Jan 2012 Catalog
While I don’t publish my latest catalog on the internet, this older catalog is available for you to look through to get an idea of the sort of thing I generally have. Please be aware that many of the games in this catalog will have already sold, and if they haven’t then the prices are not necessarily still valid – the prices are only valid in the month the catalog comes out! However, if you do see something of interest email me and I’ll let you know if I still have it. Also getting the monthly catalog by email is free and without obligation, so why not just ask to be added to my subscription list, or ask me to send you the latest catalog by email?
Half the catalog was full of one off January sale offers, which are no longer available, so have been removed from this old listing.
10 Days In Africa. Published by Out Of The Box. 2004. Box. Excellent. £15
Designer: Alan R Moon, Aaron Weissblum. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Reworking of the excellent Europa Tour. Players must try to build a valid route through Africa using country, plane and car cards. There are special card holders to ease play and a map board showing the countries in Africa so you can see which countries are adjacent and which permitted for plane travel. The game poses interesting puzzle-like challenges, and is one I very much enjoy - recommended.
1848. Published by Kuhlmann Geschichtsspiele. 1998. Box. Good. £5
Designer: Gerhard Kuhlmann. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Card game in which the players try to be on the winning side of the German revolution of 1848. This is done by making the best use of event cards, personality cards, and support cards. I can provide a rules translation, but be warned: there is a considerable amount of German text on the cards.
Alpha Blitz. Published by WoTC. 1998. Box. New. £1
Designer: Michael Selinker. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Card game, 108 cards, enabling you to play two different games. Alpha is an interactive anagram game with the set of letters you can use changing as the game progresses. Blitz is similar except that play is simultaneous so you have to see words which can be made from a set of letters quicker than the other players.
Atlantic Star. Published by Queen Games. ca.2002. Box. Good. £22
Designer: Dirk Henn. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Excellent game previously published as Show Manager but this time rethemed as putting together ocean cruises. Players must create four cruises during the game, and to do this they need to hire suitable ships. However, these ships are almost all specialist and can only perform one, two or at most three sections out of the 18 cruise sections needed. A clever mechanism restricts the number and cost of ships available at any time and so it soon becomes difficult to find just the ship you need before you must put on a cruise. A very clever mechanism which combines skill and luck very nicely and money is always tight. Highly recommended.
Aton. Published by Queen Games. 2006. Box. Excellent. £5
Designer: Thorston Gimmler. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Akhnaton the new pharaoh wants the new god Aton to be worshipped, and the old god Amon to be forgotten. One player takes the role of the priests of Aton and the other the priests of Amon, and the players vie for control of the four major temples. Each player has an identical deck of cards which are drawn from and used to gain influence in the temples. At various points scoring occurs. A well received two player game.
Babylon. Published by FoxMind Games. 2006. Box. Excellent. £8
Designer: Bruno Faidutti. No. players: 2. Country: Canadian. Duration: 5 mins.
Consisting of just 12 tiles in 4 colours, players take it in turn to stack tiles, and the last player to be able to do so wins. The limitations are that you can stack piles if they have the same number of pieces in them or if they have the same colour piece on top. Attractively made chunky tiles with a cloth pouch.
Bud vs Bud Light Checkers. Published by Budweiser. ca.1995. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 20 mins.
Promotional version of draughts (checkers), featuring 10cm tall plastic beer bottles as the playing pieces. When one becomes a ‘King’, you place a cap on it. One player uses a set of Bud bottles while the other uses Bud Light bottles.
Buggo. Published by Ravensburger. 2000. Box. Good. £4
Designer: Dan Gilbert. No. players: 2-8. Country: German. Duration: 20 mins.
Light game in which players take it in turns to draw a card which specifies the maximum number of bugs they can take that turn. The player then turns over tiles on the table to find bugs. One can stop before reaching the required number and play it safe and take the tiles turned so far, but if you exceed the required number, the tiles get turned back face down. As extra twists there are some spider tiles which always cause you to bust and some cards which require you to find spiders.
Cafe Race. Published by Homoludicus. 2006. Box. 2 sets available:
1) Excellent. £8.75 2) In shrink. £9.50
Designer: Fran F G. No. players: 3-6. Country: Spanish. Duration: 15 mins.
Light race game which uses dice as the driving mechanism, but in an unusual way. One die is rolled per player and these will be used for movement, but in order to claim these dice players bid with another die, which they turn to whatever side they choose. The higher the sum of the bid and movement dice the more likely a slip-up will be during the race. Too many slip-ups and the player must restart from the beginning, so a balance between speed and caution is required to win.
Calaboose. Published by Live Oak Games. 2005. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Patrick Matthews. No. players: 2-5. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Set in the Old West, the players are sheriffs who compete to capture the most wanted outlaws. However, too many powerful outlaws in a single jail (caboose) and they will break out. Thus the sheriffs must choose carefully when to take in outlaws and when to pass them onto other jails.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Published by Alfred A Knopf. 1978. Book. Good and unpunched. £30
Author: Sid Sackson. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Very rare game / book by Sid Sackson. This is a game inspired by the Roald Dahl book. The three section 'book' unfolds to form a board and with thick cardboard playing pieces and 'cards'. Cards are drawn to determine who controls each of the five children, and players then move one of the children they control on their turn, scoring points by getting them into the major rooms. Willy Wonka also has to be moved, and no child may get ahead of him. Along the way the various children succumb to the various hazards in the book, with the finale of the game at the TV room.
