Games that you hate because they claim to have Strategy, but they're basically Pure Luck.
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Just what the title says. That's what this geeklist is all about.

Why is there such a trend to add so much luck into games nowadays? I wish I understood it. Good for you for reading this far, you'll want to keep reading...trust me. Actually, this list isn't about games that are pure luck at all. You see, I have this theory that there are a number of people out there who occasionally don't bother reading the header text on geeklists, or at best they just glance at the first few sentences of it. People sometimes just read the title and jump right in (I've done it myself before.) Because of this, there are a number of times I see people post things that don't apply at all because they failed to read the full explanation. So, if you are reading this, here's how I will know. Post a game that you actually like, instead of hate. But in the text of your item, give some fake explanation of why you hate the game and think it's pure luck.

Now we don't want this to be too easy for the non-readers to figure out, so make sure you don't post a game with no luck whatsoever like Chess. Something with a little luck will do. What will make it even better is if you sport a "fan" microbadge for the game at the same time you're posting the game you are claiming to hate. And if you are a user who missed this text the first time and jumped in to post a game or comment without realizing the trick of the geeklist...be a good sport, laugh at yourself, and leave it up for everyone else to chuckle at. But don't give away the secret, let users discover it for themselves.

Please post your own.
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51. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:15]
Dave
United States
Lafayette
Indiana
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This game really annoys me. I've played it around 10 times now with the same number of players (2) and I can't for the life of me what the fuss is all about. It's impossible to know how much food you'll need for each round, so being prepared for that is a shot in the dark. Also, the buildings are in a random order every game! Coupled with not knowing the special buildings this game really just boils down to straight luck. shake

The only decision you make in this game is what color to play. After that the game guides itself, basically. Ugh.
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52. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:125]
Andrew Heywood
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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There's nothing worse. If you play limited, you're completely at the mercy of the packs you open, and no matter how you play, you can win or lose the game in your initial seven. Maybe if there were ways to mitigate the effects of luck this would be a decent game, but as it is I can't see how anyone enjoys this stinker.
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53. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:917]
Karl von Laudermann
United States
Unspecified
Massachusetts
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I don't know how this game remains a "classic", it's basically just roll-and-move in its purest form. Whoever rolls the best is going to win. I guess what keeps it popular is playing for money. You can add betting to any purely random game to make it "interesting".

People also say that the doubling cube makes the game, but turning the cube is basically just saying "look, it's obvious that I'm winning; how much are you willing to bet that your luck will change before the game ends?"
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54. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:194] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Matt Schaub
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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This game's degree of luck is absurd. You roll to determine who goes first, to attack, to defend, to use a special ability, probably to even blow your nose. I've found the best way to play this game is to take 30 Heroscape dice and throw them out a window, preferably a high one.
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55. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:239]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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First, there's the starting planet draws. Somebody gets a good starting planet and you get only bad ones, you're screwed. Then there's the planet placement - if you end up being stuck between two opponents, you'll never get out of there for the entire game.

And the worst thing: The combat cards. As long as you draw the ones you need, everything is fine - but way too often you're only drawing cards for Zerglings when what you really need is Ultralisk cards, or you're drawing tech for units you don't even have on the board. It's ridiculous!
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56. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Jack van Riel
Netherlands
Tilburg
It's wurples all the way down.
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Noone has posted this yet? I can't believe it...

The theme is supposed to be building empires or civilizations or whatever. Yeah, I'm sure those kings ten thousand years ago couldn't cross the river turn after turn because they didn't draw any blue tiles. And the scoring system is made so you NEED to draw an equal amount of tiles from every color. Whay is that so famous? It's frustrating!

Red tiles are the worst. They're randomly twice as good as the other tiles. Why is that? Draw no reds, and you're doing nothing for the entire game. No way to win, and no way to do anything about it.

