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I had a bad experience -- Someone convince me to try that again!
Nick Fisk
United Kingdom
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire
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Here's a list that's supposed to perform a bit of a public service.

At some point, we've all tried a new game and really disliked it.

Sometimes it actually is the game's fault, and it just so happens that you & it are just never going to get along.

However, there are many times when the "bad game experience" was due to some other factor, but it has still completely put you off trying that particular game again.

Well - this list is here to help.

This is how it's supposed to work:

Add a game that you had a bad experience with and explain why.

Wait a while ... and hopefully, someone who really likes the game and has played it lots of times will come along, and they'll tell you exactly why you should give it another go.

And then - as if by magic - you'll be convinced to give it another try and it'll become your favourite game.

Simple.
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1. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:287]
Nick Fisk
United Kingdom
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire
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Come on you Seagulls! Sami Hyppia's Blue & White army!
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Here's my first one.

It was the end of a 12-hour games session. We were all a bit tired. The bit in the middle (the market?) never got rolled, and so the game seemed to stretch on forever. I never seemed to be able to get the "stack" to go where I wanted, and so I got more and more frustrated!

Did I have a bad experience, or is this game always like that?

Please convince me to give it another try .....
 
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2. Board Game: Rheinländer [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1164]
Nick Fisk
United Kingdom
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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I was introduced to this one in the middle of a pub games night.

The rules were fairly easy to grasp, although the numbers on the cards - most of the time - seemed completely meaningless.

I don't entirely remember the game (I think my memory is trying to block it out), but all I remember is not really caring what happened one way or the other.

Do I need to try this again ... ?
 
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3. Board Game: Sleuth [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:750]
Nick Fisk
United Kingdom
Stoke on Trent
Staffordshire
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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We played this at the end of one of our earlier games nights.

There was six of us, we needed a quick closer and it said "30 minutes" on the box.

It was new to all of us.

90 minutes later and no-one was even remotely close to getting the answer.

My notes were all over the place - and I wasn't alone, judging by the amount of repeated questions!

We eventually all took a guess and went home. We were all wrong.

Now whenever anyone mentions it, I just think back to this night and cannot bring myself to give it another go.

Should I give it a second chance ?
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4. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:190]
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
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I played two games of this in a row. In both, I was Stark, and very little seemed to happen in my area. The first I didn't really get it, which I sort of expect of a first play, and it was over quite quickly with a Black victory over an inexperienced Red (and White!) The second I eventually maneuvred my troops into position and took the Eyrie, but that very trun Yelow won the game. It just seemed to be dull and random with the Westeros cards.

I played another game as Green which was a bit better, but Yellow won through a trick, which kinda spoiled it for me- irrational I know, tricks are part of the game...
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5. Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:10156]
Pete Martin
United States
Fond du Lac
Wisconsin
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One of the first games I bought when I rediscovered boardgaming this past fall. Hoave played it twice and just don't find it fun or exciting. Not sure if we are playing it wrong or if the game just didn't live up to my expectations.
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6. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:31]
Eddie the Cranky Gamer
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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For once we ended up with 6 fairly nerdy folks at game night, so out came TI3.

6 hours later we quit the game. The one player who had 5VP was declared the victor.

The problem was that basically nobody had played the game before, and were MUCH more interested in space battles than anything else. I honestly doubt TI3 had ever seen such a violent game before. Alliances shifted and backs were stabbed. It was deeply amusing at first, but quickly became tiresome as the escalation of tension made it suicide to pursue any path to actual victory. It was extremely frequent for the ISC to remain unselected until a few bonus tokens were on it. By the end, everyone hated the game that would never end.

So, I now have 5 friends that hate TI3 and will never play it again. I'm not going to say TI3 is bad, but I really wish it was the game we thought we were playing rather than the game it is. We had a lot of fun with it until we saw it was never going to end.

 
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7. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:134] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Brian Darnell
United States
Davis
California
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I tried this game and my character turned out to be strong, and that's about it. I figured, "okay, I'll fight stuff." The first thing I fought was some huge monster that cleaned my clock. It didn't really get any easier after that. Also, the way we did the endgame didn't make any sense and seemed too easy.

