hist-games: Historical Games Frequently Asked Questions File - Part I

David Salley salley at niktow.canisius.edu
Sat Aug 30 08:02:51 PDT 1997

	Welcome to the Medieval and Renaissance Games FAQ file! - Part I
	Send corrections/updates/suggestions for this file to: 
	salley at niktow.canisius.edu OR http://www-cs.canisius.edu/~salley

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2.) Can I get "back issues" of the mailing list?
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3.) What does this mailing list cover?
	Medieval and Renaissance games.  Although the actual content of the 
	list will be determined by what people post, we concentrate on 
	historical games prior to 1650.  

4.) Where can I find information on games played AFTER 1650?
	There are several games which have their own newsgroups.  If you 
	have a question or want to discuss these games, you have a better
	chance of getting your question answered there.

	Game			: 	Newsgroup
	Abstract games		:	rec.games.abstract
	Backgammon              :       rec.games.backgammon
	Board games		:	rec.games.board
	Bridge			:	rec.games.bridge
	Chess                   :       rec.games.chess....
	Chinese Chess		:	rec.games.chinese-chess
	Cosmic Encounter	:       rec.games.board.ce 
	Designing your own game : 	rec.games.design 
	Dice games		:	alt.games.dice
	Diplomacy               : 	rec.games.diplomacy
	Gambling games		: 	rec.gambling.other-games
	Games for sale		:	rec.games.board.marketplace
	Go                      :       rec.games.go
	Live Action Role Play 	:	rec.games.frp.live-action
	Magic: The Gathering	:	rec.games.trading-card....
	Miniatures		:	rec.games.miniatures
	Miniatures, Historical	:	rec.games.miniatures.historical
	Miniatures, Warhammer 	:	rec.games.miniatures.warhammer
	Miscellaneous games	:	alt.games
	Play-By-Mail games      :       rec.games.pbm 
	Playing cards		:	rec.games.playing-cards
	Fantasy Role Playing 	:       rec.games.frp....  
	Tiddlywinks		:	alt.games.tiddlywinks
	Trivia games            :	rec.games.trivia

5.) What are all those strange terms all the regular posters keep using?
	SCA : Society for Creative Anachronism, a non-profit, educational,
		historical re-creation organization for hobbyists.
	period : within the time period discussed, prior to 1650.
	OOP : Out-Of-Period, post 1650.
	primary documentation : something published/produced concurrent with
		the time period being studied, eg. a game board, a painting.
	secondary documentation : generally, a 20th century scholastic work
		on the subject, the good ones will cite their references.

6.) Where can I find information/rules about period games? 
	Check out the "Medieval & Renaissance Games Home Page" web site at
	"http://www.inmet.com/~justin/game-hist.html".  Like this list, it 
	was started within the SCA, but we hope that it serves a broader 
	audience.  Contact Justin du Coeur (justin at inmet.com) for more 
	details about the web site.

			A Partial Bibliography on Period Games 

        _Medieval Games_ by Salamallah the Corpulent (Jeff DeLuca), 
	Raymond's Quiet Press ISBN 0-943228-03-4,$10.00.  He's a Laurel 
	for board games. Ordering information is available at
	"http://www.inmet.com/~justin/justin_bib.html#salaamallah".  I've 
	also managed to track down about 3/4 of the books he lists in the 
	Bibliography.  Among them, I'd recommend the following two:

        _Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland_ by Alice Gomme,
	pub. London 1894. in 2 vol.  Thames and London, ISBN 0-500-27316-2, 
	$18.95  Normally, I avoid Victorian books as the scholarship usually 
	tends to be nearly non-existant.  These books however, are very well 

        _Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations_ by Richard C. Bell,
	Dover Pub., ISBN 0-486-23855-5, $6.50.  My edition is "revised 
	edition - two volumes bound as one" which makes it a bit confusing as 
	the sequence goes; table of contents, text, bibliography, index, 
	table of contents, text, bibliography, index.

        _Games of the World: How to Make Them, How to Play Them, How They
	Came to Be_  edited by Frederic V. Grunfeld, Holt Rinehart & Winston 
	Pub, ISBN 0-03-015261-5.  My copy doesn't have the price listed on it.
	Richard Bell (see listing above) is listed as one of the consultants 
	for the book.  The book is documented to the nth degree with 
	photographs of museum pieces and medieval manuscripts.  Instructions 
	on building boards and playing pieces are well written, well diagrammed
	and often photographed in intermediate stages of construction.  Games 
	are categorized into: Board & Table Games, Street & Playground Games, 
	Field & Forest Games, Party & Festival Games, and Puzzles, Tricks & 
	Stunts.  Additionally the table of contents has cross-indexed each
	game for: Indoor or Outdoor; Solo, Pair or Group; Mental, Physical or 
	Chance; Playing Time - Short, Medium, Long and Prepartion Time - Short,
	Medium, Long.

