Games with strong player order problems
James Stuart
United States
New York
New York
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This is a list meant to catalogue games in which weak or new players cause significant problems, not only in game balance, but cause a strong bonus to the player on their (left, right)

This list shouldn't encompass:
1) games in which the bonus is spread out over players (El Grande)
2) games in which this effect in relatively minor (San Juan)
3) games in which initial seat selection causes problems for evenly skilled players.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
James Stuart
United States
New York
New York
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Probably the largest problem with this game: players who are weaker players help the opponent who comes next through better role selection, and not defending boats, not defending the trading house.

PS: You can tell at a glance at this picture who the troublemaker is going to be. He probably thinks it's funny that he's not really sure how to play this game well, but he'd be better advised to learn the game on his own time.
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2. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:710]
James Stuart
United States
New York
New York
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The game very much depends on each player taking care not only to score for themselves, but to make sure that the next player can't do much: a player who consistently neglects to punish the next player will give that player a huge boost in the game.
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3. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
James Stuart
United States
New York
New York
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In St. Petersburg, small advantages explode exponentially: playing to the right of a player who isn't very familiar with the strategy of this game will give another player one more great selection a turn, and that's hard to overcome
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4. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:164]
Jerry McVicker
United States
Morgantown
West Virginia
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Anyone that's played this knows how important it is to get the priority deal card. I've actually watched it happen with dread before, but is it really a problem or a game mechanic? Certainly can be a problem if one of the players are new.
 
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5. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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While the same could be said for virtually any bidding game (where an inexperienced player simply does not have an understanding of the relative value of auction items), this has been especially apparent for our playings of PoF...

Savvy veterans can easily bid up new players' auctions to inflate a sense of value -- or simply to force them to pay more for what they *think* is important. Also, some players lurk for the end of the auction until they're only bidding versus inexperienced players, to snatch up what they really want for the cheap... a double whammy. Saving up precious money, as well as getting the item they need for advancement.
 
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6. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Sitting to the right of a more experienced player will ensure that you never get any good deals on any item, many times it will prevent you from purchasing anything at all. while sitting to the left of said player will allow you to overbid them by one if you need to get something.
 
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7. Board Game: Fossil [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:13834]
Marc Kob
United States
Pennsylvania
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This game has the problem so bad, it's one of the few eurogames I disowned. If the player doesn't consider how the placement of his stones will enable the next player's scoring selection, there is absolutely nothing anyone else can do about it. (Other than complain to the one who just handed your arch-nemesis the game... which isn't very effective and quasi-antisocial.) I never had the oppurtunity to play this with equally skilled players, and after 3 attempts that were spoiled with the above problem I just passed on.
 
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8. Board Game: Medina [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:731]
United States
Aventura
Florida
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this is definitely one of the first games that comes to mind when thinking of the effect of a weak player in relation to seating order. since players are in some sense obligated to give each other advantages, drawing the line between an acceptable move and a total kingmaking move becomes more blurry than in other games, and it can be frustrating when a player just throws out a massive play for the next player to capitalize on.
 
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9. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:172]
Gregory Smith
United States
Newark
California
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This has got to be the top game for this list. The game very much depends on each player taking care to make sure they don't give figures away to the player to their left. An unskilled player will definitely give the game to the player to their left. I prefer to play this game 2 player; as a 2 player game I rate it highly, as a 3 player game it is OK as long as all players are relatively equally skilled, as a 4 player game I'll pass.
 
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