International Table Top Day Today & Yesterday

About three years ago, actor Wil Wheaton (Star Trek the Next Generation)  started International Table Top day.  The point is to celebrate the joy of playing table top board games with your friends. 

Zeke yawning

Time to wake up!  It’s International Table Top Day

 I have many board games and I play many board games.  They are much more sociable than playing computer games, and definitely less violent!  Zeke is an expert with table tops.  Zeke is a very cerebral gamer.  He thinks a long time about his next move.  Below, he contemplates his strategy playing “Puerto Rico”.

Zeke the Gamer

Zeke the Gamer studying the game.

Zeke the Cat

Zeke the Gamer ready for the first move.

100 Years Ago

Back in the ’80’s when I was living in England, I purchased a German games compendium used for travel. I estimate it was made between 1915 – 1929 based on the drawings upon the card decks inside. It is made of a very lightweight wood in order to make the box light. Maybe it was made for use aboard the Zeppelins, where every ounce mattered!

Green wooden game box

German games compendium

It always seemed to me some initials should go in the center of the box above, but there are none. What does it look like inside?

German wooden games compendium

German game box opened

On the back of the checker board is a 9 Men’s Morris game board. The game itself dates back to Roman times. The colored wooden pieces are used to play this. Most of the dice in the box are newer, and added by me. The little wooden trays are removable.

German wooden games compendium

So what are we looking at? Inside the box at the very back are wooden checkers. There are dice and two decks of cards still inside the box. On the left are dominoes. They are not ivory. They look like “Bakelite”, an early form of plastic, which would push the age of the box into the 1920’s. The white part is glued onto a wooden back. Next is a box with the 9 Men’s Morris pieces, which is next to a box of chess pieces. Next to that is a leather dice cup, and the checkerboard again.

German wooden games compendium

Finally are shown the card decks with some of the cards. The top row is of famous German and international artists in various disciplines. The other deck features pictures of various forms of transportation. Both decks are the German card game “Quartett”, like the English game “Quartets”, which is similar but not identical to the English game “Go Fish”.  I like the card with the motorcycle operator steering from the back seat! 

six playing cards

vintage German playing cards “Quartett”

So, that is International Table Top Day today and yesterday.

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  1. I love board games, but my family is so competitive over them that it’s hardly enjoyable. As I study Zeke’s face over Puerto Rico, I think he would be a good match for some of the swelled heads that play at our house. I’m sticking to jigsaw puzzles!

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    1. Zeke will be appearing here with jigsaw puzzles as well in the near future. Playing board games I have never seen or played, and winning them, has earned me the nickname “Rain Man”. I am a bit of a savant.

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  2. Cats love to play (aka, destroy) our scrabble games. They wait until we’re almost through and there’s a *wham* followed by a cat running like a wildwoman is chasing him (which, usually, there is). 🙂

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