Chrononauts. Published by Looney Labs. 2000. Box. Good. £8
Designer: Andrew Looney. No. players: 1-6. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Each player is a time traveller with a secret mission. Via simple card play the players move backwards and forwards through history to various pivotal moments, collecting artifacts and works of art just before history records their destruction, dealing with any paradoxes they cause and of course changing pivotal events in order to achieve their secret goal.
Clash Of The Gladiators. Published by Rio Grande Games. 2002. Box. Excellent. £16
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-5. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
The players draft several gladiatorial teams, which can include swordsmen, net throwers, spearmen, shield bearers and trident wielders. Each of these gives their team a different advantage. The teams are then all thrown into the arena together, along with a variety of dangerous beasts. Players then take it in turns to attack another team or creature with one of their teams. Points are scored for killing opponents' team members, killing beasts and having surviving teams at the end. Lots of dice to roll to resolve combat.
Comings And Goings. Published by Gibsons. 1991. Box. Good. £1
Designer: Uli Geissler. No. players: 2-6. Country: British. Duration: 30 mins.
Superior (and tough) memory game as you try to recall who entered a 'rolling lift' (known as a Paternoster, and also released under that name in Germany). To make it harder still the lift sections will all go up / down between turns moving the hidden passengers and making this a real challenge. Nice illustrations on the cards.
Commuter. Published by SMT. ca.1985. Box. Excellent. £3
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-5. Country: Swedish.
Family game about commuting and road safety. Players must get safely to work and back home five times to win. Includes some spaces where road safety trivia questions must be answered.
Compendium Of (8) Games. Published by Jumbo. ca.1980. Box. Good. £7
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 1+. Country: Dutch.
This is a boxed set containing a selection of games bits: chess board (with a 10x10 chess type board on the reverse), chess pieces, draughts men, letter tiles, mini dominoes, spillikins, tiddly winks, 2 regular dice, 10 letter dice, a set of 4 'mice', and a book with rules for the games.
Cosmic Cows. Published by Playroom Entertainment. 2005. Box. Excellent. £9
Designer: Maureen Hiron. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 20 mins.
Two alien civilisations come to Earth for their annual cow abduction tournament! The aliens who first manage to abduct three cows win. There are nine cows which can be fought over, and dice are used and applied to activate tractor beams to tug the cows towards your ship. Deciding how much to resist your opponent's efforts and how much to focus on your own is the key. This is a redevelopment of Quadwrangle.
Cosmopolitan The Game. Published by Waddingtons. 1994. Box. Good. £2.25
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British. Duration: 45 mins.
Special notes: The felt tip pens have dried out - I will try to revive them, but if this fails you can use OHP marker pens.
Cosmopolitan is a British magazine for women, and the main focus is on men, looking good, and having fun. This game is intended for readers of Cosmopolitan, and the current player reads out a multiple choice question to her neighbour who then answers and is assigned a point for Love, Work, Play or Self. After everyone has answered quite a few rounds of questions each player can read a sort of horoscope based on her scores in each of these categories.
Cowabunga. Published by Playroom Entertainment. 2007. Box. Excellent. £7
Designer: Reinhard Staupe. No. players: 2-5. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Rethemed (cow surfing!) edition of Fettnapf. Card game in which players play number cards which add to or reduce the current 'count'. Players also hold cards which show the numbers 10-30 which the 'count' can land on, and if it does so then the current player loses a life. Thus players need to remember which of these cards are out and so try to avoid playing a card which will land them on a such a number. In addition if you can force the next player to go out of the 10-30 range then you gain an extra card. Fast paced and fun memory bender.
Cross Bones. Published by One Small Step. ca.2005. Ziplock. Good. £6
Designer: Michael Anderson. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Pirate themed game from a small publisher, with fairly basic components (colour DTP standard). Set in the 17th century Caribbean, this can be played as a two player ship to ship combat in which you track your opponent's ship relative to your own, or as a campaign game for four players taking on the roles: pirate, British privateer, merchant, and Spanish galleoneer, each with different goals to win the game. Players choose locations they wish to sail to each round and any ships in the same places may decide to fight.
Der Herr Der Ringe - Die Gefahrten Kartenspiel. Published by Ravensburger. 2001. Box. Excellent. £4.50
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 40 mins.
One of many the Lord of the Rings games from Germany linked with the films. This one is a neat card game which features the locations the Fellowship passed through in the 1st film. Pairs of location cards are placed together and show whether that place is friendly, and what the benefits are in terms of VPs and special abilities to players who have the most influence over that location when it has been surrounded by cards. Each player has their own deck of cards of varying strengths and some specials. Players place cards around the current location and then it is resolved and prizes awarded before moving on to the next location where some cards already played will have further influence. Recommended.
Die Fugger. Published by Adlung Spiele. 2003. Box. Excellent. £3.75
Designer: Klaus Jurgen Wrede. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 40 mins.
Card game set in medieval Augsburg in which players collect trade goods and try to influence the prices of these goods. The player who earns the most money becomes Jakob Fugger's trading partner and wins the game. Game play involves playing cards to the table, and as soon as there are 5 of a type on the table the 3 commodities with the most cards showing go up and the others go down. However, going up too far causes a crash. In addition some cards count double if only a few of that type are in play, and merchant cards allow more cards to be drawn prior to the next round.
Dorn. Published by CBG. ca.2008. Box. New. £22
Designer: Filip Kozak, Jan Drevikovsky, Krystof Kozak. No. players: 2-6.
Country: Czech Republic. Duration: 90 mins.
Fantasy game in which one player takes the side of the monsters, while the other players take the roles of one or more adventurers who must battle the monsters in order to collect three sacred artifacts and then finally defeat the big baddy. The game does not use dice for combat, and there are 9 heroes for the players to choose from, and the monster player gets to use a different selection of evil spells each game.
