Rail transport is a means of transferring of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails known as tracks. It is commonly referred to as train transport. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks consist of steel rails, installed on ties and ballast, on which the rolling stock fitted with metal wheels, moves. Other variations are possible, such as slab track, where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface. Rolling stock in a rail transport system encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars can be coupled into longer trains; the operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power by diesel engines.
Most tracks are accompanied by a signalling system. Railways are a safe land transport system. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency, but is less flexible and more capital-intensive than road transport, when lower traffic levels are considered; the oldest known, man/animal-hauled railways date back to the 6th century BC in Greece. Rail transport commenced in mid 16th century in Germany in the form of horse-powered funiculars and wagonways. Modern rail transport commenced with the British development of the steam locomotives in the early 19th century, thus the railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world. Built by George Stephenson and his son Robert's company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George Stephenson built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use only the steam locomotives all the time, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830.
With steam engines, one could construct mainline railways, which were a key component of the Industrial Revolution. Railways reduced the costs of shipping, allowed for fewer lost goods, compared with water transport, which faced occasional sinking of ships; the change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied little from city to city. The spread of the railway network and the use of railway timetables, led to the standardisation of time in Britain based on Greenwich Mean Time. Prior to this, major towns and cities varied their local time relative to GMT; the invention and development of the railway in the United Kingdom was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century. The world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863. In the 1880s, electrified trains were introduced, leading to electrification of tramways and rapid transit systems. Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being complete by the 2000s.
During the 1960s, electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan and in some other countries. Many countries are in the process of replacing diesel locomotives with electric locomotives due to environmental concerns, a notable example being Switzerland, which has electrified its network. Other forms of guided ground transport outside the traditional railway definitions, such as monorail or maglev, have been tried but have seen limited use. Following a decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in the context of concerns about global warming; the history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece. It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used. Evidence indicates that there was 6 to 8.5 km long Diolkos paved trackway, which transported boats across the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece from around 600 BC.
Wheeled vehicles pulled by men and animals ran in grooves in limestone, which provided the track element, preventing the wagons from leaving the intended route. The Diolkos was in use for over 650 years, until at least the 1st century AD; the paved trackways were later built in Roman Egypt. In 1515, Cardinal Matthäus Lang wrote a description of the Reisszug, a funicular railway at the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Austria; the line used wooden rails and a hemp haulage rope and was operated by human or animal power, through a treadwheel. The line still exists and is operational, although in updated form and is the oldest operational railway. Wagonways using wooden rails, hauled by horses, started appearing in the 1550s to facilitate the transport of ore tubs to and from mines, soon became popular in Europe; such an operation was illustrated in Germany in 1556 by Georgius Agricola in his work De re metallica. This line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
The miners called the wagons Hunde from the noise. There are many references to their use in central Europe in the 16th century; such a transport system was used by German miners at Cal
Runebound is a high fantasy adventure board game created by Martin Wallace and Darrel Hardy and published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2004. A second edition was published in 2005. A third edition was released in 2015. In Runebound, one to six players take the roles of adventurers; the quests are resolved with either victory for the player, or a loss of some item. Each player is seeking quests and trying to gain experience which results in greater power and combat skill. Runebound is one of a number of fantasy games published by FFG set in the fictional world of Terrinoth including Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Rune Age, BattleLore and Runewars, with which it shares the same heroes and some items; the first large expansion, to Runebound, Runebound: Island of Dread, was released in 2005. Many other expansions to Runebound have been released by FFG, some are just sets of cards, others contain new maps and rule changes. Only one "large" expansion or adventure variant deck can be used at a time; the base game takes place in the realm of Terrinoth, a land covered by various terrains: plains, forests, hills and mountains.
There are 8 cities represented on the board, each with its own banner color and heraldry, including the capital city of Tamalir. In the base scenario, "The Rise of the Dragonlords", the evil necromancer Vorakesh is trying to resurrect the High Lord of the Dragons, killed in the ancient Dragon Wars. In order to do so, he must gather the Dragon Runes with the help of his undead general, Sir Farrow, their army of followers; the heroes have been charged with stopping Vorakesh's plan by either getting the Dragon Runes first, guarded by powerful dragons, or by defeating Margath himself. Along the way they will have to contend with the armies of Sir Farrow, the followers of Margath, the monsters of the realm such as the bat-like Razorwings and ghoulish Ferrox; each player assumes control over one hero of the land. The heroes each have their own unique traits including health, stamina and the three primary stats of the game: Mind and Spirit; these stats are used to determine their ability to complete various challenges, such as swimming or negotiating.
