A trio of fighty things for the Museum's stock this week:
Confrontation - numbered just 2341 in the BGG database, so one one of the earliest residents here - has large hex tiles and all-the-rage 1970s plastic pieces (including the 'bullets' familiar from other games in the same period):
For a fuller overview, I'll point you HERE but, in summary, it's a written order area-controller with a pre-programming element: Robo-rally meets Diplomacy!
This one has a pretty good reputation and even has an article to itself in The Games & Puzzles Book of Modern Board Games - I already have the book but a photocopy of the article came with the game as well.
More recognisable - but not the one you might think it of - is this 1980s movie tie-in from Parker:
Dune (no.680 in the db!) is a family-friendly beat-each-other-up summarised as follows:Quote:Based on the movie, this version of Dune features photos of the stars on pawns divided into teams of three. Each character has its own strength and guile values.Like Confrontation, this looks to be eminently-playable by a modern audience; indeed, 'The Contrarian' provides an optimistic review HERE.
Players can move around the outer desert spaces to harvest monetary units of spice or can move around the inner castle spaces to build up strength.
Players can use spice to buy random equipment cards, spice harvesters, or extra boosts of guile when under attack. Players can also invest in the craps-like commodity markets that pay off on certain dice rolls.
The artwork is slick, the rules are relatively simple...and games go fairly quickly since all fights are to the death
This copy is a very clean copy - likely never played - and still has a publisher's advertising leaflet (likely never unfolded!):
Look at what else the discerning sci-fi fan could get their hands on - Part 1: Care Bears?! Cabbage Patch Kids?!
Look at what else the discerning sci-fi fan could get their hands on! - Part 2: More 'traditional' on this side.
For the last item, I was pointed to an eBay auction for the board, only, for the Dennis Wheatley game I'm missing: Invasion. A second copy, sans pieces, is also currently 'on its way' to Newent (thanks to the generosity of blog reader Alexander Freudenthal), so I have a backup as well:
A deliciously-detailed map; however, the city names cheapen the "serious military atmosphere" somewhat:
Manur? Lizzie? Spit and Polish? Canobier?!
All told, here's one for the (look but don't touch) display cabinet and a couple for 'open table play' shelves in the MoBGaG.
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
Archive for The Museum of Board Games
18 Jun 2021
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Yesterday, I nipped into Newent during my lunch break to finally get a look inside my preferred location for the Museum in The Shambles 'arcade':
That splendid display window:
The unit is the first thing you see when you enter the courtyard from the main street - this is a Good ThingTM - and is plenty big enough to get started. At the moment it's full of all sorts of survivalist gear and Vape refills...but that's all going to be moved out by the end of the month, making way for me to:
a) tidy up;
b) re-touch the paintwork;
c) open up the display window to be a mini exhibit room; and,
d) move my shit in!
Now the search is seriously on for some display cabinets or - at the very least - sturdy, level shelves that I can affix perspex sheets to! And, of course, I must return my attention to the Patreon pages...
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If there's one thing worse than chasing after a very rare board game, it's realising that there are TWO versions of it available! More often than not, it's a different implementation/skin for the US and UK markets though (sometimes) a tweak to the theme itself leads to the separation.
I'd already known that Astron had an aeroplane version and a space version:
Recently acquired from a recently-departed gentleman's collection with the blessing of his wife & daughter.
In the case of Ship Ahoy, it was hard enough finding the UK edition...to then discover there was a US version too:
Aside from the packaging, the boards themselves were unique:
The presence of all of the player pieces is also a scarcity measure: still retaining full sets of yachts, planes and Buck Rogers-esque spaceships after 60-80 years? Wow!
Finally, both games are BIG buggers to store and display, even before you consider doubling each one up!
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The problem with acquiring a game that is almost 100 years old is that, oftentimes, it's going to demonstrably show its age; only on the rarest occasions will something designed for leisure - for being played with by children! - have been used carefully, stored safely and make it down the decades relatively un-scathed. More usually: corners will be impacted, flaps torn, water stains on the cardboard/layer separation, box warping, missing inserts, snapped lead pieces, creased cards and dust - lots of dust.
If you're lucky, each piece will tick some of these signs of maturity; if you're not, it'll tick the whole bloody lot:
In this instance, for my fifteen quid, I've got a shed/garage/attic-stored copy of The Game of Tilting the Bucket from Glevum Games that sadly displays all of the put-aside-and-forgotten tropes:
It's even got the wrong rules (with a layer of dried mud upon them) and those Disney character cut-outs are deffo not part of the original component list.