Dragon's Gold. Published by Descartes Editeur. 2000. Box. Good. £9
Designer: Bruno Faidutti. No. players: 3-6. Country: French. Duration: 45 mins.
Defeating a dragon is no problem for a well prepared adventuring party. However, deciding how to divide the treasure is far from simple. Players must cooperate enough to defeat the dragons, but then negotiate for the best share of the treasure making use of magic items and special abilities to get one up on their fellow adventurers!
Drake & Drake. Published by Descartes Editeur. 2002. Box. Excellent. £7.25
Designer: Bruno Cathala. No. players: 2. Country: French. Duration: 30 mins.
Set in the Caribbean, 1695, the players are rival pirate captains who have acquired a treasure map, and both intend to claim as much treasure as possible. Crew members are used to claim sections of the island and these will score points at game end. Points are also scored for eliminating enemy crew members. Game play involves card play, with players selecting several cards to play that round simultaneously, but then the cards are actioned according to the initiative numbers on them.
Drakon. Published by Fantasy Flight. 2001. Box. Good. £11
Designer: Tom Jolly. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Desc. by Eamon.
Special notes: 2nd edition
Very nicely presented game that uses tiles for its board making every game different. Players add tiles to a dungeon labyrinth, and the tiles can move or disappear during play, making it difficult not to get lost. A sort of table-top Sorcerer’s Cave.
Dread Pirate: Buccaneer's Revenge. Published by Front Porch Classics. 2006. Box. Excellent. £12
Designer: Dan Tibbles. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 1hr.
Pirate themed game in which players set sail, and attempt to complete mission cards to gain gems and gold. while attacking any lesser pirates who happen to get in the way. Each player has two missions on the go at once, and player interaction is encouraged by one player at any time being the Dread Pirate who gets a bonus to all rolls, until defeated by another pirate. The wealthiest pirate at the end of the game wins.
E.T.I. Published by Eye-Level Entertainment. 2008. Box. Good. £18
Designer: Matt, Mark & Anthony Anticole. No. players: 3-6. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
E.T.I. stands for Estimated Time to Invasion. Aliens have been probing Earth's defences and a full scale invasion is on the cards. The players are the heads of various technology research companies and have been recruited to work on new weapons and defences which will be able to help fight off the aliens when they arrive. The players work on various projects and work to complete them, using research points. When completed, projects help towards new projects in the same area of research.
Fairy Tale. Published by What's Your Game. 2005. Box. Excellent. £8.50
Designer: Satoshi Nakamura. No. players: 2-5. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Card game in which players draft cards, passing unwanted cards to the next player to choose from. When a selection of cards have been drafted players simultaneously play some of their cards and discard others. The cards played will affect the 'stories' other people are playing - turning some cards over (negating them), and also contributing to their own player's story. Thus it is good to collect cards which add to each others' values in your own 'story'. Unusual idea, with attractive graphics - the game originated in Japan. 2nd edition.
Fantasy Wargaming. Published by Stein And Day. 1982. Book. Good. £6.50
Author: Bruce Galloway. Country: British.
Hardback with dustcover, 300 pages, 21x15cm. Fascinating book for the fantasy roleplayer or wargamer. Half the book describes the author's own game systems, which include magic, religion and combat etc, with plenty of interesting (though complex) ideas and a great deal of fascinating detail. Incorporates lots of research on the medieval period so it has a very realistic medieval feel to the subject matter. The first half of the book is a series of long articles on various aspects of the real medieval world and how they can be taken account of in games, so is great background even if you never intend to use the author's systems.
Fist Of Dragonstones. Published by Days Of Wonder. 2002. Box. Excellent. £13.50
Designer: Bruno Faidutti, Michael Schacht. No. players: 3-6. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Card game in which players bid using gold and magic coins to obtain the benefit of an assortment of characters which can help the owner (or hinder others) in a variery of ways. The players need to obtain valuable Dragonstones which can then be converted into VPs.
Framed!. Published by Gibsons. 1992. Box. 2 sets available: 1) Excellent. £1.75 2) Good. £1.25
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British. Duration: 30 mins.
Card game based on the movie business. The film sequence cards look like clips from reels of film, and must be placed in sequence to produce a complete film. However each of these cards has 3 clips on it which won't all be sequential, so these cards will have to overlap making the game more interesting. There are also action cards which can hinder other players or protect yourself from hindrance. Part of the Bepuzzled series.
Go: The International Travel Game. Published by Waddingtons. 1961. Box. 2 sets available:
1) Good but 2 box corners taped. £5 2) Good. £6
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: American.
Family game, played on an attractive map board. Players go round the edge of the board buying tickets so that they can travel across the map of the world in the centre of the board. The objective is to visit the major cities of the world and buy a souvenir in each before returning home. Play money comes in lots of different currencies (you can’t buy your souvenir in Spain, say, with dollars). Although not released until 1961, the game was originally patented in 1958. It took its name from a travel magazine of the time called Go!.
Grass. Published by Euro Games. ca.1986. Box. Good. £3.25
Designer: Jeff London. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Card game, over 100 cards uniquely packed in a canvas bag (this version in a box as well). Each player wears ‘two hats’: they try to sell as much marijuana as they can, and also try to bring the heat on other players so that their markets dry up.
Great Western Railway Game. Published by Gibsons. 1985. Box. Good, but box corners taped. £8
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British. Duration: 90 mins.
Special notes: Movement pieces replaced with an alternate matching set
Game made to celebrate the 150th anniversary of this great rail network. Players collect items associated with the company, found on 80 attractive cards. The board represents the rail network as in 1935, exactly 100 years after the founding of the Great Western. Game play involves moving your playing piece around the network visiting places in order to collect cards, and swapping cards with other players in order to complete sets.
