Star Viking Microgame

Microgames were a phenomenon of especially the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Star Viking was released by the long defunct Dwarfstar Heritage games in 1981.

Galactic wealth just there for the taking; so get out there and take it, Star Viking!

Raiding vessels sweep across the star systems to loot glittering worlds. In system after system, dark cruisers materialize from hyperspace, launching a cloud of fighters to vaporize the local in-system patrol boats — then comes the savage plunder of whole planets by powersuited raiding parties and grav-armor detachments.

Scattered thinly across the Outrim sector, the frigates of the Federate squadron desperately deploy, attempting to weld the undermanned planetary defenses and low-tech local militias into a cohesive force capable of resisting the star-born horror from beyond the rim — the coming of the Star Vikings.

Star Viking is a game of interstellar raiding and plunder for two players. Using a unique system of 12 mapboard tiles to represent the various star systems in the Outrim sector, it captures the tense uncertainty and the sudden, flashing battles of an interstellar war. Units represented include Viking cruisers, sloops, and fighters. Federate and local frigates, battle-cruisers, and patrol boats, as well as raiding detachments, security forces, grav-armor units, specialized warfare pods, and conventional low-tech armed forces ranging from atmospheric aircraft to stone-age hordes. 

Star Viking contains — Twelve 3�”x4″ full-color cardboard playing tiles, 154 full-color counters, a die, and a complete instruction folder. 

PLAY LEVEL – Intermediate.

  • 2 Players
  • 60 Min Playing Time
  • Age: 10+

Priests and Priestesses of Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians understood that their gods had prevailed over the forces of chaos through the creation of the world and relied upon humanity’s help to maintain it. The people of Mesopotamia held this same belief but felt they were co-workers with the gods, laboring daily to hold back chaos through even the simplest acts, but the Egyptians believed all they had to do was recognize how the world worked, who was responsible for its operation, and behave accordingly.

This behavior was directed by the central cultural value, ma’at (harmony and balance) which was sustained by an underlying force known as heka (magic). Heka (personified as the god Heka) had been present at the creation of the world, pre-existing the gods, and allowed those gods to perform their duties. All the people, by observing ma’at, helped to maintain the order established by the gods through heka, but a special class was responsible for honoring and caring for the gods daily, and this was the priesthood.

The clergy of ancient Egypt did not preach, interpret scripture, proselytize, or conduct weekly services; their sole responsibility was to care for the god in the temple. Men and women could be clergy, performed the same functions, and received the same pay. Women were more often priestesses of female deities while men served males, but this was not always the case as evidenced by the priests of the goddess Serket (Selket), who were doctors and both female and male, and those of the god Amun. The position of God’s Wife of Amun, held by a woman, would eventually become as powerful as that of the king.

High priests were chosen by the king, who was considered the high priest of Egypt, the mediator between the people and their gods, and so this position had political as well as religious authority. The priesthood was already established in the Early Dynastic Period in Egypt (c. 3150-2613 BCE) but developed in the Old Kingdom (c. 2613-2181 BCE) at the same time as the great mortuary complexes like Giza and Saqqara were being constructed. Throughout Egypt’s history, the priesthood would serve a vital role in maintaining religious belief and tradition while, at the same time, consistently challenge the authority of the king by amassing wealth and power which at times rivaled that of the crown.

Sources: World History Encyclopedia

Classic British Scones

A proper afternoon/high tea couldn’t exist without British style scones with jam and clotted cream.

3½ cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
7 tablespoons butter, chilled and diced
⅓ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk, plus extra for glazing
1 teaspoon lemon juice

To Serve
good-quality strawberry jam
clotted cream or whipped cream

Makes about 24

Preheat the oven to 425°F

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the baking powder and salt. Add the butter. Start by using a palette knife to cut the butter into the flour, then switch to using your hands to gently rub the butter in. Do not overwork the mixture but lift the flour and butter up in your hands and gently press and roll it across your fingertips. When there are no visible pieces of butter remaining add the sugar and mix to combine.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add 1 of the egg yolks, the milk and lemon juice. Use the palette knife to cut the wet ingredients into the dry, then gently mix with your hands until almost combined.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Very gently knead until almost smooth. Pat or roll the dough to a thickness of 1¼ inches.

