FDQ: What Game Causes AP for You?


The first time I heard the term “analysis paralysis” (or, for those in the know, AP), I knew I had stumbled upon one of those invaluable tools of thought, a term that so perfectly describes what before had eluded you. It was similar to the times I first heard “shadenfreude” or “hipster”: what once was a fuzzy category of feelings finally received definition.

Well, many of us don’t like playing with those who have AP (I don’t say “suffer from” because, really, it’s those who play with such people that “suffer from” AP), but I’ve noticed that there are games that require more thought on my part than others. So that’s today’s question: what game causes “analysis paralysis” for you? Answer in the comments!

@FarmerLenny opines:
I should preface my remarks by saying that the true test of what games you’re slow at is to ask your fellow players. These are my biased musings.

I’m usually a pretty fast player, but the games that really make me stop and think are abstracts. @Futurewolfie and I demoed Fealty at GenCon last year, and I felt like each time it was my turn, I had to stare and stare at the board for inspiration. Wolfie’s turns went fast; mine dragged on. I think the reason abstracts slow me down is that there’s no (or not much) theme to fall back on: you are playing the game for the game’s sake. Maybe this makes me feel like the game has higher stakes than it does. In any case, I don’t recommend playing abstracts with me.

Usually mathy, calculation-driven games slow people down, but I usually play these pretty quickly. I blame my summers in college spent working at McDonald’s, when I would try to calculate customers’ change before the cash register did. Anything to keep sane, folks. Anything to keep sane.

@Futurewolfie waxes on:
I try really hard to avoid AP.  Most of the time I have plenty of time to think through turns while the other players are going; I try to consider their possible actions so even as the board changes, I can still decide my actions quickly.

There’s not really a specific game I get stuck on, but occasionally something changes unexpectedly at the last minute, or I think that I can accomplish something but it requires complex maneuvering, and I do try to spend some time to figure it out.

In @Farmerlenny’s defense, I don’t think his turns dragged on as long as he felt like they did; and his turns gave me plenty of time to think about mine, which is why mine went faster.

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. One of the first games I ever learned to play was chess, which has AP built into its entire culture. So I tend to come down with AP regardless of the game. A particularly egregious offender, though, is Power Grid. Math-y games (like Power Grid) give me fits because they tend to have situations where there is always an objectively optimal play, and I’m terrible at mental calculations.

  2. I’m bad in Dominion. Sad, I know. But every game I seem to always waffle back and forth in choosing between 3-4 cards I think will help me best.

  3. Dungeon Petz just locks my brain up some times. Trying to assign all the needs to my pets in such an order to get the best price at the exhibit (or whatever it’s called). Luckily the other guys in my group are just as bad. It did get better after my second play, though.

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