Any number of sports have evolved from a country's need to train its troops – think archery, horse racing, javelin throwing etc – and darts is no exception.
These days, even with its pub-based links to alcohol consumption somewhat loosened, it would be tricky to imagine an army of darters striking terror into battlefield opponents.
But the skill and nerve required to excel at the sport – epitomised by its greatest ever player Phil 'The Power' Taylor – continue to captivate audiences across the world, just as it did during the booze 'n' cigarettes era of John Lowe and Eric Bristow.
But why the strange lay-out (20 up top, 3 at the bottom) of the board? That was invented in 1896 by a Lancashire carpenter to punish the inaccurate darter. Scientists with a little too much free time on their hands have devised boards that penalise players more efficiently, but the 1896 version remains in place and will do so, presumably, for ever more.
We have a selection of high quality and 100% authentic darts memorabilia hand-signed by many of the sport's biggest stars both past and present. The list might not make it to 180, but as a gift for a darts fan it's sure to hit the bullseye.