I don’t really feel this. First game that comes to mind is Bora Bora which I appreciate isn’t so new anymore. It has a space where you just get 2 points. It’s a bad space, don’t go there but I think it just goes to show that often you’re just swapping 0 for a positive integer that you could effectively knock off all other point spaces. The score not being 0 doesn’t mean it’s good or letting you win. I also think it does serve to muddy the waters so deciding on the path isn’t as straightforward as 0 or not 0, wether that’s in succession or not.
I also think there are modern games with fierce competition, but I’ve avoided worker placement for a while. Titan was amazing and I would have bought it if the box was smaller, also fiercely interactive. I also find myself on edge in Teotihuacan, which may be my personality but I think I’m aware of how many chances other players have to set your best laid plans ganging aft a-glee. I don’t remember Agricola being worse tbh.
Reminds me of Cacao. One of the things that contributes to victory points is water, and the track for that goes -10, -4, -1, 0, 2, 4, 7, 11, 16. It could just as easily go 0, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17, 21, 27; every player will have a place on the track. But I have seen players bend over backwards to get out of that negative points zone.
This is so on point. These days I play euros with players that have way more experience, are way better at seeing how points will be scored, and are way more consistent that me to get a better endgame position. So I rarely win.
But if I didn’t have fun along the way, or felt like I was building something, or enjoying the theme, forget about me getting a second play. On the other hand, if I enjoyed, I might give it another go.
Coming to this days late: your post on chess above is great!
I’m sure I’ve posted this before, but I hate chess, mostly because of the false hype. It’s got this myth that generals of armies would play chess to discover each others’ strategy, but chess is almost the worst war game imaginable.
In war you do not have exactly equal forces, total visibility of information, absolutely regular “player 1 moves then player 2 moves” speed, a precisely square playing field with no obstacles or terrain, troops that never vary in effectiveness etc.
And as for testing a mixture of study and skill, the study part is so important that a good memory and thousands of hours reading books can ensure you will win - boring. It’s not about expressing yourself, there are moves which are literally mathematically better. I’m not a fan of games where the more senior player wins 100% of the time. And then there’s the whole “total domination of the other player” philosophy which the world could also do with less of (I enjoyed seeing the language expert’s despair in the movie “Arrival” that using chess to communicate locks you into the worst kind of inherent conflict).
So yeah. I hold it in about as much contempt as monopoly, and that’s not just from my playing for the county when I was younger and getting smashed by players who spent their time buried in books
I can’t only blame chess for the “win at all costs” ethos, but the more a game takes on the trappings of real war (and I do do Actual Historical Wargaming occasionally, ideally missile age naval), the more it frustrates me. What about the next battle? Why did A attack without superior forces? Why did B stick around to fight them? Obviously there are real battles like that, but usually both sides regard them afterwards as a mistake. So I find myself much more interested in asymmetrical setups, the convoy raid or the ambush, where at least one side may just want to throw a punch and fade away.