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


Scoreboard

Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresOpen source Chess engine Stockfish won Chess.com’s Computer Chess Championship, clearly leading the 10-engine, 90-game round-robin and then edging out runner-up Houdini in a superfinal that included 20 rapid, blitz, and bullet games.

Stockfish, though, may be on the way out as grand computer Chess champion. AlphaZero, an algorithm developed by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary, with nothing more than the basic rules to get started, taught itself Chess well enough in 4 hours to beat Stockfish handily over a 100 game series with 28 wins, 72 draws, and zero losses. Though some questions remain about the conditions of the contest, AlphaZero’s play was amazing not only for its performance but also for its style.

Artist Ara Ghazaryan of Los Angeles has assembled the world’s smallest handmade Chess set with a board measuring 15.3 x 15.3 mm and a king piece standing 4.8 mm tall. Ghazaryan used Brazilian cherry wood, 18 kt. yellow and white gold, and diamonds in building the set.

The current general World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen, won the World Blitz Chess Championship. The previous World Champion, Viswanathan Anand, however, demonstrated that he still retains the competitive spirit, taking home the trophy of the World Rapid Chess Championship.

Kacper Piorun of Poland won the World Chess Solving Championship for the fourth year in a row. The Solving Championship presents competitors with a variety of Chess-game puzzles, such as how to guarantee White a mate in a limited number of moves. There are also helpmate challenges, which require figuring both Black and White-side moves to arrive at mate in a set number of turns, and selfmate challenges, a kind-of suicide puzzle, where the goal is to move White such that it forces Black to mate.

At a Rubik’s Cube event in Chicago, Seung Beom Cho solved the 3×3 puzzle in a world-record 4.59 seconds. At an event in Plano, Texas, Max Hilliard did it blindfolded in 17.87 seconds (also a world record).

Carter Pfeifer Mattig of Chicago won the Merit Open International Backgammon Championship in North Cyprus, taking home a prize of €77,600.

In Sulaymaniyah, in Iraqi Kurdistan, two brothers played Backgammon several thousand feet in the sky, while paragliding.

Eight year-old Zack Barnett, the youngest player ever to do so, won the title of Top Trumps Champion.

There was a Klask World Championship (the first) in Copenhagen. The winner was Kevin Reder of Michigan.

A Pandemic Survival World Championship was held in Amsterdam, where the team of Sébastien Roy and Sébastien MacKenzie Faucher from Canada were declared the winners. Pandemic Survival is a scenario-based version of the game and the tournament rules limit player turns to one minute.

David Eldar of London claimed the top trophy and a £7,000 prize at the World Scrabble Championship in Nottingham, U.K., finishing 3-0 in the best-of-five final series. His last play was the word “carrels”.

Marty Gabriel of Charleston and Scott Garner of Memphis received recognition from Guinness World Records for the highest Scrabble score in 24 hours (two players). Over the course of 240 games (averaging just under 6 minutes per game), the pair scored a total of 216,439 points. As soon as each game was finished, assistants removed the just-played board for documentation and provided the pair a new board already set up for play.

A team in Michigan toppled 245,732 dominoes in a setup that paid homage to various board games. The project also broke the U.S. domino records: largest domino field, largest domino structure, and largest overall domino project.

In Germany, Sinners Domino Entertainment broke the world record for most dominoes toppled underwater, 11,466.

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A 1,600 year-old board game has been discovered in the tomb of a Germanic prince in Poprad, Slovakia. According to an article in The Slovak Spectator, the game was actually found in 2006 but has taken some time to study and identify. The game consists of a wooden checkerboard and green and white glass playing pieces.

Ulrich Schädler, director of the Museum of Games in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, was quoted as saying that similar playing surfaces have previously been found carved in to the floors of Greek and Roman temples and the pavement of ancient towns. However, this is the first instance found of a portable wood board.

The playing pieces are Roman in style and are believed to originate from the Eastern Mediterranean, possibly Syria. Those studying the tomb, dating back to 375 CE, believe that the prince probably served in the Roman army and brought the game back home, where he was buried with it.

