10 GREAT Board Games I Never Want to Play Again - cutlassboardgame.com

10 GREAT Board Games I Never Want to Play Again

Shelfside
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These are all amazingly designed board games I personally do not want to play again! From the top #600 on BoardGameGeek, these games from Eric M. Lang’s Rising Sun or Cole Wehrle’s Root are just games I cannot get my head around. It is a bit ironic, because these games also do have mechanics I enjoy, like area control and hand management as you handle tabletop chits. There is also honorable mentions that can be ameritrash or euro. I noted that I wouldn’t talk about the campaign or legacy elements, because if you complete those, you probably won’t want to talk about them again. I also tend to lean towards competitive over cooperative games, like TI4, but games with a LOT of trading have a couple takes from me.

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Table of Contents:
Intro & Rules – (0:00)
Honorable Mention #1 – (1:17)
Honorable Mention #2 – (2:17)
#10 – (3:39)
#9 – (4:49)
#8 – (6:57)
#7 – (8:15)
#6 – (9:18)
#5 – (10:09)
#4 – (10:38)
#3 – (12:06)
#2 – (12:52)
#1 – (14:02)

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140 Comments

  1. I see a typo on that Ser Barristan Selmy card.

  2. Alchemists.

    Beautiful components. Novel concept. Great app integration. I’ll likely never play it again.

    The logic/deduction skills required to keep everything straight in such a tight, yet long game just fries my brain. If you record one incorrect result, the rest of your playthrough is royally fuckled.

  3. 100% on Gloomhaven we tried playing on PC and it was such a drag

  4. Whelp. Those are definitely opinions. 😂

  5. I agree with you in many of those games actually.

    Spirit island I want to love as I know others do (and other board game YouTubers) and I do enjoy it but just never have urge to play it. I think we won every time but each time it kinda feels punishing and a chore. I do like the theme though.

    Root can work very well but also not so well. Ive got a feeling based on your root/oath thoughts that John company won’t fair well with you.

    Wingspan though. I know it’s getting boo boo’d by many folk these days but I like it. Doesn’t feel as solo as you made out as you can manipulate the food mechanic to hinder opponents plans for example.

    That trading number 1 game I’ve not heard of but actually sounds like fun 😂

  6. I completely agree with both of you in regards to wingspan. How that game is as popular as it is blows my mind.

  7. I largely agree, although I do want to play Spirit Island again, but prefer Keep the Heroes Out for my co-op fun,. since it's much faster, and I like the theme of playing monsters in a dungeon a lot.

    Some I've not played, but Oath was not so hot so sold it. Root was fine, but got old, so sold it too. I still have all of Vast though!

    Rising Sun I also unloaded. Not a bad game, but it wasn't great either, and after playing it a dozen or so times I got rid of it.

  8. Lol, while Root Digital is a great way to knock out plays for experienced players, I think it might be the worst possible way to try and learn the game. The quickness works against it, and leaves new players such as Shelfside feeling completely clueless as to how anyone is doing anything and how they should act with their own faction to counter. It doesn't help that the "faction boards" for Root Digital leave off a rule or two, so you might not even know a thing exists in the game.

    We also might be diametrically opposed as 2 of my top 3 are on this list 🤷.

    Also, I completely respect your right to like or dislike things as you see fit.

  9. Why would you play ROOT, when you have a COIN game on the table?

  10. ‘Honourable’ mentions. Should have called it ‘dishonourable’ mentions hahahaha

  11. I really love Oath! Gloomhaven too, but we play that on PC for the physical copy I have takes to long to setup and play. When do you guys do a review of Europa Universalis the price of power? our gaming group can not get enough of that game!

  12. I agree with your comments on most of the games. Great to find someone with a similar opinion. 🙂

  13. The Spirit Island one burns the most for me. With that low an opinion, nothing would likely change it but my guess is that you'd probably like it more with Events and Adversaries. They make the board state changes a lot more interesting.

  14. I came in here thinking I wouldn't have played any of these, since the pandemic killed my gaming group and I have yet to find another one. But, not only have I played a couple of those games, I own copies of them.

    I've played Argent once, and I agree that there is a lot going on, which is what interests me. Don't have a verdict, but would like to play more.

