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Games that you hate because they claim to have Strategy, but they're basically Pure Luck.
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Just what the title says. That's what this geeklist is all about.

Why is there such a trend to add so much luck into games nowadays? I wish I understood it. Good for you for reading this far, you'll want to keep reading...trust me. Actually, this list isn't about games that are pure luck at all. You see, I have this theory that there are a number of people out there who occasionally don't bother reading the header text on geeklists, or at best they just glance at the first few sentences of it. People sometimes just read the title and jump right in (I've done it myself before.) Because of this, there are a number of times I see people post things that don't apply at all because they failed to read the full explanation. So, if you are reading this, here's how I will know. Post a game that you actually like, instead of hate. But in the text of your item, give some fake explanation of why you hate the game and think it's pure luck.

Now we don't want this to be too easy for the non-readers to figure out, so make sure you don't post a game with no luck whatsoever like Chess. Something with a little luck will do. What will make it even better is if you sport a "fan" microbadge for the game at the same time you're posting the game you are claiming to hate. And if you are a user who missed this text the first time and jumped in to post a game or comment without realizing the trick of the geeklist...be a good sport, laugh at yourself, and leave it up for everyone else to chuckle at. But don't give away the secret, let users discover it for themselves.

Please post your own.
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126. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:192] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Brian Tanner
United States
Severn
Maryland
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Ugh are you kidding? This is more like "Luck-and-no-strategy-Scape", or something like that. I mean it has dice! Everyone knows that dice = no strategy. I have a mathematical proof somewhere showing that, but I can't find it at the moment (bad luck on where I placed it, if only I had a strategy on where to keep things that I will need to find at a later date). I mean you can just choose whatever units you want, and move them willy-nilly around the game board (who's construction is purely based on luck anyways), and you will still have a ~66.78% chance of winning! Sure you might say "but Brian, what about gaining high ground to give your units height advantage? Or choosing units who have synergies and work really well together? Or being smart about the movement and placement of units and the use of skills? Or what about the blah blah blah...". Bottom line, instead of taking all the time to set up your really awesome battlefield of duel fortresses of death separated by the frozen tundra death jungle of deathly deadness, and taking the time to draft or create your killer army of decease inducing death warriors of deathly death, just save yourself and your opponent time: Flip a coin to see who wins.
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127. Board Game: Pandemic: On the Brink [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
William Warren
United States
Rochester
New York
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Oh look! I lost because I couldn't travel to Africa from Asia. Alright, let's do another game. Oh wait, all the infections are in Asia this game? There's no consistency. I can't build a strategy off of this. I might as well go to an area and pray that I happen to be in the area of the future infections. In addition your starting hand could make or break the game for you. Also this expansion adds mutations and virulent strains to worry about as well? Oh great, now my fate in this game is dependent if I get a bad or horrible epidemic card (hey! I just pulled out that complex molecular structure virulent strain. Now I have no chance of winning shake ). This expansion essentially adds more to an already luck based game and attempts to leave you blind and in the dark based on all the added variations. Here's what I'll do to make the game quick. I'll roll a D10 and if we get higher than the number of epidemic cards in the deck than we win (add +1 to number of epidemic cards for having virulent strains in game and +1 for mutations added in), however I'm still in the dark here, so you'll have to read the number off to me.
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128. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Mikey Moose
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Not only is it pure luck I ALSO CONSTANTLY LOSE! angryangry
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129. Board Game: War of the Ring: Battles of the Third Age [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Aron Phillips
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This game claims that it is more strategic than Risk (luck-isk), but in Risk you at least get to decide what to do with your armies. In War of the Ring every action is dictated by what you roll. If you need to muster more troops but you didn't roll any muster dice, sorry Jack, you just won't be getting those reinforcements.

Also combat is still luck-based, using dice to decide combat. Sure it seems strategic, but it's basically larger army beats smaller army... wait, wait that even is too simple. No luck can cause an army that is besieging a stronghold not to score one single hit for over 5 rounds of combat, meanwhile it is being just pummeled, finally having to give up. No amount of strategy can compensate for bad dice rolls in this.

Speaking of dice rolls, when you are playing as Sauron and roll all eyes or mostly eyes, there goes your actions. You can basically kiss one stronghold goodbye because any smart Free Peoples player will take it.

