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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151. Board Game: Game of Goose [Average Rating:3.25 Overall Rank:11149]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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Maybe this one?
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152. Board Game: Rune Age [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:593]
Italy
Torino
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I can't stand this game.

Ok, card game means luck of the draw, that's fine.

But there are serious balance issues here.
The useless Elves will get pounded to the ground, almost always.
(One could argue that it's un/luck to end with them if you assign the factions randomly, but I'm not saying that.)
The thing is: the Elves can win. If they can somehow (hint: lucky hand) purchase the big dragon from the neutral cards.
The one with the dragon wins. If all the players manage to grab a dragon (but one player will grab two...) victory goes to the one that draws the wretched thing at the right moment.

Yes, you can spend influence to prepare your hand. For something that you can not know! Hey, I've got my awesome cards! No one attacked me the last two turns so I could prepare my hand! Ha ha! And then someone attacks you, or in some scenarios you draw an instant that does, and forces you to use your nice prepared hand to defend. Say bye to your strategy!
(Or, again, maybe not!)

Also there are too few cards to buy, that means that the one that grabs the powerful card (e.g. dragon) will win because the other players will not be able to purchase something to counter it.
Well, the wild swings caused by the other problems listed above make this a minor problem I guess.

As it is, this game is almost unplayable.
You would need more cards, for a start. Maybe then it could be fixed.
This game really really needs an expansion.
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153. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:111]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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OK, I'll add some item seriously whistle

I bought this one some months ago and played 4 games with my wife and 1 with a friend. At first, I was impressed with this game, but playing it more and more I noticed that the cards sometimes are unplayable. How the hell can you win if your full hand is from the other political party? As you discard them the other player can use that cards for his/her own benefit and has "double turns".

If you got a couple of turns with a bad hand, it's almost impossible to recover your states. You can go on, but just following your opponent from the distance. You have lost.

Too much luck for a two player game... yuk
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154. Board Game: Alhambra: Big Box [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Mark Anderson
United States
New Brighton
Minnesota
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I came across this geeklist today. It was like finding an oasis in the desert. Long have I searched for a place where I could shatter the myth that Alhambra has strategy.

It is purely driven by luck. Allow me to explain.

Random tile draws...
Random tile placement on the market...
Random currency draws...
Random wall segments on the tiles...
Random scoring times...

Mix all of that together and you get a big, bubbling fountain of pure luck. Big enough to build a city around.

Every time I want to buy a tower, I don't have the right currency. Then I spend three turns picking up the right currency, only to have the tower purchased by the player in front of me! To add insult to injury, another tower comes out of the bag. The new tower is even more expensive! So, I choose to pick up the yellow currency again. Guess which card comes out of the draw pile? A scoring card. I hate losing this game to lucky players.
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155. Board Game: Eat Poop You Cat [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:456]
Chris Cisne
United Kingdom
London
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No matter how skilled your own technical writing/draughtmanship skills may be, you have literally no control over the incompetent efforts of your talentless "friends" to accurately preserve and relay your artistic intent. There would genuinely be more strategy in making a cat eat actual poop.

Major contributor to my divorce. A 1/10, and that's being generous.
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156. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:478]
Kyle W.
United States
Up Nort' Der
Wisconsin
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After all this time, I'm amazed that no one has ever added this one.


So, you spend countless turns and untold amounts of WT (money) fighting with the other players in auctions to build the perfect rocket, get it boosted into space, AND have enough fuel to get it somewhere.

Then, halfway there you hit an event burn and roll the die. BOOM, a random solar flare blows off half your rocket, or a glitch takes out a critical component. Worse yet, that event burn happens on some other player's turn and a pad explosion blows up a part of your rocket that hasn't even left Earth yet!

That's just the start of it! Then when you actually get to your destination, you sometimes have to go through an aerobrake roll, a hazard roll, or maybe even several of each, any of which can destroy whatever is left of your rocket.

If you actually manage to survive all of that, you still have to prospect the site you landed on if you want to actually do something with it. Except for the really large sites, that's going to take yet another die roll. If it fails the site is "busted" and you've wasted a trip. Then you either have to start over from scratch, or spend a few turns refueling before trying to get out through those same hazard rolls and event burns...
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157. Board Game: Earth Reborn [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:122]
Eric Johnson
United States
Co sprgs
Colorado
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Sure the game looks good, but it really comes down to all dice all the time. Corner your opponent and get out rolled, you're screwed. Might as well call this Risk Reborn.
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158. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:94]
James Williams
United States
Lubbock
Texas
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Rolling dice just to get MORE DICE TO ROLL!? Talk about luck! Some say that the cards alleviate the "luck" of dice rolling, but that deck of cards is SHUFFLED and you only have three cards to choose from! MORE LUCK!
Don't even get me started on Factions, with random player powers.. I'm never lucky enough to get the first pick. Luck on top of luck with a little extra luck sprinkled on for good measure. Terrible.
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159. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:7]
Mark Andrews
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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So I was playing corp and the runner won first turn with that damn card that lets you grab three off the top of the deck on a successful run. Yup, three agendas. You shouldn't be able to instantly lose a game because you shuffled badly.

