We played Catan last night and I was miserable from start to finish. I know Catan is everyone's gold standard, but I hate it. Do you have any mega-popular games that you just can't get into?

We played Catan last night and I was miserable from start to finish. I know Catan is everyone's gold standard, but I hate it. Do you have any mega-popular games that you just can't get into?


Catan is a common gateway drug, but I wouldn’t call it a gold standard by any means. Once I discovered more modern games I never went back to Catan.


Which games? Just curious.


So many.. it’s funny because I used to love love Catan. To name a few of my favorites: Chicago express (which has absolutely NO luck involved, compared to the fairly luck dependent Catan), aeons end, kingdom death (although this is leaning more towards painting than gaming), wingspan.. my all time favorite game is twilight imperium but it’s rarely played.


I was going to say that I think that someone with a TI flair is obviously already too far gone to enjoy Catan ;) TBH I play Catan so infrequently that I don't mind a game every couple years so it's still in my collection but rarely gets pulled out.


Haha fair enough, although the TI4 flair is more aspirational than anything. By frequency, a more accurate tag would be “coup” or “codenames.”


There's nothing quite like being the fourth duke in a row.


Best hand is double Contessa. Very low win rate but the wins are the most satisfying.


Scythe, Concordia, Eclipse, Gloomhaven, Brass Birmingham, TI, Root, Wingspan, Cosmic Encounters, Deception, Century Spice Road, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, etc. You'd have a shorter list for things that aren't better than Catan tbh...


Yeah, but none of those games make you say "sheep for wheat", and someone says yeah, hands you sheep, and you say, "no I have sheep, I want wheat!" Then they say, "I have no wheat, I thought you wanted sheep." Those wacky stories happening 50x during the game really make it shine.


Or the classic "I've got wood for sheep"


20 years ago I had a group that played Catan. When we found Acquire we became an Acquire group. (I believe it is out of print again.)


Catan is best played to keep your hands busy while drinking and shooting the shit with friends. It doesn't have much else going on.


Saying "**Catan** is everyone's gold standard" is like saying NCIS is everyone's favorite show.


> NCIS is everyone's favorite show. like, it's a good gateway show, for people who just got into TV watching as a hobby.


Isn't NCIS the Seafarers expansion for base game CSI?


No, seafarers is like NCIS: LA. CSI is more like Monopoly.


Is this post ignoring NCIS New Orleans?


Even NCIS ignores NCIS New Orleans


No, that’s Cities and Knights.


C&K is the best Catan. I do welcome arguments to the contrary.


NCIS was actually a spinoff of JAG


Actually for base game JAG: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCIS_(TV_series)#JAG




Check out Law and Order. If you like it, there are TONS of expansions.


You could try The Simpsons, but only if you can find the original edition from the 90s, later editions haven't had the same quality.


Yeah, the pieces used to be hand painted! The horror modules in particular have a lot of replay value.


There’s this really great show- Game of Thrones! But it’s a shame they canceled it before the end, after 6 seasons.


Yeah, I am kind of curious as to where the gold standard statement came from. Most of the hardcore gamers I’ve talked to or seen in different communities either are indifferent to it, or outright hate it for some reason. For me, I don’t understand people’s hatred for it. I’ve always chalked it up to bandwagon hating or people wanting to show that they are “above” gateway type games. The game isn’t bad. Yes it has randomness, but that doesn’t make a game bad. It’s a decent game that I still enjoy breaking out from time to time. It has issues, but so does everything. It could also be people’s inability to understand the difference between “not for me” and “this is bad”. It’s pretty common for people to to not like something that is very much not bad, and then make a remark about how awful that something is, which is... strange to me.


>Yeah, I am kind of curious as to where the gold standard statement came from. I bet it came from not being too familiar with the hobby. Which isn't a criticism! It can be hard to read the popular opinion of a subculture without actually being a part of it. I think about something like a person not familiar with heavy metal saying "Avenged Sevenfold is the heaviest shit in the world". Because yeah, **Catan** is fine. It's just not something to get excited about for most hobby board gamers.


Exactly! Catan is great if your baseline is monopoly. But there are much better games even at the same difficulty level / accessibility of Catan. But also I own Catan and am happy to play it if that what people want to play!


I see the gold standard comment as ringing semi true because for casual board gamers it tends to be the game of choice. I have trouble getting a casual gamer to play a different, more obscure title that I might have but Catan seems to be something everyone is down for. My fiancé hates Catan, and I think it's because of what I call "the monopoly effect." If two players start feuding during it, one can refuse to trade with the other or ever offer a needed resource, this cornering the other into losing. I've seen this happen. This type of resource hoarding, I think, usually is counteracted by game mechanics thay create a greater element of chance, but imo Catan doesn't. Edit: phone typing


I just finally learned to play Catan a few weeks ago, and as a first-timer, here is what I liked about it: it's a very social game, and the turns move really quickly. A lot of non-board-gamers' impression is that "serious" board games are tedious and convoluted and slow. Catan has enough complexity to feel like a serious board game, but it also encourages a lot of social interplay and the game keeps on moving. Also, although the comments about catch-up mechanics might be right (I don't know, I haven't played it enough), the game does have a good bit of randomness, which is something that many people find enjoyable. I think a lot of players of Catan may be more interested in a fun evening of screw-your-neighbor style gameplay than in accurate mechanics or even having to win.


