At the end of the seventies I developed a marked preference for abstract board games. Especially the German Bütehorn board games appealed to me. I became a Bütehorn games collector. One of the Bütehorn editions, Donald Benge's Conquest, was charming just for optical reasons. I hesitated a little bit before I bought it because it seemed to be a wargame which I don't like in general. Since it was an abstract game like chess it was acceptable in my opinion. The Conquest of these former days went without the advanced pieces, the catapults, siege engines and camels. I have never regretted the purchase of this board game. I was fascinated by the strategic potential of this game. No component of luckiness like chess, but more complex and dynamical with surprising turnings. My first opponent was my older sister and I was lucky that she didn't revert to her former tactic in chess: When she had trailed me she had suddenly lifted her right arm and at the same moment knocked over all the pieces...
A few years later, in the middle of the eighties, the German magazine Spielbox reported about this extraordinary board game Conquest. I remember the request in this special edition of Spielbox. Knut Michael W. tried to organize regular Conquest matches by mail in Germany. Unfortunately this initiative remained a nine day wonder...
Some years were passing by, then I visited the local Herner gaming club and naturally I wanted to give Conquest a try again. I found some opponents like Harry and so it was possible to test the new Conquest board for 4 players. This time we announced our turns by phone. In addition I succeeded in organizing a Conquest contest in these days.
In the middle of the nineties I discovered the website of Donald Benge, the inventor of this amazing board game. I contacted him by email and became acquainted with him. Donald put me in contact with Harvey L., in his opinion the best Conquest player of the USA at that time. Sadly I could confirm it... We used the old Conquest software for Win 3.11 to play Conquest by email.
When Donald's life drew to a close he experimented with new rules and finally refined his game. Conquest became Grand Conquest and luckily there was a German edition of Grand Conquest, too. So it's time now to organize Grand Conquest matches on a regular basis and hopefully we are able to establish an international Conquest league soon!
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