Thursday, June 10, 2010

Contrasts in Playing Styles

(Let me say before I begin that, for the first time in several years, I will not be at Origins this year. I will be at WBC in August beginning about Thursday at noon. WBC and GenCon are at the same time this year and next, so I won't be at GenCon.)

Ordinarily when I talk about differences in playing styles, I'm talking about things like the planners vs the adapters and the Classical vs. the Romantic players. (See for the latest version.) But this time I'm talking about how people behave during a game. Much of this comes from the players, but probably just as much comes from the game.

In this case, at a recent meeting of the NC State tabletop gamers club, we had one group playing Bang!, one playing Mah Jong (of all things), and one playing my prototype Germania. The Mah Jong game was very quiet, except when they started anew, when the noise of the expensive-looking set of pieces clicking and clacking on the table filled the room. The Bang! game was very loud (Bang! is a screwage game with some secret roles that encourages deception as well as general hilarity.) And Germania was mostly quiet, with an occasional bombastic boast or accusation. Germania is a Euro-wargame cross.

Of course, some of the Bang! players are always loud, some of the Mah Jong and Germania players are always quiet.

I suppose "screwage" games by their nature are frequently louder than strategy games that encourage planning. Imagine chess players being consistently loud (yeah, I'm sure it happens). Since screwage games involve messing with your friends via the game, they're unlikely to be calm or quiet.

1 comment:

EastwoodDC said...

I can think of some players who are never calm or quite no matter what they are playing. It could also be that noisy games tend to attract noisy players.