Tag Archives: Ludo

Boardgames in the News: Biscuit Boardgames at Bake Off

This week on The Great British Bake Off, it was biscuit day.  So, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith set the remaining eleven bakers the challenge to bake a biscuit-based showstopper with a boardgaming theme that could actually be played.  Now on its eighth series, The Great British Bake Off recently moved from BBC to Channel 4, a change that was accompanied by a rejuvenated presenting team including Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

The Great British Bake Off
– Image from Channel4.com

Sadly, the games depicted were all variants on traditional games like Snakes and LaddersCoppit (similar to Ludo), Operation and Chess rather than some of the fantastic modern classic games now available.  Nevertheless, there were some interesting renditions, including from one contestant, Kate, who went for something slightly more modern, basing her creation on Jumanji, the game from the eponymous film.  Stacey was more ambitious deciding to design her own game called “Get to School”, as well as bake it.  There wasn’t time to play test that, but Paul Hollywood did challenge student Liam to a game of Noughts and Crosses played with his compendium of biscuit games.  In the end, the title of Star Baker went to Steven, the Marketer from Hertfordshire, for his “Check Bake Game”, based on Chess.

The Great British Bake Off
– Image from Channel4.com

The episode is available to watch on on demand for another three months.

Boardgames in the News: The Trenches of WWI

It is widely believed that there is a bit of a boardgame revolution under-way, but perhaps it actually started one hundred years ago in the trenches of WWI.  As reported by by Steve Evans in “From Our Own Correnspondent”, although it is not widely known in the UK, the game “Mensch Ärgere Dich Nicht” was devised a century ago and became popular among German troops in the trenches.  Families at home would order games from the manufacturer, who would send them straight to the frontline.

Mensch Ärgere Dich nicht

The game play is simple:  players roll dice to move their four pieces round the board with the aim of being the first to get them home again.  The name translates as “Man, Don’t Get Annoyed With Me”, which comes from the fact that players who land on another piece send it back to the start and it has to start all over again.  In the UK it’s closest relation is Ludo, but there were also a range of variants which were popular in the 1980s, like “Frustration” or “Pop-o-matic Trouble”.  The game is actually much older, however, dating back to sixteenth century India, where it is known as Pachisi, and there were similar games played by the Aztecs centuries before.