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Kensington

Posted by Big Boo on October 8th, 2010

KensingtonThe Eighties was a time when it suddenly seemed to become acceptable for adults to play board games, and by that I mean playing board games with other adults as opposed to playing them with kids.

Sure, there have always been more adult board games, just take a look at the likes of Monopoly, Cluedo and of course Chess, but the late Seventies and whole of the Eighties brought a new wave of games aimed primarily at adults because they either required a broad base of knowledge to play (e.g. Trivial Pursuit) or were a bit more strategic, like Chess.

Kensington fell firmly into the latter camp of strategy based board games, though unlike Chess its rules were actually very simple. Two players each have fifteen counters in either red or blue. They start by taking turns to place counters onto the game board, which was made up of adjoining triangles, squares and hexagons. Once all the counters were on the board players could then slide one counter along a line of the board on their turn.

The object of the game was to form a hexagon using six of your coloured counters. There were three white hexagons in the middle of the board, and two red and two blue on opposite sides, and you had to form a hexagon around either one of the white ones, or one of your own colour.

Along the way it was also possible to make things more difficult for your opponent by forming triangles and squares with your counters. Making a triangle allowed you to move one of your opponents pieces out of the way, whilst completing a square let you move two counters.

The game was created in 1979 by Brian Taylor and Peter Forbes, and came in a fold out wallet about the same size as a vinyl album. It was named after the affluent area of London, and included a picture on the reverse of the Kensington Park Monument and another of the two creators sat playing the game in view of the Royal Albert Hall. Quite why it was named after Kensington though I really do not know!

Sadly the game is no longer in print, but I guess it’s so simple you could have a go at making your own version. If you want the full rules then take a look at the Tragsnart! website, which is where I went to jog my memory on how to play it.