History of the Game
|Summary | History of the Game | Rules of the Game | Map Boards|
In 1977, "Crow" was sent to work in Germany by his employer, Ford Motor Company. The experience was welcomed, but it meant forsaking his weekend road rallying exploits in the U.K. Feeling very frustrated about that, in his idle moments he began to work on a rallying board game.
When he returned to the U.K. at the end of 1978 clutching a prototype of the game, his frustration continued, this time with his new computer systems position at Ford. A work and rallying colleague, Chris Towers, was equally disillusioned with his employment, and they began talking about splitting from Ford and starting their own company. They had plenty of ideas of what the company could do, from dealing in software and hardware for the emerging desktop computers of the time, to marketing a board game about rallying.
They formed their company, Selven Ltd, in February 1979, and set about getting quotes for manufacture of the components of the game, now known as Rally Round. Coincidentally at the time, one of "Crow's" regular drivers was looking for someone to write some bespoke software for his photographic company. That project, and others which soon come along, led Selven into the path of software development and networking hardware. After moonlighting for 18 months, Chris Towers and "Crow" left Ford Motor Company to pursue their futures via Selven - Rally Round was forgotten.
Rallying in Chris and Crow's lives hardly surfaced in the next five years as all efforts went into making Selven a success in the systems industry. In 1986, when some of the business pressure was reduced, "Crow" set about a nostalgia trail and a separate company was formed just to see through the launch of Rally Round. Suppliers were lined up to manufacture the components of the game. The biggest coup was arranging an audience with Stuart Turner, Ford's Director of Motor Sport, who agreed to fund the small plastic cars which were the playing pieces in the game. Originally designed to be in the shape of a Cosworth Sierra, manufacturing and tooling constraints saw them emerge as something more like a squashed Skoda - but at least they were free.
The first game was manufactured on September 26, 1986. Editorial appeared in every Motor Sport magazine and several National newspapers, including the Sunday Times. Motor Sport editors gave the game rave revues, but non-enthusiasts found the game difficult because of the complicated rules and scoring that are found in rallying. Special promotions were run in conjunction with Rally Sport magazine, the Manx Rally and the RAC Rally in November, and these accounted for the majority of the early sales. "Crow" was even seen on the RAC Rally selling Rally Round from the back of a van in the service areas, and the top ten seeded drivers all received a complimentary copy.
Many of the places on the game board are named after the drivers that
"Crow" has co-driven over the years: Charles Golding, John
Grant, Geoff Lobb, Steve Lobb, David Barsby,
Jim Hair, Rod Cattini, Lyulph Hesling, Tony Thorne, Graham Love, John
Harmer, Neville Skeet, Pete Goodwin, Roy Johnson, David Storey, Tony Gibbs, Pete Rymill, Dave Watkinson, Neil Brett, George
Hendry, Sarah Cohen, Chris Towers, Linda Towers, Ron Laver, Don Grunbaum, Tony Morris, Robin Hernaman, Paul Hernaman,
John Ringwood, Tony Woodhouse, Tony Beesley and Philip Frogg.
Further constraints on "Crow's" time saw the event and the Rally Round name disappear from the scene until resurrection in the 1998 Summer Internet TT Championship in Route Card 14.
In 2003 and 2006, the Internet Table-Top Rally Championship used the game board for various route cards.
In 2004, an Internet Championship based upon the game, with updated rules, was run.
In the 2008 Championship the game board will again be used for some route cards.
Occasionally good condition versions of the game can be purchased on eBay.