Board game

A board game is any game played on a board (that is, a premarked surface) with counters or pieces that are moved across the board. Simple board games are often seen as ideal "family entertainment" as they can provide entertainment for all ages. Some board games, such as Chess, Oware, or Go, have intense strategic value and have become lasting classics.

There are many different types and classifications of board games. Some games are simplified simulations of real life. These are popular for they can intermingle make-believe and role playing along with the game. Popular games of this type include Monopoly, which is a rough simulation of the real estate market; Cluedo/Clue, which is based upon a murder mystery; and Risk, which is one of the best known of thousands of games attempting to simulate warfare and geo-politics.

Other games only loosely, or do not at all, attempt to imitate reality. These include abstract strategy games like chess and checkers, word games, such as Scrabble, and trivia games, such as Trivial Pursuit.

History

Board games have a long history and have been played in most cultures and societies; some even pre-date literacy skill development in the earliest civilizations. A number of important historical sites, artifacts and documents exist which shed light on early board games. The most of important of these include:

  • Senet has been found in Predynastic and First Dynasty burials of Egypt, c. 3500 BC and 3100 BC respectively [1]. Senet is the oldest board game known to have existed. Also see Okno do svita deskovych her for a photo of the actual fresco found in Merknera's tomb (3300-2700 BC).
  • Mehen is another ancient board game from Predynastic Egypt.
  • The Royal Tombs of Ur contained, among others, the Royal Game of Ur. They were excavated by C. Leonard Woolley, but his books document little on the games found. Most of the games he excavated are now housed in the British Museum in London.
  • Buddha games list is the earliest known list of games.

Timeline

  • 3500 BC - Senet found in Predynastic Egyptian burials [2]; also depicted in the tomb of Merknera.
  • 3000 BC - Mehen, board game from Predynastic Egypt, played with lion-shaped game pieces and marbles.
  • 2560 BC - Board of the Royal Game of Ur (found at Ur Tombs)
  • 2500 BC - Paintings of Senet and Han being played made in the tomb of Rashepes
  • 2000 BC - Drawing in a tomb at Benihassan depicting two unknown board games being played (depicted in Falkner). It has been suggested that the second of these is Tau.
  • 1500 BC - Liubo carved on slab of blue stone. Also painting of Board Game of Knossos.
  • 1400 BC - Game boards including Alquerque, Three Men's Morris, Nine Men's Morris, and a possible Mancala board etched on the roof of the Kurna Temple. (Source: Fiske, and Bell)
  • 200 BC - A Go board pre-dating 200 BC was found in 1954 in Wangdu County. This board is now in Beijing Historical Museum. (Source: John Fairbairn's Go in Ancient China).
  • 116 - 27 BC - Marcus Terentius Varro's Lingua Latina X (II, par. 20) contains earliest known reference to latrunculi (often confused with Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, Ovid's game mentioned below).
  • 79 - 8 BC - Liu Xiang's (劉向) Shuo yuan, contains earliest known reference to Xiangqi.
  • 1 BC-8 AD Ovid's Ars Amatoria contains earliest known reference to Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum and the smaller merels.
  • 220-265 Nard enters China under the name t'shu-p'u (Source: Hun Tsun Sii)

Board games first became widely popular among the general population early in the 20th century when the rise of the middle class with disposable income and leisure time made them a receptive audience to such games. This popularity expanded after the Second World War, a period from which many classic board games date. Computer games are closely related to board games, and many acclaimed computer games such as Civilization are based upon board games.

Many board games are now available as computer games, including the option to have the computer act as an opponent. The rise of computers has also led to a relative decline in the most complicated board games, as they require less space, and are easier to set up and clear away. With the Internet, many board games can now be played online against computer or other players in real time (like to classics board games available on Yahoo, Lycos and other big Internet sites) or during your spare time, every time it's your turn (see the links at the end of this article).

The modern board game industry is rife with corporate mergers and acquisitions, with large companies such as Hasbro owning many subsidiaries and selling products under a variety of brand names. It is difficult to successfully market a new board game to the mass market. Retailers tend to be conservative about stocking games of untested popularity, and most large board game companies have established criteria that a game must meet in order to be produced. If, for instance, Monopoly were introduced as a new game today, it would not meet the criteria for production.

