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Subject: Klutz Board Game Book - Input Requested! rss

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Mark Jackson
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Klutz Press (yeah, the people who taught me how to juggle) is working on a new edition of The Book of Classic Board Games, originally published in 1991, and they've asked me to advise them. The original book contained instructions for 15 classic board games, the boards to play them on, 64 markers (32 black and 32 white), and dice. Sid Sackson helped select the games for the first edition... yes, I'm a bit humbled to be following in his footsteps.

For the new edition, the editor at Klutz is looking for games that will work for kids as young as 7, but also be interesting for adults. The trim size of the book is 10"X10", so the games have to be able to work on a small board. The original book was entirely abstract strategy games, and they are looking to include other sorts of games in this edition.

The original book was all classic, non-proprietary games. In this edition, they are considering the possibility of licensing some games. Klutz plans to add to the components included in the original book—but ideally any components that they add will be used in more than one game.


Here's where you guys come in... any suggestions for games that fit these parameters (small game board, limited components) and that you'd like to see available in a very portable form?
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Jesse Acosta
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It was a good book, not sure what to add.. Hmm... It introduced me to Fox and Geese, Nine Men's Morris, and it was handy to have on shelf for reference when questions came up for things like Mancala. Maybe if you can have pieces that cover remaining numbers, you could do Shut The Box quite easily.
 
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The Grouch
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I wonder if this might perhaps be better as a "geek list"? In any event, being the proud owner of the first edition, what about Othello? This could be done using only the components included in the original game.

If your playing pieces were to be plastic mini-poker chips instead of the "stones" used in the original edition, they would stack better when playing Checkers. Also, you could then have a sheet of stickers with the book to be applied to one side of the chips. This would make possible games like Chess.

Note also, that it could be possible to play multiple games on the same board, if the book were layed out correctly. Chess and Checkers are obvious ones, and Othello would work on the same board. Considering that pieces are played on the intersections, Hasami Shogi would work on that board, too.

By that logic, Go-Moku and Chinese Checkers (Halma) could work on the same board, too. And if you were to include playing pieces in four colors instead of just two, you could do a four-player Halma and also Pachisi, which is pretty classic. In fact, being able to handle four player games would be a vast improvement.

Also if the board and pieces were somehow magentic (yeah, I know, MUCH more expensive), you'd have the ultimate travel game set, too.
 
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David G.
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Liar's Dice?

Are they looking for "party" games too? Seems like "The Bowl Game" (Kind of like a PD version of Time's Up, but you only do 'phase 1') would work easily, it's pencil and paper.
 
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Congratulations, Mark. Not to lay more pressure on, but the first edition is very good and has seen quite a bit of play at my house.

Including a Sackson title would be a classy tribute. Can't Stop is good candidate for it's simplicity, relatively short playing time, and minimal components.

How about Carrom or something like it? Or see Willy Waschbar for a more Klutz-like cousin. Klutz might like how this ties into their marbles book, too. Again, it's simple, short, and minimal. The size of the book is the limiting factor, but maybe play could move to a table/floor?

Thinking out loud: Can Hare and Tortoise be easily adapted to a standard deck of playing cards?

I look forward to your book.
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The Grouch
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LurkingMeeple wrote:
Including a Sackson title would be a classy tribute. Can't Stop is good candidate for it's simplicity, relatively short playing time, and minimal components.

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True Blue Jon
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I agree with Can't Stop and Liar's Dice and also suggest China Moon
 
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Perudo/Liar's Dice is fun, simple, and quick, but it requires a bunch of dice. How many would be included with the book, and how many other games in the book would make use of a significant number of dice? Few, on both counts, I'm guessing.

Speaking of dice, one shortcoming of the first edition was that the dice were just ordinary. Klutz knows how to have fun with the page art, it should think about the fun of the components, too. It would've been nice to include dice with some character, like Koplow's animal dice or multi-colored pips.

http://www.koplowgames.com/page18.html
 
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Dave Dyer
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I would focus on the "game system" aspect, and emphasize
games that combine the elements in novel ways. Start
with the obvious four: checkerboard,hexhexboard,rhombic hex board,
boardless. There are lots of other candidates that could be
included.

As an example of nonstandard uses, consider Dicefest and
Chase which use dice as playing pieces.

You could have an associated web site for the book where
additional games could be published. You could have
compeitions to design new games for the boards and
components included with the book.
 
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Mark crane
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I'd love to see some great games make their way, in some form, into this book. Here are games that would have to be licensed, but might work in some form:


1. Hey! That's My fish (playable on paper)
2. Twixt
3. Zertz in some form
4. Hive variant
5. No Thanks! is universally loved, but it's a card game.
6. What about Piecepack games? Or better yet, include a magnetic piecepack kit. Wow! Please oh please oh please oh please...
7. Maybe some of the icehouse games could be converted to work with your bit pack.
8. Twixt or Hex, playable with tiny dry erase markers


I wish the book had little flat wooden circles in different colors instead of stones.

I also wish that the whole thing was magnetic. See my list of games that should be converted to magnetic travel editions for more brainstorming:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/20187/

Essentially, I'd like to see this released as a simple game kit, with additional games on a website. Hey, I can dream, can't I?
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The Grouch
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bill_andel wrote:
...If your playing pieces were to be plastic mini-poker chips instead of the "stones" used in the original edition, ... you could then have a sheet of stickers with the book to be applied to one side of the chips. .... And if you were to include playing pieces in four colors instead of just two,...
...then Chaturanga becomes possible, too.

