What Board Games Mean to Me

Celebrating the role that board games hold in our lives, celebrities, industry professionals and lifelong gamers share the remarkable and personal stories of their profound love for gaming

People want to feel good about their passions, their hobbies included. People want to talk about them, and to listen to others who share their enthusiasm. This book celebrates that sense of affinity while providing diverse perspectives on board games that will allow readers to reflect on what drives their passion in their own particular case. From uber-competitive players learning to lose with grace to the fascinating history of the very first games humans played, and bonding with far-away stepsiblings to the story of the first board game café in Africa, there’s something here for everyone.


Jervis Johnson, KC Ogbuagu, Allen Stroud, Gav Thorpe, Edoardo Albert, Will McDermott, Gabriela Santiago, Holly Nielsen, Fertessa Allyse Scott, Ian Livingstone, Alessio Cavatore, Sen-Foong Lim, John Kovalic, Reiner Knizia, Susan McKinley Ross, Leslie Scott, Geoff Engelstein, Calvin Wong Tze Loon 黃子倫, Jenn Bartlett, Cathleen Williams, Lynn Potyen, Matt Coward-Gibbs, Steve Jackson, Christopher John Eggett, James Wallis, Matt Forbeck, Donna Gregory, Jack Doddy


An Astra Militarum Novel

An elite squad of Cadian Kasrkin are tasked with a critical mission behind enemy lines. They must rescue their general in xenos-held territory before his dangerous knowledge falls into enemy hands. But not all is as it seems…

Hear the legendary elite soldiers of Cadia in action as they take on a mission so dangerous it could only be trusted to troops with their training and equipment.

When the perfidious t’au bring down a valkyrie containing an Astra Militarum general on the besieged Imperial world of Dasht i-Kevar, all could be lost – what the general knows could break the war effort, and see the planet fall under the control of the vile xenos.

Only the Kasrkin stand a chance at bringing him back. They are the elite of the elite, but the enemy that Captain Bharath Obeysekera and his squad are called upon to fight is unlike any they have faced before – the desert itself, endless and implacable.

With sandstorms cutting them off from support, Obeysekera has only his soldiers to rely on. As the Kasrkin journey deeper into the wastes, they begin to realise they’re not the only hunters searching for the missing general, and that their war has caught the attention of something ancient lurking beneath the desert sands…

The Perfect Sword: Forging the Dark Ages

‘Revelatory and fascinating…the kind of book that Wayland the Smith would have adored.’ Tom Holland, author of Millennium: the End of the World and the forging of Christendom and Rubicon: the Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic.

In 2000, archaeologist Paul Gething rediscovered a sword. An unprepossessing length of rusty metal, it had been left on a shelf for thirty years. But Paul had a suspicion that the sword had more to tell than appeared, so he sent it for further tests. When the results came back, he realised that he had in his possession what was possibly the finest, and certainly the most complex, sword ever made, which had been forged in seventh-century Northumberland by an anonymous swordsmith.

This is the story of that sword: how and why it was made, who made it and what it meant to the warriors and kings who wielded it for three centuries. It is also the story of the archaeologists and swordsmiths who found, studied and attempted to recreate the sword using only the materials and technologies available to the smith who first made it.

The result is a remarkable journey into the life and items of a seminal but little documented period of history when the foundations for what would become England, Wales and Scotland were laid.

Sabbat Worlds

A Sabbat Worlds Anthology

As the forces of Chaos are thrown back from a dozen worlds, the forces of the Imperium forge ever deeper into the Sabbat Worlds in a savage campaign of reconquest.

Experience 10 brand new stories from the infamous Sabbat Worlds Crusade, written by a selection of your favourite Black Library authors and edited by Dan Abnett.

The Sabbat War is a savage Imperial crusade, cutting a bloody, burning path across a vast swathe of the Imperium. On the front line, the stalwart regiments of the Astra Militarum, including the valiant Tanith First and Only – known as Gaunt’s Ghosts – confront the relentless menace of Chaos, the Archenemy of Mankind. There is, and ever will be, only war.


– This is What Victory Feels Like (Forever the Same) by Dan Abnett
– Whose Voice is Heard No More by Graham McNeill
– Glory Flight by Robert Rath
– The Death of the Prophet by Marc Collins
– Nineteen-Three Coreward, Resolved by Matthew Farrer
– The Tomb of Vichres by Justin D Hill
– Deep by Edoardo Albert
– Armaduke by John French
– Indomitable Spirit by Rachel Harrison
– From There to Here by Dan Abnett

Silent Hunters

With a millennia-long hunt close to its end, Carcharodons Chaplain Manu must redouble his efforts as he ventures into the nightmare city of Commorragh.