[Image: Matej Ruttkay, SAV]

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SpinTales from TILT Textiles is an augmented reality system tied to decor objects for a child’s bedroom. Available now are the Enchanted Duvet with fairy-tale scenes and Jungle Rug with animal habitat. Point at either with the camera of a mobile device and the screen will show moving and interactive characters appropriate to the setting. Games are also possible. There’s one that has children searching for specific images and another that’ll have them performing Yoga with the on-screen characters.

Another approach to decor games, still under development by Hillarys are board game carpets. These will have embedded LEDs to illustrate game boards and pieces. The idea is that they’ll not just be controlled by a local mobile app but also be networked so friends can play against each other on the floor remotely. At least that’s the concept.

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

Sportsmanship

Berlin police say that a local restaurant owner has been using radioactive Iodine-125 to mark playing cards. Radioactive card fragments were detected during routine inspection of a garbage truck at a waste treatment plant, then traced back to their point of origin.

After detector dogs triggered on mail being sent to Manawatu Prison in New Zealand, guards opened the package to find Chess pieces stuffed with cannabis.

A court in Italy has suspended three Chess players, one Grandmaster and two International Masters, for offering to throw games at the Montebelluna Chess Festival for 200€ a game. One of the suspended players, who also helped organize the tournament, had even bragged on Facebook about how easy it would be to buy a game.

In Jiangsu province, China, a Mahjong player was stabbed by his opponent after being caught using rigged tiles to cheat. The Mahjong tiles were fitted with electronic chips that sent a signal to an accomplice, who then relayed the information via small earpieces worn by the player.

Allan Simmons, a prominent British Scrabble player—former U.K. national champion and author of Scrabble books—has been banned from the game for 3 years. An investigation by the World English Language Scrabble Players Association found multiple instances of cheating confirmed by witnesses. He is said to have been looking at tiles as he drew them and returning unwanted tiles back to the bag. [In tournament settings, players are supposed to show empty hands to their opponents before reaching in to the bag, and to draw new tiles while holding the bag above eye level.]

Another Scrabble cheat was caught in Thailand. Pichai Limprasert was banned until June 2018 by the country’s national association. Pichai, long a decent player, experienced rapid improvement in the first half of last year, rising suddenly to rank as Thailand’s number one player. But at the Brands Kings Cup in Bangkok (July 2016), he was spotted sneaking an extra tile from the bag. Allowed to finish that tournament, he was afterward suspended for 3 months and given a warning. Then in February of this year, he entered and won a university level tournament, despite not being registered anywhere as a student. Thus the new suspension.

Police in Las Vegas arrested a man from Georgia (the country) and have charged him with 18 counts of cheating by sliding dice (instead of rolling them). The same person was previously caught using rigged dice at a Backgammon tournament in Normandy, France in 2008.

Four players were disqualified during recent high-level Magic: The Gathering tournaments: one for drawing too many cards, one for lying to a judge, one for having too many energy counters on a card, and one for looking at cards in his deck when he shouldn’t have.

A potential world-record solving of the Rubik’s Cube was invalidated by the World Cube Association because the cube used was not approved.

In Denver, an argument over a Chess game turned violent when one of the players shot the other twice with a .22 caliber handgun.

In Pensacola, Florida, police arrested a man for allegedly using brass knuckles on someone to whom he had just lost a game of Dominoes.

Magic: The Gathering judges in the Philippines are boycotting a local game store because at a recent tournament, the shop’s owner declared a player’s game forfeit for showing up late. That ruling was consistent with the judges’ policy but not within the sponsor’s authority.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the game of Bridge should not be considered a sport. The question came up in a case brought by the English Bridge Union, which sought to have its tournament fees exempt from VAT. Notwithstanding agreement that Bridge is played competitively and “constitutes an activity beneficial to the mental and physical health of regular participants”, the court determined that the ordinary meaning of the term “sport” refers to an activity “characterised by a not negligible physical element.” Still, the court allowed that European member states have the discretion to exempt such non-sport activities from VAT under allowances for “cultural services”.

Diversity

For Scrabble Day at Bel Air High School in Maryland, several students used letter tiles attached to their shirts to spell out racial slurs. The participating students have been disciplined and the incident has prompted further discussion (and argument) in the community about racism.

A popular cosplayer of Magic: The Gathering characters announced she was quitting everything Magic after suffering repeated harassment. Shortly thereafter, WOTC announced that it was investigating, would review its Code of Conduct, and will work with organizers to be more proactive in setting expectations for events.

