Wednesday, April 13, 2011

G is for Gamut -- A Gamut of Games

Originally published in 1969, Sid Sackson's A Gamut of Games is a "must own" publication for any serious game collector/game hobbyist. Sid Sackson was one of the great game design geniuses of the history of the gaming hobby and many of his designs -- especially Acquire -- helped to fuel an explosion of gaming in Europe and set the standard for the modern Euro or Designer game.

Sackson wrote A Gamut of Games to provide game enthusiasts with a book that could be used as an alternative or supplement to all the "Hoyle" books that cluttered the shelves of book stores. As Sackson put it in his preface, "The purpose of this book is to present a selection of games, thirty-eight it turns out, that will not be found in the "Hoyles," either because they were invented by my friends and me, or because they are old -- but good -- games that somehow got lost in the shuffle."

What a list of games it is as well. There are card games like HEKATON, board games like LINES OF ACTION and CROSSINGS. The game CROSSINGS has since been released as the game EPAMINONDAS. Gamut also includes the rules for playing Sackson's excellent game FOCUS. The tome is a veritable treasure trove for the game enthusiast. If you have the core supplies needed for the "Cheap Ass Games" catalog, then you have everything you need to play every game in this book.

Someday, I'd love to see a publisher release a boxed set that includes a copy of the book and all the pieces necessary for all the games.

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