At least with dice you still have a chance to roll high. The combat system in Tigris & Euphrates however... if you weren't lucky enough to draw those red tiles, you have no way to win.
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57. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:288]
Kevin Tierney
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I can't believe no one has mentioned this game yet. I can't stand how the luck of the character splits decide the whole game. Even the rules point out that if certain characters come up the first round Jack can win easily. And this is supposedly a strategy game ?!?!? I swear Fluxx has more strategy than this.... I wouldn't be so bitter if I didn't get caught EVERY time because my opponent got flipped the EXACT characters he needed to catch me. Why do I bother to burn a zillion brain cells just so my opponent can get handed the victory?
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58. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:225]
Jack van Riel
Netherlands
Tilburg
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We like RoboRally, but we always play that each person plans and moves his whole turn before the next player does. Without that house rule, we find that robots often randomly push eachother and you end up somewhere completely different from where you planned.
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59. Board Game: Galactic Emperor [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1095]
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
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Unbelievably luck based. There's the draw of tiles for the galaxy map which you have zero control over. And the guy *before* you gets to pick - so you're hosed there. The same thing happens when you buy technologies! Incredibly poor design choice.

Oh. And there's dice in the game - but strangely, that doesn't seem to cause as much trouble.
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60. Board Game: Ivanhoe [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1192]
Ralph T
United States
Signal Hill
California
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I only played it once, but it was pure, unadulterated luck. Some GMT guy threw in some powerful cards on top of Knizia's design to make a luckfest into a luck-Carnival.
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61. Board Game: Clash of Monarchs [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:2052]
Sam Carroll
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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People say there's strategy in this . . . I don't know, though. All that really matters for the British is Fleet Combat and Colonial Conflict, and those are hugely random. The rest of the game is a sideshow. Frederick vs. Daun, blah blah blah . . .
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62. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:104]
Lou Seelbach
United States
Huntington
West Virginia
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You might think this game is skill based, but that's only if you are playing with inexperienced opponents. With my game group, we are all superior 1830 players who can see the optimal strategies for particular players and companies. No one would make an inferior play, as they would be guaranteed to lose and essentially throw the game to another player. Therefore, the game becomes extremely derivative and is determined by the stupid random card draw at the beginning. We usually put this one away before the privates are bought, simply declaring a winner. Then we get out a real game where the winner isn't predetermined by luck like Go.
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63. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:100]
Daniel Lanning
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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The luck in this game kills me. It doesn't matter what team you play or the skills that you get, if you roll well you win, and that's all there is going on here.

By the way Ben, thank you for creating such an excellent geeklist. Also, I agree with you.
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64. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:351] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
♫ Eric Herman ♫
United States
West Richland
Washington
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Lots of dice rolling and card draws = lots and lots of luck. Sure, there's a good amount of tactical strategy, timing, cooperation and second-guessing of your opponent, but the luck factor totally ruins this for me... Ravenous zombies should behave in a completely deterministic manner and there should be no variables involved when trying to defeat them. yuk
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65. Board Game: Navia Dratp [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1296]
Everett Warren
United States
Marietta
Pennsylvania
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Oh, sure, it may look like a strategy game because there's a superficial resemblance to Chess, but this game is nothing but pure, dumb luck.

First off, it's all in the luck of the pieces you pick out. Maybe it's worse: it's the luck of what pieces you've managed to collect. And since there's not that many pieces, you really don't have a chance to figure out how to use them.

Secondly, it's all luck in how your opponent moves their pieces. You don't have any control whatsoever over their moves! They can just do what they want and you have to sit there and hope you get lucky on your turn.

Saps all the fun right out of it.

Thirdly, you have to be lucky enough to have enough gyullas to do the things you want. If you're really unlucky, you may never get a chance to dratp one of your maseitai.

Most importantly ~ and what really ruins the game for me ~ is the sheer luck involved in pronouncing the names of the components and actions correctly... "dratp?" As luck would have it, I end up saying "drat-ip" or something like it at least once a game. "Maseitai"? Actually, I think I may get that one right. But "gyullas"? How are you supposed to pronounce those letters in that combination? I don't think I've ever been lucky enough to pronounce that one the same twice.
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66. Board Game: Mechwarrior: Dark Age [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2838]
stephen
United Kingdom
Burton on trent
Staffordshire
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You carefully pick your forces getting a good balance of offensive units, maneuvre them carefully into position where you cant miss, roll the dice, double 1, a critical miss. It doesn't matter how you select your forces or how well you place them, its just dice and despair.

Its the most expensive craps game I ever bought.
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67. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
kelsith
United States
Illinois
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I can't beleive no one added this game yet.

