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Subject: The 379th Edition of the TGIF Poll rss

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If you want updates on when new TGIF polls are posted, or want to look at the results of past polls go to The TGIF Poll Subscription Thread.

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Poll: The 379th TGIF Poll
Of the 20 lowest-ranked games on BGG, which ones do you think have broken rules?

(Note: We're not talking bad or good, we're talking broken or works)
  Definitely broken Kind of broken Kind of works Totally works I don't know Vote Count
Tic-Tac-Toe 38.7% (72) 15.1% (28) 10.2% (19) 35.5% (66) 0.5% (1) 186
Snakes and Ladders 9.9% (18) 9.9% (18) 24.7% (45) 45.1% (82) 10.4% (19) 182
Bingo 7.8% (14) 6.1% (11) 21.7% (39) 60.0% (108) 4.4% (8) 180
Candy Land 10.1% (18) 9.0% (16) 16.3% (29) 41.0% (73) 23.6% (42) 178
War 15.9% (29) 17.6% (32) 11.0% (20) 37.9% (69) 17.6% (32) 182
LCR 11.4% (20) 6.8% (12) 9.1% (16) 22.7% (40) 50.0% (88) 176
The Game of Life 3.3% (6) 7.7% (14) 27.6% (50) 48.1% (87) 13.3% (24) 181
Trouble 2.7% (5) 3.3% (6) 25.7% (47) 44.8% (82) 23.5% (43) 183
Monopoly 2.7% (5) 8.7% (16) 24.5% (45) 63.6% (117) 0.5% (1) 184
Operation 1.1% (2) 0.6% (1) 19.9% (36) 69.6% (126) 8.8% (16) 181
Battle of the Sexes 3.4% (6) 5.2% (9) 5.2% (9) 9.8% (17) 76.4% (133) 174
Go Fish 2.2% (4) 4.5% (8) 20.1% (36) 60.3% (108) 12.8% (23) 179
Old Maid 2.2% (4) 5.6% (10) 17.4% (31) 53.4% (95) 21.3% (38) 178
Mouse Trap 6.7% (12) 12.8% (23) 23.9% (43) 33.9% (61) 22.8% (41) 180
Cootie 5.7% (10) 5.7% (10) 12.1% (21) 28.2% (49) 48.3% (84) 174
Hungry Hungry Hippos 1.7% (3) 7.3% (13) 20.2% (36) 55.1% (98) 15.7% (28) 178
Hi Ho! Cherry-O 3.4% (6) 4.6% (8) 11.4% (20) 26.9% (47) 53.7% (94) 175
Battleship 1.1% (2) 2.2% (4) 18.6% (34) 77.0% (141) 1.1% (2) 183
Sorry! 1.1% (2) 4.4% (8) 16.7% (30) 60.0% (108) 17.8% (32) 180
Pachisi 0.0% (0) 2.8% (5) 14.2% (25) 53.4% (94) 29.5% (52) 176
Total Voters 187
If you were to realize about halfway through playing a game that there was something in the rules that was genuinely broken, what would you do?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Try to play on exactly as you were before until the broken rule makes it impossible and then be done
23.6% 47
Figure out a work around from that point on in order to fix the rules so you can at least finish the game
52.3% 104
Stop playing, discuss the best way of fixing the problem, and then start over again with the newly tweaked rules
11.6% 23
Stop playing, and probably never play that game again
12.6% 25
Voters 199
If you buy a published game and discover the rules are broken, do you think you should be able to seek a refund?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Absolutely
7.4% 15
Probably
5.4% 11
Maybe
20.7% 42
Not really
45.8% 93
No Way
20.7% 42
Voters 203
This poll is now closed.   206 answers
Poll created by Blott
Closes: Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:00 am


4. What is the most broken game you have ever played (or what game is closest to being broken, if you haven't played one that is genuinely broken)?