Dip the round cookie cutter in flour to prevent it sticking, then stamp out discs from the dough. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet and set aside. Gather the off-cuts of dough into a ball, re-roll and stamp out more scones to make as many as possible.

Mix the remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and neatly brush the tops of the scones with the glaze.

Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.

Remove from the oven, cool on wire racks and serve on the day of making with jam and clotted cream.

Inspired by: Afternoon Tea at Home

Cucumber Sandwiches with Yuzu Citrus Chive Butter

10 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons yuzu juice
1-2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ large cucumber
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
8 slices white bread

Makes 24

Beat the butter until really soft and spreadable. Gradually add the yuzu , mix in and season with salt and black pepper. Add the chives and mix to combine.

Peel the cucumber and thinly slice into rounds. Place the slices into a bowl, add the cider vinegar and toss to coat.

Lay half of the bread slices out on the work surface and spread with half of the yuzu and chive butter.

Arrange the cucumber slices on top as neatly and evenly as possible and season with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining bread with the yuzu and chive butter and press on top of the cucumber-topped bread, butter-side down.

Gently press the sandwiches together and trim off the crusts using a serrated knife.

Cut the sandwiches into rectangles or triangles to serve.

Inspired by: Afternoon Tea at Home

Star Smuggler

Microgames were a phenomenon of especially the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Star Smuggler was released by the long defunct Dwarfstar Heritage games in 1982.

Face adventure — danger — and debts — as a dashing, planet-hopping Star Smuggler.

Life is tough for the starship-era soldier of fortune. Hyper-jumping from one system to the next with a contraband cargo of drugs, weapons, robotics or anything that will turn a quick Sec– with an occasional planet-side stint of industrial spying or dirty tricks. Duke Springer knows all the tricks, dirty or otherwise — all the seedy spaceport bars, the glittering gambling areas, the hard-up colonies where they don’t ask too many questions, the names of a thousand corrupt bureaucrats on a hundred backwater planets. Duke Springer has to; he lives his life one jump ahead of the Enforcers. He knows you’ve got to be quick, or you end up dead. That’s the way it is when you’re a Star Smuggler.

Star Smuggler is a solitaire game of tense adventure in the far future. No opponent is necessary, as the Event Booklet takes you through a pre-programmed sequence of encounters which is different each time you play the game. For each event, you, as star smuggler Duke Springer must make the decisions which will make you huge profits — or may cost you your life.

Star Smuggler contains — Twelve 4″x3�” full-color mapboard tiles, four full-color counters, a rules booklet, events booklet and gaming dice.

  • 1 Player
  • 180 Min Playing Time
  • Age: 12+

Athena

Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill. She was the favorite child of Zeus. She had sprung fully grown out of her father’s head. Her mother was Metis, goddess of wisdom and Zeus’ first wife. In fear that Metis would bear a son mightier than himself. Zeus swallowed her and she began to make a robe and helmet for her daughter. The hammering of the helmet caused Zeus great pain in the form of headaches and he cried out in agony. Skilled Hephaestus ran to his father and split his skull open and from it emerged Athena, fully grown and wearing her mother’s robe and helmet.

She is the virgin mother of Erichthnonius. Athena and her uncle Poseidon were both very fond of a certain city in Greece. Both of them claimed the city and it was decided that the one that could give the finest gift should have it. Leading a procession of citizens, the two gods mounted the Acropolis. Poseidon struck the side of the cliff with his trident and a spring welled up. The people marveled, but the water was as salty as Poseidon’s sea and it was not very useful. Athena’s gift was an olive tree, which was better because it gave the people food, oil and wood. Athena named her city Athens. Athena’s companion was the goddess of victory, Nike, and her usual attribute is the owl. Athena possessed the Aegis.

