The Influence of 'Mornington Crescent' on Modern Boardgames
Neil C
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Durham
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Perhaps not many contributors to this website realize that nearly all the cleverest mechanics of today's best boardgames can be traced back to the ancient and traditional game of 'Mornington Crescent'.

In this list I'm just going to provide a few illustrations of the way that 'Mornington Crescent' has shaped the modern boardgame. Other contributions welcome. (It doesn't matter if you're not a registered 'Mornington Crescent' player. No snobbery about handicaps here on the Geek!) But you should refer to Central Standard Rules in anything you post.
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Neil C
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As in 'Mornington Crescent', diagonals are not allowed. (Except with the 'Lifts and Escalators' expansion pack.)
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2. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:501]
Neil C
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'Diplomacy' is clearly a 'Mornington Crescent' variant that relies heavily on Toksvig's Protocol ("Deceptive play is of the essence. The emphasis is on team play, and discreet non-verbal signals are allowable between members of the same team.")

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3. Board Game: Huff and Puff [Average Rating:5.20 Unranked]
Neil C
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Durham
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There is an extensive 'huffing' mechanism in 'Mornington Crescent'. It's interesting to see how it's been influential even on boardgames designed for children.
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4. Board Game: Tri-Tactics [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:8666]
Neil C
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Durham
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Triangulation is one of the aspects of the game that even advanced players of 'Mornington Crescent' can find quite difficult. (Simplified rules without triangualation do exist, though it's generally agreed that they make the game extremely boring.)

What's particularly striking in relation to 'Tri-Tactics' is that Stovold’s Defence is still allowable during Forward Triangulation, but Back Doubling may only be attempted after a Northern Approach.
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5. Board Game: Kingmaker [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1702]
Neil C
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'Kingmaker' makes use of what in 'Mornington Crescent' would be called the Watling Street Variation, whereby:

Players may only take the direct route between any two given points. Thus, looped moves are disallowed, and the Circle Line is out of bounds. And you may Huff.
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6. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:583]
Neil C
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This is one of several descendants from the nautical version of 'Mornington Crescent'. See, for example, the Liverpool variation ("When a player is Stymied by his immediate opponent, this is known as Mating, and when a player’s route is blocked, this is known as Docking. If a player is both Mated and Docked, then he is in Heseltine, and forced to miss a turn.")
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7. Board Game: Henry VIII: Intrigue in the Tudor Court [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
Neil C
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This game is often said to have the feel of the now obsolete sixteeth-century form of the game, 'Mornington Crefent'. And it's fascinating to observe how Morton's fork has evolved into Moreton's convention ("Horizontal play is only permissible when a pursuant has been Huffed, and main line stations are wild.")
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8. Board Game: Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:750]
Neil C
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This is a game often played according to the Offician American Rules used in 'Mornington Crescent' – whereby American players may enter the game at any time up two years after it has begun.
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9. Board Game: Winds of War [Average Rating:5.30 Unranked]
Neil C
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In 'Winds of War' there is a danger – as in 'Mornington Crescent' – of being in croop.
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10. Board Game: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Neil C
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Cf. (from 'Mornington Crescent'), the following, special, seasonal "Bethlehem Rules": All Shepherd-, King-, and Ass-related connections count double.
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11. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:435]
Dave Lartigue
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Springfield
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When I first came to BGG a few years ago it was fashionable to declare that TtD was "Knizia's Mornington Crescent". This was before I'd even played it, and just from looking at the photos and reading the description I had to wonder if those saying so had ever played either. If you squint your eyes, you can SORT of see some influence of Extensions in the oasis scoring, but that's being very generous.

Now they compare TtD to Go, which is just as ludicrous.
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12. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
United States
Plainwell
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Let's just get this out there. It is after all the elephant in the tube isn't it?

Designer Uwe Rosenberg is clearly a disciple of NF Stovold. How can there be any question? The clever use of fields, wild schwein, family growth. All of these ideas were explored extensively in Stovold's initial drafts of MC. Granted these were later revised and not used in actual game play (except in casual games) but any Knight of the Mornington Crescent of higher than 23 degree can easily quote some of the antiquated ideas which helped bring the modern game to fruition.

