Tales of the Arabian Nights (West End Games, 1985) packs a lot replay value into one set.
The heart of the boardgame is the Book of Tales, a numbered reference with 1400 entries that dictates the encounters and characters the player meets. It has the feel of the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) gamebooks, as each entry is unrelated to the one before or after. Replayability is very high, since any one entry has different results based on skills, status, and even gender (which can change during the game!)
Tales of the Arabian Nights is set in the mythic Arabia of Aladdin and the magic lamp, Ali Baba and the forty thieves, and the seven voyages of Sindbad.
It’s really several games in one:
- The default Standard game, players seek treasures and increase their status as they travel widely.
- After the basic game play is absorbed, players will be ready for the Adventure rules. They introduce Quests to complete, with an alternative Merchant option.
- Solitaire rules enhance solo play.
- The Storytelling Game has the feel of the RPG genre of the same name, where players steer outcomes by offering their own narrative to the group.
The game was recreated by Z-Man Games in 2009, but that set is out-of-print also. This post will focus on the 1985 WEG ToAN set with photos of the components as a reference for collectors.
Tales of the Arabian Nights: A Fantasy Adventure Game [BOX SET]
1985 … Eric Goldberg & Doug Kaufman & Ken Rolston … WEG 11003 … ISBN 0874310032
Contents: • 160 large full-color counters • 17 inch by 22 inch full-color mounted map • Illustrated rules book • Book of Tales • 64 card deck • 6 character displays • Encounter matrix
Book of Tales
The beautiful play map art is credited to Chris Miller.
Cards and Counters
Dice, Ziploc bag, Catalog, Errata