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Author Topic: Ish'kroi, or the Game of War  (Read 5415 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 20 July 2010, 10:08:48 »

I will admit that if I don't get this posted now, I may never post it at all. Apologies if this is at all confusing. Essentially? Chess. Though warped a little and slightly hybridized with Shogi. I haven't decided whether or not to include promoting in the rules yet, and that might just drag this on even further.

Game Name
Ish'kroi in Styrash, False War or to humans, simply War.

History
The game of War, called among nobles The Grand Game, the Great Game, the Game of Kings or Commanders, is of indisputably elvish origins. Historians and Scholars postulate that the game holds its roots in the War of the Chosen, hence the names of the various pieces and the designs of the armies of the oldest boards. Some suggest that the game is a recreation of the Battle of the Winds during the War, and credit the creation of the game to the Injerin. Others assert that the game merely depicts the various warring tribes of Southern Sarvonia and assume that the game is the invention of the Quaelhoirhem or the Tethinrhim.

 The oldest pieces found in the North depict the forces of the various Chosen, Dra'va'ensele, Eckra the Cruel, Coulande and Yairock. Records and Pieces in the south have been found depicting various conflicts, from the War of the Blood where the Archmage and Dragon were replaced with Assassins and Generals or Ranns, to the Third Sarvonian War. One particularly detailed set of pieces depicts the Siege of Ximax, with two Armies representing the forces of the Dark Elves, while the other two represent the various forces of Ximax, the Shields held by Dwarves, the Fire Mage an orc and the dragon replaced with a wizard atop a tower.

Where magic is less common, such as the lands of the Antislar, the Mages, Dragon and Archmage are commonly replaced with members or symbols of the clergy and nobility. The Antislar use a male and female shaman representing the Ava and Kohr energies of their particular belief system and have a King and Queen, while dwarves might simply place an obelisk or rock with the runes for One and Two carved into their sides and some siege engine next to a great helm. Humans might also use clerical figures, Twelvern priests are not uncommon replacements for those pieces, particulalry of Armeros, Queprur and Arvins, while the Archmage might be replaced with a Santhran or a Graven.

The best players are said to be elven, though humans partake of the game as do some dwarves. Once in a rare while one will encounter a halfling who plays but this is terribly uncommon.

Diagram
TBA

Equipment
A square board, marked with an eight by eight grid, with four additional three by eight grids surrounding it. This board is marked in two colours, with squares of the same colour only touching at the corners. The Stages may be separate boards that may be removed from the main board, or simply demarcated with grooves in the board.
Four sets of pieces or "armies". These can vary in design, material or quality. The simplest are wooden, stone or even paper tokens with appropriate symbols marked on each, while some sets can have pieces as tall as a hand and with very detailed carving.
An individual army consists of the following pieces: Eight Shields, Two Lancers, Two Archers, Two different mages, A dragon, An archmage.

Game Setup

The game is designed, ideally, to be played by four people, though it can be played two or three, so long as one or more players are content with controlling more than one army. Each player arrays their army in one of the separate grids to the side of the main "Field" or Cár'neyá (Place of Killing; Styrash), called a "Stage" in Tharian or Eayá, stronghold, in Styrash. There is a single row of the Stage left unoccupied, sometimes referred to as the "Wall" or Ylfferéth (Isolation; Styrash).

The pieces are arrayed thus: eight Shields at the front. At the back to the Commander's left, an archer, and proceeding to the right, a lancer, a wind/water/Xeuan mage, the dragon, the Archmage, a second fire/earth/Ecuan mage, a second lancer, and a second archer. Each of these pieces moves in slightly different ways and has various conditions which govern them.

Play begins with the player with the lightest coloured army (called "South) a player may move one piece and one piece only during their turn. Once they have done so, play passes to the right of the player whose turn has ended.

Rules

Each type of piece has a specific set of rules that governs its movement and how it can deal with other pieces. Removing an enemy piece from a board is called "slaying" and is performed when one piece encounters another. Regardless of whether the piece would have moved differently, the slain piece is removed from the field and the victorious piece takes the place of the vanquished. If the piece would have moved more, it does not, and is stopped in the place where the slain piece was.

A Shield can only move forward, and can not attack directly in front, but must stab to either side of his shield with his spear, slaying pieces diagonally by one space. The exception to this rule exists when a Shield first moves into The Wall. They are said to "charge" and can move two spaces forward, past the wall and into the first row of the Field. They cannot capture during this charge.

An archer can move either forward, left, right or backwards one square and can capture in any square adjacent, including those diagonal.

A lancer can move forward two squares, and ignore the presence of other pieces except on the square where it will land. It slays on the second square, and ignores any pieces in between. A lancer cannot land on a square with a friendly piece occupying it. It can also move backwards one square on the diagonal, and cannot capture this way.

There are two varieties of mage, named differently depending on the region and the design of the piece. The first, found on the left of the commander to begin with, is variously called the Wind, Water or Xeuan Mage. This piece can move on the diagonal without limitation, except where it encounters a friendly piece, the edge of the field, or an enemy piece, which it slays. It must move within the diagonals of the colour it began on, except after slaying an enemy piece. After doing so the player may shift the piece left or right onto a square of the opposite colour, where the same rules will apply, this is called a "Link". The piece must now move on the diagonals of this colour until it slays another piece and the Commander chooses to Link the piece again.