Luck, strategy and diplomacy

One way of defining board games are between those based upon luck and strategy. Some games, such as chess, have no luck involved. Children's games tend to be very luck based with games such as Sorry! having virtually no decisions to be made. Most board games have both luck and strategy. A player may be hampered by a few poor rolls of the dice in Risk or Monopoly, but over many games a player with a superior strategy will win more often. While some purists consider luck to not be a desirable component of a game, others counter that elements of luck can make for far more complex and multi-faceted strategies as concepts such as expected value and risk management must be considered. Still most adult game players prefer to make some decisions during play, and find purely luck based games such as Top Trumps quite boring.

The third important factor in a game is diplomacy, or players making deals with each other. A game of solitaire, for obvious reasons, has no player interaction. Two player games usually don't have diplomacy, as cooporation between the two players does not occur. Thus, this generally applies only to games played with three or more people. An important facet of Settlers of Catan, for example, is convincing people to trade with you rather than with other players. In Risk, one example of diplomacy's effectiveness is when two or more players team up against another. Easy diplomacy consists of convincing other players that someone else is winning and should therefore be teamed up against. Difficult diplomacy (such as in the aptly named game Diplomacy) consists of making elaborate plans together, with possibility of betrayal.

Luck is introduced to a game by a number of methods. The most popular is using dice, generally six sided. These can determine everything from how many steps a player moves their token, as in Monopoly, how their forces fare in battle, such as in Risk, or which resources a player gains, such as in Settlers of Catan. Other games such as Sorry! use a deck of special cards that when shuffled create randomness. Scrabble does something similar with randomly picked letters. Other games use spinners, timers of random length, or other sources of randomness. Trivia games have a great deal of randomness based on which question a person gets. German-style board games are notable for often having rather less luck factor than in many North American board games.

Common terminology

Carcassonne tokens, or meeples

Although many board games have a jargon all their own, there is a generalized terminology to describe concepts applicable to basic game mechanics and attributes common to nearly all board games.

  • Gameboard (or board) — the (usually quadrilateral) surface on which one plays a board game; the namesake of the board game, gameboards are a necessary and sufficient condition of the genre
  • Game Piece (or token or bit) — a player's representative on the game board. Each player may control one or more game pieces. In some games that involve commanding multiple game pieces, such as chess, certain pieces have unique designations and capabilities within the parameters of the game; in others, such as Go, all pieces controlled by a player have the same essential capabilities.
  • Jump — to bypass one or more game pieces and/or spaces. Depending on the context, jumping may also involve capturing or conquering an opponent's game piece. (See also: Game mechanic: Capture)
  • Space (or square) — a physical unit of progress on a gameboard delimited by a distinct border (See also: Game mechanic: Movement)

References

  • Fiske, Willard. Chess in Iceland and in Icelandic Literature—with historical notes on other table-games). Florentine Typographical Society, 1905.
  • Falkener, Edward. Games Ancient and Oriental, and How To Play Them. Longmans, Green and Co., 1892.
  • Austin, Roland G. "Greek Board Games." Antiquity 14. September 1940: 257–271
  • Murray, Harold James Ruthven. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Gardners Books, 1969.
  • Bell, Robert Charles. The Boardgame Book. London: Bookthrift Company, 1979.
  • Bell, Robert Charles. Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 1980. ISBN 0486238555
    • Reprint: New York: Exeter Books, 1983.
  • Sackson, Sid. A Gamut of Games. Arrow Books, 1983. ISBN 0091533406
    • Reprint: Dover Publications, 1992. ISBN 0-486-27347-4
  • Schmittberger, R. Wayne. New Rules for Classic Games. John Wiley & Sons, 1992. ISBN 0-471-53621-0
    • Reprint: Random House Value Publishing, 1994. ISBN 0517129558
  • Parlett, David. Oxford History of Board Games. Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0192129988

Note that some these works may suffer from cultural bias—especially Murray's work which, despite being the standard reference, tends to assume Western cultural superiority.


