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Subject: An excellent book for a game collection rss

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Les Lauber
United States
Osage City
Kansas
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I looked around for a copy of this book for about two years, until I finally caught up with one at a used bookstore. Schmittberger has done more here than simply offer up new rules for existing games. He has created a teaching manual for readers that allows them to apply his rules changes across multiple games. Better still, his writing style is comfortably readable--making this book accessible to nearly anyone.

15 Chapters, 2 appendices, and a complete index make this an easily usable reference. Chapters 1 and 5, "New Twists on Old Favourites" and "More Variations," suggest alterations for games from HEARTS to SCRABBLE (I really like TORIC SCRABBLE). Chapter 2, "Fixing a Flaw," gives very useful information on repairing broken games. Chapter 3 is "Doubling Up,"--think about DUPLICATE BRIDGE and you'll get the idea. In this chapter, DOUBLE UNBALANCED CHESS and SOLITAIRE SCRABBLE are especially worthy of your attention. Chapter 4 deals with "Changing the Number of Players," including how to address that pesky "king-maker" syndrome that seems to affect three-player games. "Handicapping," in Chapter 6, discusses how a game might be adjusted to allow for differences in player skill without typical approaches that affect how the game plays. Schmittberger spends two chapters, 7 & 8, on supplies (or the lack of them): "New Ways to Use Game Equipment" and "Paper & Pencil and No Equipment Games." He attends to "Party Games" and "Outdoor Games" in Chapters 9 and 10. The next three chapters deal with specific classic games, and are entitled "Beyond BACKGAMMON (11)/CHECKERS (12)/CHESS (13)." Readers can learn about eliminating or simulating dice for games in Chapter 14, "Playing by Mail." The appendices are on algebraic notation and improvising supplies.

Many--indeed, most--of the tips, techniques, and ideas that Schmittberger suggests can be applied far beyond the games he references. DUPLICATE BACKGAMMON can be extended to just about any game. The RACING KINGS variant for CHESS can be adapted to other games that have multiple pieces with various movement/capturing abilities. The suggestions for diceless dice games can be one variation those who dislike the role of dice in nearly any game can try.

This book's front cover says "Recycle those old boards for thousands of hours of fun with new rules...." One can certainly do that by following Schmittberger's prescriptions for game adjustments. However, by applying the principles Schmittberger describes, any gamer can adjust many, many more games than he suggests. And that's the value in this book. I give it my highest recommendation.
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Toby Jones
Netherlands
Utrecht
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ldsdbomber wrote:
It would have been great if you could have included just a small example from the book...

Go to Amazon and click on the picture of the book to 'look inside' - you can read the first few pages (alternate rules for Monopoly).
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rules-Classic-Games-Wayne-Schmittber...

PS I know this is a couple of years late, it's more for anyone stumbling upon this post, as I did
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Les Lauber
United States
Osage City
Kansas
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ldsdbomber wrote:
It would have been great if you could have included just a small example from the book...
I understand what you mean. However, I also want to respect the intellectual property rights of the author and publisher. I think that looking at Amazon.com for the sample is a good idea.
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