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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76. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:283]
Martin Jackson
United Kingdom
Bath
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This game's awful, it just boils down to who gets lucky enough to pick that bonus tile with the stone circle thing on it...
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77. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:63]
Karl von Laudermann
United States
Unspecified
Massachusetts
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You're trying to make the routes on your initial tickets, but if the card colors you need aren't coming up, you're hosed. Or if you and another player are fighting to build the same connection, whoever draws enough of the required color first will build it, and block the other one. Or more likely, whoever is sitting to the right of the other player will snatch up those cards before it gets to the other player's turn.

Then later in the game, when you draw more tickets, you may draw routes you've already completed, or you may only draw routes that are nowhere near your existing trains, and be forced to keep a card that will be worth negative points.

The Europe version adds tunnels and ferries to the mix, and that that point you might as well be playing LCR.
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78. Board Game: Penguin Pile-Up [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:10667]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
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Sometimes my hands are shaky because I've had too much caffiene and I lose. It is just bad luck that my opponent is always a 6 year old who doesn't drink coffee.

To overcome the luck factor of this: always play against children who drink coffee. Their little bodies cannot handle the dosage and you will win win win!
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79. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:68]
Patrick
United States
Hanover
MD
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Fourth page and no Cosmic? This game has luck in spades. Bad hands, overpowered aliens, flares, the destiny deck? All of these random and all of them will make you lose.

If I'm dealt a bad hand I have to decide how turn it to my advantage as well has convince my fellow players to ally.
If someone draws an overpowered alien everyone else has to decide on how best to handle it.
If someone gets a vicious flare card in their hand I have to either steal it or run them out of encounter cards.
And what if the destiny deck makes me attack my friend? I just allied with them, why would I then want to attack them?

Cosmic is the worst. No fun. It makes the player do all of the work as the game is being played.
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80. Board Game: BattleTech [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:664]
Ryan Heac0ck
United States
Indiana
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This game never fails to drive me up the wall..... I spend HOURS designing my own mech, careful to optimize speed, weight and armament, only to spend the next two hours rolling d6 after d6 trying to get the highest numbers. I would imagine (if you had a month of sundays) that given enough time and battles you would find that all mechs are created equal. Sooner or later the dice gods will favor one side or the other consistantly to pull of the most imablanced duel.

The worst part is that the more mechs you field the less strategy comes into play. Despite careful manuevering and controlled manipulation of the opponents psyche and forces a consistant winning pattern never forms.

PUT THAT IN YOUR JUICE BOX AND SUCK IT!!! devil
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81. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:142]
Jeff Bridgham
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
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I can't believe no one has added this luck-fest yet! If you draw your hospital, bank and residence card together, there goes your game! Or, if your right hand opponent draws two good cards together more often than others, easy win! It all comes down to who gets the most shots at those three cards, and the carriage house, throughout the game that determines the winner!

And that is pure luck!!!
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82. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:191]
Ian Peters-Campbell
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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This game is tricky. At first you could look at it and think it was quite strategic, since there aren't dice. Then you start flipping cards. Does my supply go up? Nope. Ok how about now? Nope. Now? Nope. You can spend the whole game without getting a chance to grow your armies.

On top of that, you have the randomness of initial player assignment, and some houses are clearly just going to lose the game from the start. Greyjoy? Instant win. Stark? Instant lose (duh, anyone who knows the books can tell you that).

Spending the whole game with a house destined to lose, unable to even buid any more armies because of the luck of the supply card draw, really sucks.
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83. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1226]
Ian Peters-Campbell
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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This one really chaps my hide. You spend hours playing it, working out all the accounting for driving a starship, you spend time maneuvering for the perfect shot, and then you ROLL A BUNCH OF STUPID DICE to see if you win or not.

Alpha strike all hits? You might win. All miss? Too bad, game over. And it doesn't stop with weapons. Damage locations, suicide shuttles, etc etc etc. For the amount of luck in this game it's really surprising that so many people dedicate so much time and energy "mastering" it. There's nothing to master except dice rolling.
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84. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Ingo Ahrens
Germany
Stelle
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That's the one for me, and I know many will disagree. Still.yuk

This has seen quite some play time, and each and every time any strategy one of us had was a victim of card drawing luck and dice rolling luck.

I've sweared I'll never ever play this again. It's not that I'm into brain burners that much and hate luck in games itself. M44 just kills any possible strategy with it. E.g., I like Tide of Iron (I know how different both of these games are), which has quite some serious luck factor too, but not to that degree I experienced in M44.