Grusel Wusel. Published by Gold Sieber. 1998. Box. Excellent. £6
Designer: Oliver Igelhaut. No. players: 3-6. Country: German. Duration: 25 mins.
Halloween themed game card and dice game. Uses 8 very attractive special dice and a sand-timer. The dice feature a variety of subtly different pumpkin faces. Players must match cards to exposed dice faces. This is not as easy as it sounds when the dice are all in different orientations.
Haithabu. Published by Hexagames. 1990. Box. Good, but box base slightly indented. £11
Designer: Rudolf Ross. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 40 mins.
An unusual race game in which the players move their pieces along intersecting paths, and over bridges. Each time a piece goes across a bridge the bridge is destroyed, and that player gets more movement points for future turns. These extra movement points can also be spent fixing bridges at the start of your turn. Unusual mechanism resulting in a unique feeling to what is essentially a race from one side of the board to the other.
Harry Potter Trading Card Game Two Player Starter Set. Published by Wizards of the Coast. 2001. Box.
Excellent. £5. Designer: S.Elias, M.Elliott, P.Peterson. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 20 mins.
Starter deck for two players (82 cards, playmat, rules and damage counters) for this Harry Potter themed card game. Game play is a simplified form of Magic: The Gathering, with damage removing cards from the opponent's deck, and the objective being to run your opponent out of cards.
Hazard. Published by Past Times. 1995. Box. Good, but base slightly indented. £7
Designer: Oxford Games. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Canterbury Tales themed game. It is based on a 14th century dice game called Hasard - a sort of craps variant. A card is turned and this has a winning and a losing number on it. Players wager a stake and then the dice are rolled. In addition 11 always wins and 2 always loses. If none of the target numbers are hit then players adjust their stakes up or down and then the next person rolls. The prize for winners will be a move on the board which may give the chance to give up a pilgrim card, the idea being to get rid of all your pilgrim cards and arrive at Canterbury. Includes a synopsis of each of the stories told in The Canterbury Tales.
Himalaya 5&6 Player Expansion. Published by Tilsit Editions. 2006. Box. In shrink. £12
Designer: Regis Bonnessee. No. players: 3-6. Country: French. Duration: 90 mins.
Expansion for the excellent trading game Himalaya. This expansion lets you play Himalaya with 5-6 players, which is a very useful addition as the game involves simultaneous planning and so extends naturally to more players, as do the victory conditions. There are also some variants suggested for those who like less luck in the way new goods and demands come out (these can be used with 3-4 players too).
Hornochsen!. Published by Amigo. 1998. Box. Excellent. £5
Designer: Wolfgang Kramer. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
An update of 6 Nimmt (Take 6) to make it into a more strategic game. The deck is numbered from 1 to 98, with some of the cards having green bullheads and others having red bullheads. In this game greens are positive points and reds are negative points. Players play onto sets of cards, with the fifth card in a set taking the whole thing, but unlike 6 Nimmt players take their turns sequentially and can play one to three cards from their hands.
Hotel. Published by Milton Bradley. 1986. Box. 2 sets available:
1) Good. £6 2) Good, but box corners taped. £5
Designer: Geoff Hayes. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 1 hr.
Players get to build hotels and collect rent if someone lands on (‘stays’) at your hotel. Game play involves moving according to dice rolls, and deciding what to buy and when to extend your hotel and when you need to keep cash in hand. Players compete for vital entrances to their hotels. The bits are amazing as all the hotels have large 3D representations to place on the board once purchased. Good family game (and much shorter and less traumatic than Monopoly).
How To Make Model Soldiers. Published by Arco Publishing Co. Inc.. 1974. Book. Ex library. Good. £2.50
Author: Philip O. Stearns. Country: American.
Special notes: The laminated dustcover is quite grubby from use
Hardback with dustcover, 25x19cm, 80 pages. A guide to the sculpting, casting, assembly and painting of model soldiers, as well as creating dioramas for them. The book has many diagrams, and some of the figures have been painted very beautifully indeed!
Kerplunk. Published by Ideal. 1967. Box. Excellent. £5
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Desc. by Eamon.
I defy all you serious gamers to play this and still say it wasn't fun! Real glass marbles are placed in a container on a network of sticks. During play the sticks are removed and the aim is to take out sticks that do not allow the marbles to fall through to the base.
Kings & Things. Published by Games Workshop. 1986. Box. Good. £16
Designer: Tom Wham & Doug Kaufman. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 2.5 hrs.
Fantasy war game with a board assembled from tiles, making it different each game. Quirky Tom Wham graphics. The 'Things' in the title refer to 70+ creatures in the game which can be recruited and formed into very peculiar armies. Different creatures are best in different terrains, and the armies are kept hidden most of the time so you will find the armies' strengths vary considerably depending on where they are.
King's Gate. Published by Fantasy Flight Games. 2002. Box. Excellent - unpunched. £8
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 40 mins.
Neat tile laying game with a medieval theme. A double size tile is placed which shows whether that place is friendly, and what the benefits are in terms of VPs and special abilities to players who have the most influence over that location when it has been surrounded by tiles. Each player has their own set of tiles of varying strengths and some specials. Players place tiles around the current location and then it is resolved and prizes are awarded before moving on to the next location where some tiles already played will have further influence. Recommended. This is a rethemed version of Derr Herr Der RInge - Die Gefahten - Das Kartenspiel, but the use of tiles means it takes up less table space.
