Many people know Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) as a father of modern taxonomy who classified many species. What many people don’t know is that Carl Linnaeus helped to keep a piece of knowledge about a fascinating game of Tablut.
It happens that one man creates an almost perfect game. George Howard Monks, who developed a game called Halma, was certainly one of such people. Halma gave rise to other interesting games, but it’s really great without any modifications. It requires relatively simple equipment, the rules are simple too, but you could devote your whole life to study its strategy.
When you hear “chess”, you think about the intellectual duel of two people. Therefore you may be surprised by the fact, that one of the Chess ancestors is a game for 4 players and with an element of luck. The goal of the game was no to checkmate but to score points, however, this old game is still “chessy” . The name of this game is Chaturaji.
Napoleon Bonaparte was an outstanding strategist but he also had a need to test his strategic skills in games. He played chess but rather badly. Usually, he sought weaker opponents. He also liked draughts and maybe he was quite good in this game. We can guess so because one of the classic shots in international draughts is named after him. We do not know exactly whether he invented it, but learning this shot is another important stage of my draughts tutorial.
Imagine that games are treasures of different nations, countries, and continents. India had brought Chess and many other games to the world. Go and Mahjong may be seen as the great wealth of China. Europe has developed Checkers and Chess in its modern, western form. And what Africa gave to the world? Mancala of course! A real jewel of Africa. Extremely beautiful. Raw and sophisticated at the same time.
Matador is a domino game, typical and unique at the same time. Typical because players use tiles to build a line of play and the goal of the game is to get rid of all bones from hand. But matador is unique thanks to the unusual rule of combining tiles and thanks to the existence of special tiles that can be added to the line of play at any time.
Have you ever heard about Backgammon? Even if you do not know the rules, maybe you just know what it is. A game with dice, played on board with “teeth” on which players move their numerous pieces. This game is really extraordinary, so it’s good to know its rules and rich history.
I love trick-taking card games in which you have to win certain cards to earn points. They are popular in my part of Europe – Thousand in Poland and Ukraine, and 66 (or Schnapsen) in Germany and Austria. Both games have a common ancestor, an old game called Mariage (in Polish: Mariasz).
There are games that seem to have been created for a world fame, but they have never become popular. One of them is a game of Castle. Its rules are relatively simple, but its strategic complexity can be seen from the start. What’s more, the game takes place on a huge board with 361 fields, but players have to be smart in using relatively few pieces.
It is believed that popular game of Ludo is very old, but is it? It was patented in 1986, but it was a modern variant of really old game called Pachisi. And I must tell you this older game is more strategic and has a unique, ancient nature.