Games that have a BAD complexity to depth ratio.
Trey Chambers
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Awhile back there was a geeklist dedicated to games that were low on complexity but high on depth. I think it would be useful to have a geeklist devoted to those games in which the opposite is true.

Edit: Let's keep it civil and not get upset if someone adds our favorite game to the list. I just realized three games I submitted are in the top 25.
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1. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:20]
Trey Chambers
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*braces in anticipation of flames*

Easily the first thing that came to mind. This game has 14,642,342 rules and exceptions. If no one has played the game, playing through the "training" scenario is pretty much necessary.

Yet the game really boils down to what you DRAW FROM YOUR DECK.

Which is not to say that the game is without choice (although I'm sure that's all certain people will take away from what I'm saying about it).

But the MOST IMPORTANT DECISION (i.e. what am I going to do and be able to do on my turn?) is made for you via randomness of the card draw. Once I had learned the game system, I felt there was very little actual choice when it came to my turn.

Plenty of choice in what powers I would choose, what cards I would add to my deck...etc.

But as far as the execution of my turn, it pretty much just mattered what I drew into my hand.
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2. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
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Way too many rules for what is most interestingly played as a negotiation/deduction game.

Give me The Resistance instead any day.
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3. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:28]
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The most rules (and biggest time investment) for what is, again, fundamentally a card game. Though you have much more freedom in this game than in Mage Knight, you're still very much bound by the available cards, what they cost, and what military cards you just so happen to draw from the deck.
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4. Board Game: Lost Valley [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1314]
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Two hours and lots of rules (especially concerning tile placement, gah) and it all boils down to how many gold nuggets are on the little tiles you happen draw. LCR is shorter and accomplishes the same exercise (hyperbole).
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5. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:209] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
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In my opinion, the rules are far too complex for what this game is. It has lots and lots of breadth (available scenarios, plus DYO scenarios), but I doubt there's that much depth. You're usually pressed for time, and there are only so many things you can do if you're to have a chance of reaching your goal. The scenario may play out differently every time (thanks mostly to all the dice rolls), so there's plenty of variety. But depth? Not so sure.
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6. Board Game: Tic-Tac-Toe [Average Rating:2.61 Overall Rank:15666]
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Talk about complexity! There are Xs and Os to keep track of, and then there are side spaces, corners, and a center space. You're supposed to try to get three in a row, but your opponent is always interfering, so you have to look for alternate routes, and the rules don't even warn you about that.

Yet, for all that complication, there's apparently no depth to this game at all. BGGeeks call it trivial, and many claim to have solved it after just a few playings.

Don't waste your hard-earned money on this monstrosity.
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7. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:239] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
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*pokes BGG with stick*

This one should be at the top of this list.
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8. Board Game: Ground Floor [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1016]
Jason Farris
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Citrus Heights
California
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This is one of the few games I've played that just gets longer as it goes on without adding much to he gameplay. Right now I think it is about 1/2 to 1 hour too long for what it is.
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9. Board Game: Vinhos [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:301]
Keng Leong Yeo
Singapore
Singapore
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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There are too many separate and distinct pieces required to make the 9 action spaces that is the core mechanic. The excessive amount of rules does not seem to be accompanied by a great amount of depth.

Note: I have only played this once.
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10. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:511]
Forrest Woodward
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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The rules are really complex and are so full of exceptions to exceptions that you will still need the rule book to be nearby even on your 4th play with the same group of people. And for all of that complexity you basically get Risk with no dice.
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11. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:12]
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I like this game and I enjoy playing it. However, I think the rules are quite circumstancial compared to other Euros with similar depth, e.g. Village. Unfortunately, I think Trajan suffers from the same problem, if not even more so. The only Feld game I've played so far which I really love is The Name of the Rose; more intuitive rules and great flow.
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12. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:141]
Trey Chambers
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Another game with tons'o'rules, but the card draws seem to be more important than your actual decisions.

I'm not a Vlaada hater, by the way. I love Dungeon Lords, Space Alert, and Galaxy Trucker, but this one and TtA just miss the balance between random and meaningful decisions in my opinion.
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13. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1223]
Robert Fox
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Complexity: Light to Moderate (for a wargame)

Depth: Zero

This game is more like reading an interactive novel than playing an actual game. It can be interesting watching your virtual crew try to survive multiple missions into German airspace, but at the end of the day you'll make no decisions that effect the outcome of the mission.

