A Gamut of Games
, written by Sid Sackson
and first published in 1969
, contains rules for a large number of paper and pencil
, and board games
. Many of the games in the book had never before been published. It is considered by many to be an essential text for anyone interested in abstract strategy
games, and a number of the rules were later expanded into full-fledged published board games.
Some of the games which were later sold separately include Focus, Property and Origins of WWI; Robert Abbott expanded his game Crossings, published here, into the more-refined title Epaminondas. Many of the games covered in the book were creations of Sid Sackson himself, who was a prolific game designer.
The sections of the book and the games covered therein are as follows:In Search of Big and Little Game
- Mate, a card game by G. Capellen
- Blue and Gray, a board game by Henry Busch and Arthur Jaeger
- Le Truc, a revived French card game
- Plank, a serious revamp of the concepts in Tic-Tac-Toe
- Zetema, a Victorian card game similar to Bezique
- Hekaton, a card game originally published along with "Yankee Notion Cards" from the 19th centuryGame Inventors Are People Too
- Lines of Action, a board game by Claude Soucie
- Cups, a mancala variant by Arthur and Wald Amberstone
- Crossings, a board game by Robert Abbot; later turned into Epaminondas by Abbot
- Lap, a complex progeny of Battleships by Lech Pijanowski
- Three Musketeers, a board game by Haar Hoolim; notably, this game and the character in it was once used as the mascot for the Zillions of Games software product.
- Paks, a card game by Phil Laurence
- Skedoodle, a pencil-and-paper game by Father Daniel
- Knight Chase, a board game by Alex Randolph (inventor of games like TwixT)
- Origins of World War I, a historical pencil-and-paper game by Jim Dunnigan which teaches players history
Those Protean Pieces of Pasteboard - All of the games in this section use a standard pack of cards.
New Battles on an Old Battlefield - All of the games in this section use a checkerboard.
Grab a Pencil - All of the games in this section are meant to be played with pencil and paper.
- Hold That Line, by Sid Sackson; an attempt to move "boredom" games away from Tic-Tac-Toe
- Cutting Corners, by Sid Sackson; another attempt at a "boredom" game
- Paper Boxing, by Sid Sackson
- Last Word, a paper-based Scrabble-esque game by Sid Sackson
- Patterns II, an inductive-reasoning game by Sid Sackson; see Eleusis for another game in this small genre
- Property, later republished as New York, by Sid SacksonA Miscellany of Games
- Solitaire Dice, by Sid Sackson
- Domino Bead Game, by Sid Sackson
- Haggle, a deliciously confusing party game by Sid Sackson
- The No Game, a classic and simple party game
- Change Change, a simple solitaire utilizing coins by Sid Sackson
A second edition of the book was published in 1982; Dover Publications released an unabridged reprint, with an additional preface by Sackson, in 1992.
- Sackson, Sid. A Gamut of Games. ISBN 0-486-27347-4