The stats are used to determine their combat abilities in Ranged and Magic phases respectively. Many heroes have special abilities which can be used to help them in their adventures. During the game, the heroes attempt to complete adventures of increasing difficulty, colored green, yellow and red; the adventures can take the form of challenges which require the hero's skill, events which affect play for all heroes, or combat with an enemy. Completing these adventures results in rewards and experience for the hero, making them more powerful based on the difficulty of the challenge. Most adventure cards feature a battle with an enemy; each enemy has a skill in each of three phases: ranged combat, melee combat, magical combat. A hero must defend in the other two. However, a hero can recruit one or two allies who can attack during the other two phases of the battle; the heroes are able to acquire gold in their adventures which can be used to purchase items which enhance their abilities such as magic swords, enchanted armor, healing potions.
As they defeat challenges, the heroes gain experience tokens which can be used to increase their starting abilities by exchanging the tokens for increased stats, stamina, or extra life. As heroes grow more powerful this allows them to tackle more difficult quests. Various expansion card decks change the basic game as you can gain familiars and new powers. In the scenario included in the base game, "The Rise of the Dragonlords," the first hero to defeat Margath or complete three of the red adventure cards wins the game. Many small box expansions listed below offer variants changing the victory conditions, themes and items available. Finishing a game can take many hours but the rules book offers some variant rules to speed up play. FFG has released many expansions for the game; the following is a complete list as of March 2010. This includes the following: The Island of Dread - Released in 2005. Was the first expansion released for Runebound, it features many new quests and treasure reward cards. It is not a stand-alone game.
Most of the new map consists of sea locations with their own adventure deck. Midnight - Released in 2006; this is a different type of expansion in which one player takes the role of the evil Night King while the other players try to gain power such that they can beat the final host of the Night King. It is not a stand-alone game. Midnight is based on the role-playing game Midnight, a modification to Dungeons and Dragons created by FFG in 2003; this expansion is out of print and will most never see the light of day again. Sands of Al-Kalim - Released in 2007, it is a large expansion with a new board with an Arabian theme on which players compete to finish Story cards. The Frozen Wastes - Released in 2009; this expansion features new weather rules. Mists of Zanaga - Released in 2010; this expansion introduces rituals involving Primal Gods. Artifacts and Allies - This is a simple addition of more items which the heroes can purchase from the various towns on the board. One new element added; each hero can have one familiar in addition to the two allies.
Familiars aren't powerful but they can do useful things. Relics of Legend - This set of cards defines more powerful items which can be purchased by the heroes, it can be added to any Runebound
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Avalon Hill Games Inc. is a game company that specializes in wargames and strategic board games. Its logo contains its initials "AH", the company is now referred to by this abbreviation. Before its takeover by Hasbro, it was known as The Avalon Hill Game Company and the initials TAHGC, it has published miniature wargaming rules, role-playing games and sports simulations. It is now a subsidiary of the game company Wizards of the Coast, itself a subsidiary of Hasbro. Avalon Hill pioneered many of the concepts of modern recreational wargaming; these include elements such as the use of a hexagonal grid overlaid on a flat folding board, zones of control, stacking of multiple units at a location, an odds-based combat results table, terrain effects on movement, troop strength and board games based upon historical events. Complex games could and did take days or weeks, AH set up a system for people to play games by mail. Avalon Hill was started in 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland by Charles S. Roberts under the name of "The Avalon Game Company" for the publication of his game Tactics, considered the first of a new type of board game, the wargame.
Roberts sold Tactics on a mail order basis from his home in the Avalon neighborhood of Baltimore. Following the success of Tactics, Roberts changed the name upon incorporation from "The Avalon Game Company" to "Avalon Hill" in 1958 because of an argument with another company; the number of games released per year was erratic until 1964 as the company released anywhere from 1 to 7 games.5-8The first game published by the company under the name of "Avalon Hill" was the second edition of Tactics, titled Tactics II, published in 1958. AH published two other games that year and the railroad game Dispatcher. In 1959, Roberts moved Avalon into an office space on Gay Street in Baltimore and took on its first outside designed game, Verdict, by two corporate lawyers. After another office move, in August 1960 Thomas N. Shaw, a high school friend of Roberts, was hired to design games.6In 1960, Avalon published the first dice-less sports game in Football Strategy designed by Thomas N. Shaw, followed by two sister games, Baseball Strategy and Basketball Strategy.
