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  #101  
Old 03-24-2020, 12:19 PM
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Out of curiosity, do you have a background in hex-and-counter wargames? I've seen people who are quite experienced in playing boardgames decide to try out a wargame and find that it's a different world. And the same is true for a boardgamer or a wargamer trying out a role-playing game for the first time.
Yeah, played all kinds of those games. Played those hell out of those FASA games like Battletech, and Renegade Legion back in the day, plus lots of other Hex-and-chit games now and them.

Harpoon was just shit.
  #102  
Old 03-24-2020, 12:41 PM
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Punto banco, i.e. "North American baccarat." The game is entirely played out by the croupier, and the "player" makes zero choices; it's entirely a game of chance. All the player does is bet, and is primarily just a spectator like everyone else.
  #103  
Old 03-24-2020, 12:44 PM
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I don't see how it's any different than betting on the outcome of a game of the aforementioned Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. The outcome is predetermined, and all you're doing is betting on probabilities.
The outcome would be predetermined if every game went through all 5 community cards and everybody stayed in. But that's not at all what happens most of the time. The cards are really secondary to the game. The main game mechanic is betting and playing the other players. It's a really, really good game. I'm not much of a player myself, but there is a lot of skill to playing it well.
  #104  
Old 03-24-2020, 12:45 PM
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There’s an easy way to make Candyland more of a game. Since you draw cards and move based on the card you draw, set it up so that each player is dealt a stack of 5 cards, like a poker hand. On each player’s turn, they draw a card, then play one of the 6 cards they have in their hand. That way there is real decision-making involved, as you can somewhat plan ahead. And there is some tension involved because you don’t know what cards your opponents hold.

This is derived from the “advanced” rules that came with my daughter’s game, which has you draw two cards and play one.

I’m not sure the game would be that much better but I’m curious to see how it would be.
  #105  
Old 03-24-2020, 01:08 PM
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I don't see how it's any different than betting on the outcome of a game of the aforementioned Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. The outcome is predetermined, and all you're doing is betting on probabilities.
But you could not bet on those things in a way that made sense or in a way that exhibited different levels of skill. You unquestionably can do those things in poker.
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  #106  
Old 03-24-2020, 01:11 PM
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Punto banco, i.e. "North American baccarat." The game is entirely played out by the croupier, and the "player" makes zero choices; it's entirely a game of chance. All the player does is bet, and is primarily just a spectator like everyone else.
This is true of most casino games. Roulette lets you choose numbers but any choice is as good as any other; some other games has no element of strategy, like Keno, slot machines or craps, and the ones that do like blackjack can be learned very quickly (or you can just sit there with a strategy card, which pretty much any casino allows) and once you learn it you're still stuck at a disadvantage that can never be altered. I'm not sure I'd even call those "games" in the sense that I think of Monopoly or chess as "games." Only the poker room really is a game in that sense.
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  #107  
Old 03-24-2020, 01:34 PM
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The worst game is Harpoon. There are 10 people on the planet who actually know how to play, and none of them possess the communication skills to explain it to anyone else.
I can't imagine trying to play it with paper and pencil. It sounds like the worse parts of older D&D on steroids. Loved the computer version of it though. As did many of you, it looks like.

I'd heard buzkashi was the national sport of Afghanistan. It sounds like full contact polo, with a much more gruesome ball.

