Why you LOSE.
Tom Vasel
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Hey, we can't be winners all of the time. In fact, it seems like some of us lose often than we win.

Well, everyone needs a good excuse as to why they lost. Here are a few you can use next time to avoid embarrassment, and to explain how on earth you possibly came in second place. Or third. Or fourth. Or...eh, let's stop there.

Got some more reasons? Share them, so we can all explain why we lost together!
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1. Board Game: Lady Luck [Average Rating:4.31 Unranked]
Tom Vasel
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LUCK

I can tell you why I lost, it's because the dice/cards/tile pull were against me. If you look hard enough, you'll know that there's no way the dice evened out over the course of the game.

Too much luck!

My numbers were never rolled during Settlers, there's no way you could have rolled that well in the war game - it's all luck.

In fact, I think I lost Puerto Rico because of the poor luck I had when no coffee tiles were drawn.

Luck - it kills me in Agricola, when I don't get the cards I need. I'm sure there's luck in Chess - why couldn't I get to take the first turn.

This one's a good one, folks, and works in almost every situation. Why did you lose? It's because the dice gods didn't smile upon you, the card masters frowned upon your soul, and the chit pulling genie was irritated at you that day.
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2. Board Game: Ring of Rule [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Tom Vasel
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MISUNDERSTANDING

Don't underestimate this excuse. If you find yourself losing a game, look over the rulebook carefully. Listen with intense interest to everything the player teaching the game says. If they make one, eensie-teensy little mistake, you have a way out.

"I would have won the game, but I didn't understand the rules properly!" Leran that phrase, and use it, along with "If I had known that rule, I would have played completely differently". It doesn't matter if the rule is one that merely talks about the orientation of the cards - if you had been able to read them better, you would have noticed the one card that could have changed your whole strategy.

Hint: It's better to wait until the game has ended before using this strategy, although a big sigh when the other person mentions a rule helps. It also helps if you deliberately zone out when the person is explaining the game. They should capture your attention, and if they aren't interesting enough - it's THEIR fault you missed a rule.
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3. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:504]
Tom Vasel
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COLLUSION

I'm telling you right now, if you want an excuse for why you lost, you simply have to watch the other players. Do they whisper when you walk into the room? When someone takes that trading good from you, do they look at another player significantly? When you are attacked, do you hear a subtle cough from a corner of the table.

They're out to get you. And they're all in it together.

To make this excuse work properly, you need to start it up pretty much as soon as the first die is rolled. Complaining loudly that everyone hates you (which is likely true) and how they want you to lose (the beasts!) will help make this excuse work well, especially if the game is a long one.

You can also help this have a bit more of a punch if you repeat it louder and louder as the game goes by. Screaming it at points is not inappropriate, and a whiny voice will help you considerably.

CAUTION: If you are too effective with this excuse, you may actually win, which sort of negates it, and you also may find that others tend to avoid playing with you. Who cares - they were out to get you anyway.
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4. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2210]
Tom Vasel
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SICKNESS

We know that there are a variety of things that can hurt our magnificent brains from working at 100%, so feel free to utilize this excuse whenever you can. Simple headaches seems to be fairly effective, as if you go much farther than that, people may not wish to be at the same table with you.

The best way to go about this is to sigh softly during the game, and roll your eyes and groan. Groan when you make a good play, groan when your opponent touches their piece, and simply talk about how miserable you are. You'll find that this will be effective in helping the whole group be miserable, which may make you feel better.

After the game is over, it's good to look balefully at the winner and grate out a biting phrase that the only reason they won was because you were coming down with some sort of evil disease.

Oh, and coughing and looking sad only needs be done during a time you are losing. You'll find yourself feeling a lot better if you win. You might mention this to other players. "Boy, a victory would do a lot to bolster my spirits right now!" Only weak-willed players will succumb to this trick, but it's worth trying.
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5. Board Game: Electronic Dream Phone [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:12702]
Tom Vasel
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DISTRACTIONS

Make a list before the game so you can complain afterwards. This one is an easy one, and you can find that pretty much anything that will work.

Phones are your best option. If you're really committed to making this work, set it up so someone can call you during the game. If you can somehow make the call slightly worrysome or bothersome (did I leave the water on?) it's an excuse many will accept. But if ANYONE else gets a call, you're golden. Because they didn't have their head in the game, you suffer. That should not be.

Children are the next best thing. Whether they are your own who lovingly interrupt you seventy times a game, or the brats of your friends who disrupt the game with a roar, you probably would have won if there had been complete quiet.

Make sure there is a TV within 200 feet, and on for a minute of gameplay. That's an excuse in the bank, baby!

I could go on and on about this one, but it works quite well. And if your friends fiendishly remove every distraction you can think of - even to the point of taking your phone at the door, then you simply point out that you aren't used to the sheer quietness. This excuse can't be negated!
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6. Board Game: Mercy! The Hospital Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Tom Vasel
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MERCY

Now, you'll have to be careful with this one, as it can backfire on you. But if you're clever, you can get this one to work in many games.

