Jun 2014 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?
10 Days In Asia. Published by Out Of The Box. 2008. Box. In shrink. £16
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 Asia using country cards, plane, ship and railway cards. There are special card holders to ease play and a map board showing Asia from Turkey to Papua New Guinea. Thus you can see which countries are adjacent and which permitted for each type of travel. The game poses interesting puzzle-like challenges, and is one I very much enjoy - highly recommended. It also has enough twists compared to Europa Tour to make it worth having this as well if you like the type of game. Great for teaching the kids geography without them realising too.
1001 Karawane. Published by Argentum Verlag. 2007. Box. Excellent. £12
Designer: Roman Mathar. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Each player is a caravan master who has heard rumours of legendary magic items lost out in the desert. Players venture into the desert and secretly look at tiles as they go. Each turn water is required, and guards may be needed to fend off thieves. These can either be from very limited cards in hand or if you have seen a suitable tile that turn you can declare it, but this gives the other players information. Players can also call upon a powerful djinn to transport them and / or shift the desert sands to confuse followers. Unusual.
1830. Published by Avalon Hill. 1986. Box. Excellent. £42
Designer: Francis Tresham. No. players: 3-6. Country: American. Duration: 5 hrs.
Very popular 18XX railroad game. This game has a stock market system that lets you wheel and deal in the shares, so you do not necessarily have to have a major stockholding in one of the big companies in order to do well. The game is played on a map of the Eastern U.S. Very highly regarded.
7 Wonders. Published by Repos. 2010. Box. Good. £27.50
Designer: Antoibe Bauza. No. players: 2-7. Country: Belgian. Duration: 30 mins.
Civilisation building card game. Each player is given a board representing a different ancient civilisation, which can build unique monuments for different effects and has access to different initial commodities. Game play involves drafting cards by choosing one from a hand, paying for it, passing on the remaining cards and repeating. This is done with three sets of hands during the game. Cards can provide additional resources either every turn or on a one off basis, give VPs in various ways at the end of the game, or build up an army. Armies are compared with neighbouring civilisations at the end of each hand, and it is possible to use your neighbours' resources by paying them money. Interesting, fun and fast. Highly recommended.
A Book Of Card Games. Published by Klutz Press. 1990. Book. Good. £0.70
Author: John Cassidy. Country: American.
Spiral bound, 22x14cm, 124 pages. An easy to read, and humorously presented (including nice black & white film shots) card games book which covers 20 card games, 2 card tricks and plans for a 3 storey house of cards. The card games covered are: Goofenspiel, War, Egyptian War, Concentration, I Doubt It, Rummy (4 games), Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Oh Hell, Michigan, Hearts, Poker (3 versions), Klondike, Yukon, Bristol Fans, Grandfather's Clock.
A Book On Casino Blackjack. Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. 1982. Book. Good. £8
Author: C. Ionescu Tulcea. Country: American.
Softback, 23x15cm, 130 pages. This book describes the rules of Blackjack as played in casinos, and then describes the basic betting strategy for good play in order to minimise the casino's edge. The Main-Count system is detailed to allow a card counter to gain an edge on the casino. The 99 Count and Adjusted Count systems are also described. Finally there is a chapter with useful information for anyone who intends to try to put all this into practice in an actual casino.
A Book On Casino Craps. Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. 1981. Book. Good. £2
Author: C. Ionescu Tulcea. Country: American.
Softback, 23x15cm, 149 pages. As well as covering the dice game of Craps as played in casinos in great detail (covering how to play, and analysing all the possible bets), this book covers other gambling games played with dice, and also gives a grounding in probability and presents various commonly used gambling systems.
A Gambling Box. Published by Redstone Press. 1992. Book. Excellent. £3
Author: Kate Pullinger. Country: British.
Hardback, 16x11cm, 144 pages. Originally part of a boxed set which included components for La Loteria and a Chinese Dream Interpretation booklet - these are no longer present. The book does cover a variety of gambling related topics, ranging from The Gambler's Lament from the ancient Indian Rigveda, through Sigmund Freud's thoughts on gambling to notes on Las Vegas, and somehow going via Balinese cock fighting and Apache playing cards. Quite a compilation!
A New Book Of Patience Games. Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul. Book. 2 copies available:
1) 1935. Good. Some
speckling on first and last few pages. £0.90
2) 1948. Good. £2.50
Author: Ernest Bergholt. Country: British.
Hardback with dustcover, 19x13cm, 119 pages. 29 games of patience are described with diagrams to illustrate. Of these 29 games 11 were designed by the author and were published here for the first time. The games are: Tower of Hanoi, Fours, Travellers, Squares, Doubles & Quits, Patch, Puss In The Corner (x2), Belgian Patience, Wedge, Gate, Cribbage Patience, Poker Patience, Golf, Demon, Gaps, Double-Dot, Pendulum, Chinaman, Agnes, Usk, Flower Garden, Three Suit, Cartwheel. Harp, Four Marriages, Intrigue, Corona, Giant.
Age Of Industry. Published by Treefrog Games. 2010. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £21 2) In shrink. £23
Designer: Martin Wallace. No. players: 2-5. Country: British. Duration: 2 hrs.
Redeveloped and streamlined version of Brass, which takes about an hour less to play. Thus the game is still set in the industrial revolution, but this time in either New England or Germany (the board is double sided). The game is all about investing as effectively as possible to make profit. Cards are played to allow investments to be made on the board, and development tokens are used to allow access to more advanced technology. A major difference between this and Brass is that it is played over a single 'phase' rather than first having a canal phase and then a railway phase.
Airships / Giganten Der Lüfte. Published by Queen Games. 2007. Box.
1) Airships. Excellent. £9 2) Giganten Der Lüfte. In shrink. £10
Designer: Andreas Seyfarth. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Dice based game with lots of interesting decisions to make. Players are builders of giant airships, and start off with a basic facility. Each turn a player can choose one laboratory enhancement or one airship or later on in the game a section of the Hindenburg they wish to try to construct. Certain dice rolls will be needed in order to achieve this. There are three levels of special dice and many improvements give additional dice or access to better dice which will in turn allow you a chance to obtain better upgrades etc next turn.
Aladdin's Dragons Card Game. Published by R&D Games. 2010. Box. In shrink. £5
Designer: Richard Breese. No. players: 3-5. Country: British. Duration: 40 mins.
A shortened and simplified version of Richard Breese's excellent board game. This version uses only cards, but in a clever way, to give most of the feel of the board game but in about half the time. Players use their villager cards to lay claim to resources from the caves, make use of several possible special actions, get into the palace and then buy artifacts. Spell cards can be used for surprise effect, and artifacts also bring special powers to their owners.
Apples To Apples. Box. 2 editions available:
1) Published by
Mattel. 2012. Good. This set includes a mini expansion: The Big Picture (20
extra red apple cards with pictures rather than words). £26
2) Published by Out Of The Box. 2007. Excellent. £25
Designer: Mark Alan Osterhaus, Matthew Kirby. No. players: 4-10. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
A family favourite! Fun for gamers and non-gamers alike. Each player has a hand of cards naming people, places and things, and each round one player draws an adjective card and all other players select one of their cards which seems appropriate. The judge for the round reads them out one at a time, and chooses his favourite. Great fun filler. Recommended.
Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror. Published by Fantasy Flight. 2006. Box. In shrink. £28
Designer: Richard Launius. No. players: 1-8. Country: American. Duration: 3 hrs.
Expansion for Fantasy Flight's edition of Arkham Horror, which you will need to make use of this set. Dunwich is now included on an additional map, and the Dunwich Horror must also be dealt with. New concepts include gate bursts, madness and injury cards, tasks and missions. Also included are new investigators, new Ancient Ones (if that isn't a contradiction), lots of new items, skills and encounter cards. Over 300+ cards to add to keep the game fresh.
Ars Mysteriorium. Published by Hangman Games. 2005. Box. New. £15.50
Designer: Alan D. Ernstein. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
As apprentice alchemists the players see who can earn the most money by gathering basic elements (eg. brimstone, verdigris, salt, etc.) from various suppliers and then using them in alchemical recipes. At the end of the game monetary rewards are paid out for sets of recipes and the most successful alchemist will be declared a Master. Game play involves deciding how to deploy your 'favours' amongst the shops and the masters each turn and making the best use of the elements you manage to gather.
Auf Achse. Published by F X Schmid. 1991. Box. 2 copies available
1) Good, but corners taped. £8 2) Good. £10
Designer: Wolfgang Kramer. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
Excellent route planning and delivery game. Players drive their delivery trucks up and down Germany and neighbouring countries, competing for contracts which come up at auction. Very nice lorries and goods to put on them. I also have some house rules to reduce the luck of the dice used for movement, which adds to the skill level quite a bit, making it a game I can recommend.
Auf Heller Und Pfennig. Published by Hans Im Glück. 1994. Box. Excellent. £15
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Excellent game in which players fill the board with tiles representing the populace of a medieval marketplace. Some are customers with varying degrees of wealth to spend and some are thieves. However, the players also have their stalls to set up. When the board is full each stall scores for every customer and thief in its row and column. Thus placement is difficult as you would like to set up a great position for your stall, but if you do you can be very sure that another player will get there first. There are other clever aspects to the game too, making it one I can highly recommend.
Bargain Hunter. Published by Valley Games. 2010. Box. In shrink. £8.50
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg. No. players: 3-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Reprint of Schnappchen Jagd. Clever trick taking card game. Each hand each player is aiming to collect tricks containing cards of a particular type. These score points, but other cards won are potentially negative. However in between rounds you get a chance to get rid of some junk cards you have collected and also change what you are going for in the next hand. The rules for trumps are novel as well. Recommended to any fans of trick taking games. Especially good for 3 players.
Battle Masters. Published by Milton Bradley. 1992. Box. Good, but corners taped. £22
Designer: Steve Baker. No. players: 2. Country: British. Duration: 1 hr.
Enormous fantasy war game played on a huge vinyl mat that you lay on the floor. Over 100 plastic figures are used in a game that owes a lot to figure wargaming but never forgets it is a board game. Uses neat movement rules (using special cards). Truly amazing bits.
Beyond Boardwalk And Park Place. Published by Bantam. 1986. Book. Good. £3.50
Author: Noel Gunther, Richard Hutton. Country: American.
Softback, 21x13cm, 109 pages. Subtitled: "The Unauthorized Guide to Making Monopoly Fun Again". This book covers: Getting Started (how to play the author's way), Playing to Win (general strategy, early, mid and end game issues), Training and Etiquette, Appendices.
Black Box. Published by Milton Bradley. 1977. Box. Good. £8
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Not the same as the Eric Solomon game of this name. Published as Baffle Box in the UK. The game makes use of a clever mechanism with a 6x6 grid of holes, and 36 balls. When one ball is put into a hole it stays put, out of sight, but if another is put in the same hole it falls through and comes back out. The balls are divided between the players who must put a ball in a row stated by the previous player. If a ball comes out they retain it. Players are trying to get rid of all their balls and it is possible to challenge if you think there are no longer any unoccupied holes in the stated row. Very neat physical mechanism.
Black Box. Published by Waddingtons. 1977. Box. 3 copies available:
1) Good. Minor crack in plastic case. £1 2) Good. £3
Designer: Eric Solomon. No. players: 2. Country: British. Duration: 20 mins.
Unusually packaged (for Waddingtons) in a plastic case. This is an excellent deduction game. One player secretly sets the position of 4 light reflecting 'atoms' and the other player sends theoretical rays of light into the black box, and is told where the ray of light comes out. Since the light may have been reflected by multiple 'atoms' this can get quite complex and requires quite a bit of logical thought. Recommended highly to anyone who likes games of logic and deduction.
Blackmail. Published by Van der Veer. 2000. Box. In shrink. £5.50
Designer: Jacques Deul. No. players: 2-4. Country: Singapore. Duration: 90 mins.
Special Notes: Numbered copy: 0561.
Blackmail for fun and profit! Players attempt to bankrupt the other players or be the first to accumulate $250000. Players move their playing pieces around a track and get to set up cameras on the various spaces in the hope of capturing incriminating evidence. Once such evidence is gathered the blackmail can start! Whenever a player then completes a trip around the board they have to pay any blackmail, or possibly set some thugs or even the FBI onto the blackmailer. Produced in a limited edition of 2000.
Blast! Published by Waddingtons. 1988. Box. Good. £1.75
Designer: Family Games. No. players: 2-7. Country: British.
Dice and card game. Players roll two dice (one normal, one special) and whoever has a card that matches the roll plays the card to the table. Should the card already be on the table an action card is drawn and played which gives the current player choices generally involving taking another player down a peg or two. Note this is unrelated to 'Blast Off!' by the same company.
Bootleggers. Published by Eagle Games. 2004. Box. Excellent. £16
Designer: Ray Eifler, Don Beyer, Steve Gross. No. players: 3-6. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Business game set in 1920s prohibition America. With alcohol banned, the underground world of stills and speakeasies is highly lucrative. However, to ensure your organisation can operate smoothly you need to keep the police looking the other way and avoid the less corruptible 'G-Men'. In addition organised crime takes an interest. The game involves managing your business from still to speakeasy, trading with other players and knowing when to employ your hired 'muscle' to get the job done.
British Rails. Published by Mayfair. 1984. Box. Excellent - unplayed. £14
Designer: Jim Griffin. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 3 hrs.