Re, poker, the games expert John Scarne said about poker that it's not much of a game without the betting element. I forget if it was Barry Goldstein or Doyle Brunson who expanded on that, with the idea that the bets had to be conceivably large enough to cause some stress in the bettor, in order for the game to be fun.
  #108  
Old 03-24-2020, 02:28 PM
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Aside: I've heard that in Nevada, the official procedure for resolving tied elections is for the tied candidates to play a single hand of five-card stud. With the stakes set like that, it does in fact become a trivial game, and in effect no different from a coin flip... but I do have to admit that it's a lot cooler than a coin flip.
  #109  
Old 03-24-2020, 02:50 PM
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The outcome would be predetermined if every game went through all 5 community cards and everybody stayed in.
And I should add, if everybody simply made a bet before the hand was even dealt and no further betting could occur. But that is most definitely not at all what happens. Much of the time, it never gets far enough to see who ends up with the highest poker hand.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-24-2020 at 02:53 PM.
  #110  
Old 03-24-2020, 02:54 PM
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Aside: I've heard that in Nevada, the official procedure for resolving tied elections is for the tied candidates to play a single hand of five-card stud. With the stakes set like that, it does in fact become a trivial game, and in effect no different from a coin flip... but I do have to admit that it's a lot cooler than a coin flip.
Why stud poker, though? The whole point of stud poker (7 card or 5 card) is to have multiple rounds of betting, similar to Hold'em, though rather than blinds everyone antes a predetermined amount.

If the only thing on the line is the election, why not just 5-card draw?
  #111  
Old 03-24-2020, 02:58 PM
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Why stud poker, though? The whole point of stud poker (7 card or 5 card) is to have multiple rounds of betting, similar to Hold'em, though rather than blinds everyone antes a predetermined amount.

If the only thing on the line is the election, why not just 5-card draw?
I would assume because then there is some element of skill involved. With 5-card stud and no betting, the cards you get are the cards you get, and essentially, it's a coin flip.

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  #112  
Old 03-24-2020, 03:08 PM
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I would assume because then there is some element of skill involved. With 5-card stud and no betting, the cards you get are the cards you get, and essentially, it's a coin flip.
But it's deciding a tied vote. Isn't the "coin flip" entirely the point?
  #113  
Old 03-24-2020, 03:26 PM
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Auctions? I've played Monopoly (or, as I call it Monotony) my entire life and have no idea what you're talking about.
  #114  
Old 03-24-2020, 04:06 PM
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Auctions? I've played Monopoly (or, as I call it Monotony) my entire life and have no idea what you're talking about.
The official rules say that when a player lands on an unowned property, they can buy it for the listed price. But if he chooses not to buy it for that price, the property is auctioned off and whoever bids the most buys the property. Many people don't use this latter rule; if the player who landed on the property doesn't buy it, the property just remains unowned until somebody else lands on it and buys it.

This variant does change the game because it slows down the rate in which properties are bought. It also adds randomness to the game because the only way you can buy a property is to land on it. And the lack of auctions means there's usually more money circulating in the game.
  #115  
Old 03-24-2020, 04:13 PM
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Wow. That rule is completely unknown to me.
  #116  
Old 03-24-2020, 04:35 PM
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Thinking about starting a "Worst, 'AAA' video game" thread.
  #117  
Old 03-24-2020, 05:25 PM
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But it's deciding a tied vote. Isn't the "coin flip" entirely the point?
Yes that was pulykamell's point. You want it to be a coin flip: If you allow players to make a choice, (as in Draw poker) it is no longer so.
  #118  
Old 03-24-2020, 06:00 PM
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The official rules say that when a player lands on an unowned property, they can buy it for the listed price. But if he chooses not to buy it for that price, the property is auctioned off and whoever bids the most buys the property. Many people don't use this latter rule; if the player who landed on the property doesn't buy it, the property just remains unowned until somebody else lands on it and buys it.

This variant does change the game because it slows down the rate in which properties are bought. It also adds randomness to the game because the only way you can buy a property is to land on it. And the lack of auctions means there's usually more money circulating in the game.
There are also auctions in case of a house or hotel shortage (the game comes with only 32 houses and 12 hotels). If there's just one house left and more than one person claims to want it, it gets auctioned off.
  #119  
Old 03-24-2020, 06:10 PM
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I have to come in here to put in a dishonourable mention for Betrayal at the House on the Hill. For those of you who haven't met it, it's sort of an RPG-ish boardgame where you play a stereotypical group of dumb teenagers investigating the haunted house. You explore the house and find stuff and then the monster is revealed...