From a repair perspective, a good box-top wash with some alcohol/lighter fluid might bring the wonderful cover art back to life; a damp cloth to get rid of the detritus and throwing away the 'wrong bits'. The box-bottom is the wooden board, so that's unscathed but the top may require judicious pruning: save one good corner, then, and remove the rest to stop continued 'snagging' and tearing. It's not possible to save it all but, I am sure, we can save the best bits of it!
One wonders how many more lofts and outbuildings remain with items like this hidden away in them; certainly folk are more savvy nowadays when it comes to antiques - and, mortality-reenforcingly, objects that would've been regarded as modern tat (and, therefore, only suitable for the bin) when I was a child are now the realm of the 'serious collector'.
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Ah: War of the Daleks - one of the harder-to-find Strawberry Fayre (Denys Fisher Toys) 1970s outputs and, if we're honest, pretty much the only Doctor Who-franchised game that anyone gives a Timelord's Ticklish Testicle about*.
It comes in a bloody huge (rather heavy) box; most of its heft seemingly-attributable to a giant rotating disc under the board - see the video at the end!
Roll and move and spin the 'Control Centre' and exterminate your fellows and then have a pop at the CC to win.
It's Ludo with a sprinkle of Pacman's ghosts; if the Dalek's exterminating rod touches your standee, you must go back to the Start.
And, like The Fastest Gun, it's the spinning board that adds the saving wrinkle. No matter how rubbish your luck with the dice, at least you can make the whole apparatus pirouette like the Bolshoi! There's also a couple of 'gun' chits you can deploy as 'Immunity spaces' ahead of you OR, in direst need / most fortuitous circumstance, as Dalek-destroying one-shots.
The epic physicality of games of this period lend them a real affection in our memories; while millions wish to forget the ill-temper of Monopoly, many others go misty-eyed at the thought of the sinking Titanic in Abandon Ship, navigating a Haunted House, the viewer in Up Periscope or the floating weather system in Bermuda Triangle!
How delightfully-silly: a bit like Doctor Who themself.
*apart from, perhaps, the collectible card game from the 1990s that ended up in a remaindered bookshop outlet in Cheltenham. By the time I'd seen the bits in the window display someone had bought THEIR ENTIRE STOCK - we're talking a couple of pallets' worth!
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01 Jun 2021
It's been a couple of weeks since Ziggy and I circuited the fair town of Newent - preferring, instead, the sheltered-but-slippy woodland topography - so, with the sun hidden-but-still-baking behind a thin layer of cloud, we set off on a favourite course: up to Acorn Woods (at the bottom of May Hill), across to (and behind) the International Birds of Prey Centre, following the stream between the endless orchards and home again.
Obviously, the familiar paths have become trenches amid the swaying crops. Ziggy chasing a bird or an imagined rabbit into the green wheat and then yipping/bouncing his way back to me for a biscuit and/or a refreshing rollabout in the soft grass.
The bare hedgerows, the muddy ponds in the fields and the skeletonized trees have burgeoned with vegetation and present new horizons; I force-march the gradients to get the heart pumping and the legs working.
Long walks are good for the soul but, according to Chad Valley Co Ltd., they're not quite everything:
CV - like Gloucester's Glevum Games - were pretty damn huge in the early-to-mid 20th century; the tail-end of their story - the modern bit - is rather cheap and plastic-y, though. Still, I'm sure my own collection of their desirable wares us but a scratch.
The chunky spinner is a surprise - I'd have expected a die or two - and, given this edition isn't in the BGG database, it's likely it is a replacement for lost components:
A different Pilgrim's Progress entry, here, mentions a spinner with multiple results on each 'edge', which reminded me of the WW2 dice replacements you can find:
I fear I may have lost the Moral Compass necessary for successfully-traversing this map; I'll stick to fields and trees and streams, thanks.Quote:Aside: Having recently become re-obsessed with The Beatles' white album ('The Beatles'), how serendipitous that Mother Nature's Son has just popped on to play as I wind up this post!
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15 May 2021
My Newent contact re: possible home for Version 1.0 of the museum is on holiday for a couple of weeks so I thought I'd (finally) get round to sorting some Patreon levels.
To keep things simple, I've gone for CHEAP and EXPENSIVE ends to the Bell Curve with a couple of tweak levels in-between:
One has to strike a balance between getting the patronage to make the enterprise work and not then have those funds immediately gobbled up by the benefactor benefit obligations. Do these sound reasonable?
As for the site: the properties that could work in the Town run at around 60 quid per week (plus electric) - roughly £300 per month - which translates into the new currency as 100 'Crowdies. Here's a peek at the smaller of the two Lots (the other is currently out-of-bounds with a self-isolating, Covid-worried Survivalist):
More news, hopefully, as we move into June.
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