After playing this game for a while now, there is no facet of this game that isn't wrapped up in luck. The cards, the dice, skill is irrelevant unless I'm playing an utter newb, and then what fun is it killing them, they can't even provide a decent fight.
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130. Board Game: Star Wars Customizable Card Game [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1214]
John Clark
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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OK, all CCGs are pure pure luck but SWCCG is one of the worse because of its awful awful rarity distribution. You see, it all comes down to money to buy the good cards and that is just the luck of who your parents are and your genes for being smart to earn money. Not being able to afford a DSII Palpatine is hardly your fault is it?
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131. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:75]
Roberta Yang
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"Oh, look, the elevator got knocked out! Now we can't jiggle the computer mouse in time, so everyone gets delayed and the ship is destroyed!" ...what a waste of time.
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132. Board Game: Conflict [Average Rating:5.13 Overall Rank:9811]
George Husted
United States
East Hartford
Connecticut
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It's just a dice fest!angry I mean...roll and move...roll and move...WHERE IS THE STRATEGY IN THAT!?!?!thumbsdown

I boggles the mind that this 1940s game was a forerunner of contemporary wargames!

I uses little MONOPOLY battleships and cannons for crying out loud. This game just screams LUCK, LUCK, LUCK from every pore of it's being.

So, if any of you are looking to dump your vintage 1940 Conflict game...well, just let me know.
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133. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:34]
John Hathorn
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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Just look at those dice. They are so unfriendly. We hates this, my precious.
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134. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Antti Tahvanainen
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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There's nothing you can do in this game if the card luck has decided your opponent wins. Oh, perhaps to sit another 20 minutes waiting while he goes through all his deck every turn.
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135. Board Game: Escape from Colditz Castle [Average Rating:4.84 Overall Rank:9758]
Sean Murphy
Ireland
Ballincollig
Cork
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Themed snakes and ladders
My dad bought it by mistake - I asked for "Esacape from Colditz"
When we got the REAL game we had lots of fun (throw out the "do-or-die" cards they are pure luck)
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136. Board Game: Axis & Allies: D-Day [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1605]
Sean Murphy
Ireland
Ballincollig
Cork
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I heard Axis and allies was good - I enjoyed the shogun swords version when I was younger. So I bought this for my son.
UNPLAYABLE - just dice rolling.
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137. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:83]
Mrs Smith
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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This is my chance to convey something meaningful! Darn. Wasted it.
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"Oh great, I keep drawing tickets worth 4-8 points and in completely different areas of the board."

Later...

"Oh look at that, your drew a bunch of tickets worth 18-22 points that were all covered with a single long track...good strategic thinking!"

Pfft, what a luck fest. Whoever draws the best ticket combo wins.
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138. Board Game: Afrika Korps [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2867]
Craig Truesdell
United States
Uniontown
Ohio
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I should get double secret bonus points for this one. Almost all games come down to a 2-1 attack on Tobruk.

The last time I played it was the same night the air campaign in the first Desert Storm started (or at least the news cut in and started reporting it). And yes I was successful in assaulting Tobruk and I drove to the gas station to fill up my car.
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139. Board Game: Victory in the Pacific [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:861]
Craig Truesdell
United States
Uniontown
Ohio
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One of my favorite games. The combat and the daylight vs night battles die rolls don't bother me. The IJN submarine plinking away each turn (it eventually leaves the game) gets old (can't defend against it) especially if nails one of your few carriers. Also, at the start of the game, your carriers randomly appear on the map, sometimes the IJN is able to ambush them which is a major downer especially if the sub nails a carrier during that turn.
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140. Board Game: Bismarck (second edition) [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:3656]
Craig Truesdell
United States
Uniontown
Ohio
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Pray for bad weather or fog if you want even a prayer of breaking out into the Atlantic undetected. Another one of my favorite games...
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141. Board Game: Mamma Mia! [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:963] [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Andrew Rollings
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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This game is a pure luck-fest. Unless you are lucky enough to have a better memory or a faster hand than your opponents then you are guaranteed to lose... Where's the skill in that? It's purely down to genetics.
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142. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:144]
Jonathan C
United States
Iowa
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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
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The amount of luck in this game is a bit alarming. There is just no predicting what insect will be your opponents next choice, or how he/she will move them next. And then there is the whole problem of when the Queen Bee is selected to be placed. It could come out in any of the first four turns! That means you have only a 25% chance of correctly predicting that.

The mechanics for this game would be so much improved if players were required to clearly indicate in advance, by at least one full turn, which piece they planned to place/move and to what location. This would eliminate a lot of the dumb luck from this game.

Pure luck.ninja
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143. Board Game: Snakes and Ladders [Average Rating:2.77 Overall Rank:10976]
Herb
United States
Georgia
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Doesn't ever gambler have a system to beat the dice? This game isn't basically luck, it is pure luck.
There is no strategy at all.

If you want to avoid arguments with spinner, use a die instead.

It is a great game for an adult to play with a small child because the child stands a chance of winning.
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144. Board Game: Tic-Tac-Toe [Average Rating:2.56 Overall Rank:10977]
τὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
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Where to start?