I think a lot of people who don't like Catan don't like negotiating games. It's also group dependent. I've had a lot of great games with friends, but the one time I played with strangers at a board game meet up it wasn't fun. The gamers didn't want to make any trades. They didn't pay attention to the politics when one person was going to obviously win. If you have to optimize ever interaction instead of learning when to build up good will and knowing when to gang up on a player, you're not going to do a good job. Catan is a diplomacy game and plenty of people treat it like it's not. 15 years ago the status quo forum opinion on Catan was very different then it is today. People loved it, now it's "broken" yet the game hasn't changed.


> For me, I don’t understand people’s hatred for it. I’ve always chalked it up to bandwagon hating or people wanting to show that they are “above” gateway type games. The game isn’t bad. Yes it has randomness, but that doesn’t make a game bad. It’s a decent game that I still enjoy breaking out from time to time. It has issues, but so does everything. The main reason I don't like Catan is because there's no catch up mechanic. I've played hundreds of games of Catan. Almost never have I seen someone who starts out behind come in the top 2 in the end or win. And if you start out behind, you know you're behind. You just have to sit there. Contrast that to another gateway game such as **Ticket to Ride**. You have some sense of how well you're doing, but most of the time it's not obvious who is actually ahead. Sometimes games end up lopsided, sometimes someone has a sneaky win. It's still mostly luck based, but it just doesn't feel as bad (to me) to be behind. I'm not a huge fan of Ticket to Ride, but I play it a lot because it's an easy game to teach and has a good mobile app. I rarely (not never) feel like I'm wasting my time just waiting out an inevitable loss, and I also rarely (not never) feel like I have an assured win.


I agree with you 100%. The one other thing I'd add is because Catan tends to snowball, your initial placements are *really* important. As a result, new players have to make one of their most important decisions when they're least familiar with the game.


I've long thought that the initial placement is the only interesting part of Catan. Like, is there a game that's *just* that?


Theoretically, the trading should be helping the player in last place. Other players should want to trade with that player over any other player and should be willing to give them better deals. On the flipside, the winning player(s) should be getting almost no trades or very bad trades.


It could be a playgroup issue, but for me that's never balanced it out anywhere near enough. Robber targeting hasn't either. I've seen the same issue across a few groups, so I'm not sure it's only one group.


Except that the people in the lead typically have more cards in general to trade with. The game I played had me spending every card without any opportunity to make good trades, whole another poster was pulling multiple resources of almost every roll.


That almost never happens in any play group I’ve been in. Everyone usually just tries to do the best they can w.o any board sense…it is very annoying. I actively get told to stay out of trades by the losing player when I point out yes you get a 1-3 points for that trade but the player you traded with wins next turn….. like what kind of dumb trade is that….


High RNG with no significant capacity to change strategies. Starting positions that have ~0% win rate punish new players and reduce variety for experienced players. It’s an elimination game disguised as a casual game, many players won’t understand that they’ve lost the game before the half way, and at that point they’re just gambling on dice rolls. If you want to do that, play can’t stop. I wont begrudge anyone liking it, whatever works for you, but from game design perspective I would say vanilla Catan is a bad game.


The gold standard are shows by Executive Producer Dick Wolf


I’ve played an insane amount of Catan over the years. It was a great board game back in 1995. Now we hardly ever play it, the game just hasn’t aged well. However I do give it props for being the biggest reason why board games are so popular today, it really opened up the American market to heavier, and better board games.


I have purchased and played a few round of Vilainous and for the life of me I cannot enjoy this game. It’s the kind of game where everyone does their thing at the beginning and then all of a sudden someone is close to winning so everyone Gang up on them to push them from the win, then someone else move up and target changes, rinse and repeat ... Probably the same reason munchkin doesn’t work for me anymore either Oh and also any full on cooperative game without individual agency. Probably because o have two older brothers who are extremely competitive and will be mad at you for not going for the optimal play, turning the game into a one person puzzle that is just boring ( forbidden island come to mind )


I like Villainous, but half the fun is the theme. Like how great is the Tick Tock card that says, “When Captain Hook enters this area, they discard their hand”? The other half is figuring out the strategy for each villain, but after I’ve found the optimal way to play them, I don’t much care to play them again. It’s got a lot of luck in it, which is good for people just getting into more thoughtful games, but I wouldn’t say it’s a game I can recommend everyone.


