Abstract game genre

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Marsh

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Jul 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/25/00
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Am I as odd as I'm beginning to feel? It seems as though very few people
are playing or are interested in Abstract games, judging from the posts
here. Yes, I know there's a separate NG (rec.games.abstract), but I think I
see about 5 posts per week there! Being in a situation where I play games
only with my wife (LOL - that doesn't sound quite right!), we really focus
on 2-player games, most of which are of the "abstract" type. It's
frustrating - even on the computer gaming side (which we do play
unashamedly), the support for 2-player cooperative type games has dwindled
to almost nothing.

After Lost Cities, Kahuna, Hera & Zeus, Settlers of Catan (card), Caesar &
Cleopatra, and Druidenwalzer, the list ends rather abruptly for card/board
games that were made exclusively for 2-players. After that, we're in the
realm of the abstracts - Quoridor, Quarto, Proteus, Terraces, Octi, Trax,
GIPF, etc.... and I simply can't seem to find comprehensive coverage
anywhere on these games.

Is there a print magazine that focuses on the abstract genre? Also, as I
asked earlier, is there a web-based vendor who carries these abstract games
at a discounted price (besides ordering directly from Great American Trading
Co. or Kadon Enterprises)? Since many of these games are more expensive to
begin with (production and craftsmanship), I'd be thrilled if there was a
discounted vendor somewhere (like Funagain, Fairplay, Boulder).

More than anything else, this is just a shot in the dark to maybe help get
connected with more gamers (especially couples) playing abstract games.

Thanks,
Marshall

Will Beckley

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Jul 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/25/00
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I play games almost exclusively with my dad, so I'm a 2 player gamer. En
Garde, Schotten Totten, Hong Kong, and Venice Connection are good games that
you missed. Torres and Tikal both work well with 2 and are good for 3 or 4
as well. As for abstracts, few games beat Focus/Domination or Zertz.

Will Beckley

Mudbugs2000

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Jul 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/25/00
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We play abstract games also, but have found that many of the "German-style"
games fall in this category. After reading lots of positive posts on "Through
the Desert" we decided to give it a try. It's a great abstract game (and the
pastel camels are just too cute!)

Check out the two player web site for more ideas:
http://SunSITE.Informatik.RWTH-Aachen.DE/luding/two_player_list.html

Tom
Shreveport, LA

Geenius at Wrok

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Jul 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/25/00
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On 25 Jul 2000, Marsh wrote:

> Am I as odd as I'm beginning to feel? It seems as though very few people
> are playing or are interested in Abstract games, judging from the posts
> here.

That's true for me. I've never had much interest in abstracts. Probably
because they feel more like work than play. At least for chess and go
there's a body of literature explaining what you should be doing.


--
"I wish EVERY day could be a shearing festival!" -- The 10 Commandments
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Live with honor, endure with grace "I notice you have a cloud of doom.
Keith Ammann is gee...@enteract.com I must admit it makes you seem
www.enteract.com/~geenius * Lun Yu 2:24 dangerous and sexy."


Peter Loop

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Jul 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/25/00
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"Marsh" <mars...@iyi.cnchost.com> wrote in message
news:8lj3s4$h...@journal.concentric.net...

> Is there a print magazine that focuses on the abstract genre? Also, as I
> asked earlier, is there a web-based vendor who carries these abstract
games
> at a discounted price (besides ordering directly from Great American
Trading
> Co. or Kadon Enterprises)?

Yes there is magazine that focuses on the abstract genre: Try Abstract Games
Magazine:http://www.abstractgamesmagazine.com
Published Four time a year. Also follow the links to other sites.

A few of my Fav's:
Mark Thompson's site
http://home.flash.net/~markthom/html/abstract_games.html
Zillions of Games The universal game engine. Has many abstract games in
software. Checkout the user added section.
http://www.zillions-of-games.com/

There are many Play by mail on online sites sites
Mindsports: http://www.mindsports.net/
Richard's Play-By-eMail Server http://www.gamerz.net/~pbmserv/


Other Vendor Sites: Know about Funagain, Fairplay, Boulder I can vouch for
them They do have a good selection of Abstract games ( try Abstract Strategy
as a search)
Others: The Local Boys(Portland) Rainyday games has a good selection
www.rainy-day-games.com
Or Madison Ave Game which mostly has Abstract games
http://www.madisonavenuegames.com/