It might have been that we were playing wrong, but at this point I'm not inclined to spend time trying again.
 
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8. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:494]
Kdad the Muck Dweller
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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I didn't have a horrible time with this, just not a good enough time to justify the cost. I got a lot more out of Lost Cities than this.

My problem: It just felt like we were completely out of control (1 five player game, 1 four player game). Because of the possiblity of so many event tiles coming up early, there was no opportunity other than pushing as fast as we could on the main trails. It felt like we were there to help the game play itself and very few actual player choices.

I can see where there's more to this than we got into, but I can't see there being enough to make it worth going back to.
 
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9. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:157]
Joe J.
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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This one is it for me. First game was shown to me by a guy who taught us to play, but did so to his advantage so that he could walk away with the win. Needless to say, but I wasn't that impressed with the game.

Second time was a game that rolled all 3's and 10's. I'm not kidding. Read this SR (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/857324#857324) and you'll see what I mean. I played that game and I can hardly believe I saw it play out that way.

I can't imagine ever playing this one again. There are better games on my shelf.
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10. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Laura Appelbaum
United States
Maryland
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My nemesis.

I've always played games, but they were classic American games like Risk and Scrabble and party games like Cranium. Then I discovered the Family Game Store in Savage, Maryland by complete accident, and met the wonderful world of Eurogames. I played and bought Carcassonne (with Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders and when it came out, the River II) and Alhambra, played Tsuro and Metro there on Game Night, and then found the boardgamegeek.

Everyone on this giant boardgame website raved about two games; Puerto Rico, and Tigris & Euphrates. Well, everytime I thought "Puerto Rico" I thought about the "Progress Island" spoof from MST3K and that wasn't exactly a turn on (though it remains my absolute favorite "short"). But T&E had this gorgeous looking artwork on the box, and the theme seemed so interesting, so, like a fool, I spent $50 on it without ever having played it.

I just can't get it. It's like something in my brain just turns off when I hear the words "internal conflict" or try to keep straight that I'm not the player who "owns" the red tiles. My husband, best friend and I tried to teach ourselves this thing three times, and while they began to "get it," all I can think about is how much money I spent on the game (alot when you work for an hourly wage!) and how frustrating I find it.

Meanwhile, our friend eventually picked up Progress Island, I mean, Puerto Rico, and naturally, *that* I love. Sigh. And after playing Railroad Tycoon three weeks in a row at Game Night, I spent $60 on it and it doesn't seem like alot of money at all.

But then there's Tigris & Euphrates and that $50 I'll never see again.

Curse you, Reiner Kniza! Curse you!
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11. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:477]
Matt
United States
City Island
New York
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I received this game as a child in the 70's. Being a child, the game just looked weird to me. At that time in my life, I was used to the regular roll and move type games. I tried to read the rules, and I just didn't get it at the time. The game went into the garbage.

I’ve heard others here on BGG tell me that the game is very fun to play and I should give it another try. So, now that I'm "all grown up" (well that could be argued) I'm going to pick up a copy off Ebay and give it another try.

Now where is my milk and cookies and my teddy bear? It’s almost time for bedy-bye.
 
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12. Board Game: World of Warcraft: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:922]
Wolfgang Kunz
Germany
Netphen
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Hm, after reading the list I hope someone can help me put with this one: Bought it with high estimations but hated it after the first play:

We played a 4-player game (2 factions with 2 players). One guy cheated the whole time in using skills that require a basic skill but not having this skill (level up skills). OK, that's a player problem but it sucks when you have to double-check someone for the whole game (it came to our attention since he seemed to use more dice in battle than everybody else – but it took us nearly two hours since we first assumed his character being "special").

One faction was running around in the southern part of the board, the other in the northern part. Since beating up the other faction doesn't do you any good (you don't get really much out of it) and no one seemed to care about Big-Boss-Baddie due to the fact that one faction was to weak for it and the other faction didn't want to loose their level-up characters, the game run on for nearly 6 hours. It took so long because there was the Analysis / Paralysis problem: Maximizing one abilities / skills took sometimes 20 minutes+ (and some players are not very fond of getting "hurried" while checking their available cards and possible / impossible combinations). Since there are more and more cards the longer the game last, the problem became severe.

