Classic board games are games played before 1900 or so, such as chess, go, backgammon, dice, dominoes, and pachisi.


Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesAnswer one question about holiday game playing to be entered in the North Pole Sweepstakes by The Genius of Play, a program of The Toy Association. The prize is a $250 toy store gift card.

Fantasy Flight Games’ annual holiday sale is now the Asmodee North America Holiday Sale and includes discounted products Days of Wonder, Z-Man, Plaid Hat, and more. It also looks like they finally offloaded the excess Diskwars.

Through Monday, Victory Point Games will discount everything 20% at checkout.

Renegade Game Studios is giving away a copy of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game.

Every one of Rogue Genius Games’ Pathfinder RPG products, 381 PDFs, are on-sale for the bundled price of just $35.

Eagle-Gryphon Games is giving away four copies of Isaribi Deluxe, one each to a randomly selected follower on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and one to a newsletter subscriber.

Highway Mail is giving away a copy of Monopoly Durban Edition from Winning Moves (South Africa).

Two Castles & Crusades bundles are available at Bundle of Holding. One, C&C Essentials, includes the core rulebooks and major supplements, with everything included at the threshold price, currently $27.53. The second, Castles & Crusades +2, features eight additional supplements at the threshold price of $23.15.

Avalanche Press has discounted 29 books and games for the season.

Manhattan Toy is holding an Instagram photo contest in which three winners will receive $100 gift cards at local specialty toy stores.

Get 13 issues for the price of 12 with a combined subscription (print and digital) to White Dwarf from Games Workshop.

Strat-O-Matic Baseball 365 credits are on-sale, as well shipping is free for orders of physical products over $60.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Historical Conquest will give 10% of all orders using the code “VETERAN” but only until tonight at midnight.

Blog giveaways:

Until tomorrow morning, Mayday Games is holding a Pre-Black Friday Sale, including among other discounts 25% off on in-stock sleeves with discount code “preblackfriday2017”.

Everything from Pavillion Games is buy-one, get-one 40% off from Toys “R” Us.

Though summer is generally considered the height of convention season, fall too provides some great opportunities for game events in the United States.

Several run through the upcoming weekend. Perhaps the biggest, certainly the most elaborate, is Play Fair, a consumer toy and game show Saturday and Sunday in New York City. At Play Fair, families will find demonstrations, activities, and character appearances from some of the largest brands. Look for a world-record slime, drone races, life-sized games, virtual-reality opportunities, and more. Tickets are generally $30 per person for a 4 hour session but a discount code (“TOYASSOCEMP5“) shared with us by the Toy Association will give you $5 off per ticket.

EuroQuest, an event put on by the Games Club of Maryland, begins Wednesday in Pikesville (just outside Baltimore). Featuring board game tournaments and an active and friendly open game room, EuroQuest is also a good place to catch some of the hot releases from Essen Spiel on this side of the Atlantic.

Gamehole Con, Thursday through Sunday (November 2-5) in Madison, Wisconsin, hosts nearly 2,000 scheduled events covering all types of tabletop games, including the live action True Dungeon.

Also starting Thursday (in Morristown, New Jersey), Metatopia is a convention for game designers, with scheduled playtests, seminars, and panel discussions. Gamers who haven’t yet been hit with the design bug are also welcome, to help with playtesting.

Friday through Sunday in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is Fall-In, which focuses on historical miniatures gaming. There’ll be tournaments and scheduled games for a wide range of periods and systems. Also, dozens of classes on painting and terrain-making.

Another war game-focused event follows the next weekend, Friday-Sunday (November 10-12). That is the San Diego Historical Games Convention, where in addition to open gaming and scheduled miniatures, attendees have access to a number of play-with-the-designer events, a large game raffle, and free table space in the flea market.

Con on the Cob takes place the following weekend (November 9-12) in Richfield, Ohio. This one includes all types of analog games, along with a healthy dose of art, music and comedy performances, cosplay, and partying.

Then just before Thanksgiving we get three major conventions all on the same weekend! BGG.Con November 15-19 in Dallas is sponsored by the Board Game Geek website. Its big draw is a large open gaming room and a library of hot new titles but unfortunately it’s been sold out for a while.

ChiTAG is an event in two parts. There’s the consumer show, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, Saturday and Sunday (November 18 &19), with many large and small exhibitors welcoming the public to play. There’s also the Chicago Toy & Game Week track of professional conferences and networking events that begin on Thursday (November 16), such as meetings for inventors and educators and the TAGIE Awards Gala. A special part of ChiTAG is the Young Inventor Challenge, a design contest for children ages 6-18. Prizes include over $10,000 in scholarships. For tickets to the consumer show, discounts of 50% are available through Groupon.

