15 October 2010

10 Games To Be Forgotten

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As a follow-up on my contribution to the 15 Games That Will Always Stick With Me meme, my better half suggested "10 Games I Would Rather Forget" as a follow up. The rules are a simple modification of the previous ones:
The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. List 10 games you've played that somehow didn't click with you. These might good games, but something about them wasn't fun, a game that just didn't reach its best potential, or even a bad experience with a game you really like. List the first 10 you can recall in no more than ten minutes. Pass the meme along if you can, and link back so other can follow the responses (or just post them here).

To be clear, I intend to include games I like and play,

  1. Striker (GDW) - Miniatures rules for Traveller, with a detailed construction system that let you create you own soldiers, weapons, armored vehicles and aircraft in the full range of Traveller tech levels. VERY COOL. The down side is that it came with no very little in the way of pre-designed soldiers, weapons, armored vehicles, or aircraft, so if you wanted to play you had to create all of these things for yourself. This meant hours of paperwork and hand-calculations (this was 1981) to create the gun you wanted to mount in a fast scout tank, only to find out that it was too heavy and you have to redesign the gun or redesign the tank. Very frustrating. File this under "Too far ahead of it's time."
  2. D&D - Yes, this was on my "Stick With Me" list too, but this time I am specifically referring to persons or player groups that were just unbearable. My example is a Dungeon Master who only wanted to feed his own ego, and letting him be in charge of running the game was just a bad idea. File this under "Bad Experience."
  3. Mechwarrior 3 - The Lifepaths character creation system from this RPG is practically a game in itself, and is perhaps it's best aspect. Character creation can also be tortuously complex, so it's also a bad aspect. After all this work, you either end up with a character that is mediocre at everything, OR, if you work extra hard to twist things to turn out a certain way, you could actually have a really good skill level in one area. None of this matters much, because the 2D10 exploding dice skills system tends to minimize the importance of skills anyway. File this under "Why did I bother?"
  4. Life - Sort of a personal thing, but I got "fired" in the game shortly after losing a real job, and it stung. File this under "Well, that sucked."
  5. Trivial Pursuit - Fun once in a while, but the amusement quickly fades. There's little worse than being stuck in a group of people who are keen to play "just one more round" after you have already played 2 or 3 games. File this under "Enough Already."
  6. Battletech Total War - Battletech is another game from my "Stick With" list, and the single game I have played more than any other. - BUT - The were some rules changes in the new Total War edition of Battletech that never should have been. The Battlemech will always own this game, but in older editions it was possible to play armored vehicles (tanks!) and have fun challenging the new kings of battle. Under the Total War rules, already weak vehicles were totally emasculated by critical hits and motive hits. In a typical game, your vehicle is quickly immobilized, and then it explodes. If you are lucky enough not to explode, then you can enjoy playing a pillbox for as long as you can (but usually not long). The critical and motive hits rules are a good addition to the game - they add interest - but they are unbalanced. This has sort of ruined vehicles as being interesting and fun, where they used to be a good feature of the game. (Don't ask me what I think about WiGE's.) Mea Cupla: You will find my name among the playtesters for this book; I complained then, but now I wish I had complained louder. File this under "I'm going to catch some heat for this."
  7. Diablo - I enjoyed playing Diablo, until I tried playing it online. I thought I knew what "bad behavior" in online gaming was, until I tried playing it online. If the transcendence of WoW is any indication, some of those issues with early online communities have been worked out. I sure hope so. File this under "Does not play well with others."
  8. Zynga games - 'Nuff said (but I'm lookin' at you, Facebook.). File this under "Exploitation of privacy."
  9. The Lottery (most any lottery will do) - Otherwise known as a tax on people that can't do math. File this under "Tax the poor."
  10. Dawn Patrol (TSR) - I like air combat games, or at least I think I do, because I own a small  fleet of them. I don't own Dawn Patrol, but it illustrates a serious flaw. I expect an air combat game to be about crafty maneuvers and outwitting your opponent in an aerial duel. In Dawn Patrol the planes are generally mobile enough to get a good shot at whomever may have moved before them, and moving first is a death sentence. There is no strategy, no outwitting your opponent, just luck in who happens to move first or last. Interestingly, this same thing often occurs in Batteltech, with 'Mechs forming a "conga line of death". The outcome in these situations is much more uncertain in Battletech, and the player generally has a chance to either escape or go down fighting. File this under "Barely Interesting."

That's my 10, pass it on and link back (please). Or not.
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