Sunday, September 3, 2023

Card Plays and Dog Days


I've always loved playing card decks, and the need for a number of them for my To the Strongest and For King and Parliament games has served to fuel the fire in recent years. \

Back design, and back of the tuck box. The front of the box has a clever sword like flap!

This interesting set from Jackson Robinson (Kings Wild Project) became available recently, and I had to have it to go with my Medieval armies!

Oakeshott is a classification system of sword types, swords are certainly the theme of this deck!

Some armor types are seen, too!

A couiple of years before the Pandemic, we bred my daughter's dog, Annie; she had six puppies; we kept the two girls, Brooke and Maddie, and sold the 4 boys. One of them, Lenny (right of picture), went to Mark and his wife. That's the back side of Mark here. 

Mark is a Pediatric intensivist at Yale New Haven Hospital, and very close to my own age, so we had a lot in common. We had them (and Lenny) over to our house the summer before the pandemic, and they had invited us to visit them in return.

The pandemic made that impossible for a few years, and last year we were3 supposed to visit them in September, but my daughter got COVID (amazingly, neither the Empress nor myself did), so that was the end of that. A few weeks ago we finally made the return visit.

"Look what I found!"

A second pair of decks, these themed on The Three Musketeers, by Aleandree Dumas. 

Card backs and back of the tuck box. 

The entire deck.

The court cards feature the dranatis personae of the novel. A bit pre 1666, but not much!

Mark and his wife have a home in Brandford, CT, less than 50 yards from a rocky beach on Long Island Sound. Annie (purple collar) and her son and 2 daughters. 

Family Photo!

That face and enthusiasm can only be Brooke, aka crazy girl, aka "The Bulldozer". 

Lenny plays tug of war on the pebble beach.

Brooke brings back TWO balls!

Brooke isn't afraid to swim pretty far out into the Sound to get her ball. For those not "from around here, the Sound is a considerable body of water, 21 miles wide at its widest. 

I needed one more deck for Free shipping, so I picked up the Robin Hood themed one. 

The deck.

the Jokers form the famous quarterstaff duel between Robin and Little John. 

Charters from the Tales of Robin Hood.

Motif on the deck back. 


The water was quite warm that day, about 75 degrees F, so some of the humans went for a swim as well. I grew up on the Sound, and hardly ever recall the water temperature exceeding 70 degrees. All ion all a delightful visit, with gracious hosts who plied us with outstanding food and drink. Also a bucket list item for us; the dogs have swum in lakes and rivers, but never salt water. 


  1. The card sets all look great. I can certainly see the attraction Peter. I'm very keen to get another Golden Retriever but the other half is put off by all the hair Louis used to leave around the house. A small price to pay for such terrific dogs, I say.

    1. We are down to 4 Goldens, having lost Zoe this winter, but if you come to our house you will likely leave with complimentary dog hair! A small price indeed. We do plan to breed Maddie (red collar in photos) this winter...

  2. Wives always seem to have an issue with dog hair, Lawrence - mine is just the same although she is going to cry buckets when our dog Sam shuffles off his mortal coil - he is getting close to 13 years old so can't be too far off now.
    Your family of retrievers look like they had a lot of fun at the seaside, Peter!
    I can also see the attraction of all the cards - I think the Three Musketeer ones are my favourite, but the Robin Hood set is a close second.

    1. The Empress is Dog Mom in chief, and my younger daughter is a Veterinarian (and owner of Brooke (who thinks she's my dog half of the time) and Annie, so no issues with that here. We have a sign in our house- "Dogs aren't our whole lives, but they make our lives whole!" As decks for themselves, I'd agree with you for use with conventional card games.

  3. Love the cards - for a while, I had a musician friend who collected old packs of cards, and I sort of caught the bug from him. I know nothing about them, but they are attractive, tactile things, and there is a lot of histort and folklore buried in the artwork. I have nothing very exotic, but I have a Napolitan set, a reproduction pack from Siena which commemorates the Palio and the historic family allegiances, and a couple of odd, semi-Tarot packs which scare me a bit. Also a deck of cards which came from Iran - I can't find those now.

    Anyway - my compliments!

    1. There is a LOT of symbolic meanings in these decks for sure. I have a Tarot deck somewhere, the most standard one these days, the classic Waite-Smith deck, which of course is one giant collection of multilayered meanings. I did some Tarot reading with them in my teens. They scare my wife as well, which is part of why I have no idea where they are now!

  4. Not sure how a Four Musketeers deck of cards can be considered complete without Rochefort, but just adore the Robin Hood set - who produces them?

    1. They are from king's Wild Project (link after the 3rd photo. I have the Fellowship of the Ring deck he did, and am in the Kickstarter for The Two Towers decks; I assume there will be a Return of the King deck next year. I gave my older daughter, who is a big LotR fan, a Fellow ship deck, and she liked it so much it made her re-read the Trilogy. She's getting one of the Towers decks from me this year.

  5. Great post Peter! Those beautiful dogs seem to be enjoying themselves. And I'm with Keith on the cards. Lovely stuff.

  6. Great shots of the pooches. Always so good looking and playful. And a day at the beach!
    The tour of your decks points out some of the side quests one can get on when procuring discovers a need never known before. Nice find.

    1. The beach was accessed via and old fashioned open wooden scaffold type staircase. When Brooke saw the water and I let her go (*after* everyone else was clear of it), she charged down it, jumped off the first landing onto some kayaks on a rack alongside, and then jumped from there onto the pebble beach. Not too enthusiastic!

  7. My favourites are the dogs and the Musketeer card and in that order :-)

  8. Lovely looking pack of happy dogs and very nice sets of cards!
    Best Iain

    1. They were very happy (and then tired!) dogs indeed; all of our goldens have loved the water!