La-Trel. 1994. Box. 2 editions available:
Published by ASS. Good. Country: German. £1.75
2) Published by Millenium 2 Games. Country: British. Good. £1.75
Designer: Richard Morgan. No. players: 2. Duration: 45 mins.
High quality abstract game with 2 sets of 18 multi-shaped plastic pieces. A chess-like feel to it with special moves for each type of piece. Includes three levels of play. German edition. It was very well received by magazines such as Games & Puzzles when it came out. Unlike chess, capture is by jumping over a piece, rather than landing on it, so defence is by occupying the spaces behind other pieces.
Legend Of The Five Rings - Clan War. Published by AEG. 2000. Book. Excellent. £4.75
Author: Ken Carpenter. No. players: 3+. Country: American.
Hardback book, 318 pages. Fantasy miniatures wargame set in the world of the Legend of the Five Rings CCG and RPG. This is the updated Daimyo edition and includes information on the forces of all 11 clans and the Emperor's own forces, spells and items available, storyline information, complete rules with index and glossary. Also included is a CD ROM utility for your PC to help you build your armies. For the uninitiated the world of the Legend of the Five Rings bears some resemblance to medieval Japan.
Lords Of Creation. Published by Warfrog. 1993. Box. In shrink. £28
Designer: Martin Wallace. No. players: 2-4. Country: Dutch. Duration: 2 hrs.
2nd edition printed in the Netherlands, of this early Martin Wallace game. Much nicer components than the original edition (solid colourful box, proper board, nice cards etc). Players take the roles of gods who want their followers to dominate the world. The board is laid out differently each game with various types of terrain. Initially the nations are barbarians but as they expand they get the option to civilise which has both benefits and disadvantages. Cards drive player options during the game.
Louis XIV. Published by Rio Grande Games. Box. Excellent. £15
Designer: Rudiger Dorn. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Board game set in the court of Louis XIV. Rather than using a regular board, 12 mini boards are laid out corner to corner in a rectangle. Each of these playing boards shows a character who had influence in Louis XIV's court, and shows what it takes to gain that character's aid, and what you will receive if you obtain that aid. Players take turns to play cards which allow markers to be placed onto these boards in a clever and very tactical way. Players must manage their money and supply of influence cubes while trying to gain special chits which are used to complete missions which both gain extra resources each turn and score victory points at the end of the game. The German version was published by Alea.
Macao. Published by Rio Grande Games. 2009. Box. In shrink. £27
Designer: Stefan Feld. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Resource management game set in the Portuguese trading town on the south coast of China at the end of the 17th century. Players must manage their flow of goods to sell and trade for the right privileges, trading options and abilities to enable them to fulfil orders and buy villas in order to gain prestige. The main mechanism which determines the inflow of goods is unusual in that it is dice driven, but with plenty of choice and decision making. Making your abilities work well with the resources you have is the key to victory.
MacRobber. Published by Queen Games. 2005. Box. In shrink. £10
Designer: Ralf Burkert. No. players: 3-5. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Each player controls the estates of a Scottish highland clan, with warriors to defend the clan (and make raids on neighbours when the opportunity presents itself), pipers to aid in battles, and monks who maintain your clan's spirituality. Players start with two estates and acquire more as the game goes on. Each estate can be used for farming cattle, or supporting a castle or monastery. Game play involves drawing resource cubes from a bag and making the best use of them to improve your clan's fortunes. Raids are resolved by card play - the more warriors you have the larger your hand of cards. Scoring occurs throughout the game and rewards the players with the best holdings of each type.
Magnastiks. Published by Bell. ca.1955. Box. Good. £15
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 1+. Country: British.
This is not actually a game, but a magnetic construction set. Think Geomag and the like, but from the 1950s! The set consists of a construction base with 4 very strong magnetic plates on which to build. The building pieces are steel, and are not magnetic themselves, but the base magnets are strong enough to hold many pieces in place. The pieces are square rods, rectangular plates, diamonds, square plates, washers, balls, and various curved pieces. The enclosed booklet explains the basics of how magnets work as well as giving lots of ideas of things to construct. Very nice period item.
Manitou. Published by Gold Sieber. 1997. Box. Excellent. £7
Designer: Gunter Burkhardt. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins. Desc. by Eamon.
Card game, 110 cards featuring Red Indians in four tribes. Each player hopes to trap the most Buffalo cards in each of three rounds of play. In each round you play with a number of your tribe members, some chosen, some drawn randomly. These cards interact as you vie for control of the Happy Hunting Grounds. Essentially a majorities game with some twists.
Masquerade. Published by Cheatwell. ca.1995. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 3+. Country: British. Duration: 1 hr.
Special notes: This edition is in a regular rectangular box (not a triangular one).
Deluxe party game of mime and charades, but with the twist that you are miming situations rather than book titles or whatever. So you tackle subjects like "A cannibal inviting his friends round to dinner", or "A squirrel hiding his nuts", or "Talk a lemming out of suicide". The game comes in a large triangular box and has sturdy card dispensers and a good chunky sand timer.
Merchants Of The Middle Ages. Published by Z-Man Games. 2010. Box. In shrink. £32
Designer: Wolfgang Kramer, Richard Ulrich. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Previously published as Die Händler. Attractively produced game in which the players are merchants in medieval Europe. Wagons is used to carry wares between cities. Players buy goods, load them onto a wagon and then sell them for profit when they arrive in other cities. However, the wagons are not owned by individual players but are communal. Thus skill is needed to ensure the wagons go where you want them to. The game gives lots of opportunities for players to cut deals with each other.
Mus. Published by Premium/Fournier. 1999. Box. 2 sets available:
1) Good. £3.25 2) Excellent. £4
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 4. Country: German.