	_The World of Games: Their Origin and History, How to Play Them and 
	How to Make Them_ translated by Jack Botermans.  (NY; Facts on File; 
	1989; ISBN 0-8160-2184-8; 240 pgs, ill.) (Originally pub. as _Wereld 
	vol spelletjes_) Excellent book.  Well illustrated and documented.

	_Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potato, & Ha-ha-ha_ by Jack Maguire 
	(Simon & Schuster; 1992; ISBN 0-671-76332-6; 304 pgs; $15)  Forward 
	by Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo!  An excellent 
	instruction manual, it gives a number of variations for most games.  
	It does not discuss the history of games.

	_Pleasures and Pastimes of Medieval England_ by Compton Reeves 
	(England; Alan Sutton Pub.; 1995; ISBN 0-7509-0089-X; 228 pgs)  
	Admittedly hard to get, but well worth the effort.  It doesn't cover 
	rules for specific games, but the documentation is excellent.  Very 
	well illustrated with photos of artifacts and reproductions of 
	historical manuscripts.  The paperback is due out in December 1997.

	Society for Creative Anachronism, Compleat Anachronist pamphlet series
    	(P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas CA 95036-0789, $4 each)
    	Compleat Anachronist #04 "Indoor Games or How to While Away a Siege"
    	Compleat Anachronist #71 "Period Pastimes"
    	Compleat Anachronist #78 "Non-European Games"

	_Family Fun & Games_ (NY; Sterling Publishing; 1994; ISBN
    	0-8069-8776-6; 800 pgs; $18)  No author or editor listed.  It's 
	advertised as a reference book and that's what it is.  It's a how-to 
	manual that contains directions for virtually every game and type of 
	game known; board games, dice, cards, active games, party games, 
	scavenger hunts, etc.  No historical background, however it 
	occasionally mentions that a game is "hundreds of years old."
        _The Boardgame Book_ by Richard C. Bell. Nothing spectacular, but
	rules for most of common board games all conveniently in one volume.

	Books which have been recommended to me, but I haven't yet read myself.
	_A History of Chess_ (originally pub. 1913) by H.J.R. Murray
        _A History of Board Games Other Than Chess_ (1951) by H.J.R. Murray
        _Games Ancient and Oriental and How to Play Them_ by E. Falkener
        _A History of Playing Cards_ by Catherine P. Hargrave

7.) Where can I find information/rules about period cards and card games? 
	"The Official Card Games Webpage" is at "http://www.pagat.com".

		A Partial Bibliography on Period Playing Cards

        _The History of Playing Cards: with Anecdotes of Their Use in
	Conjuring, Fortune-Telling and Card-Sharping_ edited by Ed S. Taylor 
	et al.  Originally pub. London 1865, my edition is pub. by Charles 
	Tuttle Co 1973, ISBN 0-8048-1026-5.  No price listed on my copy.  
	It doesn't have a bibliography :-(, but all of the direct quotes are 
	adequately footnoted.  The illustrations are all modern drawings of 
	medieval cards :-(  I would have preferred photographs, warts and all.

	_A History of Card Games_ by David Parlett (1990; Oxford Univ. Press;
	ISBN: 0-19-282905-X; $10.50)  Well documented.  No bibliography, but
	all footnotes are cited. 

	_Scarne's Encyclopedia of Card Games_ by John Scarne (1983; 
	Harper & Row, Pub.; ISBN: 0-06-273155-6; $16.00)  John Scarne was
	considered to be the world's foremost authority on cards and dice.
	The U.S. military, in a rare display of intelligence, sent John to
	one military base after another, teaching soldiers and sailors how to
	detect rigged dice and marked cards and how to avoid crooked games.

	_Playing Cards_ by Roger Tilley (1973; Octopus Books Ltd.; $6.00;
	ISBN: 0-7064-0049-6)  Color photographs of cards from the British
	Museum.  One deck has as suits: Lions, Peacocks, Monkeys & Parrots.
	The photos alone are worth the price of the book.

	_Playing Cards, The History and Secrets of the Pack_ by W. Gurney
	Benham.  Regretfully long out of print, this volume covers not only
	the history of standard playing cards, but also devotes chapters to
	the history of the Tarot, and the Right Worshipful Guild of Playing
	Card Makers.

8.) Are there period games played with Tarot cards? 
	Yes; the Tarot was originally used for a large family of trick-taking
	games, from the later Renaissance up to the modern day.

9.) Where can I find information/rules about dice games?
	_Scarne on Dice_ by John Scarne.  John Scarne was the world's 
	foremost authority on cards and dice.  This book is so well
	written, Encyclopedia Britannica uses citations and illustrations
	from this book for their articles.

							-- Dagonell
              /      | INTERNET   : salley at niktow.canisius.edu
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 |______________     | PERSONA    : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake
 AEthelmearc,   `_   |              AKA Dagonell the Juggler
    East Kingdom  `__| DISCLAIMER :"Canisius never agrees with me."

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