When I'm at my in-laws, the default is to spend evenings playing a card game -- almost always Golf or Spite & Malice. The 3rd or 4th night in I start to go mad. If I can get them to agree to play *any* board game, that's a win from my perspective. My MIL is a Disney nut, so Villainous has been a real gamechanger. Sure, maybe it's mostly multi-player solitaire. But it's interesting to figure out strategies for the different villains, and the theme is ridiculously on point. So I put Villainous in the same category as Catan: games I can convince people to play even if they aren't really into the hobby.


>Like how great is the Tick Tock card that says, “When Captain Hook enters this area, they discard their hand”? My wife and I have all the expansions and play this game multiple times a week. I've never clued in on that text until you mentioned it.


Villainous is really deceptive like that. Even though you can't directly interact much with the other players, you still have to pay attention to what they're doing as to the other players. There's meant to be a lot of scheming and teaming up all along the way (and it plays best like that) but nothing in the game design really encourages or emphasizes that.


I think Villainous is okay if you're going head to head. Any more than 2 players and it bogs down a lot.


Catan's not bad, it was one of my first non-standard board games and it really blew me away. It doesn’t do anything for me anymore, but I get the appeal. Trading? Negotiating? Building a presence on the board? Mild area control through moving the thief around? If these are all new to you then Catan will really please you. Now? Not so much, but I get it. \--- Anyway, fairly popular games I don't enjoy are Machi Koro and Small World. Machi Koro feels like the game just happens to you. Yes you pick cards to buy but other than that its roll and wait. At least with Catan you can trade and have other options. Small World? I don't know, just didn't click. It was 2P game so maybe at a higher play count it would work but I honestly just want to trade my copy away.


Cards against Humanity. Reading one cringey joke isn't enough, you have to read all of them and compare which is the least cringest.


I always say CAH is fun the first time you play and gets half as fun every subsequent time.


I can still enjoy a game if there’s someone at the table who’s never played before. Some of that “scandalized newb” energy is essential to making the experience work for me. Otherwise, CAH is a pass for me.


That, and a lot of alcohol.


Hey now, to be fair, that helps with a lot of things. Need to paint the ceilings in your house? A lot more fun with alcohol.


Really that's more points in the favor of alcohol than CAH


The secret to to play it once or twice a year, so you can forget what the cards are about.


Zeno’s Game Night


You can get a fun multiplier if you throw in alcohol and newbies.


Ha that is a really good way to put it and I entirely agree. First time was an absolutely blast and I laughed really hard. 2nd time still really funny but some of the same jokes were reused.. by 12th time played it I cant wait until it is over as I already seen every combination of jokes 3 times now. CAH enjoyment I find is also heavy dependent on the group you are playing with and their humour.


The problem with CAH is that most people just vote for the dirtiest card. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or someone else put together a witty joke. It's effectively a game of who draws the dirtiest card.


With people I haven't played with before, I like making the game about figuring out what they'll pick, and not just always making the combo I like. Some always go dirty, some like political jabs, some always go with puns, etc. For me, it's still fun to focus on deducing that.


exactly this. trying to give the most factually correct answer is as misguided as giving the one _you_ find funniest imho. it both neglects thinking about your other players.


You nailed it. I use to play this lots years ago and in my experience I didn't like playing with a new group because the card that would win would just be the dirtiest and didn't even have to make sense to the question. At that point you might as well not even have a question card.


I am still bitter that my "Small Pox Blankets" did not win "What did the white man give the natives?" Everyone but the judge thought that was correct but they weren't familiar with that so I think something about dildos won.


It's too on the nose. On the nose isn't funny, it's just the right answer.


The game is about reading the judge as much as it is about dirty and or witty jokes. Thats on you :)


I think Quiplash on the JackBox party pack does what CAH is trying to do much better, as it's up to the players to make the jokes.


It's better as long as you have fairly creative players that find similar things funny


God nothing is worse than playing Jackbox with somebody you quickly realize is not witty or creative.


You know what's even worse than that? Being that person.


You can say friends




ThE rEuNiOn Is ToNiGhT!


Agreed. Unfortunately, when I play, only the most infantile jokes get votes. Try to be witty, and you will be ignored for "poop". Quite frustrating, which is why I try to steer them to a different JackBox game each time.


Not only that but the speed really helps. Bam, two answers, both revealed at once. Then within seconds everyone chooses the winner. The process of going through five cards, rereading the set up, and then choosing a winner really grinds the whole experience down.


I hate having to pause while everyone laughs hilariously during every single reading. Like, the winner's gonna be an uncomfortable sex joke. Every time. At a, certain point it becomes banal.


It becomes anal you mean. Ha! I win.