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Note that some these works may suffer from cultural bias—especially Murray's work which, despite being the standard reference, tends to assume Western cultural superiority. Other notable Cannondale sponsored riders include Olympic Silver medalist (and World Champion) Alison Sydor and Bronze medalist Christoph "Susi" Sauser, "Flyin" Brian Lopes, Cadel Evans, Kashi Leuchs, Libor "The Bouncing Czech" Karas, Lance Trappe, Aaron Chase, Myles Rockwell, Cedric Gracia, Roel Paulissen and Frederik Kessiakoff. Although many board games have a jargon all their own, there is a generalized terminology to describe concepts applicable to basic game mechanics and attributes common to nearly all board games. In the mountain biking circuit, Cannondale had sponsored the Volvo/Cannondale racing team (including world champions Anne-Caroline Chausson and Missy Giove), the SoBe/Cannondale racing team and various individual 24 hour racers such as Bicycling Hall of Famer and US National 24 hour Champion David "Tinker" Juarez. German-style board games are notable for often having rather less luck factor than in many North American board games. More recently, the entire Saeco team raced a stage of the 2003 Tour de France wearing a Legalize my Cannondale chaingang cycling kit to protest the UCI's lower bound on bike weight which means that their six13 prototype team bikes were underweight and required the installation of additional weight. Trivia games have a great deal of randomness based on which question a person gets. Cipollini's antics are legendary, including showing up to the stage start at the Tour de France dressed in a Julius Caesar-inspired toga complete with an olive wreath, riding on a carriage pulled by his teammates on bicycles.

Other games use spinners, timers of random length, or other sources of randomness. The Saeco team is known for their pranks and antics. Scrabble does something similar with randomly picked letters. (Saeco International Group, based in Bologna manufactures coffee machines.). Other games such as Sorry! use a deck of special cards that when shuffled create randomness. Saeco's Stefano Zanini won the US Pro Championship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA in 2003. These can determine everything from how many steps a player moves their token, as in Monopoly, how their forces fare in battle, such as in Risk, or which resources a player gains, such as in Settlers of Catan. Cannondale also currently sponsors numerous road racing teams, including the Saeco team (now Lampre-Caffita as of 2005) which has won the Giro d'Italia in 2003 with Gilberto Simoni and 2004 with Damiano Cunego.

The most popular is using dice, generally six sided. The image of Mario Cipollini approaching the TV camera right after a win to say, 'Cannondale makes the best bikes!' propelled Cannondale's popularity among road racers. Luck is introduced to a game by a number of methods. Cannondale's sponsorship in the Division I road racing circuit started with the sponsorship of Mario Cipollini's Saeco (cycling team) team in the late 1990's, memorable for Cipollini's 4 consecutive stage wins in the 1999 Tour de France. Difficult diplomacy (such as in the aptly named game Diplomacy) consists of making elaborate plans together, with possibility of betrayal. Both of these technologies are just now being utilized by other manufacturers with great acceptance, while they are a decade-old technology for Cannondale. Easy diplomacy consists of convincing other players that someone else is winning and should therefore be teamed up against. As well as being the only company for years to use a 1.5" headtube diameter.

In Risk, one example of diplomacy's effectiveness is when two or more players team up against another. Cannondale was the first to produce a crankset that uses externally mounted bottom bracket bearings. An important facet of Settlers of Catan, for example, is convincing people to trade with you rather than with other players. The Leftys' are lighter, stronger and steer more precisely than any competitors forks with the same amount of travel. Thus, this generally applies only to games played with three or more people. It uses the same technology of the Headshok, but wanting more travel led to moving the the telescoping unit off to the side to have enough room for the travel. Two player games usually don't have diplomacy, as cooporation between the two players does not occur. The "Lefty" is an unusual looking fork, because it only has a left side or leg.

A game of solitaire, for obvious reasons, has no player interaction. which is a tightness at the top of the travel that must be overcome to initiate travel, and also reduces overall performance. The third important factor in a game is diplomacy, or players making deals with each other. This eliminates flexing of the fork legs, and also eliminates "stiction". Still most adult game players prefer to make some decisions during play, and find purely luck based games such as Top Trumps quite boring. It uses bearings to reduce the friction for super smooth travel, the bearings telescope inside the steerer tube of the fork. While some purists consider luck to not be a desirable component of a game, others counter that elements of luck can make for far more complex and multi-faceted strategies as concepts such as expected value and risk management must be considered. It started with the "Headshok" forks.

