I recently removed from several questions, because:

  • the tag wiki claimed that it was for WWII wargames by Avalon Hill, but Avalon Hill publishes a lot more than that.
  • it's a meta-tag, about a category of things, not a specific topic.

Is that reasonable, or is this a tag we want to keep around?

  • 3
    Not that I disagree with your overall point here, but that's not what "meta tag" means. A meta tag is one that describes the question itself, not the subject matter. If I tagged a question with [beginner], or [spoiler], or [subjective], those would be meta tags.
    – murgatroid99 Mod
    Aug 30, 2015 at 4:20
  • @murgatroid99 It's kind of a continuum. Specific game is totally fine, beginner is horrible, space-games is pretty bad, games-by-publisher-x is maybe okay but still a bit meta. Meta means describes something other than the question's content, and naming the publisher doesn't really tell you much of anything about the question. (I assume Avalon Hill's war games all have similar mechanics so it makes sense to talk about them as a category, but without refining the tag to mean just that, it includes things like RoboRally and Acquire, definitely broad enough to not mean anything.)
    – Cascabel
    Aug 30, 2015 at 5:41
  • I think it would help to clarify (in the question, not the comments) why you think "avalonhill" is a meta tag. You could borrow from The Death of Meta Tags. Does "avalonhill" describe the content of the question? Can "avalonhill" stand alone as a tag? Is the meaning of "avalonhill" subjective? If the answer to any of these questions is "No.", it is probably a meta tag.
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 2, 2015 at 18:29
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    So, do we have an actionable decision on this? Paging @Pat...
    – bwarner
    Sep 16, 2015 at 15:04

5 Answers 5


What is special about this particular group of games that it warrants a "grouping" tag? What about a tag for collectible card games? Or deckbuilders? Or any of hundreds of other potential categories?

I don't think "This is more convenient than having to watch several tags individually" is a good enough reason to have a tag. We'd quickly be overrun by everyone's different classification systems, none of which would be applied consistently.

You can find some excellent thoughts on this topic from Grace at https://gaming.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3320/how-should-i-tag-on-gaming-se-are-genre-tags-used/3321#3321

  • 2
    +1. I think you should summarize some of the key points from Grace's post, in case it ceases to exist.
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 3, 2015 at 15:27
  • As a gronard, I was about to write an answer to say, "No it's not worth keeping around." Your post is terse, excellent, and far less antagonistic than mine was going to be. Thank you.
    – John
    Sep 4, 2015 at 16:02

There are two choices here:

  • remove the tag, because its meaning is really nonobvious and it's not actually providing a lot of utility in the current state.
  • create a new tag, something like so it's actually clear what it means. (Improving the tag wiki is a good start, but it doesn't solve the problem of having a tag whose name doesn't match its meaning.)

Either one is fine, and I'll happily defer to people who care more about wargames questions than me. I just don't want a publisher tag with secret (wiki-only) meaning.


I own more than half of these old games, including Waterloo, Afrika Korps, Third Reich, and Alesia. I find this tag very useful to highlight games and questions that I am interested in following, rather than having to tag all the games individually.

There is an entire generation of Grognards that grew up with these games, on which we cut our competitive teeth, for whom this tag makes eminent sense. There is even an annual tournament hosted by the Boardgame Players Association, the World Boardgaming Championships, which is dedicated (primarily) to these old classic games. Waterloo and Afrika Korps in particular are regarded as classic evenly balanced contests.

Also, as many of the classic wargame titles can refer to one of many different games, of different styles, age, and complexity, the tag assists in identifying which of many possible games a questioner is inquiring about.

Further, I propose that anything that helps to leaven the current MTG-emphasis of this site is a good thing. Nothing against MTG - I enjoy playing it with my son - but the site is over-weighted in MTG questions for a general-interest member.

Finally, for any gamer older than about 50, the term Avalon Hill can only have one meaning - the classic wargames produced by that iconic company between the release of Tactics II in 1954 and it's purchase by Hasbro in 1971

