Favorite Mechanism/Style of Game

Supporter

An earlier post got me thinking... I've noticed in a lot of board game reviews that many reviews have a definite style of game they like and that is is far and above other styles or mechanisms.  It's an interesting thought to me.  I try not to pigeon hole myself so much in gaming but I also have types of games I don't really care for.  I'll add my thoughts to the comments.  I'll be interested to see what ya'll like or don't like.

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Owner12 months ago

This reminds me of something Martin Wallace commented on in this designer panel. I believe he mentioned something along the lines of how a player's preferred mechanisms align with their personality or with their desires.

I like asymmetry and variable player powers. Always enjoy learning new strategies so that's my thing. Area control complements this well. I also like engine-building and recently bag-building because it highlights the push your elements in a way that I like. I enjoy the adrenaline factor behind the big rewards/consequences.

Mechanisms I don't particularly enjoy as much are negotiations and bidding--this has way more to do with the fact that I'm not good at it haha (yet? ) 

Co-ops can be a great experience but it's so dependent on who I'm playing with. I'm pretty sure it would go well with my wife so I'm thinking of trying Forbidden Island with her. One last one is take-that elements which I tend to have a lot of fun with but I just can't do it or have fun if it's not with the right group. If there's someone in the group I know will take things personally then I end going for moves that aren't the most optimal. 

Supporter12 months ago

This makes a lot of sense. I do pick games that would align with  my wife's personality and the personality of the people I'm playing with. Actually if I don't feel like I know the people as well as I thought, I tend to lock up and have a hard time deciding what to play. 

Supporter12 months ago

Thanks for that link! I love hearing thoughts from thoughtful designers.

Owner12 months ago

Hope you like it! Great insights and history shared by veterans and it gave me a good idea of how to tackle my interview with Martin way back, although I feel like I could ask him better questions now haha

Supporter12 months ago

Nice! Thanks for the link to old content. 

Supporter12 months ago

Whoah! Some more great reading material! I'll be sure to check it out :)

Owner12 months ago

Uhhhh then here's more if you're actually interested lol

https://www.boardgameatlas.com/topic/fFPci5qT1d/bga-interviews (all of my interviews with designers/artists/other industry people to date)

Supporter12 months ago

This is amazing. I'd read the Jamey Stegmaier one before, but now it looks like I have a good bit of homework. Hopefully it doesn't interfere with the actual homework I have to do...

Owner12 months ago

Jamey's interview is the one that I felt the worst about at the time because I felt that I didn't do him justice since it was my first time interviewing a designer (I started out with the intent of interviewing artists only but started to branch out eventually). I contacted him again recently and scheduled a video interview with Trent :)

Ok, forget I ever sent you that link xD

Supporter12 months ago

I think that always happens.  I often give talks to large audiences and afterwards I always think of something I planned on saying that I forgot or something I should have added.

Owner12 months ago

And now I ask double the number of questions to my interviewees now, averaging 20ish compared to my older interviews averaging around 8-10. I do wonder if my interviewees these days feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of questions

Supporter12 months ago

Nice!  I absolutely can not believe that I forgot about Asymmetry and Variable Player Powers in my original comment as these are two of my top favorite.

I think we spoken about the negotiation before (this is why I really like the Otters in Root), because I love to talk and negotiate so that is definitely a top mechanism for me.  I think partially because I'm a teacher and I'm very extroverted and love talking (this speaks to the personality impacting what we like) I feel confident in my ability to sway the games decisions.  However, I think some people are starting to adjust to my negotiating style which is also fun to see in my gaming group.  

Supporter12 months ago

I find myself playing a lot of deck builders. And I do enjoy them. I find I like euro/ameritrash hybrids with most mechanism combinations. 

Supporter12 months ago

I like board gaming and most games I can enjoy. There are some that I enjoy more than others.

My favorite game of all time is Star Wars Rebellion. At its most basic it is an area control game with dice based combat and hand management. I wouldn’t say, however, that those mechanics are my absolute favorite. Rebellion is my favorite because of the intersection of theme and mechanics that makes it the perfect Star Wars game.

If I am considering just mechanics:

I love dungeon crawlers - Imperial Assault! I like the strategy and planning. I like developing your character and unraveling new abilities and character combinations. 

I love deck building- Legendary Marvel, Dominion, Clank! - I like starting with nothing and slowly but surely implementing your strategy and building towards a goal.

I love engine building - Terraforming Mars, Scythe - similar to deck building, you start small and by the end you can accomplish amazing things you could only dream of at the beginning of the game.

But really I’ll play any board game.


Supporter12 months ago

Yeah, I only have a few that I won't play.  Games that rely to heavily dice rolling for instance.  Especially if you can't play without good rolls.  This is why I abhor Catan.  I've played games where I just don't get any resources.  So you basically just watch everyone else play and roll the dice on your turn and that's it.

I too love engine building.  Did you pick your game yet?  That is one of the best things about Viticulture, building your engine and filling wine orders.  So satisfying.