Train game, the follow-up to the successful Empire Builder but this time using a map of the British Isles. Players get to ‘build’ (draw) their own rail line on the board and then use it to transport cargo around the country. Players start with enough money to build short lengths of track, and by running their trains and delivering goods to various cities acquire more cash which they can use to expand their networks, and thus run more goods etc.
Buggo. Published by Ravensburger. 2000. Box. Good. £3
Designer: Dan Gilbert. No. players: 2-8. Country: British. Duration: 20 mins.
Memory based game in which tiles showing a variety of bugs are laid face down on the table. Players draw a card indicating how many bugs they can find this turn. Finding more than this number or finding Buggo the spider ends the turn. Otherwise, bug tiles are kept to score at the end of the game.
Can't Stop. Published by Franjos. 1991. Box. Good. £17
Designer: Sid Sackson. No. players: 2-4. Country: German.
One of the best dice games ever devised. Players roll 4 dice and use the numbers on pairs of them to advance their markers. They may then either stick with what they have got or roll again in order to advance further. However, if a roll is made and the numbers cannot be used then all progress that turn is lost! The game is also well named as it is far too easy to make 'just one more roll' and bust! Highly recommended. This edition has a rollup vinyl mat and uses wooden playing pieces, and has been given a superficial mountain climbing theme.
Caprice. Published by Gold Sieber. 1999. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £7 2) Excellent. £6
Designer: Rotgers U Bolten. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 20 mins.
Strategy game with wooden pieces and a wooden board. The large wooden pieces are used to form towers on the board, with players being able to introduce a new piece each turn, and then move a piece already on the board. Players start with secret cards showing target shape combinations which they will score points for if they manage to achieve them at the end of the game, thus you may be able to work out what your opponents are aiming for and hinder them.
Carat. Published by Queen Games. 1998. Box. Good. £7
Designer: Dirk Henn. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Skilful tile laying game, with unusually shaped tiles representing different multi-coloured diamonds. Players must place their tiles around numbered discs, and when a disc is completely surrounded it is taken out of play. Play continues until all discs are surrounded. They are then returned to their start position and players score according to how many tiles they surrounded or helped to surround. Scoring is further amended by how many different players were involved in a complete surround of a disc.
Card Tricks And Patience. Published by Starfish Books. 1976. Book. Good. £0.70
Author: Donald Sapsford. Country: British.
Softback, 18x11cm, 138 pages. A collection of 30 card tricks and 11 games of patience aimed at the younger reader. Includes plenty of diagrams and illustrations.
Carson City. Published by QWG. 2009. Box. Excellent. £25
Designer: Xavier Georges. No. players: 2-5. Country: Dutch. Duration: 90 mins.
Strategy game set in the Wild West. Players select a character each round, the different characters giving different advantages, and then send out their cowboys to perform various actions. However, should two cowboys both want to perform the same action they must duel. Actions include claiming plots, building houses or roads and obtaining extra money or victory points in various ways. There is also a dilemma: when to buy VPs, as they get more and more expensive as the game goes on but money is scarce early in the game.
Cartagena 2: The Pirate's Nest. Published by Rio Grande Games. 2007. Box. Excellent. £13
Designer: Leo Colovini. No. players: 2-5. Country: American. Duration: 40 mins.
An updated and somewhat altered version of Cartagena. Each player tries to get his pirates across two islands to the pirates' safe town. Cards are used to move your pieces forwards, but to get new cards you must move your opponents' pieces forwards. There is also a boat between the two islands which needs to be used to cross from one to the other. Movement is such that getting a string of pieces on successive spaces showing the same symbol allows a lot of movement, but in this version, the boat breaks up such sequences. An interesting update.
Cast Puzzle: Cricket. Published by Hanayama Toys. 2004. Box. New. £3.50
Designer: JapanAll Design. No. players: 1. Country: Belgian.
Metal puzzle which you must try to take apart and then put back together again without using force. Really nicely produced - very high quality and all metal. This puzzle consists of a set of cricket wickets and 6 cricket bats joined at the handle, with a ball and stumps. Difficulty level 2/6.
Castle Dice. Published by Fun To 11. 2011. Box. Excellent. £20
Designer: Luke Peterschmidt. No. players: 1-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Dice based resource gathering game. Some of the 64 special dice are rolled each turn, and the results form the pool of resources for that turn which the players then take it in turn to draft from. The resources are assorted animals and building materials. The animals give various benefits if you have most of a type, as well as being sellable at the market for useful cards. The building resources can be spent to recruit various villagers to assist you in future rounds or buy parts of the castle which score points. After seven rounds the player who has built the most (in VPs) wins.
Catacombs: Dark Passageways. Published by Sands Of Time. 2011. In shrink. £7
Designer: Ryan Amos, Marc Kelsey, Aron West. No. players: 2-5. Country: Canadian. Duration: 45 mins.
Small expansion for this mould breaking dungeon crawl game. You will require the base game in order to make use of this. This is a set of 17 new cards which are added to the room decks for each level and shuffled in. When one of these is drawn then there is either a mini encounter or the setup of the following standard room is altered for extra variety, interest and challenge.
Challenge Anneka. Published by Paul Lamond. 1990. Box. Good. £0.80
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
TV related, based on the BBC TV programme featuring Anneka Rice (where she was faced with a daunting challenge and she always came up smiling). Players draw cards while moving around the board telling them what they need (1,000 bricks, 2,000 yards of turf, etc.), and then they must get these items by making 'telephone calls', using an intriguing system - a yellow pages style telephone book with 4 digit dice combinations and the results. Players know what categories the first two digits indicate, and arrange the roll of 4 dice in order to try to get items which will help them complete their mission. Anneka Rice pictured on the lid and the rules.
Cheers And Tears. Published by John Waddington Ltd. 1963. Box. Good. £0.80
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British.
Card game in which the cards come in 3 card sets and show a child either happy (cheers x2) or crying (tears x1) over an incident. Play involves playing cheers cards to the table in front of you, or stealing a card from an opponent with a matching card, but in order to complete a set of your own or discard a set of an opponent's a matching tears card must be played. Cute period artwork.
Chicago. Published by Flying Turtle. 1988. Box. Excellent. £10
Designer: J H Vanaise. No. players: 2-4. Country: Belgian. Duration: 90 mins.
Second edition. A gangster game with unique wooden pieces, sort of Halma men with changeable heads. Players try to occupy key locations on the board and so earn income. The strength of your men varies according to the results of battles with other gangsters and you change the heads to indicated this.
Chinatown. Published by QWG Games. 2008. Box. In shrink. £18.50
Designer: Karsten Hartwig. No. players: 3-5. Country: Dutch. Duration: 90 mins.
Dutch reprint. Wheeling and dealing in 1930s New York. Players acquire and trade city blocks and businesses in Chinatown. Identical adjacent businesses count as a single larger business which is more profitable than the two were separately. Most of the resources are dealt out or drawn unseen, but this creates lots of opportunity to trade between the players, and to do well you will need to be willing to make deals as much as possible.
Civil War Game: 1863. Published by Parker Brothers. 1961. Box. Good, but one edge taped. £11
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
American civil war game played out on an 18x18 square grid showing the main waterways, mountains, railroads and key cities. Units are infantry, cavalry and gunboats each with their own movement restrictions. Combat results are deterministic, but with choices available to the attacker, except when forces are equal where luck is involved. Taking a key enemy city also eliminates some opposing forces.
Come Out To Play! Published by Willmer Brothers. 1974. Book. Excellent. £1
Designer: J.M. Kamps, A.C.W. Tjoelker. Country: British.
Softback, 18x12cm, 96 pages. A collection of games and activities for children to play divided into the following categories: Competitive Games, Indoor Games, Competitions Round the Table, Blindfold Games, Games of Tag, Games of All Sorts.
Commuter. Published by SMT. ca.1985. Box. Excellent. £1.50
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. £5
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.
Confucius. Published by Surprised Stare Games. 2008. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £21.50 2) Excellent. £19
Designer: Alan Paull. No. players: 3-5. Country: British. Duration: 2 hrs.
Set in China during the Ming Dynasty the players act as the leading families and vie for political power and influence over the government. However, this is not done by force of arms, but rather more subtly. Gifts are given and received, and thus favours are earned and redeemed for use when voting occurs. Players will need to focus on the three principal government ministries as well as the trading fleets and the invasion of foreign lands in order to gain the favour of the Emperor. Lots of scope for cunning and intrigue.
CoverUp. Published by Out Of The Box. 2005. Box. Good. £7
Designer: Ruddell Designs. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 15 mins.
3-D four in a row game. Players take it in turn to place a disk onto the board trying to make a line of four of their pieces. The clever twist here is that each space has three layers. A small piece can only go on the bottom level, a medium piece only on the middle level and a large piece only on the top. A larger piece covers smaller pieces which no longer count while covered. A large piece can be moved instead of adding a new piece, but beware what gets uncovered by such a move!
Crossword Challenge. Published by Crown & Andrews. 1991. Box. Good. £3
Designer: Great Games Pty Ltd. No. players: 3-6. Country: Australian. Duration: 1 hr.
Competitive crossword game. Each player has a copy of a crossword grid, and a clue for a word is read out and the players compete to get that word correct. Points are awarded for correct guesses and lost for incorrect guesses. If no-one gets a clue players come back to it later. There are over 40 crosswords to do in this set and they are categorised as Standard Crosswords levels 1-3, Double Clue Crosswords levels 2-3, Number Key level 2, Story Crosswords levels 1-2, Word Search level 1-3, Word Games level 2. One player needs to act as the games master. A great item for crossword lovers.
Crude: The Oil Game. Published by Stronghold Games. 2012. Box. In shrink. £36
Designer: James St Laurent. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Reprint of McMulti, with a different board and some updated rules. Brilliant game based on the oil extraction, refining and retail industry with masses of chunky plastic components. The game uses dice to activate machinery which has been purchased and placed on your island, and also activates plant on adjoining players' islands in the same row and column. Prices fluctuate as the economy changes. The game is very highly regarded as a business game. I haven't played this edition, but I always highly recommended the original.
Crystal Faire. Published by Hangman Games. 2006. Box. New. £14
Designer: Alan Ernstein. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 2 hrs.
Special Notes: Number 564.
Limited edition gem trading game. The game uses lots of glass beads as the gems which players trade with each other, manipulating the prices of the gems in the market to their advantage. The trading mechanism is unusual - some gems are offered openly while others are offered unrevealed, with rules determining the possible mixes. At the end of each trading session the players with the most of each type of gem are rewarded, but some of those gems will be lost prior to the next session of trading.
Cubus. Published by Edition Perluhn. 1987. Box. Good. £10
Designer: Reinhold Wittig. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Very unusual game in which players construct 3-D looking boxes using 2D tiles. Points are scored for creating new boxes in clever ways using as few new tiles as possible. The tiles represent the sides and the lids of the boxes and the shading makes it clear which each piece is. During play tiles can be rearranged, so you will need to try to visualise how you could move the tiles and add some to make a viable layout which if it were in 3-D would be larger in volume than before!
Dawn Under. Published by Rio Grande Games. 2004. Box. In shrink. £14
Designer: Norbert Proena. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 25 mins.
Family game intended as a light but fun game for children (age 6+) but also with a challenge for adults. The players control vampires who need to find safe hiding places as dawn approaches. Game play involves lifting the lid of a crypt and if it is empty and the colour matches an unplaced vampire then the vampire is put safely into the crypt. However, garlic can be revealed (not good) or a rat, which causes a one off special opportunity to examine adjacent crypts. Well received memory game with great bits and an interesting theme.
Delfino. Published by Franckh. ca.1989. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Hajo Bücken. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 40 mins.
Tile based game which makes use of 25 very attractive tiles depicting leaping dolphins. These are placed in a 5x5 grid. Players move their playing pieces around the board and get to rotate the dolphin tiles trying to make dolphins point together in a group of four. The game also uses 5 special dice.
Demonstealer. Published by Puffin Books. 1991. Book. Excellent. £0.40
Author: Marc Gascoigne. Country: British.
Softback, 18x11cm, 227 pages. Fantasy novel based on the Fighting Fantasy series of game books, and 'presented by' Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone. The story starts with a thief borne on the wings of an immense bat stealing an arcane scroll. Chadda Drakmane and friends follow the trail and have a suitable set of adventures in trying to get the scroll back.
Der Herr Der Ringe - Die Zwei Turme - Spiel Zum Film. Published by Kosmos. 2002. Box. Excellent. £14.50
Designer: J.R.R. Hering. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Game (sort of) themed on the second Lord of the Rings book / film: The Two Towers. The game shows Saruman and Sauron's towers at opposite corners of the board. The players compete to stop the orcs massing from both sides and joining up. If there is ever an unbroken mass of orcs all across the board then the game has been lost. Otherwise the players try to prove themselves the most heroic by seeing who can defeat most orcs. The game is driven by card play - the cards allowing movement of the pieces by various amounts in particular directions.
Der Herr Der Ringe - Die Zwei Turme Kartenspiel. Published by Ravensburger. 2002. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £2.75 2) Excellent. £2.25
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
One of the Lord of the Rings games which came out in Germany while the films were being released. This one is a rather neat card game based very loosely on the journey in the 2nd film. The cards have different background colours and symbols (as well as pictures of the major characters from the film), and these must be drafted into suitable sets. When the Fellowship marker gets to a scoring round players lay down sets of cards according to the rules and the player with the most influence over the current location scores most VPs, down to none for the player with the least influence. Drafting and scoring rounds are interspersed, and VPs counted at the end. Works rather well.