    Wingspan kinda has a special status, since the designer is a local who played with us. Personally, I've never had a problem with so-called group solitaire games, and play time is short enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome. It helps that it is a game I can get on the table with casuals.

    As for Lords Of Waterdeep, I don't really have a desire to play that game again, even if I didn't play with that expansion.

  15. Agree 100% on Spirit Island. I tried sooooo hard to like that game. Each time I’ve played I’ve sworn I’ll never try again. And yet, I still have. Been 2 years since I’ve last been tempted to try tho, so I have that going for me.

    I really like Root. So much, that Oath was an Insta-buy. It has thudded at our house too. I don’t feel the narrative there and it’s a bit of a chore to get it going. Consequently, it has only seen the table twice. I still think it has nice artwork and components. I gifted Oath to my now 16 year old daughter for Christmas 2021, and I regret that now. She deserved better.

    Gloomhaven felt like too much work the first several years we’ve had it. Once we finally leveled up, I enjoyed it, and I think it’s pretty fun for me now. We won’t ever get through it all, but I don’t feel like it’s a waste anymore.

    Wingspan. I’m fine with this one. It’s not too hard to set up or take down. It’s fine.
    Rising Sun and GoT I’ve only played once. Didn’t appeal that much to me, but I didn’t hate the experience.

    BUT PLEASE: Shoot me if I ever say something like ‘ok, I’ll try Spirit Island one more time…..’

    EDIT: I came on here thinking I’d be a vastly outnumbered minority in my dislike of SI. Good to know that I’m clearly not alone. That game’s fans, 18XX fans and ‘Le Harve’ fans have given me their ire (and condescension) more than any other game I don’t list as ‘super awesome’.

  16. I have the same opinon on Gloomhaven, Spirit Island and Wingspan. They aren't bad games. I just don't care for them and there are a lot of games I would prefer to play instead.

  17. I appreciate the way that this video discussion is framed in that these aren’t bad games; they’re just not good games for you. Too often I see reviewers bashing a game as being poorly designed when it’s just not designed to their tastes.

    For example, you clearly like interaction in your games, while I’m much happier with a multiplayer solitaire euros 🙂

    Every person has their own preferences for what makes a game good. I really like Wingspan but have no interest in TI4. And that’s ok! Live and let game!

  18. I'm with you on Gloomhaven. The brain burning combat puzzle takes away from the immersion and explorative feeling that I look for in a dungeon crawler.

  19. I understood with and agreed with like all of his reasons on the games except for gloomhaven,the puzzle of the cards is what makes the game fun,you dont like that puzzle play a different character for a different puzzle

  20. I do agree with you with the ones ive played. I do love spirit island tho jaja. But im sure you said it in other words. To each their own. Just becaus a game its great doesn't mean is for everyone. Agree with root, gloom heaven, wingspand and LOW. The other ones i havent played. And the reason i may like SI a lot its becaus i mainly play with my wife and we love coop. Great video!

  21. I think all gamer's should create a list like this, and use it to edit their collections so they can better focus their time on titles they truly find enjoyable. Regarding Oath, I admire what Cole created (and in large part his efforts succeeded) but had to navigate a not insignificant amount of frustration as I felt the rules and various player roles took me along for an unguided ride rather than leave my sense of agency intact. I instinctively know there is an excellent game there if only I can commit the time to deciphering all the subtleties of the design- which is really hard to do when there are so many other games that have a much lower entry barrier to a great experience.

    I am really, really hoping I don't have the same feelings about the upcoming sci-fi pseudo epic Arcs…

  22. I think youre missing the point of SI. Its not a whackamole…well, the whackamole is just part of a far bigger risk management game. Its a lot of tower defense, except the bad guys are already inside the tower.

  23. Thanks for the content. I find that with my wife and kids Wingspan is still very enjoyable as we do it quite casually. I can see with a more serious game group how that is not the experience one is after. When playing with a bit more serious group of gamers I found Terraforming Mars to be a good game that I did not really want to play again.

  24. I love negative reviews, you gotta mix it up.

  25. Oh hey, one of my games made it into a Shelfside video (Argent)! Ohhh wait, this is not the one you want to be in. >_<

  26. After 25 scenarios of Gloomhaven, i put it away and havent put it back out. It's one of my favourite games but i have no interest in doing another 70 scenarios of 'kill all revealed monsters'. The repetitiveness just got to me.