Finally, there’s PAX Unplugged November 17-19 in Philadelphia, where you might find me some part of the weekend. PAX Unplugged is a new convention from the organizers of PAX West, PAX East, etc. The series might be described as fandom events but this one is specifically focused on tabletop games. In its first year, it’s already seeing strong support from hobby game publishers. There’ll be a keynote address from the president of Wizards of the Coast, live performance Dungeons & Dragons games (Dice, Camera, Action! and Acquisitions, Inc.), open gaming, vendors, lots of board and card game tournaments, and a variety of panel discussions.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFat Brain Toys is celebrating 15 years in business with a promo code for 15% off: “PT-3967”.

Twist Gaming is giving away Millennium Blades from Level 99 Games and accessories for Kingdom Death Monster.

Daddy Stinks is giving away (appropriately) Gassy Cow from Drumond Park (UK).

Through Monday, Victory in Europe is 30% off direct from Columbia Games.

ACD Distribution is giving away Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game from Fabricate.

Miniature Market is giving away Mansions of Madness from Fantasy Flight Games but only members of the Board Game Revolution Facebook group are eligible to win.

Rock Manor Games is giving away Brass Empire and its expansion soon to launch on Kickstarter, New Canton.

Buy one, get one 40% off all Pokemon cards and construction sets from Toys “R” Us, in-store only.

The Game Doctors is giving away board game inserts and accessories.

Pinnacle Entertainment (Savage Worlds, Deadlands) is starting its Holiday Sale early.

Medieval gothic horror RPG, Shadows of Esteren reappears on Bundle of Holding with the original offer resurrected from 2016 and a new one, Esteren +2, with the latest supplements, soundtracks, and a recipe.

Unfiltered Gamer is giving away 7th Continent from Serious Poulp and Story Bowl from Entrance Labs.

BoardGame Stories is giving away Valley of the Alchemists from Creativemaker, Monster Lands from Second Gate, three copies of Too Many Bones: Undertow from Chip Theory Games, three copies of OKKO Chronicles from Red Joker, and Gloom of Kilforth from Tristan Hall. All these are actually project currently up on Kickstarter, so to win the prize, the project must fund and deliver.

The Soup Dragon is giving away Mysterium from Esdevium (UK).

Imagine that your favorite board game made you sick. I mean, convulsing on the floor, eyes rolling back, foaming at the mouth sick! That’s what recently happened to a 52 year old Chinese man while playing Mahjong. Still, who would have imagined a tabletop game causing seizures. But after a second incident mid-game, doctors with the Zhejiang University School of Medicine diagnosed Mahjong epilepsy.

Mahjong epilepsy is a rare reflex epilepsy syndrome, a type of condition in which seizures can be brought on by certain stimuli, such as flashing lights. Mahjong epilepsy most closely resembles a cognition epilepsy subtype, in which seizures are induced by decision-making, spacial tasks, and other thought processes. There have been cases of seizures induced by writing, drawing, and performing mathematical calculations.

In a 2007 study of 23 cases, doctors in Hong Kong, however, found Mahjong epilepsy sufficiently distinctive, noted that both playing and just watching Mahjong could lead to seizures, and ruled out stress or sleep deprivation as the cause. In the recent Chinese case, the man’s doctor hypothesized that a possible trigger could have been the patterns of circles and dots found on Mahjong tiles.

Other cases of game-induced seizures have been confirmed by medical professionals. A 1965 article in the Chinese Medical Journal documented four patients with repeated epileptic seizures playing and watching games of Chess and cards. Among these cases, the sufferers would find themselves uncontrollably gesturing with their arms, standing and spinning, and losing consciousness.

Case studies in the journal Epilepsia report on an Italian man who over a period of years suffered “arrests of thought” when playing cards or Draughts, three Asian patients for whom cards and Draughts induced tonic-clonic seizures, and an American woman who experienced generalized seizures when playing Checkers.

See also the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry for a report on a patient who’s jerking motions and loss of consciousness were evoked by attempts to solve a Rubik’s CubeNeurology for a study of 25 cases involving “activation of seizures by calculation, card, and board games“; and the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Korea) for information on 13 patients who experienced seizures while playing the card game Go-Stop and four patients who’s seizures were triggered by playing Baduk (Go).

