Un-PC Gaming: The different categories of games covered
The whole idea of Un-PC Gaming is to consider and celebrate the world of 'traditional', non-computer games. There are several broad categories of game included in this group, so my first post gives a brief rundown of the classifications I'm using.
This group of games includes those that have been around for hundreds of years, such as chess, tafl, backgammon, nine man morris, and so forth. It also includes modern abstract games (games without a defined theme) that work in a similar style to those grandaddies of gaming: Hive is a great example, as was the often-forgotten Kensington.
This is a catch-all category for the majority of modern boardgames: they're played on a board or a board is created during game play; playing pieces move around on this - be they wooden, plastic, or metal; dice are rolled and/or cards are played to influence what happens on the board. Most people associate this type of game with half-remembered, glacier-crawling paced family games of Monopoly or Cluedo, but they're not very representative of modern, great boardgame design.
Cards are sometimes used as a mechanism in board games, but this category focusses on games where the playing of cards is the game in itself. This could be a traditional card game such as rummy or poker, or a themed game such as Munchkin or Chez Geek.
Despite the use of miniatures, maps, and props, roleplaying games (RPGs) are games of the imagination: a group activity game where all players contribute to unfolding a story and determining what happens (often with dice rolls to introduce some uncertainty). The best-known RPG is Dungeons & Dragons, although many games - and many themes - exist.
Miniatures games are generally wargames, where players collect armies of plastic or metal scale models and fight battles over a landscaped tabletop using dice to add the random 'fog of war' factor. Miniatures painting and collecting are hobbies in their own right, but its also day enough to play miniatures games with unpainted soft plastic warriors. Popular games include Flames of War and Bolt Action.
Anything that doesn't fit elsewhere is categorised thus! This could be anything from party games such as Ugg Tect and Dixit, through to dexterity games like Subbuteo or Elk Fest.