Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.
Because Period IS Fun
Welcome to the Avacal Games Guild Online Guide Book. My name is Lord CùAllaidh Donna I am gamesminister for the Principality of Avacal within the SCA. The guild is open to anyone in Avacal who has an interest in Medieval sports and games, no need to sign up or anything, just enjoy yourself.
To the left is the unofficial badge of the Avacal Games Guild, should you wish to display the badge and declare your participation in the guild feel free. The badge is a variant on the one used by the Games Guild of Ealdormere and uses Avacallian colours instead of Ealdormerian.
Avacal Games Guild Rules and Regulations
The main rule of the guild is to have fun. The guild fosters good sportsmanship and encourages research into period sports and games. There is no dues, or hierarchy, the guild is completely voluntary and totally unofficial. Participate as much or as little as you like.
Too often people forget the SCA is a game itself and should be fun, this is the reason the guild exists to spread fun and joy throughout Avacal.
Avacal Games Guild Facebook Page
- Avacal Games Guild Facebook Group
This is where regular updates about the guild are posted. If you wish to keep updated about the guild I highly suggest you join here.
Gaming Article of the Week
Each week I will try to post a new game article.
- One And Thirty - A Medieval Card Game
One and Thirty was a popular game in Medieval England, and is a game still quite popular today under the more modern name of thirty one
- A Review of Flemish Deck | Past Times
A review of the Flemish Hunting deck sold by Guinevere's Games.
- Medieval Stoolball
Stoolball is a medieval ancestor of baseball. It is a bat and ball game that is a lot of fun to play.
- Medieval Toys
Adults have always created toys to keep children occupied and out of the way. Collected here are some great examples of medieval toys.
- Battledore and Shuttlecock
The game of Badminton dates back to Medieval Europe and possibly further. An early version of the game was called Battledore and Shuttlecock, it was a simpler game than the modern version, but fun!
- Researching Medieval Games
Games research is severely under represented in academia. That being said there are sources you can go to to find decent research into historical games.
- Women in Sports and Gaming During Medieval Times
During the period often referred to as the Medieval Times a woman of character had very specific guidelines on behaviour, but there were times where they could let down their hair and have some fun.
- Those Fun Loving Vikings
Vikings have a reputation for raping, pillaging, and wanton violence, but there is another side to the fierce vikings, vikings loved games, and having fun was a big part of their culture.
- The Royal Game of Ur
The Royal Game of Ur is in competition with Senet to be the oldest known board game. The game is at least 5000 years old, and although we don't know for sure how to play, some guesses have been made.
- A Brief History of Hopscotch
Hopscotch is a game children all over the world are familiar with, but how old is the game? Did you know Roman's played the game, in armour?
- Is It Period.... Does it Matter?
A discussion for re-enactors on the relevance of ensuring games are period at events and demos. Specifically written for the SCA gaming community, but relevant to other reenactment groups as well.
- The Ancient Greek Board Game of Five Lines
Five lines is a board game from at least 7th century BCE, while there are no known extant rules we can speculate on how to play. Want to learn how to play the historic game of five lines?
- How to Play Piquet
Looking for a two player trick taking game? The renaissance game of Piquet might be just what you are looking for.
- Le Beaste: 17th Century Card Game
Le Beaste is a 17th Century Card Game described by Francis Willughby in his 17th Century Treatise on Sports games and pastimes simply called "Book of Games"
- Medieval Pain Tolerance Games
Children have always been capable of intense cruelty in the name of fun devising games like slapsies and bloody knuckles. It was no different in medieval times.
- Ruffe & Trump
Ruffe & Trump is a simple partner based trick taking card game that was popular in the Medieval ages.
- Put and Take: A Medieval Gambling Game
Put and Take is a traditional medieval gambling game that is fast paced, easy to learn, and fun to play.
- Hnefatafl: Viking Chess
Hnefatafl is a viking strategy based board game. Knowledge of how to play and win was key skill expected of every Viking Noble, do you know how to play Hnefatafl?
- Morris Games
Week Ending Aug 16th Nine Man Morris is a popular game in the SCA. It's a fun capture game where strategy is key. It's variants are equally as fun.
- Hunting Deer In My Lords Park
Week Ending Aug 9th Hunting Deer in My Lords Park is a children's game that is very similar to duck duck goose.
Week ending Aug 2nd. Gleek is a medieval gambling game of some note. It is poker and euchre rolled up into one fast paced gambling game.
Past Medieval Game of The Moment
Hazard is a gambling game that can be dated back as early as the 15th century. The game is played with two dice and each player takes turns as the host. The first thing that happens is all players (except host) place their bets. The host controls the dice for their turn, they must roll between 5 and 9 to keep their turn going, if they do the game really begins, if they don't the next player becomes host and it starts over again. The chart to the right illustrates the standard Hazard board and shows what roll wins and looses based on what the host rolled with their first roll. The second roll of the dice is called the Chance roll, if their chance roll matches a "win" (marked W on the board) then they win all bets made by other players and they remain as host and roll again, if they match a "lose" the have to pay each player what they bet and the next player becomes the host, if they roll neither the next player becomes the host and it continues.
In another variant the host remains host if they don't manage to roll between 5 and 9, and their turn continues until they do manage to roll between 5 and 9.
Fortunes were often won and lost at the Hazard table.
Medieval Gaming Resources - Various internet links to sites with Game Descriptions and more
- Medieval Sports and Games Wiki
This is a wiki I myself maintain. It contains descriptions of various games and how to play them.
- Games Guild of Ealdormere
Ealdormere is where I got my start in medieval games, and this is the group then fostered that love.
- Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games| University of Waterloo
The Elliott Avendon Museum and Archive of Games is a museum in Waterloo Ontario dedicated to gaming. An interesting site.
- SCAdia: Running a Game Competition
How to run a game competition as part of an SCA event, with board games and other games
- Cyningstan: Traditional Board Games
Cyningstan is a vendor, but they also are a great resource on period gaming.
- The Online Guide to Traditional Games
The Online Guide to Traditional Games. Board games, Pub games and English Garden games: History and information
- Medieval & Renaissance Games
Welcome to a page specifically dedicated to Really Old Games. This pageis intended to cover anything and everything pertaining to games in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.
Medieval Game Vendors - Vendors from Avacal and Beyond that Sell Period Games
- Past Times | Historical Games and Pastimes
The online presence for the Past Times book series by Jeffrey S. Johnston (yup me).
- Games for Sale: Cyningstan
The Vendor section of the Cyningstan games site.
- Guinevere's Games
A nice site with lots of handmade games. I am particularly fond of her moorish playing cards!
- MacGregor Historic Games & Celtic Art
I have purchased two decks of cards from MacGregor games and love them. Good quality stuff.
© 2014 Jeff Johnston