Of this sports strategy line, the football and baseball versions were privately published by Shaw in 1959.7 With a recession occurring, debt began to pile up starting in 1961. Avalon launched a pre-school children's line in 1963 with four games, What Time Is It?, Doll House and Trucks, Boats & Planes, which flopped. Roberts gave up and planned to file bankruptcy on December 13, 1963.p7 Instead his creditors, Monarch Office Services and J. E. Smith & Co. took over. Monarch had printed all but the boxes, which were done by J. E. Smith; the company was reorganized by retaining only one staff member, moved, cut costs and appointed J. E. Sparling as president.p7,8 In 1964, AH set a two-game per year release schedule.5-8Avalon Hill published Blitzkrieg in 1965. This game was an abstract combat game, featuring some neutral countries. Many rules variants were created for Blitzkrieg; the company published simulations of actual battles and campaigns, such as Midway, Afrika Korps, The Battle of the Bulge. Avalon Hill published PanzerBlitz in 1970, designed for the company by Jim Dunnigan's Simulations Publications, Inc. on a royalty basis from SPI's Tac Force 3 game.p9 Monarch bought out J.
E. Smith & Co. Avalon Hill's co-owner, on November 30, 1971, thus the company became a division of a renamed Monarch Office Services, Monarch Avalon.p10The company acquired several successful games including Acquire, TwixT and Feudal from the purchase of 3M Games in February 1976.p5,12 Sports Illustrated line of sports games were purchased in December 1976. Both lines increased the retail outlets; the Aladdin Industries game line was another acquisition in March 1977. With the SI line, the company started a sports game division in May 1977 with Bruce Milligan hired to head the division and launch All Star Replay sport games magazine. While from the 3M line, Facts in Five became its top selling game.p5,12During the 1970s, the company's golden years, Avalon Hill published a number of popular games such as Outdoor Survival, Panzer Blitz, Squad Leader, the Statis Pro sports line. Avalon Hill purchased many games from smaller companies and republished them. Heritage Models sold AH its Battleline Publications in October 1979.p5,15 Much of the Battleline line, including Wooden Ships and Iron Men and Machiavelli, was republished by Avalon Hill, along with the popular Diplomacy.
AH acquired Jedko Games' The Russian Campaign and War at Sea, Hartland Trefoil's Civilization. 1830 was developed by Avalon Hill, but based on Francis Tresham's 1829. The company entered the role-playing game market by publishing Powers and Perils in 1983 and Lords of Creation in 1984; the licenses to RuneQuest and the board games White Bear & Red Moon and Elric, were acquired in a complex agreement in 1983 with Chaosium, Avalon Hill published the 3rd Edition in 1984. None of these role-playing games achieved the popularity of the long-established competitor, Dungeons & Dragons. Avalon Hill became an early publisher of computer games in 1980 with its video game division Microcomputer Games, adapting some of its boardgame titles to various computer platforms on several data formats. Sales of these products were decent, but the only outstanding success was Achtung Spitfire!, published relat
Power Grid is the English-language edition of the multiplayer German-style board game Funkenschlag designed by Friedemann Friese and first published in 2004. Power Grid is published by Rio Grande Games. In the game, each player represents a company that owns power plants and tries to supply electricity to cities. Over the course of the game, the players will bid on power plants and buy resources to produce electricity to provide power to the growing number of cities in their expanding network; the game comes with a double-sided board with a map of the United States of America on one side and Germany on the other. Each map consists of six regions featuring cities with connections of varying costs between them; the number of regions used is based on the number of players. Map design itself is a key feature in the strategy of game play as some areas of the map feature higher connection costs compared to other areas of the map; the game is played in rounds, with each round consisting of 5 phases: Determining player order Auction power plants Buying resources Building BureaucracyThe game ends after one player builds a fixed number of cities.
The winner is the player. Tie breakers are who has the most money the most cities. Phase 1— Determining Turn Order Turn order is rearranged each turn according to the number of cities each player has connected; the player with more connections is placed before a player with fewer connections and continues ending with the player with the fewest cities playing last. When players own the same number of cities, a player with the higher value plant is placed before a player with a lower value plant.. Phase 2— Auction Power Plants Turn order determines who begins the bidding on power plants; the first player begins and may choose to pass rather than bid on a chosen plant, in which case they forfeit the chance to bid on any power plants on a given round. An initial bid must be higher than the value of an available power plant. After the initial bid, players take turns bidding in clockwise order until every player has passed on a current bid. Once a plant is purchased, a new one is drawn from the deck to replace it, with the available power plants re-arranged in numerical order according to their value.