This is your chance to learn more about the secretive savages of the Carcharodons Astra as they tangle with some of the most terrifying predators in the galaxy… almost as terrifying as themselves.

In the darkness beyond the galaxy, there are monsters. Some swim closer to the light, drawn by the beacon that is the Astronomican, while others stalk the Void, predators in the dark. The Carcharodons have hunted for millennia, but now they are drawn into a new blackness… the Dark City of the drukhari itself. Commorragh.

For a thousand years, Chaplain Tangata Manu has searched for a relic lost under his watch – an ancient thing, once charged into the keeping of the Forgotten One himself. But at the brink of seeing his hunt fulfilled and the relic returned, it is stolen from under him. Now, if Tangata would see his honour restored, he must lead his hunt against some of the vilest predators the galaxy has ever seen, before they can turn the artefact to their own purposes…

Lords of the Storm

A young warrior hides on a storm-wracked shrine world, sheltering sacred artefacts from the dread servants of Chaos who would defile them. As the storm wanes, hope fades… until the Fulminators arrive.


Discover the ways of the Fulminators, an all-Primaris Space Marine Chapter created during the Ultima Founding.


From the sanctity of the Storm Zone, the Faithful watch as the Ruinous Powers defile their once-glorious shrine world of Chevreuse. Amongst their number is the young warrior Montalte, sheltering within the divine tempest that protects not only the remains of the planet’s populace, but the sacred bones of an Imperial saint. As the forces of Chaos grow in strength and the storm begins to wane, it seems certain that all is lost… until Montalte is summoned by blue-armoured gods. The Fulminators now walk the storm.

Warrior: A Life of War in Anglo-Saxon Britain

Warrior tells the story of forgotten man, a man whose bones were found in an Anglo-Saxon graveyard at Bamburgh castle in Northumberland. It is the story of a violent time when Britain was defining itself in waves of religious fervour, scattered tribal expansion and terrible bloodshed; it is the story of the fighting class, men apart, defined in life and death by their experiences on the killing field; it is an intricate and riveting narrative of survival and adaptation set in the stunning political and physical landscapes of medieval England.

Warrior is a classic of British history, a landmark of popular archaeology, and a must-read for anyone interested in the story of where we’ve come from.

A riveting, brilliantly written account.” Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller.

The disruptive and imaginative force of archaeology revealed.” Alex Burghart, The Spectator.

First Published on 19 September 2019 by Granta Books.


People stop when they see an excavation. They stop and look and then, mostly, they move on. Some ask a few questions before going about their business. But there are those who stop and look without saying anything, then walk past only to return ten minutes’ later. These are the people who have something to say. Some theory of their own as to what might be found, some idea they would like the archaeologists to investigate. Or sometimes they have a memory.

The lady was old with alert and penetrating eyes. She’d walked past with her dog and stopped to look, silently, at the small team of diggers arranged across the bottom of the trench, a series of hump-backed mounds sifting sand and earth. But then she returned when they stopped for tea and paused beside the trench.

‘I used to come here when I was a little girl,’ she said.

She looked down at the archaeologists with the upright deportment of an Edwardian lady and a voice that could have polished the glass after cutting it. She told the archaeologists that her family had lived in the village for generations before moving away, but she had come back to visit a cousin.

‘We would picnic on the beach and my grandfather, an antiquarian, would go off and dig.’ She patted the dog sitting beside her. ‘He found something. A skeleton.’

Ibn Battuta: The journey of a medieval Muslim

Ibn Battuta was no ordinary traveller. Between 1325 CE when he set off and 1354 CE when he finally returned home to stay, he had visited about 40 modern countries and travelled roughly 75,000 miles, going on foot, camel, horse, wagon, boat and even sled.

His travels took him to nearly every part of the Muslim world at the time, from Morocco to Mecca, through Persia and Iraq, down the west coast of Africa, into Russia, over to India and even across to China.

Ibn Battuta’s journey gives us a fascinating window into what the world was like in the fourteenth century. With illustrations, photographs, and maps, the rich and diverse world that produced Ibn Battuta is vividly brought alive.

First Published 5 July 2018 by Kube Publishing

Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army (Conrad Monk 1)

Conrad is a monk, but he has become a monk through trickery and against his will. So, it is fair to say that his heart isn’t really in it. Conrad is also clever, charming, entirely self-serving, self-absorbed and almost completely without scruple — but in Anglo-Saxon England, when the Danish invaders come calling, those are very helpful attributes to have.

