Kriegsspiel

Kriegsspiel is a highly accurate game of war, created by a Prussian general.

This game not only has its place in gaming history as the forerunner to modern games like Battlefield or Warhammer, but has also lead historians to the exact methods used during Prussian Warfare in the Napoleonic period.

Photo by Brett Bayley

The game is directed by a combination of strategy and dice, directing pieces representing all the parts of the army during the time period. In 1862 (years after it was released in 1824) there was an update to accommodate for improved weaponry and transportation, including both railroads and telegraphs.

The base of many modern games, the hit point (HP), can be seen here, in the “points” that each piece is worth...

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Jury Box

For a relatively simple game, Jury box (published in 1936 by Parker Brothers) has earned itself a spot in game history.

It’s a game for any number of players, and is relatively simple. You (and your fellow players) act as jury to the cases provided in the box. There is photo evidence, an illustrated case file, and what the “correct” answer.

In play, after the case is read by a selected player, the players write their verdict and idea of what happened: points are awarded to those with the correct verdict, and to those whose solution behind what happened comes closest. The person with the most points after all the cases are complete wins.

Jury Box is the precursor to modern variations of LARP and murder mystery games.

The action of pretending to be a person, and the whodunnit na...

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Chess: Variations on a theme

Sometimes, research turns into something else entirely.

Yesterday, as I was researching more historical board games for a few other artcles, I came upon a website that sold a few dozen physical variations on chess. It not only caugfht my eye, but also sent me on a fun wikipedia dive.

Today, I’ll be rating different chess variations by aesthetic, readability, and how much they made me want to play that particular variation.

3-person chess (Hexagonal)

Aesthetic: 10/10 a blast to boggle at. The squares merging in the center is incredibly pleasing.

Readability: 10/10: clearly readable!!! Lovely.

Want to Play: 10/10 YES. Wish I knew more people IRL who liked chess to play this version of the game!

3-person chess (circular)

Aesthetic: 10/10 a joy to look at, mak...

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Ancient Board Games: Chaturanga

History:

This game from 6th century India is believed to be the ancestor of chess and other games (worldwide!) like it.

There are a few things that set Chaturanga aside from modern chess. For one thing, unlike modern chess, this game can be played with up to 4 players. In 750 CE, this version of chess reached China, and by the 11th century it had come to Japan and Korea. It went through Persia and into Europe around the same time.

The theory of the game’s spread revolves around the Silk road, an ancient trade route spanning from Italy in Europe to Xian in China. This trade route moves through land and sea, and facilitated trade of all kinds.

It’s due to the silk road that it can be hard to determine the origins of chess, as pieces simular to what we know have been found all ...

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Castle Flipper

Castle Flipper is a Building and Decorating Simulator for medieval castles!

This game isn’t just castles, either: it also includes the surrounding land, and ¬†sheds, barns, huts, houses, mansions, palaces and even pirate ships!

This game takes place in the 16th and 17th centuries, so in addition to the usual Medieval buildings, you will also find some Baroque and Renaissance elements that add variety to the gameplay and give you more options for interior decoration.

To be released May 27, 2021 on Steam, Castle flipper looks to be a fun simulator, including both rampant destruction and detailed creation.

It has lovingly rendered wooden details, and goes from the basics of building (frames and pillars) to the furniture and placement of decorative elements like suits of armor a...

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Ancient Board Games: Royal Game of Ur

A game like this, from 2600 BC, is full of intrigue. This delicately carved block of stone, with flowers and markings etched into the rock, sings to played again.

A 4×3 board is connected to a 2×6 board with 2 squares. There are 4 d4’s, with dots on 3 of the points. And there are 7 Tokens per player, with one blank side, and one side with 5 dots

We have the board, the dice the pieces, and the question remains: how do we play it?

Rules have been found for advanced versions of the Royal Game of Ur: the sweet irony of which is that the base rules are speculation. All we know for sure about the base game is some of the markings’ meanings, and that the goal is to get all your pieces across the board. Even the exact route is unknown.

Because of that, there are a few different sets ...

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Basic Map making – the absolute minimum

As a DM, you lead your fellow players in the adventure of a lifetime! And you can’t do that without a setting for your adventurers to traverse!

There a Few ways to do this, like always!

Base it off of a real-life location

You can simply pick a point on the globe and lift the terrain and cities wholesale. This way, you can point your focus towards the plot and characters of your campaign.

    • Pros:
  • Makes your life easier
  • Can use history for flavor
    • Cons:
  • Expectations of Culture and mannerisms that come with a person’s knowledge
  • There will be history here, and the players might expect use of it

Create your own from scratch

Use map generators or craft a map from your own imagination to craft the most individualized map

    • Pros:
  • You can have whatever you want wherever you’d like
  • Create...
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START AGAIN: a prologue

How do you feel about Time loops, dear reader? Does the monotony of the same day over and over and over bore you to tears? Or does the hope to fix your mistakes blind you to the truth that the loop is whispering?

START AGAIN: a prologue has multiple endings, and is based on a series of short comics.

Providing a swift kick in the chest and eyes full of tears, you follow Siffrin in this story in the second person, and meet friends to help you on your quest.

Defeat monsters as you learn about the loop that has trapped you in it’s claws!

The game is available here!

From the Creator’s Tumblr

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Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator

With an art style taken straight out of middle-aged engravings, this game is a fun twist on the recipe-style order games that litter both the mobile market and early 2000’s PC games.

In it you can create your own recipes, help the town, and interact with the customers going through your shop.

The game offers customization of your shop and an art style that immerses you entirely in your role as town alchemist.

The demo is free to play on Steam

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How to Build a Big Bad Villain

There are a few ways to create the ultimate evil for your DnD (or other media) game!

The Standard

Choose from the prototypes of any popular mass media for the skeleton to build your villain off of!

The common tropes in media range from Evil boss to Mass-murdering maniac. The general tropes for a simple villain include a sad backstory, a tendency for murder, and a longing to take over the world by violent means.

The way to impart your generic villain’s actions is to really expand on the scope of their evil deeds. Don’t just mention the widespread destruction, but show it and its aftereffects. Have the village that your players were going to head to be torn apart, have the most trusted villagers mention their hatred of the Big Bad, and how the villain affected them and their livelihoods.

The...

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