The player with the highest priority turn order has the option to bid on an available plant. Phase 2 ends when every player has either purchased a plant or passed on their opportunity to bid on a plant. Most power plants require one or a combination of resources: coal, oil and uranium, in order to supply electricity. Wind turbines and nuclear fusion plants do not require resources. Phase 3— Buying Resources In reverse turn order, players can buy resources for their plants. Players may only purchases resources they can use, each plant may only hold twice the number of resources it needs to run, thus a plant that uses two oil may hold up to four oil. As resources are purchased, they become more expensive, thus the person, last in turn order can buy resources at the cheapest prices for that round. Phase 4— Building In reverse turn order, players may build into cities. In the first round, a player may choose to build into any city, not occupied. A player may continue to expand by paying the cost to build into the desired city slot plus the value of all connections to that city from an occupied city.
No player may build into more than one slot in a city. Slot one costs 10'Elektros' and is the only slot available during Step 1. During Step 2, the second slot is available at a cost of 15 Elektros, in Step 3, the final slot is available at a cost of 20 Elektros. Phase 5— Bureaucracy During this phase, players expend resources to power their cities and earn more income based on the number of cities they power. Resources available to be purchased are replenished at a rate based on the number of players in the game as well as the current Step; the highest value power plant is placed at the bottom of the draw deck. The game is further divided into 3 "steps". In Step One, 8 power plants are visible to players arranged into two rows of four based on their numerical value ranking from lowest to highest; the first row of the lowest numbered. In step one, only the first slot of a city may be built into. Step Two is triggered when any player builds a set number of cities determined by the number of players in the game.
In Step Two the lowest level plant is removed. In addition, the second city slot becomes available for players to build into; the resource replenishment rate is changed. Step Three is triggered; the Step Three card is placed at the bottom of the power plant deck. In Step 3, the lowest level plant is removed and a new plant is now drawn to replace it; the available power plant pool now consists of 6 power plants. The remaining power plant deck is shuffled to make a new draw deck; the original game of Funkenschlag had players draw their networks using crayons instead of playing on a fixed map. This feature was removed; the new game is called Funkenschlag in the German market, but is sold under various names elsewhere. The game is available under various names for different markets, most featuring the same game play. A f
Games Workshop Group PLC is a British miniature wargaming manufacturing company based in Nottingham, England. Games Workshop is best known as developer and publisher of the tabletop wargames Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game, it is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Founded in 1975 at 15 Bolingbroke Road, London by John Peake, Ian Livingstone, Steve Jackson, Games Workshop was a manufacturer of wooden boards for games including backgammon, Nine Men's Morris, Go, it became an importer of the U. S. role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, a publisher of wargames and role-playing games in its own right, expanding from a bedroom mail-order company in the process. In order to promote their business and postal games, create a games club, provide an alternative source for games news, the newsletter Owl and Weasel was founded in February 1975; this was superseded in June 1977 by White Dwarf. From the outset, there was a clear, stated interest in print regarding "progressive games", including computer gaming, which led to the departure of traditionalist John Peake in early 1976 and the loss of the company's main source of income.
However, having obtained official distribution rights to Dungeons & Dragons and other TSR products in the U. K. and maintaining a high profile by running games conventions, the business grew rapidly. It opened its first retail shop in April 1978. In early 1979 Games Workshop provided the funding to found Citadel Miniatures in Newark-on-Trent. Citadel would produce the metal miniatures used in its role-playing games and tabletop wargames; the "Citadel" name became synonymous with Games Workshop Miniatures, continues to be a trademarked brand name used in association with them long after the Citadel company was absorbed into Games Workshop. For a time Gary Gygax promoted the idea of TSR, Inc. merging with Games Workshop, until Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone backed out. The company's publishing arm released U. K. reprints of American RPGs such as Call of Cthulhu, Runequest and Middle-earth Role Playing, which were expensive to import. In 1984 Games Workshop ceased distributing its products in the U.
S. A. through hobby games opened its Games Workshop office. Games Workshop, Games Workshop in general, grew in the late 1980s, with over 250 employees on the payroll by 1990. Following a management buyout by Bryan Ansell in December 1991, Games Workshop refocused on their miniature wargames Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000, their most lucrative lines; the retail chain refocused on a younger, more family-oriented market. The change of direction was a great success and the company enjoyed growing profits, but the more commercial direction of the company made it lose some of its old fan base. A breakaway group of two company employees published Fantasy Warlord in competition with Games Workshop, but the new company met with little success and closed in 1993. Games Workshop expanded in Europe, the US, Australia, opening new branches and organising events in each new commercial territory; the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 1994. In October 1997 all U. K.-based operations were relocated to the current headquarters in Nottingham.
