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Subject: Whats the deal with "Roll and Move" games? rss

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Tyler Adams
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A lot of people on BoardGameGeek have stated in their reviews of "Roll and Move" games that they don't like them and there too simple or whatever. I think someone mentioned that these type of games offer little strategy and not enough challenge. Personally I like some "Roll and Move" games like Last Night On Earth, Clue, Backgammon, Cranium, Sorry, Pachisi, Trouble, Primordial Soup, ect.

I just wanna know whats the deal with "Roll and Move" games? Why are some people essentially against them? Do you like "Roll and Move" games? Tell me some of your favorite "Roll and Move" games.
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Derry Salewski
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I think that the term, used in a bad way, usually implies that once the roll is made, the movement is predetermined. Unlike, Pachisi or backgammon where you have some choices on which piece to move, if I remember correctly.

The objection is usually to having no choice, I think.

No one gets mad at War of the Ring for having a Roll and Move mechanic!

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Mike Flynn
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I don't really have anything against the "Roll and Move" mechanic as long as there is still a choice to be made. Such as if you roll a 4, you get to choose which piece moves 4. Or you get to choose in which direction you get to move 4. It's games like Monopoly, where you have only one piece and one direction that I don't care for.

Ultimately it comes down to luck. "Roll and Move" games typically have a large degree of luck involved. I think most "gamers" prefer that skill and strategy be more prevalent in a game than luck. Thus why you may perceive so many people being against "Roll and Move" games.
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Chris Drake
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Jerry Seinfeld: "What's the deal with roll and move games, you roll and you move, what's up with that?"

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Jesus Gabriel y Galan
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I have an issue, for example, with games like Clue, in which the roll and move mechanic adds nothing to the core of the game, is not related to the rest of the mechanics, etc. It just adds a layer of luck that doesn't fit, in my opinion. I would rather play a game in which you can automatically move from room to room, or all players move a fixed number, and not one where someone gets unfair advantage due to a better roll: getting to the next room in one turn as opposed to two.
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Tim Swartz
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scifiantihero wrote:
I think that the term, used in a bad way, usually implies that once the roll is made, the movement is predetermined. Unlike, Pachisi or backgammon where you have some choices on which piece to move, if I remember correctly.

The objection is usually to having no choice, I think.

No one gets mad at War of the Ring for having a Roll and Move mechanic!



To me, predetermined is fine. The idealized roll and move game has some actions you take first, *then* you roll and move. It is about managing risk through those actions, which is why eurogamers don't like it.

As an example consider Manila. That is a worker placement game where over 3 rounds players buy their people various jobs at the port, each providing various payouts depending on where the ships ultimately end up. After each round you roll and move the ships. So Manila is really about optimizing expected returns based on a progession of rolls.
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JessA
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If you ask someone who doesn't like board games to describe one, they will most likely say, "it has a track, you roll dice and you move on the track, the first one to the end wins."

How dull. This is what gives board games a bad name.

So, "roll and move" is used to be synonymous with this, altho that isn't precisely accurate.

Roll and move can be interesting and I rather like a little luck in a game to keep it exciting.
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Bob (he/him)
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jgabriel wrote:
I have an issue, for example, with games like Clue, in which the roll and move mechanic adds nothing to the core of the game, is not related to the rest of the mechanics, etc. It just adds a layer of luck that doesn't fit, in my opinion. I would rather play a game in which you can automatically move from room to room, or all players move a fixed number, and not one where someone gets unfair advantage due to a better roll: getting to the next room in one turn as opposed to two.


Hey, nice idea.... next time the kids want to play Clue Master Detective I think we will just nix the dice and say everyone can move 8 on their turn, or something.

BOb
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Tim Stellmach
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Jatoha wrote:
If you ask someone who doesn't like board games to describe one, they will most likely say, "it has a track, you roll dice and you move on the track, the first one to the end wins."

Basically, this would be all derivatives of Game of Goose. Believe it or not, it was once a very popular game.
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Jack Smith
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Any game based purely on luck with little or no decision making is a bad game by definition, there is no game it is just an activity. Roll and move often fits into this category although many do not. Usually people are thinking of games like Monopoly or Clue when saying this. The problem with these games is they kill any further interest in gaming which is the main reason they are despised and by extension, roll and move as a principle is disliked even if a game is decent.

