Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
50 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: What games have been deemed as really broken? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: should_be_a_GeekList [+] [View All]
Ken Thibodeau
Canada
Quebec
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We often see threads that ask if a specific card or strategy is overpowered and breaks the game. Most times, several users (aka game defenders) will deny it with counter argumentation supported with personal experience, driven by their love of this game.

However, has there been any reports of games that were really broken? By that, I mean that a majority of players (or even the designer himself) agree to conclude that a strategy or a design flaw was overlooked during playtesting?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Thibodeau
Canada
Quebec
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Off the top of my head, there's 2 that I know of:

1- The Halifax Hammer in A Few Acres of Snow. The designer admitted it was a design flaw and proposed a fix (that was contested, AFAIK).

2- There is a building tile in Glass Road that the designer suggested to remove to avoid an infinite loop.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Ottawa
Ontario
msg tools
Avatar
fardoche wrote:
We often see threads that ask if a specific card or strategy is overpowered and breaks the game. Most times, several users (aka game defenders) will deny it with counter argumentation supported with personal experience, driven by their love of this game.

However, has there been any reports of games that were really broken? By that, I mean that a majority of players (or even the designer himself) agree to conclude that a strategy or a design flaw was overlooked during playtesting?


You make it seem that the thoughts of the "game defender" are somehow more subjective than the thoughts of the . . . game attacker? What exactly are these attackers supporting their argument with? Science? Magic?

What the hell does a "broken game" even mean? You classify "broken" as a design flaw but that hardly makes any sense.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Robbins
United States
Alcoa
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There was some post in the not too terribly distant past that had someone boasting that he had broken four or five games, one to the point of causing the publisher to fix it.

I'm not up to the task of searching for it, but not knowing whether it was four or five seems to be a caveat as to the mental capacity of the self professed genius.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kendall McKenzie
United Kingdom
Bournemouth
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Caverna: The Cave Farmers has a combination of three buildings that can generate infinite ore, and a building that gives one point per two ore at the end of the game, leading to infinite points. However, there was a thread on the specific forums which Uwe Rosenberg was personally involved in and he approved of several different fixes - my personal favourite is simply that you can't use both of the active buildings in the same turn (and there is no reason you would want to anyway otherwise - it simply converts resources into gold and then gold into the same resources)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Robbins
United States
Alcoa
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
broken clock wrote:
...

What the hell does a "broken game" even mean? You classify "broken" as a design flaw but that hardly makes any sense.


To me it is a strategy or seat at the table or lucky draw that guarantees a winning outcome most every time. Why play if something decides the game long before dragging out the ending?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Thibodeau
Canada
Quebec
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
broken clock wrote:
fardoche wrote:
We often see threads that ask if a specific card or strategy is overpowered and breaks the game. Most times, several users (aka game defenders) will deny it with counter argumentation supported with personal experience, driven by their love of this game.

However, has there been any reports of games that were really broken? By that, I mean that a majority of players (or even the designer himself) agree to conclude that a strategy or a design flaw was overlooked during playtesting?


You make it seem that the thoughts of the "game defender" are somehow more subjective than the thoughts of the . . . game attacker? What exactly are these attackers supporting their argument with? Science? Magic?

What the hell does a "broken game" even mean? You classify "broken" as a design flaw but that hardly makes any sense.


Have a coffee please.
31 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr. Octatrack
United Kingdom
Rochdale
Greater Manchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
broken clock wrote:
fardoche wrote:
We often see threads that ask if a specific card or strategy is overpowered and breaks the game. Most times, several users (aka game defenders) will deny it with counter argumentation supported with personal experience, driven by their love of this game.

However, has there been any reports of games that were really broken? By that, I mean that a majority of players (or even the designer himself) agree to conclude that a strategy or a design flaw was overlooked during playtesting?


You make it seem that the thoughts of the "game defender" are somehow more subjective than the thoughts of the . . . game attacker? What exactly are these attackers supporting their argument with? Science? Magic?

What the hell does a "broken game" even mean? You classify "broken" as a design flaw but that hardly makes any sense.