Card game, 40 Spanish looking cards (the game is a classic that originated in the Basque region), and stones that are used for points scoring. The game is played as a partnership. The game involves drawing cards and betting on who has the best hand, but in a very different way to poker which this may otherwise sound similar to. The game is rarely played for money and the partnership element also adds interest.
Nautilus. Published by Kosmos. 2002. Box. Good. £14
Designer: Brigitte & Wolfgang Ditt. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr 45 mins.
Big box Kosmos game, with a big board and loads of chunky underwater research station tiles and plastic figures. Players spend money to build parts of a sea-floor research station and bring in their researchers. These researchers then improve various technologies for game advantages and victory points and can also man submarines which explore the sea floor looking for treasures and signs of the lost city of Atlantis. At the end of the game your score is your research points times your discovery points so you have to maintain a balance.
New York New York. Published by F X Schmid. 1989. Box. Good. £9
Designer: Wolfgang Kramer. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Nice looking game, a card game really, but the cards are oblong shaped pictures of the Manhattan skyline. Players use their cards, trying to engineer their colours to form the finished skyline at the end of the game. Clever design. It is especially good and quite tactical with 2 players. It gets increasingly chaotic with 3 or 4 players. Recommended for 2 players.
Obalistig. Published by Rosengarten Verlag. 1997. Box. Good. £2
Designer: Bernd Ada Mer. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 10 mins.
Card game in which cards are laid onto the table and players look for sets. A set of cards will have the same basic picture, but with slight differences on each - all are ancient Egyptian objects or symbols, the easier side having cartoony graphics. The cards can be used coloured side up for an easy game or beige side up for a harder game.
Ocean. Published by Adlung Spiele. 1999. Box. Excellent. £3.50
Designer: Peter Schurzmann. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 20 mins.
Card game in which the players play fish cards to the five oceans and then add fish-eating animals to claim points. Orcas can go in any ocean meaning that some other animals may not get any food at all.
On The Spot. Published by Penguin. 1986. Book. 2 copies available:
1) Good. £1.50 2) Excellent. £1.75
Author: Albie Fiore. Country: British.
Softback, 21x15cm, 265 pages. An intriguing game book of 'moral diversions'. The book consists of over 200 situations in which you are in a difficult situation and have to decide what you do. A series of questions make you and your friends analyse the situation and see who has a heart of gold and who is as ruthless as they come.
Pacal. Published by Klee Spiele. 1999. Box. Good. £10
Designer: Gunter Burkhardt. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Card game in which the players take it in turn to offer their opponent two cards (numbered 1-60), and their opponent takes one and adds it to their pyramid structure and the remaining card is added to the offerer's pyramid. The numerical ordering of the cards in the pyramid is vital. If a player has to place a card onto another card because the ordering provides no gap, then this is permitted but is undesirable. The round ends when a player completes his pyramid and gets a bonus for doing so. A very clever tactical game, later reprinted as Die Pyramiden Des Jaguar.
Paris Paris. 2003. Box 2 editions available:
1) Published by Abacus Spiele. Country: Germany. In shrink. £10
2) Published by Rio Grande Games. Country: American. Excellent. £9
Designer: Michael Schacht. No. players: 2-4. Duration: 45 mins.
Placement game played on a map of Paris with 5 intersecting bus routes shown. Businesses are built at various points on each of the lines according to the tiles which are available. Left over tiles indicate what is scored each turn and when a special scoring occurs. You score best for having clusters of businesses around key intersections, but there are other ways to score too. Clever game, plays pretty quickly too. On the nominations list for the German Spiel des Jahres 2003.
Power Barons. Published by Milton Bradley. 1986. 2 sets available:
1) Box. 1 box corner + edge split. £6.50 2) Good. £8
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 3-4. Country: Canadian. Desc. by Eamon.
Three-dimensional business game in a large box, full of plastic components with 4 of the most impressive playing pieces you will ever use in any game. Each player is trying to become the most powerful person in the world, whether that be powerful as a capitalist, or a politician, or even someone on the other side of the law. Played on a map of the world, this game is essentially a card game, with the results of the card play being translated into actions on or around the board.
Rebus. Published by Hudsons Rebus. ca.1995. Box. Good. £5
Designer: Antony Hudson. No. players: 2-24. Country: British.
Party game which uses over 500 cards each with a picture-coding of a word. Players / teams take it in turn to try to work out what the picture represents. Eg. A picture of a toilet-pot with a mouth taking a bite out of someone's foot = potatoes (pot-ate-toes)...
Rodney Matthews Fantasy Jigsaw 3479. Published by Falcon. 1994. Box. Good. £4
Designer: Rodney Matthews. No. players: 1. Country: British.
625 piece jigsaw puzzle. The picture is titled Treebeard, and depicts Treebeard the Ent from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of The Rings. Rodney Matthews is a well known and very skilful fantasy and S.F. artist. In the picture Treebeard is holding and examining Merry and Pippin.
Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age. Published by Gryphon Games. 2008. Box. 2 sets available:
1) In shrink. £20 2) Excellent. £18
Designer: Matt Leacock. No. players: 1-4. Country: American. Duration: 40 mins.
Dice game in which each player gets a wooden board for tracking resources using pegs and a sheet of paper to make note of their cities, developments and monuments built. Each turn the current player rolls the dice with rerolls permitted. The dice show resources, food, money, people, disaster or a mixture, and the results are used to populate new cities, invest in developments to give benefits on future turns, or start building monuments. The objective is to score VPs in various ways. Fast playing, fun, and with strategic decisions - a game I highly recommend.
