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Irrational Hatred: A Guide for the Beginning Geek (please add)
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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So, you've found your way to the Geek, and are completely bowled over by the wonders contained herein: an entry on nearly every boardgame ever made! With reviews and strategy aids! Endless pictures of people enjoying the same games you do, some of them even girls! And so many wonderful lists!

You think, perhaps, you'd like to become an active member of this community. So, you rate your collection, you assemble a few largely ignored geeklists of games that you played over various weekends with your brother, you place a few tentative comments in the forums. Warm fuzzies abound as you celebrate your hobby with like minded people from all over the world who love boardgaming as much as you!

Hold it right there, bucko.

Let's get one things straight, right now. It doesn't matter how many close-up photos of game boards you post, or how many helpful suggestions you give to people looking for a two player game that they can play with their wife, you're not going to get anywhere in this community until you do the one thing that TRULY unites all of us:

Pick something to hate. An entire classification of game. And hate it fervently, dogmatically, above all, irrationally. Every chance you get, paint it with broad, violent, garish, strokes, and generalize, generalize, generalize!

Here's a rough guide for the beginner. Now, I'm pretty much a beginner myself, so, after posting what I've learned already, I'm reaching out to the commuity to help me with this one. Tell us what we can hate, and tell us how.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Euros

Just look at those fancy pants Euros with their thin themes, cold, mathematically precise mechanics, and featureless wooden cubes standing in for everything from slaves to inter-planetary miners to tribes of hunter-gatherers. And the so-called “elegant” rules? Sure, you can summarize the game play in exactly three paragraphs, but I guarantee you'll be scratching your heads when it comes time to figure out who actually won the damn thing:

Hmmm... True, my peasants managed to pick up the most gold manure, but John and Arthur both got three buckets of each color, meaning that they're awarded an extra 5 points. But then, I've been chucking horse apples into the secret latrine for fifteen turns, meaning that my score is multiplied by 1.75 for those turns only, and divided by pi for each of the other turns...
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2. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Pros: Euros are an excellent choice for the beginning hater, guaranteed to give plenty of fuel to the fire of your raging pathos. And, let’s face it, years of games lacking in any kind of player conflict have left Euro-snoots as absolute pushovers.


Cons: It's been done. Dear god, has it been done.
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3. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:192] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Ameritrash


How to create an Ameritrash Bestseller:

1. Think up an idea.

Dude, what if there was a game about a war between Elves and the Goblins, only the Goblins had light-sabers and cybernetic arms and the Elves had flying robot horses and could call on the power of orbiting laser satellites? That would be so awesome! Oh, and maybe the Agents from the Matrix movies could form a third faction, and a random event could open a rift into the cold blackness of space wherein lurk the Elder Gods!

2. Dump half your money into making some totally wicked miniatures!

3. Dump the other half into creating a way awesome board!

4. Slap a $90 price tag on it, and get the game to the sto-

Oh, crap, you forgot the rules. Uh. Just scribble some stuff down that sounds good for now, and you can totally fix any problems in the second edition! Or, failing that, the third! Or whenever, GOD LEAVE ME ALONE!
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4. Board Game: Doom: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:550]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Pros: Ameritrash games provide another excellent choice for the beginner. Again, there's plenty of material. Also, Ameritrash players, though far more combative than Eurosnoots, are all secretly ashamed of the flaws of their games, and can thus be reduced to tears with only a few well-timed barbs.

Cons: It's been done. Dear god, has it been done. And, let's face it, those miniatures are actually pretty cool.
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5. Board Game: The Campaign for North Africa [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:9897]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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War Games


For the outsider, War games seem very much akin to Ameritrash. The main differences are these:

1. Rules actually work. Probably. Unable to verify this as I’ve never actually gotten all the way through one of the 300+ page rulebooks. Important: Neither has anyone else. Anyone who claims to is lying.

2. All those cool little figures that make Ameritrash fun? Gone. Replaced by thousands of cardboard rectangles with numbers on them that you have to cut out yourself. Whee!

3. The beautifully illustrated and colorful Ameritrash board? Gone. Replaced by 6 fold out sheets of unlaminated hexagonal graph paper. Whee!

4. Remember how you thought four hours of War of the Ring was maybe a little much? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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6. Board Game: Advanced Tobruk [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Pros: As the outsider population among an outsider population, they seem like a good target, but…

Cons: These guys ARE NOT recommended for beginning level hatred. They’re aggressive AND obsessive. And, presumably, they know something about weaponry and tactics. If you do elect to go this challenging route, I suggest timing one’s criticisms to coincide with three day weekends when the majority of the War gamer population will be occupied with the setup and first turn phase for one of their unfinishable games. Playing solo, of course.
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7. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.46 Overall Rank:11045]
Kdad the Muck Dweller
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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'Classic' Games from our Collective Youth
It's mentioned later in the comments so I thought I'd add it to the list.

