Medieval & Renaissance Games Home Page
Welcome to a page specifically dedicated to Really Old Games. This page
is intended to cover anything and everything pertaining to games in the
Medieval and Renaissance periods. All are welcome to contribute; I am particularly
looking for relevant sites to point to.
Bookmarking this page: If you are bookmarking or creating a link
to this site, please use the form:
I own that domain, and it should always forward to the correct place,
even if the actual location of the site changes.
What's New: New files and changes to this site:
- 4/10/10: Added a couple of links to pages about Sugoroku,
the Japanese version of Tables, as well as Related Sites pointers
to a couple of good Asian-studies pages that get into games.
- 2/23/10: Restored Dagonell's articles, now that I have the
right URL; also added in several that I'd been missing, including
the improbable game Dwyle Flonking.
- 2/22/10:Added Le Jeux de Trictrac, Tafl: An Obsession.
- 2/21/10: Added links to the Crumiller Chess resources,
Reannag Teine Pottery, the Elliott Avedon Museum of Games, a
few of Mats Winther's pages, Debora Marzec's photo albums, Joan
and Crispin's toy articles, a couple of Roman Board Game pages,
a page on Tabula, the Trictrac Dictionary, Dagonell's Curling
article and the Wikipedia one, the Google facsimile of the
1836 transcription of Alfonso, the teaching document of the
Alfonso MS, another reconstruction of Grand Acedrex.
Cleaned up a *lot* of dead links, and
created a page for them, and
found newer locations for a bunch of others.
Rescued a variety of archived pages from The Wayback Machine
(especially Ruben Krasnopolsky's and Imran Ghory's), and am hosting
archived copies here.
- 8/9/09: Added links to The Moral Allegory of Tarot, and
Faire Tyme Toys.
- 12/11/08: The Giant Overhaul begins. Added pointer to
the Kubb World Championship. Updated link to Ebro Software.
Added links to the Florilegium. Added link to Triofi.
- 8/25/08: Added pointers to Michel Wolffauer's pages on
Losing Loadum, Gleek, El Mundo, Go, Tarot, Tafl, and cheat
sheets for Laugh and Lie Down and Shogi.
- Older Updates.
Descriptions of Period Games, and Research Materials
Frequently Asked Question
I'm looking for information on period games for children. Do you have
information on this?
While there is no site that I'm aware of dedicated to period kid's
games in specific, the book "Medieval Games" is quite rich in games
appropriate for children. A
including ordering instructions, can be found in
(I don't have any direct connection with the author, nor do I get any
profit from the book; it's just that this is the most common question at
this site, so I call it out specifically.)
Discussion of Period Games
Recreating Period Games
- James Masters has a nice collection
of Rules for
Traditional Games. Not all of them are period, but many are.
- The homepage of
Playing-Card Society, which does all sorts of research into the
history of cards and their games.
- There is a very pretty site devoted
Games. (WARNING: this page appears to be virus-infected!)
However, I have received
a detailed critique of this site
indicating a number of issues with the reconstructions, which is worth
reading before you decide to use the games described therein.
Also on the subject of Roman Board Games, see
Wally Kowalski's page and the index at
- The International Playing
Card Society Home Page,
including rules to
a variety of games, a very
on playing cards, and other stuff on the topic (some of it
- An interesting article
Knucklebones, more on the making than playing.
- Board Games Studies is
an academic journal devoted specifically to research into board games.
Not strictly period, but interesting nonetheless. Note that, like many
international journals, it publishes in a variety of languages.
- Rose and Pentagram have put together a
of game history.
- Arjan Verweij's
Dice Site has photos of many different kinds of dice, including a large
number of different period and pre-period dice.
- Stefan's Florilegium
(a massive collection of snippets from online discussions) has a section
Children's Games, as well as more generally
on games, and specifically on
- The Elliott Avedon Museum
of Games covers games more broadly, but does has a number of pages on
relevant subjects such as the Alfonso MS, brief descriptions of various
period games, and papers on game theory and history.
- Mats Winther
is a games researcher whose page has article about many games,
including a bunch from period. I don't necessarily agree with all of
his reconstructions (he tends to focus on symbolism very heavily, and
IMO puts too much weight behind the assumption that period games must
have been fair), but he's constantly coming out with interesting
stuff. He also produces implementations of almost all the games he
discusses, using Zillions as a platform.
- The British Chess Variants Society
focuses specifically on Chess in its many forms, and doesn't confine itself
to period. It publishes a regular magazine called
Variant Chess, with many
- Crispin Sexi
and Joan Sutton have a variety of pages on the subject of medieval
- Edward of Effingham's
Online Japanese Miscellany has a number of brief pages on SCA-period
- The Asia Society has a nice overview of
Games -- a bit shallow but nicely broad, providing a good starting
point for anyone interested in the topic.
Zillions of Games is arguably
the best game engine in existence, at least for period games. It can't
go everything, but it can do a lot, and it comes with many period games
already implemented. (If you hadn't guessed, I *really* like this program.)
EBro Software has a good-looking freeware
implementation of tafl.
Steve Neeley has an interesting collection of
games, several of them period or pre-period. (In particular, an implementation
of Halatafl/Fox & Geese.)
Stargraphics has a shareware
implementation of Rythmomachy for Windows. (They call it Ambush.)
Someone named "The Vole" is running online games of Gwyddbwyll.
There are several implementations of Fanarona:
There are also a few implementations of Mancala:
Leif Bennett has written Java
implementations of several period games, including a lot of variations.
EarthGaming has a shareware implementation of Tafl, which they call Tabula
Vendors of Period Games and Materials
- Gregory Blount maintains a listing of
of Period Games, as part of
Arms, which mostly deals in period military tack, also apparently
sells my favorite
decks. Not 100% period, but the closest I've found for sale yet. They
really enhance a game...
- A variety of period games, mostly with Celtic-inspired artwork,
are available from Rose &
Pentagram Design, including inexpensive period-style cards and
several printed-fabric board games.
- Tara Hill, a small Viking-oriented company, is selling several
period games, including Tafl, Merelles, Fox & Geese, and a sort
of Vikingized version of Senet.
- Less specialized, but still useful, is 3
Trolls Games, a general gaming mail-order shop. They have their catalog
online, including a bunch of the basics (Chess, Go, Cribbage, etc). Look
under "Classic Games" in their catalog.
- Kadon Enterprises sells a vast
array of games, mostly abstract board games. One or two are period (in
particular, they sell a pretty Goose set), but all are very, very cool...
- Masters Games sells several
traditional pub games, a few of which are more or less period. (Including
a very pretty Shove Ha'penny set.)
Tyme Toys sells a wide variety of historical toys. Not all are
appropriate to our period, but several of them are, so it's a good
place to look around.
Reannag Teine Pottery sells sets for a number of the major period
board games such as Merels, Tafl, and Fox and Geese, as well as handmade
dice. They also provide
basic rules for the games they sell.
Odds and Ends
The Dead Links page collects links that have
gone bad that I can't immediately find new locations of.
This page is maintained by
du Coeur. I am highly active in the Society
for Creative Anachronism (among other things). I expect that most of
the people particularly interested in this topic are going to be involved
in the SCA or other re-creative/re-enactment organizations, but anyone
should feel free to wander around and schmooze. I can be contacted at