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Avacal Games Guild

Updated on March 9, 2015
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Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

Because Period IS Fun

Welcome to the Avacal Games Guild Online Guide Book. My name is Lord CùAllaidh Donna I am gamesminister for the Principality of Avacal within the SCA. The guild is open to anyone in Avacal who has an interest in Medieval sports and games, no need to sign up or anything, just enjoy yourself.

To the left is the unofficial badge of the Avacal Games Guild, should you wish to display the badge and declare your participation in the guild feel free. The badge is a variant on the one used by the Games Guild of Ealdormere and uses Avacallian colours instead of Ealdormerian.

Francis Willughby's Book of Games: A Seventeenth-Century Treatise on Sports, Games and Pastimes
Francis Willughby's Book of Games: A Seventeenth-Century Treatise on Sports, Games and Pastimes

This is the single best resource for medieval games. It is a 17th century treatise, but it covers timeless games and works well as an SCA source.


Avacal Games Guild Rules and Regulations

The main rule of the guild is to have fun. The guild fosters good sportsmanship and encourages research into period sports and games. There is no dues, or hierarchy, the guild is completely voluntary and totally unofficial. Participate as much or as little as you like.

Too often people forget the SCA is a game itself and should be fun, this is the reason the guild exists to spread fun and joy throughout Avacal.

Gaming Article of the Week

Each week I will try to post a new game article.

Ball, Bat and Bishop: THE ORIGIN OF BALL GAMES
Ball, Bat and Bishop: THE ORIGIN OF BALL GAMES

A decent source for bat and ball games.

Hazard Board
Hazard Board | Source

Past Medieval Game of The Moment


Hazard is a gambling game that can be dated back as early as the 15th century. The game is played with two dice and each player takes turns as the host. The first thing that happens is all players (except host) place their bets. The host controls the dice for their turn, they must roll between 5 and 9 to keep their turn going, if they do the game really begins, if they don't the next player becomes host and it starts over again. The chart to the right illustrates the standard Hazard board and shows what roll wins and looses based on what the host rolled with their first roll. The second roll of the dice is called the Chance roll, if their chance roll matches a "win" (marked W on the board) then they win all bets made by other players and they remain as host and roll again, if they match a "lose" the have to pay each player what they bet and the next player becomes the host, if they roll neither the next player becomes the host and it continues.

In another variant the host remains host if they don't manage to roll between 5 and 9, and their turn continues until they do manage to roll between 5 and 9.

Fortunes were often won and lost at the Hazard table.

Ancient Board Games in Perspective
Ancient Board Games in Perspective

A dry read, but contains numerous scholarly papers on historical games.


© 2014 Jeff Johnston

What is your favourite period game?

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