Rubik's Eclipse. Published by OddzOn / Cap Toys. 1997. Case. Good. £4
Designer: Seven Towns. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 5 mins.
Well regarded abstract game in which players take it in turn to shift one of their opponent's pieces one space and then enter one of their own pieces onto a 4x4 grid. Thus each player can have a maximum of 8 moves! Each player's pieces are a different colour, with a different symbol on each side. When moving an opponent's piece it is flipped over to an adjacent space, so changing the symbol shown. The objective is to get three of your pieces with the same symbol in a row such that your opponent can't break it up on their next turn. Nicely made in a foldout plastic case.
Scrabble Scramble. Published by Mattel. 2007. Case. Excellent. £5
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2+. Country: British. Duration: 20 mins.
Scrabble variant using dice and a 9x9 Scrabble type board. On their turn the current player rolls 7 dice and adds them to the word on the board left over from the previous player. When done and scored all letters not in the words scored this turn are removed, and the next player takes their turn. Thus the board changes rapidly, and doesn't get bogged down. First player to 200 points wins.
Settlers: The Great River. Published by Mayfair Games. 2006. None. In shrink. £2
Designer: Klaus Teuber. No. players: 3+. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Mini expansion for the Settlers of Catan, which you will need to make use of this. Three new land tiles showing mountains, hills and a swamp, all with a river flowing through are introduced along with VP tokens which can be obtained by building next to these tiles - gold can be found in the river and the players cannot afford to be left out of the gold rush.
Spitting Image. Published by Parker. 1984. Box. Box shows wear, 2 corners taped. £2
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 90 mins.
TV related, based on the satirical show of the same name from that time. The game uses 6 large spitting image models of world leaders (eg. Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev), which the players control during the game. Players each have 3 secrets they don't want exposed, and if all 3 are exposed they are out of the game. Play involves choosing how far to move around a track, and actioning the space landed on. However, a journalist piece is also moved the same amount and if this lands on an opponent's playing piece one of their secrets has been discovered. However, it may not be exposed, as dirty tricks campaigns and blackmail may result in it staying secret. Money needs to be saved up for protecting yourself and attacking opponents.
Stack 21. Published by Enginuity. 1996. Box. Good. £5
Designer: Andy Daniel. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Blackjack based game in which each player has four sets of cards on the go at the time, and can play to any of them. Some cards can be given to an opponent as long as it won't cause them to bust, others must be kept yourself, and others will give a bonus score if the pile it is in gets to 21.
Subulata. Published by Cwali. 2003. Box. In shrink. £6
Designer: Corné van Moorsel. No. players: 2. Country: Dutch. Duration: 30 mins.
Each player controls a group of grasshoppers which are trying to get across a lily pond. These grasshoppers can swim as well as hop (though slowly) and prefer to jump from lily pads rather than from flowers. The board is made up of 9 3x3 tiles put together differently each game, and these tiles show spaces with water, lily pads and flowers. If a grasshopper lands on an opposing grasshopper it captures it, and the grasshoppers have different values. Nicely produced with wooden pieces.
Supernova. Published by Valley Games. 2008. Box. In shrink. £33
Designer: Oliver Harrison, Mike Roy. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 2 hrs.
Space exploration and empire expansion game. The game uses a modular game board so it will be different each time, and a card based battle system. There are technologies to be developed to improve the effectiveness of your fleet, and of course ships to be built and battles to be fought. There is both a short and long version of the game.
Take Off. Published by Adlung Spiele. 1999. Box. Excellent. £4
Designer: Frank Brandt. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 25 mins.
Card game in which the players use aircraft cards to bid for route cards - the route cards showing how you must pay as well as three cities which are then added to your network. Simple, but with some clever twists to make you think.
Tank Battles In Miniature 5: Arab Israeli Wars Since 1948. Published by Patrick Stephens. 1978. Book.
Excellent. £6. Author: Bruce Quarrie. Country: British.
Hardback with dustcover, 22x14cm, 136 pages. More fully, the subtitile is "A Wargamer's Guide to the Arab-Israeli Wars Since 1948". The book includes maps and chronologies of the battles detailed, and many aspects are considered ranging from minefields through the various fighting vehicles used to the aerial warfare involved.
The Isle Of Doctor Necreaux. Published by AEG. 2009. Box. Excellent. £11
Designer: J. Pinto, S. Purdy, K. Wasden. No. players: 1-5. Country: American. Duration: 40 mins.
Co-operative card game in which the evil Doctor Necreaux has kidnapped the world's top scientists and forced them to build a device which will threaten all life on the planet, and now demands that the world surrender to his rule or everyone gets it! The players act as a team of heroes to try to defeat Necreaux before he sets off his device! Game play involves deciding how fast to push through the adventure deck, deciding when to rest and dealing with the traps and minions encountered on the way to rescuing the scientists and then getting out alive!
The Jigsaw Book. Published by Hutchinson & Co. 1981. Book. Excellent. £5.75
Author: Linda Hannas. Country: British.
Softback, 25x25cm, 95 pages. Book celebrating two centuries of jigsaw puzzling around the world. The book is full of colour pictures, and covers: The History of Jigsaw Puzzles, Schoolmasters Puzzle their Brains, Puzzle the Devil, Nature Puzzles, Going Places, Tell Old Tales, Pieces of History, The Puzzle is the Message, Puzzle Key Pictures. A very nice book for jigsaw enthusiasts.
The Royal Game Of Goose. Published by Galt. ca.1980. Box. Good. £5
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British. Duration: 30 mins.
Modern version of a very traditional game, first made in England in the 18th century, in a linen board format. This has a replica of that board, and 6 wooden geese playing pieces, plus a stack of wooden chips to be used as forfeits and rewards. A simple race game with your moves (and forfeits) being decided sometimes by the squares you land on or the other player's pieces you land next to. Includes a chunky wooden dice cup.