You do win. You really do. Can we stop playing now? Please? Pretty please? It's been weeks. I just want to go home.


Hey, sometimes it’s an uncomfortable racist joke. There’s some variety.


I'm not a fan of this game either. You might enjoy the Dragon's Tomb "how to play" video on it. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eRjn4Ken0c](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eRjn4Ken0c) The entire Dragon's Tomb channel is really good, especially the Carcassonne video.


To me those games are all about who you play it with. If there is a lot of overlap in you and your friends senses of humor then it can be hilarious.


But even then I think Quiplash just obliterates any reason to ever play CAH


And every one of its clones. Charty Party, Clones Attack Humanity, all of em. They can all burn.


Crabs adjust humidity


Also, CAH is already just a vulgar clone of Apples to Apples.


My wife loves these games and they feel so dumb to me. Like they are funny for a few cards, but then it gets old.


> I know Catan is everyone’s gold standard You’re not from around here, are you?


It's frustrating to see so many board gamers say that Catan is popular *despite* its qualities as a game instead of considering how the game's mechanisms *contribute* to it's popularity. One big thing is that Catan actually capitalizes off of Monopoly's ubiquity. It's the familiarity principle at work. Your family sits down for a boardgame and if it doesn't fit their concept of a board game, it's jarring and generally harder to enjoy. Catan feels familiar to anyone who has enjoyed Monopoly, yet *better*. Recognizing the value of that is honestly SO helpful to being an effective evangelist for the hobby. Anyway... The megapopular game I can't really get into is Terraforming Mars. In this case my familiarity with Race for the Galaxy has given me an unfair expectation of game length for that type of game.


this is such a good point! catan does its job perfectly in my opinion in that it shows people there are games out there that are just as accessible as monopoly, but fun to play!


Yep. All those direct parallels to Monopoly is what often makes people more receptive to Catan than other gateway darlings like Pandemic. 1. Trading/Negotiation - This is key to both games' success and it's weird that people keep suggesting non-trading games as Catan killers. 2. Property/Settlements - Build up and win the game! It's a similar experience, but Catan gives you control and *decisions*. 3. Chance/Development Cards - Looser parallel, but again, Catan adds decisions. 4. The Roll - You're paying attention to rolls for the same reason in both games! Each roll from all players has the possibility of edging you closer to victory. Catan makes opponents rolls matter more consistently than Monopoly. 5. Game Length - Catan finishes in the time people generally hope board games would ~1-2 hrs. **Edit:** This is notably not a connection, but I do think this is a Goldilocks game length. 6. Rent/Robber - Another loose relation, but you see the same deals in both games. "I won't take your stuff if you give me X instead." Catan is a bit less mean, and you have control over who you attack. The only major thing Catan doesn't have that Monopoly does have is Auctions, but guess what? Most people don't even bother with Auction rules for Monopoly in the first place! It's probably the least popular thing about Monopoly, except maybe the game length. Catan fits perfectly in people's expections of a board game and tends to be more enjoyable as a result.


Funny thing about people not liking auctions in Monopoly *and* not liking the length is that auctions help shorten the length some.


The main problem with Catan is that 50% of the game is optimal placement of your initial cities at the start of the game. If you mess that up, then there's very little chance of winning unless you're playing with a bunch of people who don't know what they're doing and/or you get extremely lucky. Two games where I REALLY don't understand the popularity are **Apples to Apples** and **Dixit**. I don't find either of them even remotely fun. **EDIT**: I forgot Munchkin. It's EXTREMELY popular but I really dislike that one too. Games with ambiguous rules are not fun.


I think Dixit is not so much a game as it is a social interaction / story telling / association device. The goal is not so much to win, as it is to learn how other people think. Maybe i'm overstating it, but i would hardly be surprised if i saw the game used in a therapy setting. Which is not to judge the game - i personally am quite a fan of it - but if you where expecting a game of wits and strategy, i understand dixit is just on a completely different plane of existence and makes no sense. I wouldn't like to play a game of dixit if i was planning on a game of Risk.


Not to get too personal, but my therapist did actually break out Dixit once! We didn't use it as the game, but we did use it as a form of art therapy


Apples to Apples is a party game, not anything super in depth but easy for everyone with minimal explanation and keeps people communicating. I'm a little surprised about Dixit I actually really enjoy the game. It can go bad if you have a couple who just utilize inside jokes to make sure they recognize the card but others dont but Dixit while having some luck based on your cards is really up to the judge and other players to know the group so as to try and make sure they play well off of the given clue. Dixit is terrible with random people or casual acquaintances but I'd say pretty good with friends.


Dixit is basically entry level. Mysterium is where it's at!


