Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #5 June 1975

June 1975 is the start of something new in the pages of Owl & Weasel and I think they knew it.  First off the crossword is gone. Detailed in the editorial there were just too few people interested in it and it took too long to do.   One first glance the thing you notice is the issue has expanded again. Now at 12 pages for 10p. Quite a bargain.
A dismal report from the London Toy Fair with only two new games that might of interest; "Waterloo" and "Trafalgar".

Steve Jackson reviews two new "games" from Avon Hill. They are both "Ritual Kits" for "Witchcraft" and "Black Magic".  In some ways they look like the adult interactive games like "House to Host a Murder" and in others like a Ouija board with pawns. OR they are meant as serious ritual tools?  Who knows really. Obviously meant to take advantage of the occult revival of the 70s and perfect of example of the type of zeitgeist that fueled my own games.  You can see these "games" over Board Game Geek for a better idea.  Witchcraft Ritual Kit and Black Magic Ritual Kit.  It looks trippy as all hell, or maybe cheap.  Sometimes it is hard to tell.  Honestly this is exactly the kind of thing I would have eaten up in the 70s and 80s.

Stuck in at the bottom of page 2 is paragraph. The title is "Dungeons & Dragons" and Steve Jackson is asking what people think of it. He has not played it yet but promises more when he has.  He is also soliciting reviews.

Other games covered are Red Cloud's War and Epaminondas (something like a checkers variant).  Interestingly enough when doing some research on these games it seems that the O&W article was one of the first reviews of the game published.
A discussion of Mah Jong shows up on page 11 and guidelines for how to play it with standard card decks.

Page 8 gives us some ads and some used games for sale.
Page 12 covers the Games Workshop Games Day.  Planning on running from "Early in the morning to late at night".  they promise demonstrations, meetings for game clubs and the possibility of a "Zine Stall".  There will also be an information stall, and a place to buy used games.  Refreshments will be available.

What I love about this exploration into Owl & Weasel is not just the nostalgia; in fact I was not gaming at this point so I don't have any nostalgia for this time. It is the whole DIY and Wild West feel of the Zine.  It is similar to what we have going on in the blogs and boards now, but there is an earnestness about it that I find appealing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wondering if it would be possible to get a scan of the Avalon Hill ritual kit(s) review?