I think it's a fair question. He's not asking what "Broken" means, he's asking for examples. "Broken" is usually a subjective term when it comes to games, but the OP is asking for concrete examples, such as infinite loops or other, er, game-breaking flaws.
Sometimes people are quick to deem a game broken and it usually boils down to the fact they are playing incorrectly/not grasping strategies/negatively-biased for whatever reason. I have never experienced a broken game and I expect they are very rare, but I can definitely imagine scenarios where a game would be considered so.
(I once broke a copy of Mousetrap by falling onto it from the sofa, but I don't think that is what the OP is asking for )

Even a broken clock speaks the truth twice a day (unless it's a 24H digital clock)
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Go
United States
New York
Manhattan
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
If you're having hull problems I feel bad for you son, I've got 99 problems but a breach ain't one.
badge
TauLeaderGames.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Apparently Kingsburg suffers from this.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Robbins
United States
Alcoa
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Magic: The Gathering was a revelation to me, both in the design and the willingness to see that some card abilities just didn't fit with (reasonably friendly) fair play. Not a totally broken game, but one that needed some tweaking.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Robbins
United States
Alcoa
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The very generous (free) offering from Multi-Man Publishing, Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges, was a treat. But unless my brother and I missed something, with the historical setup the Germans could make a couple of moves and the Wallies had no mathematical chance of crossing the final bridge for victory. Fortunately, they included alternate initial airdrop results for more playability.

"Broken" does beg for more thorough study and, if necessary, yer own house rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
flag msg tools
SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Horror Leader wrote:
Apparently Kingsburg suffers from this.


According to whom, and how? I've not noticed anything broken in the game. Doesn't mean broken is impossible, but the nature of the game makes it hard to imagine broken. Some strategies might work better than others, but that's not the same thing.

(Caveat: I always play with 2/5 of the expansion, the discs and the larger mats.)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff G
United States
Franklin
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Horror Leader wrote:
Apparently Kingsburg suffers from this.


Honest curiosity: how is Kingsburg allegedly "broken"?

Caverna (before it was patched in the recent print runs) definitely qualifies as broken in the "has an exploit that guarantees victory", and my understanding is the Halifax Hammer qualifies as well. Not aware of any others myself, though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dennis bennett
Germany
back in Frankfurt!
flag msg tools
designer
badge
more of my stuff at www.dennisthebadger.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bltzlfsk wrote:
Magic: The Gathering was a revelation to me, both in the design and the willingness to see that some card abilities just didn't fit with (reasonably friendly) fair play. Not a totally broken game, but one that needed some tweaking.


I think in some points of the history of MtG the game has actually been more or less broken, but then the cards that broke the game were banned (black lotus, affinity; anything that produces a "first turn win"). There have occasionally been cards that were perhaps not completely broken but just really overpowered and those were also banned (most recently stuff like Jace mindsculptor+stoneforge mystic (?), i.e. when people start playing cards outside of their own colour/strategy just because the card is so good, or playing a planeswalker (in the case of jace) just to counter another player's planeswalker).

I think it's probably a continuum from some strategies just being stronger than others, to being so much stronger that any other strategy just becomes a waste of time.

Then there is also "groupthink", when people in a specific gaming group or "environment" (sometimes even just a place like a message board) feel that a strategy is superior and they just can't work out how to beat it, though it probably could (easily?) be beaten if people were able to think outside of the way they've been playing.

It can actually really be a lot of fun to disprove assumptions people have of game strategies.
A nice example is the assumptions some players have about The Resistance and resistance avalon, where many players think it's best to have a first mission pass, even if a spy is on the mission, just to keep their cover up.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yang Su
United States
New York
NY
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tic-tac-toe...
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott M.
United States
Winter Springs
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any game i cant win on my first play is BROKEN! yuk
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Berger
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Jigsaw
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Going back a ways here.

I think I can conclusively say that the 1st edition of Federation & Empire was broken, with a guaranteed Coalition victory if played properly.

The game had the Coalition start with more ships, used a fixed production schedule for each race, and a consistent percentage-based combat and repair system. Nothing obligated the Klingons to assault the Kzinti home world, as I think the designers assumed. They could just pin the Kzintis there instead and devastate everything else, using the Lyrans for cannon fodder, who had little else to do once the Hydrans were (easily) dispatched. Once the Klingons were ready, they could absolutely overwhelm the Federation within a few turns with pure numbers. It took us exactly two games to figure this out. I don't know about the newer editions.