Die Drachenbändiger Von Zavandor. Published by Lookout Games. 2006. Box. In shrink. £6
Designer: Hanno Girke. No. players: 2-6. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Card game in which the players fight dragons with swords and nets. Dragon cards show a number of swords and nets, and players simultaneously choose a card to play. Who (if anyone) manages to capture the dragon depends on how many swords and how many nets were played, and in what order. The cards are all numbered, so you will know roughly when in the round to expect your card to be actioned, and so can try to plan for it to be at the critical moment to ensure you are the one who subdues the dragon. The player who captures the best collection of dragons by the end of the game wins.
Die Pyramiden Des Jaguar. Published by Kosmos. 2002. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £7.75 2) Excellent. £7.25
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 1-40), and their opponent takes one and adds it to their pyramid structure and the remaining card is added to the offerer's pyramid. The pyramids are shown on a board and 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 which is based on the earlier game Pacal.
Die Schlacht Der Dinosaurier. Published by Schmidt. 1994. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Good. £30 2) Good, but box edges taped. £28
Designer: Steve Baker. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
Wonderfully produced light multi-player wargame. Players each have a horde of dinosaurs of various sizes (all with wonderful and large plastic figures), and cards which are used to move and attack enemy units. Combat uses dice, but more dice are used by bigger dinos. Special lava balls can be used to reroll dice when really needed. So amazingly produced it just has to be seen to be believed.
Die Seidenstrasse. Published by Schmidt. 1998. Box. Excellent. £10
Designer: Hartmut Kommerell. No. players: 2-7. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Special Notes: This set includes a home made set of cards with English text to improve playability.
Original game set in the trading routes on the Silk Road between China and Venice. Players choose their move by play of cards, with an objective of reaching towns on the route before others. As each town is reached money is won. One very neat idea is that cards played from the hand are played on yourself, but then stay in front of you and will be played again on another player before being discarded, and since only three cards can be in front of you at once you will have to play them in this way even if it isn't entirely desirable.
Die Sternenfahrer Von Catan. Published by Kosmos. 1999. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Good. £16 2) Excellent. £18
Designer: Klaus Teuber. No. players: 3-4. Country: German. Duration: 2 hrs.
Special Notes: For £2 extra I will provide sheets of laminated event cards in English which eases play considerably.
Settlers of Catan goes into space. Each player gets a huge mothership (truly amazing) onto which extra rockets and weapons are attached as the game progresses. The motherships are also shaken and little balls show at the bottom, and this is used to determine movement allowances and events in space. The board shows start planets and various systems the players send colony ships and trade ships to. The resource system is essentially the same as that used in Settlers. As well as trading with other players, trade ships can gain concessions from various alien races which give that player an advantage. Truly amazing bits.
Double. Published by Hiron. 1986. Box. Good. £1.80
Designer: Maureen Hiron. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Card game, 72 numbered cards each with three coloured sections. Game play is related to various domino games in that you play cards so they match up with those already on the table in order to get rid of them from your hand, and try to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.
Draco & Co. Published by Descartes Editeur. 2001. Box. Good. £7.50
Designer: Michael Schacht, Bruno Faidutti. No. players: 3-6. Country: French. Duration: 40 mins.
Draco is the chief of a big gang of bandits. After a raid the gang meet up at an inn and have plenty to eat and drink, and the gang members (two per player) jostle for position (using cards) to get onto the right side of Draco, as whenever a toast is called for he rewards those on his good side with treasure, but takes some from those on his bad side.
Drumlin. Published by F X Schmid. 1987. Box. Good, 1 box edge taped. £8
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Very good abstract game. Players represent elephant herds some of which turn into dragons! What a theme for a game. The objective is to move the Drumlin across the other player's baseline. Although all pieces start out as elephants they can morph into dragonets and then dragons, which all have different abilities. A player can also lose the game if he only has dragons remaining on the board.
Dune. Published by Avalon Hill. 1979. Box. Good. £45
Designer: Peter Olotka, Bill Eberle & Jack Kittredge. No. players: 2-6. Country: American.
Special Notes: Nearly excellent: slight shelf wear on base. Cards unpunched
Classic multi-player game of battle and trading. First edition, with the Sandworm on the cover. Based on Frank Herbert's epic Science Fiction novel and designed by the Eon team that brought us Cosmic Encounter etc. The game is about a struggle to control spice production on the deadly planet Dune. Players control armies and have leaders, which do their best to secure the important locations on the world and dominate spice production. However, one of each player's leaders is a traitor and each side has different special abilities as well.
Easy To Do Entertainments And Diversions. Published by Dover Publications. 1961. Book. Excellent. £2.50
Author: R.M. Abraham. Country: American.
Softback, 20x14cm, 186 pages. Previously published as Winter Nights Entertainments, the assorted diversions can be performed with coins, cards, string, paper and matches. The chapters cover Card Tricks, Paper Folding, Coin Tricks, Match Tricks, String Tricks, Knots & Splices, Games for the Agile, Toys, Problems, Miscellaneous.
Einstein's Crystal Puzzle. Published by EB Excalibur Inc. 2011. Box. New. £6.50
Designer: Igor Goldman. No. players: 1. Country: American.
A 12 pointed star shaped puzzle with rotating corners (a stellated dodecahedron), which has sides of different colours. It is like a Rubik's cube in that you have to make the adjacent colours match up. What makes it interesting is that the whole thing can be taken apart and then reassembling it and getting all the rotatable corners to match is an interesting puzzle. Neat physical design.
Electronic Taboo. Published by Hasbro. 2001. Box. Excellent. £8
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 3+. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Electronic version of the excellent party game, where players must describe an object, but are not allowed to use five key words on the card. So you might have to describe an apple, without using the words "red", "fruit", "pie", "cider" or "core". This edition uses an electronic console which shows the active player and the opposing team the word being guessed, and banned words. It also does the timing. A remote buzzer button allows the opposing team to indicate that the current player has used an illegal word. Very swish!
Euphrat & Tigris. Published by Hans-Im-Gluck. 1997. Box. Good. £28
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
Civilisation development game using tiles and set in Iraq in Biblical times. A very clever and deep game in which the players must use their civilisations' leaders to greatest effect, consolidating their own position and attacking others when they are weak. Monuments can also be built, but the players have to balance development in each of farming, religion, fishing and trading as the lowest score in any of these at the end of the game is your final score! Recommended.
Euphrat Und Tigris - Wettstreit Der Konige / Euphrates & Tigris - Contest Of Kings. Box. 2005. 2 copies:
1) Euphrat Und
Tigris - Wettstreit Der Konige. Published by Hans Im Glück. Country: German.
2) Euphrates & Tigris - Contest Of Kings. Published by Rio Grande Games. Country: American. Excellent. £10
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-4. Duration: 45 mins.
Card game version of the highly regarded tile laying game Euphrat und Tigris. Players place leaders of four types into kingdoms and play cards into the kingdoms in order to claim victory points, and build ships which generate victory points for leaders of the corresponding colours. Players must ensure they get a balance of victory points in all four colours as only their lowest scoring colour counts at the end of the game.
Eurorails. Published by Mayfair Games. 1990. Box. Excellent. £14
Designer: Darwin Bromley. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 3 hrs.
Crayon rails game. The board shows Europe, and players build railway track which they mark on the board with crayons. Cards are used to determine what money is on offer for picking up and delivering goods from place to place - the payout being better for longer journeys. The money so earned can then be reinvested in a bigger network, encompassing all the major cities. Ultimately the objective is to be the first to obtain a target amount of money.
Fantasy Warlord Mass Combat Rules. Published by Folio Works. 1990. Book. Excellent - unused. £6.25
Author: Gary Chalk, Ian Bailey. Country: British.
Softback, 27x20cm, 192 pages + 20 removable sheets. A detailed set of fantasy miniatures rules for mass combat. The rules cover creating an army, organising your army, setting up for battle, giving orders, movement, terrain, missile fire, combat, morale, magic and tactical hints.
Filou. Published by 2F Spiele. 2007. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £8.50 2) In shrink. £9.50
Designer: Friedemann Friese. No. players: 3-5. Country: German. Duration: 20 mins.
Fun light game of bidding and bluffing. Players secretly play a card each into a batch. These cards can be cats of varying values (mostly +ve but a few -ve), or dogs (which scare away either the biggest or smallest cats). Players then bid for the batch, only knowing a little about what they will be getting. However, there is a monetary reward for staying in the bidding, and as players drop out more of the batch is revealed. Neat mechanics making a great fun light game - recommended.
Finstere Flure. Published by 2F Spiele. 2003. Box. Excellent. £9
Designer: Friedmann Friese. No. players: 2-7. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Fun game in which each player has 3 or 4 people who need to escape from the dungeons. However, also in the dungeons is a monster, which will kill anyone it encounters. First the players take it in turns to move their people around the dungeon floor, going around, over or behind various obstacles such as pools of blood, stone blocks, teleporters; and then the monster moves. Each round it moves a different amount, and it follows fixed rules which depend on what it can see to guide it, and woe betide anyone in its way. It is possible by clever play to manipulate the monster into finding another player's man, which is especially satisfying if they were about to escape... Unusually it plays especially well with 5-7 players.
Fluxx. Published by Looney Laboratories. 1998. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Andrew Looney. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Special Notes: Version 2.1
Card game, 80 cards that change the rules and goals of the game as the cards are played. Very easy to play as the game starts with just the rule 'Draw one card and play one card'. As the name of the game suggests everything about the game is fluid and changes from moment to moment. A game can be over in 5 minutes, or might take 30 minutes - it all depends what cards get played!
Four Scores. Published by Spear's Games. 1971. Box. Good. £1.75
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 15 mins.
Tile placement game. The tiles are rectangular cards showing a diagonal line on each half, with each line being one of four colours. The board is a rectangular grid on which the tiles are placed, but with little pegs sticking out. Around these the tiles fit neatly and then stay in position. Players alternate tile play with the objective of forming either crosses or squares made up of all four colours. On completing one of these a scoring marker is placed at the centre of that cross or square to ease tallying up the scores at the end of the game.
Four Sight. Published by Invicta. 1975. Box. Good. £0.60
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: British.
The board is a 4x4 grid onto which black and white pieces are placed. Each player is given one of 4 'keys', actually a plastic square which fits over the board and has holes for 4 of the grid locations. The key can be rotated and flipped over giving 8 possible layouts. Each player places a piece in turn and tries to get 3 of his colour and 1 of his opponent's colour to be visible beneath his key while trying to ensure his opponent can't do the same with his key. Unusual.
Freitag. Published by 2F Spiele. 2011. Box. In shrink. £9.50
Designer: Friedemann Friese. No. players: 1. Country: German. Duration: 25 mins.
The player is Man Friday, Robinson Crusoe's loyal and capable assistant. As Friday you must help your leader survive and prepare for battle against the pirates at the climax of the game. The mechanisms are those of a deck building game - you must try to fill your deck with useful cards while getting rid of the less useful ones. The game is lost if Robinson Crusoe loses all his health points, and won if the pirates are defeated. Excellent solo game with several levels of difficulty. This is the German edition, and there is a little German on some of the cards, but a page in the English rules acts as an excellent crib sheet. Recommended.
Fruit Fair. Published by Wattsalpoag. 2008. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £11.50 2) In shrink. £13
Designer: Kris Gould. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Players compete to pick a limited supply of fruit from the fruit trees, and then either hoard it to gain benefits for the next turn or spend it to gain prizes and extra workers. Ultimately the highest value of prizes will win the game. Players select their actions simultaneously each turn by ordering a set of cards. Players take actions in turn according to the amount of one type of fruit they held the previous turn - going early in the turn order is a definite advantage. However, other fruits give other benefits such as not having to order your cards in advance, being able to buy prizes and workers more cheaply and getting bonus fruit. What benefit each fruit gives changes as the game progresses.
Funny Domino. Published by Drei Magier Spiele. 2007. Box. Excellent. £2.50
Designer: Liebeth Bos. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 15 mins.
Kids game (4+ years) in which the players have domino-like cards each showing 2 out of 8 animals. Starting with a single card on the table, players add to this in domino fashion, but players take it in turn to make the noise of one of the animals which can currently be added to, and the other players simultaneously flip over their cards one at a time and the first player to find a matching animal adds it to the table. Players try to be the first to get all their cards onto the table.
Game Of The Year. Published by Spears. 1989. Box. Good. £1.40
Designer: Tom Kremer. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Cleverly titled family game. Each player must get through a year of 366 days, earning as many Red Letter Days as they can. The game is driven using a really neat spinner device consisting of flaps suspended around an axle which can be spun. It works really well, and is great fun to use and gives a choice of two moves each turn. The current player or the others may then spend money to add to the number of spaces moved to result in a good / bad event day. Events come in various flavours - a mainly good deck, a mainly bad deck and fixed events on special days of the year.
Gamers Alliance - Batch of 7. Published by H.M. Levy. Booklet. Good. £4.50
Author: H.M. Levy. Country: American.
7 16 page booklets each full of reviews of board games. Covers Winter 1987 - Spring 1989. This is still going today, but is now web based.
Games (And How To Play Them). Published by Thomas Y Crowell. 1973. Book. Good. £0.80
Author: Anne F Rockwell. Country: American.
Hardback, 26x26cm, 44 pages. A colourfully illustrated book of children's party games - some traditional, and some less well known. There are 43 games detailed. A very useful book for anyone intending to host a children's party or activity session.
