Traditional Board Games

New Book Examines Board Games in Depth

A Book of Historic Board Games: front cover
A Book of Historic Board Games: front cover

Saturday, 8th November 2014

Damian Walker has written and published a new book about traditional board games. Entitled "A Book of Historic Board Games", it examines twelve games in depth, discussing their history, their rules, and some strategy. The games are taken from roughly 4,000 years of history, and from all around the world.

All kinds of ancient games are included: race games and battle games with and without a luck element, and hunt games and row-building games. The earliest of the games predates 2,000 B.C., while the latest was invented in A.D. 1899. Places of origin range from ancient Troy, through mediaeval China, to the United States.

The aim of the book is to generate some enthusiasm for these games, as well as to pass on the raw information. So the chapters do not merely tell readers the rules of the games, but give entertaining histories, and discuss some strategies that will allow readers to play well and to gain an insight into what makes each game special.

The 234-page book features black and white photographs, some historic drawings, and many clear diagrams showing the rules and strategies of play. It provides references and an extensive bibliography so that those who want to look more deeply into the games can find the information that they are looking for. Yet it is written in an accessible style, so it will suit the casual reader and gamer.

The author explains the impetus behind the book: "There are plenty of books which list dozens or hundreds of games. But I wanted something that gives each one the time that it deserves," he said. "There are books like that about card games, or the more common sort of board game, but so far there has been little out there for the more obscure and interesting games that I like."

A Book of Historic Board games fills that niche. The reasons behind the selection of some of the twelve games were dry and logical, but in writing this book, Damian has gained enthusiasm for playing all of them. Hopefully other readers will feel the same way.

The book can currently be ordered from Lulu, in both hardback and paperback format.


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