Games I would try:
The Gigamic line: http://www.gigamic.com/ (Everything they make)
Kandon http://www.gamepuzzles.com/ (many, Try power of two, Game of Y)
Kris Burm http://www.gipf.com/ (after GIPF try Zertz)
Venice-connection(Alex Randolf+others) http://www.venice-connection.com (try
Carolus Magnus, Fantasmi (ghost), Venice Connection,
Terrace (local boys ) http://www.terracegames.com/ (Try Terrace 6x6)
Rio Grande http://www.riograndegames.com/ (try Siesta, Caprice, Cabale, IDO
& Ta Yu) - I love Siesta try it (but check the news group for rule
interpretations - just remeber you score counted at the end of the should be
the same as the running score)
Entrapment by gowellgames http://www.gowellgames.com/index.html

And don't forget the great 3m line
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Dennis_Matheson/3mshlf.htm (try
Tixit, Ploy, Contigo...)

That a start
Peter


Tom Alaerts

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Jul 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/26/00
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>GIPF, etc.... and I simply can't seem to find comprehensive coverage
>anywhere on these games.


Of course, if you play a modern classic like GIPF, it can fill almost all
your gaming needs! It's my fave game, ever! Have a look at www.gipf.com
where you can also download a depressingly strong playing pc version, which
I discovered is very nice on a laptop when you spend hours in an airport
waiting for a delayed flight...

Now maybe I can recommend you something else to play with 2 people: an
ACCESSIBLE, FUN wargame. No, don't shriek away in horror and disgust: these
exist and can be very good, too. They usually require good thinking, but
there's a statistically-manipulated element of luck which tends to even out
during a full game.

A few recommendations in this genre (only the most accessible items, which
your wife may also like are listed):

- We the people: on the american revolution, with a "card engine",
accessible, attractive (women also seem to like this one) and clever. From
the old Avalon Hill, I believe you can sind find it here and there on the
net.

- Saratoga by GMT: essentially simple but with some intricacies. You have to
read the rules carefully, but after 40 minutes playing things go a lot
smoother. Also on the american revolution. Very beautiful map.

- A house divided by GDW on the civil war, the system has inspired We the
people, but without cards. Only 2nd hand.

- Victory by columbia games is somewhere in between a german-style game and
a wargame. Fun, accessible, nice wooden components.

- I have never played this one but Battle Cry by the new Avalon Hill only
seems to get rave reviews. A very "light" way to look at civil war battles.
Quite close to a german-style game. Superb components but expensive.

Hope you find this info useful, it is after all not a reply to your
questions...

ciao,

Tom


kaspian

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Jul 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/26/00
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Will Beckley wrote:
> I play games almost exclusively with my dad, so I'm a 2 player
> gamer.

This is heartening. I play games mostly with my son Matt, who is
a couple years younger than Will. I hope we will continue to be
gaming partners even as our relationship changes over the years. The
model of Will and his dad boosts my confidence.

--

They said, "You have a blue guitar.
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

-- Wallace Stevens, 1937

Dan Cashmore

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Jul 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/27/00
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> Am I as odd as I'm beginning to feel? It seems as though very few people
> are playing or are interested in Abstract games, judging from the posts
> here.
Well, I am a convert to the German-style of game, but 2-player abstract
games take up a major chunk of my collection. When I was younger I used to
go to KayBee Toy's game aisle, find the markdown section, and buy anything
that was less than $5 if it was 2-player strategy. That was really the
start of my collection habit.

> After Lost Cities, Kahuna, Hera & Zeus, Settlers of Catan (card), Caesar &
> Cleopatra, and Druidenwalzer, the list ends rather abruptly for card/board
> games that were made exclusively for 2-players.

Have you played any of these? Kahuna and Lost Cities, anyway, have a
definite astract feel to them.

> After that, we're in the
> realm of the abstracts - Quoridor, Quarto, Proteus, Terraces, Octi, Trax,

> GIPF, etc.... and I simply can't seem to find comprehensive coverage
> anywhere on these games.

You're right; they don't seem to generate the discussion that other types of
games get, but I bet if you started a thread here on a specific one of
these, you'd find lots of other fans.

> More than anything else, this is just a shot in the dark to maybe help get
> connected with more gamers (especially couples) playing abstract games.

If it makes you feel better, you can still count me as a fan of abstract
(especially 2-player) games. Not my wife so much, but I've got a friend or
two who'll play them with me now and then. If you're interested, some
favorites: Twixt, Othello/Reversi, Blockade (very similar to Quoridor),
Quarto, Ghosts!, Chase (the old TSR game using dice as playing pieces--I
never felt I got a handle on the strategy, but it intrigued me).

-Dan


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