Ginkgopolis. Published by Z-Man. 2012. Box. In shrink. £27
Designer: Xavier Georges. No. players: 1-5. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
City building, tile laying game in which players use cards in a variety of ways: to add new tiles around the edges of the city, to build on top of existing tiles, to make a building higher and potentially more valuable, or to generate resources when other cards are played later in the game. Players vie for control of the more valuable regions of the city, and as well as ensuring a good supply of resources, must make the best use they can of the cards they get.
Goldbrau. Published by Zoch. 2004. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £9 2) Excellent. £7.50
Designer: Franz Benno Delonge. No. players: 3-4. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Set in a Bavarian village during a beer festival, the players invest in the various breweries and beer gardens in order to make as much money as possible. During the three weeks of the festival the players vie for influence and control of the various companies as well as doing their best to expand the trade of the companies they have invested in. At the end of each week profits are calculated and distributed. Most money at the end of the festival wins.
Graenaland. Published by Altar. 2006. Box. Good. £13
Designer: Vlaada Chvatil. No. players: 3-5. Country: Czech Republic. Duration: 100 mins.
Resource management and land control game set in 982AD during the colonisation of Greenland by the Vikings. The players start off with a couple of smallholdings near the coast. Players simultaneously plot their actions on a special card and then action them, moving Vikings to where the resources will be plentiful that turn. The resources can then be spent to hire heroes, build new smallholdings, expand your army, build a church or build public improvements which will assist all players with an adjacent smallholding. The objective is to be the first to achieve a selection of secret targets. Ideal for players who like a resource management game with some conflict as well.
Grand Cru. Published by Eggert Spiele. 2010. Box. Excellent. £17
Designer: Ulrich Blum. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
Business game with a theme of setting up vineyards and bringing the wine to maturity over several years and then selling it for a good profit. The vines come in different varieties, with some wines maturing quicky, but bringing a lesser price, while others take a long time to mature but bring a high price. In addition players can purchase improvements which can increase the efficiency of their vineyard in various ways. Cleverly, the number of actions each year alters depending on the player actions. Additionally, each year wine sales gain the players prestige which can be spent to perform various useful bonus actions. The players all start with loans, and the objective is to pay off your loans and then have the most valuable vineyard.
Great Western Railway Game. Published by Gibsons. 1985. Box. Good, but box corners taped. £6
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.
Hansa Teutonica. Published by Argentum Verlag. 2009. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £24 2) Excellent. £20
Designer: Andreas Steding. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
The players are merchants who are part of the Hanseatic League. Players try to set up a network of offices in the region, as well as improving their trading skill and other abilities in order to improve their income, gain more actions and receive other bonuses. The game has various new twists on old ideas and is much more interactive than many, as it is quite possible to kick out opposing pieces from places you need, but doing so costs you, and gives your opponent an extra placement opportunity. There are many ways to score points and thus achieve victory. Very well received game - recommended.
Hansa Teutonica: East Expansion. Published by Z-Man Games. 2010. Unboxed. In shrink. £10
Designer: Andreas Steding. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Expansion for Hansa Teutonica (which you will need in order to make use of this). This expansion provides a set of bonus cards for use with the standard game, giving bonus points for getting to and majority in named cities. A new board is also provided with a different layout and a few rules tweaks thus keeping the game fresh.
Harry Potter Sculpture Puzzle. Published by Character Games Ltd. 1995. Box. Good. £0.80
Designer: Gil Druckman, Danny Herschkovitz. No. players: 1. Country: British.
Special Notes: 1 corner of the box is damaged, but repaired. One puzzle layer is slightly torn, but is still entirely usable (it won't be seen when complete)
This is an unusual jigsaw. Rather than regular pieces you get 360 layers of cardboard which you have to put one on top of the other (with a rod in the middle to hold it all together). These form a 3-D bust of Harry Potter! The makers say it is equivalent in difficulty to a 1000 piece jigsaw. It comes with a substantial base which is used to build the puzzle on and also acts as an attractive display stand.
Harry Potter Trading Card Game Two Player Starter Set. Published by Wizards of the Coast. 2001. Box.
Excellent. £4. 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 reminiscent of 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.
Heritage. Published by Industrial Art. ca.1970. Box. Box shows wear. £0.60
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British.
Set collection game using cards with very attractive full colour pictures of various stately homes, cathedrals etc around England. In addition players must move their car around the board to get to these various places. The game also has lots of information about the sites mentioned on the cards.
Hi-Q Euclid. Published by Peter Pan. ca.1980. Box. Good. £0.60
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 1. Country: British.
A thirteen piece puzzle, but much harder than that would suggest. The thirteen chunky plastic pieces are supplied with a frame into which you must try to put them. The pieces are cleverly designed based on a rounded 6 pointed star, but each having from 0 to 5 of the points removed and rounded off. Nicely tactile just as such a puzzle should be.
Horus. Published by Mayfair Games. 2008. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £13 2) Excellent. £12
Designer: H. Jean Vanaise. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Tile laying game set in ancient Egypt. Starting with just a small section of the Nile, players play tiles showing different types of land or additional river tiles. These are added to the expanding play area, but need not be placed fully aligned with the other tiles, but can be offset by half a tile, which gives additional possibilities for splitting up areas or joining them. Cards are played to determine the type of tile which can be laid and also to determine what size area an influence marker can be added to. At the end of the game the players with most influence in each region score points. A little more abstract in feel than Carcassonne, but with a similar appeal.
Hurry Cup! Published by Hurrican. 2008. Box. In shrink. £15
Designer: Antoine Bauza. No. players: 3-6. Country: Switzerland. Duration: 30 mins.
Motor racing game with some differences. A modular tiled track is laid out with various bends, which have speed limits. The basic system is that dice of different colours are rolled and then the players grab a token of the colour matching the dice they wish to use. This will depend on the speed limits for the spaces ahead. However, to keep things unpredictable a second dice must also be rolled and is added to the first dice so you can choose to drive aggressively or carefully.
Illuminati Crime Lords. Published by Steve Jackson Games. 2004. Box. Good. £14
Designer: Steve Jackson. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Standalone game using the Illuminati game system. This time the players are small time crime bosses expanding their spheres of influence in order to become the top Crime Lord. However, you can be sure that the other players will do their best to keep you down while pushing themselves to the top of the heap.
Intern. Published by Avalon Hill. 1979. Box. Good. £9
Designer: Cliff & Lou Andrew. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Players are new doctors on duty at the City Hospital. Players spend time (rather than money) to seek out patients, get them beds, diagnose them, and cure them. Movement is around a track on the board by dice roll, with spaces allowing different actions. The objective is to cure and then discharge patients successfully, but also to earn time off for sleep! A novel topic for a game.
Investor. Published by ScaMaTra. 1984. Box. Box good - contents unpunched. £0.90
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Promotional board game, a direct result of the growth of private ownership of shares in Thatcher’s Britain. Sponsored by various share dealing companies and the Daily Telegraph. You wheel and deal in 40 companies actually quoted on the UK Stock Exchange. The game play is driven by movement around a track and performing actions on spaces.
It's Alive! Published by Reiver Games. 2008. Box. Good. £6.50
Designer: Yehuda Berlinger. No. players: 2-5. Country: British. Duration: 20 mins.
Card game. The players are mad scientists all determined to be the first to create life using pre-owned body parts, alchemical methods and lots of electricity. The hardest part is getting hold of good body parts, and the players will need to buy these and sometimes resell them to make some money in order to finance other purchases. However, the wrath of the local villagers must be avoided. The first to complete their monster wins the game.
Jet Set. Published by Wattsalpoag. 2008. Box. In shrink. £16
Designer: Kris Gould. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Clever game in which the players build flight networks, while managing their very limited supply of money. Players buy the rights to route segments and pay for planes on them, and then use these planes to claim route cards which give VPs at the end of the game and allow income (very needed) to be obtained during the game. Players are also given a couple of final flight cards, and aiming to complete one of these at the end of the game is vital. A game with simple rules, but clever ideas, and fast and interesting game play. Recommended.
K2. Published by Rebel. 2010. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink, but 1 corner dented. £21 2) In shrink. £23.50
Designer: Adam Kaluza. No. players: 1-5. Country: Polish. Duration: 75 mins.
Set on the famous mountain, the players each control a team of two mountaineers who are trying to reach the peak and also survive the 18 day expedition. Game play makes use of identical decks of cards, one for each team. These are used to ascend the mountain, but the weather must be watched carefully, and ascending too fast or without proper acclimatisation can cause a team member to die from altitude sickness. Very well regarded game - recommended. I also have some house rules I feel improve it further.
Kamisado. Published by Burley Games. 2008. Box. In shrink. £21
Designer: Peter Burley. No. players: 2. Country: British. Duration: 20 mins.
Abstract game of skill and strategy based on Square Routes by the same author. Each row has one each of eight different colours, which are also the colours of the top halves of the chunky dragon towers. The base of the playing piece indicates who owns the piece. Players take it in turn to move a piece forward or diagonally forward as much as they wish, trying to get a piece onto their opponent's back row. However, what makes the game interesting is that the piece you move on your turn must be the colour of the square your opponent's last moved piece just landed on. Pieces can also be upgraded with new abilities, for multi-game play.
Key Harvest. Published by R&D / Rio Grande Games. 2007. Box. Excellent. £14
Designer: Richard Breese. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 90 mins.
Board game in Richard's popular 'Key' series. In this game each player has a grid of hexagons which are labelled, and each player starts with two areas, some goods and several workers they can deploy. Players purchase more land areas to place on their board, ideally extending their existing areas, add workers to their board to gain various benefits, and put land areas up for sale - either hoping to get them cheap for themselves in the future or to get a good price from other players. As you would expect from Richard there are plenty of clever twists and interesting mechanics ensuring you will need your wits about you while playing this game.
Keyword. Published by Parker Brothers Inc.. 1953. Box. Good. £0.90
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: American.
Special Notes: Board and plastic tiles look well used.
The first British competitor to the (then) newly released Scrabble. A good word game. Very much in the same vein as Scrabble. Wooden racks. Keyword's main differentiating feature is that there are some short target words on cards and if a player manages to put down one of these then a good bonus is awarded.
Khan. Published by White Goblin Games. 2010. Box. Excellent. £21
Designer: Christwart Conrad. No. players: 2-4. Country: Dutch. Duration: 1 hr.
The players are all Mongol generals under the Khan, and have been sent to drive out the kings from eight kingdoms and establish the entire region as a new part of the Mongol empire. The game controls a neutral general who like the players establishes yurts (tents) throughout the region. When in a group these can be claimed for the Khan by placement of a region piece, which the generals who contributed most yurts will score points for. Players also try to keep their claimed regions connected for a significant bonus at game end. Game play is card driven, with plenty of options and opportunities to outwit your fellow generals.
Kingdom. Published by Highbury Games. 1990. Box. Excellent. £15
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Multi-player wargame set in the time of King Arthur. The players fight for control over important locations which produce resources, and also attempt to complete quests in holy locations. To complete a quest a guardian has to be defeated in combat and then a riddle answered. Event cards add to the atmosphere and add a little unpredictability to proceedings.
Kingmaker. Published by Ariel. 1974. Box. Good. £15
Designer: Andrew McNeil. No. players: 2-12. Country: British. Duration: 4 hrs.
First edition. The classic game of Tudor/Lancastrian politics. Each player starts as a noble, or nobles, of the time and gradually decides which side to join in the Wars of the Roses. At the time it was truly innovative in its design and mechanics. During the game players amass troops, use ships to travel between ports, build up powerful strongholds, and seize opportunities to win critical battles over the various potential heirs to the throne. The objective is to be in control of the last heir to the throne.
Kippit. Published by Franjos. 2001. Box. New. £13
Designer: Torsten Marold. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 10 mins.
Dexterity game which uses a wooden see-saw with grooved sections onto which wooden cubes of various sizes can be placed. Unusually the objective is to make as much as possible fall off in your turn, as everything that falls off is given to your opponent. However, the important restriction is that when cubes fall off, the see-saw must also tip over, otherwise your turn ends and you keep any fallen cubes. The objective is to get rid of all your cubes. Works surprisingly well, and is good fun. Recommended.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness. Published by Identity Games. 2003. Box. Good. £7.25
Designer: Arthur Tebbe. No. players: 2-4. Country: Dutch. Duration: 45 mins.
Based on the computer game of the same name. Lara Croft is a suspect in a murder and must obtain the 5 pieces of evidence which will prove she is innocent, while the evil Eckhardt is trying to steal a set of paintings with a hidden secret. All this happens in the museum at night. The game uses tiles to form a sort of maze around which the players move trying to find what they need. Players can shoot at each other and block off their opponents' corridors etc, as well as avoiding the guards.
League Of Six. Published by Czech Games Editions. 2007. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £9.50 2) In shrink. £11
Designer: Vladimír Suchý. No. players: 3-5. Country: Czech Republic. Duration: 75 mins.
Set in 1430, the League of Six consists of 6 wealthy Lusatian towns who have joined together for trade and political stability. As young and ambitious aristocrats the players take the roles of tax collectors and try to bring in as much revenue as possible for the king whilst also gaining the support of the estates. Each turn you can visit one of the cities, and gain goods and/or influence. The game uses a very interesting system of paying to displace other players from the city they have chosen, so that getting better hauls of resources generally costs more. Ultimately the player with the most influence wins.
Legend Of Camelot. Published by Hoyle. 1987. Box. Good. £16
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Wonderfully produced multiplayer wargame that uses dice, with masses of plastic figures representing knights, catapults, castles, bridges, scaling ladders and ships. Played on a large board, colourfully illustrated with terrain and overlaid by squares. Each player has a castle which must be defended or that player is eliminated, but attacking another player's castle is quite doable with the right units and dice rolls, so pure defence is unlikely to win. Fast and furious with lots of dice rolling.