Mysterium is *really* not worth the set up compared to Dixit, imo. And then the entire game is decided by a single vote at the end, rendering your actions up until that point pointless? And people have to sit out turns if someone lags behind? And it's pretty fucking long for an asymetrical casual game (you could easily fit 2-3 codenames rounds in the time it takes to play Mysterium.) IDK. It's a straight downgrade from Dixit, even though the art is nice.


Ha I proved the importance of the initial placement a few weeks ago to my family. I went last so I put my two settlements on areas that would allow me to do nothing but pump out development cards, while also practically locking the other players out of the only decent ore tile. I didn’t even have clay on my starting position at all, never built roads or settles just upgraded the settlements to cities and won with largest army and 4 victory point cards. All the building and expanding and trading I just skipped and rolled dice to victory.


Munchkin is one I absolutely hate to play. It's like 90% luck based and it feels like every game turns into one person getting the good cards and everyone else trying to work together so they can stop them.


Munchkin, there is no way I could be convinced to play that again.


When we first got that game we used to play the shit out of it. Sometimes games would only last 20 minutes, But never longer than 45, it was wonderful! Now if we play you better buckle up for the 2.5 hour hell ride because that shit is never going to end. I used to love that game because it is quick, funny and fun. Now I want to poke my eyes out. I'm not sure what happened there but I hate it.


Munchkin is the game where you let another player win even though you have counter-cards in hand just to get the experience over with.


There’s an unspoken rule in our group where we all just pile on each other and let the newest player win. The new metagame is seeing how low you can bring the other players before the elf figures out you’re making him win. It’s still not very fun.


Its a good "college kid new at boardgames" game but it gets overplayed and there's too high of a chance of grief killing. I won't play it again either.




Which is also the reason I always get bored by it. I can't think of another game where I find it pretty enjoyable for 3/4 of the game but the last 1/4 is a slog based on attrition until someone manages to be up right after everyone else has used up their good cards.


Munchkin just devolves into a game of “I can’t win so I’m going to make damn sure no one else can either!” every time I’ve played it. Doesn’t matter which group of friends it is, what “version” we play, etc. Or you have the entire table making sure two people don’t win because you two are the ones who are “good at board games”. It turns what should be a fun sub 30 minute experience into an hour or three long slog.


Well do I have a game for you then, Munchkin Quest. It takes all the worst parts of Munchkin expands on them and adds in a fiddly, though nice quality, board aspect.


That or any of its kin. If bash the leader is a core gameplay mechanism, I'm out. Unstable Unicorns is a similar game and I'll admit that I bought it, I have a 4 year old goddaughter who loves unicorns so we just going to throw the cards at each other or something. :D


Yeah, the mechanics are so shallow, it's just "unfun" to be like... oh you have all your items maxed out and shooting for level 10... here, let me just TAKE EVERYTHING FROM YOU so you have to start over. The winner is just whoever's left after people run out of counter cards.


Hate Munchkin. So much. It didn't help that when I played for the first time I was playing with about 4 or 5 people who all had played it many times. I had no clue what was going on, and the game didn't appeal to me.


Catan Starfarers is the way to go if you gotta play Catan. But yes, bashing Catan in this sub isn't the minority take you might think. You might as well also mention that Monopoly is a bad game, while you're at it. ;)


The thing about Monopoly is that it's inherently unfair on purpose. That was the entire point of the game as originally intended--to demonstrate why allowing real-life monopolies was a bad idea. The irony of such a game being turned into a giant corporate cash cow is not lost on me.


I feel like this sub could use a bot for that reply, because my first reaction was to say the same thing! lol


What makes Starfarers so good?


More ways to win, so there's more depth and strategies, awesome space ship props you can upgrade physically(making your ship look the most dope), more balancing mechanics so it feels more fair and nobody gets stuck for hours too far behind to have a chance, and a lot of anti fun stuff is gone, no robber, dice and chosen cities aren't the only way to get resources so your not stuck with only 2 resources if that's how the set up played out, can't get walled off by roads in space, and blockading is prohibited. I also think the theme of space exploration is more engaging, but that's totally personal.


Lots of quality of life changes. You'll have 3/12 or 2/11 combined on a single tile, so they're not quite so bad. You get resource income at the beginning of every turn, which diminishes and then goes away as you get more VP. Trading with the bank is 3:1 by default, and certain resources are 2:1. Overall, the game is less reliant upon dice rolls for resources, at least early on. Rolling 7s is less punishing, since the roller gets to steal, but then every other player gets a resource from the bank. There are more ways to expand. You can build colonies, which work kinda like settlements, but then you can also work on trade goods, which give you special powers and area majority VP. There are still dice rolls and events for unpredictability, though I wish the events were a little more varied. I narrowly lost a game to my son (his first time playing!) due to an event. It was swingy, but memorable, just like the best games of Catan. Of course, it was due to sheer luck that I even had a chance at winning that turn.