Other interesting games to look into:
Alquerque or Fighting Serpents
Attention!
Camelot
Hnefatafl
Petteia
Shatranj
Xiangqi
Laska
Pente
Renju
Stratego
 
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Dave Dyer
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BTW, Hnefatafl is planned as the next game to be added
at Boardspace.net
 
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J. Green
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I used to own this as well and loved it. I think you'd sell a bunch more copies if you got Reiner Knizia to design a simple, classic, abstract game for 7 and up, and as prolific as he is I bet you could get a good one for not too much, and then all the Knizia completists would have to get a copy. I think his games are well suited for a project like this and it would be a great way to introduce people to designer board games.

I also second the recommendations of Hive or a variant of Hive, as well as the piece pack concept. For that I would recommend printing up stickers and having the kids make their own cardboard tiles for the piecepack set.

I would also recommend including links to lots and lots of free boardgames on the web, including the piecepack site, the hive site, of course BGG, and anything else you can think of.

I would also include a quick section on modern game mechanics and discuss differences and examples of games that include roll and move, area control, auctions, action points, etc., and do a little bit on game design and theme.
 
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Todd McCorkle
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I've played an online computer version of Igel Ärgern (hedgehogs in a hurry). I don't think it would be too hard to convert that into book form, especially if you include pieces for more than 2 players. The only components are 1d6 and 16 hedgehog tokens (4 X 4 colors). I originally thought a standard chessboard could be modified for the game (placing a separate marker for the mud pits or something). I just double checked the board and it's 6 by 9 though. The final row is just a finish line and might be ignoreable.

Cheapass games have some free games that might work as well.
 
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Walt
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I have to second the recommendation for Laska, though you need pieces that stack, and really four kinds. You might ask if Klutz would consider 16 each of black, graphite (dark grey), pearl (off white), and white. (Mini plastic poker chips come in many colors, stack well, and are very inexpensive, ~$0.02 each; the smaller chips effectively allow larger game boards.) This would allow Laska more easily and four-player Hamla, the traditional version of Chinese Checkers. I'm sure you can find a version of Mancala that will work with 64 stones, and a 9x9 Go or Go-Moku. If the sticker idea is possible you could make pieces for Chess, though Shogi might be a more exotic choice.

If you have five dice, Yacht is the public domain (PD) descendant of Yahtzee, or you could invent a four dice version. I believe a PD game using two standard dice preceded Pig of a Game, Pig Dice, and Pass the Pigs--all essentially the same game; I've seen a version for one die. See the Ivar Peterson link below.

Backgammon and some of its variants like acey-deucy will work easily, as will Pachisi, whence parcheesi.

I agree with the idea of getting a more of less standard Euro in the mix. If you were allowed a deck of cards, you could make versions of Diamant, Wildlife Safari, or Circus Flohcati.

Without cards, if I recall the game well enough, you could make a version of Medici vs Strozzi, again the four colors of chips coming in handy as the four commodities. I would think the rights-holder might be very happy to have a simplified version in the book if the full-blown version were exactly mentioned. This could be a great thing for Euros!

You might also want to check out some of the games Martin Gardner or Ivar Peterson (Math Trek at http://sciencenews.org/ notably http://www.maa.org/mathland/mathtrek_05_31_04.html) have discussed.

It might be a good plan to go through the Euros you like, define the essential mechanics, and try to find a game for each mechanic.
 
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Ziegreich
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StreetSoccer is a proprietary game, but uses minimal components (10 men, ball and turn counter + die) and something like a 6x10 board. It gets a lot of play in my house, and is dead easy for kids.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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Tafl(King's Table) and Senet might not be bad additions either, not too many different pieces. Heck, you could probably get away using glass beads for both.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I was thinking it over today, and thought of a couple more. Hnefatafl(King's Table, which is already mentioned) would be pretty easy to apply to the book. Also, Senet might not be bad either. You could easily use colored glass beads as pieces too.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I was thinking about it a bit more today and came up with two more. Senet would work well. Also, Hnefatafl(King's Table), which I notice is already mentioned above. Glass beads could easily be used for both as pieces too, which could also work for many other games.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I was thinking about it a bit more today and came up with two more. Senet would work well. Also, Hnefatafl(King's Table), which I notice is already mentioned above. Glass beads could easily be used for both as pieces too, which could also work for many other games.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I was thinking about it a bit more today and came up with two more. Senet would work well. Also, Hnefatafl(King's Table), which I notice is already mentioned above. Glass beads could easily be used for both as pieces too, which could also work for many other games.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I was thinking about it a bit more today and came up with two more. Senet would work well. Also, Hnefatafl(King's Table), which I notice is already mentioned above. Glass beads could easily be used for both as pieces too, which could also work for many other games.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I was thinking about it a bit more today and came up with two more. Senet would work well. Also, Hnefatafl(King's Table), which I notice is already mentioned above. Glass beads could easily be used for both as pieces too, which could also work for many other games.
 
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Huzonfirst
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Congratulations, Mark, a well deserved honor!

I think StreetSoccer is a very good suggestion, as is Can't Stop. For abstracts, both Knizia's Olix and Kramer's Forum Romanum work for older kids and would fit the size requirements nicely. And if a solitaire game is desired, you can't do better than Sackson's Solitaire Dice (Choice).

I'd love to include Billabong, but the board is probably too big.
 
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Jon David Faeth
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ddyer wrote:
As an example of nonstandard uses, consider Dicefest and
Chase which use dice as playing pieces.

Maybe I'm biased (Maybe? Who am I kidding?), but Dicefest would work pretty well for this. Small board, 36 counters (beads, discs or plugs would work) and dice. Mind you, for the game to really work the dice have to be in a few different colors, but what would that hurt?

I'm always willing to answer questions about Dicefest should one feel the need to ask.
 
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