Then, since no-one had taken on the Big Baddie, the rules state that the two factions had to fight it out (and this takes even longer than every other battle took). I called the game off since I was not willing to go thru this drag for another 2 hours.

The whole game felt like a "two-player solitaire game". If I want to play a fantasy game solitaire I would go for Runebound. Long game time is no problem since I usually play wargames that last even longer.

But with this game I really felt as being never involved in anything. Can somebody help me since I really wanted to love this game? Will the expansions fix it?
 
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13. Board Game: Zero! [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1459]
Russell Webb
New Zealand
Christchurch
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I'm not a war-gamer for starters, but I've enjoyed Memoir 44 a few times.

So I happened across Zero! on BGG. With a rating of 7.3 and being a card game, I thought, it might be interesting.

We got it out for a two player game only once. The rules seem simple enough, so we started with the basic scenario. We proceeded to play and counter various cards for a bit but didn't find the game tense or interesting. The game was called off after about 35 minutes because we just didn't care who won.

Should be play different scenario? Would the end-game have become more exciting? Do I really need to care about the history of the battles to enjoy this one?
 
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14. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:167]
John Ward
United States
x
Oregon
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"A dungeon crawl game using modular boards and scenarios, the game system will be an updated version of Fantasy Flight's Doom boardgame. One player acts as the dungeon master while the others take on the roles of adventurers cooperatively exploring a fantasy dungeon."

Somehow I thought this was going to be a fun dungeon crawl wiping out the monsters and saving the town. Sort of a return to Heroquest.

I don't really like all the videogame motifs - multiple lives, monsters spawning, the gates to the town to restock. Why not just play multiplayer Diablo or something? It would take less time and you wouldn't have to artificially keep track of fiddly details. A videogame would have a fatigue meter that slowly recovered and a health meter with potions.

I also don't like the winning strategy for the heroes. Ignore the monsters to get the treasures and open town gates. I like dogpiling on the main monster, but too often he just dies before he does anything.

Maybe I'm just the wrong audience for this one.
 
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15. Board Game: The Great Dalmuti [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:920]
Just call me Erik
United States
Waldorf
Maryland
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Just...Ugh. The game was no fun for several reasons.

Problem #1. The 2 gents (they're brothers) who brought it aren't very articulate speakers (Very smart but not articulate). They both tend to studder, stumble, and backtrack quite a bit without really going anywhere. Add to this the fact that when one would stumble the other would try to finish his sentence, making the explanation of the rules rather painful. And neither speak loudly or distinctly, either. They're great guys and i love having them over...just not if they're explaining games. Fortunately, only one was present when he explained Apples to Apples, which went much much better.

"Ok, ok, so there's 12 cards, er, twelve RANKS of cards, and each card is the number of...no no, each rank is the number of cards in the deck, and we deal cards and the one with the lowest card is the great dalmuti, err, "
"THe there's the the the great dalmuti and the lesser dalmuti, and the greater peon and the lesser peon.."
"But the lesser peon is better than the greater peon because he's less of a peon."
"Right, and you have to lay down cards in equal or greater number and better rank.."
"LOWER Rank..."
"Yes Seth but better is lower"

GRAH! I really wanted to get the rules from them and read them myself. So with a half-assed understanding of what we were doing we started playing.

Problem #2. Nobody in the group (there were maybe 8 of us) wanted to play again, but none so less than me. ON my first play i was the greater peon.

Problem #3. We found later that a good 10 cards were missing from the deck. Since the number of cards of each rank is important this throws a nice big wrench into the works.

It seems like this game COULD be fun, and I really want to like it. Someone tell me it'll be worth another go, with a complete deck and someone else reading the rules!
 
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16. Board Game: Wyatt Earp [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:597]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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We gave up on this one right away and haven't been able to persuade ourselves to get it out again.

