I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!
Nick Pitman
Scotland
Glasgow
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Just in case you don't know where the title of this GeekList comes from here we go -

It's from a scene in the film The Princess Bride where the hero Westley challenges his enemy Vizzini to a Battle of Wits in which he (allegedly) places poison in one of two glasses of wine -

"Alright, where is the poison? The Battle of Wits has begun. Its ends when you decide and we both drink and find out who is right, and who is dead."

This leads to much agonising on Vizzini's part as to logically which glass will have the poison in.

"Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool--you would have counted on it--so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!"

And so this goes on

"... so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you"

"....so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me."


This GeekList is dedicated to games which involve that kind of double-think. "If you do x then I should do y ... but if you think I will do y you will do z so I should not do y ... but if you think I think this then you will actually do x after all so I should do .... ARGHH!" And so you tie yourself in knots.

I love games like this.

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26. Board Game: Cheat [Average Rating:5.09 Overall Rank:10778]
ronaldinho @boardspace.net
Taiwan
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This game, especially the 2 player variant, is all about the psychological battle you described.
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27. Board Game: Fist of Dragonstones [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:1863]
howl hollow howl
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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My favorite blind-bidding game. The addition of the witch makes the doublethink particularly diabolical.
 
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28. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:191]
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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I'll think of something witty to put here...
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The combat is determined by cards numbered 0-3, which ar eadded to the number of troops, and modifiers from orders. Here the AP sets in when you're trying to set the orders and second guess whether your opponent will attack, defend or do something else like collect power resources, and how high a card they are likely to play.
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29. Board Game: You're Bluffing! [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:905]
Heckle Jekyll
United States
Knox
Pennsylvania
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I believe this game fits nicely here, as with most bluffing games probably.

I actually rank this game high and feel it is a bit underated on BGG.

 
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30. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:124]
A S
United States
Unspecified
California
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He's attacking with Grizzly Bears.

Why's he attacking with Grizzly Bears? I have a 3/3 out, and that's only a 2/2, so he loses...

Or maybe he has a combat trick. Giant Growth? Crap. I'm going to lose my creature.

Or maybe he's bluffing a Giant Growth, just to get the Bears through for damage. Double crap.


Another popular variant:

She just cast a big creature. Is she going for the win? Do I play my one board-sweeping spell now, or take some damage and wait to see if she casts another creature?

As the other player thinks:

Do I cast my other creature now, and rush for the win, or do I wait to see if he casts a mass-creature kill spell, then go for the win?
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31. Board Game: FBI [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:5003]
Smatt Read
United States
Missoula
Montana
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This simple card game fits this geeklist perfectly. What makes the game fun is out-analyzing your opponents, but you can get burned just as easily...
 
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32. Board Game: Turn the Tide [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:675]
Alan
United States
Laurel
Maryland
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This game's main mechanic comes down to trying to determine what your opponents will do and plan around that, but then they know you're planning around that so they'll do something you don't expect, but because you're thinking ahead you expect that...
 
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33. Board Game: Shazamm! [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2495]
Alain Renaud
Canada
Québec
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This is the perfect game of outguessing your opponent.
It's blind bidding with some cards to add spice!
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34. Board Game: Queen's Necklace [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1313]
Heckle Jekyll
United States
Knox
Pennsylvania
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This list could not be complete without this. The decision making process in laying down gems definitely encounters this Princess Bride analysis paralysis.
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35. Board Game: Ace of Aces: Flying Machines [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2360]
silence means security
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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3 games came to mind right away for me on this list. Since someone else already brought up Edel Stein & Reich (Basari) and Adel Verplichtet I thought I should drag out this oldie.
And with Ace of Aces now it's not just one glass of wine but several to choose from every turn!
By the way, did any of you find my copy of AoA at WBC 2006? I'm still waiting for it...

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36. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Mike Compton
United States
West Valley City
Utah
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Though the dilemma this geeklist is aimed at is one that most easily manifests its self through a simultaneous choice mechanic, I find that I have similar internal doublethink dialogues with myself when debating about which moves to make in Caylus.
 
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37. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:723]
Jonathan Apuan
United States
Everett
Washington
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I played two games of Bang earlier this evening so it was a perfect fit for this geeklist.

I clearly cannot "bang" player one because he has not yet "banged" me. Is he one of my deputies taking down my opposition or perhaps the renegade "banging" others in his attempt to force a showdown.
 
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38. Board Game: Football Strategy [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2949]
Michael Garrett
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Purity of Essence.
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an old classic

2 player rock, paper, scissors
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39. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:556]
Alexander E. Stevens
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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Surprised this wasn't one of the first five.

Anyone who's been involved in face offs such as Pacifist vs. Sorcerer and Loser vs. Antimatter knows exactly how this game will tie your thoughts around into Second and Third and Tenth Guessing.
 
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40. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:770]
Alvin C
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Hm... Crew Island has a ton of treasure! Surely everyone must be going there. I'd better stay away.