This is usually the beginner haters first target. They tend to have a collection of some of the worst game memories we have. They're also often the reason we don't play games anymore and took us so long to get back to the hobby. Who has the time or desire for a four hour house-rules argument filled afternoon of Monopoly that ends when people give up rather than someone wins? Who wants to determine the fate of the world and ultimately be frustrated by that one army holding out against 30 for far too many rolls in Risk? Who wants to play a one, not even meaningful, choice game like Life? And anything that's so over commercialized as all the absurd versions of Monopoly is just so easy to hate.

Games include, but aren't limited to, Sorry!, Monopoly, Risk, Life, Candy Land (although that would probably be best grouped in with hating Games for Kids which I'm too busy to add at the moment), and just about anything from Milton Bradley and/or Hasbro.
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8. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:97]
Teh Slipperboy

Allen Park
Michigan
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Abstract Games

These are the easiest games of all to hate.
1. They don't even pretend to have a theme.

2. The bits, even on the off-chance they look cool (and they usually don't) don't mean anything (see no theme above)

3. They are usually perfect information games and therefore completely mathematical. The easiest way to anger one? "Sorry, but I saw on the interweb that Go (or other abstract game) has been solved. I don't do puzzles"

4. Often give rise to elitist statements like "a few minutes to learn, a lifetime to master". You mean I won't win until I spend hours and hours losing to other players?
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9. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:9596]
Kdad the Muck Dweller
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Pros:- Most new users will have played a number of them and be familiar enough to carry on a coherent, non-embarrassing conversation, even with the most jaded of Puerto Rico players, ie. it's waters they've swam in before and they can usually feel comfortable jumping in.

- They're an easy target, with few defenders. There's a handful of defenders who'll claim that Monopoly is fun if you stick to the rules, and Risk is ok if you don't take it too seriously or tack on some house rules to keep it moving (like army limits from cards), but generally, people won't disagree with you. Unlike the other genres of hate, you are unlikely to find yourself the center of a flame war, let alone one on a topic you can't defend yourself.

- If you want to take a slightly less stereotypical stance, try taking up the argument that many of these games have actually held back boardgames from being accepted by the main stream.

Cons: - It's been done before....a lot.... by almost everybody here (or at least a very large majority). It's usually one of the first 'hate' postings a Newuser makes is a "The randomness in Risk sucks" or "Wow, do I hate Monopoly" comment. We all know it, and most of us are ready to move on and talk about games we actually enjoy or are at least more interesting to talk about.

As a counter point to the final pro argument it could be argued that much of what we have available now wouldn't be possible without these early trail blazers of production lines, theme, and game play.
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10. Board Game: Thomas And The Magic Railroad Game [Average Rating:5.39 Unranked]
Jim Marshall
United Kingdom
York
North Yorkshire
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Train Games

You loved your toy train set when you were a kid. You can't wait for your son to hit 7 years old so Santa can get him a train set for Christmas .... which you'll help him set up and 'bed in, in case there are any dead links in the track'. For about a month.

Well, you can get your trainset kicks without the embarrassment and social ridicule of setting up your own childhood set in front of normal people or the fuss and bother of fathering and raising a small boy .... by getting a railroad game! (Although the fathering a small boy option may prove quicker than some of them in the long run). Choo-choo!
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11. Board Game: Railroader [Average Rating:5.11 Overall Rank:9994]
Jim Marshall
United Kingdom
York
North Yorkshire
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Pros

You get to spend 3 hours moving some red cubes from Denver to Duluth. Or Dusseldorf to Dresden if you fancy a change.

You get all the fun of issuing stock options in your own company. Does life get any more exciting?

That Railroad Tycoon mega-board is going to come in real handy the next time you need to paste up some wallpaper.

Cons

You may find that you've gone bankrupt after adding that 19th century Lithuanian railways expansion board to your Age of Steam collection ... it's the 142nd expansion you've bought.

Your wife just left you. She can't compete with this.

Your son would rather play with his Thomas the Tank Engine clockwork train than take on a 10 hour game of 1849.

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12. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:1804] [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
Adam Berkan
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Party Games

Get a bunch of people together and make do silly things they'd never do otherwise. Good examples are draw random objects, try to guess who selected a word, or speak without using certain words or letters.

Pros
There's virtually no strategy in most of these games.

If you were to apply a strategy, the game would no longer be fun. Try playing pictionary where you've agreed with your team that if you start your drawing in the top right corner then the actual word starts with a vowel. Add similar rules. Guaranteed win!

People who only play these games don't have the basic skills necessary to transition to other games.