A former employee of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis is suing the organization alleging that she was fired for “gender non-conforming appearance and behavior.”

Dress codes for Chess tournaments became the hot topic after the World Chess Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, where Canadian Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov withdrew mid-event because he felt bullied for wearing shorts. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who was not only the chief organizer but also a member of the Appeals Committee, allegedly used a cultural slur in referring to Kovalyov’s mode of dress. The Chess Federation of Canada sought to have the World Chess Federation’s Ethics Commission address the incident but Kovalyov would not cooperate, so the Commission dropped the case.

Selecting Saudi Arabia as host for the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) drew quick condemnation and threatened boycotts based on the kingdom’s human rights record. Following up on that initial announcement, though, FIDE clarified that women will not be required to wear a hijab or abaya, supposedly the first time for any sport competition in Saudi Arabia. The question remains whether players from Iran, Israel, and Qatar will be allowed to participate. A FIDE official told Reuters that the organization is undertaking huge efforts on behalf of Israeli players. Despite that, some of Israel’s top players have said they will not attend anyway.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Chess Association has established a women’s section, another first for sport in the country. The group is working to establish several women-only tournaments.

Dorsa Derakhshan, the teenage Chess player who was banned earlier this year by the Iranian Chess Federation for refusing to wear a hijab, will now be playing for the United States.

Business

Nearly 2 years after being countersued by Hasbro and Reuben Klamer, Lorraine Markham is finally getting her first day in court to argue for rights to The Game of Life. She claims that her deceased husband invented the game. Hasbro and Klamer, however, insist that Bill Markham was only paid to mock up a prototype board. Though the lawsuits were filed in Rhode Island, this initial hearing will take place in California to accommodate several witnesses of advanced age.

Irish celebrity twins Jedward have settled with Limerick businessman Patrick Joseph Noonan a court case in which the latter claimed he was owed 625,000 € for failed merchandising deals, including one for a Jedward board game.

Upper Deck and Leaf are suing each other, in California and Texas courts respectively. Upper Deck claims that by producing sports cards with pieces of player jerseys, Leaf is violating the publicity rights of the players with whom Upper Deck has exclusive contracts. [What basis that gives Upper Deck to sue is unclear.] Leaf, in its suit filed a day later, claims that Upper Deck is engaging in illegal monopolistic behavior with regard to NHL hockey cards. Leaf alleges that Upper Deck pressured retailers not to carry competing Leaf products and insisted that distributors not tell retailers why they (the distributors) didn’t carry Leaf cards (thus implying they were inferior).

Politics & Religion

Some Transformers fans figured out that symbols engraved on a recently-released action figure translate in the Cybertronian alphabet as “MAGA”. Alerted to this fact, Hasbro investigated and found that the divisive political statement was added by a vendor without authorization.

Voting for the Ward 5 Council seat in the city of Cripple Creek, Colorado resulted in a tie count. So, as required by law, the election was decided by lots, in this case, the high draw from a standard deck of playing cards. Melissa Trenary won with a 10 of diamonds. Her opponent pulled a 7 of clubs.

The treasurer of the Singapore Chess Federation, whose political conflicts have appeared in this column before, is suing 39 fellow members, claiming defamation in a letter they circulated seeking his ouster.

The Executive Board of FIDE, in a non-binding vote, has asked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov not to run for President again in 2018. After Ilyumzhinov was subject to sanctions by the U.S. government during his current term, the board earlier took away from him all authority of the position. Nevertheless, several national federations have already received from Russian embassies letters nominating Ilyumzhinov for a new term.

FIDE took more definitive action on the Bulgarian Chess Federation, temporarily kicking it out of the group for financial irregularities. While the national entity is excluded, individual players from Bulgaria will be able to play in international tournaments under the FIDE flag, as long as they’re able to pay their own way.

In order to put on a charitable Cribbage tournament in Maine, organizers had to get state law changed. Before passage of the new law this past summer, Cribbage was considered a game of chance and would have required expensive licensing from each of the 12 participating municipalities.

