You don't even have to be colour blind
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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We just enjoyed our first game of our recently acquired Acquire.

Time for a geeklist... games where colouring causes confusion.

NB A similar but not identical topic to this one was done a couple of years ago.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
Are the designers and manufacturers making any progress?

When adding items, try to stick to newer games, or else older games where the colours are clear but cause associative or other confusions.
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1. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:237]
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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We have the current AH imprint. (Cards shown here.) What's with the Zeta and Hydra cards? We spent much of the game having to actually fully separate each card to check if it was Zeta or Hydra. The colour isn't consistant within each set, and the variations jolly nearly meet in the middle.

I wish they'd made, um, Zeta much more yellow.

(Enjoyed the game btw. Remarkably E&T-ish, simplfied. Or perhaps I should say E&T is remarkably Acquire-ish made more complex/rich. Choose your own adjective.)
 
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2. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:454]
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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While I'm grumping I have to mention everyone's favourite, of course. While the pastel colours are a refreshing change from stark staring Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, the pale green / pale blue pair was a particularly poor choice of colours. Indistinguishable if there's even the slightest shadow on part of the board.
 
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3. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:335] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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(with apologies to JeremiahClayton)
Even though Settlers was noted on the 2003 list, my comment is a slightly different one here and highlights where today's topic is different...
Pretty much every person I've taught Settlers to (and there are many) has been confused because the Stone icon is mostly the same colour as the Clay hex. (And, yes, the red and orange pieces can be confused or hard to see at all in some situations.)
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4. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:35]
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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On the power plant cards, all the resource icons are white, except the coal icon is black. The oil resource tokens are black. (The coal resource tokens are brown.) In only two games I've already seen many instance of resource confusion. People don't naturally seem to notice the colour strip on the plant cards representing the resource colour.
 
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5. Board Game: Mago Magino [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:8257]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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Orange and yellow are way too close.
 
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6. Board Game: MidEvil [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:14949]
Dimitri Gia
Belgium
Genk
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A nuisance for everyone that has already played this game : it's hard to distinguish between the players and the foes. It's a shame they didn't pick any other colors.
 
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7. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Matias Raita
Finland
LOHJA
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I guess this one isn't a surprise for anyone who has played it. The blue and purple cities of RT are way too similar; you won't notice it in this picture, but when you put the massive board on the table, your viewpoint will be much lower, and then there's all those cubes, empty city markers, tracks and locomotives on the board. Add a even slightly subpar lighting and confusion you get.

Another issue of confusion are the cards; there are too many types of cards and their distinction marks are a bit poor, not that it has that much to do with colour.
 
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8. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:153] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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This only applies to the first edition of the game, as DoW very smartly fixed it by making the colors more distinct on the second edition (also adding symbols to help the color blind).

But as I have the first edition, whenever I teach this, I have learned to take to red and orange cards and place them on the board next to the tracks of their respective colors along with a comment that people often play red when they should play orange, so take note and don't mix them up.
 
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9. Board Game: Vernissage [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:6402]
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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John Weber writes:
An art-collecting game and with only five colors to choose from, of course they chose two colors that are real difficult to tell apart -- I think one is a deep red and another is a dark shade of brown.
 
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10. Board Game: Attila [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2141]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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The player colours are the same as the clan colours, but they bear no functional relation to each other.
 
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11. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:428]
Bill
United States
Sayville
New York
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The brown and black armies were tough to tell apart in our first playing.
 
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12. Board Game: Cranium [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:7329]
Brad Goddard
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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Although the game is brightly colored the difference between blue and purple can be maddening in less than optimal light.
 
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13. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:52]
Tom Hudson
United States
Vermilion
Ohio
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In poor light the tiny cost symbols for resources on the building tiles are indistinguishable from one another. We’ve had several “AARRGG” moments after procuring the wrong resource due to misreading the symbols.

If Caylus was a computer game, it would be criticized for its poor UI.
 
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14. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:815]
Bob McMurray
United States
La Grange
Illinois
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I really like to play Hansa but despite many different lightings I've always had some trouble with the light orange and pink goods markers. Given so many colors in the spectrum I'm not sure why they picked colors that are so close to each other - what...black and white weren't available?
 
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15. Board Game: Too Many Cooks [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2908]
J. Romano
United States
Denver
Colorado
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When I first played Reiner Knizia's Too Many Cooks, our group mistakenly thought that the Bouillon cards were a separate ingredient. However, as we played we noticed that the Bouillon cards were identical in every way except for their background color, which corresponded to three of the main ingredients (onions, peas, and mushrooms).

After consulting BoardGameGeek, we finally realized that each of these Bouillon cubes were literally an onion, pea, or mushroom card, and the only way to tell was not by the picture (like the other cards, which always show either onions, peas, mushrooms, or chili peppers), but by the background color.

Nowhere in the instructions does it say that background color is used to distinguish the "suit" of the cards (much less the Bouillon cards). To add to the confusion, the color of the onion "suit" is greenish-yellow while the color of the pea "suit" is yellowish-green. Even among people who aren't colorblind we continually have trouble telling these two colors apart.

That the cards themselves don't have the name of the ingredient written on them is the one disappointment I have with this game. I mean, each Bouillon card has "bouillon" written on it, encouraging the mistake to assume that Bouillon cards are their own suit. But if I understand the rules of the game correctly, they are not their own suit, but rather belong to the suit that match its color, which is very difficult to identify at times.
 
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16. Board Game: Risk: Godstorm [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2671]
Mojo Jojo
United Kingdom
Bristol
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The game that contains two different armies of two slightly different shades of tan. Playing with both isn't an option as nobody is capable of distinguishing between the two at a glance.
 
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17. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:303]
Robert .
United States
Royal Oak
Michigan
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The board for this game has colors so faint, you can hardly tell the difference. Very annoying.
 
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18. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:692]
Darrell Janzen
Canada
Mission
British Columbia
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With all the colors to choose from... did they really have to pick green... and ... darker green...
 
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19. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:550]
 
Amy O'Neal
United States
Mechanicsville
Virginia
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I found this game at a thrift store this year (this version)... It has the original wooden pieces, and if you look at the green and the blue-green pieces, they are so similar in color that I can *barely* tell the difference...
 
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20. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1793]
Alexander Zhang
United States
Trumbull
Connecticut
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So many on the Geek have mentioned the difficulty in distinguishing the blue ships from the green. It isn't visible in this photo, but shows enough ship cards that you get the idea. This was enough to turn me off to the game until I was able to locate the very beautiful Korsar version, which I am quite happy with.
 
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21. Board Game: Austerlitz [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:7550]
A L D A R O N
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
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Just about any game by the gamers.
 
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22. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Gwen Tevis
United States
Santa Barbara
California
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The colors on the encounter cards don't quite match the colors on the board. The card backs are also nearly impossible to tell apart (especially the red, orange, and brown ones).
 
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23. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:948]
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It's pretty obvious to differentiate blue and light-blue when the colors are side-by-side. However, in Mayfair's CE, the cards rarely have the two colors on the same card, causing not-so-minor effects like blue being attacked twice as often because everyone mistakes light-blue for blue. Ironically, the choice of blue and light-blue was to assist color-blind players.
 
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