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Subject: The game with the most insane rules. rss

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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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There's something I was always curious about ever since I read the rules of Age Of Renaissance.

What is the game with the most complex, difficult, hard to understand rules ever made? Rules so hard, so insane that Cthulhu would be proud to give the game to people.

The closest I came to answering my own question was Magic Realm, but undoubtedly there are more complex rules out there. There are, aren't there?

So, what is the game with the most insane rules ever made?
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Steve Vondra
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ASL
What other game needs a 3 ring binder to hold all the rules?
Still a great game though.
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Tim P.
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Lightning: North Africa for such a small game with one sheet of paper these rules really made me go "uhhh ?"

and after a second and third reading i still went "uhhh ?"


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Don Weed
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With me the one that always comes to mind is a game from 1977, War of the Star Slavers. The rules were printed on what amounted to construction paper (black on grey if I remember correctly), in extremely small type and with grammar and spelling errors in almost every paragraph. Add to this a map that was supposed to be 3-D but didn't match up to the hexgrid depicting a starfield. Oh, and the color of space was a dark maroon with white stars. The game was also complex with overly ornate counters and many side charts. Needless to say, I never played it.
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Mark Hubbard
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Well, I guess War of the S.T. beats my suggestion: Dragoons Vs. Hussars, where one must read 5 pages of minutiae before the game sequence is laid out, misspellings and all.
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David Gibbs
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cooler king wrote:
ASL
What other game needs a 3 ring binder to hold all the rules?


Star Fleet Battles.

IIRC, with the varous Commander's Edition rules, it was in fact multiple three-ring binders to hold all the rules.

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Dorian Hart
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Most insane rules? Wouldn't that be Unspeakable Words?



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Jeff Cramer
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Sagiro wrote:
Most insane rules? Wouldn't that be Unspeakable Words?





Dang, a minute too late!
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Simon Harris
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cooler king wrote:
ASL
What other game needs a 3 ring binder to hold all the rules?
Still a great game though.

I've never even played the game and those three letters came to mind as soon as I saw the title of this thread. I used to know a die-hard Wargamer and even *he* was in awe of this ruleset.

Simon
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Tim Thorp
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I gotta go with Avalanche Press Airlines. I tried 3 times, but for the life of me I couldn't figure it out, although this Geek seems to have gotten the gist of it:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/24296

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Travis Bridges
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Isn't there a North Africa wargame that takes about 10,000 hours to play and requires you do accurate miniscale accounting of all resources? I know it exists....somebody help me or I will have to go find it.
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Morgan Dontanville
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I would guess The Campaign for North Africa. It was so big that even the designers had never finished it to see if it worked. It is a multiplayer game where people take different jobs to get your side to function, doesn't taking the accountant job sound fun in a war game? There are rules for everything, including the higher water expenditure for the Italians (they had to cook pasta).

For some reason the game that was the hardest for me to read through was The Republic of Rome. Once you start playing the game everything makes sense, and is rather easy, but from the rulebook, eghads, I had to roll for sanity on every page.
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Edward
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Calvinball.
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cooler king wrote:
ASL
What other game needs a 3 ring binder to hold all the rules?
Still a great game though.


No, you would want the original Squad Leader with all of the expansions.

But my vote would go to Rise and Decline of the Third Reich. I've played it and still am confused as to how you get from Point A to Point B.
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Among the ones I've tried to play:

Lone Wolf & Cub (It was actually missing a small chunk when it went to press.) A neat, paragraph-driven board game (like Tales of the Arabian Nights and Star Trek: The Adventure Game) that had a very broken combat system. Some of the encounters didn't make much sense, either.

The miniatures rules set De Bellis Renaissance (Popularly referred to by the acronym DBR.) This game took the already dense DBM and added a new layer of byzantine rules writing to generate more smoke and confusion.


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Chris
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I've always been told that the most complex rules were in The Hammer of Thor: The Game of Norse Mythology
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Bradley Reis
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For me it would be Bionical: Quest for Makuta.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2979

It took me a few readings to figure out what the rules mean. It wasn't so much that the rule were complex, it was that they used strange names for the pieces.

For example instead of calling a mask a mask, they would call it a "gophensnorph" and instead of calling a monster token a monster token they called it a "gophensniph". (Those names are made up).

So the rules are telling you how to acquire the "gophensnorph" and what the "gophensniph's" stats are and you have to think very hard, are we talking about the mask's/token's that I'm trying to collect or the monsters I'm trying to defeat along the way.

To add to it the game wasn't really balanced, to the point that you could start out very very unlucky and have monsters that you just couldn't defeat.

It's the only game I've owned that I wanted to actually sit down and re-write the rules so that they made more sense, and so that they were actually workable.

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Lee Williams
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Strictly speaking... I believe the game with the most INSANE rules is- 43 man Squamish

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/43-Man_Squamish
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Tsar Count
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dagibbs wrote:
cooler king wrote:
ASL
What other game needs a 3 ring binder to hold all the rules?


Star Fleet Battles.

IIRC, with the varous Commander's Edition rules, it was in fact multiple three-ring binders to hold all the rules.



First game I thought of. Still have that old binder, collecting dust these days.
 
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Oscar Dyrbye-Skovsted
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of the games I have tried it must be Twillight Struggle, most of the rules makes more sense on the aid cards, than the rule book. And there is a lot of rules, where it really doesnt make sense until you read the examples, in the end we mainly just read the examples instead of the actual rule...but when we finally understood the game, we couldnt understand why the rules had been written the way they were. Superb game by the way, just very frustrating writing in the rules.

By the way I once bought ASL, never got to play it though, seems too time consuming for my taste and got a bit scared by the sheer information in the rulebook...one most be careful not to get ones brain overloaded.
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Scott Everts
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This sounds like a great idea for a Geeklist!

For me the worst is Edge City. Tax forms are easier. I've kept it in my collection for years since I like the idea of a Scifi Talisman but the rules are horrific. Figured either someday I will spend a week working them out and rewriting them or invent a new game with the bits.
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Lemur wrote:
I've always been told that the most complex rules were in The Hammer of Thor: The Game of Norse Mythology


I don't think the Hammer of Thor rules were that tough.

The thing with rules is that different people learn in different ways. The way in which rules are presented has a big impact, but there is no format that works best for everyone.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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Insane could mean different things.

Some games are just poorly made, the rulebook included, as someone has already mentioned.

For huge volume of rules I'd have to agree with Star Fleet Battles and ASL, which are about equal in length. They are nonetheless learnable becuase for the most part they form a coherant system that's understandable. Though for ASL you have to decipher each rule because the language is so terse.

For lack of understandability, I'd have to give the prize to Advanced European Theatre of Operations and World in Flames. AETO uses such a strong legalese style that it is often hard to understand what is being said because the sentences try to cover every eventuality. World in Flames is unknowable on your own which says a lot. You have to be shown how to play. Key concepts are not explained in the rules.
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Ricatoni
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Spire wrote:
Calvinball.


With the Galapagos Rules Expansion!
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Larry Levy
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Don't know about most insane, but the most unnecessarily complex rules I've read were to Titan: the Arena. It's an extraordinarily simple game, but you find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over again and still not understanding it. You'd think you'd have to work to make rules that uncomprehensible.
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