Except that it's basically Snakes-and-Ladders in an expensive Halloween costume. It is not a game. The exploring and finding are completely random and depend entirely on your ability to roll dice and draw cards. When the Plot is revealed, one player is randomly chosen as the Bad Guy and given a random objective, which the Good Guys have to stop. Depending on the random items collected, one side or the other may be massively overpowered. Depending on the random room draw, either sides' objective may be anything from trivial to impossible.

I understand some people like it for the story-telling elements, but really, why not just play an RPG?
  #120  
Old 03-24-2020, 07:08 PM
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Wow. That rule is completely unknown to me.
It doesn't come up as often as you would expect. The basic strategy of Monopoly is you should buy the property if you can. So auctions are relatively rare.

I think a more interesting variant would be a rule that lets the player who auctions a property be the seller. A player who lands on an unowned property can buy it for its list price or choose to put it up for auction. And if they choose to auction it off, they collect the winning bid instead of the bank. (In the rare case where a player bid on a property they were auctioning off and won, they would then pay the bank.) This would give players an incentive to put properties up for auction, which would broaden the strategy of the game.

I also suggest a variant rule that uses dice drafting, which mitigates another random element of the game.

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  #121  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:10 AM
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The chutes were originally snakes. (I see just above that merrick has called the game by its original name, Snakes and Ladders). Speaking of propaganda, the game was invented in ancient India to teach Hinduism or Buddhism or Jainism. Each of the squares represented some spiritual concept on the way from samsara to nirvana.

They changed snakes to chutes (playground slides) in order to mass-market the thing. What, somebody got a problem with snakes?
  #122  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:12 AM
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Chutes makes more sense as you cannot slide down snakes unless you're Jim Morrison.
  #123  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:10 AM
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For video games, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Desert Bus yet. (I'm sure The Dope is where I first heard about it.)
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  #124  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:56 AM
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I understand some people like it for the story-telling elements, but really, why not just play an RPG?
When I read the rules to Betrayal and House on the Hill I thought it was going to be a terrible game. But I played it and I had a really, really good time. It's not a game I want to play over and over again but I've really enjoyed the few times I've played it.
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  #125  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:19 AM
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But it's deciding a tied vote. Isn't the "coin flip" entirely the point?
Yes. That's why they're not doing draw poker, because that would introduce an element of skill (no matter how small), no longer making it a "coin flip."

ETA: Sorry, I didn't see Calavera's follow-up, explaining it.

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  #126  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:33 AM
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I don't think it's fair to include Desert Bus, because that was deliberately designed to be a bad game.
  #127  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:34 AM
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There are also auctions in case of a house or hotel shortage (the game comes with only 32 houses and 12 hotels). If there's just one house left and more than one person claims to want it, it gets auctioned off.
It's kind of a dick move, but one sure way to win Monopoly is to hoard houses. If you trade higher monopolies for lower ones, people will usually bite, and hand over some cash as well. The suddenly you have Baltic, Mediterranean, the light blues, and the purples, and cash on hand, while the other players have Boardwalk & Park Place, the greens and the Yellows, and no cash. You load your properties up with houses, and then there aren't enough left for anyone else to get hotels. Suddenly your cheap properties with 4 houses are worth more than the "good" ones with no houses.

This is why you must INSIST on no house rule where you use dried beans, or whatever for houses if they get used up.
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  #128  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:34 AM
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For video games, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Desert Bus yet. (I'm sure The Dope is where I first heard about it.)
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Yeah, but that was more of a practical joke (for a Penn & Teller game called Smoke and Mirrors that was unreleased, anyway.) I know it ends up on "worst game ever" lists, but it's was purposely designed to be mundane and boring. Hell, I'd almost defend it as a kind of a conceptual art piece.