You memorize the tiles. You know whats left. You know how many of each there are and what the odds are. You spend your next 9 turns trying to get a city capper. Don't even think of putting the builder from T&B on a city or its all roads for the rest of the game for you. Heck you even manage to find a way your opponent can't close his mega city without one specific tile...And what does the blue bag of me hating luck give out....yep that tile. Don't even get me started on farmer scoring may as well just get out the Shogun tower on that one. You managed to get blessed with one more farmer on my field than I do..oh well no points for me.

Ben your totally right on everything you said about luck in games.
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68. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:169]
B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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Man, I hate this game.

If, as heroes, you draw the right ones, the Overlord will be crushed no matter how stupid you behave. No tactics needed.

If you draw the wrong heroes, you still may be lucky with the dice rolls and the Overlord will be crushed no matter how stupid you behave. No tactics needed.

If, as the Overlord, you draw the right cards, the heroes will be crushed no matter how stupid you behave.

If, as the Overlord, you draw the wrong cards, you still mey be lucky with the dice rolls and the heroes will be crushed no matter how stupid you behave. No tactics needed.

This game is a dice-fest. It's pure luck.

This game is for deranged idiots. Man, I hate this game.
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69. Board Game: Warhammer: Invasion [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:268]
B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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Man, I hate this game.

If you draw the right cards, you will crush your enemy, no matter how stupid you behave.

If you draw the wrong cards, you will be crushed no matter how stupid he behaves.

The randomness is the heaviest factor here. No matter how you build your dech and to which zone you play most of the cards, if you keep drawing the right ones, you will inevitably win.

And if you and your opponent both get good cards, the first player will be the winner.

This game is a luck-fest. It's pure luck.

This game is for deranged idiots. Man, I hate this game.
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70. Board Game: Fury of Dracula (second edition) [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:255]
B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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Man, I hate this game.

If, as the hunters, you stumble upon Dracula during the day, no matter what cards you have, you will seriously wound or kill him.

If, as the hunters, you stumble upon Dracula during the night and you were lucky drawing cards, you will seriously wound or kill him.

If, as Dracula, you draw good tiles (like the Brides) you will inevitably win. If you draw bad tiles, there's nothing saving you from a bitter defeat.

If, during combat, you always roll higher then your opponent, no matter what cards you have, you will win.

This game is a dice-fest. It's pure luck.

This game is for deranged idiots. Man, I hate this game.
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71. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:212]
B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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Man, I hate this game.

It all depends on which veeples and tiles you draw. When you see a good set of veeples you just bid what you can to get them and win.

It all depends on who happens to have more money when the right veeples are drawn.

It all depends on which tiles are drawn to become sets with which veeples.

This game is a luck-fest. This game is all luck.

This game is for deranged idiots.

Man, I hate this game.
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72. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:62]
B. G. Kubacki
Poland
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Man, I hate this game.

If, thinking that you can make your opponent believe that you want the tile he's bidding hard for you overbid him, you will be screwed. And you will lose the game.

If it so happens that you do not have enough money to bid for what you need, you will be screwed. And you will eventually lose the game.

If it so happens that an opponent picks the one tile you need, you will be screwed. And you will eventually lose the game.

It's all decided by chance!

This game is a chance-fest. It's pure luck.

This game is for deranged idiots. Man, I hate this game.
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73. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:71]
James Webb Space Telescope in 2018!
United States
Utah
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OK, bear with me, I know many people will disagree with this game being on this list.

In Go I never know what my opponent will do. To me that is luck. I may be able to predict his moves to some extent, but never with absolute certaintly. I've always been surprised to see people say this is a perfect information game. I don't know what my opponent is thinking - how is that perfect information? I don't hate Go but I think people should realize there is luck involved.

I really do know what I'm talking about. See, I've got a Go microbadge and everything ;-)

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74. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:147]
Snowball
Belgium
n/a
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Gender: pot*ato. My opinion is an opinion.
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The game is entirely decided by the luck of the draw; draw a spider tile from the bag when you need an ant and then you are pretty much toast.
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75. Board Game: Lords of Alban [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Ingo Keiner
Germany
Oberhausen
NRW
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I hate this game because when you get the wrong start position, you are already lost.
Other elements of the game are very fine, and 5 hours playtime is also good, but this extreme disadvantage from the start isn´t recoverable.
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