L-Game. Published by De Bono Games. 1972. Pouch. Good. £5.50
Designer: Edward De Bono. No. players: 2. Country: British.
First edition made by the designer himself. Abstract game of considerable skill. Only 4 playing pieces but with surprising depth to the strategy required. Includes rules for two variations: Gold & Silver and Added Value. The essential idea is that each player has an L shaped piece and there are two small blocking pieces. Players take it in turn to move their L piece and then a blocker, and the idea is to make your opponent unable to move their L piece on their turn. Chunky board and pieces.
Line-Out Bumper Pack. Published by Lambourne Games. 1988. Packets. Excellent. £8
Designer: Terry Goodchild. Country: British. Duration: 25 mins.
International Rugby Union replay game which comes in a ziplock bag in the usual Lambourne home DTPed type format. The system reproduces the highlights of the clashes between various international teams, and in this way allows an entire match to be replayed in about 25 mins. Team statistics are provided for the Five Nations for 1986/7 and 1987/8 + five more World Cup teams for the 1986/7 season. This bumper pack also includes the following expansions: All Blacks vs British Lions 1993, Great XVs Files 1 and 2, Five Nations Championship 1992, Five Nations Championship 1993, Rugby World Cup 1991.
Lord Of The Rings - Battlefields. Published by Hasbro. 2006. Box. In shrink. £9
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-5. Country: British. Duration: 75 mins.
Expansion for the Lord of the Rings cooperative game by Reiner. This expansion can be played with just the base game or can be combined with any / all of the other expansions. New battle boards are introduced which have to be dealt with alongside the normal scenario boards. As progress is made along the main track on the main board enemies enter the battlefield board and advance - if unchecked they will reach unpleasant spaces causing the players to lose cards and gain corruption etc. However, as an action members of the fellowship can be deployed to assist against these enemies. A great way to freshen up the original game.
Lord Of The Rings - The Confrontation / Der Herr Der Ringe - Die Entscheidung.
Published by Fantasy Flight Games. 2001. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Der Herr Der Ringe - Die Entscheidung. Country: German. Excellent. All cards and playing pieces have been pasted up in English to ease play. £7.25
2) Lord Of The Rings - The Confrontation. Country: American. Excellent. £10.50
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2. Duration: 30 mins.
Lord of the Rings themed, somewhat Stratego-like, game in which each player controls 9 characters in a battle for dominance in Middle Earth. The characters each have special powers and combat is resolved not only by comparing the characters involved (which have battle strengths and special power texts), but also by the play of action cards which give special abilities and boost battle strengths. The Fellowship player tries to sneak Frodo through to Mordor unstopped while the Sauron player tries to kill Frodo or obliterate the Shire.
Ludoviel. Published by Bewitched Spiele. 2003. Short Fat Tube. Excellent. £6. Duration: 45 mins.
Designer: F. Friese, T. Gimmler, M. Hellmich, H. Kommerell, A. Meyer. No. players: 1-8. Country: German.
A collection of eight games designed specifically to appeal to games collectors. This set includes wooden cubes, dice, an egg timer and 119 cards (in English and German). The cards each have a property that a game might have eg. 'At least one animal is involved' or 'Bridges, ships or rafts are included'. Play revolves around being able to think of games which have these properties. For example in one version of the game a player states the name of a game and the others knock if they have a card which fits that game. In another players must deduce what game a player is thinking about when playing a series of cards.
Magalon. Published by Ravensburger. 1998. Box. Excellent. £13
Designer: Wolfgang Kramer. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Fantasy themed game in which the players must move their wizard around the board and collect three magical amulets before returning home. However, in their way are a number of mystical moving ruins, two evil imps and a giant. Play involves using movement / action cards to move your wizard and the imps, giant and even the ruins, and is very tactical. Very nicely produced with very substantial ruins pieces which enhance the game visually.
Mage Stones. Published by TSR. 1990. Box. Good. £2.25
Designer: Tom Kruszewski. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 20 mins.
Players try to be the first to place all their glass bead playing pieces on the board. The board shows columns labelled 3-9 each with 9 spaces. On a player's turn they roll 3 dice each numbered 1-3, and place a stone where they wish in the indicated column. However a roll of 1-2-3 loses a turn and a triple gets another turn. Capturing is similar to Othello, but captured pieces are removed. Thus there is skill in setting up for captures and defensive play, but the dice may not give you the number you want. Good game, but sold poorly as TSR insisted on making it a Dragonlance tie in, when the game would not appeal to most D&D players, and players of this type of game would generally be put off by the Dragonlance logo.
Mall World / Grosse Geschafte. 2004. Box. Several copies available:
Geschafte. Published by Bewitched Spiele. Country: German. In shrink. £8.50
2) Grosse Geschafte. Published by Bewitched Spiele. Country: German. Excellent. £7.50
3) Mall World. Published by Rio Grande Games. Country: American. Excellent. £11
Designer: Andrea Meyer. No. players: 3-5. Duration: 90 mins.
A giant mall is to be built and the players are supervising the planning. Players obtain contracts to get certain types of buildings placed in groups by the end of the game, and will score for each such occurrence. In addition the players auction up cards which allow the play of the buildings to the board, and so players must try to obtain contracts and building placement cards which go together well. The game also gives incentives to play contracts both early and late in the game, so making the choice of when to do what quite tricky.
Mammoth Hunters / Eiszeit. 2003. Box. 2 editions available:
Published by Alea. Country: German. Good. Cards have been pasted up with
English text to ease play. 1 stone token missing - replaced with scanned,
mounted copy. £5.75
2) Mammoth Hunters. Published by Rio Grande Games. Country: American. Good. £12
Designer: Alan Moon, Aaron Weissblum. No. players: 3-5. Duration: 90 mins.
The players place their hunters onto the board trying to dominate regions, especially those in which mammoths are present, as mammoth meat is much needed. Also each turn an additional region is covered by the advancing ice sheet and so as the game goes on there is more competition for scarce resources. The game uses two sets of cards, one set which earns you stones, but which forces you to assist other players, while the other set of cards costs you stones to use, but lets you advance your own position.
Masquerade. Published by Z-Man Games. 2007. Box. In shrink. £6.50
Designer: Satoshi Nakamura. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Fantasy card game originating in Japan - this US edition is fully in English. Each player assumes a secret identity with a unique way of gaining bonus victory points. The players send their 'dancer' to six different adventure locations in order to achieve their goals. There are various ways in which you can score points such as fighting monsters for treasure, accumulating spell cards, or stealing from other players. Unusual game.
Maya. Published by Abacus Spiele. 2003. Box. Several copies available:
1) In shrink. £7.50 2) Excellent. £6.75 3) Good. £6
Designer: Bernd Eisenstein. No. players: 3-5. Country: German. Duration: 75 mins.
Card and board game in which players vie to contribute most toward building 4 Mayan pyramids in order to win the favour of the gods. Firstly cards are played at the quarries to claim building blocks and gain special actions and then the building blocks are built into pyramids. There are a number of clever rules to give additional tactical decisions and bonuses for majorities in either quarries or pyramids as well as special rules you need to keep an eye on in the pyramids lest your blocks collapse and become useless.
Media Mogul. Published by JKLM Games. 2004. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £8.75 2) Good. £7.75
Designer: Richard Huzzey. No. players: 3-5. Country: British. Duration: 90 mins.
Media Mogul thrusts players into the role of international tycoons seeking to spread their own operations over the globe. Winning over audiences with your television, radio and newspaper media with quality content is important to gain audiences, but what makes money (and victory) is lucrative advertising contracts. However, adverts bore and repel your audiences, requiring you to balance profit and sustainability at all times. Game play makes use of cards, and players have a limited number of actions which they can perform each turn.
Meridian. Published by Piatnik. 2000. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £6 2) Excellent. £5
Designer: Leo Colovini. No. players: 2-4. Country: Austrian. Duration: 40 mins.
Tactical game in which the players vie for commercial supremacy amongst the islands in the Southern Archipelago. The islands are divided into longitudinal zones, and cards are used to place trading bases onto the islands according to some clever and thought provoking rules. Players have to weigh their options carefully in order to ensure the best use of their limited number of garrisons and to ensure majorities on the islands. The theme is fairly thin as is the case with many Leo Colovini designs, but this is one I enjoy - recommended.
Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz Gamebook Vol 2. Published by Unknown. 1959. Book. Good - unpunched. £2.75
Author: Mike Stokey. No. players: 3+. Country: American.
Softback,17x28cm, ~30 pages. This book provides all you need to play 'Jet Propelled Charades' as made popular by Mike Stokey on American TV in the late 1940s and 1950s. The book includes the rules, a fold out chart showing 'standard' signals, and 300 perforated challenges to perform.
Mind Your Language. Published by Spear's Games. 1992. Box. Good. £3.75
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 3-6. Country: British. Duration: 1 hr.
Unusual game which gets the players to ask and answer questions in foreign languages! Don't worry though - no skill in linguistics is required, as everything is spelt out phonetically and translated into English as well! The objective is to get your passport stamped for a number of foreign countries. When visiting a country you read out a question in the relevant language and choose a player to answer. If they have the answer card for that question in the right language they answer and you get your passport stamped, but they can instead block using a tourist card who answers in another language altogether or maybe they don't have the right card at all. Various event cards make it a bit harder to keep track of which cards people have.
Mirage Revealed. Published by Wordware Publishing. 1997. Book. Excellent. £1.50
Author: Scott Johns. Country: American.
Softback, 23x15cm, 253 pages. A review of Magic: The Gathering's Mirage expansion. This book goes through each and every card from the Mirage expansion and gives thoughts about the uses, advantages and drawbacks of that card. Thus the reader should not only learn about Mirage, but also be given a good grounding in the game as the author is a pro tour champion.
Modern Naval Battles II. Published by 3W. 1990. Box. In shrink. £11.50
Designer: Dan Verssen & Alan Emrich. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Expansion for Modern Naval Battles which you will need to own to make use of this set. Subtitled: The Campaign Game, this expansion provides 60 more action cards and 110 more ships, and 7 national war zone displays, as well as counters and rules for the new features.
Modern Naval Battles III. Published by 3W. 1990. Box. In shrink. £9.50
Designer: Dan Verssen & Alan Emrich. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Expansion for Modern Naval Battles which you will need to own to make use of this set. Subtitled: The Expansion Kit, this expansion provides aircraft cards, more ship cards, bad luck cards, more action cards, and over 200 sister ship stickers.
Mondriaan 2020. Published by Cwali. 2011. Box. In shrink. £11
Designer: Corne Van Moorsel. No. players: 2. Country: Dutch. Duration: 15 mins.
Named after a Dutch abstract artist, this is a tile laying game inspired by his works. The tiles show bold sections of yellow, red and blue, and players take it in turn to add one so that the sides match up, scoring points for creating large areas of a single colour. Quick playing but with opportunities to spot ways to score well yourself while blocking your opponent.
Montanara. Published by Abacus Spiele. 2005. Box. Excellent. £5.50
Designer: Jong Kong. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 20 mins.
The players vie to be the first to unearth 4 valuable crystals. In this card game players play dwarves onto the table and then can use them to delve into the piles of cards looking for crystals - one card for each dwarf available to dig. In addition action cards can be played which can manipulate the order of the cards in the piles to be dug up and allow the cards to be examined. Cave-ins remove all dwarves on the table from play, and quakes can undo your opponent's cunning plans.
Montego Bay. Published by Queen Games. 2009. Box. New. £18
Designer: Michael Feldkotter. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 1 hr.
Special Notes: International edition
Set in a busy dock in Jamaica, the players use two dock workers each to load up ships. Card play determines which warehouses the dock workers are able to load from, and some have more useful contents than others. It is also possible to hire Lazy Jack to work for you as well, though he can be a little unpredictable. When ships fill up, players score according to the amount they have loaded. There is lots of interaction with dock workers being able to displace others in the way, though this can sometimes backfire.
Mother Sheep. Published by Playroom Entertainment. 2006. Box. In shrink. £8
Designer: Jeb Havens. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Each player secretly receives a card indicating which of 10 sheep they want to see enclosed by fences. Players then play multi-coloured lolly-stick shaped fences so that they either touch the central Mother Sheep or another fence. However, fences can only touch when the same colour. Combined with other restrictions this produces a very novel game of fence building. I can provide house rules for an alternative (fairer) way to determine the sheep each player needs to fence.
New Rules For Classic Games. Published by John Wiley & Sons. 1992. Book. Excellent. £2
Author: R Wayne Schmittberger. Country: American.
Softback, 23x19cm, 245 pages. This book takes all sorts of classic games and suggests variations, in some cases to allow different numbers of players, in some cases to fix perceived flaws, and in others just for the sake of variety. Topics covered: New Twists on Old Favourites (inc. Monopoly, Triv, Boggle, Master Mind, Hearts, etc), Fixing a Flaw, Doubling Up, Changing the Number of Players, More Variations, Handicapping, New Games to Use Game Equipment, Pencil & Paper (Only) Games, Party Games, Outdoor Games, Beyond Backgammon, Beyond Chess, Beyond Checkers, Playing by Mail, Creating Your Own Variations. It is certainly full of interesting ideas.
New World. Published by Avalon Hill. 1990. Box. Good. £13
Designer: Derek Carver. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 4 hrs.
