Gamers Behaving Badly - Rules/Situations That Inspire Bad Decisions
Chad Marlett
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Many of my favorite games have certain rules or situations that can tempt players into making moves that really aren't beneficial to their cause. At the same time, this move tends to trash another player's position.

Below are some examples; the idea is an apect of the game that isn't broken (it isn't a good way to win), but they tend to be good ways to lose, thus making the game not quite as fun as it can be.
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1. Board Game: The Republic of Rome [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:350]
Chad Marlett
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Assassination; the inspiration for this list.

Anyone can attempt an assassination at almost anytime in RoR. In almost every case, you shouldn't try to do this. However, the nature of RoR makes it very likely that you will feel compelled to try it.

IMHO, if played correctly, assassination is something the player in 2nd place should try if they have proper cards, and only at the last moment when there is no longer time for another path.

Revenge, kingmaking, boredom, etc. are not the reasons for pulling out the dagger!

Honorable mentions in RoR include land bills (there are actually times when it shouldn't be done) and endless debates when the Rome Consul can't get what they want.
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2. Board Game: Circus Maximus [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1617]
Chad Marlett
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Does Ancient Rome inspire the Nero in everyone?

Circus Maximus is another inspiration for this list.

Attacking Other Chariots.

Yes, you should do it, several times per race in fact. What you should not do is attack several times every turn. Or attacking the player with a lame horse and a wobbling wheel that is about to be lapped.

It always amazes me to see people wonder how they could possibly ever win, when they have spent 3+ movement points every turn of the race attacking backmarkers.
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3. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:50]
 
Chad Marlett
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Optional Diplomacy Rules with Assassination

Another assassination problem. At least in RoR, you can be caught and be punished; in TI3, you can just kill off other people's diplomats with minimal downside.

Besides assassination, there are number of points when you can burn someone else 'because you can', typically with card play. IMHO, the people that win consistently avoid this type of play and focus on getting VP and not antagonizing the other players, unless it is clearly directed at leader.
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4. Board Game: Car Wars [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:2064]
Chad Marlett
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Bootlegger Reverse

Ah, junior high and Car Wars. The percentage of games that were lost from doing high-speed bootlegger reverse is just astonishing.

Turreted Lasers with Cyberlinks.

Combine the best weapon in the game, put it in a turret, and add a device that makes it almost never miss. Very shortly, we figured out that you could just shoot out the other car's tires quite easily. This did not make for a fun game; two immobile cars blasting away at each other.
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5. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1683]
Chad Marlett
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Narrow Salvos

In some crowds, I'm sure this rule worked okay. It was meant, I believe to do some damage instead of none at long range. What it turned into was Federation ships narrow-salvoing all of their weapons at maximum overload range; playing with electronic warfare on a 1-2 you win the game, on a 3-6 you lose.

Not exactly Wrath of Khan tactics here. We had to ban the rule.
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6. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:808]
Chad Marlett
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The Final Vote

In the rules-as-written, nothing prevents all the players from donating their WT/votes to a 2nd or 3rd place player to kingmake them as winner at the end of the game. Kind of like the jury vote in Survivor.

What is the metagame etiquette for something like this? I think it would be better if everyone was forced to vote for themselves with the WT they have. If it is a popularity contest, you could just have this vote at the beginning of the game and save 4 hours.
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7. Board Game: Check Your 6! [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:3775]
Chad Marlett
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Intentional Stalls - stalling your plane on purpose so that you can't be shot at. while some pilots actually did this move in WW2, it did not grant the immunity it provides in CY6.


Extreme Maneuvers w/damage - ah, ripping the wings off your own plane trying to do a crazy maneuver after being damaged. while some pilots might do such a thing, I don't think it is the 80% of players that do it.
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8. Board Game: BattleTech [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:864]
Chad Marlett
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Death From Above!

Another junior high special. The idea that it will work and you will kick in the head of another mech completely blocks out the rational part of your brain that would tell you it is very likely to fail, you will be shot to pieces, and then crash into the ground.

I think it worked about once for every 20 times it was attempted.
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9. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:952] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Chad Marlett
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Pass Impulse

In WiF, you can elect to pass (not move anything at all) and get a die roll modifier that the turn will end. This really comes into play in the first summer in Russia. If it works, and works early, the Germans can be in trouble. However, when it fails, the Germans will get two turns in a row, likely dooming Russia. At the end of the turn, when odds are high of succeeding and Russia has little to move, it is a good play. Before that, it is a big gamble on a game you have been playing for several days.

Gibraltar

The surprise Italian amphibious invasion of Gibralter. All-in, you have maybe a 1-in-6 chance of success. At risk, a good chunk of the Italian army, and the potential loss of a lot of your fleet. I have seen Italy surrender in mid-1940 after such a failure. Again, another risky thing to do in a long-haul game like WiF.
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10. Board Game: Downtown: Air War Over Hanoi, 1965-1972 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:1893]
Chad Marlett
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All-or-Nothing

As the Vietnam side, look at the target list, pick one, and put all of the defense you can near that spot, covering at best about 30% of the available targets.

Now, if the US player gets that target, they are completely screwed. The whole game now depends on the target roll of the US player.

Say Cheezy with me.
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11. Board Game: Kingmaker [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1711]
Chad Marlett
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Hiding in Calais (or other Refuge sites with the optional cards).

The idea here is you hide and hope everyone else fights, gets the plague, or more likely, gets bored and decides to play something else.
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12. Board Game: Armor [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:5191]
Chad Marlett
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Armor is a stand-in for every WW2 tank game on this topic:

Panthers and Tigers

Always wanting to play the Germans, and always taking Panthers, Tigers, etc. It reminds me of the old GI Combat comics; the Haunted Tank killed more Tigers than Germany made.

Luckily for the allies, Panthers and Tigers were fairly rare most of the time.
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