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Eurogames: The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games
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Eurogames: The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  23 reviews
While board games can appear almost primitive in the digital age, eurogames--also known as German-style board games--have increased in popularity nearly concurrently with the rise of video games. Eurogames have simple rules and short playing times and emphasize strategy over luck and conflict.
This book examines the form of eurogames, the hobbyist culture that surrounds
Paperback, 262 pages
Published August 16th 2012 by McFarland and Company, Inc. (first published January 1st 2012)
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Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
In this book, Stew Woods documents the nature of the Eurogame phenomenon with particular emphasis on the nature of play related to those games and hence the culture surrounding them. I have to admit up front that I'm intimately familiar with the environment he's documenting (I get an entry in the bibliography), and as an insider I have to say he's got it exactly right. Everything he says seems spot-on correct.

On the down-side, and this is hardly Stewart's fault, as an insider he's telling me
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: game-criticism, game
Until I read this fascinating volume, it hadnt registered with me how very, very different German culture is from Anglo-U.S. culture. After all, I knew that Sid Sacksons Acquire (3M Games, later Avalon Hill) had sold incredibly well in a German edition and I knew that some of the best players in the world at Magic: The Gathering were located in German and Scandinavian countries. Some years ago, I was at a game design conference hosted by Wizards of the Coast and remember Reiner Knizia saying ...more
Paul Schulzetenberg
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quite the excellent summary of a small niche. I picked this up because I am a frequent gameplayer, and although I don't consider myself a Eurogamer per se, I definitely play more than a few.

This is absolutely a book that's designed as research and academic material first, and as a hobbyist's read only inasmuch as it easily correlates with the first two goals.

The part on the history of Eurogames is both well-written and incredibly well-researched. I buy Woods' distinction between the different
Axel Prieto
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: board-games
Clearly a product of careful analysis and serious research. As it explains the different aspects related to board games (types of games, mechanics, social interactions), you will find lots of references and sources to multiple other papers.

It's a rather 'dry' book, that's probably why not many people rate it 5 stars, but I believe you'll get a lot of value out of it if you want to learn more about Eurogames specifically or even just be more educated about board games in general.

For me it seems
Alexandre Rivaben
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Afinal, o que é um eurogame?

Esta pergunta é respondida de maneira bem detalhada neste "Eurogames...".

Stewart Woods aborda todo o início da história dos boardgames, passando pelos wargames, pelos family games, pelos card games e culminando no surgimento e evolução dos eurogames.

Mais que isso, o autor se propõe a analisar quem joga e qual a motivação para participar deste hobby social - para tal, se utiliza de inúmeras pesquisas realizadas na enciclopédia de boardgames mundial: o BoardGameGeek (
Jim Fulner
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Eurogames is I liked a lot. It is good for what it is. It is a scholarly work, so that means there is way too much in-line documentation and a rather dry writing style, as long as you prepare yourself for such you will be impressed. returnreturnI found it interesting that Woods, an Australian, spends so much of his time discussing European board games from an American perspective. Is this the only data that was available? returnreturnThe first half of the book goes about what is a Eurogame, why ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a very academically focused text regarding the development and play of eurogames. A lot of the content was interesting (though dry), but I can't speak to the academic grounding of the arguments and analysis since this is quite far from my field. However, it seems well researched and thorough. Keep in mind that the gaming hobby has continued to grow exponentially since this book was written, so some comments seem out of date at times. I'd be interested to see the author's thoughts and ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well-organized, solidly researched. Scholarly treatment of eurogames. Valuable resource for gaming theory and for hobby gamers.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an outstanding review on modern board games (the *real* modern ones - as the author noted, many books on the subject stop at the Monopoly/Risk era), focusing on the German school that got worldwide attention in the 90s. It is derived from a PhD thesis, which means that sometimes it is a bit "academic", especially on the latter chapters. That does not prevent the book from being an amazing read, an impressive effort from an author that did a comprehensive research on the history of the ...more
Daniel A.
Ever since a friend introduced me to The Settlers of Catan (now known simply as Catan, at least in the American market) ten or so years ago, I've enjoyed so-called German-style board games more and more and the so-called "traditional" American games such as Monopoly, Risk, and even Scrabble less and less. That being said, I approached Stewart Woods' book Eurogames: The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games with a bit of trepidation. After all, it's so heavily footnoted and with ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: games
Because this book arose out of Woods' dissertation work, it's very academic, which is a good thing to know going into it. There's a lot of discussion of psychology and sociology in the later chapters, which could be off-putting to a casual reader. But if you're really interested in gameseven if you're not a huge fan of eurosthis is a fantastic resource.

