Board Games

Board games currently listed on this page include:

  • Initial Hypothesis: The Game of Teaching Excellence
  • Idriana, aka The Julia Game
  • Most Favoured Nation
  • Sharom
  • The Noble Game
  • Labyrisk

Initial Hypothesis: The Game of Teaching Excellence

A fully playable game based on the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), Initial Hypothesis is a fast-paced game of skill and luck, in which each player seeks to secure a Gold TEF rating before their opponents do.

  • Go for Gold at the helm of one of five renowned English institutions, including the Universities of Poppleton and Oxbridge.
  • Collect a full set of TEF metrics – and don’t forget the need for a strong provider submission.
  • Sabotage your opponents with negative flags and poor splits.
  • Play key characters to gain access to powerful new actions.
  • Bolster your score with core documentation and positive Wonkhe coverage.

To play, simply download the manual and cards – the latter should be printed and cut out in order to play.

Initial Hypothesis Manual

Initial Hypothesis Cards

A note on images

  • With the exception of the two individuals who are public figures, all other images, or individuals or universities either belong to me or are in the public domain, tagged as free to reuse by Google.
  • No images are pictures of current or former employees of DfE, HEFCE, QAA or OfS. The images of universities are similarly not intended to represent real universities.
  • In the unlikely event that any individual from a stock photo used in this game has an objection to being depicted here, please contact me at and I will remove it.

The Julia Game, with the expansion Lodes and Lemmas

A card game in which players strive to build a settlement in a new land, grow food to feed your people and gain victory points by attracting creatures to your pristine wilderness. At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points is the winner. The expansion adds a number of new cards including the titular mines (lodes) and lemmas as well as a number of new global cards.

Download the Rules and Cards here (download includes both base game and expansion).

Most Favoured Nation

Players take on the role of one of the world’s five largest trading nations as they seek to grow and prosper within the international trading system. Championing the values of free trade, players strive to form free trade agreements and complete multilateral trade rounds to gain wealth and increase their access to raw materials and markets. Who will trade most successfully, fulfil their destiny and truly become Most Favoured Nation?

Download Rules. Download print-and-play board and pieces.


Sharom is a strategy game of a similar style to chess but on a hexagonal board. Elements of play were drawn from chess, Chinese Chess and the musings of Douglas Hofstadter.

Sharom is featured in my novel Imperial Visions, where it is depicted as playing a similar role in society to that which chess does in ours.

Download the rules

The Noble Game

The King is a 12 year old child. At court, rival factions whisper in the king’s ear, seeking to tilt his decisions in their favour. In consequence, powerful nobles have begun to take the law into their own hands in their own domains, strengthening their own private armies and seeking to extend their influence at the expense of rivals. Though none are yet bold enough to grab for the throne, each seeks to ensure that they and they alone are the strongest in the land.

Overall dominion is not the aim and unlikely to be possible. You are not trying to conquer the whole map or become king – there already is one. It is hard to take an opponent’s home estate or to maintain a conventional ‘border’, and most fighting takes place by means of skirmishes, raids and jockeying for territory. The crown of the Regency awaits!

Download the Rules of the Noble Game, the Nobility and Sovereignty Cards and the other game pieces. Also the two game boards (warning, large file size) for three players and four players.

– No custom pieces have been produced for soldiers, Nobles or resources. It is recommended to use Risk pieces for the first two and Settlers of Catan resource cards for the last.


An experiment combining the games of Labyrinth and Risk to create a game of conquest on an ever-changing board.

In this game, with every turn a player may manipulate the battlefield, literally creating pathways where none existed before or helplessly marooning an enemy army. Whilst the fixed tiles define the battleground, with a player’s territory being judged by which fixed tiles he controls, a mobile tile with a large army in place can be pushed off the board to strike at an enemy’s rear, or moved up adjacent to an enemy tile and spill out their men in a sudden assault.

With combats that span multiple rounds,  a crucial tile can become a war of attrition, until clever tile play by one player cuts off their opponent’s lines of reinforcement; a cut-off mobile tile may continue to seethe in turmoil, unconnected to the rest of the board, whilst a major attack on a key square may tie up a vital route for several turns, buying vital time.

Download the rules here.

If you have enjoyed playing any of these games, please let me know by either leaving a comment below or contacting me.