Freyr

Freyr is the god of sun and rain, and the patron of bountiful harvests. He is both a god of peace and a brave warrior. He is also the ruler of the elves. Freyr is the most prominent and most beautiful of the male members of the Vanir, and is called ‘God of the World’. After the merging of the Aesir and the Vanir, Freyr was called ‘Lord of the Aesir’. Freyr was also called upon to grant a fertile marriage. He is married to the beautiful giantess Gerd, and is the son of Njord. His sister is Freya.

He rides a chariot pulled by the golden boar Gullinbursti which was made for him by the dwarves Brokk and Eitri. He owns the ship Skidbladnir (“wooden-bladed”), which always sails directly towards its target, and which can become so small that it can fit in Freyr’s pocket. He also possesses a sword that would by itself emerge from its sheath and spread a field with carnage whenever the owner desired it. Freyr’s shield bearer and servant is Skirnir, to whom he gave his sword, which Skirnir demanded as a reward for making Gerd his wife. On the day of Ragnarok he will battle without weapons (for he gave his sword away to Skirnir), and will be the first to be killed by the fire giant Surt.

The center of his cult was the city Uppsala in Sweden. In southern Sweden he was called Fricco.

Outpost Gamma Microgame

Microgames were a phenomenon of especially the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Outpost Gamma was released by the long defunct Dwarfstar Heritage games in 1982.

Rorke’s Drift in space – ten Imperial troopers stand against hundreds of attackers.

TEN TROOPERS . . .
. . . AGAINST HUNDREDS

On a colonial world of the far future, ten hard-pressed Imperial troopers in mobile battle armor desperately defend their base against mass assaults by hundreds of primitive alien natives, rushing to attack under the cover of violent energy storms. The imperial troopers have the latest in advanced weaponry, high-mobility pulsor units in their armor, and the support of two heavy-weapons specialists. But the native Irdans have sheer numbers, unwavering courage, and their greatest ally — the hostile environment of their home planet . . .

Against odds of 50 to 1, will sophisticated technology be enough to save the beleaguered garrison at Outpost Gamma?

Outpost Gamma is a game of science fiction combat for two players. With its unpredictable storms and fast-playing combat system, Outpost Gamma captures the tension and rapid-fire action of high versus low-technology combat in a hostile environment. 

Outpost Gamma contains — a full-color 12″x 14″ mapboard, 154 full-color counters, a die, and rules booklet.

GAME LEVEL – Introductory/Intermediate

  • 2 Players
  • 120 Min Playing Time
  • Age: 12+

Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta)

Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta)

A native woodland plant that is potentially as dangerous as the foxglove since it contains glycosides called scillarens, which are similar to the glycosides in foxgloves. Like the snowdrop, the bulb can be mistaken for onions and eaten. Theoretically, it lowers the pulse rate and causes nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting and larger doses could cause cardiac arrhythmias, hypotension and electrolyte imbalance similar to the effects of digoxin in overdose. Folklore tells us that by wearing a wreath made of bluebell flowers, the wearer would be compelled to speak only the truth; the chemical that makes the plant poisonous was used in alchemy.

Magical propensities for speaking the truth; preventing nightmares; love spells; easing mourning.

Sources: By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root

Elves

Elves are nature spirits who appear in various folklore and mythology around the world. The term Elf encompasses various beings that vary across cultures, but it is most commonly associated with early Germanic tribes, Britain, and Iceland, as well as in Teutonic and Norse mythology.

Initially, the term Elf included all varieties of Fae in Anglo-Saxon, but it eventually came to represent a specific type of Fae. Over time, many cultures accepted this shift in meaning as well. Elves are human-like Fae who can change their appearance freely.

Depending on the culture, folklore, or location, Elves can go by different names, including –

  • Schrat (German)
  • Grove folk or Elvor (Sweden)
  • Ellen or Elle Folk (Danish)
  • Spae-wives (Iceland)