No Honor Among Thieves

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


Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.People have been trying to kill Doctor Lucky for 20 years now, so what better way to celebrate than with Cheapass Games’ Kill Doctor Lucky 19.5 Anniversary Edition. The game has been out of print since 2006, so I’m sure people are going to be happy it’s back on the market. It’s packed full of all the Lucky killing action that players have come to know and love and adds just a bit more polish to the game.

Now I have to admit that I’ve never actually played Kill Doctor Lucky before this, so I can’t compare editions. What I can do is tell you how much I enjoyed the game with two of my boys. Killing Doctor Lucky, as it turns out, is a pretty fun thing to do. All the flavor text on the character cards, weapons cards, and pretty much anywhere else they can fit flavor text, it hilarious to read. That, and ruining someone’s chance to kill the good doctor both bring a very satisfying element to the game.

kill-doctor-lucky-anniversary-editionI should mention there’s a bunch of variations of the game included in the box, but so far we’ve just played the standard version where you’re trying to kill the old man. In one variation there’s a cat that is placed on the board and moved instead of your player pawn. If the cat is in a room with any player, they can’t see out of that room. There’s also rules for a variation of the game where Doctor Lucky comes back as a ghost and tries to kill all the players.

I really can’t believe I’ve never played this game before today. It’s a fun and humorous game with simple rules, a bit of bluffing, and a lot of attempted murder. The 19.5 Anniversary Edition is available now for $40, which is about $10 too high in my opinion. Nevertheless, this feels like one of those games that should be in every gamer’s collection.

A copy of Kill Doctor Lucky 19.5 Anniversary Edition was provided free for review by Cheapass Games.

 

Norwegian Chess Humor

A new commercial for Felleskjøpet, a cooperative and agricultural equipment vendor, featuring World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen… (note that in Norwegian, the same word, “bonde”, is used for both “pawn” and “peasant” or “farmer”.)

Google Search Playing Cards

google-playing-cardsGoogle’s version of playing cards show suits but, reminiscent of online search, require players to fill in the blank for face values.

 

[via Search Engine Roundtable]

 

Scoreboard

Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresNeil Scallon of the U.K. claims a world-record collection 2,500 copies of Monopoly but also says he hasn’t played a board game in 20 years.

Sota Fujii, a 14 year-old middle school student from Aichi Prefecture, Japan, has achieved 4th dan status, breaking the record for youngest professional Shogi player ever.

Brett Smitheram of the U.K. took home the trophy, a €7,000 grand prize, and a kiss to the feet at the World Scrabble Championship in Lille, France. His win was secured with 176 points from the play of “braconid” (a species of wasp) for a bingo on a triple word score.

Londoners commemorated the Great Fire of London with the toppling of 23,000 dominoes strung through 4 miles of city streets, markets, pubs, gardens, and a church.

With a win at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis (and its $75,000 prize), Wesley So of the United States is nearly assured of also taking the top prize for the entire Grand Chess Tour. That is, unless maybe Magnus Carlsen decides to step back in for the London Chess Classic in December after finishing the World Chess Championship.

The winner of the 40th World Chess Solving Championship (a tournament of solving Chess puzzles) held in Belgrade, Serbia was Zaur Mammadov of Azerbaijan. The second place winner was also from Azerbaijan.

Draughts also finished a World Championship of Problems recently, with Alexander Moiseyev of the United States in first place.

The winner of the 2016 Magic: The Gathering World Championship, Brian Braun-Duin of Virginia, was described by WOTC as having taken the “everyman’s journey to the top.” “Grinding” through tournament tours, he had set himself a goal of Grand Prix Master for this season but managed to trump that, going home with the big trophy.

At the 2016 World Championship Domino Tournament hosted by the Andalusia (Alabama) Rotary Club, the winner, Jerry Baker, was from nearby Ozark, Alabama. In fact, all the winners were from the Southeast United States.

A world record for the largest circle field of dominoes (76,017 toppled) was set in Westland, Michigan, along with the U.S. record for total dominoes toppled (242,518). A team of 18 spent 10 days setting up the feat.

Three retirees from China finishing on top of the 11th Austrian Mahjong Open was seen as something of a comeback after an embarrassing showing at the Open Mahjong Championship 2 years ago in France, where the highest placed competitor from China came in 30th.

It was an Austrian, Wolfgang Leitner, who won the 2016 FISTF World Cup in Belgium, where 500 competitors gathered to play table football (Subbuteo).

In first place at the 41st Backgammon World Championship was Jörgen Granstedt of Sweden.