First of all, what's up with all the dice? Not since I ditched the Palladium role playing system have I needed this many d12s and d8s. Then there's the cards. First you're going to get screwed unless you invested a lot of money in getting the best cards. At tournaments they do a draft so everyone has the same opportunity to get a good draw but that's not feasible to do at home unless you're a millionaire. And even so if the shuffle ends with too many O cards in your Tac deck? Game over and you'll have wasted a good 90 minutes of play time. Then it turns out your teammate had the traitor token the whole time so when the buzzer goes off you're left with dozen negapoints you can't bleed off during the exploration phase? Nice. Just nice. What really adds insult to injury is that nine times out of ten no matter how well you place your Xs and Os the result will come down to a literal coinflip.

And the pricks didn't even bother to provide you with a coin.

Oh, and the minis suck!
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145. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:8]
Matt
United States
Toledo
Ohio
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I'm a quitter. I come from a long line of quitters. It's amazing I'm here at all.
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I can feel bits of my brain falling away like wet cake.
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The hype of this game is infuriating. It's just a gigantic random number generator.

Shuffle the spells and deal some random spells on the table.
Shuffle the actions and deal some random fancy actions on the table.
Shuffle some helper guys and deal some random guys on the table.
Roll the colored dice so there are random colors on the table.
Shuffle your deck and pull out some random cards for a hand.
Flip up some random tiles.
Hey, it's finally time to play!

Hope you were lucky enough to draw some movement cards AND some attack cards AND something else useful. So drag yourself over to the nearest tile. And what do you attack?
You guessed it... a random enemy to fight.
Kill enough guys and you get to level up with... a random ability. WOOHOO.

Get lucky colors on the dice, lucky draws, lucky spells/actions/guys that help you and you're a winner. Don't, and you lose.

It's ridiculous. And it's. all. luck.
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146. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:809]
Mat Nowak
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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There is no strategy in this game. The game amounts to this:

1) Look at the line of nobles
2) Look at your hand of cards
3) Play the card that puts the highest valued noble in the front

There is no planning ahead as you have no idea what crazy cards your opponents are holding and there is no point in even trying - the line up will most likely change before it is your turn again.

shake
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147. Board Game: Lottery [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Stephen Stewart
United States
Visalia
California
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It's sooo Hot out here...
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This game better not show up on this LIST...

You guys just need a system and you'll win EVERY TIME!!!!


Birthdays
Anniversaries
# of times you made out... (oops zero is not valid)
any appropriate number will win...


JUST MORTGAGE YOUR HOME>>>> Guaranteed WINNER!!!

Vegas was built on Winners!
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148. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:65]
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
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The problem with Go is that no one can figure out the effect that isolated stones, placed early in the game, will have on the course of the game as it develops. Go is just that complicated. At some time in the opening I always place one stone at a point on the board far away from the developing action. About 10% of the time this stone has turned out to be a game winner -- I've beaten Dan-level players more times than I should have, by using this strategy. (I'm about 6th kyu, which means I should never be able to beat a Dan-level player).
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149. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:9]
Germany
Grosskarlbach
Rhineland-Pfalz
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Phirax's Magical Box of Hot
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Keats and Yeats are on your side, but you lose... because Wilde is on mine.
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I was just browsing the Eclipse forums and I came across a review by a new user who was being mercilessly slammed for expressing negative feelings about our newest top 10 game. (The thread is a good read.) When I went back and read his original review, it was the following comment that stood out for me and made me think of this geeklist:

"Then come the stack of 12 dice vs the pile of 14 dice."

In his first ever review, he eloquently gives us 26 reasons why I believe Eclipse is a perfect addition to this geeklist. I really have nothing to add above and beyond what is mentioned in the header of this geeklist, as I believe that about says it all.

I have carefully worded this geeklist entry and I believe my position in this matter is nigh unassailable. We really want to avoid another situation like when the Caylus fanatics stormed this geeklist claiming that their beloved Top 5 game wasn't a pure luck fest. It was laugh out loud funny. Caylus has been dropping in rank ever since and is almost out of the top 10 (and Caylus doesn't even have dice.) One can only hope that the Eclipse community has learned from that sorry episode and won't make those same mistakes.

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150. Board Game: Valley of the Mammoths [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1757]
Ludovic Roy
Canada
Gatineau
Québec
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27 World Series titles and counting!
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I suppose this one is a bit too old and too hard to find in English to have made its way in here. The seasonal events in this game are always very negative, and can annihilate players on the verge of a win.

Thing is, there's also a wide range in fate cards, some can be utterly useless or too situational to be ridiculously overpowering, like that one where 2 women die at child birth.

The game is fun, it's chaotic, It's exactly what the maker wanted, to depict how insane it would have been to survive in those times, but as a 3h game, when you're one person's action away from winning, and they slam you with a card that kills off 3/4 of your troups, it's frustrating.

I still play it, probably because it's one of my first games, but how many times was the winner chosen by the cards, where good strategic play was ruined by seasonal cards and a random player ended up with the winning conditions.
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