Stupid luckfest.
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160. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:439]
Eddy
Germany
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You get to draw a dozen or so tiles and see if you beat me. If not, then you get to draw another one and see if it beats me. If not, then you get to draw another one. And you get to keep drawing until you've beaten me.

It's malarkey. It's absolute malarkey.
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161. Board Game: Mijnlieff [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:2038]
David Estall
United Kingdom
Bisley
Surrey
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So you just happen to lay the one tile that forces me to place my tile into the only available position on the board to give you the win.

If that's not stupid luck, I don't know what is.
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162. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:120]
Gamer Mom
United States
Berwick
Maine
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My Game Group chooses this game frequently on Game Night. There can be only one reason for this. I lose... every time.

From the first play, I thought... it's just Yahtzee in a different package! Rolling 6 D6 with 2 chances to re-roll, and that's what you are left with for your turn.

So they say you get to purchase these blue "energy cubes" and then spend them for special bonuses to your monster. Yeah, but you can't even get the shiny blue cubes unless you happen to roll the lightning bolt.

Rolling for victory points? Forget it, you have to roll 3-of-a-kind for that. And when your monster's hit points get dangerously low, you have to rely on luck once again... rolling a "heart" to get some health back. Better not be in Tokyo because even hearts won't help you there.

Even the bonus cards are random. Random cards, random dice... pure luckfest here. What a disappointment.
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163. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:193]
Claudio
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Ug. I can't stand people who rave about the 'elegant' deterministic combat resolution. It is just purely random what stack you are going to bump up against. Just plain dumb.
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164. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:25]
 
Alvin Simon
Philippines
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Well, since somebody has already posted the card-drawing luckfest that is Android:Netrunner I thought it's about time I add the other FFG "hit", the dice-rolling luckfest that is X-Wing Miniatures.

Even before starting the game you are besieged with luck based decisions, like arbitrarily deciding on the starting point value, to throwing the "obstacle" stones to see where they would land on the table, to randomly picking your team just to satisfy the agreed number of points! And guess what, the luckier player somehow always ends up with the better team!

Then comes the planning and movement phase: The final positions of your planes after movement are totally dependent on luck!!! Ha, I move my planes here, and here, and here... You'll never guess where I will move them... OH NO! WHY are your planes BEHIND MINE? YOU MUST BE VERY LUCKY!!!

And finally comes the combat and damage phase: can you say dice luckfest??? I shoot - roll dice. I defend - roll dice. My lucky opponent always seems to roll more hits than I can defend, it's like he rolls hits half the time and I roll evades 3 out of eight times! Dumb luck is always on his side! And what happens when I get hit? I draw a card! I always seem to draw the double damage cards multiple times in a row!

Poor unlucky me!
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165. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:26]
Oliver Twitt
United States
Virginia
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This game. This goddamn game. Hey, let's take a simple and elegant area control system and then screw it up with the random power cards. Every time I have a solid strategy down a new intrigue card hits the field that lets my opponent move my guys about or screw up my strategy.

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166. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.46 Overall Rank:11163]
Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
Widnes
Cheshire
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Roll and move. Land on the right squares early on: win the game. It's not the poor mechanics, lack of a comeback mechanism or ridiculous length of the game that I hate; but the fact that its so bloody poppular.
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167. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:189]
Keith S.
United States
Dallas/Fort Worth
Texas
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First off, you have to choose what vegetable to plant on your initial 9-space field before you have any customers, meaning you're just taking a shot in the dark as to what any customers you happen to get from the deck will want from you. That's another thing; if you're not playing the introductory version, then your choice of customers is 100% random. And the Starting Player? The instructions just say to decide who that will be, meaning you turn to your trusty Starting Player app and leave your fate for the entire game in the hands of a circuit board with a synthesized woman's voice.
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168. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:54]
Chris Cummins
United States
Vicksburg
Mississippi
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I am surprised this one isn't on the list. The whole point of the game is to deliver the cubes, but the cube colors are random. I don't mean just the setup, but during the game random cubes are added to cities. And talk about first player luck, the terrible auction system was added because the first player could get a really good card just by being lucky. My group has also added an auction system for which cubes to add.

That removed lots of the luck. Now it is more strategic.
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169. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:245]
Italy
Torino
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This sh... game. In this game, you draw random cards an use them to beat hazards.
Actually I compared it to blackjack in this other geeklist:
Item for Geeklist "Games inspired by other games; a pondered discussion"
Then I thought of this geeklist.
Really there is almost no strategy.
Yes, deckbuilding, when you beat an hazard it becomes an useful card in your deck... please be serious. If you happen to get good cards it will be easier to get more good cards. I would not call that "strategy" yuk
My most regretted purchase.
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170. Board Game: Poisson d'Avril [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:4280]
Italy
Torino
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Oh, come on!
I cannot believe some people really own this game.
This game's place is in the thrash (or better, recycle bin).

There are serious balance issues, and the line-of-sight thing is pure bull***t, totally unmanageable during the game!
And I am talking of both the rulesets you can find on the net.

