More than Just Naked Ladies on Horseback
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My mom is from Coventry, England, and I spent several years there as a lad so it is still sort of an emotional home for me. Outside of Britain it's not all that well known - but let me tell you a bit about it, and invite others to pitch in.
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1. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1075]
Wendell
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Coventry is an old city, dating back to about 1022 when a Benedictine Abbey was founded in Mercia, in what is now the West Midlands of England.
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2. Board Game: Seaside Frolics [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:11923]
 
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Enjoy seaside frolics? Coventry is NOT the place for you. It's in the West Midlands and is the furthest from the sea of any British city.
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3. Board Game: Sip 'N Go Naked [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
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Perhaps the most famous event in Coventry's city occurred early in its history, when Lady Godiva took her ride through the streets, naked.

The story. Godiva was the wife of the Earl of Mercia, Leofric. Leofric needed to raise cash, and imposed an oppressive toll on the good people of Coventry, who were very unhappy. Godiva took pity on the townsfolk and urged her husband to lift the tax. He repeatedly refused, until finally he said he would - if Godiva would ride through the streets naked.

Godiva called Leofric's bluff. She issued a proclamation to the townspeople, asking them to close their windows and stay inside. Then she took her famous ride.

Legend has it that one tailor named Thomas copped a peak at the Lady's nakedness by peering through a borepeephole - hence "Peeping Tom." AND he went blind.

And Leofric removed the tax.

Edit: peeking thru a borehole would be tough!
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4. Board Game: Cathedral [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1481]
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Coventry is an ancient cathedral city. The first cathedral (St Mary's) enjoyed cathedral status from about 1100 to 1539, when Henry VIII dissolved the abbeys and shut down St Mary's. Some ruins of St Mary's can still be seen in Cov (as featured on "Time Team" hosted by Tony Robinson of Baldric fame from the "Blackadder" series).

The second, more famous one was St Michael's Cathedral, dating from the 14th century. (See below for more details.)
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5. Board Game: Age of Renaissance [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:872]
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Coventry was an important population center in England, being granted "city" status in 1345. It was a big center of the cloth trade especially wool (as you would guess if you played Age of Renaissance), and in the 19th century was a full participant in the Industrial Revolution. Industrialization started with textiles, bicycles and sewing machines, Coventry soon moved on to become a major center for the British auto industry, famous manufacturers including Rover and Rolls-Royce.
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6. Board Game: Kingmaker [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1702]
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Coventry was an important city politically in England. For example, Henry IV held Parliament in Coventry in 1404 to raise money to fight a revolt. And during the War of the Roses, Margaret of Anjou (wife of Henry VI) moved her Royal Court to Coventry, and from 1456 to 1461 Coventry was for much of the period the effective seat of the King's government.

Veteran Kingmaker players know that the King's son Edward starts the game in Coventry. And as a cathedral, it is one of the places you can coronate a new King or Queen.

edit: clarification
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7. Board Game: English Civil War [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:10558]
Wendell
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You may have heard the phrase "sent to Coventry" to mean shunning somebody. That originated during the English Civil War. Coventry was a strongly pro-Parliament city in that conflict, so much so that it was used to house Royalist prisoners, who were duly shunned by the good citizens of Coventry. Coventry also repelled several Royalist attacks during the war.

Unfortunately for Coventry, when the monarchy was re-established Charles II had revenge on the city, and ordered the destruction of its city walls which were built in 1355-1400.
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8. Board Game: Blitz: The Air Raid Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Wendell
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Probably the single most important event in Coventry's modern history occurred on the night of November 14, 1940. There had been smaller Luftwaffe raids in the summer that "only" killed several dozen people, but on November 14 over 500 German bombers hit Coventry. in multiple waves. The Cathedral was soon set on fire, and most of Coventry's streets had fires which could not be fought since the Luftwaffe bombs had damaged the water mains and destroyed the fire department's headquarters. The city, which was seen as the best preserved medieval city in Britain, was utterly devastated. A new word - "Koventrieren", in English to "Coventrate" - entered the German and English languages.

There is no official death toll from the night of November 14; official estimates place civilian deaths at 568, but estimates of total deaths exceed 1000. Over 60,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged. My mom (obviously) and grandparents survived; mom and Nana huddled under the kitchen table and hoped there would be no direct hit nor fire on their house. There wasn't, except for a chunk taken out of the front wall by the door by some flying metal fragment, perhaps ack-ack or a bullet. Granddad, a Home Guard ("Dad's Army") member because bad eyesight kept him out of the military, was a warden that night on the burning streets of Coventry.

Coventry was hit hard again on April 8, 1941.