And, the plus side of it, is Desert Bus has been used as a way to raise money for various causes with "Desert Bus marathons" in the way you may have a walk-a-thon or some such fundraiser, so good has come from it.
  #129  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:07 AM
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I also suggest a variant rule that uses dice drafting, which mitigates another random element of the game.
I cannot find anywhere that clearly explains what "Dice drafting" is. Can you explain?
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  #130  
Old 03-25-2020, 11:46 AM
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I cannot find anywhere that clearly explains what "Dice drafting" is. Can you explain?
Dice drafting is when the players are selecting their dice from a pool of already rolled dice rather than each individually rolling a pair of dice on their turn. This allows players to have more control over their movement around the board, while still having some degree of randomness.

Here's an example of how it could work for a four player game of Monopoly. Take ten dice and have the first player roll all of them. The first player then selects two of the rolled dice and combines them as his move. He, obviously, has a lot of choices and has pretty good control of where he moves to this turn.

The second player then selects two of the remaining eight dice and does the same. The third player selects two of the remaining six and the fourth player selects two out of the remaining four. We're now back to the first player, who has to use the final two dice as his move. The ten dice all then get passed to the second player, who repeats the whole process.

So throughout the course of the game, players are going to have varied amounts of control over their movement, which means they will be able to make some choices about what properties they land on. And they will have some influence over where the other players land by choosing dice that limit their choices.

What I've described is just one possibility. You could instead roll the dice as pairs and draft a pair of dice instead of two individual dice. Or instead of drafting by turns, you could roll the dice and then auction off the order in which they are chosen. Or each player could have their own pool of thirty-six dice, roll them all, and then each turn they have to choose two dice from their pool as this turn's movement, with each turn giving them fewer choices.
  #131  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:46 PM
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I'd say that Candyland is the least bad of the lot, because at least it's bounded. With Chutes and Ladders (AKA Snakes and Ladders), there's the risk of having to start over and play the entire game again, just when you'd almost finished.
Candy Land has that possibility too...you could get a card that sends you back to one of the earlier picture spaces if you're close to the end.
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  #132  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:49 PM
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There was a "sim" racing game with semi trucks a while back where the "AI" opponents never moved off of the starting line, your speed was faster in reverse than it was forward, and terrain didn't hinder your movement at all (drive along an 80ļ cliff? Sure!). It's tough for the likes of ET to compete with that.
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  #133  
Old 03-25-2020, 02:03 PM
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Yes. That was a legitimately broken game. At least ET was not.
  #134  
Old 03-25-2020, 02:49 PM
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I would assume because then there is some element of skill involved. With 5-card stud and no betting, the cards you get are the cards you get, and essentially, it's a coin flip.
You missed the main point.

Stud poker involves multiple rounds of betting, just like Hold'em. If you're only trying to imitate a coin flip, there's no reason to do 5-card stud.

If you want to make it completely luck, you just deal five cards straight out. There's no reason to have hidden cards like you do in stud. There's no reason to have multiple rounds of betting because you are only betting on one thing.

That's my point.

Playing it as stud poker makes no sense.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:59 PM
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It's kind of a dick move, but one sure way to win Monopoly is to hoard houses. If you trade higher monopolies for lower ones, people will usually bite, and hand over some cash as well. The suddenly you have Baltic, Mediterranean, the light blues, and the purples, and cash on hand, while the other players have Boardwalk & Park Place, the greens and the Yellows, and no cash. You load your properties up with houses, and then there aren't enough left for anyone else to get hotels. Suddenly your cheap properties with 4 houses are worth more than the "good" ones with no houses.
Also, many people seem to forget that houses and hotels are sold off at half-price. So if you drop a house on Boardwalk and then have to sell it back, that $200 house only gets you $100 back.
  #136  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:30 PM
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You missed the main point.

Stud poker involves multiple rounds of betting, just like Hold'em. If you're only trying to imitate a coin flip, there's no reason to do 5-card stud.

If you want to make it completely luck, you just deal five cards straight out. There's no reason to have hidden cards like you do in stud. There's no reason to have multiple rounds of betting because you are only betting on one thing.

That's my point.

Playing it as stud poker makes no sense.
1) Is a single hand of stud poker as random as a coin flip?
2) Is it, at least on a superficial level, more Vegasy than a coin flip?

