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Almanac of Games for July 27: To the Guillotine with King Henry's Aunt!

IT HAPPENED ON THIS DAYRobespierre
…in 1793, that Maximilien de Robespierre was elected to revolutionary France’s Committee of Public Safety. He would be a member of that body for exactly one year, as…

…also on July 27th, in 1794, Robespierre was removed from the Committee and arrested. He would lose his head the following day.

The Committee was established on April 9th, 1793, to help bring stability to the French government. It wasn’t working out for them. So, in July, 1794, a coup overthrew the Committee, in the quaintly named Thermidorian Reaction (don’t ask…).

GuillotineSo, July 27th just naturally belongs to Monsieur Robespierre, and we celebrate his rise and fall by breaking open a box of the popular Guillotine (1998, Wizards of the Coast). Royalty & peasant, clergy & laity, saint and sinner, all are led to the chopping block sooner or later in this quirky card game.

BORN ON THIS DAYJonathan_Rhys_Meyers_Cabourg_2013
…in 1977, Jonathan Rhys Meyers would grow up to take his turn in one of the meatiest roles in English history, King Henry VIII. Showtime’s The Tudors takes us through a tour of European political and sexual history, from 1518 to 1547.

You can relive the intrigue surrounding Henry, Here I Standminus the 6 marriages, with Here I Stand (2006, GMT Games), a heavyweight game of negotiation and jockeying armies. The game covers the years 1517 to 1555, taking the players beyond Meyers’ death (excuse me, Henry’s death) and into the rule of “Bloody” Mary.

Don’t worry about Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth. She gets her chance to shine in the game’s sequel, Virgin Queen (2012, GMT Games).

OBSERVED ON THIS DAY
…the Fourth Sunday in July, is Aunties Day. In truth, it’s only the 6th annual observance of this narrowly focused ‘holiday,’ begun by (and probably Trade Marked to) Melanie Notkin, of SavvyAuntie.com.

No matter how Ms. Notkin tries to portray the modern Aunt, the Good Old Auntword is always going to suggest spinsters. That’s why all I could think of to play on Aunties Day is The Good Old Aunt (1892, The McLoughlin Brothers).

According to the editor who created this game’s entry on Board Game Geek, it’s “a dice rolling game where the players compete to win the most tokens before the game ends. Tokens are placed on numbered spaces on the board according to die rolls. Some rolls will require a player to forfeit tokens to the center of the board, other rolls allow tokens to be taken from this pool. The game is over when every number (except 13) is covered.”

Spinster aunts would no doubt approve, but they would have no idea what this game is on about. I think I figured it mostly out: you have 3d6 (with results from 3 to 18) and must place a token of your color on the number you rolled. If you already have a token there, you must forfeit one token to the center. I’m sure you could make some interesting rules without looking at the ones printed on the box…

Did we miss any special observances or birthdays for today? Let us know in the Comments!

Guillotine photo by Martin Sarnecki, Board Game Geek.
Here I Stand photo by James Lowry (Board Game Geek)
Good Old Aunt photo by Eamon Bloomfield (Board Game Geek)

  • Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...

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