There is a myth that Churchill left Coventry undefended to protect the secret of the Enigma cipher machine traffic. That claim is apparently incorrect - Churchill knew a major raid was planned, but nobody knew where it would hit.
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9. Board Game: Orguss: Factory [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Wendell
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Coventry wasn't selected at random for the Blitz. From Wikipedia: "At the start of World War II, Coventry was an industrial city of about 320,000 people which, like much of the industrial West Midlands, contained "metal bashing" industries. In Coventry's case, these included, cars, bicycles, aeroplane engines and, since 1900, munitions factories. In the words of the historian Frederick Taylor, "Coventry ... was therefore, in terms of what little law existed on the subject, a legitimate target for aerial bombing". Like many of the industrial towns of the English West Midlands which had been industrialised during the Industrial Revolution, industrial development had occurred before zoning regulations had come into existence and many of the small and medium-sized factories were woven into the same streets as the workers' houses and the shops of the city centre."

My nana and granddad worked in factories making warplanes.
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10. Board Game: Stalingrad [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Wendell
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Did you know that the first two "twin cities" ("sister cities" in the US) were Coventry and Stalingrad? They took this symbolic step when Britain and the USSR were allied during World War II, two cities that shared the experience of being destroyed by German forces. (There were certainly plenty of candidates for being twinned with Coventry on that criteria!)
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11. Board Game: Peace [Average Rating:4.88 Unranked]
Wendell
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Yellow Springs
Ohio
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The ruins of the 14th century cathedral still stand, next to the new St. Michael's, which was built after the war next to the old one and consecrated in 1962. Unlike in other European cities (Frankfurt, for one) where cathedrals were rebuilt in the old style, Coventry Cathedral is a modern building.

There is something powerful about seeing the burnt-out hulk of the old St Michael's standing just a few meters from the new, modern cathedral.

Coventry Cathedral includes a museum about the Blitz. It is pretty powerful; I remember going to it with my mom and wondering how it must have felt to have hidden under a table during air raids. An experience hardly unique to my mom or Coventry of course, and certainly many cities in Europe and Asia suffered worse.

Coventry has become a center for peace and reconciliation. After the war, it became a sister city of Dresden of "Slaughterhouse 5" fame, with a peace garden dedicated to Dresden.

Dresden's Frauenkirche was destroyed on February 13, 1945, by British and American bombers. Like Coventry, Dresden left the ruins of this church standing. And Coventry officials were present when the rebuilt Frauenkirche was consecrated in 2005.
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12. Board Game: Concrete Jungle [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Wendell
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Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Coventry suffered a double whammy. It was destroyed in war. And it was rebuilt in the 1950s/1960s with lots of concrete. Not the best look, unfortunately.
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13. Board Game: UNO: Cars [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:10789]
Wendell
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Coventry had a long history in Britain's automobile sector. But as Arcade Fire might sing, "No Cars Go" in Coventry anymore. That is, the production of passenger cars in Coventry ended in 2006, although some black taxis are still built there.
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14. Board Game: And Now For Something Completely Different... The Board Game [Average Rating:3.83 Unranked]
Wendell
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One of the proudest dates for Coventrians was May 16, 1987. On that day, Coventry City defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Wembley to win the FA Cup.

That also put paid to the old Monty Python trick question posed to Mao, Che Guevara, and company about when Coventry City won the FA Cup: "Sorry, that was a bit of a trick question, Coventry City have never won the FA Cup."
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15. Board Game: The Great Escape [Average Rating:5.56 Unranked]
Wendell
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Not that there have been many moments of glory for Coventry City, the Sky Blues. They were Division Two (as what is now the Championship was known) champions in 1967 gaining promotion to Division One for the first time.

They stayed in Division One (later the Premiership) until 2001, when they were relegated to the Championship. You can't say it was an undeserved fate. Several times over their 34 years in the top flight of English soccer, Coventry had to hope for a late miracle to avoid relegation. They were indeed escape artists, and fans used to whistle the theme from "The Great Escape" at games. But you can't do this indefinitely - and Coventry usually finished closer to the bottom of the table than the top.

And at the moment, a drop to the third tier of English soccer looks more likely than a return to the Premiership.

edit: omitted word added.
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16. Board Game: Rat Race [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Tim Thorp
United States
Granite Falls
Washington
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"Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? "
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If you don't mind, I'd like to mention that one of my favorite bands from my youth, The Specials, were from Coventry! (my favorite song by them was "Rat Race", hence the game choice.)
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17. Board Game: Ghost for Sale [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:7061]
ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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The Specials wrote 'Ghost Town' about Coventry. Don't know if it's as bad as it's made out to be, I've never been further than 'The Rocket' !


 
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18. Board Game: The Hill [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Lindsay Thomas
United Kingdom
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Jimmy Hill

Famous TV football pundit Jimmy Hill became the Manager of Coventry City Football Club in 1961 and later went on to become the Chairman for many years.

He was so popular that opposing fans even composed a song that they used to sing in his honour.

The first verse goes:

One Jimmy Hill
There's only one Jimmy Hill
One Jimmy Hill
There's only one Jimmy Hill

The second verse was easy to remember, because it was comprised of a single 4 letter word (beginning with "W") that was repeated over and over again.
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