We played only a few games of this. In each of them, the rounds were over in the bat of an eye. One player was almost always able to end the round in just a few plays, screwing the other players before they could get anything going.

It also seems to suffer a lot from who happens to land attacks against whom, based on whether they pull a "bullet hole" from the pile. This doesn't seem to be a standard certainty-dampening design feature, but more of a "let's see who wins based on whether they pull a bullet hole or not." Hardly any opportunity for the luck variance from this event to dampen out.

We're all at a loss to explain the high ratings on BGG. We tried it 3-4 times and it seemed absolutely broken (probably using that word incorrectly here) to us, as in "just doesn't work."
 
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17. Board Game: Mouse Trap [Average Rating:4.10 Overall Rank:10971]
Jonas
United States
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This is one game that I just don't get. I bought it thinking that I finally found a game that would hold my interest and it seems to have good bits, but after one game playing with the guys from work, it just sit's on the shelf. Am I missing something, or is there just no real strategy in this game? Hope someone can convince us to give it another try.
 
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18. Board Game: Mare Nostrum [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:754]
nathan hayden
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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I was really excited when a first began to play Mare Nostrum. A civ game in under 2 hours sounded great, the rules seemed solid and the trading sounded fun. As the game group and I began to play I started feeling weird. The choices were making me dizzy. The trading was giving me a headache and my body began to ache. I pressed on and about midway through the game my stomach began to twist and turn. I figured I had either food poisoning or the flu. I wanted to run to the bathroom but I couldn't let the game down. I was determined to finish. As soon as the winner was declared I took off and vomited my brains out. I had the flu. The problem was the entire time I was sick I kept thinking about Mare Nostrum and it's game play. Now when I think of the game I get dizzy. It seemed like a great game but now I can't play it.
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19. Board Game: Dream Factory [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:366]
Have faith
United States
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I played this once, with 4 or 5 players. I had really been looking forward to trying it. It seemed to have so much going for it - movies, Knizia, medium-light weight, highly rated.

Then I played it. Nothing. The fun and interest never came. It feel like I was going through the motions, just a dry mechanic.

What went wrong? This is being reprinted in English soon. Someone convince me to try it again. I have no inclination at the moment.
 
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20. Board Game: Meridian [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:3738]
Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
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I waited for what I thought was the perfect time to play this game- a quiet weekend, middle of the day, and no interruptions. I am a fan of Leo Colovini, which was the only reason I bought the game, and after looking at the many nice plastic towers I was really looking forward to playing this. I had read the rules and had told the wife about the game and she was looking forward to playing it also.
It started out well enough, and having read the rules twice the game moved along at a decent clip without any problems. Unless you include "boring" a problem. There was no pizazz, no excitement. No real "Got Ya!" that we love to squabble about.
Was it the fact we were playing 2 player? I know everyone is quick to blame the number of players for boring games, not the game itself.
The look of the game was very nice, the plastic pieces very neat, and all in all it should have been fun. It just wasn't.
 
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21. Board Game: Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:6540]
Jamie McQuinn
United States
Dayton
Ohio
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At Gen Con Indy, a couple years ago, the designer was there to introduce an promote his new game with a tournament. He was offering a cash prize ($1000?). I didn't care about the tournament, I knew I wasn't likely to win... I just wanted to try out a new game.

In my first attempt to play, it was over in 20 minutes. We only had one turn each, the winner took the game on his second turn. The designer assured us it was a unusual occurance that that particular sequence of actions could have occured, that allowed one player to take the win so early.

Needless to say I was annoyed, since I had payed a game fee and now I had 90 minutes to kill till the next round. In addition, I didn't care about winning as much as I just wanted to experience the game. The designer took pity on my pouting and gave me a free pass for the next game. The next game played out in a "normal" fashion and it was mildly interesting. Because the designer was so nice, bought a copy of the game (sucker).

When I tried to introduce it to my gaming group back home, I was exremely disappointed. The mechanics of bidding are just too nebulous... the ability to make promises, or extort actions from others just clouded our attempts actually learn the rest of the game mechanics. Which rules could be broken and which couldn't? No one wanted to try it again, least of all me.

