What Type of Board Gamer Are You?
Over the years, I have played a wide variety of board games and have a lot in my collection. I have pure Euro games and bit dice chucking Amerithrash games. This got me thinking about the different types of gamers that people are and which one I am. I am going to put down five different types of gamers, and see which you you might fit into.
The Euro Gamer
This gamer is all about the mechanics. If a game has really interesting mechanics, focuses on those mechanics, and allows them to strategize a lot, they’ll like this game.
I think another name for this gamer would also be the strategy gamer. This person likes to pick a strategy and be able to build towards it throughout the game without having to change and deviate from it much at all. It’s all about taking the set of inputs at the start of and throughout the game and implement a long term strategy that can get them the most points.
The Amerithrash Gamer
Also known as Ameritrash, Amerithrash just has a nicer ring to it and also sounds less derogatory to the gamer. This gamer likes their big games that have a lot of theme but a lot more randomness. For an Amerithrash gamer, theme is king and they are more willing to overlook mechanics if the game has a lot of theme.
So, another name for an Amerithrash gamer would probably be a theme gamer. This gamer is going to be fine with a whole lot more randomness, less laid out rules, and changing states of the game and events shaking up the game, as long as it is thematic.
The Party Gamer
This one is pretty simple and probably not reading an article about different types of gamers. This is the person who might dip their toe into a game like Monopoly or even Ticket to Ride, but they really only play party style games. For them, the point of a game is to make them laugh. The funnier they find the cards or a theme of the game, the better that game is going to be for them. They look at board games as another form of entertainment like a movie or television show where it is the entertainments job to provide the fun, not incumbent at all upon the person watching, reading, or playing it.
This gamer likes all games whether they are Euro or Amerithrash, they are going to be willing to sit down and play most any game and probably find something fun with it. They’re even cool sitting down and playing a party game.
I think that a lot of gamers almost fall into this category of being an Omni-gamer. Most, however, will have one way that they prefer, whether it’s the more strategic Euro style sensibilities or the heavily involved theme of Amerithrash. But they’ll be willing to play most any game, at least once.
The Experience Gamer
I think that all of them that I’ve written to up to this point are gamers that most board gamers would find to be pretty normal. Euro and Amerithrash are two very accepted styles of board games and games that gamers often have strong opinions on.
I think that there is a fifth type of gamer, and I think that I fall into this one. I will say that this might skew a little bit more towards the Amerithrash side, but not completely there. While I don’t mind dice chucking madness like you get in a lot of heavy Amerithrash games, I prefer games that give me an experience. A lot of Amerithrash games do that because they have heavy amounts of theme and theme as king gives a lot of interesting experiences.
But I think of gamers like Gloomhaven and Lords of Hellas, two games one that has a story running through it and another that doesn’t, but both aren’t just your standard dice chucking game with minis. Then again, both of the games do have some minis. Gloomhaven does have some randomness with a modifier deck, but you are able to tailor that as you play so it’s less random, or more random, or more randomly better. And the card play in Gloomhaven and how you build your deck is definitely strategic. With Lords of Hellas, sure you can go fight giant monsters, but it’s done through card play again, and you can pick various strategies from just building temples to fighting lots of monsters to beating up on other players to building statues. The main thing about those two thematic but not really Ameritrash games that drew me in was the experience I had playing it.
So I think there is a fifth gamer option, and that is the experience gamer. This is the gamer who doesn’t care about the mechanics, if they are great or bad, doesn’t care about the theme, if it’s dripping with theme or non-existent, they care about the experience of the game. This is also made trickier by the fact that experience can depend on the other players at the table as well, but most of the time I can separate that player experience from the game experience.
What type of Gamer Are You?
Let me say, while some board gamers might look down upon other types of gamers, all types of gamers are good board gamers and true board gamers. Just because ones taste doesn’t match with someone else’s or because party games are easier to learn and play than other games doesn’t make them worse or better. I really want to hammer this home because often gamers look down on other types of gamers, and I want to see the hobby grow.
So let me know in the comments below what type of gamer you are, or over on Twitter and Facebook.