Simply wait until the game is over, then lean back smugly in your seat and say "Well, I was taking it easy on you this time. Next time, though..." Trail off, and leave the horrible beating you'll administer to their imagination.

They may demand a rematch then and there, so you'll have to be prepared for an excuse as to why you can't play that game again. In fact, you may have to never play that particular game against those opponents ever again. If you are forced to do so, then simply use one of the other excuses on this list.

Remember, you can let the other person win because they are younger, older, newer, etc.

You can also claim that you were using a strategy with only a 2% chance of success, and it just didn't work out this time. This is a sneakier method, and seems to be more acceptable amongst the general gaming public.
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7. Board Game: Life Style [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:13368]
Tom Vasel
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DISMISSIVE

There are a great many reasons you can lose a game, but some games simply aren't your style.

You know, if you lose at Yahtzee, it's because you normally play games of Chess. If you lose at Chess, well, it's because you're more of a Eurogamer. If you lose at Puerto Rico, it was because you couldn't attack anything.

"This game just isn't my style, man." If it was your style, you would be riding on the backs of your enemies with triumphant skeletal stallions as your victorious army cheers. But who cares if you lost, it was only Agricola/Fury of Dracula/YINSH.

This is even better used when a child absolutely destroys you at a game. Well of course they did, it's a kid's game! Use this, but always have a game that is more advanced. For example, if you lose to someone in Memoir, you can mumble about how awesome you would have been had it only been Tide of Iron. If you lose in Tide of Iron, then you talk about Advanced Squad Leader. If you lose in Advanced Squad Leader, then you have to reverse your positions and go back to Memoir, saying that the complications just "aren't your style." This excuse has the added bonus of making you feel like you are sounding cool.
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8. Board Game: You Must Be an Idiot! [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:9504]
Tom Vasel
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MORONS

Sigh. This isn't the same as collusion, it's much, much worse. You would have won if only Sid-Stupid-O hadn't listened to Mel-Maniuplative and attacked you. You would have won if you hadn't sat to the right of Paul Pick-whatever-I-feel-like in Puerto Rico.

Your absolute, guaranteed method of victory may seem flawless, but beware - an idiotic player will mess it up. Make sure that you point this out, loudly. It may earn you a glare, or maybe even a fight, but at least your honor will remain intact and everyone else understand why you lost.

Remember, it's not your fault - it's theirs.
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9. Board Game: Diet: The Cheating Man's Game [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Tom Vasel
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CHEATING

The other player is cheating.

You know it, they know it.

Now, you have to be a bit cautious about this one. You can call the other person a cheater, but as a person's age increases, their intolerance for this does also.

You have to be more subtle. "You know, I counted all the money twice, and I can't figure out how you afforded all those goods." "I never saw you put five more armies in Australia." Then sigh a bit, and say, "Well, I KNOW you would never cheat." while clearly implying that you think quite the opposite.

So when you lose under a pile of rubble later on, you have a good reason. They cheated. And they'll probably cheat every time you play them. Which makes victory all the sweeter when it happens. Which it probably won't, since they cheat.
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10. Board Game: The Stupid Game [Average Rating:1.50 Unranked]
Kirk Thomas
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North Kansas City
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The Game Is Stupid

I could win this game, but frankly, I just can't get my head around how stupid Rule X is or Mechanic Y is.

I would have made several better moves, but I just kept making my plans on my belief of how this game should work. No, you told me, and I understood - I just can't accept that that is the way this stupid game works.

Enjoy your "victory".
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11. Board Game: Crouching Hamster, Hidden Translation [Average Rating:3.64 Unranked]
Mousey
Netherlands
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rules translation error

Rules get translated and things get translated wrong sometime. (latest is the mixup in the French translation of Rattus where they mixed up the Knight and the King).
So you can always say you were playing by the translated rules OR by the original rules and everybody else was playing it wrong!
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12. Board Game: Chaos! Rules! [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Bernard
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COMPLEX RULES

When the game is set up, start with acting totally confused and roll your eyes a couple of times. Then tell the people you play with you are not sure if you remember the rules of this game. When you get a brief overview of the rules act like you are totally puzzled and tell you never ever understood the rules of this game.

Then every time when it is your turn, just look desperate and tell the other players you have no clue what to do. Make sure you always take more time to finish your turn compared to the other players. To make this more convincing make sure that when you have almost completed your turn, undo your own actions and start over. Do this a couple of times during the game and when you do this say that you are doing it totally wrong and emphasize the complexity of the game. Another way to go which is more subtle is to make an illegal move once in every few turns.

A few phrases you can use during the game are "Are you guys done already?", "I'm sure I am doing something wrong!", "Did I overlook something?" and "I have no clue what I am doing!" Pointing out a few cards/game bits or game elements and asking "What was that for again?" can't be left out when using this tactic.