I think you'll find that **Catan** doesn't get a lot of love here. For me I find I'm counter-trend with Lacerda games since I find them overwrought and the man's in love with every little thing that pops into his head since he can never bring himself to excise it from his design.


Yeah Catan was the first euro game that my entire group of friends got into. I can't say for sure "We never would have gotten into board gaming" if not for Catan, but we got into it because of it. I think it's really asinine when people shit on it. The game is decades old and it's popularity is what generated so much of the progress and iteration that's made so many of these "Way better" games. People do the same thing with Ocarina of Time. They shit on it saying that they don't get the hype and that it's not even one of the best Zelda games. Well OK, fucko, that's fine if you want to look at the game in a vacuum, which has nothing to do with why it's held in such high regard. It's almost singularly responsible for all of those open world RPGs you've been obsessed with for the last 2 decades, but hey it shows its age so fuck it, right?


I definitely wouldn't be playing euro games if I hadnt played Catan all those years ago. I truly enjoyed it. That being said I hate playing it now. I'm not sure that a games legacy matters when the experience of playing it feels terrible. I don't look at the game "in a vacuum". I look at the game compared to other games that are available to play, and that's why I enjoyed it when I only knew Monopoly and Risk.


I feel like you can appreciate it while also feeling that it’s not very fun.


Oh definitely. I have fond memories of the game.


I’m currently playing ocarina of times, just got to Zora’s river last night And honestly it’s just as fun / good as it was in 1997 when I first played it.


Munchkin. I hate it. Every version.


Concordia is a great alternative to catan. The game will scratch any Catan itch but is also consistently delightful to play. You still traverse routes, place little houses for access to resources, and spend those resources to build your empires value and score points.




Removing the free trading is a big improvement.


Pandemic and it's my boyfriend's family's favorite game. I have soooo many games and they just want to play that one.


My group just started the Pandemic Legacy version for our weekly board games. While it's made Pandemic a bit more enjoyable, we have found ourselves each week wondering if there is something else we'd prefer to play instead.


Some day they'll lose a game on the 2nd turn thru no fault, and realize it's got some serious flaws.


I feel like this question is being asked almost everyday. Catan is also usually the example. It is not an unpopular opinion to dislike it :')


People just really love any excuse to rant about games they don't like, so it always gets upvoted.


Which is so bizarre. There are literally hundreds of games I don't like. You know what I do? I don't play them. I don't buy them. I don't feel the need to make posts telling everyone I don't like them, cause I know no one cares. If someone doesn't like Catan, they can, sharp gasp, not play it.


I'll defend **Catan's** honor! Go on, tell me I'm wrong! (No but seriously, feel free, it's not amazing or anything, my feelings won't be hurt) Catan excels as a social game played with inexperienced friends and strangers. It's the perfect experience when you've got time for a one off game with someone you'll probably not play with again, be they a stranger or a friend who just doesn't like board games. It's easy to teach and highly variable so everyone can win. Most importantly the whole game is trying to get good trades by *talking and interacting with your friends*, and isn't that the point of board games? Want to teach the myriad of scoring options in **7 Wonders**? Naw. The low interaction **Ticket to Ride**? Nope. Quarterback their way through **Pandemic**? Definitely not. What you want is Catan. "Pick the 2 spots with the most dots, here's a card that tells you everything you can build, now lets chuck some dice and make some trades!"


And my bow, axe, etc.... Yeah, I'm over dumping on Catan. It's not perfect but it's interactive, not too long, strategic (even if the dice or robber ruin your day), and accessible to people who don't follow reddit boardgaming threads. My sister-in-law has three kids and the stars align for her to play a board game like twice a year, and it's going to be Catan and I am good with that.


Agreed. everyone attributes their bad game to “luck” when it’s a social manipulation game as well as placement and building strategy. Convincing everyone to gang up on the winning player is a huge part of the game. Nothing better than taking longest road and largest army in one turn and flipping a few hidden VPs


Yep, I grew out of Catan along time ago, but I never not have fun when playing it. It's all about the interaction you make with others. Maybe it's just my group, but we always laugh and have a good time when we play it.


>What you want is Catan. "Pick the 2 spots with the most dots, here's a card that tells you everything you can build, now lets chuck some dice and make some trades!" Dude that's such a good explanation. Catan is a great game, but I never break it out without the full size players (the trading mania really goes hard in that).


My fiancé’s family loves Catan. To the point that they play for hours every time there is a get together, and I’m like I literally want to do anything but play Catan for 3 hours again. So I feel your pain. If they wanted to play once in a while, I can tolerate it but I just have such a hard time knowing that I’m about to play for hours.


Master the games you hate, so your group CHOOSES any other game, rather than getting destroyed by you at #insert\_game\_you\_hate\_here.


I’ll have to look up Strategies that can make the game miserable/insufferable. This is a top idea.


