On the 9th of November we’re going to be playing three award-winning Eurogames, specifically Klaus Teuber’s The Settlers of Catan (1995), Klaus-Jürgen Wrede’s Carcassonne (2000), and Alan R. Moon’s Ticket to Ride (2004).

Here’s Stewart Wood’s definition of the genre, from his book Eurogames (2012):

eurogames tend to be accessible games that priveledge the role of mechanics over theme in gameplay. They typically facilitate indirect rather than direct conflict, deemphasize the role of chance, offer predictable playing times, and are usually of a high standard in terms of component quality and presentation. (79)

Eurogames are often set against ‘American style boardgames’ (Ameritrash), which are defined on Boardgamegeek as

games that emphasize a highly developed theme, characters, heroes, or factions with individually defined abilities, player to player conflict, and usually feature a moderate to high level of luck. (BGG)

You can see the kinds of discussions these distinctions generate in action on this BGG thread (which adds Wargames to the mix). In our gaming session we’ll discuss this contrast, considering Catan, Carcassonne, and TTR in relation to last session’s Dead of Winter. The difference between these games will allow us to discuss the importance of competition and cooperation in board games, particularly the ways in which the design of games influences the manner in which players interact and develop winning strategies

Here’s Wil Wheaton playing all three games, (and explaining just how easy they are to play):

And here he is again playing The Settlers of Catan:

And here he is with Carcassonne:

The rules for the games can be downloaded as PDFs here The Settlers of Catan, here Carcassone, and here Ticket to Ride Europe.