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Auto battlers are a genre where you build your "deck" and the computer plays against other players. An example autobattler is Hearthstone Battlegrounds.

You could call it a card game since the "deck" is a set of units, which are effectively the same as cards in games like Magic or Hearthstone. On the other hand it kind of pushes the boundary, since as Wikipedia puts it auto battlers are also a "strategy video game".

Are questions on auto battlers on topic?

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Part of our definition of board games is that it must

  • Be playable on or around a table

  • Be playable by hand, by human players implementing all of the rules

So no, autobattlers would not be allowed. My interpretation is that we don't allow Hearthstone at all, because there is no instance of it that is playable by hand on or around a table.

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  • 1
    My understanding has basically been, does it exist as a physical game? If yes you can ask questions about it, even digital versions (ie Mtg: Arena), if no you can't ask questions about it even if it looks like a board or card game (ie Hearthstone)
    – diego
    Sep 19 '21 at 1:59
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    Yes, that pages also says "For a question to be on topic, it must relate to a game that is on topic, but the particular instance that the question is referring to may loosen those rules. [...] Questions about computer implementations of board games are fine." MTG Arena is allowed because it is related to the on topic game Magic: the Gathering, but Hearthstone is off topic because there is no implementation of it that is on topic.
    – murgatroid99 Mod
    Sep 19 '21 at 2:03
  • Are you sure Hearthstone is off topic? It might not be a board game, but it's clearly a card game. Magic Arena also has elements which cannot be duplicated in paper play, e.g. brawl, where the players summon random creatures.
    – Allure
    Sep 20 '21 at 0:47
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    If you read the rules on the page I linked, you can see that it uses "board game" as a catch all term that also includes card games. The criteria listed are the ones we use to determine whether a game is on topic on this site.
    – murgatroid99 Mod
    Sep 20 '21 at 0:50
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    I know someone was going to bring up Magic Arena. The difference is that Magic: the Gathering is an existing physical card game, and Magic Arena is an implementation of that game with some minor modifications. Hearthstone, on the other hand, is a purely digital card game.
    – murgatroid99 Mod
    Sep 20 '21 at 0:52
  • But if the definition is Be playable by hand, by human players implementing all of the rules then MTGA Brawl breaks that rule. This doesn't look consistent. If one argues that Brawl is still on-topic because you can in principle use a random number generator to create the paper cards, then you could also do the same with Hearthstone, just make physical cards.
    – Allure
    Sep 20 '21 at 0:55
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    OK, here's the standard I'm applying: Magic: the Gathering is allowed because it is an existing physical game that conforms to the criteria in our rules. Magic Arena is allowed because it is a computer implementation of Magic: the Gathering. Hearthstone is not allowed because it is a computer game with no corresponding existing physical implementation. I don't see this as inconsistent because MTG and MTGA are allowed as the result of different parts of the rules. If you believe this ruling should be different, I think at this point you should write your own answer with your reasoning.
    – murgatroid99 Mod
    Sep 20 '21 at 1:13
  • I can't write my own answer because this question asks about auto battlers. I'll ask another question about Hearthstone.
    – Allure
    Sep 20 '21 at 2:09
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    @Allure Brawl in and of itself does implement all the rules of paper MTG, Brawl as a format actually exists in paper MTG, and existed in paper MTG before MTGA was released. The rules specific to Brawl are in section 903.12 of the Magic the Gathering Comprehensive Rules.
    – Andrew
    Sep 20 '21 at 14:12
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As you stated, they are a 'strategy video games' which I believe should go into Arqade which has other questions related to hearthstone and auto battlers.

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