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesWith the Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play license recently acquired by Cubicle 7, the game’s second edition is now up as a Humble RPG Book Bundle. That means the entire line, plus the first edition core rule book, can be had in ebook form for just $20.

DriveThruRPG is hosting a huge Setting Sale, with up to a third off hundreds of RPG supplements, including old TSR D&D material (Planescape, Birthright, Ravenloft, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk), JWP’s new 7th Sea, Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle Earth, and many more.

Amazon deals:

Current offers at Bundle of Holding include:

Trying to reduce inventory ahead of moving to a new warehouse, Mayday Games has many products on-sale for 60-80% off.

Lion Rampant is giving away a Party Package that includes six games and $50 of pizza.

To get the Lock ‘N Load Tactical Starter Kit direct from LNL Publishing for only 99¢ plus shipping, use coupon code “LnLT-Now”.

Osprey Publishing’s September Sale means 20% off Air Vanguard, New Vanguard, and Weapon titles.

Some of Buffalo Games’ games are on-sale at Target.

Restoration Games is giving away one copy of Fireball Island (when it’s released) each month through December. A photo posted to social media is required to enter.

Modiphius has a number of Achtung Cthulhu products on-sale, some discounted more than 50%.

Green Ronin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying line is on-sale for 10% off. And 20% of all sales will go to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

Many of Dave Graffam Models’ print-and-play paper terrain kits are on-sale, up to 80% off.

DramaScape’s already discounted Space Ship Bundle of print-and-play combat maps is getting an extra discount through the end of the month, so that it’s currently running 75% off the cost of the maps priced separately.

Toys “R” Us’ Fun for All Sale includes discounts on 50 titles from Pavilion Games.

Everything Board Games is giving away:

The Giveaway Geek is giving away:

Unfiltered Gamer is giving away the Villains and Vigilantes Card Game, plus expansion, from Game Salute.

Daddy Stinks is giving away Gassy the Cow from Drumond Park (U.K.).

The In Character Podcast is giving away Roll Player from Thunderworks Games.

The Soup Dragon Says is giving away King Pong from Drumond Park (U.K.).

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When a mid-10th century Viking grave was excavated in Birka, Sweden in the 1880s, the warrior remains within were assumed to be those of a man, despite some contradictory skeletal traits. Using DNA analysis, however, researchers with Stockholm and Uppsala Universities have now established that the occupant of the grave was a woman. The individual carried two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome, demonstrating that the women warriors in Viking poetry and art were no myth.

As befitting such a leader, the individual was also holding a board game.

The grave goods include a sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a battle knife, two shields, and two horses, one mare and one stallion; thus, the complete equipment of a professional warrior. Furthermore, a full set of gaming pieces indicates knowledge of tactics and strategy, stressing the buried individual’s role as a high-ranking officer.

[via EurekAlert]

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Game Blotter

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with games

Someone pilfered uncut sheets of unreleased Magic: The Gathering cards from the factory and posted them for sale online with images. The alleged thief has been arrested and the card sheets recovered. However, with card images already circulating, Wizards of the Coast has ramped up previews for the Ixalan set.

A 31 year old man from St. Cloud, Minnesota was arrested for stabbing his 20 year old Magic: The Gathering opponent seven times in the neck, and for hitting him in the head with a mallet. The suspect has a previous conviction for possession of explosives with criminal intent.

Cary Young is suing Rob Elliot in Victorian County Court (Australia) over royalties he says are owed for contributing 4,000 trivia questions to the board game Smart Ass. Young is a master at trivia who had a legendary run on the television game show Sale of the Century. Elliot, creator of the board game, was also host of Wheel of Fortune.

James Damore, the Google engineer fired by the company after circulating a memo critical of the company’s diversity policies, claims to hold the Chess rating of FIDE Master but no evidence supporting this has been found or provided.

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines banned player Jomel Sinagula for life “for recidivist cheating and identity theft.” Sinagula adopted various aliases for team competitions in order to position himself against lower ranked players. Several of Sinagula’s teammates were banned for 6 month periods for collaborating with the scheme.

Chess player Fernando Alberto Braga has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport a decision by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) not to grant him the title of Grandmaster. Central to the question of Braga’s qualification is whether a rule change made in 2005 should apply to the counting of games he played in 1992 and whether his brief stint with a 2500+ rating in 1998 took place too long ago to meet the requirement.

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq has returned to the Ministry of Culture an antique Chess set formerly owned by Saddam Hussein and stolen in 2003.

