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The Meeple Guild: Small box holds lots of classic fun

Includes rules for several vintage games
game square board 72
Small size and multiple game rules make this a travel gem.
YORKTON - The simple game board that is 8X8 – think chess or checker board – is really one of the most versatile boards you can own. 

Grab a few extra pieces, and there are literally a book full of games you can play. 

In fact, I have a board collection – well a single board – a bunch of pieces and a sheaf of rule sheets to check back when playing. It is an effort I always thought someone should produce because it really is a ‘game system’ of sorts, with some really outstanding games possible. 

So recently a package arrived from Kanare Abstract from game designer Kanare Kato in Japan. Inside was a rather plain-looking cardboard box. It was only 4.5 inches square and an inch deep, but inside was this wonderful little collection of games. 

There was a very nice cloth board folded neatly into the box. On one side was a simple 8X8 board on the reverse a 10X10, which of course opens up the door to some other great games – International Checkers coming immediately to mind. 

The little box also included a package of white disks and another of black – the first look showed they were not large, but it was also obvious they would be quite functional. 

The little box of goodness also included several rule sheets; most old games that of course are public domain so Kanare Kato could include. The games are Konane – a great checker-esque game of Hawaiian origin, and vintage classics Fox and Hounds, Halma, Tafl and Turkish Checkers. 

The set would allow many other games, but of course not every game is public domain in terms of including rules, but a web search would give anyone having this set a plethora of games to try. 

Then sandwiched among the rules was a sheet explaining the game Mabi, an original offering new from Kato. 

Mabi is a unification game where the goal is to create adjacent groups that are larger than those of your opponent. 

The key element is the idea of paralysis. 

All pieces become paralyzed and cannot move if they are adjacent to an enemy group larger than the group to which they belong (‘mabi’ is a reference to the Chinese word for paralysis), explain the rules. 

Now Mabi is not the new great game, but it adds a little dash if intrigue to the fun little box. 

To be fair, this is not a version of game you’d play in the comfort of your game room. On those occasions you likely have a nice board with large pieces that add to the game play because they ‘feel’ good when you slide them around. 

But, this little box is ideal to take to the coffee shop when meeting a bud, or to pop in the gear when heading to the ice fishing hut with a friend, or the luggage for a night at a hotel with the better half, etc. It would fit neatly in the glove box too to always be handy when travelling. 

And, since there are so many game that the set allows, it allows a ton of exploration and variety.  

Check it out at 


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