A player may be hampered by a few poor rolls of the dice in Risk or Monopoly, but over many games a player with a superior strategy will win more often. Cannondale has also developed a suspension fork called the Lefty. Most board games have both luck and strategy. In 2005 Cannondale announced its first all-carbon frame in a model named "Synapse." This is also the first Cannondale road bicycle to be built outside of the United States, in China. Children's games tend to be very luck based with games such as Sorry! having virtually no decisions to be made. The crank and bottom bracket set weigh 80 grams less than Dura-Ace. Some games, such as chess, have no luck involved. Cannondale also developed a proprietary bottom bracket technology called Hollowgram which is featured in its high-end bikes since 2001.

One way of defining board games are between those based upon luck and strategy. Because of the light weight riders would have to add weight to the bike for it to be permitted for competition use. If, for instance, Monopoly were introduced as a new game today, it would not meet the criteria for production. Cannondale advertised its light weight frameset with the slogan "Legalize my Cannondale". Retailers tend to be conservative about stocking games of untested popularity, and most large board game companies have established criteria that a game must meet in order to be produced. It should also be noted that the Union Cycliste Internationale has established a 15 lb (6.8 kg) minimum weight limit. It is difficult to successfully market a new board game to the mass market. The six13 model was introduced in 2004 which uses carbon tubed sections in the main triangle but still uses aluminum rear triangles, contrary to the usual practice of using carbon rear triangles and aluminum fronts.

The modern board game industry is rife with corporate mergers and acquisitions, with large companies such as Hasbro owning many subsidiaries and selling products under a variety of brand names. Its change in warranty policy has also been criticized. With the Internet, many board games can now be played online against computer or other players in real time (like to classics board games available on Yahoo, Lycos and other big Internet sites) or during your spare time, every time it's your turn (see the links at the end of this article). Cannondale has recently been criticized for its insistence on using aluminum instead of considering carbon fiber, which is emerging in popularity. The rise of computers has also led to a relative decline in the most complicated board games, as they require less space, and are easier to set up and clear away. Interestingly, this change coincided with the transformation of Team Saeco's (a Division 1/ProTour cycling team that rides on Cannondales) from being essentially a lead-out train for uber-sprinter Mario Cipollini to a more balanced team, with grand tour and all-around riders like Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego. Many board games are now available as computer games, including the option to have the computer act as an opponent. The CAAD6 and CAAD7 models reversed the oversized aluminum tubing design and instead used better shaping to retain the efficiency and improve comfort.

Computer games are closely related to board games, and many acclaimed computer games such as Civilization are based upon board games. Later editions of the CAAD series sported S-bend aluminum seat stays introduced in the CAAD3 model for improving comfort. This popularity expanded after the Second World War, a period from which many classic board games date. It nonetheless gained popularity in the US criterium circuit, helped by its generous warranty policy. Board games first became widely popular among the general population early in the 20th century when the rise of the middle class with disposable income and leisure time made them a receptive audience to such games. The earlier models sported oversized down tubes for increased stiffness and resulted in frames that are super-stiff and super-efficient, but considered by many to be extremely uncomfortable. The most of important of these include:. Cannondale started its foray into aluminum racing frames in the 1980s with their CAAD series frames.

A number of important historical sites, artifacts and documents exist which shed light on early board games. . Board games have a long history and have been played in most cultures and societies; some even pre-date literacy skill development in the earliest civilizations. Recent years saw Cannondale attempt to enter the motorcycle business and failing miserably, causing the company to declare bankruptcy to get rid of its motor sports division. . (Regarding the development of aluminum frame bicycles, see also Gary Klein). These include abstract strategy games like chess and checkers, word games, such as Scrabble, and trivia games, such as Trivial Pursuit. Today Cannondale produces many different types of bicycles, specializing in aluminum (rather than steel) frames at mass-market prices, a technology in which they were pioneers.

Other games only loosely, or do not at all, attempt to imitate reality. The company was founded in 1971 by Joe Montgomery to manufacture backpacks and bags for camping and later bicycle trailers for bicycle touring. Popular games of this type include Monopoly, which is a rough simulation of the real estate market; Cluedo/Clue, which is based upon a murder mystery; and Risk, which is one of the best known of thousands of games attempting to simulate warfare and geo-politics. The Cannondale Bicycle Corporation NASDAQ: BIKEQ is a major American bicycle manufacturer, headquartered in Bethel, Connecticut USA and manufacturing in Bedford, Pennsylvania USA. These are popular for they can intermingle make-believe and role playing along with the game. Giant Manufacturing (Taiwan). Some games are simplified simulations of real life. Pacific Cycle (USA).