Another game I would say is utterly broken is Belter, a game about asteroid mining. Except the first one lucky enough to get enough money can build warships and destroy his competitors with impunity. Game over.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Boat
United States
Ankeny
Iowa
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My gaming table believes New Amsterdam to be broken, with a winning strategy that nullifies over half the game. Basically, whoever gets the most building actions wins, which is hard to stop because whoever is getting those actions is not only getting the most points per action, but also the most money, so it is virtually impossible to outbid them in future turns for the building actions. Runaway leader never ending loop.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Jurin
United States
Great Neck
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fast Carriers was considered broken in that anti-aircraft fire was so strong that neither side could get bombers through, so it was kind of broken for both players.

I thought a lot of the games I played (maybe 20%) were broken, but I don't know if that was because:

I didn't find the right srategies
I interpreted a rule differntly from the intent
It was really broken

Then there were games that I lost a few times and then found strategies I thought broke the game later - even though we usually think of it the other way around.

But like Fast Carriers, there were a other games where the game acted in a way that was so counter to the idea that it wasn't playable. Global War was an example - at one Origins the SPI people agreed that the published game wasn't the game as played by the playtesters. In Sideshow, winning battles was only a matter of the general's rating, not the number or strength of the troops, and you can game the system.
In Arena of Death, a guy with a knife beats a guy with a sword because the guy with the sword will rarely avoid getting into close combat where the guy with the knife will win; again, a broken 'system' as opposed to a side.


An example of uncertainty for me was The Conquerors. We couldn't ever get the Greeks to win. I suspect that this was either 1 or 2 above, since a lot of people play and like the game, but I really don't know.

Freedom in the Galaxy is a wonderful game, but winning with the rebels is very hard; so most people play vairants or just change the victory conditions because the game is really worth it.


I think I got a lot of 'broken' games because I played a lot of old subscription games, where the rules are poorly written and the games were often not developed/tested to high standards.

I don't know if I 'broke' a lot of games, but I did get a lot of errata on the old S & T's published.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gunky Gamer
United States
Gardiner
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Playoffs Baby! Playoffs! F--n Right!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I sort of stumbled on one the other day. I posted to the forum for the game Scotland Yard because after a few plays with my family it seemed pretty obvious that in a four player game played as described by the rules, the three detectives would almost certainly never catch Mr. X. That observation was validated for me by more experienced players. Fortunately there is an easy fix, which is to always use at least four detectives by having players double up. Still, as published the game seems to meet the criteria of broken.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Walker
United States
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Myth
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Ladson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jwalker1140 wrote:


Heh. That raises the question: If a factory simply neglected to put an engine in an otherwise well-made car, is it really broken, or just incomplete?
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RhodesN7 wrote:
My gaming table believes New Amsterdam to be broken, with a winning strategy that nullifies over half the game. Basically, whoever gets the most building actions wins, which is hard to stop because whoever is getting those actions is not only getting the most points per action, but also the most money, so it is virtually impossible to outbid them in future turns for the building actions. Runaway leader never ending loop.


In my 15+ plays of New Amsterdam, I've never ever seen this happen. Since actions are randomly distributed for each bidding round AND because overbidding on a lot can cripple you for the following auction round, I'm not clear on how you find buying city actions to be a death spiral.

City actions are strong, but so are land and shipping actions. I can't speak to what your group has experienced, but I can say with certainty that your experience with this game has not been mine.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Martyn
United States
Guilford
VT
flag msg tools
EXCELSIOR!!!
badge
ZOMGALOMES!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Is a game with a dominant strategy considered to be a "broken" game? Obviously a game is broken if one side is guaranteed to win or lose, but what about less unbalanced cases? Let's say someone playing a certain game against another experienced player has a win rate of about fifty percent -- clearly not a broken game at this point. But then he develops a strategy that has no effective counters and boosts his win percentage to sixty-five percent. In terms of game theory, choosing to play that strategy would always be the correct move, as it maximizes one's chances of winning. But other strategic choices can still lead to wins, and playing the dominant strategy still has a failure rate of 35%.

Is this game broken? Or just poorly playtested?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Most of the truly broken games I've seen are either obscure or scenario specific.

For example, in the original Diskwars, one of the intro boxes had a basic scenario involving holding a central objective for (X) turns to win. One side had fast scout units that could reach and hold the objective for enough time to win before the other side could even get in range.

Another one was the obscure card game Tempest of the Gods, in which a player loses if they have no cards in play, but both players start without cards in play!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.