Supporter12 months ago

This is such an interesting question at the moment, since I think I'm in the midst of deconstructing what I like about board games. I'll tell you what turns me off from a game: misleading visual design. For example, Terraforming Mars, which is a very good game, is not a game I connect to very much because it has a big, central board that ultimately plays second fiddle to what's going on in your own little player board. A similar thing happened to me when I played Teotihuacan: City of Gods, where I felt like the board was telling me, "Yes, build the pyramid, but look at all these other nice things you could be doing, too!" I tried to go for a well-rounded strategy, and the person who ultimately won was the person who basically only did pyramid building.

Game layouts are promises, and if a game is going to break that promise, it better have good reasons for doing so. I think Concordia is a great example of this. The board tells you, "BUILD ALL THE TRADE ROUTES!!!" but the game tells you, "Yes, but." I think Concordia's cleverness comes in that wily, nefarious "Yes, but," where you can't just ignore building stuff on the board, and blocking other people from building stuff on the board, but if it's all you do, you will lose. I feel similarly about Great Western Trail, and in a different way, Inis.

Supporter12 months ago

I love these thoughts, thanks for sharing!  I agree, I want games to use all they bring to the table.  I agree that if there are parts of the game that feel like they are just there then it takes away from the game.

12 months ago

When I first got into gaming, I loved all of it equally. It was all so wonderful. Now...I still love it all haha But I love love games that incorporate hidden movement, real-time, and dexterity (dexterity must help portray the theme, though).

Combat is also a lot of fun, depending on who I'm playing with. If they whine about being attacked, then that's no fun. I want a willing victim haha

Supporter12 months ago

Oh yeah, I love combat.  I think this speaks to my personality too, but if someone is whiney about combat they are usually going to see it first.  I can't handle whining haha.  But yeah I really enjoy that combat negative player interaction.  I love the risk involved.

Supporter12 months ago

Some stuff I like in games :

I really like deck building. The feeling of crafting your deck for the maximum efficiency is so satisfying. 

I really enjoy tableau based engine builders. 

I really enjoy negotiation in games. 

I prefer to have a mix of tactics and strategy in a game. One thing this means is that I don't mind if there is a certain amount of "luck" that I have to deal with on the way to achieving my end game goal. 

Variable player powers, I want them all. 

I don't mind take that as long as there isn't virtual or real player elimination. 

I don't mind multi player solitaire as long as I find the puzzle sufficient engaging. 

I don't mind coops. I actually like them when playing solo. I also like them if no one is alpha gaming.

Supporter12 months ago

Oh yeah, coops are pretty good solo because they are easy to set up solo since it's designed to play against the board.  I don't really have any deck building games and I really want a good one.  Many that I see are only two players though and that is hard for me as I never really get the chance to play two player games.

Supporter12 months ago

Well.... There is a whole thread full of recommendations.... 

I would really almost say that Dominion belongs in every collection. 

Supporter12 months ago

I know, I just wish it wasn't so ugly.  Haha.

Supporter12 months ago

I hear you. But, really, it does help you focus on the pure game play which is so so so good. I am afraid that if the art would be too much better it might make it more difficult to focus on the deck building that the game is.

Supporter12 months ago

I get that.  It's just something in me, just my personal opinion when approaching a game.  I know it's probably not the best opinion because I'm sure I miss out on great games because of it.

Supporter12 months ago

I know, I hear you, and I steer clear of some games because of art or design choices. I think I would love Ethnos. I have not played it, but I have seen it, and I consider it to be one of the ugliest games to come out in recent times. So, I still have not played or bought it. Does that make sense? of course not!

In other words, it is ok for you to draw the line where you draw the line. I draw a line as well, even if it is in a slightly different place than you.

Supporter12 months ago

Poor Ethnos. I don’t think it’s that ugly. I want to add it at some point. 

Supporter12 months ago

Totally.

Supporter12 months ago

Some things I really like in games.  I really enjoy Area Control, Combat, and a lot of negative player interaction.  I think I also enjoy Take That!.  But I also really like Euro style games and Worker Placement.  I like dice rolling but not too much.  I also really like chance even if it can be frustrating.  I like when other players can mess with my game and vice versa.  I would say most people who know me on here know I really value player interaction.

I don't really care that much for Coop games.  I can play them but they aren't high up on my list.  I also don't care for anything that is basically multi player solitaire.

However, I try to avoid buying too many games that fall into the same mechanisms.  When I play a game I want it to stretch what I'm playing.  I don't want the same game with a paint job.

Supporter12 months ago

"However, I try to avoid buying too many games that fall into the same mechanisms.  When I play a game I want it to stretch what I'm playing.  I don't want the same game with a paint job."

This last point is so crucial, and an easy trap to fall into. "Well, I liked x worker placement game, so I guess I should buy ALL THE WORKER PLACEMENT GAMES!!!!!!"