It’s funny how things happen.
The first game I ever had published was the slightly strange Battle of the Halji. This was designed in cahoots with friend of mine called Chris Hunt, way back in 1987.
Looking back, it was a bit slower than it should have been, and over the years I’ve occasionally pondered what I would do with the idea now. Certainly I could do a better job. However, I wasn’t expecting to ever get the chance…
Then Chris’s dad died.
During the ensuing sorting out, Chris discovered a couple of hundred original copies of Halji, that we’d thought had long-since gone the way of the dodo. Stacked in boxes in the spare room of his parent’s house were a few finished copies (complete with crumbling 29-year old shrink wrap) plus some boxes of components, ready to assemble.
So over the last few weeks we’ve been discussing what we can do with them. Obviously, the simplest thing to do is chuck them all in the recycling. After all, that’s where we thought they were anyway, so no loss. Then I realised that it was the 30th anniversary next year. Maybe we could or even should do something more interesting with them.
After some discussion, the alternative to the recycling bin that we are pondering is this: we take the existing components and add a new rulebook. That’s got the charm of the retro bits, allied to the fun of a modern game. Sure we could do something completely new from scratch, but I don’t think either of us really has the time or the inclination to run the logistics. Too dull. If, on the other hand, we’ve already got the components and all we have to sort out is a new rulebook, then that’s much more manageable. It would be a fun side project to commemorate the game.
We did work out a few parameters for the project. If we did a 30th Anniversary edition it would be limited in number to however many we can make out of what’s left. That’s also got a perverse charm to it. And, because I don’t really want to be faffing about with stock, it would only be available for the 30th year (i.e. 2017), even if we ended up with spares. Again, fits the anniversary bit nicely. Anything left over gets to be recycled after that. Anyone who knows the premise of the game should find that entirely appropriate.
So there it is. Today’s strange thought. Not a definite plan yet, by any means. More a topic for consideration. I thought I’d mention it here to see what you guys thought.
And no, this isn’t an April’s Fool joke.
That’s a pretty awesome retro cover. Never heard of it, but this just radiates cool.
I always like the cover. Tried to track down the artist, with no luck.
I would guess it is …
(Ex-Fugitive ) Tim Shipley … now residing in Christchurch NZ.
Outstanding! Hi Tim 🙂
Still not sure this isn’t an April Fools!
Why don’t you just sell the originals and give the money to the favourite charity of Chris’ dad?
I’ll buy one!
We thought of that. However, the game does show its age, and it feels wrong to sell it as is. Fine at the time, less fine after 3 decades of the world of games changing (and it certainly has). Plus it’s feels like a missed opportunity. Plus, if we’ve got to do the tedious packing job (which we would), then we should get to have the fun of redesigning it as well 🙂
Okay how about…Design competition…£x pounds to enter. Entry gets you a copy of the existing game as it is and the entry to a redesigning competition.
People redesign / re-image the game (possibly within certain parameters). Send in their redesign and you two judge and pick a winner.
In the meantime you and Chris do your own rule / game updates and when you release the new version you include a copy of the winners rules alongside.
That’s an intriguing notion. I’ll have a chat with Chris and see what he thinks.
My first thoughts are that it would be quite a bit of extra work (judging things), and we would have to limit the number of entries (otherwise we’d have none left to send out at the end).
I do like the idea though 🙂
I would be a bit of work definitely!
You could do it almost like a Kickstarter – limit it to 10 people or so. I have no idea how many people would want to do it. I would guess at £20-£30 pounds per entry – any monies left over to charity.
Well, if it’s a 30th anniversary, then it would feel right to have a limit of 30, though that’s quite a lot.
I wonder if there’s a way of doing staggered entries, like some races have their competitors set off in waves. That might make it easier to deal with at the end.
That is so old school. I’d love me copy of that just for nostalgia reasons. We’ve got a bit of a running thing in our group where we find and play really old board games like this. Balance and mechanical issues be damned!
It’s 29 years old, so old school is right 🙂
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I’ve been trolling eBay for a copy of this for quite a while! If this isn’t a cruel April Fools joke, please email me and I’ll buy a copy of Halji as-is.
Any updates on this? Just discovered and very intrigued!
Just selling my old original copy on board game geek if anyone is interested…superb condition.
I love Battle of the Halji. A more streamlined version would be appreciated. It’s a classic game but a bit difficult for newcomers.
I never owned a copy but played it at Games Day 1987… always wanted a copy! Keep meaning to pick one up… good memories