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A historical look at Game Systems
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Game systems fascinate me. Being able to play many games with one set of components is always nice. Take a single game with you on vacation, have access to dozens of different gaming experiences.

This type of list has been done before, but not since the new coding for geeklists, so it is now possible to add geeklists to a geeklist.
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United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
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Dice have been around for over 5,000 years, originally made from the ankle bones of hoofed animals. They became know as knucklebones. The games possible to play with dice seems to be nearly limitless. While most games roll the dice, others use the dice as multi-faced counters for recording information or playing pieces with variable powers/strength.

Finding a geeklist where the games were played with dice and only dice seemed a bit tricky, so I'm open to picking another.
Other dice related geeklists I found interesting:
Abstract Dice Games
Dice Games for Everyone
What are the Coolest Dice Games?
Reiner Knizia loves to chuck some dice
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2. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1021]
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Backgammon, or the more generic name Tables, has it's roots in the game Senet, played by ancient Egyptians. Wikipedia tells us; "Recent excavations at the "Burnt City" in Iran showed that a similar game existed there around 3000 BC. " There are more than 50 games to play on your backgammon board.
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The origins of Go are muddled, depending on what story you listen to, or what archeological evidence you find, Go might be as much as 4,000 years old. While the geek only has a little over a dozen games playable on with a Go set, I'm pretty sure there must be dozens more.
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4. GeekList: Mancala Games
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Mancala, or Oware, is a family of seeding games. Possibly one of the easiest games to make yourself, you can play with bits found on a beach, or a dusty road. This is not to say there aren't some beautiful sets out there. Originating in Africa around 550 AD it is extremely popular worldwide.
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Saint Joseph
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The standard deck of cards, you can find these in almost everyone's home, frequently several copies. Originating in China, somewhere between (618–907), card games are a part of history. Pagat.com is the place to find out about many card games (currently home to over 695 games), although there are other geeklists on the subject as well.
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The oldest sets of Dominoes date back to 1120. Pagat has over 80 western domino games and twelve Asian domino games listed. The geeklist above lists regular domino sets as well as derivatives.
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Checkers, also called Draughts, is a game many learn as kids and then is forgotten. The game has been played in Europe since at least the 16th century, but Egyptian boards have been found. There are over 20 games that can be played with a checkers set (or at least an expanded set with more pieces.) There are also numerous regional variations.
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Chess, in one form or another, has been around since almost 600 AD and solidified into it's current form in the late 1400s. Western Chess is just one of countless variations.
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9. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:552]
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Mah-Jongg is marked as a game system here, but I can't tell if it is just rule variations and everyone is basically playing the same game, or if there are truly different games you can play with the pieces.

It originated in the 19th century and was introduced to the United States in the 1920s. In Asia, it is most often played as a gambling game.
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10. Board Game: Rook [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1784]
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Rook was designed in 1906 by George S. Parker (the founder of Parker Brothers). At the time, there were many people who would not play with a standard deck of cards for religious reasons. As of 1999, Rook has sold over 65 million copies. The deck has 57 cards, the rook and 14 cards, numbered 1 through 14, in 4 suits, green, red, black and yellow.
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11. Board Game: Stardeck [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
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In 1938, William Perry designed the Stardeck. It adds a fifth suit to the traditional poker deck bringing the total number of cards up to 65. This would later inspire publisher Empire Cards to bring out the Empire deck in 2002, which contains 6 suits and 78 cards.
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12. Board Game: Orion [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:7297]
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Orion, published by Parker Brothers in 1971 is a unique and terribly rare game system. It seems there might be as many as 16 or so games designed for this, but finding rules for them could be tricky.
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13. Board Game: Realm [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:7959]
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Michigan
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Realm, designed by Philip Orbanes in 1973 had rules for Realm and 4 other games(Classic Realm, Medieval Realm, Oriental Realm, and Modern Realm).

Sly, designed by Sid Sackson, was released a few years later in 1975. They both use the same board and very similar components, although in different quantities & colors. There are rules for six different Sly games, but I haven't come across any community designed ones.
Here's a picture of Sly:
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14. Board Game: Spiel [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:5413]
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Reinhold Wittig's Das Spiel was published in 1980. Aside from the innovative base, which allows dice to be piled up in a pyramid, the rules book includes over 50 games.
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15. Board Game: Void [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Designed by Michael Waitsman, Kadon published in 1982 this with rules for 5 different games. (Void, Avoid, Row-of-Four, Null-and-Void, and Tic-Tac-Void)
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United States
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I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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Rage is based on the older game Oh Hell!, however is has been released commercially, first in 1983, by several companies. Since the deck has 0 through 15 in six suits it can be used to play a wide variety of games.
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17. Board Game: Octiles [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3691]
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
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I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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Dale Walton tells us Octiles, designed in 1984, is a game system, with 3-4 games for it, although I had trouble locating the additional rule sets.
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United States
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Michigan
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I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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Icehouse Pyramids, designed by Andrew Looney in 1991, it has blossomed into a system with well over 200 games and more being designed every year. The icehouse community holds 2 design contests a year for new games, which helps drive creativity. Most new games are put on the Icehouse Wiki before making it to BGG.
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19. Board Game: ZByte [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
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I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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In 1993, H. A. Layer added new characters to the traditional 52 card deck, with a technology twist. The rulebook contained 11 games.
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20. Board Game: Neue Spiele im alten Rom [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3729]
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Neue Spiele im alten Rom (or New Games in Old Rome) was designed by Reiner Knizia and published by Piatnik in 1994. 14 games were included in this box, but alas it was never published in English.
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21. Board Game: Mu & more [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:707]
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
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I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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In 1995, Doris Matthäus and Frank Nestel designed Mü & more. Six games were included in some editions, five in others. Calcory, requires wood tokens, so it is left out of some printings.

In 2007, Doris and Frank collaborated with three other designers, Günter Burkhardt, Karl-Heinz Schmiel, & Stefan Dorra, and released Mü & Lots More. This contained the rules for the original Mü and three other games. The deck went from 60 to 160 cards along with 20 markers.
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22. Board Game: Quadrivium [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
United States
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Michigan
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Quadrivium is a Spanish game system that is fairly obscure. (At least in the states.) Published by Ediciones Pléyades, S.A. in 1995, there were rules for four games in the box and their website had rules for another seven.
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23. Board Game: Alpha Playing Cards [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:8174]
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The Alpha playing cards have letters and numbers on them. Tim Schultz designed and published this deck in 1997. He remains active on BGG and designing games and has rules for 13 games on his website.
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24. Board Game: Letter Head [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:8234]
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Michigan
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Decks of cards with letters continue with Letter Head. It was designed by Herbert and Kristan Lawson and published by Atlas Games in 2000. They included rules for 14 different games.
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25. Board Game: ZOKI [Average Rating:5.25 Unranked]
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
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designer
I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
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Bffffttt, Pffffttt, Buuuuurtt........
mbmbmbmbmb
ZOKI, designed by Dan Rowen and Zoran Pavlovic, in 2000, was intended to be a game system from the start. While the advertising is a little heavy handed, it does look to be interesting. Zoki Games has rules for ~31 games on their website. There are so few pictures on the geek of this game, it is hard to get a feel for what all the tile permutations might be. If one did have this info, it should be relatively easy to make a copy at home.
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