I'll still pull this out from time to time because the narrative is strong, but it's barely a game.
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14. Board Game: Tannhäuser [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1672]
Adam Kazimierczak
United States
Falmouth
Maine
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There just wasn't enough game here for me. It paints layers of thematic overchrome over a very basic skirmish game. It's just too tedious to reference the homing demon gun's special rules or one of the dozens of other exceptions.
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15. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1043]
Andrew H
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Ok so this game is enjoyable enough I guess but considering it really is just a simultaneous choice guess / bluff / double bluff game with dice rolling and card drawing randomness you would think it would be simpler. Considering how long the game is and how long it takes to really explain the full rules properly (including how to play the various tavern cards), you would think there was more meat to it but nope. Just Piratey themed silliness that is a bit drawn out for what it is. (kind of like this commentary)
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16. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:42]
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I'm surprised this isn't mentioned.
The rules are fiddly to say the least, the phases aren't as clear as Magic's, and the game play is really shallow.
Node: The deck building isn't shallow,just the game play.
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17. Board Game: Monsters Menace America [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:3249]
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The rules aren't all that complex but the depth of the game is even less complex.
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18. Board Game: Fairyland Adventure [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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Ugh. this game tries to do too much for a kids game. It really comes down to a roll and move.
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19. Board Game: Jungle Speed [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1081]
Shawn George
United States
Toledo
Ohio
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Yes, I'm serious about this one. What's supposed to be a fast-paced pick up and play game has an awful lot of special exceptions in the rules to try to keep track of. Rather frustrating when we have to break the flow of the game every minute or so to consult the rulebook or discuss how to handle a particular scenario with the special cards.
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20. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:688]
Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
Missouri
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Not a bad game and there is some depth/choice at the hands of the players. However, the continual placement of small cubes or different colors in precise numbers is beyond fiddly. I feel like this game is an excellent aid in practicing arithmetic and color identification and much less useful as a fun experience.
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21. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1030]
Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
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I like Android but even its most ardent fans cannot claim it is too fiddly for its own good. Way too much going on which distracts from the actual strategy and depth of the game. If you put this one away and want to play it a few months later, God help you...
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22. Board Game: Merchant of Venus (second edition) [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:597]
Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
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Another game I enjoy but is just too damn complex and fiddly for the payoff. After learning this one and all the difference nuances/rules/cargo/items/etc. I was surprised to find the gameplay to be mostly about spotting/discovering the most efficient route first - and then just repeating this route as fast as possible.
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23. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:243]
MGK
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Toronto
Ontario
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Buy lots of cubes. Wait for cubes to show up. Buy all the different things with cubes. Oh, did we mention that the engine-building portion of the game, where you buy the cards, is the part you can't plan for because there's new cards every turn?

This is the poster child for Feld games generally: a lot of interesting mechanics ideas, shame he didn't put them in a game worth playing.
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24. Board Game: Car Wars Compendium [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:2902]
Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
Missouri
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"Hey guys, so I just built this bad-ass station wagon with a turret, mine layer, steel armor, the armored cooler, 4 flame throwers."

"What, where's the ramplate? Even my trike with radial tires, carbon fiber suspension, paint layer and trailer with a crew of 4 henchmen with SMGs and grenades has one."

.....


"Wait, did I fire my MG in the 2nd phase or was that last turn (2 hours prior)?"

"Can't remember, hold on though, I'm still searching for 5 more dice so I can determine what happened when I made that 70 degree turn going 85 mph up that ramp with an oil slick. Crap, how much did I fail my control test by?"

"Damnit Joe, why'd you bump Midville causing a 6 car pileup down Main Street."


........


"Crap, my turn was over 40 degrees, does that mean my semi jack-knifes and rolls toward those 5 civillians? I loved that truck."
"Civillians? One of those little blue blobs is 'Drive-by Dave Larson', I've been playing him for 6 months and can't afford the amoritized cloning costs due to losing my 11th Killer Kart because of Dickwad Steve ramming me head on."
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25. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:201]
Erin Sparks
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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I like this game, but two different kinds of combat, 900 different types of cards, sections and subsections of what you can do in port...It could be the same game even after quite a bit of streamlining.

When I teach it, I give the broad outlines and then say "Basically, you can do whatever you want to do - I'll explain how when it comes up because otherwise we'll be here for 3 hours going over every detail."
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