At the 2017 Canadian Chess Championship, GM Bator Sambuev and IM Nikolay Noritsyn were in the second blitz game of a tiebreak series to determine the winner, when Noritsyn attempting to promote his passed pawn couldn’t find a spare queen next to the board. So instead, he called out “queen” and replaced the pawn with an upside-down rook (common practice in non-tournament settings). At that point, an arbiter interrupted and ruled the upside-down piece to be a rook, not a queen, noting the presence of a queen there at the side of the board. Later review of video recorded at the tournament, however, revealed that at the time Noritsyn was looking for the queen piece, it was in the hand of his opponent.

Effective July 1 under the FIDE Laws of Chess it became illegal to make a move with two hands (such as when castling or promoting a pawn). Making such a move has the potential to cost a player the game, though in several high-profile games (including the Canadian one mentioned previously), arbiters have failed to intervene over the issue.

A burgler was caught on surveillance video breaking in to a Bronx, New York apartment and stealing board games. Police are looking for help in identifying the culprit.

Recently released government records reveal that in the mid-1990s, conflict and accusations within a San Francisco-area group of Dungeons & Dragons players triggered an investigation by the FBI. Agents were looking for the Unibomber but found just “that the typical war gaming enthusiast is overweight and not neat in appearance.”

Eighteen people were arrested for gambling at cards in Anlong Veng, Cambodia. Police in the village, known for being the last holdout of the Khmer Rouge and final resting place of Pol Pot, took the players back to the station and “educated” them on the dangers of their habit.

A Muslim Cricket player in India suffered harassment online after posting to Facebook a picture of himself playing Chess with his son. The harassers apparently side with the Muslim televangelist in Turkey who said that “playing Chess is worse than gambling and eating pork.” Several Indian Muslim clerics, though, have come to the Cricketer’s defense, saying that there is nothing wrong with playing Chess as long as gambling isn’t involved.

A homeless man was playing Chess in Union Square Park in Manhattan at 3:30 AM when three other men approached and got in to an argument with him, and then one of them stabbed him in the chest.

In Santa Monica, California’s Chess Park, two players were assaulted by a couple of homeless men, who were apparently drunk and raving about some drug dealer. “I bitched to the police about losing our beloved chess park to these roving bands of dangerous homeless, but didn’t see the point in pressing charges given the reality of our legal system.”

Rubik’s Brand Limited is suing in U.S. federal court Duncan Toys and Toys “R” Us for trademark infringement. Rubik’s claims that the appearance of Duncan’s Quick Cube puzzle, sold at Toys “R” Us, copies the trademarked design of the Rubik’s Cube without permission and will cause confusion among consumers. There is no patent claim in the suit.

To fight the counterfeiting of board games, Ad Magic and Breaking Games have started applying 3D photopolymer authentication labels to their products. The labels are produced by De La Rue, a U.K. company, and include parallax images and unique 8 digit serial numbers. The labels can even be authenticated with standard mobile apps.

Reaper Minis was dragged in, or involved itself in (depending on how you look at it), some controversial social-media postings by one of its employees. Ed Pugh, Reaper’s CEO, said that the company was “reviewing the matter and taking appropriate action,” which made other people upset that Reaper felt it should have a stake in what one of its employees said outside of the workplace.

The number of private card rooms in Texas is growing. To avoid anti-gambling laws, instead of taking a stake in the wagers, they collect membership and seat rental fees.

The World Series of Poker has been having a problem with card quality, leading to complaints by many participants about card marking, intentional and unintentional.

Police raiding a Mahjong game at a home in Cape Town, South Africa ended up arresting fourteen people for possession of shark fins and abalone.

New York City Chess school Chess at 3 is suing Hugh Kramer, one of its former instructors, claiming that he violated the terms of his employment contract by taking with him 24 students. The school is asking for $100,000 in damages.

A Chess instructor in Malaysia is facing criminal charges for allegedly groping his young charges. In Mumbai, a Chess coach was arrested for molesting a sister and brother pair of students, 10 and 7 years old. Once in custody, charges were added for beating a student aged five.

The State of Florida finally settled its dispute with the Seminole Tribe over banked card games. Tribal casinos will retain exclusive rights to run card games for another 13 years and the state will get $340 million. To enforce the bargain, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has filed administrative complaints against the Sarasota Kennel Club and Pensacola Greyhound Racing for failing to comply with rules on designated-player games in their Poker rooms.

Cantina, a bar in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was fined for hosting dice games with gambling.

The proprietor of a martial arts gym in Singapore was arrested for renting Mahjong tables and allowing gambling inside his facility.

