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Almanac of Games for August 3rd: Discovering Communist Air-Traffic Controllers in Hudson’s Bay

(Almanac of Games is a weekly feature, published every Sunday)

National Win With Civility Month
So, the next time you win a game, be civil to the pathetic losers at your table.


…Grab Some Nuts Day!

Don’t some of these “holidays” seem to you artificially created by marketing departments as excuses to buy the product? Well, there’s a website just for you: They don’t care where the ‘holiday’ originated; it’s all an excuse to cut loose and have fun!

Some of the “National” days listed here have been created by companies & PR agencies promoting products. … Nothing wrong with any of this as it all contributes to more party excuses. … These “excuses” range from the obvious to the offbeat. They all have one intention – to offer an excuse to host a party, go to a party, have a drink with friends, or just raise a toast. … You can’t take everything too serious!

Quick! Grab them!

For us gamers, days like this are excuses to learn about new & unusual tabletop games, or just dig deeply into our closets to bring out a long-forgotten relic of our past. In fact, that’s why I started this Almanac…

So, for Grab Some Nuts Day, what better game is there than Nuts! (2011, Wildfire), about those rodents who grab more nuts than any other species: Squirrels. Don’t dismiss this as a simple hand management game; it’s actually an Origins award winner for Best Traditional Card Game.


…in 1951, Jay North didn’t have to grow up to become that notorious comic strip mischief maker, Dennis the Menace.

Jay had his ‘fifteen episodes of fame’

Like most popular TV shows in the 50s & 60s, a boardgame sprang from it. Dennis the Menace (1960, Standard Toykraft) was a basic roll-and-move with the perfect chase theme laid over it: Dennis’ friends and family, as well as surly neighbor Mr. Wilson, chase Dennis all around the board.

Standard Toykraft published 3 other games inspired by TV shows: The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Board Game Geek lists two other games with the same name, but they’re unrelated to Hank Ketcham’s character. You see, Britain had its own “Dennis the Menace” comic book character, with a higher level of slapstick violence.

Also, in 1905, Maggie Kuhn was born. She became the founder of the Gray Panthers.No doubt if she were alive today, she be telling her gray-haired compatriots to march to the game table and take their place alongside their younger colleagues.

The rest of you, why not invite seniors to your game table. Here are a couple places to find great suggestions for games they’d enjoy:

Games to Play With My Elderly Aunt
      Games For Really Old People to Play


Here at BGA, we’re making August 3rd Print-and-Play Day! Check out these noteworthy events and the print-and-play games you can download . BGA readers can observe these 3 historical events by downloading 3 free games!


…in 1610, that Henry Hudson discovered a bay in the frozen north of Canada and for some reason thought it would be a good idea to name it for himself. Sure he got lucky naming the “Hudson River.” But “Hudson’s Bay” proved to be the death of him.

The result of a contest sponsored by Board Game Geek, Discovery (2009, Patrick Rael) is a two-player game of voyage to new lands.

“The game uses … blocks imprinted with six beautiful antique maps of exotic locations. Assemble your blocks into a map before your opponent does, or before all your ships are lost at sea!”

…in 1948, that Whittaker Chambers, an ex-Communist, stirred up a hornet’s nest by publicly accusing a former State Department official, Alger Hiss, of being a Red agent. Hiss denied it, but History found him guilty of spying.

Witch Hunt (2010, Jay E. Treat III) is a party game with an interesting spin on the Voting mechanic (eg. Werewolf). According to the description on BGG,

“Players take turns as leader of the mob and get to make a creative statement like “Witches wear plaid” or “I hear witches are afraid of dogs” to cast suspicion on their friends. The other players vote and someone is lynched. Players are never eliminated from the game though; the goal is to end with the least deaths.”

The rules can be downloaded from BGG or at

…in 1981, that US air traffic controllers went on strike despite repeated warnings from President Reagan that they would be fired. After a 48-hour notice, that’s just what he did.

Air Traffic Controller (2005, Alex Kremer) is a quick, solitaire abstract that simulates a busy airport. The BGG site holds the original .zip file as well as a couple of re-formatted versions for easier printing.

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

Nuts photo by Eric Ridley (Eric Ridley)
Dennis the Menace photo by Ron Pfeiffer (fuzzyfife)
Discovery photo by Patrick Rael (prael)
Air Traffic Controller photo by The Maverick.
Next: Episode 33 – Marvel Dice Masters Avengers vs. X-men
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