German-style board game

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German-style board games are a broad class of tabletop games that generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction, and physical components, which are frequently wooden player tokens or markers.[1] The games emphasize strategy, downplay luck and conflict, lean towards economic rather than military themes, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends. German-style games are sometimes contrasted with American-style games, which generally involve more luck, conflict, and drama.[2]

German-style games are usually less abstract than chess, but more abstract than wargames and train games. Likewise, they generally require more thought and planning than party games, such as Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit, but less than strategy games, such as chess and Go. Their rulebooks are typically four to twelve pages long and playing times are on the order of 30 to 120 minutes. These games appeal to a wide range of ages, though generally not very young children. The audience includes casual gamers, who play with family and friends, as well as more serious hobby gamers.

Not all German-style board games are German, and not all German-style games are board games. As a result, various other names have been offered for the class. Eurogame is a common, though still imprecise, alternative label. Because most of these games feature the name of the designer prominently on the box they are sometimes known as designer games.[3] Other names include family strategy game and hobby game. Shorter, lighter games in this class are known as gateway games, whereas longer, heavier games are known as gamers' games.


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