Result: No one goes to Crew Island.
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41. Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:347]
Stephen Schaefer
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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"Alright, which is the real Queen Amidala, the red queen or the purple queen? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you shoot at them with your droids, and we find out which one dies in an explosion at the beginning of Episode 2, and which one dies for no reason at the end of Episode 3."

"But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the real queen on the front lines or keep her defended? Now, a clever man would put the real queen behind as many redshirts as possible, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the queen in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the queen in front of me."

"You've made your decision then?"

"Not remotely. Because Anakin comes from Tattooine, as everyone knows, and Tattooine is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the queen in front of you."

"Truly, you have a dizzying intellect."

"Yes, Tattooine. And you must have suspected I would have known the child's origin, so I can clearly not choose the queen in front of me."

"You're just stalling now."

"You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my Gungans, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the real queen in the throne room, trusting on her haphazard shooting to save you, so I can clearly not choose the queen in front of you. But, you've also bested my Sith Lord, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the real queen as far from danger as possible, so I can clearly not choose the queen in front of me."

"You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work."

"It has worked! You've given everything away! I know where the real queen is!"

"Then make your choice."

"I will, and I choose... What in the world can that be?" [swaps life markers]

"What? Where? I don't see anything."

"Well, I, I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. First, let's shoot. Me from my dice, and you from yours." [they roll]

"You guessed wrong."

"You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched life markers when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is: never get involved in a land war on Kashyyk, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against Palpatine when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ---" [slumps over, dead]
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42. Board Game: Democrazy [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:9303]
Ron Gamble
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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The one time I played this, I made the mistake of proposing the rule where all players who vote on the winning side lose one chip, while all who vote for the losing side gain one chip.

For the rest of the game, I went back and forth trying to figure out if it would be better to vote for a rule that would help me out; yet, if the rule passed, and I voted for its passage, I would lose one chip, which would be detrimental toward my winning. However, if I voted against the rule, and it failed, I would lose a chip, AND I would not get any benefits of the rule which would help me at the end of the game. But, if I voted for the rule, and it failed, I would get a chip, but I still would not get the benefit of the rule. On the other hand...gulp
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43. Board Game: Caribbean [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1954]
Emiliano Liverani
Italy
Ravenna / Riccione
Emilia Romagna
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This game fit perfectly for this list. You have to plan your move in the best way to collect gold reaching ports before opponent.
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44. Board Game: River Dragons [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1240]
Stephen Avery
United States
Suwanee
Georgia
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Dragon Delta. Like a fast(er) Roborally.
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45. Board Game: Marvel Heroes [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1317]
Matt Epp
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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The paper/rock/scissors effect of the combat can sometimes lead you down this path.

He has to chose the orange power, doesn't he?

He knows I'm choosing red, right? But what if I go for yellow?

He would be a fool to go for orange then.


ARG!
 
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46. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:542]
joel hansen
United States
Wautoma
Wisconsin
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I can imagine this game laid out on the rock between Vicini and Wesley.

Dungeon Twister...?

to the death...?

I accept.

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47. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:428]
It's a tense match of Loopin Louie. Only you and this dude dressed in black in front of you remain. Worst of all, you find yourself down to a single token compared to his three. Ahh but the player in black, he does not know your secret:

*CLACK*
Me: You are wonderful!
*CLACK*
Gamer in black (GIB): Thank you. I've worked hard to become so.
*CLACK*
Me: I admit that you are better than I am!
*CLACK*
GIB: Then why are you smiling?
*CLACK*
Me: Because I know something you don't know...
*CLACK*
GIB: And what is that?
*CLACK*
Me: I AM NOT LEFT HANDED!!!!
(*switch hands*)
*CLACK* *BUMP*

His first chicken falls!

*CLACK* *BUMP*

The game is tied!!!!!..... but suddenly...

*CLACK*
GIB: You are amazing!
*CLACK*
Me: I ought to be after 20 years!
*CLACK*
GIB: There's something I ought to tell you
*CLACK*
Me: Tell me...
*CLACK*
GIB: I'm not left handed either
(*cue heroic sound effects*)
*CLACK* *BUMP*




surprise




Me: Kill me quickly...
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48. Board Game: Lifeboats [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:899]
Daniel Brown
United States
Cumming
Georgia
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But don't be fooled by the radio, the TV, or the magazines. They'll show you photographs of how your life should be but they're just someone else's fantasies.
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This games does this too me when I start to think about playing the captain or not playing the captain.
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49. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
William Hostman
United States
Eagle River
Alaska
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Gaming in Greater Anchorage area, Alaska since 1978. Looking for Indy-willing RPG players in Eagle River (or willing to drive to Eagle River). Geekmail me if interested.
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Yes, this really is what I looked like when I uploaded that avatar. Not that it's quite current anymore.
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Trading: Do I trade with him? Do I slip him this calamity? Does he know I have it? Does he have one? WHy is Torgeir Laughing about my looking at that trade offer?
 
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50. Board Game: Vabanque [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3140]
John Brier
United States
Aventura
Florida
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Unlike many other entries on this list, VABANQUE really epitomizes the dilemma described in that scene from Princes Bride...
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