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Greetings most awesome Kingdom in the Known World,

It is I, your happy go lucky, get down tonight, Æthelmearc Gazette Maestro of Fun, That Guy Phil, checking in with a suggestion and a report. This is just a brief overview hoping to spark some interest in new people and rekindle interest from our past game masters.

Should you bring games to events? Yes! I am glad we have cleared this up. Have a great day.

So you want a wee bit more on the game front? No problem. Lets address a few ideas and opportunities for success and fun.

Does it matter if the game is “period” or at least “look kind of period”? Yes, period games really fit into our whole SCA theme. Since we take great pride in researching and recreating Medieval activities, it is exceptional when people take the time to research and play period games.

I will not be opening up this entry to the playing of “Magic” or “Cards against Humanity” at events. This entry reflects no opinion in obviously non-period games. I will tell you that I have been told that rum is not period and I have been known to enjoy rum at an event from time to time.

What if a game looks like it might have been played in period? I say go for it, and I have. I recently brought a Crokinole game to Masked Ball in the Rhydderich Hael. It’s a large round board with circular scoring areas, a central divot for scoring and some pegs to defend said circular divot. The game is played by pushing wooden disks towards the central scoring areas after first rebounding off an opponents disc already on the scoring areas. My board has some nifty Celtic knot work around it. Is Crokinole a SCA “period” game? No, it was invented in the Americas in the 1800s. Does it look SCA “period”? No, but that did not stop people at the event from playing it and having a good time. The beauty of this game is that it is both easy to explain and easy to play.

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Above: Photos from Masked Ball of Lord Robert, Lord Wolfgang and Mike playing Crokinole. Photos by Casa de Martino

There are a great number of period games available, especially ones that involve gambling. It has been a while since I have seen people playing period card or dice games for personal coins\tokens. I hope that others will post rules to such games on the Gazette, as many would appreciate that. I hate to cut and paste rules from other places on the web when I know that awesome people from Æthelmearc have already researched such things and should post their instructions or class notes.

In the meantime I will provide a few links for some great games I have played at events and hope to see return to popularity.

One and Thirty, an early version of Black Jack

Primero: “Primero, Prime, Primus, Primiera, Primavista, often referred to as “Poker’s mother”, as it is the first confirmed version of a game directly related to modern day poker, is a 16th-century gambling card game of which the earliest reference dates back to 1526.” – Wikpedia

Gluckhaus: House of Fortune Dice Game

Tablero: This game is played with coins moving up and down a board based on a players dice rolls. There is a version played at parties not using coins. Just remember: Play Responsibly or camp security might try to shut you down.
Non Period (see Master Dagonnel’s article link below)

We don’t even have to stop at indoor games. Croquet and Bocce are well-documented and fun at events. I have set up Bocce courts at events and people enjoyed playing. There are a great deal of people at each event who are not doing one of the mainstay activities like heavy weapons, fencing, archery, thrown weapons and the like. They might like something to do. And even after those fore-mentioned activities are done, those people may want to play a few games before court or after feast.

Might I suggest that you bring easy to teach games? Not as many people have played games as they used to. Keep them simple so that people can start playing immediately as in the Crokinole experience. As time progresses the games can become a little more difficult as there are experienced players to help the new people out.

Over all, its about having fun!