By the end of the decade the company was having problems with falling profits, blame was placed on the growth in popularity of collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon T. C. G.. Games Workshop attempted to create a dual approach to appeal to older customers while still attracting a younger audience. Most of their special characters and vehicles were cast in white metal or pewter, but by the 2000s most of them were replaced by plastics. With this shift, Games Workshop has been able to offer greater variety in the armies offered with introductory box sets; this change brought about the creation of "initiatives" such as the "Fanatic" range, supporting more marginal lines with a lower-cost trading model. Games Workshop contributed to designing and making games and puzzles for the popular television series The Crystal Maze; the release of Games Workshop's third "core" miniature wargame, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, in 2000 extended the company's product range. The company diversified by acquiring Sabretooth Games, creating the Black Library, working with THQ.
In late 2009 Games Workshop issued a succession of cease and desist orders against various Internet sites it accused of violating its intellectual property generating anger and disappointment from its fan community. On 16 May 2011, Maelstrom Games announced that Games Workshop had revised the terms and conditions of their trade agreement with independent stockists in the U. K; the new terms and conditions restricted the sale of all Games Workshop products to within the European Economic Area. On 16 June 2013, WarGameStore, a U. K.-based retailer of Games Workshop products since 2003, announced further changes to Games Workshop's trade agreement with U. K.-based independent stockists. Alongside the UK publishing rights to several American role-playing games in the 1980s Games Workshop a
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc.. The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997, it was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry. D&D departs from traditional wargaming by allowing each player to create their own character to play instead of a military formation; these characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. A Dungeon Master serves as the game's referee and storyteller, while maintaining the setting in which the adventures occur, playing the role of the inhabitants of the game world; the characters form a party and they interact with the setting's inhabitants and each other. Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles, gather treasure and knowledge.
In the process, the characters earn experience points in order to rise in levels, become powerful over a series of separate gaming sessions. The early success of D&D led to a proliferation of similar game systems. Despite the competition, D&D has remained as the market leader in the role-playing game industry. In 1977, the game was split into two branches: the rules-light game system of basic Dungeons & Dragons, the more structured, rules-heavy game system of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. AD&D 2nd Edition was published in 1989. In 2000, a new system was released as D&D 3rd edition, continuing the edition numbering from AD&D; these 3rd edition rules formed the basis of the d20 System, available under the Open Game License for use by other publishers. D&D 4th edition was released in June 2008; the 5th edition of D&D, the most recent, was released during the second half of 2014. As of 2004, D&D remained the best-known, best-selling, role-playing game, with an estimated 20 million people having played the game, more than US$1 billion in book and equipment sales.
The game has been supplemented by many pre-made adventures, as well as commercial campaign settings suitable for use by regular gaming groups. D&D is known beyond the game itself for other D&D-branded products, references in popular culture, some of the controversies that have surrounded it a moral panic in the 1980s falsely linking it to Satanism and suicide; the game has been translated into many languages. Dungeons & Dragons is a open-ended role-playing game, it is played indoors with the participants seated around a tabletop. Each player controls only a single character, which represents an individual in a fictional setting; when working together as a group, these player characters are described as a "party" of adventurers, with each member having their own area of specialty which contributes to the success of the whole. During the course of play, each player directs the actions of their character and their interactions with other characters in the game; this activity is performed through the verbal impersonation of the characters by the players, while employing a variety of social and other useful cognitive skills, such as logic, basic mathematics and imagination.
A game continues over a series of meetings to complete a single adventure, longer into a series of related gaming adventures, called a "campaign". The results of the party's choices and the overall storyline for the game are determined by the Dungeon Master according to the rules of the game and the DM's interpretation of those rules; the DM selects and describes the various non-player characters that the party encounters, the settings in which these interactions occur, the outcomes of those encounters based on the players' choices and actions. Encounters take the form of battles with "monsters" – a generic term used in D&D to describe hostile beings such as animals, aberrant beings, or mythical creatures; the game's extensive rules – which cover diverse subjects such as social interactions, magic use and the effect of the environment on PCs – help the DM to make these decisions. The DM may choose to deviate from the published rules or make up new ones if they feel it is necessary; the most recent versions of the game's rules are detailed in three core rulebooks: The Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual.
The only items required to play the game are the rulebooks, a character sheet for each player, a number of polyhedral dice. Many players use miniature figures on a grid map as a visual aid during combat; some editions of the game presume such usage. Many optional accessories are available to enhance the game, such as expansion rulebooks, pre-designed adventures and various campaign settings. Before the game begins, each player creates their player character and records the details on a character sheet. First, a player determines their character's ability scores, which consist of Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma; each edition of the game has offered differing methods of determining these statistics. The player chooses a race such as human or elf, a character class such as fighter or wizard, an alignment, other features to round out the character's abilities and backstory, which have varied in nature through differing editions. During the game, players describe their PC's intended actions, such as punching an opponent or pi