If It Doesn't Hurt, You're Not Doing It Right
So many casual gamers seem to play games as a mere exercise, or just to kill time. They would never think of trying to steal your city in Carcassonne or blocking your route in Ticket to Ride. Many lighter games have enough luck that such play styles go unpunished.
But where's the fun in that?
For me--with most games--the fun is not the challenge of the mechanics, but of the opponents. They are trying to win, and trying to keep me from winning. If my opponent is not going to make my choices difficult, he is not doing his job.
The best games are the ones where I go, "Ouch! What a great play!" Do I block you, and sacrifice my own position? Or do I ignore you, and do what's best for me tactically? Can I do both?
A game cannot be great unless it has tough decisions. Opponents cannot be worthy unless they present those tough decisions to you. Do them a favor and give them the same consideration. Make them earn their victory. A game well-played is a win for all players.
[Princes of Florence image by Silke und Andre.]