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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Fox & Geese


If you're into D/s, BDSM, etc., and used to things being unequal, have I got a game for you! Fox & Geese is a game that dates back to the Vikings and is admirable for one very unusual aspect: it is one of the only board games with unequal sides, often with different rules, vying to win in a balanced contest. Unfortunately that impressive distinction is also its biggest downfall. Achieving a balance between unequal sides is elusive at best, and may well be impossible. 

One classic example of a Fox & Geese gameboard.

Researching the game yields one very consistent result: inconsistency! There are so many variations to this game that it is mindboggling. It seems that each time a set of rules were enacted, either the fox or geese had an advantage. So someone would add a new rule or change something to try to balance the odds only to have the scales tip in the other direction.

The basic game usually involves some number of geese and one (sometimes two) fox(es). The fox moves about wherever  it wishes trying to either kill geese or pass them and get to the opposite end of the board. The geese cannot move backwards nor kill the fox, so their goal is to use strategy and numbers to trap it so it cannot make another move. This game often seems to come down to not making a mistake.....like tic tac toe. If you play well, the geese seem predisposed to winning, but if they make a mistake, then the fox has a good chance of turning the tables. 

Recently my son found a very basic version of the game he got at Colonial Williamsburg many years ago and thought it would be a good addition to either my Federal Period living room, or for our Annual RenFaire. We tried a few different versions and I even modified the board, but we still seem to find the game is never quite balanced. It is however, undeniably quaint. 

My question to all of you is if you've ever played this and found a version that seems balanced, with equal opportunity for either a fox win or geese win, please let me know. 

If you've never played, doing so is as simple as drilling some holes in a board and using something as pegs to move about. It's never going to replace chess as the ultimate board game, but it is historic and unique in its gameplay. So give it a try.....if for no other reason than the novelty of playing something that is not new at all. 




16 comments:

  1. I have never heard of this game before

    Prefectdt

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    1. I hadn't either. But once introduced, I became kind of fascinated by its concept....especially considering how far back it goes.

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  2. I might have vaguely heard of "Fox and Geese" at some point, however I had never seen it before.

    Since I've played a few historical simulation games, notably World War II-based ones, I've dealt with unequal playing situations. It's difficult for the Japanese player to win at "Guadalcanal," for example. "Bismark" seems more equal, but it can be harrowing to be the German player, trying to avoid being trapped by a whole British fleet. In "Axis & Allies," the longer the game lasts, the more it tends to benefit the Allies, with their superior productive capacity.

    Of course, for writers of spanking stories, an over-the-knee wager on an unequal contest can be a plot device to set up one character being spanked by another with near certainty.

    (You haven't used this much yourself, however. There's a spanking bet featured in "Deep Pockets," however the game [eight-ball] isn't rigged to favor the winner, it's merely that she's hidden the fact that she's a much better player than her opponent. There is unequal competition in "Pride," which is based on whether the spanker or spankee can outlast the other during a rather severe paddling [which is effectively the 'game'], with an expectedly obvious outcome.)

    In a game like "Fox and Geese," in which the 'fox' has to count on his/her opponent making a mistake which he/she can capitalize upon in order to win, the more experienced the players are, the greater the likelihood of the 'geese' winning, it would seem... --C.K.

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    1. I think imbalance in an electronic game is kind of different. I am a big Age of Empires fan, even after all these years, and it too attempts the same balance-to-imbalance as what you mention.

      As for you writing suggestion......well, truth be told, I have engaged in such wagers often and still do, but while appealing in real life, I don't see how it could be made into a good story. Maybe because the psychological element is so weighted in the setting up of such a wager, that the pay-off would be comparatively weak in a story. At least in my opinion. I also don't think I'll be writing much in this genre anymore. I have a couple of good story ideas laying dormant in outline form, but I have no motivation to finish them. They would certainly not appeal to 99.9% of the people who typically frequent places like the LSF. (You being in the .1% who might like them.)

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    2. Well, I'm slightly older than you, so those war games I mentioned were non-electronic, old-style board games--of course, luck (dice rolls) is a factor in battle outcomes.

      Concerning a wager story, spanking-oriented or otherwise, the main focus may be 'proving' who's smarter or generally superior to whom in some area, however the payoff still has to be meaningful enough to the loser. If a millionaire loses a $500 bet, he/she can shrug that off, even though he/she has been bested and may be annoyed about that.

      That's one reason I enjoyed "Pride" so much, the loser ended up paying a significant psychological price for being defeated, even though the 'contest' was quite unequal--afterward he felt himself subservient and even inferior to the woman who had paddled him into submission, and she wasn't ever going to let him forget about her defeating him in that manner.

      I did notice that you hadn't written any new stories since I'd largely gone offline a bit over a year ago. Well, maybe you'll eventually get re-focused, many writers go through 'dry spells' wherein they have little interest in dealing with their primary subject matter, I've been that way lately myself. I do think you're being quite hyberbolic in describing the (limited) appeal of your writing, but many authors (myself included), CP-oriented or otherwise, seem to feel that way at times.

      "Strict Julie Spanks!" has an awesome f/m spanking story, it's apparently based on a roleplay she did with a male partner with each of them writing the conclusion (spanking action) separately, within the framework of the story's setup--so it's one account with two ending parts, I suppose, but the spanking descriptions include much about the mindsets and reactions of the two key characters, one's point of view being third-person and the other first-person from the spankee's perspective.

      Excellent writing... --C.K.

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    3. >>>>>>>>"those war games I mentioned were non-electronic, old-style board games--of course, luck (dice rolls) is a factor in battle outcomes"<<<<<<<<<<

      I stand corrected. I am slightly familiar with those types as well, but no expert.

