Superstitious Gaming Behavior
Kelly Bass
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This is a list of games that bring out superstitious behavior in even the most clinically scientific objective gamers. It never fails to surprise me when an otherwise intelligent opponent acts in a way contrary to logic and reason, but then again, hey, as if you couldn't tell, I'm a Gemini...
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1. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15329]
Kelly Bass
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<b>Tokens -</b> Of course it doesn't really matter which token you use, but the Monopoly Tokens are the source of much sibling squabbling, before the game even begins. Who gets the Dog?!? Everyone knows the Racecar moves the fastest! But the Battleship is the most powerful! Most families eventually work this out, with the parents taking the lamest tokens: Thimble & Iron. And finally, there is nothing erotically thrilling about the Dog wearing the Tophat in the Wheelbarrow... well, unless they're in Jail, of course.
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2. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
Kelly Bass
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Colors - Titan is a perfect example of a game where the color choice has no bearing on game play. However, with 12 markers to differentiate legions of the same color, Black is often the most contested color, probably because the legion marker symbols are of a scary, gothic theme. Second most preferable seems to be Red, which is menacingly militaristic. It is important to note that while the Brown legion markers are certainly the least impressive, the Brown player has the same chances in the game as any other color... except Gold, because it's the best!
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3. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14512]
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<b>Gameboard Piece Placement -</b> The "I'm Setting Up a Wall Here, So Don't Even Think of Attacking" Strategy is often witnessed among pre-teen Risk players. A bunch of armies on a territory are still just a bunch of armies on a territory whether they're strewn haphazardly, or amassed into an imposing looking wall. Any real veteran of Risk knows that the Wall strategy cannot actually affect game play.... unless the pieces are wooden.
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4. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
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<b>Piece Placement Off-Gameboard -</b> Settlers offers a perfect corollary to the Risk Gameboard Piece Placement (See 3. above (R.G.P.P.) with something known as the Settlers Off-Gameboard Piece Placement (S.O.G.P.P.). Does your opponent dump his/her pieces haphazardly, or is there a deep seeded method to the anal-retentive array? Some say that foes can be psychologically beaten before the game even begins by an offboard organization with subtle implications. (Note: Putting the 4 cities together on their sides to form a swastika is <i>NOT</i> subtle.)
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5. Board Game: Wizard's Quest [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2937]
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<b>Gameboard Space Choice -</b> Usually the symbols & artwork on gameboard spaces affect gameplay in manners that are specific to the rules. Occasionally, players will make decisions based on artwork that does not actually affect the game whatsoever. Although each castle of Wizard's Quest has it's strengths & weaknesses, I've often seen players go out of their way to storm Castle #5 for no other reason than they like the look of it. Nonsense, but I do love that large Inner Keep.
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6. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:621]
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<b>Dice -</b> Can't Stop is serving here as a representative for all games with dice. Many a gamer has clutched a handful of dice close to his/her mouth uttering promises of glory and love to the stoic cubes. Often, this kind of pleading is illmet with the worst possible outcome. These foolishly faithful should spend more time on strategy and less time pleading with the dice... or at least pledge to build them a velvet dice box.
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7. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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<b>Pre-Turn Peeking -</b> In order to speed Carcassonne play, it has been suggested that players draw a tile before their turn, so they can begin tile placement considerations while another is taking his/her turn. Sounds good, right?... Until mentioning this rule to my nemesis, who will draw a tile, but not look at it until it's his turn because "It's bad luck!" What a lame excuse! At least when I don't look before my turn, it's for the perfectly logical reason that I don't want him to see my pupils change size. <i>Sheeesh!</i>
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8. Board Game: Which Witch? [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:15076]
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<b>Gender Bending -</b> When I was a kid and we played Which Witch? with more than 3 of the same sex, it meant that someone had to use a token with the "wrong" gender. After much punching & fighting (or pigtail-pulling & cat-fighting), we'd give up and play something else. How typical of confused children... I'm fairly confident that after my next sex-change operation reversal, this ridiculous problem will go away...
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