At the European Rubik’s Cube Championship, Feliks Zemdegs of Australia set seven world records, including one for solving a 7×7 in 2 minutes, 20.66 seconds. At the PSU Open, August 28th in Novopolotsk, Belarus, Roman Strakhov of Russia set a world record by solving a 5×5 Rubik’s Cube, blindfolded in 5 minutes, 1.40 seconds. Just a few days later, however, at the SPB Championship, September 4th in St. Petersburg, Roman bested himself by finishing the 5×5 blindfolded in just 4 minutes, 55.63 seconds.

And the winner of the Pentamind World Championship was Andres Kuusk—his fourth time! The Pentamind is a meta-event, incorporating multiple games of one Chess variant, Scrabble, Go, Poker, and Backgammon.

Downtown Dice & GamesLas Vegas’ version of a game cafe is Milk Teaze, where the tea, juice, and board games are served by women in lingerie.

Good Games, a chain of game shops with 25 locations in Australia, is opening its first in the United States. The store will be located in downtown Indianapolis, just around the corner from the convention center.

Retailer Downtown Dice & Games opened last month in Great Falls, Montana.

Molino Lounge, part of the Loungers chain, is opening up in the restored Old Town Hall of Oldham (Manchester area, UK), with an alcohol license but a family-friendly atmosphere, including newspapers, a book-swap, and board games.

Pawns and Pints, a game cafe planned for Kansas City, has already singed a lease in the Crossroads area but is raising money on Kickstarter to stock its board game library.

While looking for a location for Meeples Cafe and Games, a husband and wife pair are hosting Thursday night game events at Toolry in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Black Rabbit bar in Brooklyn has some of its own board games but also encourages patrons to bring their own and occasionally hosts tournaments.

Toy of the Year Awards 2017For its next Toy of the Year Awards, granted annually at New York Toy Fair, the Toy Industry Association is eliminating gender categories. No more Girl Toy of the Year or Boy Toy of the Year. For 2017, the categories will be:

  • Action Figure of the Year (new)
  • Active/Outdoor Toy of the Year (formerly Outdoor)
  • Activity Toy of the Year
  • Collectible of the Year (new)
  • Construction Toy of the Year (new)
  • Doll of the Year (new)
  • Game of the Year
  • Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year (formerly two separate categories)
  • Innovative Toy of the Year
  • License of the Year (formerly Property)
  • Rookie [Company] of the Year (new)
  • Specialty Toy of the Year
  • Tech Toy of the Year (formerly e-Connected)
  • Vehicle of the Year (new)
  • People’s Choice Toy of the Year
  • Toy of the Year

In addition to the new categories, a new streamlined selection process in being implemented. Also worth noting, public voting this year will result in a separate “People’s Choice” award for Toy of the Year.

Toys R Us President of Play

Toys “R” Us is looking for a child 9-13 years of age to be its President of Play. The role will involve testing toys, including some not yet available to the public, talking about toy trends to the media, and representing Toys “R” Us at public events.

Toys “R” Us estimates eight appearances for 80 hours and a contract value for the position of $5,000.

To apply, kids are asked to submit a 1-2 minute video “that lets their playful personality shine, as they tell us all about their favorite toy, doll, gadget or game.” The deadline for that is tomorrow. By the end of the month, the company will choose a group of semifinalists to interview, and from them three finalists to participate in a public debate. The winner of the debate, and President of Play, will be chosen by public vote.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesAfter a 51 year-old Welshpool, U.K. man was accused by his sister of stealing pieces from her Frustration board game, he followed her back to her home and pushed her against the wall. Then when confronted about the incident by his nephew, he punched him in the face. A local magistrate fined the man £635 and issued a restraining order.

Two people were arrested on drug smuggling charges in Northern Ireland after trying to pick up a children’s board game shipped via UPS from Canada that was stuffed with marijuana. Police say evidence leads them to suspect there were other such packages. They did not, however, name the game.

A group of four was photographed playing Mahjong around a table they set up in an MTR train in Hong Kong. However, by the time staff went to investigate, the game was gone.

Swiss Chess player, Yannick Pelletier, was initially refused a visa to attend the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan because of earlier travel to Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenia. After signing a letter stating that the visit was a mistake and promising not to go back, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs relented and granted him that visa.

House-banked gambling on card games is illegal in California, except at tribal casinos. More than 70 non-tribal card rooms continue in business, though, operating under a 2007 letter from the former chief of the Bureau of Gambling Control, Robert Lytle, which declared that as long as the role of dealer was offered to to the whole table every second hand, the game would not be considered illegal even if all the players declined. (When everyone declines, as they usually do, the role of bank is given to a licensed and contracted dealer-of-last-resort. And in any case, the host card room makes money by charging a fee for each hand played.) Lytle left the Bureau, however, shortly after issuing that letter and went to work as a card room consultant. And just recently he settled a complaint that he illegally received information from inside the Bureau on an investigation involving one of his clients. So now, nearly 10 years later, the Bureau is rescinding his letter but has determined that it is OK for the card rooms to reopen the bank position only every 60 minutes, under the condition that if someone new doesn’t assume the role of dealer, the game takes a break for 2 minutes. Card room operators are concerned about what this break will do to their profitability. Tribal casino operators claim that one person acting as dealer for 60 minutes does not meet the statutory requirement that the position be “continuously and systematically rotated amongst each of the participants during the play of the game.”

