A “euro-game”, also known as a “German-style board game” are
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. 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.
The most well-known example of this would be Klaus Teuber’s Settlers of Catan.
Where western / American-style board games tend to focus more on direct competition, zero-sum arrangements, and frequently combat themes, German-style games instead focus on empire-building, strategizing, and often economic themes. If American-style games are “during the war”, German-style are “before and after”. There is player interaction, of course, but it’s frequently circumstantial or coincidental. The publishers “Rio Grande Games” and “Mayfair Games” are both terrific sources (as are many games that win the annual Spiel de Jahres award)
In any case – they are a variety of games that have become quite popular here in America over the past decade. My friendly gaming group frequents many of these.
Over the past year, I have discovered several computer-based editions of these games that can either be played online (against other people) or locally (against computer AI) — the best part is that they have Linux-based versions! The games I’ll cover here, along with how to set them up and where to find more information on playing them, are:
- Settlers of Catan
- Race for the Galaxy
- San Juan
- Dominion / Puerto Rico / Carcasonne / others