Multi-player game based on SPI's Conquistador, but far less like a war game. Players exploit the land, quell the natives and survive the elements. Starts out as a gold rush, but subtly changes so that political control of regions earns far more than the gold mines. Game play involves managing your soldiers and colonists on the board, and fighting when necessary or advantageous. Lots of flavour to this game.
Nightfall: Martial Law. Published by AEG Inc. 2011. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Box Good, cards in shrink. £14 2) Excellent. £14
Designer: David Gregg. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Deckbuilding game (a la Dominion) set in a world dominated by creatures of the night. The players recruit vampires, werewolves and other dark creatures and learn powerful spells of destruction. The creatures are used to attack the other players and defend against incoming attacks, and the spells can help recruit new creatures, or damage other players or creatures directly. The game plays a little like a deckbuilding version of Magic: The Gathering, but using a novel colour chaining system which determines what cards can be played each turn. This is a standalone expansion - you can mix it with the base game or play it on its own. New features include a new 'Wound' type, 'Feed' mechanic and many 'Stays in Play' Minions.
Odysseus. Published by Jumbo. 2001. Box. Good. £13
Designer: Dominique Ehrhard. No. players: 3-6. Country: Dutch. Duration: 50 mins.
Players take the role of Greek gods and try to influence where the ship, The Odysseus, sails, trying to send it to particular adventures. These adventures are colour coded, and the players have a secret card which says which colours are worth points to them. Players influence the route of the ship by playing cards on spaces corresponding to the different options from the various spaces at each point, and when all cards desired are played the ship moves. Players also have special abilities according to the god whose powers they have, though these can switch between players during the game. Wooden markers + ship and overall a very nicely produced game.
On The Dot. Published by Gamewright. 2008. Box. In shrink. £8
Designer: Dominique Bodin. No. players: 1-4. Country: American. Duration: 15 mins.
Each player has a set of 4 transparent squares with a selection of dots of 4 colours. A pattern card is turned over and the players compete to create that pattern by laying their four squares on top of each other in the correct orientations and the correct order. Fast and fun.
Operation. Published by MB Games. 1996. Box. Excellent. £0.90
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 20 mins.
Fun family game in which the players take it in turns to extract various organs from an unfortunate patient. This is done using a pair of metal tweezers and should the tweezers touch the metal side of the hole being operated on an alarm sounds and that operation fails! Silly, but fun with the kids.
Orient Express. Published by Just Games. 1985. Box. Good. £8.50
Designer: R Wayne Schmittberger. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Original version of a game made later in Europe by Jumbo Games. In a bookcase box. Detective game that not only looks great, but plays very well. Players must interview up to 30 characters in each crime, but it is a race against time to unmask the murderer before the train reaches Istanbul. If you like crime solving games then this is highly recommended, as the cases are clever and require thought, making this one of the best of the genre. 10 different cases included.
Pantheon. Published by Hans Im Glück. 2011. Box. In shrink. £17
Designer: Michael Tummelhofer. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
Set in a fictional ancient Mediterranean, the players expand civilizations which compete by building monuments, developing and offering sacrifices to the gods in the hope of gaining their potent favours. Game play involves using cards to expand, buying improvements to appease the gods, and claiming the favour of a god. After each round (epoch) the flourishing civilizations collapse and restart in a next epoch. Plenty of variety with many different gods. Highly recommended.
Parthenon. Published by Z-Man Games. 2005. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £16 2) Excellent. £14.50
Designer: Jason Hawkins, Andrew Parks. No. players: 3-6. Country: American. Duration: 2 hrs.
Subtitled: The Rise of the Aegean. Each player represents one of the Aegean islands at around 600BC. The players compete in trade to advance their nation - sending out trading ships to wherever they consider the best deals to be available, as well as trading commodities between the players. The game keeps everyone involved throughout, and everything is driven by cards, of which there are over 400 in the game. The first player to build all their buildings including two great wonders wins.
Past Lives. Published by Avalon Hill. 1988. Box. Good, but box indented. £15
Designer: Glenn Benest, Brad Geagley, Alan Sherin. No. players: 2-8. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Family game in which the players are taken back through history to discover their past lives (think Hindu style reincarnation here). The objective is to try to avoid hazards and gain treasures in four periods of history. Karma is earned and at the end of the game each player looks up who their past life was, with historical details. Game play is mostly roll and move, but a very novel concept for a game.
Patrizier. Published by Amigo. 2007. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £11 2) Excellent. £9
Designer: Michael Schacht. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
This game is set in the middle ages when wealthy men built magnificent towers to show their prosperity - the taller the tower the more influential the family. The players are master builders who profit from these vain families, and build towers for them floor by floor, shrewdly accepting the patrician families' orders. The game uses cards in play and comes with 149 wooden stacking tower pieces and a double sided game board. The play is driven by cards which indicate which city can be played in, and offer a second action eg. additional build, manipulate towers, free choice of replacement card etc.
Personal Preference. Published by Parker Bros. 1988. Box. Good. £3.25
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 4+. Country: British. Duration: 45 mins.
Social game in which one player at a time draws 4 object cards, and secretly ranks these in preference order. The other players (or teams) try to work out what order that player will pick, and place counters face down accordingly, with the option of 'doubling' a bet if they want. Correctly guessing the position of an object scores you points. The team with the most points wins when the game ends. A gentle but enjoyable social game which goes down well with non-gamers.
Play Poker, Quit Work And Sleep Till Noon! Published by Bacchus. 1981. Book. Excellent. £14.50
Author: John Fox. Country: American.
Hardback, 22x14cm, 343 pages. A detailed coverage of playing serious money poker. The book is split into three main sections: Specialized Strategy and Tactics for use in Organized Poker Casinos, Advanced Technical Advice, Behavioral Deductions: The Card Reading Section. Thus the book covers the probabilities of the game, psychological factors and tricks to use and spot, and considering details like order of seating relative to the strongest players etc. Quite rare, and definitely useful to the keen Poker player wondering if they should play more seriously.
Poker Face. Published by Piatnik. 1993. Box. Excellent. £1.50
Designer: Gerhard Kodys. No. players: 3-6. Country: Austrian. Desc. by Eamon.
Special Notes: Autographed on the front by the author.
Card game. 25 colourful cards are used in this game of bluff (you must keep a 'Poker-Face' as hinted by the title). Players collect cards from each other, hiding their true worth, and action cards cause changes in the normal routine of play.
Polarity. Published by Temple Games. ca.2009. Long Cloth Bag. Excellent. £14
Designer: Douglas Seaton. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Cloth bag and cloth board version of this amazing game of magnetic fields. Each player has a stack of playing disks, black on one side and white on the other, and all are very strong magnets. Players take it in turn to place a piece onto the cloth playing surface within the marked circle. Initially this is easy, but soon the placing of a new magnet will start shifting the other magnets, and sometimes magnets will lift up on an edge due to the repulsion of other nearby magnets. Any magnets which touch due to a new placement are taken, and the objective is to get rid of all of your magnets. Fascinating and unique.
Police State. Published by IDEVCO. 1969. Box. Good but box shows some wear. £12
Designer: Harley L Sachs. No. players: 2-8. Country: American. Duration: 2 hrs.
Set in a communist state in which fear of the secret police is ever present. Players try to rise in the party hierarchy in order to gain various perks, such as a larger apartment. Game play involves moving around a track on the board, but interestingly new parts of the board become available as you rise in the hierarchy.
Pompeji. Published by Adlung Spiele. 2001. Box. Excellent. £3.25
Designer: Frank Brandt. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 40 mins.
Card game in which the players build the city of Pompeii: a 7x7 grid of cards. The cards show different buildings which are colour coded and numbered. Same numbered or coloured cards cannot be placed together in the grid. However, points are scored for matching other cards in rows, columns and diagonals, and bonus points are awarded for completing a row or column. The game ends when the second volcano card is drawn.
Pool Position. Published by FX Schmid. 1999. Box. Excellent. £11
Designer: Thorsten Gimmler. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
At a plush hotel in a hot country players vie for the best placed sunbeds near the pool. Players have identical sets of numbered cards which they play to determine placement points each round, but using an unusual mechanism which involves some second guessing of what the others will do. These points can then be spent to add towels to empty sunbeds or throw off those of other players, but this attracts the attention of the attendants, who after several towel tussles will come and stop any further tussles in that row or column. Unusual and amusing theme for a pleasantly cutthroat game.
Quo Vadis. Published by Hans Im Glück. 1991. Box. 2 copies available: 1) Excellent. £9. 2) Good. £8
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 3-5. Country: German. Duration: 40 mins.
Rather nice negotiation game by this master designer. If you don't generally like negotiation games very much don't let this put you off as the scope of negotiation is quite limited and there are specific rules about upholding deals. The game is about getting your family members advanced up through Roman committees to the Senate. On the way you will want to collect as many laurels as possible, though many will have to be dispersed to opponents to persuade them to allow you to do what you wish. When the game ends only those players who have a family member in the Senate are in with a chance to win. This is the first edition and comes in a large box. Recommended.
Ra: The Dice Game. Published by Rio Grande Games. 2009. Box. Excellent. £14.50
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
A reworking of the tactical push your luck tile drawing and bidding game Ra. This time dice are rolled and rerolled and the symbols which result are used to build monuments, influence pharaohs, farm the Nile delta and improve civilization. Thus what you are collecting is very similar to the board game version, but the mechanics of doing so are quite different, and the scoring mechanisms work out somewhat differently balanced too.
RAF. Published by West End. 1986. Box. Good - unpunched. £23
Designer: John Butterfield. No. players: 1. Country: American. Duration: 2+ hrs.
Special Notes: Would be Excellent, but 1 corner has taken a knock
One of the best solitaire war games ever devised. You control British Fighter Command at the height of the Battle of Britain. Uses a mixture of event cards and charts to produce a visible, and effective, opposition for you. Three scenarios and a brilliant campaign game are included.
Rebs & Yanks. Published by Stratamax. 1995. Box. New. £8
Designer: Max Michael. No. players: 2. Country: American. Duration: 40 mins.
Card game, based on American Civil War encounters. Not a trading card game, but a complete game in its own right. Players hold cards representing famous generals, terrain, and various kinds of army units. Players draw and discard until one feels strong enough to launch an attack. The battle involves the use of dice, and cards modify the results. The game includes a standard game, advanced rules and also special rules for four scenarios: Antietam, Stones River, The Wilderness and Kennesaw Mountain.
Relationship Tightrope / Drahtseilakt. Box. 2 editions available:
Published by ASS. Country: German. 1998. Excellent. £5
2) Relationship Tightrope. Published by Uberplay. Country: American. 2004. In shrink. £7.50
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 3-5. Duration: 30 mins.
Neat card game in which players use cards numbered 1-50, and try to end each hand with no penalty sticks. Players play a series of tricks in which the highest card 'wins' penalty sticks of one colour and the lowest card 'wins' penalty sticks of the other colour. However, when a player has both red and blue sticks an equal number of each can be handed in. Thus it is possible to do well by either avoiding sticks altogether or getting quite a few, but cancelling them out with more of the other colour - very clever idea.
Revolution! Published by Steve Jackson Games. 2009. Box. Excellent. £16
Designer: Philip DuBarry. No. players: 3-4. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Special Notes: Large box 1st edition
Players try to dominate a town using force, blackmail and money. Play involves bidding for control of various locations using these 'currencies' in order to gain support. As the game goes on the allegiances of the various locations are decided and when everything is settled the most powerful faction leader wins.
Rhino Rush. Published by Peter Pan Games. 1996. Box. Good, but box shows some wear. £2.50
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 15 mins.
Special Notes: There is some tape on the joins of the board.
Children's game (age 5+) which is essentially just a roll and move game. However, what makes this fun is that there is a large (6 inch long!) motorised plastic rhino which moves around the board erratically and moves the playing pieces as well!
Rubik's Infinity Game. Published by Toybrokers Ltd. 1999. Box. Good. £2.50
Designer: Seven Towns. No. players: 2. Country: British. Duration: 10 mins.
Four in a row game played with coloured balls on 4 sloping lanes. Players take turns to add a ball of their colour to the bottom of a lane which pushes the balls above up, and possibly one ball off the top - it then rolls around to the front where it can be reused. Neat physical design.
Rummikub and Related. Box. Several editions available:
1) Rummikub. Published by Pressman. 1990. Good. £3
2) Rummikub. Published by Spears. 1983. Good. £4
3) Rummy-Club. Published by Challenge Master. ca.1990. Good. 1 rack support missing (not essential to play). £1.75
4) Uno Rummy-Up. Published by Mattel. 1993. Country: Possibly Hong Kong. Good but there is some tape on the box. This is a variation on Rummikub. In this version there are also some tiles which have Uno style effects - reversing direction of play, skipping a player, making another player draw tiles etc. In addition it was made at least partly for the Chinese (or maybe Hong Kong) market as the rules and text on the box are in both English and Chinese. £4.
Designer: Ephraim Hertzano. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 1 hr.
A classic game, based on the Middle Eastern game of Okey. Tiles effectively represent the cards from 2 decks of playing cards + 2 jokers. Players try to be the first to get rid of all their tiles. Tiles are placed on the table by forming runs or sets, but as well as just playing new sets to the table players can also add to those on the table already and even change them all around when adding tiles, as long as everything remains in a run or set at the end of the turn. Turns are strictly limited to 2 minutes maximum.
