Will the Red Herring Eat You Up?

Red Herring is a very old roll and move board game first published in 1945. The copy I have was owned by my grandmother and played by my mother when she was young. The box has not held up well over time, but all the pieces (including the extra red herring bits) are still here.

Red HerringRed Herring is a race game in which you both try to beat your opponents to the finish line and avoid getting eaten by the red herring.

You roll three wooden dice – two white (actually, tan) and one red. The red herring moves first along a figure 8 track that overlaps the outside track (on which your fish travel) in two places. If he lands on a fish, it goes back to the start space. Then you move one or two of your fish tiles based on the results of the other two dice.

If your fish lands on another tile, you flip it over to reveal a number on the back side. You then get to move that many spaces in addition to your original dice roll. If that lands you on another tile, do it again. If such a bonus move lands you on the red herring, back to start you go.

Red Herring is a fun board game simple enough for children to learn and play, yet it has just enough strategy to make adults think a bit too. It also encourages the use of your memory as you attempt to remember which back side numbers are where. If you are looking for a game for children, you might consider the marble game Stadium Checkers.

Believe Me, That Really Is a Red Herring

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