Cons

People who only play these games don't come to the geek very often. It's little fun starting flame wars with no one.

The games CAN be good if converted into drinking games :
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13. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:260]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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There’s been some discussion of hating on specific designers, which is definitely an advanced geek technique. However, I believe that each of us should constantly strive to improve ourselves, and therefore offer this inroad for the novice-to-intermediate hater into the wonderful world of highly specific designer hatred:

Reiner Knizia


Herr Knizia is a mad wizard who lives in a palace made of numbers. He blinks his eyes and creates four board games, each a masterpiece of precision mechanics and balanced play. He waves his hand, and lo, five more board games appear, each a masterpiece of precision mechanics and balanced play. He clears his throat, and expectorates, and lo… well, you get the idea. Precision mechanics, and balanced play. And that’s it. Theme is an unwelcome interloper into the cold, steely, intellectual paradise of a Knizia game.


Shall his next game be packaged as a saga of love and betrayal in pre-colonial Tenochtitlan? Or a race between space-walking astronauts who are attempting to gain the most prestige from the higher ups in NASA? Or even a tale of blood and glory as an Arthurian knight strives against a terrible dragon? Sadly, it doesn’t matter, each is equally applicable and inapplicable to every Knizia game ever made. The ringing blow that Beowulf rains down on the heads of his opponents translates into… an auction? The epic struggle of Gandalf against the Balrog comes down to… playing three handshake cards? A harrowing trek through the jungle to discover a mysterious Aztec ruin becomes… getting the highest total with your ascending column of numbered cards? Oh yeah, I'm transported to a strange world, alright.


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14. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:317]
T. B.
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Pros: The man makes 650 games a year. You will always have something to hate.

Cons: By hating these 650 games, you will limit your available game purchases to whatever Fantasy Flight is producing this year. Besides Blue Moon.
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15. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:337]
Patrick McKeon
United States
Naugatuck
Connecticut
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The game was fun the first time, but come on if you got out of the house once WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOULD YOU GO BACK IN? How many jokes can be made about the pulsing spear of power? The house random construct leads you to ask what builder made this thing and what drugs was he on when he did it.

Pros : Great group game, mechanics are not overly complicated, and you play as a team for the first half of the game.

Cons : After more than a couple plays the game can get dry.
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16. Board Game: The Bridges of Shangri-La [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:830]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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Ridiculously pasted-on "themes"

To all game designers out there:
If you have developed a nice working mechanic, say, with some places that have to be connected, but if the connection is once used it has to be interrupted, and you take some bits that have to fit together on the places and some neat rules to get some strategy in it, it`s OKAY.

Don`t invent an absolutely ridiculous "THEME" taking some exotic country or fantasy novel or the name of city not used so far or whatsoever.

IT NEVER MAKES YOUR GAME A BETTER GAME! NEVER!
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17. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:497]
L. Stitz
Germany
Lüneburg
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Tee-hee-hee-hee-hi-hihihi-hu-hua-huar-huarrrRRRrrrrrr.
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Hating Cooperative Games:

A: "So, should I move on the main track and take that dice throwing required there?"
B: "But that's to dangerous for the ring carrier, let C do it!"
C: "No, I can't, I've already progressed that far on the way to the dark side!"
D: "But you take only one damage when throwing the dice!"
E (you): "Hey, I've got an idea: We'll let A throw the dice, and use a Gandalf card to ignore any results too harsh..."
A: "Don't we might need that later on even more?"
B: "But we can't be saving everything for the last map!"
C: "You see, I can't throw the dice, I've already progressed that far on the way to the dark side!"
D: "But you take only one damage when throwing the dice!"
E: "Now, then, do we absolutely need the ring carrier to advance on the main track?"
A: "Yeah, right, shouldn't I try to advance on some side track, as I need the life counters and want to get the special cards?"
B: "But we others need those, too!"
... after 10 minutes of likewise discussion ...
C: "You see, I can't throw the dice, I've already progressed that far on the way to the dark side! Make A move along the main track -- IT'S THE ONLY CHANCE WE HAVE!!!"
D: "But you -"
E: "Now EVERYBODY SHUT THE F**K UP! <sigh, sinks back in chair> Ok, well then, A..."
A: "Oh wait, I see, I don't have the cards to move along the main track..."
B, C, D, E: sauron

Hating cooperative games comes naturally for most geeks: Originally, you picked your gaming group because those fools should be relatively easy to beat to begin with. Now this advantage turns against you, as you are stuck with a bunch of incompetent idiots trying to defeat a game with a boring mechanism (theme: "more of the same, more of the same") by having longwinded, fruitless discussions that lead to random results. None of the player acts according to their role, so that however heavily themed a game might be, you constantly keep thinking thoughts like "Oh, that's sooo typical of A -- I could kill him for it!"

