How do you play this boardgame from 375 C.E.


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/12/how-do-you-play-this-boardgame.html


#2

Uhhh. . . sure looks like a Go board to me.


#3

2000 years from now when researchers are figuring out our games, they’ll conclude that plumbers are held in high esteem in society, using medicinal substances to defeat the enemies of royalty, and thus win their favor… Assuming they’re not in another castle.


#4

Simple. It’s Thud.

edited to correct link


#5

Nobody really knows how the ancient Egyptians played Senet either, but that didn’t stop companies from marketing their own versions. I remember seeing it in the Sears catalog when I was a kid.


#6

It’s easy: move a stone (sorry, “calculus” ), take a drink; move a …


#7

Just wait until they read the AARs from Crusader Kings 2.

In 1284, the famous viking warrior Mohammed Karling became the first Samaritan king of Tibet.


#8

They should just ask 45, he’s real smart, he knows how to play that game better than anybody. He knows how to play that game better than the people who made it. It’s called covfefe.


#9

reconstructing the playing technique is a very complicated process that only top experts can solve

Nerds: Hold my die


#10

How do I play this game? TO WIN!


#11

But here’s one we do know how to play…

https://youtu.be/WZskjLq040I

Looks very good too!


#12

Yeah, this immediately popped into mind. They have a rulebook written from a Sumerian astrologer to his greek pen pal. (Or clay tablet pal, in this case).


#13

Wedge pal? Yes amazing luck to find that tablet. From memory Finkel describes that on the video above.


#14

It’s entirely possible that the rules for the game varied by locality and changed over time too. There may never have been a canonical ruleset for the game.


#15

right? i came here to say “has no one ever seen a go board before”?
this is certainly a pretty typical example of a go board from that era.
this grid is right for the time, 19x19 is only found on modern boards.
the high level of variation in stone size is also not uncommon from the time.

The story of how it got where it got and whom played it is likely an interesting one, if only it could talk.


#16

“There were plenty of board games in ancient times with many variants, but reconstructing the playing technique is a very complicated process that only top experts can solve,”

Good to know “top experts” don’t just make shit up.


#17

#18

Make that almost certain. We’re talking about a game that nobody bothered to write down the rules for, which means the rules were an oral tradition and subject to gradual change just like every other oral tradition.


#19

Though so does a Checkerboard, when the paint wears off the grid.


#20

“The board game from the tomb of the German prince in Poprad is a great discovery and contribution to the history of games in Europe,” says Ulrich Schädler, director of the Museum of Games in Switzerland.

There were no german princes in 375 AD. Germanic most likely. Let’s hope that’s a translation error.