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The Playboy winner's guide to board games Paperback – 1979


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Playboy Press; Revised edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872165620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872165625
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,009,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book may be utterly unique -- it's a wide-ranging survey of board games (circa 1975) with strategies and observations about the best of them.
While bookstore shelves are filled with books on Chess, card games, and Nintendo tactics, I don't think I've ever seen a survey of this breadth, covering racing games (backgammon, parcheesi), sports games, deduction games (Clue and its ilk), trading games (Monopoly, and games that are actually fun), various types of battle games (from old hex-grid wargames to strategic titles like Risk and Diplomacy), and an early survey of role-playing games.
So, there's the obvious problem: THIS BOOK IS 20 YEARS OLD. Many of the titles have long since disappeared from store shelves (try finding "Smess", "Black Box", "4000 A.D.", or "Speed Circuit").
But the best games stand the test of time, and that's the case here -- Freeman spends the most time on "Monopoly", "Clue", "Scrabble", "Diplomacy", and other classics that are still played today. With 10-20pp on these, you'll see whether a game's play appeals to you, or if you already a player, how to improve your game.
It's like reading years worth of reviews from "Games" magazine, with strategies and analyses thrown in for good measure. If you like a broad variety of board games, you'll like it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Green on April 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is more than just a critical survey of the lot of games available in the late 1970s (including many great titles long since unavailable--anyone for a round of Masterpiece or Panzer Blitz?), it provides great general strategy hints that can work in just about any game, and detailed chapters on timeless games such as Monopoly, Clue, and Backgammon.
Freeman's writing style is very engaging and often hilarious. His scathing review of Life is alone worth the price of the book. I really wish that he could provide an updated edition of this book one day, as board games are starting to experience a renaissance as good, clean family entertainment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mapa on November 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
The previous reviewer said it all: after 20 years, Freeman's exhaustive reviews are still very readable and instructive. I'm amazed by how often I still turn to it, and I must be word-perfect on his text by now! Mr. Freeman, if you're reading this, please, PLEASE WRITE AN UPDATE!
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By Amazon Customer on December 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In spite of this book’s title, it actually has no scantily clad bunnies or guest editorials by Hugh Hefner. There are no foldouts and no mention of the so-called “men’s magazine.” The Playboy Winner’s Guide to Board Games is actually a revision of A Player’s Guide to Table Games by the same author, computer game designer Jon Freeman (one of the early talents at both Automated Simulations/Epyx and Electronic Arts). Although we used to have a copy of this book in the corporate library for Computer Gaming World magazine, I hesitated (as a Baptist minister) to have a copy in my personal library. Yet, the book is so valuable in terms of one of the classes I teach that I simply had to pick up a copy and re-read it this year.
The addition of “Winner’s” to the title is a positive addition. The original title simply sounded like a guide for buying games. That idea is incredibly wrong. The Playboy Winner’s Guide to Board Games not only describes the mechanics and playing styles for a wide variety of games, but most of the discussions have strategy considerations and tactical tips. The book is divided into: 1) Stock Market and Business Games, 2) Family Games, 3) Abstract Circular Race Games, 4) Sports Games, 5) Games of Detection and Deduction, 6) Word Games, 7) Abstract Games, 8) Semi-abstract Battle Games, 9) Multiplayer Conflict Games, 10) “Pure” Wargames, and 11) Role-Playing Games.

Within each section, there is usually one or more games where Freeman waxes eloquently on tactics. In the first section, he lets you know that the game is won in the medium range in High Bid (released by 3M Games) or The Collector (revised by Avalon Hill) and gives a very solid summary of Stocks & Bonds (3M Games/Avalon Hill).
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