Games That Require Players To Take One For The Team To Stop Another Player From Certain Victory
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
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Sometimes, when playing games, you are put in the awkward position of saving the rest of the group from a player who will get an obvious advantage if you do not take quick action. Sometimes this happens because others have ignored the player, and now it is up to you to save the group from certain defeat. Sometimes this happens because you happen to be sitting after the player in question, and you are the only one that can make the game-saving move. Sometimes this happens because you are the best player, and most experienced, and are the only one that is smart enough to see that a certain player must be stopped.

Whenever it happens, you almost always have to give up what you are doing and put yourself at a disadvantage to stop the other player. What do you do? Do you continue with your own objectives at the expense of possibly losing the game? Or do you grumble to yourself as your make the game-saving move?

I consider these situations very unfortunate. Is it bad luck? Or just the way games work?

What games put players in positions like this the most often?
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1. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Michael J
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Folsom
California
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It is really frustrating to see a player running unobstructed on the board when other players go the other way. This is a game about conflict, after all. And if one player needs to be taken down because their race-ability combo is stronger than everyone else's, it usually requires more than one player to do it. If I am the only one to attack them, I end up losing. This game creates this situation all the time.
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2. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:96] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Michael J
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Folsom
California
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It is not uncommon to see that a certain player will complete a very valuable link, and be in the position where you must block them, to the exclusion of making a better move for yourself. So you save the rest of the table, and you end up last. This situation is exacerbated when some players don't play aggressively, and others do, leaving it up to the aggressive players to save everyone else from game-winning moves.
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3. Board Game: Attika [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:568]
howl hollow howl
United States
Oregon
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Is this not the poster child for this phenomenon?

Quote:
Do you continue with your own objectives at the expense of possibly losing the game? Or do you grumble to yourself as your make the game-saving move?


With Attika, the "stopping" player really doesn't have a choice, unless (1) there is some honor in "playing for second", (2) they are going meta and want to establish that they cannot be counted on as the stopper in future games, or (3) they are effectively resigning for the collective losers.

Now, if it's established that this player cannot be counted on to play the stopper, then the original risk-based decision becomes a poser for the player before him.
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4. Board Game: Kill Doctor Lucky [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2072]
Fabian
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Bern
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I'd say this is the worst and prime example of this.
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5. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:228] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Michael Hovan
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Elkhart
Indiana
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Oh my, this baby is a grand example. If one of the players is marching along the time table, the others had better work together as just one dropping a calamity may not be enough.

Of course, there was this game where we all ganged up on the leader only to allow the one in second to slide into an immediate victory.....
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6. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:322]
Brett Porter
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Winder
Georgia
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This is the first game I thought of. Every turn you have to do some progression of evil. Sometimes you just have to hurt yourself in order for something worse not to happen.
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7. Board Game: Quoridor [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:996]
Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
Michigan
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Wonderful game, but the 4-player version suffers badly from pass-the-buck syndrome. "Frank's poised to win the game on his next turn, but I'm not gonna bother stopping him, so someone else will HAVE to."

One time my buddy Charles was sitting to the right of the guy in winning position, and of course the job of stopping the win was passed to him. He said "No, screw you guys. I'm letting him win." That kind of makes everyone think twice about passing the buck to him now.
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8. Board Game: Connect 4x4 [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:10807]
Chris Broggi
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Southwick
Massachusetts
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This game has it all the time. In fact, the main strategy is to force one of your opponents into a situation where they have to block a third opponent or lose the game.
 
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9. Board Game: Wiz-War [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1332]
Greg Lam
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Boston
Massachusetts
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"If I trade you a number card and an 'add' you can get to player X's home base before he can drop his second treasure."

"But then he'll hit me with a spell that makes me go blind for five rounds."

"I appreciate the sacrifice."
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10. Board Game: Yavalath [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:3924]
Randall Bart
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Winnetka
California
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In three player Yavalath you are required to block the player who comes after you.
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11. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:811]
Donald Dimitroff
United States
Beltsville
Maryland
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Right now I am feeling very: turbed, pirited, heveled, combobulated, and not tinguished, so don't you dare "dis" me!
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Your ally in one round, your enemy in the next!

For example, you may have to join the defensive side of an attack to prevent another player from winning. You would have preferred to be on the offensive side of the attack because that would have put you one step closer to winning.
 
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12. Board Game: Illuminati: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1362]
pɹɐɥɔᴉɹ
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Reading
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Careful. There is a minefield around here.
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A common tactic in this game is to leave it all up to the last player before the leader to take them out. Weakens both at the same time. There is a downside in that if the last player is not quite up to it, then everyone else has just thrown the game - but that is the risk of this whole strategy.
 
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