A man in an Oxfam shop very excitedly came out clutching a copy of The New Avengers Board Game for me when he saw me working my way through a pile of vintage MB Games that they had out on the shop’s shelves. He told me it had just come in and he was rather excited about it. Needless to say that it never made it onto the shop’s shelves as it came home with me straight away!
Published by Denys Fisher (the same company that was responsible for the Miss UK Board Game that we tried out earlier in the year) in 1977 it is very obviously based up on the TV series of the same name. The aim of the game is for you to get all your three Avengers into the Assignment Completed area on the game board.
Designed for 2 to 4 players, each player has three Avengers – Steed, Gambit and Purdey – and they start the game on the allocated coloured spaces in the centre of the playing board.
In the very centre of the board sits what has to possibly be the coolest part of the game – the hat and umbrella spinner. Pure class, and designed so that each time you spin it you get two numbers, one from the tip of the umbrella and one from the handle.
Players start by moving their Avengers around the central track once, before heading off onto their own “assignment’ track. On the central track they just have to make sure that they don’t try to share a space with any other playing pieces, but once they move to the assignment track more than one piece can reside on a square.
Once on the assignment track each Avenger must land exactly on the squares with their picture on. So Steed must land on every Steed square, Purdey on every Purdey one and Gambit on every Gambit one. The only contradiction to this rule is when an Avenger lands on a square with a car picture on it and then they travel by car to the next marked square, and don’t need to stop at their square on the way.
A player simply needs to get all his Avengers to the end of the assignment track and they have to get the exact number to reach the Assignment Completed area.
Once players are on the assignment track the game actually becomes a little solitary, with each player on their own bit of the board and no real interaction between players. I’m guessing the game designer took some inspiration from Ludo.
It’s a nice quick game though, if a bit frustrating at the end as you desperately try to be the first to get the exact number to get your Avengers to the assignment completed area. I can see it working well for a family with kids and adults playing together and I’m guessing that was Denys Fisher’s aim when they published it.