Some Irish Chess players are picketing the Limerick Chess League for blackballing another player, Gabriel Mirza. They also accuse the league of discrimination. Mirza is originally from Romania. The protesters allege that mistreatment of Mirza ties back to an incident in 2013, when he accosted a teenager in the restroom at a tournament for cheating with a smartphone.

A Muslim preacher in Malaysia said in a video distributed on YouTube that it is forbidden to play Checkers, Chess, Snakes and Ladders, Saidina (a Monopoly knock-off), or video games because they lead to gambling.

Property

A man in Denton, Texas reported a break-in. Stolen from his home were a laptop and $8,000 of Magic: The Gathering cards.

A 23 year old man was arrested for attempting to shoplift just over $100 (retail) of Magic: The Gathering cards from a Target in College Station, Texas.

When a stolen truck was recovered by its owner in the Columbus, Ohio area, they discovered inside hundreds of Magic: The Gathering cards belonging to the thief.

Open less than a year, Alchemy, a board game cafe in Derby, England, closed permanently after being vandalized.

Board in the City, a game cafe in Southampton was broken in to overnight. Games were stolen and a table damaged.

A real-estate agent mistook a Magic: The Gathering Facebook group, the New England Real Estate Coalition (focused on land decks), for one focused on non-game properties. Mockery ensued.

Crime

In the Northern Mariana Islands, a man with a machete and supposedly drunk attacked a group of men playing Mahjong.

A man who tried to break up a fight over a dice game in Washington Square Park in New York City was stabbed in the leg by one of those arguing.

The owner of Snap Keep Games in McHenry, Illinois was indicted for paying a 15 year old customer to perform a sex act.

In Henan Province, China, a 2 year old girl drowned when she was left outside a Mahjong parlor by her grandmother. Alone, she got to playing in a three-wheeled vehicle belonging to another Mahjong patron. With the key left inside, the girl accidentally engaged the vehicle, sending it in to a nearby pond.

Shelby County (Tennessee) officials are investigating the claims of a rap artist who says that his online video of gambling on a dice game was recorded in a local high school.

Police in Singapore raided an eighth floor apartment where illegal gambling on cards and Mahjong was taking place. They arrested 15 people.

When police in Cambodia raided a village dice game, the seven people they arrested included a military official.

Prosecutors in Taipei arrested four police officers for taking bribes from illegal Mahjong parlors.

Four men in Oakland, California were injured in a drive-by shooting that targeted their street dice game. Police know of no motive to explain the incident.

Police chasing a man from an illegal dice game in Baltimore found 11 guns in his car and one on his person.

Police in Longview, Texas arrested a man for allegedly robbing a woman of $600 at gunpoint to make up for losses he had experienced shortly before at an area dice game.

A 17 year old is under arrest in Indianapolis for shooting and killing a man who walked away from their dice game before loosing all his money. One piece of evidence against the teenager is the data from a GPS anklet he was wearing because of another case.

Police in Decatur, Illinois found a man on the street beaten and shot, and evidence nearby of a hastily abandoned dice game.

A staff member at a Nebraska youth rehabilitation center was assaulted with a sock filled with dominoes.

Police interrupted a Jonesboro, Arkansas Dominoes game to conduct a parole search. They found on the subject of their search several bags of marijuana.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesGamewright’s annual Warehouse Sale takes place this coming Friday (December 8th) in Newton, Massachusetts. There’ll be games and puzzles up to 70% off.

Over the course of 20 days, Renegade Game Studios will be giving away one of each game that the company has published this year.

Bundle of Holding’s current offerings are an eclectic mix. Worldbuilder’s Toolkit +5 includes volumes of game-mastering advice, such as Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Locations and the Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns. Indie Cornucopia +5 includes a selection of small-press RPG titles, such as MASHED, Puppetland, and The Sprawl. Dying Earth Compleat includes the entire product line of Dying Earth from Pelgrane Press (24 total titles at the threshold price of $37.44). Stone Skin Press includes nine titles from Pelgrane’s fiction imprint.

To celebrate the launch of Journey to the Tree of Sorrows, the company’s new Lovecraftian trans-media project, RAINN Studios is giving away enamel pins, Cthulhu statues, TerraTiles, and $500 worth of Dwarven Forge cavern models.

ProJared is giving away multiple sets of Dungeons & Dragons books.