Similar issues continue to be debated in Florida, where an administrative law judge found that a Jacksonville poker room’s contract with a specific player to act as bank effectively results in a house-banked game.

The former chairman of the Irish Chess Union (ICU) is suing the organization for defamation. At issue is an ICU blog post commenting on his job as an arbiter at a Chess tournament.

An Information Technology Agreement negotiated by members of the World Trade Organization eliminates tariffs on electronic products, including video games and games “operated by coins, banknotes, bank cards, token, or by any other means of payment.”

Steven Russell, CEO of Rite Publishing, was killed in an automobile accident.

In a concurrence on a case involving the regulation of mobile billboards, federal circuit court judge John Owens explained his problem with the controlling Supreme Court precedent by referencing a Monopoly board. He took issue with the fact that while a Los Angeles city ordinance prohibits mobile billboards, cars with equally ugly decals would not “go to jail” but would rather “treat my curb like the upper left corner of a Monopoly board” (a reference, I believe, to the Free Parking space).

New Jersey state Assemblyman Jack M. Ciattarelli introduced legislation that would require school districts to offer varsity letters for all competitive extracurricular activities, such as participating on Chess teams, not just for sports.

Seven people were arrested on gun and drug charges after neighbors complained about a street dice game in Flint, Michigan. Patrolling detectives found “validated gang members” playing a street dice game in Richmond, California. They stopped, broke up the game, and ended up arresting one on gun, drug, and probation violation charges. Police arrested three for illegal gambling after breaking up a dice game in Monroe, Ohio.

Shooting broke out at a dice game in Dallas. Two people were wounded. Both are expected to recover. No arrests were made.

Two men in Washington, D.C. were shot (one of them died) when another two attempted to rob the formers’ street dice game at gunpoint. The assailants have both been arrested and are being charged with first-degree felony murder.

A former Director of Transportation for Toys “R” Us has pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.9 million from the company.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesMore than 25,000 products are going for 25% off in DriveThruRPG’s Christmas in July Sale. Sister-site Wargame Vault has a similar Summer Campaign Sale with another 3,700 items also at 25% off.

This week’s Bundle of Holding deals feature the acclaimed but mature Lamentations of the Flame Princess (starting at $13) and Pellgrane Press’ DramaSytem-based Hillfolk (starting at $8).

Accessory retailer, Top Shelf Gamer, is going to give away $100 of goods when its Facebook page reaches 500 likes.

On the occasion of hitting 2,000 likes, EverythingBoardGames.com is doing a Mega Colossal Giveaway—nine different games, dice, posters, and dice towers.

To clear out some of its older titles, Avalanche Press is offering ten of them at major discounts, some in excess of 50%. The Gold Club member discount of 20% can be had in addition.

Paizo’s web store, also hoping to clear out some old products from the company’s warehouse, has opened up a new Golem Clearance section, and it really does have some old stuff. I see there’s even a bunch of TSR books in there.

Giveaways:

Amazon deals:

Spartan Games is running a miniatures painting contest with Halo game prizes in a variety of categories.

Deposits with Geek Chic by August 31st qualify for a free game accessory held snug with the company’s new silicone bands.

The Toys “R” Us Mega Webisale ends in a couple of hours but games in the Clearance Blast should persist a little longer.

Dog Might Games’ Dog Days of Summer Sale means 25% off everything, except Dragon Sheaths. On the other hand, the company is giving away three Dragon Sheaths, each filled with a set of metal dice from Easy Roller Dice.

There’s a Humble Book Bundle featuring puzzles, mazes, and games.

Flying Pig Games is selling Night of Man direct for 30% off.

Retail Games

Knight Moves Board Game CafeKnight Moves board game cafe of Brookline, Massachusetts opened a second location in Sommerville, serving coffee, tea, Nutella shakes, paninis, and cheese plates.

Boards & Brews is a board game coffee shop that just opened in Douglas, Isle of Man with the dual mission of bringing people together and providing employment opportunities for people with autism.

Newly opened in Barrie, Ontario, Perplexcity serves as board game cafe and host to four different escape rooms.

Board Game Republic is a new game cafe and bar in Denver.

Laura Briggs and husband are raising money on Kickstarter to open Jack Straws as Belfast’s first board game cafe.

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