My Favorite Games Have Flaws. I Admit It!
David B
United States
Virginia
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This geeklist is here so we can admit even our favorite game is not perfect. After all, if we did stumble upon the perfect game, we perhaps would stop our search and stop buying! So, post one or two of your favorites and tell us what you think the flaws are.
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1. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:32]
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
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An absolute classic by my standards, but it does have a flaw or two. First, the game encourages pummeling of the weakest player, such that sometimes there is no downside to doing so. It can get so bad that the game has built in rules for withdrawal, which is a bone of contention for many. Another flaw is the luck of the tactics card draw. Most of the time it works out in the end, but occasionally you can find yourself up a creek without a tactic, leading to the first flaw. I think it's a testament to how good this game is that I still rate it a 9+ despite these flaws, and am ready to play again right now!
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2. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:116]
David B
United States
Virginia
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This is my favorite game. I would rush the end of a game I might happen to be in the middle of if I knew a game of this were about to start. I love once around auctions (I think Ra and Medici are both brilliant). But, I must admit, there is a flaw or two:

1) The set collecting mechanic that gives end game points on the expedition cards feels a bit tacked on. I agree that somehow leftover expedition cards needs to provide some sort of scoring to make that part of a viable strategic option. I also really like the tension in the game of whether to use the cards or keep them. However, many of the mechanics in the game actually make some thematic sense, but that one aspect of collecting symbols on the cards seems a bit at odds with the rest of the game.

2) It would be nice if there were just a bit of interaction during the action phase each round. Perhaps if there were some expedition cards that allowed a player to purchase a spice off another player's plantation (not steal, mind you, as that would break the game IMO). Obviously an idea like this would have to be playtested, but a dash of interaction during this phase would be nice given how interactive the auction phase is.

3) There are just too many pictures of men in dresses in this game.


These gripes are obviously minor given that this game is my favorite. No game is perfect, but this one comes awfully close.

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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:47]
David B
United States
Virginia
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I can easily play this game multiple times in a row and often do. But, again, it is not perfect.

1) The amount of interaction between players is considerably less in this game than what I usually like. The is perhaps more pronounced in the advanced 2 player version I usually play. In 3 + players since you can only pick one phase, it becomes more important to predict and leech off what other players are picking. In the two player version, at least to me, you do not leech off the other player as much. I know good players pay considerable attention to everything other players are doing. But I have played many games where almost all my focus is just on me. Maybe that is one reason I am so average.

2) There are many situations where the outcome of the game is obvious 5 cards in. There are some combos that can come out early that you would need a miraculous draw to overcome. But, at least the game is short. If the outcome was eminent and there were still 2 or 3 hours left in the game, it would be more of an issue.

Again, these flaws do not prevent me from logging several hundred plays a month on BGA. A great game despite the flaws.
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4. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:197]
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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Love Antiquity. Two "flaws" however.

It can get a bit fiddly with all the goods and pollution you are constantly putting down and picking up.

Choosing the victory condition of encircling your opponent is very hard to pull off if your opponent abandons their victory condition to defend against you. They won't win but neither will you.
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5. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:248]
Carl Garber
Canada
Vauxhall
Alberta
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Flaw #1) ugly board...it's looks fairly drab compared to many games.

Flaw #2) Madame cards that have pictures of dudes...brutal! If Macao got the Bruges treatment this game would be as good as gold!

As far as mechanisms go though the only minor gripe is that in some games you can know who the winner will be(or at least that it won't be you) a couple turns before the end.
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6. Board Game: La Grande Guerre 14-18 [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:5054]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
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Somewhat impenetrable rules (better than Europa Universalis though),
wildly ahistorical attrition levels, naval combat which hands all
the cards to the Germans (as well as being annoying in terms of
tedious die rolls for hits/saves). But, I love this one for what
it attempts. I think it captures the 'national will' side of WWI
(or any war) best, and really allows a player to investigate the
political as well as military constraints in place.
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7. Board Game: La Révolution française: La patrie en danger 1790-1796 [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:7425]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
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Unbalanced. Runs off the rails (way off the rails) far more
often than not. Knowledge of events is mandatory to make historical
choices, yet feels like cheating. Iffy rules. Somehow though, this is an absolutely
addictive experience. Like LGG (above) it may be TRYING to get it
to play historically that motivates all the times I've played it.
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8. Board Game: Europa Universalis [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:4027]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
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See a pattern here?


Very very difficult (and ambiguous) rules. Balance is a joke.
Following historical patterns does not come close to optimizing
behavior. Familiarity with events is required - yet knowing them
feels like a spoiler (something it shares with many CDGs). The broad
scope of history that this attempts to cover though, in the detail that
it manages, makes this simply a glorious experience.
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9. Board Game: Empires of the Middle Ages [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:2628]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
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Game is driven by who can stock up the most money.
Religious and cultural conversion rules don't allow
for historical results (and obviously without them
you cannot get such). Still, this is a nice approachable
game which can bring people from nearly any segment of the hobby
together to play something with historical flavor and meat.
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10. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:107]
Steve Carey
United States
West Coast
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It's been quite awhile since I've played this, but I still recall two substantial historical flaws - the main one being that the collapse of Tsarist Russia is nearly impossible to achieve.

Too many sequenced card events need to be played, which probably would cause the Central Powers to giveaway their board position (which is very tense in this design), most likely costing them the game.

And what about the Americans making an entry? Don't bet on it.

Still, some of my best gaming memories of the decade past are centered around this title.
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11. Board Game: Fury of Dracula (second edition) [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:425]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
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A wonderfully tense game of cat and mouse. Sits #2 on my favorites list. Still a game can occasionally come down to simply who wins an initiative roll in a combat.
 
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12. Board Game: World in Flames [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:987] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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I don't like how conquest for Axis powers is handled. There are other nits I could pick but that's the main one for me.
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13. Board Game: Dust Tactics [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1935] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
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When ithe game was first released, a medium tank could throw an awesome 7 dices in combat!!! Compared to regular infantry that used 4 or 5 dices, this was a very powerful unit.
It had HUGE guns shown on the miniature models to show it.

Then after 2 years, they released some new units. One particular soldier can throw 32 dices...

Thirty... two... dices... on a soldier in power armour. At that stage, throw 20, 30 or 50 dices... it doesn't matter. Just write "instant-kill" on the guns and be done with it.

Suddenly, the original medium walker just became a puny unit and it's big guns are now just humongous pea-shooters... Let alone the original infantry which are relegated to meat-shield status.

Also imagine the nighmare of throwing 32 dices... And the core set only comes with 6.

Thank whoever's in charge that there's not a lot of ridiculous bucket 'o dices units like that.
 
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14. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:530]
TK Number 3
Canada
Edmonton
AB
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Terrific combo of auction and worker placement, but I do wish there were more buildings. I've also had it pointed out that buying the church is basically deciding the winner. It's possible this is more of that person being that much ahead, not the church benefit being great. Still a great game though.
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