DEWITHON ‘23: Llyfrbabble (Bookbabble) #1

A series of short posts highlighting recent cultural and bookish chatter from Wales

This is the first Llyfrbabble post of D23 in which we look at literary and other cultural goings-on (Welsh speakers may prefer sgwrsio llenyddol Cymraeg) from the land of poetry and song.


New Board Game Recreates Glyndŵr’s Fight for Independence 

Following up on a tweet posted by Cardiff-based Siân Lile-Pastore (a keen Dewithon participant) in which she revealed her brother-in-law had “created a game” that relives the rebellion of Wales’ national hero Owain Glyndŵr, I was delighted to discover the Welsh book publisher, Y Lolfa, had released a rather splendid Welsh-language board game on Saint David’s Day.

According to Managing Director Garmon Gruffudd, Gêm Owain Glyndŵr “is the first mass-produced original Welsh board game for almost 50 years. [Based on] a map of Wales at the turn of the 15th century, with illustrations of the castles that were besieged and locations of the battles waged, [all] the playing pieces and cards have been deliberately designed to convey a strong feel of the Middle Ages and to offer a genuine experience to players.” He fully expects it to “fill a big gap in a rapidly growing field.”

“There is a great demand worldwide for board games as a reaction against the digital age and children and young people’s dependence on screens,” he continues. “Although some English games such as Monopoly and Scrabble have been translated into Welsh recently, I believe that this is the first original board game in Welsh for adults since Gêm y Steddfod, which was published almost half a century ago.”

The inventor of the game, Geraint Rhys Thomas – an expert on the life of Owain Glyndŵr and a miller at St Fagans Museum – came up with the idea during lockdown and carved all the pieces by hand in his Cardiff workshop.

Both the map and the striking image on the box have been designed by illustrator Chris Ilif. It is priced at £25 and is available from Welsh bookshops or can be ordered direct from Y Lolfa for £30 (including postage). The website states that the game contains ‘bilingual instructions’.



Main picture, © Y Lolfa, 2023

Categories: Reading Wales

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4 replies

  1. I’ll pass this onto my sister – her family are avid board gamers and they’d love one with a welsh flavour


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