Should I just try to sell it and move on?
 
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22. Board Game: When Darkness Comes [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:8095]
Frank McGirk
South Korea
Pohang
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Tried this game twice. Once with four people, once just with two of us, committed to giving the game a fair shake.

Both times we found it plain and simple too hard to kill the monsters, or even too hard to pick up the good weapons.

The first time, we didn't really play as a group. The second time, albeit a small group, we really tried to work together and it still was next to impossible (and not much fun).

We even thought about making our own characters and beefing up the attack at the cost of all else, but it would still take almost sheer luck to take out the main baddy on the board.

Help?
 
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23. Board Game: Ruffhouse [Average Rating:4.38 Overall Rank:10345]
Matt
United States
City Island
New York
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I received this as a kid and played it once. The instructions were confusing, and the game just wasn’t fun. I found my copy a couple of weeks ago and have been thinking of giving it another try just to see if my opinion of it changes.
 
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24. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Andy Kelly
United States
Madison
Mississippi
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Okay. I'll be the anti-Puerto-Rico guy today.

My first four or five plays of it were horrible. I couldn't get anything shipped, felt as though I had no control over my own fate, and just wanted it to be over. And I was right to feel this way because everyone was conspiring against me.

Unfortunately, people carry things from one game to another, and most of the people in my game group have known me for 10 or 15 years (or more). In that time, they've apparently decided a couple of things about me (Andy):

1) Andy is good at games.
2) They don't much care who wins as long as it's not Andy (me). . .
3) because he (I) can be such a smug bastard.

So it's easy to organize alliances against me to keep me from shipping stuff or getting the role I might want. I don't blame this on the game. I realize it's my fault, that I shouldn't have insisted that everyone call me "Lord of Catan" when I won that 3 weeks in a row, that I shouldn't have made England's national anthem "Rock Me Amadeus" when I won A&A Europe.

I should also say that this was fairly early in my group's experience with these games, and the first thing we figured out was how to sabotage one another (or just me).

I've played it a number of times since, but have never been able to forget those first few bad experiences. I'll still play it, but with dwindling hopes that its lightning will strike me. For Puerto Rico, I fear I'm damaged goods.
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25. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:187]
Red Dragon
United States
Willows
California
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I've played this game one time, and though the game seems reasonably well designed for the most part, it was the only game I played the whole night, and when I left I considered the whole night wasted.

It was a five-player game. Person on my left started and it went around the table. Person on my right played a card. Of the six cards I started with, three were identical so I had only 4 choices of what to play, of which I had only one pair of the same color of card, one with an elephant (but someone else had already played 2 and could drop and take the goods making my elephant worthless) and one without. So I played the one without, which matched the card of the player on my right. He was irritated. Essentially the same situation repeated itself twice more in the first three rounds. In round four, he had a long suit of six cards of the same color, and I had seven, and I won the 'battle' so he got nothing for his six cards.

He then spent the rest of the game determined to prevent me from getting any points, regardless what it did to his score. In the belief that I was "targeting" him, he targeted me and made no secret of it, and since he was on my right, he was in the perfect position to do so, since he could see exactly what was already covered by the previous players, and cover anything I might be able to score for (an option I could not possibly do to him even if I had been targeting him). After the eighth turn, he and I had almost no points, while the other three players were far ahead, and all I could do was to stockpile cards of the same color for the end-of-game points given for a long suit. I managed to score 11 to his 6 for those bonus points, ending the game 2 points ahead of him, while everyone else was 30 to 40 points ahead of us.

I left angry and I'm not sure I ever want to play with him again, I might. But in part I blame the game for 1) leaving me with so few choices in the first few rounds, and the best one, considering all the cards I was holding and all cards played by everyone else, was always to match his card, and 2) making it so easy for him to target me every single turn thereafter, and 3) having such a lame method of scoring points at the end of the game that I spent my last four turns dropping without even considering trying to win anything in the 'auction'.

Go on, convince me to give this game another try.
 
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