Games that only seem overly luck-based when you don't really understand them
Zoe M
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Of course, "overly luck-based" is completely subjective. But what are some games that seem to have a high luck element at first, until you having a better understanding of what you're doing?
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1. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
Zoe M
Canada
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This is the game that prompted this list. It's currently my favourite game, but my brother said that he didn't want to play it because the outcome was just determined by the dice! I disagree completely. Of course some really horrible dice rolls can destroy even the best players, but there's still a high level of skill involved. In the long run, the better players will have significantly better results.
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2. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:277]
Zoe M
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Those high-level cards in particular can be crazy and unpredictable... except that they're in specific high-level piles, and you know that those piles will contain crazy things. Suddenly it's not so unpredictable after all. Rushing through all the ages when you're ahead might not be the best path to victory.
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3. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:148]
Zoe M
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I've included this game on the list more as a question than a statement. I've only played it maybe 14 times, and it still seems pretty random to me. But I do lose noticeably more often than I win, so I guess it's skill-based after all....
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Miguel
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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This appears to have a lot of luck, and it's certainly there, but skill will determine more wins than anything else.
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5. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"you can't win if you don't draw lots of reds."

Yes you can.
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6. Board Game: Times Square [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2517]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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It really feels like a very luck-dependent card game... But the more you play it the more you find.
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7. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1087]
shumyum
United States
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♒♒♒♒♎♒♒♒♒ sloooowly sinking
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The grandaddy of them all.
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8. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:26]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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"Napoleon always wins" snore
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9. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:243]
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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None of my colors ever line up!

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10. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:18]
Brandon Copenhaver
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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I know there are folks out there that think this game is based on the luck of the draw. Nope! It's called strategy; you have to know how to use your cards...
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11. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1184]
Tyler
United States
Gainesville
Virginia
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Can't tell you how many times I've heard someone blame "good" or "bad" dice for a loss. Though it's true that "bad dice" can make a player lose a battle they should have won, the key to this game is not to find oneself in a position where you MUST win a particular battle in order to survive.

Also, the game's length means that there will be lots and lots and lots of dice rolls, which gives probabilities a chance to even out.

Put these two things together, and a more skilled player can beat a less skilled player nearly 100% of the time. That implies to me that luck is much, much less important than skill.
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12. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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I have become my own island state. A ravaged, war-torn land where nothing grows and the horizons are bleak.
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It's a negotiation game more than a dice game.
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13. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:362]
Paul Smith
United States
Long Beach
California
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"Whoever gets the most red shares wins"


The first few times I played this game I felt like nobody had any control over winning and losing.
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14. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Daniel Kearns
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
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Your sea is so great and my boat is so small.
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I'll just leave this here.
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15. Board Game: Artus [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2736]
Bret Clifton
United States
Newman Lake
Washington
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Seemed like nothing but chaos the first time or two as you feel at the whim of turning of the table by everyone. Now I see its genius and love it
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16. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:192]
Willie Davis
United States
Cape Coral
Florida
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So many dice rolls but a more skillful player will usually beat a less skilled one.
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17. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Kasper Lauest
Denmark
Helsinge
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A lot of people seem to think that this is a luck heavy game. It really isn't. Sure, luck of the draw CAN screw you over and in SOME kingdoms where the best strategy is completely obvious, luck plays a big role. But in the vast majority of cases the player who plays the game the best will win. Dominion is a high skill game, and becomes more so the more expansions you add.
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18. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:877]
Choubi Gogs
France
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So you prepare that unbeatable huge combo and... the opponent plays his mutant...

Yes, you do have to know the opponent's cards otherwise it always seems that he has random counters to your big combos... Except that if you knew his cards, you would have known that your big combo was just a stupid play...
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19. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:574]
Soren Vejrum
United Kingdom
Richmond
Surrey
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London On Board - the largest semi-organised group of boardgaming dicks in the known universe.
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Pure luck? Visit London On Board where the same group of people have been very lucky weekly for a number of years.
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20. Board Game: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:678]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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There's loads of strategy both in the betting and the racing. Drives me mad when people say it's pure luck!
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21. Board Game: Greedy Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:6263]
Dezza
Australia
South Australia
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Bit off the beaten track, but a game I've recently gotten to try.

On your turn, choose 3 cards to play, while your opponent tries to choose the same 3 cards from their hand.
Any card that matches one you've played is cancelled.

Trying to block your opponent's cards seems like luck at first, but if you look at what resources they're low on, or what they will need, you will be more successful than just pulling 3 randomly.

In turn, you're going to need to start play combinations that won't be so obvious.
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22. Board Game: Yomi [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:766] [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
Chris Rogers
Mexico
Georgia
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Too many people think this boils down to "paper/rock/scissors" without understanding the value of each move, the distributions of the moves and special moves, the availability of countermoves, and generally anything else about the game besides "attack < block/dodge < throw < attack."

This is a remarkably balanced and unexpectedly strategic game. No one could lose as often as I do (or win as much as the experts do) without there being something you could do well or poorly besides guess and depend on random cards coming up.
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23. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:792]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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To me, this is a long-standing example of a game that appears to be highly luck-driven, but that the better players almost always win.

When I hear very good players discuss strategy in this game, I realize they are balancing considerations that I don't even think about.
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24. Board Game: Blockade Runner [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:4273]
eric hogan
United States
Salem
Oregon
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The fact that you might lose a ship or two when opponents don't makes this game seem too luck dependent. When you run a blockade, that is a risk you take. The way to beat the game is to minimize risks, while maximizing profits. Strategies I've seen includes strategies where no risks are taken all the way to wildcat play. The key thing to remember is to not risk ships full of black market goods or tobacco. Also, the only risk you might need to take is the one that will put you in the lead at the end.
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25. Board Game: Trick of the Rails [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:2271]
Claudio
United States
Portland
Oregon
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A tricktaking game of one hand? So chaotic? Luckfest? Nope. Almost no bad hands and tons of control and many different ways to play a hand. Pure awesome.
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