West Linton board game inspired by the Whipman and Borders joint game

Created by Joe Weir, Border Riding will explore boundaries, dividing societies, and an “us-them” mentality.

Originally from West Linton, Weir had grown up with Whipman riding, and wanted to bring Borders’ unique tradition to more people.

She said: “I grew up in West Linton, in the shadow of Whipman and other popular riding festivals. Border riding was an opportunity to describe something natural and natural to me but incomprehensible to anyone outside the Scottish Borders.”

“It’s a mapping game, where a new map is created each round, capturing a year in the life of a community. As the maps change, so does the community. The community at the end of the game will be very different from the community at the start of the game—the stories they tell, the boundaries they draw, the heroes Those who celebrate it are a reflection of their values.

“Creating and researching this game gave me an opportunity to learn more about riding festivals popular across borders, and it not only challenged my preconceived notions, but made me reflect on my own experiences and relationships with the Whipman as an institution and icon in my hometown. I hope this game is an opportunity to share these traditions.” With people beyond borders, and to help them understand what makes them so special.

“To play Border Riding, you don’t have to be good at drawing! All you need is to bring your imagination, a few hours, and some good friends, and together you can create a whole new world on just a few sheets of paper.”

Border Telegram: Illustration from Border Riding created by Eli SpencerIllustration from Border Riding created by Eli Spencer (photo: Verface)

Border Riding players will map out the story of a border village through the centuries.

They invent society, create its features and traditions, set village boundaries and define the difference between “us” and “them”.

Brian Tyrrell, founder of Stout Stoat Press, which publishes the game, said: “Border Riding is a game about maps, borders, boundaries and the way we use ritual to maintain and shape our society.

“I love that when you’re done playing, you can fold it up and put it away on a bookshelf, ready for another hike in your imagination.

Or open it up and tape it to the wall, and admire its lush illustrations.

“This is the most complete project Stout Stoat has ever submitted to a crowdfunding campaign – and we are so excited about it!”

Weir added that board games like Border Ridings can be a great way to tell stories.

She said: “Tablettop role-playing games come in many forms – not just Dungeons and Dragons! They allow space to play and tell stories collectively. These stories can be tales of good and evil signs and acts of daring and epic heroics, changing societies or strange new worlds. Told through dice, cards or a coin flip, these games are opportunities to explore a different kind of storytelling.Border Riding uses mapping as a mechanism to tell a story that a community discovers itself through its annual festival.

“I know firsthand how important shared riding festivals are. It’s a big deal, and through this game I hope to not only celebrate (and critique) it, but explore why it’s important to Borders communities, and how it reflects the communities’ broader social and cultural ideas.”

Telegram Frontier: Instructions on the ONS style mapThe directions are on the ONS style map (photo: Stout Stoat Press)

Border rides will be printed on a large (890mm x 1000mm) sheet of scan-style. It can be unfolded and folded back to move around the different stages of play or placed on a table and checked with other players.

The game shows how to deal with issues like xenophobia and encourages players to use existing safety tools to make the game comfortable for everyone.

Border Riding was illustrated by Glasgow-based illustrator Ellie Spencer.

The developers have completed the final draft of the game and now need to raise funds to produce it.

The fundraising Kickstarter page includes a video trailer for Border Riding, as well as a link to a preview of the game.

Frontier Ride crowdfunding opened on February 15th and will close on February 28th.

Visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/stoutstoat/border-riding for more information.

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