Police believe that a man who showed up at an Annapolis, Maryland hospital with a gunshot wound had gotten in to an argument at a dice game, took a taxi home to get his gun, then took the same taxi to the hospital after he was wounded. They arrested him on weapons charges, theft, and failing to pay the cabbie.

A man returning to the scene of a dice game argument in Birmingham, Alabama, brought in the car with him a friend and his 4 year old daughter. The friend pulled a gun, so did the person they were going to see, but it was the girl and an elderly woman in another vehicle who ended up shot. The girl later died.

stray bullet originating at a dice game in Louisville, Kentucky struck and killed a 7 year old boy eating a bedtime snack in his home nearby.

The 1 year old hit by three stray bullets from a dice game shootout in Washington, D.C. survived and was, in fact, discharged from the hospital the next day.

Other dice game shootings occurred in Riverdale, Georgia; Phildelphia; Brooklyn; the BronxJacksonville, Florida; Edwardsville, Illinois; again in the Bronx; Baltimore; St. Louis; Detroit; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

A man who shot three people in a Las Vegas home over a game of Dominoes forgot his car keys when he left the scene, then pounded on the door expecting to be let back in.

A man in Hanover, Jamaica was shot and killed while playing Dominoes.

In Stratford, Connecticut, a man pulled a gun on his cousin because he thought he was being cheated at a game of Dominoes.

In High Springs, Florida, a woman shot at her husband while he was playing Dominoes in the park. Why was not revealed.

In Owatonna, Minnesota, a woman was arrested for attacking her boyfriend and other players during a game of Dominoes, with a knife and a shard of glass.

The winner of the 2017 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is Gen Con. Not only is the award totally deserved because Gen Con is a fantastically fun convention, but it’s also not so surprising that it was awarded this particular year, the show’s 50th.

Running this weekend in Indianapolis, Gen Con for the first time completely sold out of badges this year. And I hear that after just one day, so have several of the most anticipated new games.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThe Genius of Play, a program of The Toy Association, is holding a Back-to-Play sweepstakes, with nominations being taken for a school to win $1,000 in educational toys and learning materials.

Gamewright is giving away a copy of Jump Ship!, one of its Cardventures series of games.

During Gen Con (that is, this coming Thursday through Sunday), Asmodee will be giving away free Steam keys for Ticket to Ride and Mysterium.

Also in recognition of Gen Con, Jon Brazer Enterprises is running a sale on all print RPG books ($2 off everything under $10, $5 off everything over).

Turn One Gaming Supplies is giving away two copies of Space Invaders Dice.

Use promo code “SHIPAUG17” for free shipping in August from HasbroToyShop.com.

Modiphius Entertainment’s Month of Madness Sale means 70% off on Achtung! Cthulhu ebooks.

EverythingBoardGames is giving away two copies of The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire from CMON and one copy of Nexus: Scrapyard from Pawn Joker Games.

Save up to 30% in Osprey Games’ Summer Sale. Or enter the company’s Triple Sprue Challange (kitbashing Frostgrave figures) for a chance at the grand prize of Frostgrave books, accessories, and more figures, or runner-up prizes of 20% discount vouchers.

Board Game Revolution is giving away Feudum and Queens Army Expansion from Mark Swanson.

Available now at Bundle of Holding is BASH! from Basic Action Games. The $8.95 starter collection includes the Ultimate Edition (superhero), Fantasy Edition, and Sci-Fi Edition rulebooks, and an adventure supplement.

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Playthings in Early Modernity

Playthings in Early Modernity: Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games collects 15 interdisciplinary essays addressing play “not merely as a pastime, a leisurely pursuit, but as a pivotal part of daily life, a strategic psychosocial endeavor.” Published earlier this year by Medieval Institute Publications, the volume includes such chapters as:

  • “Mixt” and Matched: Dance Games in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Europe by Emily F. Winerock
  • Ludic Intermingling/Ludic Discrimination: Women’s Card Playing and Visual Proscriptions in Early Modern Europe by Antonella Fenech Kroke
  • Letter Games: Machiavelli and Guicciardini in Carnivalesque Correspondence by Sergius Kodera
  • “Sportes and Pastimes, done by Number”: Mathematical Games in Early Modern England by Jessica Marie Otis
  • Trading and Trick Taking in the Dutch Republic: Pasquin’s Wind Cards and the South Sea Bubble by Joyce Goggin
  • The Problem of Excessive Play: Renaissance Strategies of Ludic Governmentality by Andreas Hermann Fischer

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