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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Nine – Apr/May '17 > WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE


From peasants to kings, players around the globe have been enjoying dexterity games for the pas t 500 years. Join us as we pull, tumble and flick our way through the genre’s history
Push It.

Some games rely on deep analysis and concentration, others depend on luck. There are occasions, however, when it can be fun to unwind with a game that calls for more manual dexterity; where victory owes more to a flick of the wrist than to mental agility.

Such experiences are not new. The traditional game of Shove Ha’penny was already well known in the 16th century; financial records for the period show large sums wagered on the game. In the first few weeks of 1532, Henry VIII is recorded as having lost almost £100 at the “shovilla bourde”. Even measured against the many other excesses of this infamous English king, this was a considerable fortune – more than ten times what a common labourer might expect to earn in a year.

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