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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

COVID-19: Vernon Towne Cinema back in action!

Movie lovers rejoice, the historic theatre has reopened with safety protocols in place

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Liberals push NDP for fall school reopening plan

Local Liberal MLA says NDP government committed to plan being unveiled before Aug. 4

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read