Friday Night Shots – What Game Mechanism Do You Hate?

Hey there.

It’s Friday night, the Canadian Club is flowing just a little bit, and it’s time for a little light-hearted discussion about the news of the day.

No, not the news that apparently there could be water under the ice on some of the moons of Uranus (Ok, say it if you need to, and then let’s move on…).

And certainly nothing political.

No, it’s the weekly boardgaming question that I ask!

What’s this week’s question?

And what’s your drink of choice that I can serve you (and it’s ok if it’s non-alcoholic, Brian)?

Tonight’s question is: What is your most-hated game mechanic?

And yes, it’s a bit of hyperbole.

Maybe you don’t “hate” the mechanic. But it’s a mechanic that you avoid like the plague when it comes time to decide what game you want to play tonight.

And you know I have some thoughts…

So let’s get to them!

I am willing to try almost any game, just to see if I like it.

Hell, I almost passed on Terraforming Mars because I thought it was overhyped.

I’ve sometimes gone outside of my comfort zone and ended up really liking a game.

Even a game that bends my mind into a pretzel with trying to figure out how to play it well!

I’ll still give it a try.

Notice how tight orange is compared to everybody else? Yeah, that’s not a good thing.

Though I still don’t really care for Terra Mystica or Gaia Project.

That’s just too much brain-bending for me.

But I tried them!

What mechanic do I actively avoid, though?

There are two of them, and one of them more than the other.

The first is dexterity games.

If it requires flicking a disc, or maybe trying to slowly and carefully pull a piece out of a huge tower of pieces precariously staying together before they all tumble to the floor in a horrible mess, then I am out.

That’s why games like Ice Cool and Jenga will never be in my Boardgame Stats app.

I just do not like dexterity games.

At all.

I am not very dexterous to begin with. I don’t need to embarrass myself by playing a game where I’m required to be.

Hell, I often click on the wrong computer icon because my hand kind of shakes as I have the mouse hovering over the icon.

It just doesn’t work!

I don’t want to play a game where the result depends on how good I am at physically doing something.

My best games require mental acuity, not physical.

Don’t get me started on games that require some kind of physical aspect like putting something on your head and using the magnet to pick up something from the table (I don’t even know what game that is, but I know it sounds horrible).

No to the physical!!!!

I don’t even need to try it.

I know I won’t like it.

I’m not doing it. Nope, I’m not. I’ll eat my breakfast burger from Tap & Barrel and then leave if everybody else wants to play a dexterity game.

(I don’t have to worry…no dexterity game has ever even been on offer at our Sunday game day).

The other game mechanic I don’t like?

Real-time games where you have to think on your feet.

I think I would suck at Escape: Curse of the Temple. I truly do.

One of my first gaming experiences (which makes me wonder how I ever got into this hobby, actually), was playing Factory Fun and it was horrifying.

In that game, you are trying to build the most successful factory among all of the players, and you are doing it in real-time turns.

Let’s blurb this (it’s been so long since I’ve said that!)

“Players each start with a unique empty factory floor with a support pillar in the middle. During the game you purchase machines to place in your factory. Each machine takes 1 to 3 inputs from reservoirs (yellow, blue, red, and brown) and produces one output (of the same colors, or black end products). You must always connect all reservoirs and machines correctly by using the connectors (the pipelines). At the start this is easy, but becomes more puzzling during the game.

Players start with one of each color reservoir, and can sometimes acquire additional reservoirs. On the machine-tiles you see the revenue of each machine. Connecting machines to each other (input on output) makes more advanced products which brings extra profit. But building connectors and reservoirs costs money and you must try to have the most money at the end.”

You are picking machine tiles to add to your factory in real-time, and you have to do this in real-time. Which means you are looking at all of the machine tiles on offer, trying to picture it in your factory, and then choosing it.

When you choose a tile, you have to place it, even if you have to do detrimental things to make it fit into your factory.

I’m sorry.

I do not think fast on my feet.

I am terrible at spatial relationships and how things fit together anyway.

If you are asking me to do both at the same time, I am going to say “no.”

Ok, I will do that now.

Back then, I was still new and willing to try anything.

But now?

No way in hell.

I recently got my first plays of Galaxy Trucker in since 2014 when I played it last.


This is probably the extent of my real time capabilities.

You are assembling a ship out of disparate garbage parts. You are flipping them over, deciding whether they fit the ship you want, and then either placing them or putting them back and choosing something else.

This is probably the limit of my real-time capability, and even this taxes me enough that I’ve avoided it for almost 10 years.

It helps when you’re not playing with people who are so expert at this (not to disparage my recent opponents, but I’m sure some people are really good at it) that they have their ship assembled before I’ve even added one gun to it.

Galaxy Trucker does have that combination of real time and spatial relationships, and it is a bit stressful. This game, it’s fine.

Something like Factory Fun?

There’s a reason that, when I do my PubMeeple thing to get my Top 25 games of all time, that game is very much near the bottom.

I hate real-time, and trying to piece things together in real time just makes it worse.

Dexterity games and real-time games (especially real-time, spatial games).

Those are my nemeses.

What game mechanic do you hate? Will you ever try something with that mechanic?

Or are they always a no-go for you?

Let me know in the comments (and Cheers!)

7 Comments on “Friday Night Shots – What Game Mechanism Do You Hate?

  1. I’m completely with you on dexterity games. At least, I am for myself. Will often use Jungle Speed to entertain a group of kids, but I’d never play that stuff with an adult group.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not a lover of abstracts either – played Azul once, acknowledged it was a clever design, never want to play it again.
      In all fairness, that’s more of a board game family than a mechanism. I cannot think of any mechanism that I’d immediately avoid (even though there are some that I don’t much like (say, dexterity stuff)).

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t mind abstracts in general (though it’s rare I’ll choose them). I actually like Azul. It’s the ones that require the type of thinking used in Dixit that don’t work for me

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Friday Night Shots – Stuck in the Middle of a Bad Game – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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