Games you play "wrong"

Arguably there’s no way to play Skyrim wrong, because it’s intentionally a sandbox to play however you want.

I tend to play the various Hitman games as shooters where I massacre the entire map rather than as a stealth game where the objective is to be achieved with as little disruption as possible. Although of course I’ve completed all of them stealthily as well, so maybe that doesn’t count.

I’m not sure anybody plays monopoly with the official rules.

And nearly everybody I’ve ever played Scrabble with has different house rules for Scrabble.

I used to play Mastermind with my brother when we were kids. For those who don’t know the game, one player places four colored pegs behind a partition on the game board; the other player tries to duplicate the colors in as few guesses as possible, receiving clues after each guess.

Years later, when I was in college, a friend of mine was writing a computer program to play the game. So we played and it turned out that we used different algorithms in evaluating guesses and providing clues. We read the rules and I think my friend’s interpretation was correct, but all my experience and strategy was based on playing it wrong.

I also own it and also realized that I wasn’t all that into slowly tracking some animal for a mile so I could shoot it. I did like the scenery but never actually abandoned the “game” to just roam. I might try that.

In Far Cry 5, I spent as much time fishing and finding new places to fish as I did in combat. Granted, fishing is part of the game but the core of the game is shooting dudes and I’d try to actively avoid combat so I could continue my fishing lifestyle.

On Star Trek Voyager (ps2), I’d get a real kick out of killing my own crew and then being thrown in the brig as Tuvok (or Janeway?) tells me what a disappointment I am.

I wouldn’t mind such an informal rule against “normal” players on a team. But ultra-high-level (or simply lucky) Skaven and (especially Wood) Elf players can be ridiculously overpowered and that’s not even balanced out by their vulnerability. I do, however, not normally foul people because it can rarely help you win the game so seems unsporting from that perspective because it’s hurting them without helping you much. But I’d consider it if I ever got one of those 1 turn scorers or can-throw-anywhere-on-a-2-even-surrounded-by-enemies passers down where I could surround them, even at the risk of losing the game.

Well, that’s where “noteworthy advantage” kicks in. Emphasis mine. Beat those guys up, that’s fine and expected. However, If you were up 3-0 with two turns left then maybe go a bit light on punching out the other guys.

Granted, my league only went about four or five seasons before player-based attrition kicked in, and on top of that, most players wound up swapping in a new team anyway somewhere between season 3, so the overall levels had stayed low.

I’d be curious what people think is a “wrong” way to play it. I bet there are some humorous angles to play the game from that people have tried.

Oh, yeah, anyone remember the old classic artillery game Scorched Earth? I never had anyone to play against, so I had to play against AIs. Specifically, against nine AIs, all on the same team against a team of just me, with all of them set to “Cyborg”, the highest difficulty setting, and all of them using the Triple-Turret Tank, which wasn’t even available for human players.

OK, so that’s what I did to make the game at least somewhat challenging. But most rounds, I’d win without using any damaging weapon at all (and occasionally, without firing a single shot of any sort, but that was rare). I didn’t do it as a matter of principle: I’d still buy a few “real” weapons, and use them when they seemed appropriate. But mostly, I’d just drive into a mountainside (possible through a quirky bug in the game) and/or bury the enemy tanks under mountains of dirt, and then wait for the AI tanks to kill themselves and each other in the process of trying to blast their way through the mountains. Meanwhile, I’d be sitting there in my own little hole in the ground, using nothing but harmless (and extremely cheap) tracers so I wouldn’t disrupt my own dirt “armor”.

I learned how to play Stratego the wrong way, and those incorrect rules are forever ingrained in my mind.

The discrepancy is about how the Spy operates. According to the standard rules, the Spy can defeat the enemy Marshal (the strongest piece), but only that piece, and only when the Spy is attacking. The way I learned it, the Spy can defeat any enemy piece (except a Bomb) when attacking, but still loses any battle when attacked himself.

Not really a game I play much, but my sister never played any of the Sims games without being able to infinitely make money, so she can build a proper house, with all the stuff she wants. It’s not like she doesn’t still make all her characters get jobs and earn stuff or otherwise make them happy—she just doesn’t like having money anxiety in a game that’s about escaping the real world.

A game I never play correctly (besides Monopoly) is Crazy Eights. According to the official rules that we’ve found, if you don’t have a playable card in your hand, you are supposed to keep drawing cards until you can play one. We always played by Uno rules, where you draw one card, and then pass if you can’t play it.

Heck, at one point, I decided to just turn Crazy Eights into Uno, by assigning each of the face cards to replaces the special cards.

Hell, I think I’ve been playing uno wrong then. We keep drawing until you can play.

