A wooden board game, Shipboard was originated and designed by Bernard and Alastair Harvey and made its debut at the 1999 Westonbirt Festival of Wood.
Based on the principles of shove ha'penny, but with a subtle difference. It is played from both ends of the board. Using genuine ha'pennies, it is a game demanding skill, but can involve luck. Playable by all ages over 7 years, it is highly competitive and great fun.
The boards are primarily made in English Oak from the Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire, black walnut, red cherry and maple. Other hardwoods can be made to order - dependant on wood availability. All are hand made with attractive inlay. The brass pins come in a box, whilst the ship ha'pennies are original coins of the realm and are provided in a soft leather purse. The covers are hessian, bearing the Shipboard motif.
The board is placed on a table at right angles to the two contestants, who sit opposite each other.
Each player has three ha'pennies. Ships plays heads. Using the heel of the hand or the finger tips, they take it in turns to strike a coin from the edge of the table along the board. The object of the game is to place a ha'penny in each 'bed' between the lines.
After propelling three coins, individually, from the edge of the board, any coins of that player falling in the centre bed may be retrieved and played again. Coins sent overboard at the far end are eliminated until the player's next turn. When the player's turn is complete he, or she, may score by putting a brass pin in the hole beside each bed he has placed a ha'penny. The first one only counting. The coin must be clear of any lines.
The first player leaves his coins where they lay on the board.
The second player then propels three coins in the same method from the opposite end. He may use his opponent's coins to stop or ricochet. He scores in the same way. However, if he knocks one of his opponent's coins into the centre bed, and they are still there at the end of his turn, he may remove any one of his opponent's pins.
The second player leaves his coins where they lay and the first player then picks up his own coins and plays again.
A good tip is to use the side fence to slow down coins when attempting the furthest beds!
The first player to complete a line of pins, wins!
As mentioned before - they are genuine ship ha'pennies, which were minted between 1937 and 1967 (except 1961 when for some obscure reason they didn't mint any!). Thus the name - Shipboard. The coins are offered with 'years of the customer's choice', a nice touch for anniversaries and birthdays.
Nine Mens' Morris
Nine Men's Morris certainly dates back many years, having been found scratched in the ground in Bronze-age Ireland. To the ancient Celts, the Morris square was sacred. At the centre lay the Holy Mill, a symbol of regeneration - emanating out from it - the four cardinal directions, the four elements and the four winds.
A recognised diagram of the game was found in an Egyptian temple in Kurna dated around 1440BC. By the 14th and 15th Centuries it was played full size, with carvings in the village green; as mentioned by William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 2 Scene 2 'The nine men's morris is filled with mud'. By the late 16th century it was called Merels possibly from the Old English word Mere, meaning 'the marking of the boundaries'.
The word Morris is thought to have originated from the Latin word merellus meaning the corruption of counters. Known in many lands - in France as Merelles - in Germany Muhle - in Holland as Molenspel - the game is probably one of the oldest and widest known games in the world, with many names. In England it is found carved in the seats and on flagstones of many churches, cathedrals and abbeys.
The best way to describe the game is to "think of Noughts and Crosses'!
The object of the game is to place three pins (merels) in a row, to make a 'mill', allowing you to remove one of your opponents pieces. The mill must be horizonal or vertical (not diagonal). Ultimately to reduce your opponent to two merels (when they can't win!) - or - if the game is stalemate, then the player with the most remaining merels, wins.
The game is in two halves -
Firstly, players decide who will start, then take it in turns to place one of their own nine merels on an intersection - trying to make a mill. When a player makes a mill, they are allowed to remove any one of their opponents merels; one that is not part of a mill, unless there is no option.
Secondly, when all the merels are placed on the board (less the ones already lost), players continue in turn, to attempt to make more mills by moving one of their own merels to any empty adjacent space. Hints - Once a mill has then been made it may be opened on the next turn by moving a merel out of line and the following turn moving it back in again, so taking another of your opponents pieces. If you have two mills adjacent, one with a gap, you may move your merel back and forth, each move making a mill and taking one of your opponents pieces each time!
One to Win and Solitaire
"1 to Win" is a game for two. Using one side of the triangle as a base, you then have 5 lines of pins – one with 5, the next with 4, then 3, then 2 and finally 1 at its peak. Taking turns you may take away any number of pins in any one line – the object is to finally leave your opponent with 1 pin!
"Solitaire" is a puzzle for one person. Start by taking out a pin in any corner. Using the space created, you may then remove a pin by jumping over it. This is continued until there is only one pin left – and you have won! Also try by starting with any pin rather than one in a corner.
All games are made from English Oak grown on the Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire.
Back to Front
Back to Front is a puzzle for one - start with four of the same coloured pins opposite each other and a space in the middle. In just twenty four moves reverse the colours. A coloured pin may move into the unoccupied space next to it or jump over the other colour. No pins may move backwards.
This game is made from English Oak grown on the Stourhead Estate in Wiltshire.
Mancala is one of the oldest board games in the world. Its origins are the strongest in the African continent where it is known under many names and with many variations on its rules.
Mancala boards have been found carved into the roofs of temples in Memphis, Thebes and Luxor, pointing to the fact that the game was being played in Egypt before 1400BC.
Northern Africa favours 'two rank' boards, whilst further south is found 'four rank' boards.
Whereas Mancala is a generic name, there are many variants, particularly with the name Wari or Ayo; some even having generic names themselves with even more variants.
The game is for two persons and the object is to collect more shells than your opponent in your 'mancala' ( your own larger bowl).
Sitting facing your opponent, with the board sideways on, you have six small bowls in front of you and your larger bowl on your right. Start the game with four cowrie shells in each of the smaller bowls.
Player 1 starts by scooping up all four shells from any one of his six bowls and, working anti clockwise, drops one shell in each bowl on its right until he/she has no more shells in their hand. Players may drop a shell in their own mancala bowl, but not their opponents. Player 2 may now do the same and taking it in turns, when all the bowls on either side are empty, the player with the most shells in their mancala – WINS!
To make it more interesting – include any of the following rules to the above.
1. If a player drops the last shell in his hand in his own large mancala bowl– he gets another go.
2. If a player drops the last shell in his hand into an empty small bowl on his side of the board, he takes all the shells in his opponent's bowl directly across from his bowl and places them in his own large mancala bowl.
3. The game ends when either player has no more shells left in his small bowls.
The board is made in Black Walnut with a walnut inlay around the edge. Creamy cowrie shells are used as counters and kept in a handmade soft leather bag. The whole is presented in a white canvas bag.
2,3 & 4 Man Cribbage Sets
Following several requests for four and even three man cribbage boards, this now replaces any previous boards or boxes - particularly as it is very handy for a two man game - allowing twice round the block!
The boards are usually made in Black Walnut, although other wood may be ordered.
The board is part of a set including two packs of cards, eight brass pins, the rules, enclosed in an attractive suede bag.