I mean, all that would not make the game unplayable per se, but (and that's why it should be on this geeklist) add random action-cards, dice to solve auctions... and. And. And did you notice that the red fish always wins? All right, the luck in that is getting the red fish as the start of the game?

If I think of the trouble one of my friends endured to get a copy (and replace the missing pieces with original ones... actually we had to use warhammer minis for the fishermen, we do not own that kind of money).

And then you play... and... sigh...

Also I saw today some guy is raising money on Geekstarter for a reprint. I can not believe it...
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171. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:513]
Brice Coullaut
France
Saint-Herblain
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The evidence :

My last win at this game : VP = Victory Point

My move on the auction phase (the "strategic" phase)

1/ Took the free action card
2/ Took the free action card
3/ Took a cheap plate because my opponents didn't have enough money to up the auction ^^
4/ Took a cheap egg because eggs isn't very attractive
5/ Took a free action card
6/ I'll spend 5VP for a special upgrade that i misunderstood (the flying upgrade), big mistake.
7/ Took a free action card
8/ Took another cheap plate
9/ Took a free upgrade because one crazy opponent would take an action card ^^

10/ win the game because i spent very few VP, and i draw the most powerful action cards let me gain huge VP at each turn. It was no brain, a little bit boring ...

Sometimes the game is fun when the good upgrade came up, but generally luck fest at all, and nothing to do except follow one rule : "don't spend your VP"
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172. Board Game: Belfort [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:219]
Selwyn Hope
Australia
Cannington
WA
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Belfort is nothing but a luck-fest. And here is why:

1) First you have to hope you don't end up with loser red (maybe you can trick someone to grab drinks while you set up).

2) Next you have to luck out getting the right building cards AND 'win' the resources to build it.

3) Assuming you are lucky so far getting what you need, some schmuck places his building right where you wanted to. What luck!

4) Points are scored based on whoever is luckiest getting workers or buildings, no skill involved at all.

This game really needs more dice rolls to help mitigate the luck. shake
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173. Board Game: Key Market [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:915]
David Brain
United Kingdom
London, UK
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Clearly there must be some protocol against a designer adding their own game to this list, but given that in all the years I have been playing it, through endless design iterations, I believe I have won it about twice, then it must be entirely luck based.

Let's see:
- Whoever gets to the top of the Key Worker guild always wins.
- Unless it's the person who gets to the top of the Taskmaster guild.
- If I send something to market, someone else will sell first and ruin the price for me, or else someone else will go uncontested.
- The market doesn't even do that much anyway.
- The turn order is a complete crap shoot because later players can screw you over.
- Not knowing what happens in year two means you can't place your workers coherently.
- And don't mention the Winter.

All I can say is that it's a good job there were so few copies of this disaster printed so no-one else has to suffer playing this.

Mind you, this game is as nothing compared to the luckfest that is Keyflower. But someone else can add that.
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174. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:250]
Christopher Onstad
United States
Donald
Oregon
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Oh my goodness can you even believe this game. During my 1st play I could see this for the horrible luckfest that it is. Right off the bat this is a TILE LAYING GAME. And just looking at how many times Carcassonne appears on this list we can see that Tile laying games are pure luck. But at least with Carcassonne you can actually choose where to place your tile. In this game even that little bit of decision is taken from you, which brings the 2nd piece of luck. Cards. Cards, cards, cards cards cards. Rather than the freedom to choose where you place your randomly selected tile you are directed by your hand of 4 cards.

so we have to draw random tiles,

and to play them we have to use a randomly dealt hand of 4 cards.

but it's not over. After that you have to pass your hand to the next player, so you can't even plan ahead based on your cards. You are totally at the random chance of what the person before you chose not to play.

Everything about this stupid horrible chance filled blot on gaming is luck. The only thing that is not random is the alphabet tiles, and even then if you are unfortunate enough to be sitting on the wrong side of the table they are upside down.

I am amazed that after totaling up the score the winner isn't the person who holds the "magic ginkgo leaf". like a similar luck filled game.
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175. Board Game: Mage Wars Arena [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:35] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
Sylvain Lafond
Canada
Beloeil
Quebec
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Alright. I have gone thru this geeklist and some of the items listed here are just plain ridiculous. To say nothing of all the repeating titles. I don't post often on BGG but felt compelled to inject some seriousness into this thread and bring it back on the right track.

We are supposed to list games that we hate because they are too luck-based, no?

I am actually quite surprised, after having seen Magic the Gathering listed twice, that no one has actually thought about Mage Wars.

I mean, come on!

The game claims to be a deck construction game, very strategic, and on and on. I agree it has alot of replayability because the decks can indeed change every game, but don't tell me the result depends on your deck and spell selection.

Has anyone noticed the yellow and red dice in the game? Those are the deal breaker for me. After all the careful planning, moving your creatures around to be in the right spot at the right time, selecting the appropriate spells, you roll the dice and draw blanks! angry

I have stopped counting how many times this has happened to me and it has completely ruined this game for me.
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