Venedig. Published by Amigo. 2007. Box. Excellent. £20
Designer: Klaus Jürgen Wrede. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Players are founding the city of Venice, and start with a swampland. Individual areas are dried out and then buildings can be built on this new land. The game uses cards to indicate the buildings which can be built, and the shape of dry land (and / or water spaces) needed to build it. Several cards need to be played out before a building can be built, and generally this will be done by several players, in which case only one of them will be the master builder and will get full VPs, while the others will get less. Attractive chunky wooden buildings.
Victorian Parlour Games For Today. Published by Peter Davies. 1974. Book. Good. £2
Author: Patrick Beaver. Country: British.
Hardback with dustcover, 25x17cm, 140 pages. A collection of the best Victorian parlour games which are still worth playing today. There are a huge number of games described here and most take only a paragraph or two to do so. The book has many Victorian illustrations, and the games are categorised (and subcategorised) as follows: General Party Games (Blind, Chairs, Hunting, Guessing, Chase & Catch, Be Serious, Talking, Movement, Acting, Kissing, Romp), Word Games, Table Games (Pencil & Paper, Board, Domino, Solitaire), Card Games (Fun, Money), Marbles, Forfeits.
Wadi. Published by Emma Games. 2007. Box. Excellent. £9.50
Designer: Martyn F. No. players: 2-4. Country: Dutch. Duration: 35 mins.
Players place shadoufs (water pumps) in an arid landscape through which seasonal rivers (wadis) occasionally flow. When the water briefly comes the shadoufs are used to irrigate the landscape. Each turn the water which hasn't yet been pumped out of the wadi moves on, and when it leaves the board or has all been pumped, players score for the irrigated land around their shadoufs. Placement restrictions and pumping rules mean that many areas will score for several shadoufs and using this to your advantage is the key to winning.
Wapi. Published by Tactic. 2003. Box. Excellent. £11
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-4. Country: Finland. Duration: 20 mins.
Odd looking game with an American Indian theme. Players draw chits which show silver or rock which will be placed into one of 6 mines, or mine tokens which are used to claim a share in one of the 6 mines. Players can only claim up to 3 of the mines. An early mine claim allows you to play good silver chits into it but also allows opponents to fill your mine with worthless rock. Won a French Best Strategy Game award in 2003.
Waterloo. Published by Phalanx. 2001. Box. Excellent. £16
Designer: Alexander S. Berg. No. players: 2-3. Country: German. Duration: 2 hrs.
Wargame covering the Battle of Waterloo. One player controls the French forces and the other the Anglo-Dutch-Prussian forces (though these can be split up for a 3 player game). Cards are used to drive the game (move units, give combat bonuses, artillery fire etc), and no dice are used. It is a low complexity game which has been very nicely produced, and is a good crossover wargame / German style game.
Weapons & Warriors: Castle Combat Set. Published by Pressman. 1994. Box. Good. £28
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Battle game in which one player has a big 3-D castle with three towers and the attacker has 5 smaller defensive positions. They are all put together with elastic bands in such a way that if hit in the right place by cannon balls, which are propelled by spring loaded cannons, ballistae and catapults, they will spring apart. Each player also has a dozen or so soldiers to man their locations and the idea is to be the first to kill all the opposing soldiers by hitting them and their defences with cannonballs! Great bits and amazing fun!
Weapons & Warriors: Pirate Battle Game. Published by Pressman. ca.1996. Box. Good. £28
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Special notes: Original rules missing - printout supplied
Battle game in which one player has a 3-D pirate ship, a skiff and an island with palisades and the other has a 3-D pirate ship, skiff and a fort. The ships, palisades, fort etc are all put together with elastic bands in such a way that if hit in the right place by cannon balls, which are propelled by spring loaded cannons and mortars, they will spring apart. Each player also has 10 pirates to man their locations and the idea is to be the first to kill all the opposing pirates by hitting them and their defences with cannonballs! Great bits and amazing fun!
Wer Hat Mehr?. Published by Piatnik. 1990. Box. Excellent. £6
Designer: Alan R Moon. No. players: 2-5. Country: Austrian. Duration: 40 mins.
Trick taking game which is best with 3-4 players. The cards are divided into 3 suits. Before play players secretly indicate which suits they think they will take the most tricks in or if they wish indicate they will win fewest tricks of all. Points are scored for making your bids and lost for failing to make them.
Who Stole Ed's Pants. Published by Eight Foot Lllama. 2001. Box. Good. £7
Designer: Jim Doherty. No. players: 3-4. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Ed's pants have been stolen, but no-one wants to actually ask Ed about the unfortunate incident, so instead the players spread rumours and speculation about what happened, which will make it look increasingly likely that a particular player was the culprit. The game uses cards which give 'evidence' for the time of the theft, the location of the crime and partial descriptions of the thief. When the round ends the most likely culprit is blamed. With four players it is played as a partnership game.
Zodiac. Published by Chad Valley. ca.1965. Box. Good. £5.75
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Special notes: 1 corner taped and the box edges show wear
Economic game combining an odd mix of astrology and materialistic goals. The winner of the game is the player who first manages to purchase a house + a flat + £1000 in shares + a car and a boat. The game is played on a track of the days of the year with days assigned to the various signs of the zodiac. Each month there is a payday, and each time one is passed money is earned, which will be needed to pay for the various status symbols as well as paying when landing on spaces belonging to other players - the amount depending on how many houses / flats / boats etc that player owns. There are several types of event cards as well.