Any discussion is encouraged.
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PJ Cunningham
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Hmm, to me, "broken" implies that there is a favored strategy or guaranteed way to win. Tic-Tac-Toe is the poster child for this. There is a guaranteed way to ensure a draw in every game. (I'm astounded that some people don't believe this.)

But several of these aren't even games, just activities with no real choices, where winning is determined by luck. I don't consider pointless activities to be "broken" necessarily, so I lumped them in with "i don't know" for lack of a better option.

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Of the games I'm familiar with I don't think any are broken.

Yes, Tic-Tac-Toe is always a draw between competent players, but that's not the point in the game. It's supposed to be an ultra simple game that kids can play or bored adults can play to mindlessly waste time - it works for that (well I'd find a different way of mindlessly wasting time but...)

Snakes and Ladders an other games which have no decisions in are no fun for me but they are fine for someone who wants to play them. They're clearly not supposed to have any decisions in them so aren't broken.

If a game is supposed to be a strategy game and have a variety of strategies, but it becomes clear that the best strategy is to always buy wheat then that's broken as it's not doing what it intended on doing.
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Eric Brosius
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I've played a number of games that have no decisions to make, but I wouldn't call those "totally broken". You can play them. I understand that there are groups that play LCR regularly (and, I presume, that enjoy it.)

To me, a game that is totally broken is one that cannot be played according to the rules with the components that are available. A possible example is Martin Wallace's Cloudbusters, where it seems that sections of rules were not included in the rule book.
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I think all of the games listed, work, except Mouse Trap. I never, ever got it to work when I was a kid.

The only truly broken game I have attempted to play was A Christmas Story Board Game. Friends brought it to a party for the holidays knowing I was there to grok the rules and teach it. First, the lamp leg pieces wouldn't stay standing. Then, the rules were a total mess and none of us could figure it out.

Other game I consider broken, but only because of flow and such, was APBA Basketball. I love basketball but after a quarter of this game, I tossed it aside. Utter piece of garbage to me.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Hard to say what I think was my most broken game.

SPI's old WW3 or Zombies!!!! spring to mind, problem is that they were "broken" because that is what the designers wanted (well in Zombies it was a sort of exploit that was used in a way that was not intended (I think)).
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I think you need to clarify the definition of "broken" being used here.


1) While the rules for almost all of these are painfully simple and random, which for the most part make them bad games, other than Battle of the Sexes I don't really see how any of them could be considered "broken". They're all perfectly playable as designed.


2) If I run across a rule that seems to break a game, I try to find a workaround to salvage the rest of the play as best as possible. Afterwards I'll look on BGG to see if the issue has been addressed, either as a legitimately broken rule (hopefully with a fix already in place) or something that was simply misunderstood.

3) Maybe. It depends on how broken it is and whether fixes have been provided somehow. Mostly I avoid this situation in the first place by doing a ton of research into the game to make sure I'll enjoy it, and during the course of that any major issues will be found in reviews or forums posts.
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ironregime wrote:
Several of these aren't even games. For those, I lumped them in with games that are "definitely broken."


They certainly fail some definitions of games, but most people would describe them as games. I don't see any reason it's particularly important to differentiate (well other than if you're choosing what to play, and I might well say "that's not a game" if someone suggested playing Snakes and Ladders.

Saying "Snakes and Ladders" isn't a game seems like saying a blackberry isn't a berry (botanically it isn't a berry but in every day language it is).

Wikipedia say it's a game:

Quote:
Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic.


"Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game like activity" would be a bit awkward and doesn't really add anything.
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Saying snakes and ladders is not a game is like saying a Jeep is not a car.
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1 - Let's see:
A) When you have 2 players who are equally skilled then no one can win, so I think that makes Tic-Tac-Toe totally broken.
B) I marked that War is kind of broken because it could theoretically never end, so that's a problem.
C) All the games where everything is based on chance and there are literally zero choices (like Candy Land, Snakes & Ladders, etc.) I marked as "Kind of Works". I also demoted Battle of the Sexes to "Kind of Works" because I recall there was a weird challenge rule or something in the original version of the game that we ejected and never played with.
D) This left a handful of games that I said "Totally Works" even though I don't particularly love the way they work.