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85. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Eugene Ko
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
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Two words: Civil War

cry
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86. Board Game: Opera [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1497]
Markku W
Finland
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I think Opera could be summed up just by two words "blind bidding".

Still, even worse is the fact that you should try to figure out the best possible course of action while you can only try to guess what the other players will choose during their turns. Get the wrong role at a wrong time and you're pretty much hosed. Add to that the random lottery of the new music pieces, and you may pretty randomly choose your actions throughout the game and get almost the same end result. Not that there's anything wrong in that, it's still an amusing game, but the "strategy" aspect is quite non-existent in the game, IMO.
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87. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:140]
Markku W
Finland
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Like Notre Dame but worse: you can see the randomly ordered months in advance, and know beforehand that the game is gonna suck. "Luckily" you don't have any control over other players: which persons they will recruit and what actions they will pick, so the game is more or less an exercise in futility. "Oh, you took the last guy I would have needed...", "Joy, there goes my action"...
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88. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
Steve
United Kingdom
Milford Haven
Pembrokeshire
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Nearly 90 games listed and no-one's mentioned this obscenity yet?
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89. Board Game: Age of Renaissance [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:573]
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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Long games are strategic, are they not? AoR requires careful planning on how to advance in the technologies?

Go and chew fat somewhere else.. It all comes down to the luck of the draw. A war played against you in round 2, drawing gold cards without any gold province, everyone else drawing the correct personalities for the discounts you need. And taking over a province ... determined by the roll of dice... hah! Chrome, I tell you - blinding chrome, wanting us to believe that anything can be influenced in this game! I fail to see how this game can be ranked medium heavy to heavy - the only thing heavy here is the game box...
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90. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Kan D
France
Troyes
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I don't understand why this game claims to have strategy.
The cube tower makes it basically Pure Luck. How could you lead any serious strategies with this thing?
I'd rather play Candy Land instead.
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91. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:326] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
Dave Nellis
United States
Denver
Colorado
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This game is all about the genes you were born with. If your brain can't handle parallel processing you don't have a chance!
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True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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This game is pure luck. To win, you have to agree with Ben but agreeing with him is only a 50% chance!

Might as well flip a coin.

P.S. I agree with Ben.
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93. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:54]
Jon G
United States
Goleta
California
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First off, there's the cards. You build NY-KC, and a Western Link, then wait around for that major line to come out. No major line, no 20 points, and you're screwed. Or it comes out at the wrong time and lowers your income too fast. Or it comes out at the right time and the guy you left alone in the northeast wins anyway.

Then there's the initial cube & card distribution. If it lands in a way that plays well with an obvious strategy you know how to play, you're golden. If not, the creative player wins, which pisses off my opponents.

Finally, there's bidding for turn order. It's totally not fair when you pass early, and the guy on your left wins the bid putting you last. Most of the time, it doesn't matter, but it's still not fair.

I totally want a refund on this RRT microbadge.
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94. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
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Supposed to be high on strategy, but the player who draws the most red tiles from the bag wins this clunker. What a luck-fest.
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95. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:288]
Peaceful Gamin'
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Mind you, the game is not bad, but it really is 95% luck if Jack wins.
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96. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:156]
Joseph DiMuro
United States
California
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I can't believe no one put this one up yet.

Whoever grabs the first Mistress of Ceremonies wins the game. That's it. Nothing else in the game makes much difference.

Luck luck luck.
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97. Board Game: Tannhäuser [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1328]
Dmitriy Deputatov
Ukraine
Kyiv
Kyivska oblast
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I think even Runebound is more tactical than this, at least you can compensate your bad rolls advancing your stats
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98. Board Game: World in War: Combined Arms 1939-1945 [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:4263]
M Hellyer
United States
Aurora
Illinois
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They came up with the clever Battle Wheel in this game which virtually eliminates luck in the resolution of combat. HOWEVER, before you go to the battle wheel you roll dice which establishes how many casualties you can take. If you roll a 12 and your opponent rolls a 2, you are likely to lose 10 more units than your opponent on the combat wheel.
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99. Board Game: Candy Land [Average Rating:3.17 Overall Rank:11178]
Marlin Back
United States
COLUMBUS
Indiana
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Described as a heavyweight game for those who enjoy logic and deep strategy. Honestly though, after hours of thought and hundreds of plays I find it to be a bit heavy on luck and almost completely card driven. Perhaps I am being harsh or am I possibly overlooking some nuance? Am I missing something in the rules perhaps?
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100. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:501]
Australia
Adelaide
SA
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Luck fest by a hack designer based on books by hack author. Any "strategy" is thrown completely out the window when you are just a slave to the tile draw.
Never again shake
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