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When would you say the Golden Age of board games was?

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06 May 2019 23:58 #296691 by themothman421
Based on that helpful chart above, I'd say 2005-2009 for me personally. Right now I'd say we are in some sort of Gilded Age, thanks in no small part to the endless supply of Kickstarter shovelware we are currently "enjoying."
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07 May 2019 00:00 #296692 by Gary Sax
Great original post, btw.
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07 May 2019 07:25 #296695 by Legomancer
Personally for me it's '95 to '05, though of course there are outliers.
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07 May 2019 08:47 #296701 by drewcula
Fascinating.
It seems like a longer perspective is needed here.
I'll take it upon myself to step in.

Cosmic Encounter 1977
Magic Realm 1979
Dune 1979
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07 May 2019 09:01 #296704 by Josh Look
I don’t think I could narrow it down to just one time frame. It kind of depends on the type of game we’re talking about. Euros, it’s the late 90s-early 2000s stuff for sure. There are outliers, but I cannot get on board with the scoring systems that are popular right now. Thematic games are even harder to pin a time on. It’s easier to say which era I’m not a fan of, that being about the time FFG started doing weird, convoluted things just for the sake of doing them. Though, even the stuff right before that isn’t aging well, either.

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07 May 2019 09:51 #296707 by Matt Thrower
Round about the time Kickstarter launched, before big companies started using it as a risk management tool.

Seriously: IMO in terms of mechanics and components and user base games have generally been on the upward arc since forever. They keep getting better and more popular in baby steps.

But KS spoiled it - No fault of its own - by opening the floodgates to publishing and FOMO marketing. Now we have too many games with too many badly planned stretch goals.

The increase in the number of games also narrowed the scope for innovation. Lots of reasons for this, including that designers had already used the best of "hybrid" concepts. But also it became a thing to launch games to a prescribed formula for success, rather than innovate.

So: about 2010?
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07 May 2019 11:01 #296711 by Josh Look
I think Cyclades is a landmark game. That was the first time I saw hybrid mechanics really take off. I might be wrong, but I feel like it’s was the beginning of the end for the 2000s Euro craze and pure AT games whether anyone realized it or not.
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07 May 2019 15:03 #296726 by Toenail21
What is this madness, we are all discussing this like mature adults. I love this site so much more than BGG :)

But there's a lot of great perspective here. I think in particular, most millennials and iGen people (myself included) more or less ignore everything released before Catan, with the exception of Games Workshop stuff. I do wanna try Dune when it gets reprinted though.
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07 May 2019 16:48 #296730 by Sagrilarus

Matt Thrower wrote: So: about 2010?


That's about when I was thinking. I thought 2005-2010 when I first saw the question.
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07 May 2019 17:24 - 07 May 2019 17:30 #296731 by jpat
Beyond personal impressions/memories, if we agree, for the moment, that there was such an age and that it is not now, are there markers that we can point to?

I might suggest a few:

* Hobby and metahobby. At some point, did/does the hobby get so big that it is no longer one hobby but multiple or many? When the hobby is too big for any one person to know, does that mean something?
* Invention of new mechanisms. When did "innovation," defined (maybe!) as pure mechanism rather than remix, slow down? Was deckbuilding the last big one?
* Mergers and acquisitions: For example, FFG getting bought out, or, even before then, FFG going about 90% licensed products? More broadly, Asmodee replacing Hasborg as the perceived enemy?
* Professionalization. Sort of going along with the first one, it seems to me that the (1) shift to video and the (2) scramble for branding mark something significant. These were accelerated by KS but I think preceded it.

This for me is more about periodization than rating, though I certainly have my own preferences.
Last edit: 07 May 2019 17:30 by jpat.
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07 May 2019 17:49 #296732 by DarthJoJo

jpat wrote: * Invention of new mechanisms. When did "innovation," defined (maybe!) as pure mechanism rather than remix, slow down? Was deckbuilding the last big one?


I like your approach and list, but I would expand this point beyond gaming mechanisms to innovations and expansion in gaming culture. While paradigm shifts in mechanics like customizable card games and cooperative games are important to signposting an era in gaming, the release of Wil Wheaton’s TableTop or the use of Twitch to livestream board games are impactful, too. They bring more people into the hobby and change how we approach it.
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07 May 2019 18:05 #296733 by ChristopherMD
All I know for sure is that we been living in a golden age of Star Wars games since 2012.
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07 May 2019 18:07 #296734 by Michael Barnes
Ha ha remember when you either chose from Battle for Hoth or Epic Duels since you couldn’t afford Queen’s Gambit, and everybody was like “I wish their were more Star Wars games...”.
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07 May 2019 18:44 #296735 by Michael Barnes
I agree mostly with their being sort of “conditional” Golden Ages. It kind of depends. The Eurogames GA was 1995-2000, bookended perfectly by Settlers and Princes of Florence. The late 1980s was the heyday of mass market crossovers. 1993-1998, CCGs. GW has had a couple of GAs, most recently 2016-2019- they are still riding high, but I feel like they have plateaued after releasing the best rule set they ever have done in Adeptus Titanicus, and slowing down on the “boxed games”. There was a brief GA for micro games precipitated by Love Letter. I guess Roll and Writes had their moment last year.


It’s better, in grander strokes, to follow the comics aging system. The late 1970s may be the Golden Age, really- the formative years, and the wellspring from whence al this has come. Silver Age, 1980-2000. Bronze Age, 2000-2009. Copper Age, 2010-2015. Pyrite Age, 2016- current.
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07 May 2019 19:24 #296738 by DukeofChutney
i certainly think the past 2-5 years has been of lower quality. For a while i thought this might just be my tastes changing but now i tend to think not.

Id go around 2000 for euros, and around 2010-12 for thematic but im not 100% tied down.

The golden age of Fantasy Flight was definitely around 2010.

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