If games such as Monopoly and Clue had choices from rolling the dice there would not be an issue.
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1603-1714
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slipknot9 wrote:
A lot of people on BoardGameGeek have stated in their reviews of "Roll and Move" games that they don't like them and there too simple or whatever. I think someone mentioned that these type of games offer little strategy and not enough challenge. Personally I like some "Roll and Move" games like Last Night On Earth, Clue, Backgammon, Cranium, Sorry, Pachisi, Trouble, Primordial Soup, ect.

I just wanna know whats the deal with "Roll and Move" games? Why are some people essentially against them? Do you like "Roll and Move" games? Tell me some of your favorite "Roll and Move" games.

Actually, Sorry in not a roll and move, but I'll for give you.

I'm not a big fan of roll and move games, for many of the same reasons that have alread been brought up. My favorite one, though, is definitely Dragonland. In this game, the dice are not typical D6s, so there is more consistency in the rolls. Plus, players have three pawns to move with the two dice, so there is choice about which pieces to move when. There are also movement modifiers (dragons) which can allow a player to move from one side of the board to another. Dragonland succeeds as a roll and move because the rolling and moving is a minor part in the game strategy and there is so much else going on.

You are correct that roll and move games do have a bad reputation on BGG, but for the most part I think it's deserved. The good roll and move games are the exception, not the bad ones. Don't forget the spin and move games, which are the exact same thing. I literally HATE Chutes and Ladders. I threw it away so I wouldn't have to play it with my kids. Which is strange, since I don't mind playing Candyland.
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Dan Conley
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There are definitely some folks who look down their nose at these (in their opinion) "inferior" games.

My favorite is Talisman, often roundly criticized for the movement mechanic. It never bothered ME! I've logged many happy hours at a Talisman table! Yes, it's simplistic, but I'm sometimes in the mood for exactly that!
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Rick Weckermann
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I concur with many opinions already stated with roll and move. On the down side this has been masked by cards in games, which amounts to the same thing, lucky to get all those good cards. Going to other mechanics in games often becomes King maker in style, which not becomes a popularity contest. I will take luck over popularity, and try and find the games that fit the middle ground in both.
Most "Roll and Move" games i will pass on, especially simple ones.
My favorite "Roll and Move" game would be Aggravation a good amount of thinking in moves and a fair bit of King maker.
 
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Pokey 64
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Nothing wrong with "roll and move" to me. I think it's the loss of control that bothers people. Especially in a racing game like Clue or Zombies. You roll poorly for your move and you're behind in the race. But the thing is, the other players are just as apt to roll poorly too. Apparently some people don't consider luck as a fact of life. Luck is all around us and I don't mind it in a board game. I can handle the loss of control it provides. It adds tension to the game and that's exciting!
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Aswin Agastya
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It's so old that people don't consider it as a fad anymore, they like the new stuff. devil

My favorite roll & move game is Talisman (Revised 4th Edition).
 
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I'm here for the ambiance.
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I have a friend who won't play unless the game is roll and move. She gets burnt out from studying all the time and doesn't find it enjoyable to invest more mental energy into her recreational activities. Our game times are more about goofing off, and roll and move games allow for more socializing because they take less concentration. When we get together, we usually play a humorous roll and move like Redneck Life or Zombies!!!.

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Ralph T
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Titan exemplifies the best of roll and move. You still have many choices when you roll and move. You can not move, you can move one unit, multiple units, and possibly in different directions. You plan ahead whether you split your legions or not depending on the odds of getting a certain roll.

Primordial soup and Last Night on Earth are not really roll and moves, although you do roll and move--because the move gives you multiple choices, and in Primordial Soup's case you can make choices that mitigate luck or give you more dice. While Sorry also gives you choices of which pieces to move, the choices are simply too easy to know what to do to be meaningful. It's true there is luck in life, whether you win the lottery or get in an accident but I'd say that strategy and tactics (i.e. your planning and your individual choices) have a bigger outcome in what happens to do in life. It's not like you'd find a video game entertaining if it was nearly entirely luck based rather than skill (reflex or strategy) based.
 
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Guido Van Horn
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halfinger, I think Monopoly fits your peeve much more than clue...the problem with clues roll and move is better described jgabriel,

there are choices to be made with clue after you roll, monopoly is strictly no choice ,unless you play with the speed die, which I believe has an option to choose which of the two dice to move...so it makes the game just a eentsy teentsy bit better...however the speed die is completely broken at the end of a game, where best strategy is mortgage everything but your highest priced properties and hope your opponent hits the monopoly man on the speed die.