  • 3
    Okay, but for everyone under 50, or anyone over 50 who wasn't playing war games before 1971, it's ambiguous. I'm not saying it's impossible for it to have value, but if it does have value, it needs to be something like avalon-hill-wargames. That is, your answer basically confirms that there's an issue here - it's only a certain set of people who understand it as is.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 31, 2015 at 2:49
  • By the way, generally if a title when used as a tag is ambiguous, you fix that by modifying the tag, not by adding another - for example you could say waterloo-avalon-hill and waterloo-not-avalon-hill if there were two games with different publishers.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:15
  • This answer supports the idea that avalonhill is a meta tag. From The Death of Meta Tags, "If the tag commonly means different things to different people, it's probably a meta-tag." If, as you describe in the answer, it means something different to different age groups, it's probably a meta tag.
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 2, 2015 at 18:31
  • I'm not 50 yet, I own several AH games and not a single war game. Sep 2, 2015 at 19:43
  • 1
    @ToonKrijthe: The brand name Avalon Hill was bought by Hasbro in the mid 1970's, and has been batted around amongst several companies. Wizards of the Coast owns it now I believe. Just because the games you own are branded Avalon Hill doesn't make them classic TAHGC games, identifying which is the intent of the tag. The problem is that the acronym TAHGC is a bit obscure for a tag name. You also, by being < 50, fail my broad-brush selection. Sep 2, 2015 at 21:51
  • @PieterGeerkens, if so, the wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalon_Hill) is wrong. They say it was sold to Hasbro in 1998. Diplomacy, Civilization and 1830 are from before 1998. Sep 3, 2015 at 7:00
  • Considering how SE admins killed the Magic proposal while allowing Chess and Poker, I do not believe we should be actively trying to "leaven the current MTG-emphasis".
    – corsiKa
    Sep 3, 2015 at 21:46
  • Returning to this, it seems you are in a minority: the votes are strongest on the answer saying these don't warrant a grouping tag. I'm going to go back and remove it from all the places where it got added back again. If you really think there's something here that needs to be labeled, I'd suggest asking a new meta question with a specific proposal addressing the concerns here (and making the name avalon-hill-wargames or some such, not avalonhill).
    – Cascabel
    Sep 27, 2015 at 17:04
  • 1
    @Jefromi: I've got a corollary - just delete my account from this stack, and I promise never to post on it again. You and your buddies clearly are trying to make this a MTG exclusive site, so I will stop hindering you. Sep 27, 2015 at 17:08
  • The questions are great, and it's just an issue of how to tag them. I've answered tons and tons of non-MTG questions, and I'd be as mad as you if it turned into a MTG-exclusive site. Fortunately no one's trying to do that.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 27, 2015 at 17:14
  • The one reason I can think that it might be a good idea to label these things is if the games are at the core essentially the same game with different units/scenarios layered on top, so questions/answers about one tend to apply to others too. I don't object at all to a tag like avalon-hill-wargames if that's the case (see my answer from a month ago); it just needs to be explained that way rather than as "I like to search like this".
    – Cascabel
    Sep 27, 2015 at 17:16
  • 1
    @JefromiOkay CRT scan for every classic AH game is in fact identical: 4.bp.blogspot.com/-2m5hdimEnPE/TsVrwmSVXjI/AAAAAAAADQc/… D-Day; Waterloo; Afrika Korps. Stalingrad; Battle of the Bulge; all used the same CRT. Sep 27, 2015 at 17:37
  • 1
    @Jefromi: Also if you look at the results from the annual World Board Game Championships (Lancaster, PA every July August) You will see the same names re-occurring in several of the games as Champions. These games are compared to Chess in being very deep, relative to the simple rules, with standard opening that one must learn in order to compete at a high level. Sep 27, 2015 at 17:42
  • 1
    @Jefromi:L SE has deliberately been designed to NOT be a democracy; for sound reasons. It is an oligarchy/meritocracy, so when you use the excuse that the site is democratic, and take the results of a small self-selection as a valid poll/vote of some sort. my dander gets stirred. Sep 27, 2015 at 17:47
  • It's not a democracy, but at the same time, sometimes we need to pick a single answer. The accepted way to do that is to ask on meta, solicit opinions, and go with the crowd unless there are some really obvious reasons not to. It's not an "excuse", it's how the site works. I'm not saying this has to be the final say, just that given the arguments presented here and the voting, it seems to be the best choice for now. If you want to change it, make a more convincing argument and use a better tag name.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 27, 2015 at 20:27

Yes, we should keep the tag around.

Sometimes questions revolve around publishers themselves. If we're asking about the publisher, it's valid to have a tag for the topic — the publisher.

We shouldn't use this tag however on questions merely about games Avalon Hill produces.

  • Would you tag all questions about any of these games with the tag, or just ones about the publisher?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 16, 2017 at 13:06
  • Just questions directly about the publisher. We do not need to give the games their tag. Feb 16, 2017 at 13:07
  • I don't understand why games of this publisher can't be tagged with their publisher tag. As @ForgetIwaseverhere said, if you're insterested in one you're probably interested in the rest, as certainly is my case. Current "wargaming" tag is very general and full of Warhammer 40K. It would be nice to access content in a quick and efficient manner.
    – Rodia
    Feb 16, 2017 at 13:27
  • Okay, that makes perfect sense to me - though note that when this was written, most of the tagged questions were about single games, so applying it only to those about the publisher was more like getting rid of it than keeping it.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 16, 2017 at 14:01
  • @Jefromi Ok, got it. :) Feb 16, 2017 at 14:01
  • 1
    Right now, we have one question about the price of Avalon Hill games, and an open meta discussion about if that sort of pricing question should be on-topic. I'm having a hard time imagining other types of questions where this tag would be allowed, and aI don't . So far, we haven't needed similar tags for other manufacturers, like Hasbro, Fantasy Flight Games, AEG, etc. Would a generic [publishers] tag fit the needs for questions specifically about game publishers? Feb 16, 2017 at 20:56
  • 2
    @Thunderforge No, because I'm not an expert in [publishers] like I'm not an expert in [board-games]. I might however know a lot about a specific publisher like I might know something about specific board games. Feb 16, 2017 at 20:59

Oh, my good God.

So you removed "avalonhill" tag, huh? And that's why I had to search for these games one by one, and still missed some... Madness.

I totally subscribe what @ForgetIwaseverhere user said, and I'm far from being 50 years old.

Get back the tag, you semi-barbaric card dealers kiddos. You ruined hobby shops in the 80-90s with your Magic and Yugi-Ohs and now you want to ruin this SE! :D

More seriously, I think the tag is badly needed in a Board & Card games SE, but I concede that a more open definition mentioning not only WWII wargames would also help.

EDIT: As of right now there's a new "avalon-hill" tag here:

What's the most valuable Avalon Hill wargame?

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