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Non-abstract games with little or no luck
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This is a geeklist looking at non-abstract games that have little or no luck. Games with "pasted-on" themes are OK, but no pure abstracts. I will start off with a few favorites, but I know there are many I don't know about.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Highly strategic yet easy to learn. A modern classic.
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2. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:13]
Pol Michiels
Belgium
Ottenburg
Vlaams brabant
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Of all people who have nothing to say, those who say nothing are the wisest.
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Apart from the resource tiles on the first round, the standard game is 100% open information.
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3. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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As far as I remember there is no luck element involved in this castle building classic gamer's game.
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4. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:45]
Mathue Faulk
United States
Cedar Park
TX
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Trying to remember the rules as it's been a couple months, but I'm pretty sure this is zero luck. Same set-up every round and no random elements. The replayability comes from the sheer amount of choices and strategies available from game to game...
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5. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:80]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Another perfect information dudes-on-a-map game... that isn't really.

CAVEAT: Initial seating order / bond packets are random [in some rule sets] and significant.
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6. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:72]
Not a whole lot of theme, but packs a lot of strategy in a short time.
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7. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:126]
Beautiful game with random setup but no luck.
 
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8. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:189]
Dallas Tucker
South Korea
Seoul
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There is no luck, just hidden information. A great game.
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9. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:147]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Almost no luck [you "explore" occasionally and randomly get a single resource chit].
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10. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:179]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Almost no luck or literally no luck depending on how you choose to play the mines.
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11. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:257]
Quick-playing train game with auction mechanic and no luck.
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12. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:127]
Mathue Faulk
United States
Cedar Park
TX
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Zero luck, but hidden information (in terms of Jack's location, etc.). A great deduction game.
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13. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:285]
Mathue Faulk
United States
Cedar Park
TX
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Minuscule luck and the setup is almost the same each game. Variability comes in the available auction tiles each round, but its the perfect amount to keep things fresh without directing a player's strategy...
 
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14. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:317]
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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No luck and only trackable public info. Pasted on pastel camel theme!
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15. Board Game: Antike [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:356]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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A perfect information dudes-on-a-map game! No dice!

CAVEAT: Initial seating order / country selection is random and significant.
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16. Board Game: Luna [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:284]
Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Somewhat hard to explain the rules, with a subject which is so bizarre that it is a hindrance rather than an asset, but otherwise a fully deterministic, and perfect (open) information game by Stefan Feld.
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17. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:360]
Dallas Tucker
South Korea
Seoul
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No luck here. The only variables are the crazies sitting around the table with you/having secret discussions in other rooms.
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18. Board Game: Metropolys [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:448]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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This time the theme is rather pasted on but it's a city building game (with quite simple rules) with no luck after the random set-up and the random secret missions are given out to the players.
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19. Board Game: In the Shadow of the Emperor [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:538]
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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No luck at all in this political/court game.
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20. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:467]
Peter Mumford
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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ceci n'est pas une pipe
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Just how thin can the theme be to qualify as non-abstract?
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21. Board Game: Medina [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:481]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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No-luck tile-placement game of multi-player "chicken".
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22. Board Game: Mexica [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:504]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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No luck in the game. Creating areas with canals and getting majority by placing temples in the areas.
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23. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:539]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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There is a very small luck element in the combats but that's more about psychology and most of the time you can know what your opponent can or will play.
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24. Board Game: Stephensons Rocket [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:682]
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Good train and stock game with no luck and only trackable public information.
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25. Board Game: König von Siam [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:664]
Frances McGregor
Canada
The Pas
Manitoba
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The only random element would be the starting influence on the board and given to you. Everyone has the same set of cards and the game lasts 8 rounds max.
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