      >>>>>>>>>"Concerning a wager story, spanking-oriented or otherwise, the main focus may be 'proving' who's smarter or generally superior to whom in some area, however the payoff still has to be meaningful"<<<<<<<<

      That type of dynamic has little appeal to me. Some. But certainly not anything significant. I prefer situations where dominance is a matter of role rather than superiority. In fact, I gravitate towards situations where the dominant role is more by luck of chance alignment with a person's personality than any kind of "deserving". (Think "No Country for Old Men". It why I like your "Matched Pair" story so much.)

      >>>>>"That's one reason I enjoyed "Pride" so much,"<<<<<<
      Thank you, but there are times I wish I'd never written that piece. And to be honest, if I hadn't written it when I did I know I would never write it now.

      >>>>>>>"I did notice that you hadn't written any new stories since I'd largely gone offline a bit over a year ago. Well, maybe you'll eventually get re-focused, many writers go through 'dry spells' wherein they have little interest in dealing with their primary subject matter, I've been that way lately myself. I do think you're being quite hyperbolic in describing the (limited) appeal of your writing, but many authors (myself included), CP-oriented or otherwise, seem to feel that way at times."<<<<<<

      Again I think you are being kind. It is not hyperbole to cite what is quite evident at the LSF on any given day. You, my friend, are an exception. One of the stories laying dormant is one where a grandmother witnesses the spanking of her granddaughter and it triggers memories of a spanking she was spared many years earlier for not properly cleaning the windows of her father's shop prior to "Krystalnacht" and the subsequent realizations she has as her time in a ghetto and then a camp unfold. 99.9% of the readers at the LSF will have little interest in such a piece since the Holocaust is not good material to jerk off to.

      For mew it's not a matter of focus but rather having something worthwhile to say. I feel like I once did, and said it in what I wrote up until a certain point. Now? I don't think there's much left to explore, but time will tell.

      I am also discouraged by what appeals and what I think is appealing. Personally I think "The Woman of the Well" is the best spanking story I've written, and yet things like "Still a Mom" or "A New Old Mom" get far more attention, and while the first piece isn't bad, the sequel......which is quite popular....is in my opinion, a wretched piece, drenched in fantasy and resembles nothing that I myself have experienced. The things I HAVE experienced, and ring true to lifestyle people seem to only resonate WITH lifestyle people.......or which it seems are very few.

      As for Julie? I am glad you liked her story. No further comment.

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    4. It turns out that Julie's story isn't on her main blog, as I'd thought when I encountered it, but on a separate fiction-writing website of hers--its title is "Fantasy Story--Two Ways."

      Looking for it on the main blog, I came across the reason for your apparent current attitude toward her, which I now share. (Kink-oriented people opposed to tolerance and diversity, that makes no sense.)

      I'm glad you wrote "Pride," even if you aren't--it's one of your very best stories, from my perspective.

      A spanking story related to 'Kristallnacht' would be quite interesting and challenging. I have written a few CP-based stories dealing with World War II-related themes, one of which, a pretty short one, did touch on the Holocaust. While I do enjoy erotically-exciting F/M spanking accounts, there's no shame in that, I can appreciate ones with deeper themes as well.

      Enough on that, anyway... --C.K.

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    5. Your discovery on the blog is only part if it, but you get the gist. In fact a VERY recent exchange has left me particularly disenamored.

      Thanks again on "Pride". Maybe it's just a mood I'm in?

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  3. I have a vague memory of this game and I believe it was when I was visiting Williamsburg. However it is nothing more than a that. Being unban and looking for people to make mistakes sounds a little like life don't you think? Anyway wish I could find a good opponent for a good game of chess.

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    1. Hi Joe!
      If you live in Southern California, I know someone who would love a good opponent.

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    2. Merely waiting for a mistake is why predators only achieve success with somewhere around 20% of their hunting attempts. For me it is not a satisfying condition for gameplay.

      As for chess? I can play, but am not very good at all. It is something I am embarrassed to admit, but true nonetheless.

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  4. Here's a little treat for you.

    https://sketchfab.com/Binkley-Piratepants

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    1. Thanks. Kind of neat. Imagine if those were non-CAD models! The detail would drive one bonkers! I notice he doesn't paint the 3D ones. I wonder why?

      I often wonder what I could make if I had a 3d printer.

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  5. Interesting. I'd never heard of this game prior to reading your post. I wonder what the Vikings played with? Stones and a sheepskin board? Perhaps they used the carcasses of *actual* foxes and geese?

    It seems somehow lacking in violence given what's known of their proclivities...

    You mention chess and checkers. I just realized that's one game board set I no longer have. I do enjoy board games once in a while, though I tend to go through phases with them. Likewise, card games. I have Batman playing cards, lol. And a fancy woodworked cribbage board. :)

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    1. I believe the game was played with either stones on a wooden board or pegs on a wooden board, depending on the situation. I think if played onboard a ship, pegs were preferred since stones would fall off. As for violent proclivities? Well, it would be exhausting to fill EVERY minute of the day with energy-expending violence. So maybe a nice board game where a fox is killing geese is a happy medium?

      Fancy boards are charming and date back centuries. Games are definitely a perk of being human. (Batman playing cards? I can only guess whose image is on the Joker cards. LOL)

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  6. Oh i remember playing this! I had an actual game board (plastic) with pegs and everything. But there was also a version that you could play on a Chinese checkers board (the star shaped one). I haven't played it in decades! And I'd forgotten about it till now. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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