I found the earlier sections, which focused more on the game themselves, to be the most insightful, and the historical facts and stories to be
Dan Smith
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent account of the development of Eurogames, written with passion but also some good quality analysis. Some of the statistical breakdowns are a little needless (I wonder what value one gets from knowing how many games have a renaissance theme) or baffling (surveying what single game mechanic players most look for in a game), and the whole thing is a bit of a love letter to the hobby - it certainly won't win over any doubters.

But, it's without doubt the best book about game playing I've
Brandon James
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you're the least bit interested in "Eurogames", then there is a lot to love and a lot to learn from this book. If you're interested in the psychology of play and the culture of gamers, then the last third of this book would be great to dig in to. I'm very interested in boardgames and gaming in general and the first half of this book covers (briefly) the history of boardgames and spends a healthy amount of time on the development and arrival of Eurogames. From this history, I've got a new list ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped
Not bad per se...But for someone like me who already loves the bg hobby, this didn't teach me that many new things. In fact, so much was already known that I skimmed a good bit of this. I know of lots of the stuff like spiel de jahres, Catan, Germany's role, etc. So it came off as a scholarly, dry rehash of information. Did I like it, as a gamer? Somewhat. The statistics at times was interesting. I don't agree with some genre and categorical divisions though, and too much was already known or ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you play boardgames or ever wondered what makes them so interesting, this is your book. Based on the author's dissertation and research, you will learn about the concept of game design, the difference between US strategy games and Eurogames, and the the underlying fundamentals. The book is not an easy read if you want to absorb it all. It has great references and some cool pictures helping to get a better sense of the various concepts applied in games. The author, Steward Woods, seems to like ...more
Serge Pierro
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: games, non-fiction
Stewart Woods delivers an excellent overview of the Eurogame culture!

Although somewhat "dry", the information contained within is quite comprehensive covering the period of the game market pre-Euro and then it's arrival and impact. Of course, standards like Settlers of Catan and Carcossone are present, as are the designs of Reiner Knizia. Great insight is provided into the social playing of these games, and why people enjoy them so much. Anyone that has an interest in Eurogames, or even game
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One third history of eurogames, one third description of eurogame mechanics and board game hobbyist, and one third analysis of the motivations and pleasures of play. The description of the mechanics and the players was a little dry for me because being in the hobby it's not news to me, but the analysis of the social situation of playing a game was very interesting, and gave me insight into my own hobby. Well done Stewart!
Tom Franklin
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
A rather dry revision of a Doctoral dissertation regarding the popularity of Eurogames within the hobby gaming community.

Woods is an avid gamer and made use of the web site to conduct his polling research amongst gamers. His findings were relatively unsurprising -- or, rather, my gaming experiences and regular gaming group fit easily within the Bell Curve average of his findings.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite a thorough, studied look at the German/European board game phenomenon. I enjoyed the insights it provided into the hobby I've participated in over the past ten years. It even provided me some food for thought regarding my own gaming tendencies. Recommended for those looking for a deeper understanding of the hobby.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
A good introduction to the rise of hobby board gaming culture, along with interesting survey results about what players think of particular game design elements and social behaviors. This was written as an academic paper and it shows, which is great for references but less than great for being a consistently engaging read.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming
Book by Australian author on his PhD on board games - how cool would that have been to do. Sadly, whilst the historical information contained is interesting, the rest (including the actual PhD topic) is dry.
David C Pettit
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: games
Excellent explanation of eurogames. I really couldn't put it down.
Tim Moore
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I really good overview, although much of what was there was not new to me.
Tudor Ciocarlie
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Oct 11, 2016
Matt Kimball
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Feb 06, 2013
Carlos Alves
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May 31, 2013
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Nov 24, 2017
Sinan Sayın
rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2014
Luis Francisco
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May 15, 2013
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