You're overcomplicating their overcomplication.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 03-25-2020 at 05:31 PM.
  #137  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:02 PM
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You missed the main point.

Stud poker involves multiple rounds of betting, just like Hold'em. If you're only trying to imitate a coin flip, there's no reason to do 5-card stud.

If you want to make it completely luck, you just deal five cards straight out. There's no reason to have hidden cards like you do in stud. There's no reason to have multiple rounds of betting because you are only betting on one thing.

That's my point.

Playing it as stud poker makes no sense.
In my family, we play nickel-dime-quarter poker (with chips). Everyone buys in for some dollar amount. At the end of the evening, all the players gather their chips to a whole dollar amount and shove the remainder into the center. We then deal a round of five card stud and the winning hand gets the pot (which is always at least a dollar). We could just deal pure showdown, but each player revealing their hole card adds a little, so we deal stud.

Dealing out two hands of 5 cards is going to be as random as a coin flip. And it's Nevada, so a poker hand has some symbolic and historical significance. Dealing the hands as 5 card stud doesn't change the randomness and it sounds better than saying they'll deal a hand of showdown.
  #138  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:12 PM
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Thinking about starting a "Worst, 'AAA' video game" thread.
I'm interested.

My vote would be SimCity (the reboot) for EA literally crippling it at launch just so they could sell you the stuff you want at a later date (which they never wound up doing anyway)
  #139  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:29 PM
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You missed the main point.
If I did, you made your point poorly by mentioning 5-card draw.


Five card stud with no betting is exactly the same as just dealing five cards out and the best hand wins. There's a little more drama to it, I guess, but it's the same thing. Why didn't they just say deal out five cards and best poker hand wins? I dunno? Like I said, it's Nevada and maybe they like the drama.

And do we know this to be true? I only quickly looked into it, and saw some Nevada jurisdictions simply breaking electoral ties with a draw of cards from the deck.
  #140  
Old 03-26-2020, 04:24 AM
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Chutes makes more sense as you cannot slide down snakes unless you're Jim Morrison.
Or Mowgli.
  #141  
Old 03-26-2020, 06:31 AM
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When I read the rules to Betrayal and House on the Hill I thought it was going to be a terrible game. But I played it and I had a really, really good time. It's not a game I want to play over and over again but I've really enjoyed the few times I've played it.
I've wondered if there is a strategy to how close you should be to other players versus being alone, and how adventurous you should be in seeking power-ups. And how they interplay with each other, i.e. how much you need power-ups as the big bad versus a party member. So if you are going it alone you will be hoping to be the traitor because they do better alone, but then you need to know if the traitor is helped or hurt by seeking power-ups.
  #142  
Old 03-26-2020, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
If I did, you made your point poorly by mentioning 5-card draw.


Five card stud with no betting is exactly the same as just dealing five cards out and the best hand wins. There's a little more drama to it, I guess, but it's the same thing. Why didn't they just say deal out five cards and best poker hand wins? I dunno? Like I said, it's Nevada and maybe they like the drama.

And do we know this to be true? I only quickly looked into it, and saw some Nevada jurisdictions simply breaking electoral ties with a draw of cards from the deck.
The only reference I could find to this being a thing is in New Mexico, not Nevada, and it's that it must be resolved by a "Game of chance" so it COULD be no-betting poker in theory but could also be just flipping a coin.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:30 PM
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Hey, I never said it was true. I said it was a thing I'd heard.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:31 PM
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Jutland was pretty bad--tracking tons of different ships for a battle in which not much happened.

Guns of August had problems as well, as the map was pretty much all of Europe, so the Western front was about 10 hexes long. So you then spend the next four years occasionally taking hexes off of stacks and replacing them with others.

Darkover is perhaps the worst, based on the book series. Since it deals with psychic powers, conflicts were resolved by two people staring at each other and chanting "One, please don't burn, two, please don't burn..." until someone lost the staring contest.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:15 PM
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I don't think Monopoly is the worst game, and I think it can even be a fine game with the right ruleset. However, it does have the distinction of being almost strictly worse than another popular boardgame.

