Modern board games are games created after 1900 or so, including early games such as Monopoly and Scrabble, to the latest games from Europe and around the world.

Antique game lots in separate auctions April 10th and 11th by Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers:

A pair of dice and an 8-of-hearts playing card with bullet hole from a 1901 Buffalo Bill Wild West Show (estimate $80-120).

Buffalo Bill Wild West Show Dice and Card

A complete, 1922 Parker Brothers The Wonderful Game of Oz (estimate $800-1,200).

The Wonderful Game of Oz

[via Slate]

US Backgammon FederationThe U.S. Backgammon Federation is adopting a legal moves rule. The idea of a legal moves rule is that if a person notices an illegal play by an opponent, the person should point it out and the opponent should correct it before the game continues.

Currently, the organization’s rules state:

A turn is completed when the player picks up his dice. If the play is incomplete or otherwise illegal, the opponent has the option of accepting the play as made or of requiring the player to make a legal play. A play is deemed to have been accepted as made when the opponent rolls his dice or offers a double to start his own turn.

The Federation’s Board of Directors, which endorsed a legal moves rule in principle, stated that the change would make in-person and online play more consistent, align the organization with other national Backgammon federations, and foster enjoyment by recreational players.

But I’m curious. How do you play in your games (Backgammon or otherwise)? Do you correct your opponents or is taking advantage of mistakes considered fair?

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesHappenate is giving away board game packages to three people who use the service to start a board game get-together—Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, and Mice and Mystics.

For 20% off purchases at Toys “R” Us online use coupon code “FRIEND20“. For discounts in-store, print this coupon.

Troll In The Corner is giving away three copies of Village Idiot.

Nordic Larp, the book that received the 2012 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, is now available in digital form for free.

Atlas Games is giving away 20 copies of the TableTop Gloom Expansion to people who can’t attend International TableTop Day events.

The Army Painter is giving away one of everything, it’s whole line of miniature painting tools.

Enter for a chance to win tickets to GSummit San Francisco (gamification).

Allegiance: A Realm Divided

Allegiance: A Realm Divided is a fantasy-themed game of combat for 2 to 4 players, and takes between 30 and 60 minutes to play.

In Allegiance, each player assumes the role of one of 10 powerful heroes fighting in a realm divided by war. Each hero represents a different fantasy character class, and plays according to that character’s style, strengths, and weaknesses. Players can customize and level-up their hero’s unique abilities, enlist allied units, and play tricky action cards to defeat their enemies. Hero abilities can be used many times during the game, and each has an associated cool down rating that determines how often the ability can be used. With a high degree of player-interaction built in and a wide range of strategic moves to choose from, a game of Allegiance will never play out the same way twice.

Underground Games is currently trying to raise $50,000 CAD to produce the game, and has already met 43% of their goal with 28 days to go on their Kickstarter project.

David Trampier Has Passed Away

AD&D Player's HandbookDavid Trampier, artist, game designer, and man of mystery, died Monday at the age of 59 in Carbondale, Illinois. Trampier’s art was all over early versions of Dungeons & Dragons. His cover for the AD&D Players Handbook inspired untold numbers of gamers.

Trampier also co-designed the board game Titan and drew my favorite comic strip of all-time, Wormy.

WormyUnfortunately, Trampier had a falling-out with TSR in the 1980s, after which he separated himself from the game industry and refused all attempts at contact. A thawing of that relationship seemed to be in the works in recent years but that was put on hold when he fell ill.

Animal Trackers

Animal Trackers, the latest cooperative title from Family Pastimes, is a matching game for kids ages 4 to 7. The goal is to fill each forest card with matching animal footprints, then flip the card and read about the animal in its den.

Animal Trackers

Second Look—Feed the Woozle

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.The Woozle is hungry, and it’s your job to feed him all the nasty snacks that he loves to eat. Chocolate-covered flies and hairy pickles? Yum. Sounds like a good time to me.

Feed the Woozle is a preschool game by Peaceable Kingdom. It’s a cute little dexterity game for kids 3-6, though my older son had a blast playing with his younger siblings. The object of the game is to walk a spoon full of 1-3 food tokens over to the Woozle, and put them in his mouth without dropping them along the way. Roll the die, put that many foods on the spoon, and off you go! Well, almost. Older kids have the challenge of spinning a spinner to see if they have to bunny hop, hula, spin, go crazy, or walk backwards while trying to feed the Woozle. Blindfold even older kids for an extra challenge.

My kids got a kick out of reading off all the gross foods the Woozle likes to eat. They had even more fun trying to come up with more challenging ways to get to the Woozle. Bunnyhop and spin at the same time? Crabwalk? Carry the spoon in your mouth with your hands behind your back? It’s all fair game.GMK2_FeedtheWoozle_SPREAD_R

Like all Peaceable Kingdom games, Feed the Woozle is cooperative. Get 12 foods in his mouth before you run out of them, and everyone wins. It makes it low stress, with the kids all rooting for each other to complete their task for their turn. Got young ones in the house? You can’t go wrong with this one.

A copy of Feed the Woozle was provided free for review by Peaceable Kingdom.

Monopoly House RulesHasbro has announced plans to grant recognition to a select set of Monopoly house rules. The company is not changing the regular rules of the game but rather will print a group of up to ten optional variants in a special Monopoly: House Rules Edition to be released in the fall.

Ten potential house rules have been posted for debate on the Monopoly Facebook page:

  • Free Parking, Fast Cash: All taxes and fees are placed in the middle of the game board and collected by the next player to land on Free Parking.
  • Dash for the Cash: Players collect a double salary, $400M instead of $200M, for landing on Go.
  • Frozen Assets Rule: Players in jail may not collect rent money from other players.
  • Lucky Roller: A player gets $500M for rolling double-ones.
  • 3′s a Crowd: When there are three players in a row on three unique properties, each gets an extra $500M.
  • Cash Advance: Players can may agree to invest in each others properties, dividing rent money as they see fit.
  • Break The Bank: Initial money is distributed by taking half the bank, mixing it up in the center of a board, and then having the players grab as much as they can.
  • Mum’s the Word: Mothers always get out of jail free.
  • See the Sights: Players can’t purchase properties until traveling at least once around the board.
  • Property Boom: Players are not required to own a complete set of properties before they start to build houses.

Monopoly is so often played by different rules that I expect many people will be surprised that some of these aren’t already official. Also interesting is how these rules are weighted toward adding money and extending the game.

Debate on the house rules will continue through April 3rd, after which Hasbro will announce which ones will find a place in the box.

Of course, nothing prevents people from playing by an entirely different set of rules at home—one of the beautiful things about tabletop games.

Trash-Talking Scrabble Robot

Victor is a Scrabble-playing robot installed in the lobby of the computer science building at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. What sets Victor apart, though, from other game-playing computers is not his skill at Scrabble—in fact, limited to words that appear in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, he’s not very good. Rather it’s his comments on the game that are most interesting.

Victor is prone to complaining about his tile draws and insulting the word choices of his opponents. The robotics department of CMU worked with the drama department to give Victor different moods and reflect those moods in what he says and on his animated face.

[via CNET]

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTremorworks Don’t Tell the Author Sale offers Demongate High 2nd Edition for $10 off.

Mamas on a Dime is giving away a Sofia the First Matching Game from Wonder Forge.

In celebration of the company’s fourth anniversary, Raging Swan Press has marked down all of its PDF products 40%.

Get a free PDF copy of The Esoterrorists when placing an order of $25 or more and using coupon code “PELGRANE25″ at Warehouse 23.

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