2 - This has happened to me in the past and we try to fix the rule mid-game and finish with the adjustments. It's super-rare for us to just abandon a game altogether.

3 - If pieces are broken we expect the publisher to take care of that for us. I don't see why we shouldn't expect the same treatment when they failed to properly playtest the game and delivered a malfunctioning product. I said probably, because I do think there would have to be a level of proof involved and that makes things a little bit tricky.

4 - The Target was a complete disaster. I still remember constantly flipping through the rulebook trying to clarify things that weren't clarified anywhere. Then we hit a moment where we calculated that there was no mathematical way for half the people at the table to win, and yet the end of the game was far from being triggered. It was the worst convention game experience I've ever had with people I liked, and everything that was bad about that experience was because the game did not function as advertised.
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It's not broken, but I wish I could get a refund for the time spent playing Phase 10.
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I fall into the camp of "if the game works as designed, it's not broken".

It may be broken in terms of play balance, but in the example of tic tack toe, I think it works as designed - simple game that's easy to teach to kids.

I expect given a sufficiently powerful computer, chess is "broken".


I do believe I understand now the intent of the poll, but it's not the way I use broken. However, even this isn't consistent - I might call a wargame (or even a euro) broken if there was a set move/strategy that would always win - but that's because my expectation is that those games will be well balanced. I don't have that expectation for most of the games on this poll.
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zabdiel wrote:
Saying "Snakes and Ladders" isn't a game seems like saying a blackberry isn't a berry (botanically it isn't a berry but in every day language it is).

Ok then, it's a game of luck. In the same way that flipping a coin and calling heads is a "game."
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ironregime wrote:
zabdiel wrote:
Saying "Snakes and Ladders" isn't a game seems like saying a blackberry isn't a berry (botanically it isn't a berry but in every day language it is).

Ok then, it's a game of luck. In the same way that flipping a coin and calling heads is a "game."
So is Talisman.
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Jeff Miller
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Joe Name It.

It's a trivia game with not a single answer to one of its questions in the box...

Example question: "Name a Celebrity who has been divorced ___ number of times." *Roll a dice to fill in the blank* "4." Some one then answers: "I think Tom Cruise has been divorced 4 times..." Someone disagrees, and there is no way to resolve it but to quietly fact-check using phones. Is the torture here clear enough?

A trivia game has two essential components: "Questions" and "Answers". If you only have half of what you need, it's broken in my book.

At least Tic-Tac-Toe (My only other "1" rating) was enteraining for a small window of my young life.
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Chanfan wrote:
I do believe I understand now the intent of the poll, but it's not the way I use broken.

I had no intent in how to define broken, the idea was for people to figure out what broken means to them.
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slatersteven wrote:
ironregime wrote:
zabdiel wrote:
Saying "Snakes and Ladders" isn't a game seems like saying a blackberry isn't a berry (botanically it isn't a berry but in every day language it is).

Ok then, it's a game of luck. In the same way that flipping a coin and calling heads is a "game."
So is Talisman.

Hard to argue with you. As much as I like it, Talisman is HEAVILY luck-driven with very few real decision points. Sometimes I joke, "Let's just roll a die, see who wins, and move on to the next game, shall we?"
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4. What is the most broken game you have ever played (or what game is closest to being broken, if you haven't played one that is genuinely broken)?

Campaign Manager 2008 - the recursive strategy. From what I gather, it was unanticipated and unintended by the designer, and neither designer nor playtesters were M:TG players, or they would have caught it.

Fauna - a triva game about animal distribution where the answers are inconsistent and incorrect - so, no real point in playing.
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ironregime wrote:
zabdiel wrote:
Saying "Snakes and Ladders" isn't a game seems like saying a blackberry isn't a berry (botanically it isn't a berry but in every day language it is).