Good Heavens!
I had no idea there were any other Dopers familiar with that game!
did you play Aeons, Mayfair, or the crippled Parker Brothers* version?

Amongst my friends in Sandy Eggo, the post-Halloween weekends were routinely our period to take a break from the (constant) D&D campaigns. . We’d still gather, but some people would be out of town visiting relatives or burning paid-time-off so those sessions would be just chatter and non-role-playing games.

Roughly around the winter solstice one year, two of my friends happened to find two games at different game shops:

One was a set of cards to add to a chess game. In a manner similar to Cosmic Encounter cards, these basically throw a wrench in the basic game-play to make things unpredictable. For instance, white would draw a card that said, “Slide your knight(s) one square to the right. Any on the edge must wrap around to the left edge. Any pieces occupying those squares are removed from the game.”

The other was a four-player chess board – distressingly huge until you understand there are four sets of sixteen pieces on the field. Needless to say, the configuration encourages alliances.

Before anyone had played either game, we all looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and combined both games into what we called Mayhem Chess: Four players plus the cards in an astoundingly unpredictable war.

It was invariably hilarious and frustrating at the same time.


Back when working in an office was a thing, our gaming group there had a Cosmic Encounters hardcore - I wasn’t part of it as I’m not a huge fan of the game (by the time I got into it, they were already playing with lots of expansions that made things a little tricky to pick up, and quite often it wasn’t possible to play to a finish within a lunch hour which is frustrating).

I also know what you mean about cards adding randomness to games (and not necessarily improving them) - another good example is the expansion to Santorini, in which the extra abilities seem to ruin the game more often than not. Sometimes a simple yet complex abstract game (like Chess) is just unimprovable.

Was the Spy added to Stratego in the last half-century? As a child in the eighties I played it a fair amount and don’t remember a spy at all. When I bought the game for my classroom, I read and re-read the spy rules. We played a couple games with the official rules, but eventually decided they were crappy. The spy per the rules almost never gets any use. But when changed to your rules, it becomes a really interesting piece. I recommend your houserule to kids whenever they play.

There’s a great game, The Castles of Mad King Ludwig, where you build a ridiculous castle in the style of that dude. But my second-grader and I will sometimes just pull the pieces out to build our own castles and explain why ours, unlike his, actually make sense.

Ha Ha! I don’t know even anyone who plays Crazy 8s “correctly”.
We start with 8 cards, use stackable pick up 2s, and the Queen of Spades is draw 5. We only draw one, if you draw a playable card you can discard it or pass if unable to play.
If the deck runs out we shuffle and replace.
We also use the knock when you have one card left rule, else you pick up 5.

Apparently, according to UNO rules, no one plays that correctly either. All Draw cards are not stackable and Draw 4 cards can only be played if you cannot play another card. The receiver of a draw card also misses their turn!

We play a modified Hearts rule where capturing the 10 of diamonds is worth -10 from your score. It adds another goal and a whole different strategy to the game. Another lesser know rule is you can’t drop the Q of Spades on the first trick.

I play Civilization (any Civilization) by roleplaying the civ, I don’t play to win (but I win some times, in Emperor diff or lesser diffs), but take the decisions the civ would take, I imagine the political factions, dinasties and other power factors, roleplay their interactions in my mind and play accordingly.
But I must say that to me that’s not “playing it wrong”, it’s everybody else who’s playing it wrong :stuck_out_tongue:

Growing up my friends and I spent countless hours playing Risk. We became so good at it that even today no one likes to play with us. We made our own board on a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood with over 100 territories and thousands of pieces! We used a wood burner, for the borders, and coloured the continents. I think making the extra cards was the hardest part.

I’ve played pretty much every variation of the rules but I stick very close the official rules. The only modification we have is that if you eliminate an opponent , get his cards and form a set, you can trade in immediately no matter how many cards you have. Official rules says you must cash in if you have 6 or more cards , otherwise you have to wait until next turn to trade in.
I’ve noticed that some people don’t follow the “Occupied Territory” Card rule properly, You can only collect 2 armies total for occupied territory cards, so you only want to play one in a set, if you can.

IIRC the then-new copy I had as a kid in the early 1960s had a Spy. I can’t say anything about changes before or since.

That’s an official variant called “Omnibus Hearts”.

For another official variant, you can play “Cancellation Hearts”. Cancellation is played with two decks and allows for more people to play. It’s played like normal hearts, but when two identical cards are dropped on the same trick, neither can win the trick. This means that if all possible cards that can win the trick are cancelled, the trick is put to the side, and goes to the winner of the next trick, with the person who led the previous trick still holding the lead. If the next trick is unwinnable, that, too gets set to the side and the winner of the third trick gets the other two tricks as well, etc.