Like the "buy 3 houses on all properties and never upgrade to Hotels so no one else can buy houses" strategy in Monopoly. Pure misery. (not that it's not misery anyway)


But 3 houses is optimal for revenue/cost. If you want to create a housing shortage, get the 4th house.


There isn't really a well regarded game that I don't enjoy at least a little bit, but **Wingspan** has probably the biggest gap between the praise it gets and the enjoyment I get out of it. On the other hand **Sentient** is probably the best game nobody knows about.


Same for Wingspan. My brain works hard to play it well, but I don’t get much fun out of it. I only play if our group wants to


I love wingspan. It actually got me into birdwatching, because apparently I'm a 70 year old man. I can see why it's not everyone's cup of tea, however.


I don’t understand the appeal of Wingspan. The SUSD review captured my feelings pretty well. Baffles me that people seem to love it.


I love Wingspan because it's a competitive game that isn't _competitive._ You play to win, but there's no demoralising forfeits or aggressive counters. Plus the elegant artwork, unique concept and design, it makes for a really chilled gaming session. Perfect if I'm feeling a bit delicate (I suffer from depression and anxiety). IMO anyway 😊


Completely agree. Wingspan has always been a delightful experience for us. I really love it.


Can confirm, never heard of Sentient.


My GF seems to love Wingspan, and I'll be honest it does seem to play quite well at only two players (which we've been limited to until very recently). But it's almost certainly never going to be my first choice, and I'd wager would rarely make my top five of games I'd like to play at any given time. But since many of the options I'd rather play are no go's, especially those times when it's just the two of us and we just want to kill an hour, I'll probably be stuck playing it more than I'd like because it's still better than watching TV or something else I prefer even less.


Is it already time for this week's Two Minute Hate?


If your friends just like roller dice with little strategy maybe try Machi Koro to change things up?


My wife and friends are terrible at any bluffing/social deduction game. They just don't enjoy them so I can't enjoy them


Terraforming Mars. So many people love it, and by all accounts, it's the type of game I should like too, but I'd rather bang my head against the table for three hours than sit through another game of Terraforming Mars.


I'd hardly say its the gold standard. I certainly enjoyed it a few years ago but I'm not bothered by it now.


Catan is the only game banned in my house because it’s been the cause of almost every marital argument we’ve had.


Pandemic. I get no enjoyment from it whatsoever, but then again I don't like co-op games at all.


Same although I don't mind a co-op game. But all co-op games feel like the one person who has played it the most just directing everyone else and them just sitting back and watching. There is pandemic contagion which I like to play. Very simple but cooperative. You play as the virus and get to murder whole cities!


While I can see this view, I don't know of many competitive games that work with varying skill levels either.


I don't think it's a gold standard anymore. It was a great gateway boardgame for it's time, and helped mainstream the genre and concept beyond "games = Monopoly", but yeah, it's been surpassed and I also don't enjoy it a ton.


Catan gets a hard rap. I mean I haven't played it for years now but still no game has quite managed to combine so many elements with a dry theme so elegantly. The freeform negotiation too is something which a lot of euro games could benefit from but don't tackle.


I can't stand cosmic encounter. Limitless possibilities sure but 80% of the game is spent arguing his the rules interact. Never have fun and a lot of it is luck. The theme is cool but gameplay isn't fun


This game breaks apart with passive players and shy friends. It was an awkward 1.5 hrs and I sold the game afterwatds


It's so weird to me because from the on set it seems like a really neat game. I crave anything asymmetric. But then you find out that it's so incredibly random you might as well just throw dice in a bucket.


It also depends on WHO you’re playing with. I’ve had fun playing catan... then there’s 7 wonders which I *should* like but was taught by a real hardcore gamer and it was not fun in the slightest. Nobody likes it when they’re learning a new game and you tell them that they can’t do something but you don’t explain why.


Same with both Scythe and Terraforming Mars. Both are incredibly okay games that have a rabid fanbase for some reason. They just dont live up to their hype. At least with Wingspan, I can 'see' why its massively popular even if I would give it an 8. How Scythe and Terraforming Mars stay so high up on BGG and are always in the top of any Dice Tower community pick is beyond me


Omg at the icepick in the urethra. Quite dramatic lol. I'm a fan of Catan. I don't enjoy Ticket to Ride at all.


Battlestar Galactica. My group loved it and wanted to play it regularly. Never got into it. No matter my role I seemed to spend a couple of minutes taking my turn, then waiting ages for everyone else to take a turn that I couldn’t engage with. Utterly boring.


I love this game, but you are 100% correct in your assessment. With the wrong group, it can take foreverrrrrrrrrr.


I love BSG, but I wouldn’t play with someone who’s not 100% into it. That just makes for a bad experience for everyone.


