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  • Writer's pictureOlivier Miller

What is in a name!

Algarade (pronounced algarad), from the Spanish Algarada, is a French term used today to define a sudden and unexpected outburst or argument.

But that wasn’t always the case, the original term comes from the 14th century during a nearly 780 year long war between the Spanish/Portuguese Christians and the Arab Muslims over modern day Spain and Portugal, where the term (also referred to as a "Chevauchée") describes a surprise military raid on horseback designed to intimidate the population, destroy resources and weaken the hold of the local rulers.

Not an actual image of an Algarade but a good illustration of what it would look like!

These two definitions help describe some of Algarade’s game play and some of it’s more important themes - rewarding innovative social game-play and strategies.

Landmarks represent towns and therefore your influence over the region. If you are unable to protect them you lose support and any claim to the land. This combined with an argumentative, even political, approach to game play where alliances are created and broken with other players and a silver tongue can be as good a weapon as any card in hand.

The historical inspiration doesn’t stop there though, the art found on each Algarade playing card is inspired by the first playing cards to be introduced to Europe by the Muslims in those regions (in the 1360s). These would contain simple graphic such as tools, weapons and people, their images evolving to match the culture of the regions they would be introduced to, and building upon a legacy of games that still exists today.

A card from a Spanish deck printed in Valencia in the 1700s (left) and a recently minted Attack card (right)

As the creator of Algarade, I have an avid interest for history and the lessons and stories found within. I believe that through projects like board games we can build something new, exciting and fun, while paying tribute to our roots and shared history.

So get in there, throw down some cards, strategize and back stab - and remember, the world is a more enjoyable place with you in it!

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