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Digging in for country
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Source : Dug outs and trenches [game]
Place Of Creation : [Ballarat?]
Publisher : National Games
Date of creation : [1915?]
Additional Creator : National Game Co.
Format : Game
Dimensions : 310 x 490 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

A war board game, played with 18 men moving 24 points. The board consists of trenches with armed soldiers firing at each other. There is no heavy artillery. Trenches are named Australia Street, Anzac Grove, Kangaroo Avenue and Khaki Lane.

From the beginning of the 20th century, W Owen of Ballarat produced the 'National' series of games. While many of his games remained current for a great number of years, being updated regularly to reflect changing styles and times, others took advantage of the patriotism evident at times of national crisis, such as the First World War. Dugouts and Trenches is one of the latter, and presented the player with a graphic view of the vicissitudes of trench warfare in the comfort of the home. The State Library of South Australia does not hold a copy of the rules for this game, but it would appear to involve succeeding in placing a certain number of men in a trench to win it and the game.

War and the concept of Empire and national patriotism have inspired many games, from Waterloo to the conflicts of the 20th century. Many are simple race games but others require the use of strategy and the pitting of wits between players. Some, such as Bound for Berlin, refer to various places in Europe that would have been current and familiar from the newspaper accounts of the war.

Without the visual imagery of television, which brings world events to our lounge rooms constantly, board games contributed another dimension to the grim newspaper accounts that were the sole method of mass communication before the days of radio and television.

Period : 1914-1918
Further reading :

Goodfellow, Caroline. A collector's guide to games and puzzles, London: Apple Press, c1991

Holden, Robert. Race to the finish: an exhibition of Australian children's board games from colonial times to the present day, Manly, N.S.W.: Manly Art Gallery & Museum, 1986

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