The Great Train Robbery Board Game is a Board game created by the British military historian and Author Bruce Barrymore Halpenny in the early 1970s and is based upon the actual robbery that took place on the 8th August 1963. Although based on the The Great Train Robbery, the Board game has been adapted on a few small points, one being the extra farm house that was added for playing purposes. The game is a form of strategy Race game with the robber player trying to avoid the police players.
Bruce Halpenny who although spending most of his time on the continent, invented a very good board game for Britain. The game itself took three days and three nights to layout by Bruce Halpenny and then three years to bring onto the market. Its rules are easy to interpret, but the players have to use a fair amount of judgement and skill in order to trap or avoid trapping each other.
The game, as well as having a good response in Britain in a year when the indoor games market had taken a knock, was equally popular in West Germany, which at that time was divided, where a television series called “Die Gentlemen Bitten Zur Kasse” based on the 1963 robbery had been a tremendous success.
The board of the game was original, which made a change from most board games that tend to be adaptations of other games. Bruce Halpenny the inventor is a great games enthusiast which explained why the game was successful.
As he said when interviewed, “With crime you deal with every basic human emotion and also have enough elements to combine action with melodrama. The player’s imagination is fired as they plan to rob the train. Because of the gamble they take in the early stage of the game there is a build up of tension, which is immediately released once the train is robbed. Release of tension is therapeutic and useful in our society, because most jobs are boring and repetitive.”
The famous train artist David Weston was commissioned by the Games inventor Bruce Halpenny to paint the Board Game Box. It was used as a prize on shows such as Tiswas and Crackerjack. It is currently being brought out again by the ANZIO Group