Santiago. Published by Amigo. 2003. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £12
2) Good. The box and board have had water damage at some point - but are still entirely usable. £8
Designer: Claudia Hely, Roman Palek. No. players: 3-5. Country: German. Duration: 90 mins.
Players bid for plots of land in a region of desert into which various crops can then be planted. However, these crops require irrigation for them to flourish, so much of the game is about controlling the construction of the irrigation canals. After each round any crops without water wither a bit. At the end of the game crops are scored for their owners, and the larger a region of the same type of crop and the better irrigated it is the more it will score. Neat game in which you have to keep alert for what other people want to happen, as sometimes you can get other people to do your work for you while at other times you will have to pay dearly to make things go your way. Recommended.
Schinderhannes. Published by Clicker Spiele. 2009. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £15 2) Good. £13
Designer: Stefan Riedel. No. players: 1-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Based on the mechanics of Old Town, this is a deduction game in which the players work out the details of the exploits of the famous robber Schinderhannes. Cards are played which narrow down the possibilities for the various crimes, and using logic the players eliminate possibilities gaining VP tokens as they remove possibility markers from the board. The player who collects the most of these is the most successful detective and wins the game.
Schinderhannes Solo. Published by Clicker Spiele. 2010. Box. New. £5
Designer: Stefan Riedel. No. players: 1. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
12 logic problems based on the game Schinderhannes by the same publisher. You do not need the original to make use of this, but if you do have it, using the map and counters from that game will ease play. Schinderhannes was an infamous German bandit, and the game involves using logic to work out the details of his crimes.
Schuss Und Tor. Published by Lookout Games. 2001. Box. Excellent. £4
Designer: Rudi Hoffmann. No. players: 2-4. Country: German. Duration: 10 mins.
Card game with a soccer theme. Participants play cards to make passes from soccer player to soccer player using cards which specify the player with the ball and the receiving player eg. "Luigi to Max", and if they can't play a suitable card their opponent gets a shot on goal, and a card is drawn from the special deck to determine the result. Unusually it can be played with 3 players, each scoring goals for themselves, giving a rather odd result such as 4-2-1. With 2 or 4 participants you get more traditional results.
Sealord. Published by Inter Game. ca.1980. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: Swedish. Duration: 40 mins.
Naval combat game in which the players each have 4 ships, one of which is their flagship. Players try to surround their opponent's flagship with 3 of their ships in order to win victory. Movement is by rolling a die to see how many spaces one of your ships can be moved - since you have four there is normally quite a bit of choice, and the board isn't that many spaces wide, so often high numbers are quite restrictive. In addition the ships drift with the wind, so you have to make sure your flagship doesn't get shipwrecked as that loses the game too.
Shogun. Published by Ravensburger. 1979. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Good. This is the smaller edition. £1
2) Good, but 1
corner taped. This is the full size edition . £1.50
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: German. Duration: 10 mins.
An intriguing strategy game. Each player has eight pieces, which have inside them a numbered dial, only one number of which can you see at a time. Under the plastic board are magnets, which when you move a piece on to a square, cause the dial to turn, revealing a new number. This number limits or enhances the piece's move next time. The objective is to eliminate your opponent's Shogun or to get him down to just two pieces remaining. Each game is different as the board can be shaken to rearrange the magnets between games.
Small Soldiers Big Battle Game. Published by Milton Bradley. 1998. Box. Good. £7
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 30 mins.
Simple action wargame based on the animated film of the same name. The game takes place outside the toy shop, and pits the Commando Elite led by Chip Hazard against the Gorgonites led by Archer. The game uses a standup toy shop front and hex marked area as well as 12 enormous (60mm) plastic figures of the combatants and a skateboard mounted catapult which is used to launch a chunky grenade-bomb. The game uses a spinner which gives a number of action points which can be used, or sometimes allows a power card to be drawn to gain an advantage.
Snapshot. Published by Parker Bros. 1972. Box. Good. £3.50
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2+. Country: Canadian. Duration: 10 mins.
The game consists of 30 interesting black and white photos from the 1930s (I guess) all mounted on card. A selection of them are displayed and players study them. They are all then turned over and mixed up and a few removed. The remainder are turned over and players try to recall what has been removed.
Snowdonia. Published by Surprised Stare. 2012. Box. In shrink. £24
Designer: Tony Boydell. No. players: 1-5. Country: British. Duration: 1 hr.
Set in 1894, the players are gangs of workers working on getting a railway to the top of Snowdon. Players send their workers to excavate a way up the mountain, collect raw materials, lay the track, construct viaducts and build stations. When the task is completed the players are rewarded for the part they played in the construction.
Snowstorm. Published by Family Pastimes. 1994. Box. Good. £7
Designer: J. Deacove. No. players: 1-12. Country: American. Duration: 30 mins.
Cooperative family game in which the players try to help 4 families get as much as possible done on their to do lists and then return home before the storm blocks the roads with ice and snow. Includes rules for a hard version and super hard version as well.
Sobek. Published by GameWorks. 2010. Box. In shrink. £11.50
Designer: Bruno Cathala. No. players: 2-4. Country: Swiss. Duration: 40 mins.
Set in an ancient Egyptian marketplace, the players must select the most profitable goods coming from the ships and resell them at the construction site to make a good profit. However, many of the more profitable lots aren't entirely legal, and so dealing with them accrues corruption points. At the end of the game the most corrupt player is penalised heavily.
Soma World: The Complete Soma Cube. Published by Canberra Publishing. 1982. Book. Good. £2
Author: Sivy Farhi. Country: New Zealand.
Softback, 9x9cm, ~200 pages. A book which provides puzzles and solutions for Soma cubes, as well as pentominoes, pentacubes, and 'nonahuebes'. It also suggests a couple of games you can play with these shapes.
Some Patiences. Published by John Waddington Ltd. 1924. Booklet. Good. £0.50
Author: H.A.H. Carson. Country: British.
Softback, 9x7cm, 40 pages. A mini guide to 13 different games of patience: Blue Moon, Demon Cancelled, Empire, Hidden Four, Huff, Long, Porcupine, Precedence, Roulette, Royal, Shuffling Patience, Snake, Triangle.
Source Of The Nile. Published by Avalon Hill. 1979. Box. Good, but 1 corner taped. £40
Designer: Ross Maker & Dave Wesely. No. players: 1+. Country: American. Duration: 3 hrs.
Special Notes: The board has been laminated so it can be wiped off more easily
Second edition of this game. Uses fast-action cards for generating random factors. Wonderful idea, each player sets off to explore Africa, filling in the hex map as they go. If they get back alive, they publish their discoveries, which become part of the map board. Initially players need to equip their expedition which will take quite a few turns, and when ready they set off. During the expedition there will be many decisions to be made and the players must make their own decisions on the basis of the perceived risks.
Space Pigs / Les Cochons De L'Espace. Published by Tilsit Editions. 2002. Box. 2 editions available:
1) Les Cochons De L'Espace. Excellent - unpunched. French language edition - English rules provided including card translations (there is French on the cards). £10
2) Space Pigs. English language edition. Excellent. £11
Designer: Pascal Bernard. No. players: 3-6. Country: French. Duration: 90 mins.
Humourous science fiction game in which each player is the head of an interstellar pig clan, seeking to gain political and military dominance - crucial is control of the supply of 'slop', a mystical acorn beer which grants the regular drinker great longevity. Hex tiles are used to form the playing area showing various planets which the players vie for control over. Cards provide weaponry and useful technologies for getting one over on your fellow swine or other annoying galactic races.
Spicy Farkel. Published by LGI. 2006. Cannister. New. £5
Designer: Sir Albert Farkle. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 20 mins.
Simple and quick dice rolling game in which 6 dice are rolled and some dice can be rerolled, but some must be set aside each time in scoring combinations. When a minimum number of points has been set aside it is permitted to stop. A neat push your luck type of game. This version has additional twists - each die has a different side with red pips which can be used to double your score when used in a scoring combination.
Steel Driver. Box. 2 editions available:
1) Published by
Pegasus Spiele. Country: German. 2009. In shrink. £17
2) Published by Treefrog. Country: British. 2008. Excellent. Signed and numbered set (1032 of 1500). £19
Designer: Martin Wallace. No. players: 3-6. Duration: 1 hr.
Martin Wallace train game, at the simpler end of his spectrum. The map shows the USA with rail links marked on the board ready for construction. There are six companies, which the players use investment cubes to control. The companies can then build track using the revenue they have raised. The companies earn profits by connecting to new cities. A clever twist ensures the control of the companies is fluid. Profit distributed to the players is not reinvested, but is kept and determines victory.
Stock Market Specialist. Published by Hansen. 1983. Box. Good. £5.25
Designer: Arthur Levitt Jr. No. players: 2-4. Country: British.
Stock Market Specialist (The Official Game of the American Stock Exchange) puts the players into the role of a specialist at a stock exchange. Each player specialises in one of four stocks represented in the game, and does his best to increase his personal wealth by trading these stocks while performing all the jobs required by his position. These include maintaining an order book, executing orders, and keeping track of accounts and prices as the stock is traded. The only way to get a better feel for this niche job is to go and do it in real life!
Stockbroker. Published by Intellect. 1971. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Good, but 1 corner taped. £19 2) Good but box slightly grubby. £16
Designer: Drakes, Jarvis, Walsh, Gluck. No. players: 2-6. Country: British. Desc. by Eamon.
Rare stock market game. There are 9 companies and each has 11 blocks of shares. Share prices drop each time a block is sold and go up when a block is bought. Also political and commercial events cause share prices to change. A playing piece moves around the board and the space it lands on indicates what can be bought and sold that turn, or if an event comes up etc. Also if a player has a controlling share (6 blocks) of a company's stock then he receives or pays that company's profits and losses and gets to choose whether to pay dividends or not.
Stone Age: Style Is The Goal. Published by Rio Grande Games. 2011. Box. In shrink. £19.50
Designer: Michael Tummelhofer. No. players: 2-5. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Expansion for the very popular Stone Age - you will need the base game to make use of this. This set includes components for a 5th player, as well as a new theme - decorations - these can be traded for, and are now a must for all stylish Stone Age folk. A new village space is introduced along with new cards and huts, as well as the decorations themselves.
Stop The Train. Published by Spears. 1986. Box. Good. £3.25
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British. Duration: 25 mins.
Special Notes: The dice is not the original one, but an entirely suitable replacement.
Children's game (age 5+) in which the players have to get 3 playing pieces around the board and back home again - first to do so wins. A dice is used to dictate movement options, but it does not have pips, but colours, and rather than indicating how the playing pieces move it determines how two trains move around the board. The board has a clip-in clear plastic railway track and two large train overlays which fit onto the railway track and can slide around the track. These trains cover several spaces and at the end of each turn when the trains are stationary, playing pieces next to them get on, or if at a detour space, get off and move backwards a bit. Good children's game.
Strada Romana. Published by Blackrock Editions. 2009. Box. Excellent. £18.50
Designer: Walter Obert. No. players: 2-5. Country: Italian. Duration: 45 mins.
Players move 10 horse drawn merchant wagons along the Roman Road, 5 in each direction. As they are moved goods are collected of several types and demands discovered. When goods and demands are matched VPs are scored, in such a way that it is important to trade in a wide variety of goods but also specialise in one. Points can also be earned by working out which of the merchants will reach the end of the road before the game ends. Blockages can occur and so special moves are available, but will cost precious money.
Subulata. Published by Cwali. 2003. Box. In shrink. £4.25
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.
Targen's Tome: A Master's Guide To Magic. Published by Chessex. 1995. Book. Excellent. £1.20
Author: John M. Corradin. Country: American.
Softback, 27x21cm, 182 pages. This book introduces Magic: The Gathering, explaining how to play and then moving on to the theory of deck design and giving some example pre-designed winning decks. The book also has a good Magic: The Gathering Glossary and lots of top ten lists to give you ideas for decks and cards to include in your decks. Of course the card sets used in the book are now rather old, but most of the strategy and deck building skills described are still very useful.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game. Published by MB Games. 2003. Box. Excellent. £3.25
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: British.
Movie / TV tie in game, but with two sets of rules. One simple one intended for kids, and one much better set which makes for a more interesting game. The players are the Turtles, and have to fight their way through the streets and sewers in order to get to the skyscraper where their arch nemesis, Shredder, is plotting to take over the world.
The All New Enigma. Published by Drummond Park Ltd. 1995. Box. Good. £3.25
Designer: A Duncan, C McCool. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Party game based on the idea of having to answer riddles. There are cards with 800 riddles, which should keep things fresh for quite a while. The objective is to escape from a maze. Each player has a maze board, and gets to move their playing piece by answering riddles. However, there is no way out - the only way to get out is to switch onto a different board when the walls bar your way on your current board. This has to be done by answering riddles.
The Complete Book Of Indoor Games. Published by Hamlyn. 1983. Book. Excellent. £2
Author: Peter Arnold. Country: British.
Hardback with dustcover, 26x18cm, 320 pages. A large collection of rules to indoor games with many diagrams. The games are categorised as follows: Card Games: 1 Player (13), 2 Players (15), 3 Players (5), 4 Players (12), 5+ Players (7), Party (7), Banking (11); Board & Tile Games (11); Dice Games (15); Roulette (1).
The Da Vinci Code Boardgame. Published by Winning Moves. 2006. Box. Excellent. £6
Designer: Terry Miller Associates. No. players: 2-6. Country: British.
