A Return to Traditional Games with Jaques of London

If you are looking for some traditional games to gift this Christmas, head over to the Jaques of London website.

Their traditonal wooden games selection includes chess, draughts, ludo, Chinese checkers, backgammon and many more.

We're very into our board games here at Attachment Towers, so we opted for a couple of games we hadn't played before: backgammon and Chinese checkers.

Jaques of London is actually the oldest toys and games manufacturer in the world, established in 1795, so they know a thing or two about games that will stand the test of time.

They offer a wide range of well-crafted toys and games that cover the whole age range from todddler to adult, so choosing just two was hard!

Both of the games we chose were completely new to all of us, so seemed like a fun challenge.

This eighth generation toy company prides itself on its games, but also on its customer service, as their beautifully packaged parcels testify.

Hand wrapped in tissue paper, boxed and beribboned, they would make delightful Christmas gifts this year.

There's even a card inside from the person wrapping your parcel.

Certainly a gift to remember!

Chinese Checkers

After much deliberation, and wishing the girls were younger to enjoy the huge range of toddler and preschooler age wooden toys, we chose Chinese Checkers as our first game.

Despite the name, the game is of German origin but possibly gets its Oriental name from the star on the Chinese flag.

The board is in the shape of a six pointed star and the objective is to get your pieces to 'home' across the star to the opposite point.

You can use single moves or jump other pieces and the rules are simple so all members of the family can play, even the youngest.

The game can be played by up to 6 people, so it's ideal for larger families.

Our girls are really enjoying this game and it's easy enough to explain that their younger friends and cousins can join in too.

Go Bang

On the reverse is the game Go Bang, which is rather more complicated.

So much so that we're still getting to grips with this one!

Gomoku (five in a row) and Gobang are ancient strategy games, probably originating in Japan.

The objective of both games is to build a row of five consecutive stones of your colour, either black or white.

Sounds simple enough, but when you learn that already placed stones can be removed by the opponent and you are also actively trying to acquire territory, it becomes a lot more complex.

In fact, where Chinese checkers has a sparsely printed A5 sheet of paper for its rules, Go Bang has several pages of closely printed type.

Yep, we're still learning those rules. Great fun though!


Our second choice was Backgammon, which is one of those games I've always thought I should try butt never got round to!

Did you know that backgammon is one of the oldest known board games?

With evidence of backgammon being discovered in archaeological digs in Jiroft (modern day Iran) dating back almost 5000 years.

Jaques of London offer a variety of backgammon sets including this wooden one we chose.

Backgammon is a game for two players with a board containing 24 long triangles called points or pips. 

The triangles alternate in colour and are divided into four quadrants of six triangles each.

Each player has a home board and an outer board, separated by a divider down the middle referred to as the bar.

Each player has fifteen pieces that move between the twenty-four triangles according to the roll of two dice.

The objective of the game is to move all of your pieces to the home board and then bear off (remove) your opponent's pieces from the board entirely.

The players move their pieces in a horseshoe path around the board, in opposite directions to one another.

To be honest, this sounds mroe complicated than it is to play, and we have all mastered the rules of the game quickly.

It's easy to learn, fun to play and although the roll of the dice is down to luck, there is some strategy involved too, so it's great for devleoping kids' skills.

The girls are enjoying this game, although being only a two player game, we do have to get everyone else occupied first!

We are loving both of our traditional games and love that they are made from wood and will last for ages, as well as being great fun to play.

If you are looking for games the family will love, an alternative to plastic gifts or something different to gift this Christmas, head over to the Jaques of London board games selection for inspiration.

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