This weekend I had the great pleasure of being invited to Edmonton to sign and sell some of my books for the All Saints Medieval Fellowship. Prior to this the 1812’ers and the SCA was really my only exposure to reenactors, I’d met folks from Darc Company and a few other groups, but really they were all SCAdians and I only met them at SCA events. All Saints Fellowship and Ancient Arts School is a new organization, the Fellowship is an actual registered church and plan on opening a registered school to teach the long forgot arts such as blacksmithing, fiber arts, and much more. Since the parent organization (All Saints Medieval Fellowship) is an ecclesiastical organization they do require that all members believe in a supreme being, but they don’t seem overly concerned with specific personal beliefs, I met one gentleman who was a firm astaru believer (Old Norse religion).
Jeanette owner of Guinevere’s Games, maker of my favorite deck of cards, was there as well with her wares. She gave a great demo of medieval games and brought some for everyone to try some games. I got to play a little Noddy with my fiance Faye, but I was a little too busy talking to folks about games and my book to focus on the game.
Dan, the organizer, requested that I also give a little presentation. I wasn’t really prepared but I gave a small talk on period games, both board games and sports and showed off some period reproduction balls that Faye and I made. The group seemed to enjoy the talk and were really interested in the featheries (medieval golf balls) we brought.
If you live in Alberta, especially if you live in Edmonton, I highly recommend you look up the All Saints Medieval Fellowship, the school they are hoping to found will be a boon to re-enactors and casual history fans alike.
I recently purchased a Flemish deck from Guinevere’s Games. I will state for transparency sake that the owner of Guinevere’s Games is a friend of mine, however I would not be writing this review if I did not believe every word of it 100%.
I own a couple reproduction decks, and this is by far the best deck I have every purchased. Now part of that is bias, because I have always had a fondness for the Flemish Hunting Deck, it’s oval shape and unique pips have interested me for quite some time. I even worked on creating my own hand painted reproduction, but never got very far with it. The truth is though, this deck is actually designed for every day use, it’s meant not just to admire (and it is worthy of admiration) but to be played with. To me that is the hallmark of a great reproduction game, after all why purchase a game that you don’t intend to play with. Now I know collectors editions are specifically designed to be admired an not played with, but to me playing with the games is what is really exciting.
The cards themselves are printed on 300 gram cardstock with a glossy finish for a nice smooth slide so dealing the cards is easy. The cards shape is one of the most attractive aspect of the deck, these cards are oval just like the originals, and they are hand cut which lend to the artistic nature of the cards, they don’t feel like they are mass produced. The oval shape makes it a little odd to hold in your hand, but despite the large size they fan out nicely in your hand so actually playing with them is nice.
The suits are unique and hunter themed (thus this deck being called the Flemish Hunter Deck). There is the horns, the collars, the noose, and the tether.
The Court cards are all individually unique and each suit contains a king, a queen, and a knave. One of the many things that makes this deck unique is most extant decks from the area and period have Uber and Unter’s instead of Knaves. If you would like to take a look at pictures of the original deck click here.
I would say that the Flemish deck from Guinevere’s games is well worth the $45 price tag, it certainly holds a special place in my collection.