Ok then, it's a game of luck. In the same way that flipping a coin and calling heads is a "game."


Almost all games aimed at the 3-4 year old market are pure luck. They do what they aim to do, which is teach the basics of turn taking, concentrating and winning-losing to young children and they do that job very well. They're not "broken" or not games just because they're not designed for hobby gamers.
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I put "kind of broken" in for Mousetrap because of snapped rubber bands, cheap plastic, and missing pieces (and broken hearts).
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
Campaign Manager 2008 - the recursive strategy. From what I gather, it was unanticipated and unintented by the designer, and neither designer nor playtesters were M:TG players, or they would have caught it.

What always galled me about this was that the designer refused to admit the problem, saying that it wasn't an unbeatable strategy.

However, while, yes, I used to play MtG, I still personally stumbled onto the fifteen card hand on my second play and won (I had lots of draw cards and my opponent went negative, rolled badly, and then I went on to drew up my whole hand and stayed there). And then on my third play I did it intentionally, achieved it early on, and steamrolled my opponent. I can't believe that if the playtesting was at least part way competent, no one stumbled onto it the same way I did.

But then, once it starts happening, to deny that it's happening. I get it, the guy designed TS, so everyone wants to believe in them, but seriously.

On a positive note, they fixed it for the reboot.
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Most broken game was Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation. Co-op rules were so vague and didn't address so many issues that commonly came up in game. Friend who owned the game refused to ever play it even though we'd actually been playing a work around that worked without realizing it. He absolutely refused to house rule the game, then told us we were done playing, and that he was done with the game for good.

shake The game worked fine with a couple of house rules. There's no need to throw the baby out with the bath water.
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Blott wrote:
4. What is the most broken game you have ever played (or what game is closest to being broken, if you haven't played one that is genuinely broken)?


No games are "genuinely broken", in the sense of being broken for everyone. Some games are broken for large numbers of players, some for a small number of players, probably some for no one - but broken, IMHO, is a state of _a_ game for _a_ player, not a universal quantity.

And - it's not the end of the world. I consider Outpost to be broken because of the fallaway trailer issue, and Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar to be broken because of the strength of the temple tracks as compared to other elements of the game. But I enjoy other aspects of both games, and rate them both an 8. Sometimes a game is broken for me in a way that prevents me from enjoying it, but not always.
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ironregime wrote:
Hmm, to me, "broken" implies that there is a favored strategy or guaranteed way to win.



To me "Solved" is not "Broken".

Broken is extremely rare, and when a game becomes actually unplayable.
Whether or not the outcome is controllable isn't really broken, just boring.
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I have games that are incomplete: where it's entirely possible to hit a situation that the rules don't address. Are they broken? Perhaps. But if we can synthesize a house rule that's not completely inconsistent with what has gone before and continue, it's not the worst thing in the world. Galactic Destiny might be the most egregious example: in our first game, we needed to make up dozens of rulings in order to complete the game. If we'd been better prepared for the insanity, we might have made notes about our judgments so we could play the "same" game again; but the next time we'd attempted it, we played a different game (which didn't work as well as the first time; oh, well.)

There are others that just don't work for me: I'm not terribly interested in playing games that have no decisions, for example. Snakes and Ladders; LCR; Power Soccer; Candy Land: no thanks. But broken? Probably not (by my standards.)

Then there are games like Quidditch: The Game. In which the players are encouraged to do things (shoot a tiny ball through a tiny hoop with a miniature catapult that's not accurate enough to hit the hoop from a tenth the distance that the game asks one to attempt) that just don't work. Add the fact that it's based on a perhaps-charming fictional game that doesn't make any sense in the first place, and one is left with a game that I'm happy to rate a _1_. (But even there I'm not asserting it's "broken": I'm using the Alternative Rating Guidelines of June 2006 - so that means Dead game. Seriously negative entertainment value. Black Hole of Fun..)
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