In Compass Games’ Holiday Sale, recent releases are 25-30% off and earlier releases are 40% off. Coupon code “HOLIDAY17” required.

ACD Distribution is giving away two copies of Alien Artifacts from Portal Games.

In Hollandspiele’s Hollanday Sale, everything is $5 off.

Steve Jackson Games is giving away the contents of a Munchkin CCG tooling sample booster pack. And the game isn’t even being released until February!

Low Player Count is giving away a $100 gift certificate to Game Surplus. Entry is via a kind-of digital scavenger hunt.

CMON’s Holiday Sale runs through December 24th and features discounts of up to 80%.

Save 30% on downloads from Jon Brazer Enterprises through January with coupon code “holiday2017”.

Top Shelf Gamer is giving away Charterstone, along with a deluxe token set, from Stonemaier Games.

BattleBots are on-sale from HexBug. About 20% off.

Victory Point Games’ 12 Games of Christmas Sale has started and works this way… Every day a new game is added to the sale. Everything is 20% off.

USAopoly is doing a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Sign up once for a new opportunity to win each day through the 12th.

Mayday Games will be running different Holiday Deals throughout the season. Right now, I see dexterity games on-sale.

Everything Board Games’ current giveaways include: Mountains of Madness from Iello and Pie Town and Kepler from Renegade Game Studios.

Eagle-Gryphon Games is holding a Holiday Blowout Sale with many individual games on-sale. Also save an additional 10% with a $50 total order, 20% with a $100 order, and 30% with a $150 order.

At DriveThruRPG, two bundles from Raging Swan Press will together net you over $700 in product for just under $40.

Dog Might Games is giving away a $250 gift card.

Answer The Big Community Survey from Games Workshop for a chance to win one of five $80 vouchers.

Osprey Publishing has extended its 30% off Black Friday Sale until December 15th.

Toys “R” Us has reduced select Hasbro board games to $6.

Save $5 on purchases of $25 or more from Fat Brain Toys with coupon code “DA-7969”.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesUpdated as of 2:10 PM ET with 21 more deals added below.

Save 17% on more than 40,000 items in DriveThruRPG’s Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sale, including such popular items as World of Darkness titles, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Adventures in Middle Earth, and much more.

Many Sided Dice is giving away three copies of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything from Wizards of the Coast.

Amazon deals:

Use coupon code “THANKS20” for 20% off orders direct from Gamewright.

Save 25% in Paizo’s Black Friday PDF Sale.

Save 40% on anything from Goodman Games with coupon code “blackfriday2017”.

Funagain’s Black Friday Sale has over 400 items at discounts of 25-65%.

Miniature Market is running a Holiday Sale that ends at Midnight tonight (CST).

Many electronic board games are on-sale via Steam for up to 50% off.

Discounts in the Warehouse 23 (Steve Jackson Games) Holiday Sale range up to 75% off.

Insert Here game box organizers are buy two get one free with coupon code “ihbf2017”.

In The Broken Token’s Black Friday Sale most organizers are 20% off, Game Crates are 15% off, and certain other accessories are 10% off.

Victory Point Games’ products sold by the company through Amazon are 10% off.

Buy a box of boosters and get a free Magic: The Gathering treasure chest booster while supplies last.

Three titles from Flying Pig Games, Old School Tactical Volume I, ’65 Squad-level Combat in the Jungles of Vietnam, and Night of Man, are 40% off direct from the company.

Everything in Litko Game Accessories’ online store is 20% off through Monday.

From Pinnacle Entertainment, the Lankhmar Limited Edition Print + PDF Bundle provides savings of 11%.

Palladium is offering a Christmas Surprise Package with a guaranteed $95+ of product for just $45.

Reaper Minis’ Black Friday Savings are $200 off Ma’al Drakar Resin Dragons and $130 off MSP Essentials Paint Sets.

Save 25% on all board games, including current editions and Selector Sets, in Strat-O-Matic’s Season of Savings.

Community News of Australia is giving away a copy of Mattel’s Aussie Scrabble.

Almost everything is 30% off in the Open Gaming Store’s Black Friday Sale (through Tuesday).

Among other board games on-sale at Target, Suspicion from Wonder Forge, Evolution: The Beginning from North Star Games, Vegas Dice Game from Ravensburger, and Operation: Escape Room from Yulu are 50% off.

