The highest rated game you've played, AND PLAN TO AVOID PLAYING AGAIN
David G.
United States
Moorpark
California
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So many good games on BGG, all of those highly rated must be good, right?

Well... not so much. There's always those highly rated games you try, and you'd rather never play again.

So, what's yours? The top-rated game you'd like to avoid playing again.

Ranked list of games http://www.boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame
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1. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:9] [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Twilight Struggle
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Not my thing at all. All of Jason's games have some feel of a tug-of-war to me, which I don't care for. This isn't the worst - and I enjoy Founding Fathers anyway, as the theme and multi-player aspect outweigh the issue for me.

But, having played Twilight Struggle once, I really don't have any intention of doing so again. I'm not absolutely unwilling to do so, but I have many fewer opportunities for two player games than I have two player games I want to play, so choosing to spend time on Twilight Struggle would take a lot of arm-twisting.
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2. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:18]
Board Game: Brass: Lancashire
Gary Sonnenberg
United States
Waukesha
Wisconsin
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Tried a half game (all we had time for)...didn't care for it.

Tried a full game...didn't like it, but thought maybe it was just the learning that was getting in the way.

Tried it again...three strikes, you're out. Never again. Will opt to sit out and do something else rather than play this again.

I think I was still confused as to how everything worked together, but if I'm still feeling that way after a third try, it's time to play something else.
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3. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:24]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
Locke Cole
United States
Alaska
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Never again! (At least with a group)
Let's review: A game that requires several steps/cards/and actions just to move a few hexes;

random resource rolls;

a game built around leveling up, so that in the first encounter or two you'll have no power or fun whatsoever;

and (probably the biggest problem of all), start with a four-player game with some of the worst AP I've ever experienced.

My turn would take literally 15 seconds, partially because I had 20 minutes to plan my one-hex move with the cards I drew (I had wounds and had to walk over a non-plains space), while one player took 10 of those minutes all to himself just to decide how to move two hexes and attack. Throw in absolutely zero player interaction and you have the worst gaming experience of the year.

Fine, I can see how it might, maybe work (in a bloated, over designed kind of way) for one or two players who know what they're doing, but my one time playing soured my on the game so much I don't think I can find it in my heart to forgive it.
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4. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:25]
Board Game: Puerto Rico
Kent Reuber
United States
Mystic
Connecticut
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Didn't like the no-luck aspect of the game and it felt too long. I'd much rather play its card variant San Juan.

Runner up: Caylus, which I thought was way too long and fiddly.
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5. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:29]
Board Game: Agricola
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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I guess I'll fill in the gap with the current #3 ranked game. It's not that I hated this game, it just had at least 5 different things that I usually avoid in games.

1. Boring theme
2. Massive opportunities for analysis-paralysis
3. Overly complex ruleset
4. Overly long play time
5. Limited player interaction
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6. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:36]
Board Game: Power Grid
Pol Michiels
Belgium
Ottenburg
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I love complex games, resource management, I even like the theme in this one. But the few times I played it, it really left me feeling like I wasted hours of my life. The auction mechanism is wonky, since it can be most beneficial to not participate and get your pick of what's left for cheap. The gameplay is basically the same the entire game, with little increase in tension. All in all, while I love eurogames, this is to me an example of how not to do them...
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7. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:42]
Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
David G.
United States
Moorpark
California
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Current Rank: #2

I honestly came up with this idea before knowing what mine would be, and I was surprised to see that I didn't need to go very far down the list.

I gave this only one shot which may not be fair, but, WOOOFF, too long! I start to go bleary eyed after 2 hours.
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8. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:43]
Board Game: Le Havre
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Mine is Le Havre. The gameplay was a bit fiddly, the game itself was too much work, but that wasn't too bad - but every time I played the game I gave myself a blinding headache from squinting across the board at what other players had in front of them, at the tiny building costs for buildings etc etc. I've never come across a game that has done that for me before! Plus with the wrong group it takes FOREVER to play - I don't mind a 2 hour game, or a 3 hour at a push, but 4 1/2 hours of this is just not fun anymore.
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9. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:44]
Board Game: Eclipse
Dave Eisen
United States
Los Altos
CA
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Easy choice. Too much luck in exploration, very frustrating in my one play where I could not do anything useful after around turn 2.

I do appreciate that there are some nice ideas here. But no fun and not my kind of game.
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10. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:53]
Board Game: 7 Wonders
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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Played this at a con with my game group making up 4 of the 7 players.

It was taught to us and we played our first game. I actually won the game but when it was done I was like... Meh.

to my surprise all my other game partners thought the same thing. Just too dry and stiff for us.

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11. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:54]
Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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I went to Gen Con for the first time in 2009. I really wanted to play it, so my friend Gary agreed to try it as well.

The entire time we played it I was dazed and confused. Trying to figure out all those icons was like work for both of us. After the game was over and we left I asked him how he felt about RftG. He didn't like it either and neither of us could see our wives ever playing this.

This is the game I plan to avoid ever playing again.
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12. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:59]
Board Game: Dominant Species
I had hoped to like this based on its popularity and fairly high score here at the Geek but after a few play-throughs, I had had enough and never wanted to play it ever, EVER again. Reasons:

1. Humdrum Theme (but this was not my main gripe)
2. Needlessly complex ruleset and gameplay - a classic case of over-designing without streamlining
3. Horribly prone to Analysis Paralysis - nothing like a stupidly complex game where every player you are playing with feels like they need to take an hour to think through their turn)
4. Sub-par presentation - just super boring graphical design. Enjoy the cover art because it's all downhill from there.
5. Even once you learn the gameplay and the inter-connectivity of everything, the game still bores you to tears - well, I should say it bored me to tears.
6. It made me want to play the simplistic card game "War" rather than play it.

