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Have you ever played a game that seemed horribly complicated, with a learning curve so steep that it , err something that can, umm… it’s really steep? So much so that one of the players gained a distinct advantage over the others just because they have played the game once or twice before. Now I’m not saying that players won’t get better the more they play a game, in fact they should. I’m talking more about a game that goes something like this:

Round 1

Player 1 (you) rolls – 2d6


Player 2 (not you) rolls – 1 skunk die, 1d0, 3d4, 22d6, 6d8, 8d10, 5d12, 11d20, 5 poker dice, and 1 percentile die then add in 47.23 worth of modifiers.


Unfair? No it’s not, it’s in the rule book pages 14, 21, 62, and a bit part from 93. Didn’t you read the rule book?

Oh, it get’s better, because of what Player 2 (remember – not you) rolled, Player 1 (being you) has to give up all their gold, half their silver, and 2 copper pieces; and has to go to jail, where if they can’t pay a fee of 5 gold by their next turn they lose the game. Don’t worry though there is chance to get gold, just roll 2d6 dice and get a gold piece for every 6 you roll. Refer to page 25, section VI, paragraph 2, subsection 3, clause 4. It is all clearly stated there.

Round 2

Player 1 (you) loses.

Game over.

Better luck next time. Here take the rule books home and study them so you’ll know which strategy to take next time. Don’t forget to thoroughly read sections 3 and 4 of volume 1 and sections 1 and 5 of volume 3, they are real game changers. And really bring to light why you made the mistakes you did.


Now this was a bit of an exaggeration, I have never seen a game that bad. The only thing close that I can think of is D&D of which I have played a very limited amount. I don’t really have the time to dedicate to it. With that game you have volumes of books which can be used for rules, player handbooks, monster manuals, etc. and you have many different editions of the game, each one tweaking something and everyone will swear by a different one. Edition 3.5 versus 4.0 versus 15.26 the extended throwback edition. Okay I made up that last one but you get the point. To many rules to follow and choose from. Don’t get me wrong I would probably play another campaign if I had the time.

And that brings me to another point I want to touch on quickly. Rule mongers. I understand the need to follow the rules but if it causes a half hour game shut down it is not worth it. If you are really concerned with it find the rule as the game continues and if the rule was not adhered to do one of two things.

1.) Allow the game to continue and play consistently throughout the remainder even though it’s wrong. Play the right way next time.

2.) Allow the player to change their move/ take back victory points after the fact. Even though it may skew their decisions.

3.) Allow play to continue but do it right for the rest of the game.

Did I say two? Well I added one. Deal with it. Neither one of those is ideal for strict rule followers. But I say obey the spirit of the rules as well as the letter of the rules. And the spirit of the rules is to have a good time – they just set up a boundary in which to have it.

That was more than a quick touch on that point. Sorry about the diatribe. To bring it to a close two questions; What’s the most complicated or easiest game you have ever played? Which do you prefer? What’s your opinion on how strictly you should follow the rules?

Oops I did it again 😉

Until next time, let me know what you think,

Running Man