For 20% off from Breaking Games, use coupon code “BFCM2017”.

Get a free Superhero Lotto game with every order over £25 from Orchard Toys. Use promo code “SUPER1”.

Some games are discounted in excess of 80% in Mayday Games’s Black Friday Sale (through Monday).

Use coupon code “CYBERWEEK17” for 25% off all toys and games from Educational Insights.

For today, Eagle-Gryphon Games will take an additional 30% off in the checkout cart of all orders.

Anything and everything is discounted at least 10% in Noble Knight Games’ Holiday Sale.

Save 20% from Firelock Games with promo code “jolly17”.

From Dog Might Games, save 20% on Mythic Deck Boxes, $20 on Dice Guards, 20% on Dragon Sheaths, 15% on Big Ass Hammers, 10% on wallets, and 20% on gift cards. Also, get free sculpts on Adventure Cases and a free lining upgrade on Theme Boxes.

Save 25% from Historical Conquest, today only, with discount code “THANKSGIVING”.

Save 25% and get free shipping from Set Games with code “THANKS2017”.

Nomad Games’ Black Friday Sale covers Fighting Fantasy Legends, Talisman, Smash Up, and Talisman: The Horus Heresy.

For $10 off when buying two or more games from Rather Dashing Games, use code “GAME10”.

[Update, with even more deals added below.]

Save 20% and get free shipping all weekend at HasbroToyShop.com with promo code “BLACKFRIDAY17”.

For free shipping and a $25 gift card, spend $100 or more at Fat Brain Toys and use promo code “VI-7829”.

The Galaxy Trucker app from Czech Games Edition is $2.99 for the next week.

Many games are on-sale at Toys “R” Us, including Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots for 50% off, Giant Kerplunk from Pavilionfor 40% off, and Risk Europe from Hasbro is 50% off. Magic: The Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers from Hasbro is just $5. Battleclaw from Mattel is buy one get one 50% off.

For free shipping from Spin Master, use coupon code “FREESHIP”.

Top Shelf Gamer is discounting token bundles, card sleeves, and other board game accessories up to 25%.

Osprey is discounting selected games and military history books 30%.

Get the HexBug BattleBots Brawl bundle (with a BattleBots Arena, remote control Minotaur, and remote control Beta), normally $130, for $100 (a 23% discount).

The Game Steward, retailer of many Kickstarted games, is running a Black Friday Sale. Discounts up to 75%.

Bounding Fire Productions is discounting ASL-related products for Black Friday around 12%.

Dr. Finn’s Games’ Black Friday Sale features combo deals, free shipping, and discounts up to 40% off.

There are some really cool deals in Modiphius Entertainment’s Black Friday Weekend sale, including Airfix Battles for 48% off, Thunderbirds Co-Operative Board Game with all three expansions for 40% off, and the Mutant Chronicles RPG for 50% off.

BoardGameBliss of Canada has 143 items on-sale in its Black Friday/Cyber Weekend Sale. Additional discounts of 7% apply at orders of $100 and 12% at $250 (not including games from Asmodee).

Fantasy Grounds Black Friday Sale on digital tabletop extensions includes additional savings of 25% on Dungeons & Dragons and 20% on Deadlands.

Troll and Toad has a Black Friday Sale that runs through Sunday.

Just today, dice from Tabletop Loot are buy one get one free. Also, use coupon code “#CritsGiving” (not sure if the symbol is included) for an additional 50% discount applied at checkout.

Cheap Cheap Games is offering a 25% store credit bonus, as well as a $5 instant credit bonus, for trade-ins. Discounts and free shipping are also available on the buy side.

Crafty Games’ new webstore has some amazing bundle deals for the Fantasy Craft and Mistborn RPGs. Also, save $5 on any purchase of $5 or more with coupon code “CGNL5off”.

Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures’ Black Friday Sale includes Pathfinder Worldscape figures, 12 Realms, Super Dungeon Explore, and more.

Harvest Dice and SuperHot are on-sale from Grey Fox Games.

The Board & Dice Weekend means discounts of 10-60% from the retailer. [Thanks, Paul Owen, for the tip!]

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.

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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.

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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).

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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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