Backgammon: One of the Original Boardgames

Backgammon was originally called Alquerque in good old Mesopotamia. That is, 5,000 years ago, anyways. Backgammon has been around so long that it was actually mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey from approximately 800 BC. That’s old.

In the Iliad and the Odyssey, Nestor advises his son to play games with Achilles. That game was backgammon. Game pieces from backgammon have been found among Egyptian remains dating all the way back to 1900 BC. Pharaohs apparently issued edicts against playing this decad “game of chance.” However, we’re pretty sure they didn’t understand it very well.

Backgammon was discovered in Mesopotamia and has been around ever since, but the Mesopotamians called it Alquerque. Backgammon became popular among the Romans, who spread it to Egypt. Backgammon was then passed on through trade routes until medieval chancellor Edward I banned it in England because he thought that Backgammon encouraged gambling and brought chaos to monasteries.

I’m sensing a theme here…

The Growth of Backgammon

Backgammon was spread further through the Crusades, to Persia. Backgammon had initially been played with dice, but by the time it reached Persia, Backgammon boards were being used so that Backgammon could be enjoyed even when there were no dice around. Backgammon thrived in Persian culture for centuries before moving on to other countries, such as Turkey and Russia. By the early 20th century it was estimated that between 50-100 million people across the world were playing backgammon at any given moment!

That’s a popular game!

Backgammon also shares a name with an ancient Greek gambling game, but they are completely unrelated! Backgammon just happens to have the same name, that’s all.

The Growth of Backgammon in America

Back in the States, Backgammon was originally played by traveling carnival workers in the South – it is believed that Backgammon became popular among them because Backgammon boards were easily transportable and Backgammon could be enjoyed without dice (which were expensive). Back in 2010, there was even a Backgammon World Championship held in Las Vegas. That’s a fun fact.

The precursor to modern Backgammon began when two friends at Dartmouth College got together and simplified Backgammon into its current form with Dice.

So what about today? These days, Backgammon is enjoyed by both veterans and newcomers alike. Backgammon is a fun game that can be played with friends or on Backgammon apps, so it’s always easy to find Backgammon boards at your local gaming store! (Shameless plug for Fantastic Games) Back

gammon is a fun game that can be played with friends or on Backgammon apps, so it’s always easy to find Backgammon boards at your local gaming store!

The Backgammon community has also seen several world champions, including Bill Robertie and Jake Jacobs. Backgammon is an extremely popular board game for gambling. Back in 2015, Backgammon was estimated to have a nine billion dollar per year market in the United States alone!

Nice!

Fantastic Games isn’t here to give you a history lesson, though. Some background is nice, but, is backgammon fun? Yes, yes it is. It’s been around for so long because it’s an addictive game. Backgammon is enjoyed by people all over the world, young and old alike because Backgammon is one of the more popular games that ever existed.

So what are you waiting for? Buy Backgammon today from Fantastic Games and start playing.

Risk: The Ultimate Game in World Domination

Arguably one of the most popular board games of all time, Risk deals with one simple mission: world domination.  In the world of Risk you’ll control territories, attack other players, and move your armies all around a giant game board representing a map of the planet Earth.  With complex strategies, shifting alliances, and a lengthy game time, Risk is the ultimate board game for the most hardcore gamers.

Troops, Territories, And Missions

Risk is set up with a large tabletop board showing a political map of the world.  The six continents are divided into 42 territories on which players will deploy their armies and fight for occupation.  Each player gets a set of colored tokens that represent their troops, while players collect territory and mission cards to aid them in their mission of world domination.  There are many elements to keep track of in Risk, but the rules are relatively simple.  Hardcore gamers will definitely love the complex level of strategy that comes with the game.

Rolling The Dice

Each turn gives you an opportunity for conquering new territories.  Whether you choose to attack, move your army, or pass, you’ll have to have all of your wits about you to avoid losing your last territory and facing elimination from the game.  Attacking involves the element of luck, as your success depends on how high you roll the dice.  You can attack as often as you want, and you’ll win bonus cards for every enemy territory you successfully take.

Allies Vs. Enemies

Strategy is the key element when it comes to playing Risk, as you cannot win without being able to think three steps ahead.  Defend your territories by building up your border armies, but watch out—your enemies may be doing the same in order to launch an attack.  If you gain control of an entire continent, you win bonus reinforcement armies that push you one step closer to taking over the world.

Alliances are a common optional element of Risk that can make gameplay even more intriguing.  Because there are no official rules regarding alliances, players can stab their allies in the back at any time.  Your loyalty depends on your long-term strategy, as only you can decide whether or not an alliance will work to your advantage.  Many a friendship has been ended over a Risk alliance gone wrong, but ruthlessness is the key to winning the game!

Variations of Risk

Risk was released in 1959, so there have been countless later editions released over the years that put a new spin on the game.  Castle Risk was the first variation, narrowing the game down to feuding castles in ancient Europe.  Risk: 2210 A.D. went in the opposite direction of time, launching players into a futuristic war fighting over moon and ocean territories in addition to dry land.

For the elf-lover in all of us, Risk: the Lord of the Rings sets the battle in northern Middle-earth.  This variation features beloved characters such as hobbits and orcs fighting it out in a magical arena.  From popular video games such as Assassin’s Creed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s no shortage of Risk variations that will put a fun and unique spin on this classic game.

Conquer The World At Your Own Risk

Risk is definitely one of the more complex games out there, although it is still suitable for ages 10 and up.  You may want to work younger kids up to playing Risk by starting with simpler games to help them develop concepts like strategy.  Still, Risk is an integral component of any game collection that can easily fill an entire game night.  Game time usually lasts around 2 hours, but games of Risk have been known to go on for days depending on the amount of players.

If you love games that feature multiple players and require you to build innovative strategies, you’ll love Risk.  There’s a reason that it has been able to maintain its popularity over the last 60 years, as its simple premise and potential for complex interactions can appeal to everyone.  Consider adding Risk to your arsenal and experience the thrill of conquering the world!

 

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