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Games and toys we played with.

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Little Gems has decided to bring in a new section on Games and Toys we played in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s & 1990s. I only intend to list those which I possess and have played but will (if requested) add others depending on demand. Most of the games come from houses such as Waddingtons, Games Workshop, S.P.I., but there were many others out there. Where possible I have included scans and photographs from these games with descriptions and opinions (not just mine though) on their playability etc. If I can help with solving problems with rules or identifying lost games , then I'll do my best to help.

As with all entire Little Gems site, please feel free to send in comments, suggestions and improvements.

To kick off with, I thought we would have a look at several board games from the Games Workshop.

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb by Games Workshop

Front of Game Box Back of Game Box

Images Copyright Games Workshop 1988 - Box Art by James Warhola

I first started playing this around 1989. Curse of the Mummy's Tomb was designed by Stephen Hand and Developed by Paul Cockburn. It was one of a host of excellent Games Workshop board games (pity they have stopped making them) to appear in the 1980s e.g. Dungeon Quest, Talisman, Rogue Trooper, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Curse of Dracula, Chainsaw Warrior, Block Mania, Cosmic Encounter to name a few. For up to four players, although you could play solo, you entered the tomb of the Mummy in search of immortality. All the time you had to avoid the Mummy which was controlled by any of the players depending on the number of Tana leaf markers they were prepared to bid with. This really was an excellent game made even more so by the fact it was never the same game twice.

Dungeon Quest by Games Workshop

This must be my equal top all time favourite along with "The Warlock of Firetop Mountain." I used to play this game in Leicester with two other fellas, Tim Ashdown and Paul McNie (we were all students then but heaven knows what they are doing now). The novel concept behind this game was to choose square tiles from a huge selection and use them to create a path towards the centre of the board (all tiles were face down so you never quite knew where your path might lead). Sometimes the trail would lead you completely away from the centre or you may find yourself trapped by a rotating room against a wall. There, you could help yourself to treasure but with every piece of gold taken, you had to determine whether the Dragon was awake or not. You would then try and make your way out of the Dungeon, perhaps using the same route you came in by or by creating another or by using one made by another player. Sound easy ? well to add to the problem there were continuous attacks by Champions of Chaos, Orcs, Mountain Trolls in addition to pitfall traps and cave-ins.

Each character had different abilities, strengths, agility weapons etc. and they could perform searches and healing potions. Combine all that and then add a time limit on the overall movement phase and you have the making of a truly fantastic board game. The three of us actually played this game for twenty four hours once (after exams of course) and even had a Dungeon Quest League going to see who could end up with the most gold pieces at then end of twenty separate games. This game has never been surpassed even with today's board games being supported by DVDs, CDs and VHS material. Games workshop then added two expansion sets called "Heroes for Dungeon Quest" and "Dungeon Quest Catacombs." Each of these expanded the game a little further taking Dungeon Quest to an even greater depth. Heroes as the name suggested added lots more characters with different abilities. The Catacomb expansion allowed the intrepid adventurer to get to the center of the board by going deep into the Catacombs (where new dangers and jewels could be encountered). What more can you say?

Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Games Workshop

Another classic game from Games Workshop. Very easy to play and always different as you search for the correct key numbers to allow you into treasure, fame, fortune and become Lord of Firetop Mountain.

Next time we'll have a look at the stuff from the 1970s, remember Stay Alive & The Bermuda Triangle ?

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