I maintain that Settlers of Catan and monopoly are the same game. The meat of both is rolling dice and trading resources. There are game specific skills, Catan requires a bit more spatial skills, Monopoly statistics, but in general, I would say that the dice rolling and trading decide much more of the game than knowing when to buy houses/when to go for longest road. Catan is better because it is a lot more trading than dice rolling, and it doesn't have player elimination. I haven't played many games of Monopoly where there was more than 2 or 3 trades. and I haven't played many games of Catan where there was less than 2 or 3 trades per round of turns. I'm not sure it's any less determined by dice than monopoly, since better rolls means more stuff to trade, but more trading means you are doing meaningful things more often. The advantage of no player elimination is obvious, though both games do have players eliminated from having a reasonable shot of winning part way through the game. I suspect that's unavoidable for any resource-gathering game without adding Mario Party mechanics. Wait, this post should have been about Mario Party.

Last edited by Taber; 03-26-2020 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Seetlers of Catan
  #146  
Old 03-26-2020, 07:18 PM
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So, Mario Party is the worst board game. It is 90% Candyland, 10% minigames, and at the end you roll a dice, if you roll a 6, the person in 3rd place wins.
  #147  
Old 03-27-2020, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Thinking about starting a "Worst, 'AAA' video game" thread.
I'd play. I think though you'll have to distinguish between 'worst on release' and 'worst even after it was ostensibly patched.' I loved Fallout New Vegas, but I came to it after the GOTY edition was released. So most of the game nuking bugs had been controlled if not eliminated. AIUI, it was absolutely, ridiculously buggy on release.

Which was the video game that had an infamous bug that not only could crash your game and system, but could conceivably corrupt the rest of your hard drive?
  #148  
Old 03-27-2020, 10:21 AM
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Assuming that's not just an urban legend, that's not an example of a bad game, that's an example of a bad operating system. No OS should allow any application program to be able to do that much damage, especially considering that there are some programs out there deliberately designed to do damage.
  #149  
Old 03-27-2020, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
I'd play. I think though you'll have to distinguish between 'worst on release' and 'worst even after it was ostensibly patched.' I loved Fallout New Vegas, but I came to it after the GOTY edition was released. So most of the game nuking bugs had been controlled if not eliminated. AIUI, it was absolutely, ridiculously buggy on release.

Which was the video game that had an infamous bug that not only could crash your game and system, but could conceivably corrupt the rest of your hard drive?
Pools of Radiance: The Legends of Myth Drannor. Not the original SSI Gold Box PoR, but an attempt by UbiSoft to revive the franchise in 2001. The uninstaller could delete some of your system files if you'd installed it anywhere other than the default location. Ars Technica's review from back in the day.
  #150  
Old 03-27-2020, 01:25 PM
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When I read the rules to Betrayal and House on the Hill I thought it was going to be a terrible game. But I played it and I had a really, really good time. It's not a game I want to play over and over again but I've really enjoyed the few times I've played it.
My usual RPG group occasionally plays Betrayal Legacy when we arenít able to run our usual RPG campaign on a game day. Itís effectively the same game but you play scenarios one after another, each scenario taking place at a different time period in the same house. Each player plays a family (you pick the family name and crest/color at the beginning) and for each scenario you play a different generation of the family. The choices you make and the events that happen affect future scenarios as you build a history of these families and the house.

For example, you find a crossbow and manage to kill someone with it, that crossbow now gets a sticker with your family crest and is an heirloom. In the next scenario if you find your grandpaís crossbow, it has bonus stats for you because you are a descendant. The deed to the house passed from family to family, and grudges develop that lead to conflicts later, and so on. It has been a blast.

The downside to the game is that itís pretty expensive (anywhere from $50-75) and you pretty much can only play it once, as you have to use up stickers, write on cards, and dispose of things after they are used up. So itís an investment. But you can play it over a long session and itís an amazing experience. I really dig it.
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