Board game inspired by the film. The game includes 15 mysteries for the players to solve (1 played each time). Initially the players collect clues by moving around the board and get to use various decoders to make sense of the clues. Once the clue phrase has been assembled players work out what it means and then head to the centre to announce this. Points are awarded for doing this correctly, as well as for having collected clues, and also for answering questions about the mystery at the end of the game.
The Jumbo Book Of Board Games. Published by Kestrel Books. 1979. Book. Good, but spine taped. £2
Author: John Astrop. Country: British.
Hardback, 36x25cm, 30 pages. A collection of board game boards with rules, collected into a book so you can lay out the book flat, and play the games on it. You will need to provide counters, dice etc. Illustrated in full colour. The games are: Chess / Draughts, Palm Tree, Ludo, Fire! Fire!, Space Race, Steeplechase, Shunting, Warlord, Dragon, Nine Men's Morris, Five Field Kono, Spychase, Jackpot, Asalto, Backgammon.
The Lord Of The Rings Card Game. Published by Fantasy Flight Games. 2010. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. Includes 2 expansions: Conflict at the Carrock & The Hunt for Gollum. £27
2) Good. Includes 3 official adventure packs and 2 internet published extra scenarios. £32
Designer: Nate French. No. players: 1-2. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Solo Tolkien themed game which can also be played by two players cooperatively. The game system controls the scenario being played which the players strive to complete. Each game the players select one of 3 scenarios (more in each expansion) and one of 4 preconstructed decks with different heroes to attempt it. These decks can also be customised for additional variety and to give a better chance of completing the adventure. The action takes place in the time between Bilbo finding the One Ring and Frodo's departure from the Shire. Many small expansions were made each providing a new adventure to challenge the players. Recommended.
The Lost Treasure. Published by Clementoni. ca.1993. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: Italian. Duration: 25 mins.
Light deduction game set in a castle. 20 tiles show the rooms of the castle which are laid out at the start of the game. Each player is secretly dealt a card showing one of those rooms, and the player to their left must try to deduce which room this is. This is done by moving through the castle and asking if one of the five items in the current room is also in that player's secret room. The first to identify their secret room wins the game.
The Phoenix Dictionary Of Games. Published by Phoenix House Ltd. Book. Several available:
1) 1953. Good, but
some pages show speckling. 318 pages, 458 games. £1.25
2) 1954. Excellent. 328 pages, 487 games. £2.25
3) 1961. Excellent, but dustcover shows some wear. 328 pages, 501 games. £3
Author: J B Pick. Country: British.
Hardback, 21x13cm. Indoor and outdoor games reference book with the rules to over 450 games. The sections are divided into Outdoor Games (Full dress, Informal, Race & Romp, Tag & Tug, Tool & Toy), Covered Court Games, Gymnasium Games, Indoor Games (Board & Table Games, Card Games, Parlour Games, Pencil & Paper Games, Word Games).
The Republic Of Rome. Published by Avalon Hill. 1990. Box. Excellent - unpunched. £40
Designer: Richard Berthold & Robert Haines. No. players: 1-6.
Country: American. Duration: 4-6 hrs. Desc. by Eamon.
Very ambitious attempt to create a Roman political game. The Campaign game is long but brilliant when played with players who know the rule book inside-out (no easy task, I have to say). One inventor is an academic historian and the other is a gamer, both being involved ensured an accurate simulation as well as a game. Unusual in that as well as each player trying to become the most powerful family in Rome, the players must also cooperate enough to keep Rome stable against internal and external forces, as if Rome falls all the players lose.
The Settlers Of Catan: 5&6 Player Expansion. Published by Mayfair Games. 1999. Box. Good. £6
Designer: Klaus Teuber. No. players: 5-6. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Special Notes: 2nd edition Mayfair artwork on tiles and cards. Unboxed - comes in a ziplock bag.
Expansion set for The Settlers of Catan which you will need to make use of this. The components allow a larger island to be set up as well as providing the roads, settlements, cities and summary cards for the two additional players. A new set of number and letter tiles is also provided for the new setup.
The Theory Of Whist. Published by Longmans, Green & Co.. 1890. Book.
Cover faded with wear, good internally. £2.50. Author: W. Pole. Country: British.
Special Notes: 17th Edition, gold edged pages
Hardback, 17x11cm, 108 pages. Widely circulated treatise on partnership whist. The book covers: Technical Terms, Theory of the Game, Development of the Theory, Rules & Directions for Play, Conclusion, Appendices. There are many snippets from the press dated 1865 onwards which praise the book.
The Wizard Of Oz Family Board Game. Published by The Mad Hatters. 1999. Box. Good. £7
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: Canadian.
Special Notes: Originally included a summary of the story, but the booklet is now missing
Family board game (with an impressively large board) made for the 100th anniversary of the story. Players advance along assorted tracks which represent different parts of the Land of Oz, gain emeralds which they will need at various times, and try to collect picture tiles to form a complete picture. The game includes a bag full of green glass beads (emeralds).
Thwart. Published by Ludibundus. 1986. Box. Good. £5.25
Designer: Adrian Gardiner, Debi Glion. No. players: 2. Country: British.
Race game played on a wooden board. The objective is to move your three pieces across the board and off the other side while stopping your opponent from doing the same. Blocking pieces can be used to stop an opposing piece advancing, and capture is possible to make a piece restart. One player plays N-S and the other E-W across the board.
Tinner's Trail 2nd Edition. Published by JKLM Games. 2007. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £18 2) Excellent. £16.50
Designer: Martin Wallace. No. players: 3-4. Country: British. Duration: 75 mins.
Clever economic game based on the Cornish tin mining industry with straightforward mechanics which plays very well, presenting a selection of tricky choices. Players buy rights to mine areas of Cornwall which they then mine for tin and copper. However, the cost of getting out ore is increased as mines fill with water, which happens every time ore is removed. Various improvements can be bought to remove water, discover more seams of ore, and increase production efficiency. However, each round players have a limited number of time points to spend, so actions must be chosen wisely. Highly recommended.
Toledo. Published by Kosmos. 2008. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £11 2) Excellent. £10
Designer: Martin Wallace. No. players: 2-5. Country: German. Duration: 50 mins.
An interesting 'worker movement' game in which the players gather gems and steel in order to create jewel encrusted swords which are then taken to the Lord of Toledo for prestige. Game play involves the clever use of movement cards and good timing to make the best progress towards your goals. Very much one of Martin's lighter games, but none the worse for that in my opinion. Recommended.
Tom Jolly's Cave Troll. Published by Fantasy Flight Games. 2002. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Excellent. £11.50 2) Good. £10
Designer: Tom Jolly. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Fantasy themed board game which is a cross between a standard fantasy adventure game and a majorities in areas game, and makes a good addition to both genres. Each player has their own set of character and monster chits which are mixed up and drawn throughout the game. Some of the characters are basic fighters while others have special abilities. The monsters range from orcs to the dreaded Cave Troll which entirely blocks off a chamber. As well as introducing their characters and monsters on to the board the players move them around in order to claim the gold in various rooms when a scoring round comes up, defeat monsters and find powerful artifacts. Recommended.
Transsib. Published by Winsome Games. 1997. Box. Good. £12
Designer: Dieter Danziger. No. players: 3-5. Country: American. Duration: 2 hrs.
Based on the Transsibirian Express (called Transsib by the locals). All players control a group of Russian gangsters on board the train, who want to obtain money by selling goods, stealing goods or claiming protection money as the train stops at stations on the way to Moscow. Gangsters will sometimes duel, with the losers evicted from the train. Rounds of intrigue on the train are interspersed with rounds of selling goods at the stations. The game ends when the train reaches Moscow and the richest player is the winner.
Tribond. Published by Patch Products Inc. 1998. Box. Good, 1 corner taped. £2
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2+. Country: American. Duration: 1 hr.
Family game in which players or teams of players try to spot the common element between three things listed on cards. The cards come in various categories: Entertainment, Sports & Recreation, Academics, Riddles & Wordplay. Identifying the thing in common is rewarded by movement around the board and landing on an opponent's playing piece results in a challenge round.
Tricks. Published by White Wind. 1995. Box. New. £0.60
Designer: Alan Moon. No. players: 3-5. Country: German. Duration: 30 mins.
Card game, 95 cards and play money. Trick taking game where players bid for cards to form their hands before play starts, and then bid on the number of tricks they will obtain and score more the more tricks bid for and the closer the number of tricks taken is to the number bid. I can provide my own house rules to this as well.
Twixt. Published by 3M. 1962. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Good. £6.
2) Good. A previous owner has written their name on the cover and a small strip of the cover picture has been removed. £4.
Designer: Alex Randolph. No. players: 2 or 4. Country: British. Duration: 30 mins.
Subtle abstract game, beautifully produced with three dimensional pieces which link across the board. The board is just a grid of holes, but into these are plugged little sticks, and when two of your sticks are a chess knight's move apart you can put a connector between them. The objective is for one player to try to join the E-W sides with their connectors and the other player tries to connect N-S.
Upwords. Published by Milton Bradley. 1988. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Box shows wear, corners taped. £1.40 2) Good. £2.50
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Very good word game of the same general type as Scrabble. However, there are various differences which make this a good alternative to Scrabble. As well as playing onto the board it is also possible to play letter tiles on top of other letter tiles, and make new words this way. Bonus points will be scored for each letter tile underneath each of those played. Bonuses are also available for playing completely on the board level (so opening up new areas), and for playing all one's tiles in a turn.
Vampire: The Masquerade: Mood Music CD. Published by Orion Design. 1999. CD Case. New. £2.50
Designer: Bart Dijkman. Country: American.
This isn't a game or RPG supplement, but a music CD. However, it has been written specifically as mood music for a Vampire - The Masquerade role playing session. The music is instrumental only and uses synthesisers, guitars and drums to produce a sinister background mood. It should be suitable background for any gothic horror type of gaming.
Vasco Da Gama. Published by What's Your Game?. 2009. Box. In shrink. £28
Designer: Paolo Mori. No. players: 2-4. Country: Italian. Duration: 90 mins.
Players take the roles of explorers trying to find a sea route to India. Clever worker placement game in which the players must recruit sailors, hire ship captains, buy ships and then set them sailing for distant lands where wealth and prestige can be won. All the while money needs to be managed in order to make the best of an intriguing turn order system. Assorted characters can be petitioned to assist and mercenary ships hired to obstruct opponents. Lots going on, and very well received.
War For Edadh. Published by WarriorElite. 2008. Box. 2 copies available:
1) In shrink. £11 2) Good. £9.50
Designer: A & N Pyne. No. players: 1+. Country: British.
Card based battle game in which the troops, champions, leaders, standards, and even the terrain and stratagems are represented by cards. Designed to be tactically challenging, with minimal luck. The game includes 120 cards and looks to play a bit like some CCGs, but this is a standalone game and can also be played solo. If you have 2 sets you can play with more than 2 players.
Waterloo. Published by Treefrog. 2009. Box. Excellent. £28
Designer: Martin Wallace. No. players: 2. Country: British. Duration: 3 hrs.
Martin Wallace's take on the Battle of Waterloo. The game uses chunky and attractive wooden pieces (over 200 of them), and uses an action system where you can't be sure when the enemy will react to your manoeuvres, thus it is important to keep your units in good formation with reserves ready and able to exploit a weakness presented by the opponent. Limited edition of 1500 copies.
Wettstreit Der Baumeister. Published by Kosmos. 1998. Box. 2 copies available:
1) Good. £12 2) Good, but shows a little wear. £11
Designer: Jean du Poel. No. players: 3-4. Country: German. Duration: 45 mins.
Auction based game in which the players buy a variety of building types which they build into their own city. The auction rules are novel, and there are restrictions on what may be built next to what which makes it quite tactical. In addition there are various bonuses at the end of the game, so there are a variety of strategies too. Players sometimes get the chance to attack opponents' buildings, but this can be protected against by building defensive buildings. I have house rules which improve the game further. I especially like this with 3 players. Highly recommended.
Who Stole Ed's Pants. Published by Eight Foot Lllama. 2001. Box. Good. £6
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.
Winner's Circle. Published by Face2Face Games. 2006. Box. Good - base very slightly indented. £11
Designer: Reiner Knizia. No. players: 2-6. Country: American. Duration: 45 mins.
Reissued version of Turf Horse Racing. A great race game, and quite different to any other. 7 horses are in each race, and you bet on the result. However, each horse has ratings according to 4 different symbols, and on your turn you roll a dice to see which symbol you can use this turn. Sometimes you can move one of your own horses forward well, sometimes there is an obvious opponent to 'nobble', but other times it is hard to decide what to do. One of the best 'end-of-evening' games you will find in my opinion. Recommended.
Wooden Chess Set. Published by Unknown. Box. Excellent. £3.50
Designer: Unknown. No. players: 2. Country: Unknown. Duration: 30 mins.
Wooden chess set which is also a box to contain the wooden chessmen. It unfolds to form the board. Very attractively made, and decorated around the sides. It is 17x9x4cm, so ideal for taking along when travelling too.
Yellowstone. Published by Avalon Hill. 1985. Box. Excellent. £11
Designer: Rick Shipley, Ellsworth Boyd, Cathy Boyd. No. players: 2-4. Country: American. Duration: 90 mins.
Promotional game, but one with nice mechanics, made for the Yellowstone Library and Museum Association, to promote interest in their national park. Players represent herds of animals that must migrate across the park and survive the four different seasons. If you are lucky, your animals might even get to breed during the game! It is vital to obtain food and avoid predators using your movement point allowance to move from the winter pastures to the summer pastures and back again, while ensuring your babies stay alive as they score most points.