I actually am a fairly big fan of GMT games in general but this one was a huge, huge flop with me.
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13. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:64]
Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep
I suspect this one will slowly creep down the list as soon as people realize there's not much there to keep them interested. (Currently at #31 - let's see if I'm right...)

Great theme and nice art and the mechanisms are solid but it's just too simplistic.
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14. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:65]
Board Game: Caylus
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Ooh, no one's added Caylus yet. Time to reprise my rating comment.

I played Caylus for the first time early in my Eurogaming life. Having played several hundred more games since then, I have a better idea of where it fits in and the factors that make me dislike it and others of its ilk.

1 lack of elegance. I like games where the complexity of decisions arises from reasonably simple basic rules and player interactions. Caylus is a convoluted brute, in which it feels like a lot of the complexity had to be put in by hand rather than naturally emerging. For example, the favour table is just a big bolted-on spreadsheet.

2 resource conversion. I'm not a big fan of games that involve a lot of cube-juggling to turn one fairly abstract resource into another. In Caylus, I don't really feel the theme gives much of a handle on why I need food to do one thing or cloth to do another, so it feels very dry.

3 worker placement. I find this mechanic often leads to samey, flat, linear games in which the main form of interaction is cursing someone for taking the space you really needed to complete your laboriously calculated chain of actions.

4 too much thinking, not enough laughing. The more I play, the more I realise I'm not really a heavy Eurogamer. I like games to be not much more than 90 mins, I like some (manageable) randomness, I like ridiculous things happening that make everyone laugh. I don't like furrowed brows and people looking down at the table calculating how to milk the most efficiency out of a chain of micro-actions. That's not to say I don't like deep games, but I think there is a difference between depth and weight.

5 and finally, generic medieval themes that involve pleasing an authority figure and/or/by building a castle/cathedral.
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15. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:70]
Board Game: El Grande
David
United States
Dumfries
Virginia
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I'm not sure what it is. But I've never liked playing this game. Something about the game just feels like meh.
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16. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:77] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue
"Does Anybody Know Whose Turn It Is?!"
United Kingdom
Scarborough
North Yorkshire
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Dominion is the first "hate it" choice I find, starting at the top and working my way down!

My Tuesday group looooove this one, and have binders filled with millions of cards, I assume from pretty much every release they ever did for it.

Played it a month or two ago. Basically you look at the cards, work out the quickest/most efficient/cheapest card combo to win with, then you buy, rinse, repeat.

I found it awful. I'm sure the many positive views must mean its really great, but for whatever reason it missed me by a mile. goo
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17. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:78]
Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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First, I think this is a pretty great design in terms of capturing the feel of the series. It's just that I'd much much rather play a game where people aren't telling me what to do EVERY time. The game length, the endless tasks and the fact that if you don't do what people suggest you do, you're a Cylon just doesn't work for me.
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18. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:88]
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
Rik Van Horn
United States
Livonia
New York
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I acknowledge this as a fine game, but it just irritates me to play this.
Probably because I suck hugely at it.
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19. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:91] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion
Lee Benson
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I just don't find making action engines fun, nor do I find it fun to sit through watching other people making action engines.
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20. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:92]
Board Game: Pandemic
Phil Fleischmann
United States
Fountain Valley
CA
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A solo game where you recruit other people to move around some of the pieces for you, according to your instruction.
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21. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:120]
Board Game: Age of Steam
Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Yes, heretical, but I'd rather play Steam or better yet (for my gaming fun dollar), Railways of the World.

I prefer the thematic aspects of the Railroad Tycoon portions of what is now Railways of the World. So there are two different games with identical themes, similar mechanics one with a longer playing time but more chrome and another with a shorter playing time with more forgiving financial system, that I could play instead of Age of Steam.

...so... I'm not likely to play Age of Steam again anytime soon.

Age of Steam has its own qualities to recommend it - I'm not saying it's a bad game. I'm just not going to be playing it.
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22. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:135] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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I get why the game would be popular, but the simplistic and restrictive card play frustrates me to no end.
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23. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:162]
Board Game: Go
Stephen
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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To begin you have 361 possible moves, (less with symmetries, but these quickly vanish). If you start with a 9x9 board (which you should), this drops to 'only' 81. So how do you know which moves are good? When your opponent makes a move, how do you know what impact that's had? At the end of the game, how do you know which moves you should have done differently? You probably don't, because the moves all look so similar and each individual move is so small. I didn't find it difficult to make legal moves, but I had so little understanding of what I was doing that it felt like I might as well be playing randomly.

I recognise that Go is an important game, and am not surprised that it's in the top 50. I even went to a Go website and did their Go problems, which were fun. Go itself, though, just felt incredibly pointless; I'm not interested in a game that I have to study for two months before I can play competently. I would literally rather sit and stare at a wall.
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24. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:168] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Erik Miller
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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I absolutely despise this game. It is senseless to me, is full of useless choices, and is boring as all get out. I don't like trains, I don't like the point of the game, and I don't like how dull it is. The only fun I have while playing this game is taking over all the routes to certain key cities just to ruin the whole game.
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25. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:172]
Board Game: Ra
CD Harris
United States
Louisville
KY
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My #1 choice (LoWD) is already listed and (for the time being) is still ranked higher, so I'll add the next one down the rankings.

The first time I played this, I absolutely crushed all of my opponents. I'm pretty sure I scored more points than all three of them combined.

And I was utterly bored the entire time. I will not refuse to play it again (I have a few times), but I'd rather play almost anything else.
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