There are many different types and classifications of board games. Specialized Bicycle Components (USA). Some board games, such as Chess, Oware, or Go, have intense strategic value and have become lasting classics. Trek Bicycle Corporation (USA). Simple board games are often seen as ideal "family entertainment" as they can provide entertainment for all ages. A board game is any game played on a board (that is, a premarked surface) with counters or pieces that are moved across the board.

ISBN 0192129988. Oxford University Press, 1999. Oxford History of Board Games. Parlett, David.

ISBN 0517129558. Reprint: Random House Value Publishing, 1994. ISBN 0-471-53621-0

    . John Wiley & Sons, 1992.

    New Rules for Classic Games. Wayne. Schmittberger, R. ISBN 0-486-27347-4.

    Reprint: Dover Publications, 1992. ISBN 0091533406

      . Arrow Books, 1983. A Gamut of Games.

      Sackson, Sid. Reprint: New York: Exeter Books, 1983. ISBN 0486238555

        . Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 1980.

        Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations. Bell, Robert Charles. London: Bookthrift Company, 1979. The Boardgame Book.

        Bell, Robert Charles. Gardners Books, 1969. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Murray, Harold James Ruthven.

        September 1940: 257–271. "Greek Board Games." Antiquity 14. Austin, Roland G. Longmans, Green and Co., 1892.

        Games Ancient and Oriental, and How To Play Them. Falkener, Edward. Florentine Typographical Society, 1905. Chess in Iceland and in Icelandic Literature—with historical notes on other table-games).

        Fiske, Willard. Space (or square) — a physical unit of progress on a gameboard delimited by a distinct border (See also: Game mechanic: Movement). (See also: Game mechanic: Capture). Depending on the context, jumping may also involve capturing or conquering an opponent's game piece.

        Jump — to bypass one or more game pieces and/or spaces. In some games that involve commanding multiple game pieces, such as chess, certain pieces have unique designations and capabilities within the parameters of the game; in others, such as Go, all pieces controlled by a player have the same essential capabilities. Each player may control one or more game pieces. Game Piece (or token or bit) — a player's representative on the game board.

        Gameboard (or board) — the (usually quadrilateral) surface on which one plays a board game; the namesake of the board game, gameboards are a necessary and sufficient condition of the genre. 220-265 Nard enters China under the name t'shu-p'u (Source: Hun Tsun Sii). 1 BC-8 AD Ovid's Ars Amatoria contains earliest known reference to Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum and the smaller merels. 79 - 8 BC - Liu Xiang's (劉向) Shuo yuan, contains earliest known reference to Xiangqi.

        20) contains earliest known reference to latrunculi (often confused with Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, Ovid's game mentioned below). 116 - 27 BC - Marcus Terentius Varro's Lingua Latina X (II, par. (Source: John Fairbairn's Go in Ancient China). This board is now in Beijing Historical Museum.

        200 BC - A Go board pre-dating 200 BC was found in 1954 in Wangdu County. (Source: Fiske, and Bell). 1400 BC - Game boards including Alquerque, Three Men's Morris, Nine Men's Morris, and a possible Mancala board etched on the roof of the Kurna Temple. Also painting of Board Game of Knossos.

        1500 BC - Liubo carved on slab of blue stone. It has been suggested that the second of these is Tau. 2000 BC - Drawing in a tomb at Benihassan depicting two unknown board games being played (depicted in Falkner). 2500 BC - Paintings of Senet and Han being played made in the tomb of Rashepes.

        2560 BC - Board of the Royal Game of Ur (found at Ur Tombs). 3000 BC - Mehen, board game from Predynastic Egypt, played with lion-shaped game pieces and marbles. 3500 BC - Senet found in Predynastic Egyptian burials [2]; also depicted in the tomb of Merknera. Buddha games list is the earliest known list of games.

        Most of the games he excavated are now housed in the British Museum in London. Leonard Woolley, but his books document little on the games found. They were excavated by C. The Royal Tombs of Ur contained, among others, the Royal Game of Ur.

        Mehen is another ancient board game from Predynastic Egypt. Also see Okno do svita deskovych her for a photo of the actual fresco found in Merknera's tomb (3300-2700 BC). Senet is the oldest board game known to have existed. 3500 BC and 3100 BC respectively [1].

        Senet has been found in Predynastic and First Dynasty burials of Egypt, c.

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