When using this tactic, nobody will be surprised that you lost the game. They will know it was not your fault you lost the game, because you didn't had a grasp of the rules. When you win the game it is even a more impressive victory, because despite of your struggle of having to fight yourself through the jungle of complex rules, you still were able to win the game!

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13. Board Game: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? [Average Rating:4.13 Overall Rank:15324]
Andy Foulke
United States
Bethel Park
PA
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It's YOU! You're just not as capable as your gaming partners. Cheer up, it's not as bad as it sounds, because on those rare occasions where you DO win, you can do some serious gloating.
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14. Board Game: 7 Ages [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1471]
Simon Vasey
United States
Lincolnshire
Illinois
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Out of Practice

You know, I used to be really good at this game. I just haven't played it in AGES. This was just a warm-up session, to get me back into the game. Next time, I'll destroy you!

Funny how I avoid EVER playing them at that game again...
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15. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
Mike Young
United States
Sterling
Virginia
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HONESTY

True story. We were playing Power Grid Friday night. At one point, I wasn't sure if I had given the bank a one elektro bill it was owed, so I gave one over just in case.

On the very last turn, if I could build 18 cities I would have won the game handily. But I was short by exactly 1 elektro. I lost, tying with 17 cities but having less money. Damn my honesty.
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16. Board Game: Concentration [Average Rating:5.16 Overall Rank:14626]
Peaceful Gamin'
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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CONCENTRATION

Sometimes, I putter around cutting u vegetables for everyone, switching CDs etc, or I sit there and still don't concentrate enough to pre-program my next 5 turns in Through the Ages. as a result of the mis-concentration, I forget some of the rules which I just learned, or simply don't give me any points at the end of the round (sometimes, someone else catches it, sometimes not. Meh, happens).
So, better concentration, better game...
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17. Board Game: Sucker [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Scott Lewis
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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What about just the honest path:

I just suck at this game

Doesn't mean you don't enjoy it, but there are some games I lose a LOT at because I just suck at planning ahead, doing the strategies necessary to win, etc. I still have fun playing them anyway, as I think I learn from them each time, but there are many games, if you ask why I lost, it would be, "Because I suck at it."
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18. Board Game: Brain Food [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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What you eat helps win or lose

We all know what we eat influences our brains/mind some ways. Yesterday my 10 yr old sun beat me in Dominion. When I commented on it today - while preparing for another game - he said: "You know mum, FruitGusher helps me think." Hm, I do not eat FruitGusher. Maybe I should?
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19. Board Game: Choo-choo [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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Did not shuffle properly

So this afternoon I and my son played another Dominion game. At one point my son did not have a very good combination in his hand and I told him: this is the luck element in the game. No, he said, I did not shuffle the cards properly.
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20. Board Game: Cars: Luigi's Tire Tower Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
James Klemm
United States
Concord
CA
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I was just Tired.

If I had only slept a couple more hours last night, I would have been alert enough to more than make up those few VP.
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21. Board Game: Nickelodeon Clarissa Explains It All Game [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Norman Mueller
Germany
Schwerte
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I was busy explaining

Since I'm the the one who had to explain the rules, I couldn't concentrate on my own moves. All the time one of you makes a stupid mistake, and I have to correct it, and then I have to listen to your complaints that the rules are too complex and that I didn't explain that rule in the first place.. how am I supposed to think of a strategy when you always interrupt me!?
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22. Board Game: Uri Geller's Strike! [Average Rating:3.69 Unranked]
James Klemm
United States
Concord
CA
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Well, its because I just had to use the bathroom. I couldn't fully concentrate because of my darn bodily functions.
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23. Board Game: Color Match [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Pieter
Netherlands
Maastricht
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Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
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I CONFUSED COLORS

This works well in two ways:

(1) "I always play yellow, but Jim took yellow this time and I confused his board position with mine."

(2) "Dammit, under this light I confused green with blue!"

The second one works best if you're a guy, because it is a well-known fact that color-blindness is related to the Y-chromosome.

On a side-note: I always play yellow because I do confuse green with blue (and another member of my group always plays red). And since everybody knows this, I get to use such excuses all the time!
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24. Board Game: Just4Fun [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:6121]
Tom Decker
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
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I PLAY JUST FOR FUN

...because if I was really trying, of course I'd kick your butt. Fortunately for you, I'm not really trying. I just want to learn the game, see the mechanics, and have fun. Winning is overrated. I just want to have fun. So enjoy your meaningless victory and know that you only won because I wasn't trying in the first place.
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25. Board Game: Win-A-Lot [Average Rating:6.06 Unranked]
Tim K
Australia
Colonel Light Gardens
SA
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I have to let you win occasionally or otherwise you'll never play with me anymore.

Occasionally you just have to let the others win. If you are better than them and you always win they may just give up wanting to play unless you give them the occasional victory.
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