I hate Catan without any expansions. A lot of the game depends on your starting position and a few bad throws at the start can assure you're behind the entire game. I used to play the larger version (for 5 players) with fewer people, giving a bit more freedom. Also, we played a few expansions, but I don't remember which. That was much better.




Race for the galaxy, because I'm colorblind and it's pretty much unplayable for me.


Uno. Every party you go to, someone pulls out Uno and a bunch of people jump in expecting it to be amazing. Uno is never much fun, not even when you win. The other big one is Cards against Humanity, which is not only boring but super cringe


I dislike Terra Mystica. It takes forever to play, has lots of mechanics that really only exist to create variance in victory paths for each of the different races, and it *might* be impossible for you to counter a particular player even if you recognize an early lead.


I think it is maybe the perfect 4p med-heavy eurogame, but it does not scale at all.


I’m pretty disinterested in most of the “mainstream” or “popular” modern tabletop games. The only one that has managed to weasel back onto my shelf in Ticket to Ride, and that’s because I wanted to check out the Japan map. Oh...and Lords of Waterdeep because my husband refuses to let me sell it.


Catan was the gateway into the hobby for me. I liked it at first, but since I have bigger and better games around me now, I have no interest in playing it. But I will never bash it as it has a special place in my heart for hooking me into boardgaming.


King of Tokyo. I know it's a good game. I KNOW it is. I just don't enjoy it.


I’m really not a big fan of Betrayal At House on the Hill even though most of my friends are. It just feels too consistently inconsistent. One argument I hear on occasion is that ‘it’s not a game it’s an experience’ which always feels like a cop out. I get the premise of the argument which is you should enjoy it without worrying about who wins because it’s often unbalanced. But that requires a baseline of enjoyment that isn’t there for me.


Gloomhaven. Liked it at first but the more I play it the more I dislike it. It’s the same thing over and over.


Gloomhaven was the ultimate example of this for me. So much hype, but as a longtime TTRPG player, all I could think was, "This game is going to INCREDIBLE lengths to shove a TTRPG campaign into a board game," and I just don't think it works. Tactical movement, abilities and powers, character classes, all well and good, but you could simply release it as a TTRPG system and avoid the huge amount of setup and administrative effort that goes into it.


I don't really care for Scythe. It has some great things about it, but I just have never seemed to enjoy it as much as others. I feel so limited playing the game.


I hear that a lot on this sub. I thoroughly enjoy Scythe and actually had trouble playing it in the beginning because it felt so open ended! Every time you play it's different faction and a different player mat so the same strategies almost never work to win. So many different ways to get stars. I know my friends don't like it because it's a very.... Non social game, I guess is the best way to put it.


Munchkin. I have a group of friends that, to be fair, are not hardcore board gamers and they always want to play it. It's a _terrible_ game that just drags on and on. Also on the topic of party card games Exploding Kittens. After all the hype around the game I played it and thought 'well, that was a totally just fine party card game'


I like Munchkin on occasion. It's not one of my favorites by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy it.


I really hate typical Party-Games like Tabu, but also Risk, since its a Strategy-Game based on pure luck. Where is my strategy Risk?


I think risk is very little "pure luck" and very much "mid statistics". The game has enough battles that a few outliers here and there are not a big deal and over the long haul dice rolls will typicallyfollow the curve. I will say, 2210 AD version of Risk is my favorite. It has a bidding process for turn order each round and can only last 5 rounds.




Same. I hate Catan. There are so many better lightweight board games.


Yep ... Catan being a "bad" board game compared to modern games is a common trope on /r/boardgames. People just learned how to make better games over the years. Even *Klaus Teuber* created better games later ... we recently played "Elasund: the first city" which feels like a fairer game, as even if you don't have dice luck you still get to do something. Still, Catan get's many players into the hobby and it's not overall bad. My problem with it is that in many games, as OP describes, there are some players that just can't do a single thing.




I personally love TM. I think it's the way that you have to constantly adjust your strategy based on the cards you and your opponents draw. I like that you're rewarded for efficiency without being terribly punished if you're not as efficient. The art sucks. But for me, TM is one of those games that I enjoy even when I'm losing. CAH could blip out of existence tomorrow and I wouldn't even notice.


I'm pretty sure Catan isn't anyone's gold standard on this sub.


The vanilla game is a good gateway to introduce a few Euro-style mechanics. The Cities and Knights expansion makes it much more interesting for intermediate and above gamers.


I haven't seen it mentioned much here, but I'm not a huge fan of Everdell. My wife LOVES it and I'll play it if she suggests it, but it just starts off so slow but then stresses me out towards the end when I now only have one turn to achieve what I'm trying to do.


Like others have said, Catan is a lot of people's first "good" board games (a step above classics like monopoly, clue etc) but once you branch out it's hard to go back. Games have improved a lot since catan was first released