  27. Great video that shows that you need to figure out your preferred mechanics and not just go "Hey it's number xyz on BGG therefore I must like it". Case in point for me is actually TI4. That would be my number 1 on this list 🙂

  28. I agree, I didn't played most of these games but for example Root, I just can't, this game has such a steeping curve for me and my friends, the friends who have it they understand it and they make a play in 20 seconds then others turn comes around and they feel completely lost with what they can do, who is winning now and etc.

  29. I'm with you on Argent. I feel like the asymmetric workers, the spells, the hidden victory conditions, the variable setup – you could take any one of them and it would be an interesting worker placement game, but Argent has all of them and it's just too much and too sprawling. I love Sidereal Confluence, though, probably my favourite game.

  30. Sidereal might be my favourite game, but I think it's only fun when playing it with people who are into it. People who clock out or who don't engage generally makes the game less fun as a whole. You get a skewed market due to lazy trades or disengagement, as well as the table atmosphere degrades. It makes Sidereal the wrong choice for game night unless the exact right people sign up. If you always play with the same group, you might technically never be able to play it.

  31. CLAP CLAP CLAP. Yes, all you said in this video is so much true!! Gloomheaven is a puzzle, not a dungeon crawler (and I played it a lot). I stil like Root, even with a terrible parts. All the mentioned games are so overhypped, not even funny. Never heard about Sidereal Confluence tho. But I trust you. Edit: OMG, this one. Yeah, that is wierd too.

  32. I really like the combat of gloomhaven even tho im not nearly smart enough to vome up with some knsane builds i see some pull off… that being said me and my play group has added some houserules for those specific areas you highlighted like loot and items

  33. I feel the complete opposite on SC but on the other hand my #1 for this list would be TI4 so we'll call it even.

  34. I have played Rising sun once, and i had a blast but the people i played with hated it, so its never seen the table again since my local community is pretty small.
    Root got played about 3 times as 2 player only, after that my wife and i sold it off since we just had better games to kill that itch.
    Game of Thrones remains in my top 5 to this day and i always want to play it, but sadly its really tough to get a group together for it (Although its easier to get people for it than TI4), but Elipse is in our 10 most played games as a couple and a group.
    I still really really want to play food chain magnate but can never find anyone selling it.

  35. Food Chain Magnate: Special Edition is coming soon, I wonder if that would change anything for you.

  36. Dang, Root and Spirit Island both in the list? Wild! Is no game safe?

  37. Nothing wrong with your opinion there. I love Root, but I don't think it's a right-for-everyone game either.

  38. Oh man, I was completely agreeing with everything you said until you finished with my boi Sidereal Confluence!

    My suggestion: your suggestion. Play with a timer. True it isn't a chess timer, but it will make the game 2 hours max.

  39. Inlefit thought Unbala… Unmatched would be on this list.

    So I guess you'd still be willing to play it despite torturing yourself for a month on its digital edition.

  40. I haven't played my copy of Eclipse yet, but TI4 is 45 minutes of a round that ultimately distills down to die rolls. So maybe you roll less, but so much comes down to die rolling.

  41. Argent is one of my favorite games. I would keep the player count low though as, like you said, a lot goes on and the board is massive with more players.

  42. It´s good to elucidate games that may be good or great, but just not for you. For me Terra Mystica, most co-ops and GWT are examples of games that I personally have no desire to play.

  43. I think my approach to this list need to be more like: top 10 recommendations. Spirit Island, Root, Jaws of the lion, Eclipse, Sidereal Confluence… all of these so enjoyable for me, I might as well try the rest

  44. Im sure I could also make a top ten list like this if I look on bgg. Everyone's got games that they just don't enjoy, despite everyone else in the game group loving it.

    One that comes to mind for me is Castles of Burgundy. That game just feels like I'm not doing what I want to do, but just what the dice decide I should do. You can only get so many workers, and you only get to be first for so long during a game, so a lot of castles is not rolling the numbers you wanted, and then having to do something else that you didnt want to do instead.

  45. With the right group Sidereal Confluence is a masterpiece. With the wrong group it is just torture.

    I also love Wingspan. Helps that I am into birding, but this one is a "zen" game for my family.

    Spirit Island is in my top 5. Such a great game.

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