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So You Think You've Got Game?

Essay by   •  May 12, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,171 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,194 Views

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As you probably know, there was no T.V. or computers in medieval times. There was lots of live entertainment. Especially games. Games were played in three levels of society. Those levels of society were the wealthy, the merchants and aristocrats, and the poor. The wealthy played more of the civilized games. The middle class played both civilized and rough games and sports. While the poor tended to play the rough sports. Board games, dice games, and sports are what people loved to do for fun.

People loved playing board games in Europe. Some of the board games played there were Tafl, Valhalla, and Fox and Geese. Tafl was an interesting game. Tafl boards could have 49 (7by 7) or 324(18 by 18) squares on the board. The squares could be checkered or sometimes just the center and corner squares were colored. The game was played by two people with an unequal number of pieces. There were two types of pieces- The pawn (usually 24), and one king. All pieces could do the rooks move. That's where a piece can move up and down plus side to side all the way to the edges of the board. Pieces were captured by surrounding then on two sides. Pieces couldn't jump each other, or take over another's space. The king, and only the king, could occupy the center square. The king's side wins if the king gets to a corner square. The opposing side wins if they capture the king on all four sides or just three if he is on the edge of the board. Parts Tafl are still in games today. Tafl and other games shaped chess to what we know it as.

Valhalla is a game of chance and strategy. The board of the game is serpent shaped. Along its back are three rows of 12 spaces. The spaces are labeled 1-36. Everybody starts in the first row (Home harbor). The white boats go on spaces 1-6 and the dark boats go on spaces 7-12. In the second row (Open Ocean) players' battle, if their ships are damaged then they must return to space 19(the repair yard). In the third row players must form blockades, go to spaces 29, 32, and 34(safe harbors), or land on space 30(rocky shoal) sending them back to the repair yard. Sticks were used to move spaces instead of dice. Each stick has a head and a tail side. However many heads they throw is how many spaces they got to move. Except for when they land on all tails then they got to move five.

Our next game, fox and geese, has one fox and 13 geese. The board is cross shaped with five squares each having nine pegs diving up the cross. The 13 geese are on one side of the board and the fox on the other, to start. Players can move a piece to an open adjacent spot marked by the lines. Only the fox can jump another piece. When a piece is jumped it is taken off the game board. The geese must try to surround the fox so he can't move or jump. The object for the fox is to jump all the geese or enough geese so that there are not enough left to capture the fox. This takes five geese. This game also played a part in chess.

Another favorite past time in Europe was playing dice games. The first dice game there

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