Posts tagged ‘Board Game’

March 8, 2013



Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by American mail carrier Allan B. Calhamer in 1954 and released commercially in 1959. Its main distinctions from most board wargames are its negotiation phases (players spend much of their time forming and betraying alliances with other players and forming beneficial strategies) and the absence of dice or other game elements that produce random effects.

Set in Europe just before the beginning of World War I, Diplomacy is played by two to seven players, each controlling the armed forces of a major European Power (or, with few players, multiple powers). Each player aims to move his or her few starting units—and defeat those of others—to win possession of a majority of strategic cities and provinces marked as ‘supply centers’ on the map; these supply centers allow players who control them to produce more units.

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November 7, 2012



Go is a board game for two players that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. The game is noted for being rich in strategy despite its relatively simple rules. According to chess master Edward Lasker: ‘The rules of Go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play Go.’

The two players alternately place black and white playing pieces, called ‘stones,’ on the vacant intersections (called ‘points’) of a grid of 19×19 lines. The object of the game is to use one’s stones to surround a larger total area of the board than the opponent.

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March 5, 2012



Kriegsspiel [kreeg-speel] (German: ‘wargame’) was a system used for training officers in the Prussian army. The first set of rules was created in 1812 and named ‘Instructions for the Representation of Tactical Maneuvers under the Guise of a Wargame.’ It was originally produced and developed further by Lieutenant Georg Leopold von Reiswitz and his son Georg Heinrich Rudolf von Reiswitz of the Prussian Army. Their system for simulating war was initially based around a specially designed table created for King Friedrich Wilhelm III.

The table divided the game field into a grid system, a core element of many later wargame and roleplaying systems, and included different pre-cast terrain types used in modular combinations, as well as making use of special gaming pieces and dice. The system also included a position called ‘confidant,’ an impartial third party calculating and assessing the moves, analogous to the modern gamemaster or dungeon master.

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January 5, 2012

The Landlord’s Game

landlords game 1904

The Landlord’s Game is a board game patented in 1904 by Elizabeth Magie. It is a realty and taxation game, which is considered to be a direct inspiration for the board game ‘Monopoly.’

Though many similar home-made games were played at the beginning of the 20th century, it is the first of its kind to have an attested patent. Magie designed the game to be a ‘practical demonstration of the present system of land grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences.’

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February 3, 2011


ouija by norman rockwell

Ouija [wee-jee] is a commercial trademark for a ‘talking board,’ which is a device marked with letters, numbers, and other symbols, supposedly used to communicate with spirits. It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) to indicate the spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. The fingers of the séance participants are placed on the planchette, which then moves about the board to spell out words or become physically manifested as a result of the ideomotor effect (a psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motions unconsciously).

Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond in the late 1890s, the Ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I. Some mainstream Christian religions have associated use of the Ouija board with the threat of demonic possession, as have certain Occultist movements.

September 14, 2010

Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan is a board game designed by Klaus Teuber. It was first published in 1995 in Germany, where board games enjoy especially great popularity. It has sold over 15 million games and been translated into thirty languages from the original German. The players in the game represent settlers establishing colonies on the fictional island of Catan. Players build settlements, cities, and roads to connect them as they develop the island.

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