 
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Jack Smith
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GuidoVanHorn wrote:
halfinger, I think Monopoly fits your peeve much more than clue...the problem with clues roll and move is better described jgabriel,

there are choices to be made with clue after you roll, monopoly is strictly no choice ,unless you play with the speed die, which I believe has an option to choose which of the two dice to move...so it makes the game just a eentsy teentsy bit better...however the speed die is completely broken at the end of a game, where best strategy is mortgage everything but your highest priced properties and hope your opponent hits the monopoly man on the speed die.



Well I'm sure you're right, I just took them as an example. The person who earlier said that his friend preferred roll and move as she didn't have to think also has a good point. There is room for these games, it's just a shame that they represent the vast majority of the games sold.

In the UK it's almost impossible to buy a decent game without travelling many miles or buying online. Even a major UK multi floored game store (Hamleys) does not actually sell games except the few which have every variety imaginable. I don't think it even sells Catan (I may be wrong but nothing heavier than that last time I went there) They do not represent what gaming is about to me, they are purely activities that provide a vehicle for socialising. I'd prefer to go down the pub

It's not about snobbery it's about variety and misrepresentation in the public mind of what this hobby is about.

 
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Rob Doupe
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Titan

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Talisman

Nothing wrong with roll and move games.
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M C
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Primordial Soup is not roll and move shake
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Stephen Keller
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I don't like roll and move games because your fate is pretty much determined by random rolls. A game can end really quickly or drag out indefinitely simply because you're not rolling what you need.

Although you have "choice" in snakes and ladders you're pretty limited in those choices.

It's my same issue with Talisman. It's basically "advanced snakes and ladders" except far more random.

I think you'll find that people who are okay with roll and move games are more likely to be playing games for the social experience and aren't super wrapped up in a master game plan to win the day.

People who don't like roll and move games are more likely playing games primarily for the game itself and enjoy spending a lot of brain power to solve the game and win using all the tactics and strategy that they can muster.

 
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Enrico Viglino
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GuidoVanHorn wrote:

there are choices to be made with clue after you roll, monopoly is strictly no choice


Yep. All the decisions are made outside of the roll itself.
So?

A lot of people seem keen on Talisman, but I'd contend there's less
you can usually do (and what you can do requires foreknowledge of
events which far exceeds what is needed to come up with a winning
strategy in Monopoly)to gain what amounts to a minor advantage.

Given that my experience has been that the same people tend
to win Monopoly nearly every time, I always wonder what the objection
REALLY is by those who hate it? Is it that they can't figure out the
strategy? Or probability? Or is it the trading which gets them?

To me, outside of the fact that Monopoly has a more definitive finish
than Settlers of Catan, they require approximately the same skill set.
Maybe it's that a surprise ending is more appealing?
 
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calandale wrote:
GuidoVanHorn wrote:

there are choices to be made with clue after you roll, monopoly is strictly no choice


Yep. All the decisions are made outside of the roll itself.
So?

A lot of people seem keen on Talisman, but I'd contend there's less
you can usually do (and what you can do requires foreknowledge of
events which far exceeds what is needed to come up with a winning
strategy in Monopoly)to gain what amounts to a minor advantage.

Given that my experience has been that the same people tend
to win Monopoly nearly every time, I always wonder what the objection
REALLY is by those who hate it? Is it that they can't figure out the
strategy? Or probability? Or is it the trading which gets them?

To me, outside of the fact that Monopoly has a more definitive finish
than Settlers of Catan, they require approximately the same skill set.
Maybe it's that a surprise ending is more appealing?


The objection to Monopoly is simple. It does not provide many decisions per turn and your decisions are obvious anyway. So for me at least it is a 30 minute game tops, not hours. Games could be rated on decisions per turn and the quality of those decisions (how well they are close to each other and provide a strategy) that would give you your answer about monopoly anyway. And what are the strategic options for Monopoly and what tactics can you use to influence those in the game? I can't think of any at all. Some people are fine with that, I am not. The game bores me to tears unfortunately. I really wish it was a lot better.

As to Clue (called Cluedo in the UK) I wrote a simple computer programme years ago on a ZX81 using 16k of memory that could play it perfectly with no cheating. And it often won. It ALL depended on the die rolls. I did this to get three players from two humans. The game logic is so basic its laughable. There is no skill in it at all. That's the sort of rubbish people are being exposed to, no wonder why they find games boring and only for little kids.
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Halfinger wrote:
The person who earlier said that his friend preferred roll and move as she didn't have to think also has a good point.


Thank you, and just for the record, it's "her friend", not "his friend."
 
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