The 5 worst things about board games

Board gaming is a great hobby, and one that I enjoy immensely. However, being so involved and committed has it’s downsides. It means being bothered by things that a regular human being – not you Mark Zuckerburg – wouldn’t. Here’s my top 5.


Riffle Shuffling Cards 

Respect other people’s property. It’s a simple rule that most people follow – that is unless it’s my freshly unpacked board game. It’s then that my friends crack out their inner card shark, and the Jaws theme plays in your head.

“Hey guys, watch this.”

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Most people learned how to riffle shuffle from magicians, who I’m sure wouldn’t play poker with that same deck of cards. The way a croupier taught me, is to let the cards fall into place – no bending involved. Anyway, unless you learn this technique correctly, just go hand over hand. Please. I’m begging you.

Out of Stock

There’s nothing like going to KFC and learning they’ve run out of chicken. What the hell? It’s the basis of your entire restaurant! With board games this is becoming less of an issue, but it’s still hard to track down some board games. I have about five different shops that I dance between trying to find the titles I’m after.

This is most notable with new release titles, and really forces me into making impulse purchases I otherwise wouldn’t. At least that’s what I tell myself. Me, board games, and impulse buying have a long and coloured history. However, the biggest contributing factor to this, is finding a game that’s always out of stock.

Friends Not Turning Up

Ok, so normal people, and me at my fifth grade birthday party, can appreciate this one. Nothing is worse than when someone board blocks you. When they say that they’re coming, and you do your pre-game ritual of deciding on games to play, getting the pretzels out, and setting up that first game. Only for them to ring up and complain about getting into a car crash, or learning that their mother just passed away. Seriously, where are these people’s priorities?

Joking aside, there’s an anticipation of having a great and fun night. When it gets ripped away; it sucks.

Awkward Conversation

Talking about board games with people is weird. Board games are great at creating in-jokes and having a good time with one another. However, when I talk to other people about board games, no matter how they respond, it gets awkward.

There’s the I haven’t played anything since Monopoly conversation.

“Oh, so like Monopoly right?”

There’s the I’m a gamer because I’ve played Catan.

“You know about this new game called Settlers of Catan?”

Even the conversation with those who are within the hobby get weird. Because it’s so vast, and there’s so many different genres. It’s hard to pin down a conversation.

“Have you played Altiplano?”
“No, have you played Super Rhino Hero?”
“No, have you played…”

There’s that saying: If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole. I think I’m having an epiphany.

Never Getting to Play All of Your Games

No, I’m not talking about sitting down and playing every game in my collection – although if you have the next month free and will be in Queensland (call me). This is more about my neurotic nature of pulling out way too many games – all the time. It’s a horrible habit I’ve formed where when I’m invited somewhere I will bring board games. When someone asks me to bring a couple, I’ll bring five or ten. When people come over, I have a handful all lined up to play.

The best board game I’ll ever play will always be the next one to hit the table. Therefore, when there are games that go unplayed after a night, I always feel like I’ve failed as a board gamer. I only half did my duties.

Here it is, in all of it’s glory. An objective, and definitive list of the top five worst things about board gaming. If you were to flesh it out to the top 10. What would you add?

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David Norris

Lover of dogs, books, comics, movies, anime, television, video games and most importantly board games. My site is all about the latter, and my journey through the glorious hobby.

17 thoughts on “The 5 worst things about board games

  1. Friends not Turning Up. Having been the tournament organizer for a group of friends playing Blood Bowl, that was a painful one. I would arrange times for people to meet at my house. It’s a two-player game, so when one person doesn’t show up….you seriously wasted people’s time. Especially when they set time aside for a 3-4 hour game.

    This is also a painful one for most RPG adventurers. Okay, the Fighter with the artifact that will open the door to the trap room you all got stuck in last time….ummmm, isn’t here. (Because his Mommy told him he needs to help clean out the garage this weekend) “What do you mean he isn’t here?! How did he escape?!” *sigh* Maybe, we just pick this up next week…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There is a rule that if someone doesn’t show up they forfeit the game. But this was a tourney with mostly new players that we wanted to encourage to play the game, so we didn’t really enforce that. We played quite a few games and had a lot of fun, but didn’t get to finish.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yea, running a new game and having to reference the rules. Or the ‘we haven’t read the rules, but let’s learn how to play the game as we go’. Or the constant rules challenger, who is really going to push it when you’re just learning a game. Rules, ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post! I love your KFC thing, because we have KFC twice a week and sometimes they’re out of chicken. We’re like “what? How can you be out of chicken????”

    I feel the awkward conversation bit too.

    And don’t make the dog cry! Noooooooooo! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I try and keep the game flowing. If I can’t find a rule in two minutes I just do the interpretation that makes the most sense to me at the time, and continue with the game. Then try and find the rule when it’s not my turn.


  4. So true. So true.
    The board game conversation is a weird one. I’ve had this conversation so many times:

    “So what do you do in your spare time?”
    “I write a blog.”
    “What’s your blog about?”
    “I write about board games.”
    “Oh, so that’s like Monopoly then?”

    It’s an awkward hobby at the moment because so many people don’t realise that board games are more than just things you play with the kids at Christmas. As the hobby gains more exposure I’m sure that will change over time. I hope it does at least.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Oh, so that’s like Monopoly then?” LMAO!

      Having grown up in the 70s and being a fan of comics, boardgames, and all kinds of geeky stuff…I’ve just come to accept that most of the population will never ever understand me.


    2. Haha yeah, I definitely think it’s getting better. However, there’s still a long way to go.

      Another one is when you ask someone to play and they’re like “that’s too complicated for me” and we’re playing a game like love letter. At that point we just need Shia LaBeouf to walk through the door and yell at them.

      Liked by 2 people

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