The inaugural Gambit tournament is slated for Jan. 6 at the Prestige Inn. Gambit is a game best described as a combination of checkers and backgammon crafted by local creative Paul Cousins. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Vernon man creates board game, hosts competition

It’s best described as a combination of backgammon and checkers

It’s best described as a combination of backgammon and checkers.

However, unlike its counterparts that boast origins dating back to before the common era, Gambit was conceived by Vernon’s own Paul Cousins on Christmas Eve of 2016 and holds its inaugural tournament at the Prestige Inn Jan. 6.

“Board games become part of our culture when winter hits,” Cousins said. “Actually, it’s one of those things that just kind of come to you when you sit in the tub.”

It all started when Cousins’ granddaughter was visiting for the holidays and the family was looking for an activity to do together. Cousins — who also plays music and writes poetry — grabbed a plank of wood, took it to his shop, and Gambit was born.

“It’s all ages,” Cousins said. “Anyone who can count to six can play. It can also help improve mental dexterity for people with dementia.”

Two players take charge at either end of the handmade board where four to eight marbles, with more marbles correlating with more difficult gameplay, stand in a line. In the commonly played battle mode, players are tasked with lining their pieces up at the other players’ starting line. Two dice are rolled to determine the move, and when a player lands on their opponents marble, the opponent is sent back to home base. Play time ranges from 15 to 30 minutes per game, depending on difficulty and the game mode, Cousins said. And while the concept is simple, strategy is where the game comes to life.

“My granddaughter can beat me at this game and she thinks that’s great,” Cousins laughed. “I know it’s a pretty good game because my wife isn’t into board games and we play every weekend.”

And it’s a concept Cousins said has gained traction, garnering interest from several renowned game makers and recognition from the community.

“Ravensburger said that people want to play it again straight away,” Cousins said.

But for now, production remains under the roof of Cousins’ garage, with less than 100 boards in circulation and roughly 15 minutes of work put into crafting each set.

To help spark interest in his creation, Cousins announced the games’ opening tournament with a chance to win $1,000 in prize money.

“If you want to get it out there, you have to get it in front of people,” Cousins said.

The tournament places participants into three age categories: under 12, under 19 and 19-and-over, with games lasting for about four hours per group and a total of 64 participants required. Players will compete in all three game modes: break out, battle and sprint.

“Everyone has an equal opportunity to win,” Cousins said. “Anyone who likes checkers or backgammon can pick it up easily.”

To help keep the playing field even, tournament and game rules are announced 24 hours ahead of the tournament and an orientation is held before kick off.

“And then it’s game time.”

Registration for the inaugural Gambit tournament is $10, or $50 for registration and a game board. Email info@gambitboard.ca to confirm registration. All games are played at the Prestige Inn, with start time of 10 a.m. for the 12-and-under category, 1 p.m. for 19-and-under and 4 p.m. for 19-and-above. Refreshments will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.gambitboard.ca.


@VernonNews
entertainment@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Paul Cousins shows off his new board game, Gambit, conceived on Christmas Eve of 2016. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Clouds Sunday, sunshine and heat Monday

Weather forecast for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen looks spectacular

B.C. Green MLA makes Vernon appearance

Olsen spoke in Cenotaph Park just after 12 p.m. in front of a gathering of about 20 supporters

IPE Parade draws near

Armstrong’s 120th Interior Provincial Exhibition starts next Wednesday, Aug. 28

Meet Vernon’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Vernon Pizza Huts raise dough for diabetes research

Vernon Pizza Hut locations raised more than $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Most Read