By his side throughout is the gentle and honourable Brother Odo, a man so naturally and completely good that even animals sense it. He is no match of wits for the cunning Conrad but can he, perhaps, at least encourage the wayward monk to behave a little better?

‘If I was being invaded by raping, massacring Vikings, Conrad would be the perfect companion to lighten the mood.’ – Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and The French Revolution & What Went Wrong.

First Published 20 August 2018 by Endeavour Quill.


“Ride!” I yelled, jabbing my heels as hard as I could into the pony’s flanks.

The beast, exhausted at the end of a day trudging through mud, barely even raised its head, but continued plodding along at exactly the same pace as before.

Brother Odo patted the beast’s neck and looked up at me.

“Don’t worry. They are still far behind. I think we will get to the king’s hall first and have our choice of the warm places by the fire.” I looked down at the monk, now offering some words of encouragement to my beast. It was probably just as well he was looking at the horse, or he would have seen me gibbering with fear.

“D — Danes,” I stuttered.

“What?” said Brother Odo.

“They — they’re Danes,” I repeated.

Brother Odo looked up at me, wide eyed and then, without a single word or glance, he was off, running pell-mell down the track towards Beodricesworth, his habit hitched up to his knees.

“Wait!” I yelled, “wait, God damn it!” while I kicked my pony’s flanks to no effect.

At my shout, Brother Odo stopped, cast an agonised glance over his shoulder, then came running back to me.

“The beast is blown,” I said, getting down from the pony as Brother Odo reached me. “You’ll have to carry me.”

Before Brother Odo could say anything, I’d jumped on his back. His arms had risen to take hold of my legs without thought — a sure indication of many games played with the children of the monastery when Abbot Flory wasn’t watching — and I kicked his flanks with all the vigour of a man trying to escape an oncoming column of Danes.

Obedient to the command, Brother Odo began trotting towards Beodricesworth. Another kick took him to a canter, and a third had him galloping.

But before we had gone more than fifty yards I heard the thump of closing hoof beats.

I looked round, feeling the fear gorge rise up my throat as my back tickled at the prospect of a spear head being plunged into it, and saw my pony galloping up after us. Apparently, seeing its friend Brother Odo galloping away, it had gathered its remaining strength and followed.

For a moment I thought of transferring back to the pony. But Brother Odo was fresher. I stayed on him.

So, running before the storm, we arrived at the hall of Edmund, King of the East Angles.

Oswiu: King of Kings (The Northumbrian Thrones 3)

Oswald’s head is on a spike. Can Oswiu avoid the same fate?

The great pagan king Penda set a trap, and when the brothers Oswiu and Oswald walked in, only one came back alive.

Rumours abound that the place where Oswald’s body is strung up has become sacred ground a site of healing for those who seek it. Oswald’s mother believes he will protect those he loves, even beyond the grave. So she asks the impossible of Oswiu: to journey to the heart of Penda’s kingdom and rescue the body that was stolen from them.

Oswiu: King of Kings is the masterful conclusion to The Northumbrian Thrones trilogy.

“Edoardo Albert’s book is brilliant: hugely enjoyable, a galloping plot with characters I care about – exactly the sort of thing I love to read. . . . This was a joy to read from start to finish.” Conn Iggulden, author of the Conqueror and Emperor series.

First Published 21 October 2016 by Lion Fiction.


Oswiu laboured up the steep steps to the gate. Below, on the thin spit of beach, the boats were being unloaded after their journey up the coast. Restless horses, too long confined on shifting platforms in the sea, were being persuaded not to run off. Oswiu’s retainers, salt stained and damp despite the wax-rubbed cloaks they wore for the sea voyage, were busy slinging shields on to backs and removing swords and spears from the leather wrappings they used to keep them dry while at sea, the more careful among them – which meant the older men – also stopping to clean off the grease they’d smeared on to the iron before winding leather around their weapons. The younger ones, when they saw the red bloom of rust on the grey of sword or spear, would soon learn the value of such precautions.

For his part, Oswiu drew his cloak tighter around his shoulders. Climbing up towards the gate exposed him to the wind. The king looked over his right shoulder, to the north east, whence the wind blew. There were clouds on the horizon and soon they would be over the Holy Island, Lindisfarne. Oswiu grimaced. He had hoped to send word to Aidan to come to him, but now he would have to wait for the weather to change. It was the season: the spring saw the wind change, from day to day. This early in the season, there was little warmth to the sun, and the north easterly still blew cold.

It reached fingers in, past the fur at his collar, sending winter chills down Oswiu’s back. The king grinned at the familiar touch. The north easterly always blew cold, whatever the season. It was as familiar as the handle of his seax; he was home.