Reputation management was center stage in Milton Bradley’s Branded. Released in 1966, the game was based on the TV series of the same name that ran on NBC from 1965-1966. With box art featuring the show’s star, Chuck Connors, the roll-and-move game saw players take on the fictional role of Jason McCord, a former United States Army cavalry captain who was court-martialed from the service after being unjustly accused of cowardice.
The game’s object was to be the first player to salvage McCord’s reputation and remove the mark of shame by capturing seven letter discs that spell the word BRANDED.
The game board consisted of a scoreboard surrounded by a path of black and white dots. The outer parts of the board consisted of five areas of black numbered circles, each containing seven letter discs.
All moves in Branded were made using a spinner. As players moved around the board, landing on a solid red dot allowed them to capture a letter disc (if available) from the nearest black circle area via a second spin. Any acquired letters were placed on the player’s matching colour on the scoreboard in the center of the game board.
To keep players on their toes, landing on a solid red space adorned with McCord’s trademark broken sabre allowed a player to choose any available letter disc. Players could also capture discs from other players by landing on a space occupied by another player by exact roll.
The first player to capture seven letter discs spelling B-R-A-N-D-E-D was declared the winner.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included a game board, four playing pieces and stands, four sets of letter discs, seven per set. A spinner was included, attached to the box insert. Instructions were printed on the underside the box top.
It is relatively easy to find a used copy of Branded on third-party auction sites like eBay and Etsy. Finding a copy with unpunched playing pieces and a spinner attached to the box insert is more challenging.