If That's the Case, Then I Don't Like This Game Anymore
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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Think back. There was a game you'd heard about, and it sounded pretty cool. So you were excited when you first got a chance to play it. And for a while--maybe even the first few times you played--you liked the game a lot. It may have even been your favorite game.

But then you discovered something, and that "something" spoiled it for you.

Maybe it was a surefire strategy or an overly powerful tactic. Maybe a particular mechanic or game feature that just rubbed you the wrong way. Or maybe you couldn't stand being around the kind of people who played this game all the time. Whatever. Something turned a good game bad.

It has happened to all of us. If nowhere else, then with Tic-Tac-Toe. The first time you play, it might be interesting; but you soon learn the trick that renders the game trivial.

List your "But that spoils the game!" experiences here.


For the opposite thing--games you didn't like at first but learned to like--try this other Geeklist.
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1. Board Game: Bridge [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:493]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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Well, to be honest, I never gave this game a proper chance. I'd heard about it all my life and wanted to learn how to play, but I didn't know anyone who played, so I got a PC bridge game and a book and taught it to myself.

I had imagined it'd be a game of cunning combinations, somewhat like chess. And I thought it'd be cool to study the game and learn which combinations beat which.

But my wife--who'd played bridge with dedicated bridge players--was looking over my shoulder one day, and she gave me a couple tips. I had to count trumps, for one thing. And I had to study my opponents' plays and make deductions based on that information. And there was more.

Within a few minutes, it had got to where I thought (or maybe even said), "If I have to do that, then this is not my kind of game."

It just wasn't any fun for me to do what bridge requires a player to do.
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2. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1524]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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I love words. I practically live and breathe the written word; I have an English degree; and I work in the publishing field. Words and languages are some of the coolest things in the world to me.

So, I was excited when I first played Scrabble as a kid. Figuring out how to arrange the letters into words was a lot of fun.

Then people started pointing out the importance of board position. Up to a point, it was OK: I didn't mind looking for a double-word-score square or whatever. But I balked at the thought of crowding other players out or blocking opportunities others might take advantage of.

And when I learned the importance of memorizing stupid little words with q's and x's in them, that was the last straw. I wanted to form interesting words--words that maybe made a statement about who I am or what's on my mind. Maybe words that would slyly communicate something to the young lady across the board from me.

To me, it seems Scrabble sucks all the fun out of playing with words.
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3. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14667]
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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I was in fifth grade or so when I first saw this game, and it impressed me like no other. That map of the world, and all those colorful wooden armies. The possibilities seemed endless!

And the first several times I played, it was a wonderful experience. Not knowing any better, I went for the continents I liked best--sometimes the ones with the prettiest colors, other times ones I had read something interesting about. Or I'd try to make a big splash by trying to dominate Asia, since it was so big.

Then a friend, who'd played more often with more people, told me how important Australia is. It's a strategic key to the game, he said, and only new or weak players waste time going after Asia.

A few years later, I made a remark about the big chance factor in Risk to a fellow wargamer. And he explained how it's not as random as many people think. Though a lot of dice are rolled, the outcomes are predictable, and a smart player will go with the odds and win in the long run.

So, now I had to calculate odds and pay attention to Australia. Suddenly the game wasn't nearly as much fun anymore.

I'm glad I ran into those obstacles, though, before I ever played a serious game with many players. Because then I'd have also discovered that players will gang up on whoever's in the lead, and that would've tended to spoil the game for me too. The kids I'd played with had a more casual, each-for-himself attitude, and that was the only way I liked playing.
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4. Board Game: De Bellis Antiquitatis [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1841]
p55carroll
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I bought this because I wanted a fairly light wargame that could cover most any battle in any period of history. DBA is designed for the pre-gunpowder era, but it has been house-ruled for everything else as well.

I made some foam-board "elements" and played the game a few times, and I could see why this game was so popular. It's small and fast-playing, yet interesting.

But before long, it started to seem too dry and lifeless. I wondered why, and I realized what should have been obvious--it's a miniatures game. It really needs miniatures to bring it to life. My foam-board rectangles just weren't cutting it.

Unfortunately, I'd had my experience with miniatures years before. I set out to paint some, and I held on for only a few weeks, suffering all the while. I found out I absolutely hated painting. (In time, I also realized I didn't even like the look of painted minis much.)
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5. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:420] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
Keith S.
United States
Dallas/Fort Worth
Texas
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When I was in grade school, I loved chess. I lost more than I won, but it was an engaging, deep game. It wasn't until I got to high school and college, and talked to people on the Chess teams, that I learned the path to Master involved rote memorization of chess openings. If I want a memory game I'll play Busen Memo. Since then I have found far more engaging, far less-studied abstracts to satisfy the same hunger.
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6. Board Game: Leonardo da Vinci [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:970]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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As one of my first exposures to worker placement, I dug this game and taught it to a few people. After a few plays I started to notice that pretty much all the points were awarded in the last two rounds, and that all the other ones were just treading water to get to that point. A few more plays confirmed this, and I soon got rid of it.
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