really expensive really quickly.

Neither do I. I was referring to using other companies miniatures in a Warhammer game. It's unorthodox, sure, but if they look similar to the army you're playing, then there's nothing saying that it can't be done.

Unless, as I said, you're playing in a tournament.

I see what you are getting at. Personaly, I would love to get into WH40k, but its just so time consuming and pricey. Like about a month ago I priced getting a rule book, paints, and a starting IG army, and it was like 700$. I don't have that kind of money, and there aren't really any other hobby shops around me.

This article reminded me of this site:
http://www.brettspielwelt.de/

Play boardgames online with folks, it's been a while since I was there, but I seem to remember them having Peurto Rico and Ra among others that I liked.

Plus, there's some sort of meta-game that I was just starting to get into before I got insanely busy for a while and dropped it.

Board games are a very, very broad term.

For coparsion, let's compare Ludo, Monopoly, Kalaha and so forth to "casual" games.

Many people are familiar with light and friendly board games like settlers, smallworld, carcassonne, frag, zombies, ave caesar, power grid, eufrat & tigris and the like. These typically take 10-15 minutes to explain to a new player, and a game can be played in an hour or two. Following the previous classification for "casual" board games, these are the wiiware/xbox live arcade games. Anyone can pick them up and enjoy them, even if they aren't (board) gamers per se.

After that, you have slightly more complex games. Things like Le Havre, Puerto Rico, History of the World, Arkham Horror, Space Hulk, Doom or Betrayal at the House on the Hill will easily take 3-4 hours to explain, set up and play for new gamers. These are your "console" board games. They have a fairly broad appeal, you can learn them with a little time investment, and they can keep you entertained for ages.

If you have the time to learn them, games like Twillight Imperium, Battlelore, Android, StarCraft (Yes, they made a board game of it), Battle for Armageddon, Through the Ages, Memoir '44, Junta (Viva el Presidente!), Titan (We once had a game stretch to 14 hours), Britannia or Shogun will easily take a full evening of your time. These are the board game equivalents of old-school PC games. You'll have to keep that poster-sized map handy, and the reference booklet as well as the manual.

But if you have a truly impressive beard and still remember wether your AdLib or SoundBlaster used IRQ 5 or 7, there are the Old-Schol "hardcore" boardgames. We're talking things ike Avalon Hills Advanced Squad Leader. Diplomacy. Empires in Arms (best played 2 weekends a month over the course of 9-10 months to finish one game). Gettysburg and many others. These are the games in which hundres upon hundreds of little cardboard tokens battle for supremacy on hex grids. Where rulebooks come in several volumes, and grognards thoughtfully consider the effects of encumberance when deciding their next move.

Besides board games, they are often lumped together with (collectible) card games like Magic the gathering, Warlords of the Accordlands, and whatever japanophilic drudge we're being fed at the moment. Also quite popular are miniature games (Warhammer/Warhammer 40k being the most well known. Warmachine and Hordes are also somewhat popular. Blood Bowl is still going strong (and infinitely better on a board than the sordid mess Cyanide released for consoles)).

JonahNYC:
PS. How are elite boardgamers any different than Games Workshop tabletop gamers? I think those guys are the hardcore of the hardcore. When you PAINT YOUR OWN PIECES...

I painted all the pieces for the World of Warcraft board game, does that count? Still haven't got round to painting the figures from Burning Crusade yet, but fuck, that's a bastard to learn AND play - you have to remember all the rules, while questing so you can level up to do the final raid... While racing the other team! And the game gets more rules, addendums and caveats the higher up you go!

I like to think I'm a fairly smart guy, but my mind just shuts down trying to play the World of Warcraft boardgame...

Something I havnt thought about in a longtime...I suppose Board Gamers can be just as hardcore (or more so as senn) than us who play with a console..

Food for thought indeed

I'm a bit of a board gamer, though I've really only got three games, plus a set of WH40k miniatures I never use.

A friend of mine has all the staples - Catan, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, they're all great fun. I own a copy of Nexus Ops, World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game, and Starcraft: The Board Game, all of which are fun in their own way. My favourite, though, is Twilight Imperium. If there ever was an "epic" board game, it's Twilight Imperium.

Me and my friends have never finished a single game of Twilight Imperium. It is...so...fucking...LONG.

But I still enjoy it.

I play boardgames, Shanghai trader, Talisman, Catan, City Fight and a bit of Car Wars. But I don't really count these as hardcore boardgames. Sure Talisman can take 12 hours to finish but it isn't really "hardcore".

Great article, which speaks true to me. Learning a board game can take time, especially when you've never played it before. Then try explaining it to others.

Ravek:
Board games are not for casuals? They all require massive dedication? What nonsense am I reading? 90% of popular board games take like ten minutes to explain to a beginner, and require no previous board game skills.

Of course, there are also tons of board games that are only for hardcore players. Puerto Rico for example has pretty complex rules. Some of the Catan variants are also pretty tough to get started with.

I'm pretty sure the author's talking about games more like Puerto Rico than, say, Monopoly or the game of life. Those games, with their large target audience, simple mechanics that make most of the game rely on chance, I would almost argue are the "shovelware" of board games, as important as they are for introducing so many people to the.. system?

