Newport, 28 September 2018

Today we held our second session for paying customers in Newport.

We played two variations on Draughts. First up was Losing Draughts, quite a subversive game where you win by being the first person to lose all your pieces. This game requires a rule: if you can capture a piece, you must capture it. This is still a game of strategy, as you need to push your piece right in front of your opponent’s piece, thereby forcing them to capture you (and hopefully then go on to capture a second of your pieces in the same go). The second variation was Double-Back Draughts. This returns to the normal rules of Draughts, but with a different objective: the winner is the first player to make a king and return it to their own baseline. More than one king can be made, but you just need to return one to your baseline. We enjoyed showing people that a well-known game like Draughts can have interesting variations.

Then we moved on to King’s Court (Golden, 1989), subtitled ‘The Original Game of Supercheckers’. Checkers of course is the American name for Draughts. The central area (a 4×4 square) is the Centre Court. Players must keep at least one piece in the Centre Court at all times, and failure to do so means losing the game. In a variation on Draughts, players can jump over their own pieces (which stay on the board). If you jump over the other player’s piece you capture it. Multiple captures are allowed, and players can turn corners and change direction in the same move.

Today we welcomed a special guest, Jack from Age UK. We hope that Jack will be able to spread the word about how enjoyable these games are. Debbie showed Jack some games from last week – Picaria and Acquisitions – plus a little treasure from Korea – Four Field Kono – which has a unique capturing rule.

Next week: Mancala, a redistribution game from Africa.



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