Pros: You refuel your motivation for your next games against your friends and swear that you will humiliate them thoroughly, then. Let them suffer for doing this to you!

Cons: Not having a good time by playing cooperatively is soo pre-Shadows-over-Camelot: Rather, turn against your party and humiliate them now -- by being the bad guy, regardless whether you've drawn that role or not.
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18. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:254]
oystein eker
Norway
Unspecified
sola
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Strip any game down to its mechanism:

Copy and paste this line into any review:

It is only a *insert mechanism here* game with a lot of chrome added.



A few examples:

It is only a trick taking game with a lot of chrome added.

It is only a roll and move game with a lot of chrome added.

It is only a rock -paper -scissors game with a lot of chrome added.





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19. Board Game: Bibleopoly [Average Rating:3.74 Overall Rank:10760]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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Games misused for brainwashing

There are games - just look under "religious", but there are far more - that are designed just to brainwash some kids or naive gamers. The designers use some simplistic gaming mechanism and put their religious, philosophical or ideological beliefs on it and try to implement or strengthen the "absolute truth", they "know" in the participants of the game. Worst with children`s games.

I HATE STUFF LIKE THAT

yukyukyuk ! ! !
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20. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:982]
Jamie Herbert
United States
Cedar Rapids
Ia
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Yeah I hate this game and most "World Conquest" grand strategic games, I hate Risk,I really hate Diplomacy as well as World in Flames, Put a world map down and tell me that your taking 4-6 hours of my life and all I will say is NO THANKS! I have nver wanted to be a general or a president or dictator where these kinds of situations matter, give me a nice tactical game like memoir 44, or Warmachine, Hell I'll even try Axis and Allies Miniatures, but keep the world domination games where the belong, collecting dust!
 
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21. Board Game: Struggle of Empires [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:186]
Richard Hutnik
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
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Martin Wallace

You think Martin's stuff is all that? Well buddy, you don't have a clue! His stuff can't make up its mind at all. How dare he try to peddle his Euro nonsense to a wargaming crowd? He is just making excuses for having this Euro-nonsense try to appeal to grognards. Every grognard knows that wargames are supposed to be ACCURATE SIMULATIONS OF ACTUAL BATTLES! They are supposed to have combat results tables, step losses, and ELIMINATING YOUR OPPONENT. There is supposed to be tons of rules governing all sorts of obscure events that give the game character. Martin Wallace, take your Eurofying of war and STUFF IT!

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(side note, I am a BIG Martin Wallace fan, just figure I would take what I like about his stuff and turn it on its head)
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22. Board Game: Dice 10,000 [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
Emmanuel Denis
France
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It seems you forgot the most obvious hate around here : "I hate dice !"

If people did not hate dices in the first place, the would not hate "Risk" or "Monopoly". Looking around boardgamegeek, it seems like a good 80% of boardgamers hate dice ! However one of the common use of this "i hate dice" thing is "Although i hate dice, i love [insert a game with tons of dice like "war of the rings", etc.]"
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23. Board Game: Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:4951]
Michael Barnes
United States
Decatur
Georgia
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How about board games?

WORST HOBBY EVAR
 
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24. Board Game: Devil Bunny Hates the Earth [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:10907]
John Holmstrom
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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HATE

I hate hate. Whenever I see someone going off on something, I want to rip them a couple of new holes, rip off their limbs, and re-arrange randomly. Then other violent things. The rage that flows through my like water over Niagra Falls makes me want to scream and kill.

If you're a hater, I'm going to come over to your house and beat the snot out of you. Because I hate you for it.

devildevildevilzombiezombie
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25. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000 (fourth edition) [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1836]
Andrzej Stewart
United States
Denver
Colorado
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So I open the box and find two armies' worth of plastic figurines. Excited about my new acquisition, and proud of my ability to digest endless manuals and army lists, I head out to find a worthy opponent...

"You can't play against me. I have a 3000 point army. You only have a 1500 point army."

How silly of me! After consulting my army lists, I determine an optimum group of units with which to expand, and head down to the local gaming store...

"Lets see...a one-inch-high lead Space Marine Drill Sergeant's Nephew figurine...that'll be $One Week's Wages please..."

Eh, no biggie. That's what second mortgages are for, right? Anyway, my army's sufficiently beefy now, so it's time to play...

"You can't play against me. My armies are exquisitly painted, and have won competitions. Yours are bare metal and plastic."

Grumble. I thought I was a gamer, not an artist. After learning the intricacies of using toothpicks to paint eyebrows onto inch-tall figurines, it looks like I might actually get to do some gaming now...

"You can't play against me. 5th Edition just came out, and your army lists are invalid now."

Gadammit. Return to step one.
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