Rosenberg's nods to Stovold have been bold and it is surprising that no one has cried foul. Of course being a game for gentlemen most Knights simply note the similarities and go on about their business.

The lack of outcry is indeed surprsing to the point where one wonders if publisher Hanno Girke may be laying the seeds for a Mornington Crescent board game... After all Rosenberg's lastest opus Le Havre has plenty of hints of what may be to come. Note the similarity of the figure from the box to Stovold's successor M. Graeme.



Surely the coincidence is too large. Is Hanno readying the long discussed Mornington Crescent Express Board Game? At one point it was said that John Bohrer was working on it but Graeme and he came to some sort of disagreement on the proper grounding of the wickets.

If Herr Girke has truly aquired the rights and is moving forward the dreams of many a gentlefolk will be at long last coming to pass. Dare we dream it?

We can only hope.
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13. Board Game: On the Underground [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:953]
Chris Johnson
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Azusa
California
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You forgot to include a game that actually includes Mornington Crescent...


Unbelievably, one does not win simply by building to (or sending the passenger to) the illustrated station. (Unless, of course, the Home-Rules convention of '02 is in contention.)

I'm sure there are more games where it makes an appearance.
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14. Board Game: Slow Freight [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:12933]
Knock knock open up the door it's Riel
Netherlands
Tilburg
It's wurples all the way down.
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As most of you probably know, Alan R. Moon's magnum opus Slow Freight was based on an unintentional houserule in playing Mornington Crescent (Weissblum travel variation).

The difference is, of course, cumulative movement, which changes the way additional distance is measured.

I would say that this makes it a completely different game, but I hope it still fits the geeklist.


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15. Board Game: Poisson d'Avril [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:5721]
Laurence Koehn
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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pedrolisboa claims below that MC is derived from Poisson d'Avril. If the "release" date of 1983 for Poisson d'Avril is correct, I think he must be mistaken. However, the games have too much in common to deny some connection.

Far from being "thinned down" with "clumsy mechanics", I think MC is the far more subtle game. It's like comparing Agricola or Puerto Rico with Chess or Go. Poisson d'Avril may appeal to the masses (at least the geek masses), but Mornington Crescent is a game you devote your life to.
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16. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
Edward wilson
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manchester
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I am pleased that the most important game on this list has not been added until now, in accordance with standard sportsmanship.

While it well known that both Kennedy and Nixon were keen Mornington Crescent players, what is less well known by the uninitaited is just how 1960 The Making of The President mirrors their unique strategies to the game.

Nixon, a man who surprisingly took a very modern approach to the game, starts with a similar the distribution of power that an Elephant and Castle gambit would net in an American game of the period. His weakness in the debate mirrors well this particular strategy's weakness on turn five, and a humorous reference to the 3rd Parisian rule convention is seen with the ability to play debate cards for your opponent.

Kennedy favoured the older ways, but what a master he was. Who can forget his contibutions to the solving of the Northen line paradox? The brilliant are always taken from us so soon. Note especially how the position of Texas is a tribute to this work, and the Baptist ministers card should bring a smile to the face of anyone who is old enough to remember a Cockfosters feint.

So great is this game in simulating Mornington Crescent games of the 1960's that it is currently being used to see if the famous "Euston Sacrifice" of the 1967 world championship final was in fact illegal. While I personally think that this debate has been going on for too long, I do hope the solution will be found, and those affected can move on from this tragic event, which shows us all how important sportsmanship is at all times.
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17. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6632] [Average Rating:5.69 Unranked]
Dan Shirley
United Kingdom
hemel hempstead
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I believe the lawyers from Mr Lyttleton's estate have this in hand.

As matters are currently sub judice, I cannot say too much here. But I ask you, keeper limit? Pilfer the trash? Variable draws (OK in MC it's spelled Drawers, but we all know what Looney meant)? How many similar mechanisms do you want me to list?
 
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