This is a quick glossary of terms you will find used throughout this blog. This document is intended as a quick reference for those new to the hobby. If you see a definition you feel is incorrect, please contact me through the comment section below.
Round – A Round is less easily defined than Turn. In most games a round continues until all players can no longer take actions. There could be multiple Turns allowed in a single Round, or only one Turn per player.
Euro Game or Eurogame – A Eurogame is a style of game that originated in Europe, specifically in Germany, although games in this style do now originate from countries all over the world. Euro Games are defined by a lack of player elimination, a tendency towards more family orientated play, wooden components over plastic, skill is favoured over luck and the mechanics are supported by the theme, rather than vice versa.
Ameritrash – Ameritrash is harder to define that Eurogame and can be seen as a derogatory term. In general the term is applied to games which favour theme heavily and mechanics are created to support the theme. Often these games will have direct player conflict and a luck element.
Hybrid – Hybrid games are said be to part Euro, part Ameritrash. Although using these terms to describe all games is far too limiting. A hybrid game could be a wargame that doesn’t allow for player eliminations, favours skill and tactics over luck and allows for players to trade amongst each other, for example. As a general rule, most games published today probably fall under the Hybrid umbrella and so I find it easier to categorise games by Type or Mechanics than by Style.
Mechanics – Mechanics are the core system that drives the game. There are hundreds of types of Mechanics, for example Roll and Move is a well known Mechanic, where you roll a die and move the number of spaces indicated. Many games will include different types of Mechanics.
Roleplaying Game or RPG – Roleplaying Games or RPG’s typically refer to a more in-depth style game where the players take on one or more roles in a collaborative story telling experience. Traditionally these games were set in the Fantasy genre although modern roleplaying games cover a whole gamut of styles and eras. The biggest Roleplaying game of all time is Dungeons and Dragons.
Stats – Stats refers to certain “in game” elements that are pertinent to a single player. For example your stats (short for statistics) might include Movement 5, Strength 3, Lives 4 etc. The word Stats could be used to refer to any information that is specific to a player, although it is generally used to refer to numbers.
Polyhedral Dice – Polyhedral is a term that means many sided three dimensional shape. When used in reference to dice it typically refers to non-standard (i.e everything but six sided) dice. These are often used in Roleplaying games. Typical dice include four sided, eight sided,ten sided,twelve sided and twenty sided. These type of dice are often abbreviated in rules and text as “dX” where X denotes the number of sides i.e. d4 means a four sided die. 2d8 would mean two 8-sided dice etc.
Percentile Dice– Percentile Dice or d% or d100 are a special kind of Polyhedral Dice. Using two 10-sided dice you can generate numbers between 1 and 100. To do this one dice is “Tens” i.e. 10, 20, 30 etc. the other is “Units” 1, 2, 3 etc. To differentiate players can use 2 different coloured dice, although most players use special dice marked with 10’s and 20’s etc.