I was surprised when I came to college at how many people play board games. Just right now there are copies of Dominion, Settlers, and Carcassone all downstairs in my common room with all their associated expansions. It's great fun.

Arkham Horror FTW.

I also enjoy board games, especially those with a lot of detail in them. Wargames also appeal to me, but the only one I own is heroscape(which is pretty damn good on it's own).

Another example I like is card games like magic the gathering.

Ulminati:

But if you have a truly impressive beard and still remember wether your AdLib or SoundBlaster used IRQ 5 or 7, there are the Old-Schol "hardcore" boardgames. We're talking things ike Avalon Hills Advanced Squad Leader. Diplomacy. Empires in Arms (best played 2 weekends a month over the course of 9-10 months to finish one game). Gettysburg and many others. These are the games in which hundres upon hundreds of little cardboard tokens battle for supremacy on hex grids. Where rulebooks come in several volumes, and grognards thoughtfully consider the effects of encumberance when deciding their next move.

Avalon Hill. FUCK YEAH. *strokes his epic beard*

Also, my SoundBlaster used IRQ 7.

ItsAPaul:
Diplomacy/Twilight Imperium are hardcore since you'll lose friends over them, but no one plays them for that reason.

Diplomacy remains my favourite board game. Not only can it ruin friendships, but the fact that you cannot blame random luck for your failures (because there is no random element) means that it is most definitely for the hardcore.

ItsAPaul:
Board games are actually really easy. My group can't play Arkham Horror since we just beat it every single time, and there's nothing hardcore about Zombies, Small World, etc. Diplomacy/Twilight Imperium are hardcore since you'll lose friends over them, but no one plays them for that reason.

Sounds like a convenient way to break up with your girlfriend.

I'm a fairly avid boardgamer with an ever-growing collection. It's quite fun to sit down physically with a bunch of friends for a night of boardgaming. We'll order food and have a good time.

Current favorites include Twilight Imperium, Horus Heresy (when we're only two people), Battlestar Galactica, Starcraft and Agricola (who knew farming could be so much fun?).

It's a nice little hobby and I heartily recommend it.

ItsAPaul:
Board games are actually really easy. My group can't play Arkham Horror since we just beat it every single time, and there's nothing hardcore about Zombies, Small World, etc. Diplomacy/Twilight Imperium are hardcore since you'll lose friends over them, but no one plays them for that reason.

*shudders*

We played that game twice. Two times. Neither of the games ever finished, because people didn't want to continue, due to fights. It gets ugly as hell, really damn fast, when you're exploiting your friends' weaknesses.
I knew that one of the dudes didn't have an indoor voice, so I made a plan with him, knowing that everyone in the whole building would hear about it. He got screwed over the next round, wondering how on earth I came out on top. He eventually figured it out, and got mad as hell, which again was a trademark of his, that me, and everyone else knew to anticipate. Which angered him even further.

Game People:
Game People Calling: Board Gamers: The New Hardcore

With videogames pandering to our gaming wants, board games offer a last taste of that old-school hardcore experience.

Read Full Article

Funny, beacuse my opinion is quite the opposite. Once subject to the "mass appeal" treatment, I think board games are even more "casual" than video games. At least video games require a significant time and monetary investment and can be enjoyed on a purely personal level as well, thus giving them a "hardcore" element. Board games (such as Settlers of Catan), on the other hand, are preety much bound to be only played once in a while, usually at parties or family reunions, and thus bound to remain a "casual" experience.

This is not to say that there aren't any "hardcore" board games that people spend hours upon hours playing. However, those always had a niché appeal and would quickly lose their "hardcore" element if they tried catering them to a wider audience.

Overall, I respectfully disagree with the author. I do not think that board games are immune to becoming "casual". Quite the contrary. If you try to make them appealing to the general public, they become even more "casual" than video games.

Ravek:
Board games are not for casuals? They all require massive dedication? What nonsense am I reading? 90% of popular board games take like ten minutes to explain to a beginner, and require no previous board game skills.

Of course, there are also tons of board games that are only for hardcore players. Puerto Rico for example has pretty complex rules. Some of the Catan variants are also pretty tough to get started with.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurogames_%28tabletop_games%29

You'd be surprised what depth there is to them. Besides, even the most complex and abstract strategy game I know - Go - takes a mere five minutes to explain the rules, perhaps even less. Yet to call a Go master anything but "hardcore" in the eyes of a video game player would be ridiculous. Boardgames are much like videogames in that they have casual elements, but the majority of well-designed boardgames outstrip video games in terms of their depth and "hardcore" appeal.

ItsAPaul:
Board games are actually really easy. My group can't play Arkham Horror since we just beat it every single time, and there's nothing hardcore about Zombies, Small World, etc. Diplomacy/Twilight Imperium are hardcore since you'll lose friends over them, but no one plays them for that reason.

Lol, you're not playing Arkham Horror with expansions then :D

Ulminati:

If you have the time to learn them... ...Memoir '44

Memoir '44 doesn't exactly take a lot of learning, it's a very simple rule set. (Also, you should play Battle Cry instead, because the play mechanism fits the ACW theme better than it fits WWII)

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