The second, found to the right of the Commander initially, is the Earth, Fire or Ecuan Mage. This piece moves forwards, backwards, left and right in a straight line. With the notable exception that it cannot Link, an Ecuan Mage follows very similar rules to a Xeuan Mage. It must stop when it encounters a friendly piece, the edge of the board and slays an enemy piece it encounters on its path. An Ecuan Mage cannot Link, but is not restricted to squares of any one colour. Different armies on the same board may use different "names" for their mages. All the players may call them "Earth" and "Water" Mages, or they may use different names. The name of the piece does not alter the rules it follows.

The Dragon is considered the most powerful, and possibly the most important piece, on the board. It combines the movements of both Mage pieces and can move limitlessly up, down, left, right or diagonally (but not mixing these movements) and slays whenever it encounters an enemy piece.

The Archmage is the key to winning the game. It can only move one square in any direction at a time. However, the eight squares surrounding the Archmage cannot be moved into, and the Archmage cannot be slain from within one of these squares, this space is called the "Globe". If the archmage moves forward and its Globe encompasses a friendly piece, the protection of the Globe does not extend to this piece. Likewise, if the Globe encompasses an enemy piece, the Globe continues to protect the Archmage, and it cannot be slain by that piece. As long as a piece does not land in or stop on a square of Globe, the Archmage may be slain. It slays any one piece that falls within the area of the Globe.

The game begins once all the players have placed their armies. Beginning with the player of the lightest coloured army (called South) and rotating to the right (West, then North, followed by East) the players take turns moving one piece each. During the first round of play, no piece may be slain. Variant rules also govern the role of the Stage during play. In some games, a piece may not be allowed to re-enter its own stage after it has left, including the Archmage to keep the game from stagnating. Others allow pieces to move in and out of their Stages freely. After this, play continues until one player slays a rival Archmage but may rule that if a move or position is repeated twice in a row, it is not a legal move under the rules the second time. Rules vary as to what happens following this. Some may allow the player of the similar colour to assume control of the remaining pieces of the fallen army. Others have the pieces removed from play, and others leave them where they stand as obstacles. This continues until one player is victorious, left with the only Archmage on the board.

It is not uncommon for players to form alliances to eliminate a more skilled player, and it is not uncommon for one player to dissolve these alliances suddenly in favour of an attack against their former ally.
« Last Edit: 30 October 2010, 15:06:21 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 20 July 2010, 15:40:33 »

Didn't Lorek already convert Chess to Santh?  Not sure if he finally got it uploaded, or how close it is to yours.  Just a heads up.  :)
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #2 on: 20 July 2010, 18:19:51 »

Hey Valan!

Love the idea of Chess with four players, I must say. But a few things:

The "Dragon". Only chess players will understand "any direction" to be like a Queen - ie, you do not make clear that it can move front back left right and diagonals - from your description it could go 1 forward, 2 across, I think. Maybe it will work, I don't know.

Second, play continues anticlockwise, not to the right, if I understand correctly? I understand what you mean, but it sounds a bit iffy.

Other than that, great, and I hope to be playing soon!
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« Reply #3 on: 20 July 2010, 21:08:23 »

@Alt: No the game was never uploaded. The games are similar in that they are both based on chess, and we both use mages and dragons for the name of pieces (though the mages replace rooks and both bishops in Ish'kroi). Lorek's entry also doesn't use the template was having some trouble vis-a-vis integration. He hasn't been around in six months either.
Might the Remusians play? They might switch up the names of a few pieces since they're thaumophobic but otherwise?

@Ath That's true. However, anticlockwise (counter-clockwise to those of us unfamiliar) involves clocks, which I'm given to understand don't exactly work in the frigid reaches of the north because of all the fiddly little bits freezing together, and aren't all that widespread. It might be that the word is used elsewhere but I'd prefer to avoid it here.
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« Reply #4 on: 20 July 2010, 21:42:16 »

Ok, fair enough. How about, then "to the player's right" to make it clearer, or "when a player's turn is over play passes to the player on his right"
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« Reply #5 on: 20 July 2010, 22:09:38 »

That should do well. The rules aren't tripping over themselves then?
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« Reply #6 on: 20 July 2010, 22:20:07 »

Remusians?  Prolly not.

Antislar, definitely. :)

Kinda feels nice to be making a tribe that actually LIKES things instead of being against everything.  Heh.
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« Reply #7 on: 20 July 2010, 22:33:12 »

The rules are fine as far as I can see. Is this what you were thinking of in  terms of a board? Just to help me to visualise it (although you may of course use the image).

Just a question which arose, however. Are the "Stages" part of the area - that is, once left can they be returned to? And can you enter an opponent's Stage - perhaps only if all their units outside are dead? And should there be some way of seperating them from the Field proper? Eg, a line on the board.

Hopefully the attatchment worked.
« Last Edit: 20 July 2010, 22:35:13 by Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 13 September 2010, 06:27:22 »

I think I've just about gotten this entry finished. I hate how convoluted the explanations get, but it is what it is.
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« Reply #9 on: 13 September 2010, 06:51:39 »

Can I just ask...when a Shield takes a piece, does he move into that square as a Pawn?

Also, can I reiterate my other questions? Can the Stages be used as part of the playing area? Perhaps once a player has his Archmage out in the Field he can "invade" stages (then there is a balance - do I move my Archmage out (irrevocably? shocked) and make him vulnerable, but risk a quick attack on an enemy Archmage, or do I fortify him and wait for someone else to make the first move? And, say, a player may not just stay in the Stages - eg, he may not let a turn start and end with no pieces in the Field, otherwise people will just let the game stagnate.

Or make the Stages open to all, but that may not be what you want? I gained the impression that the battle takes place on the Field,and the mages cannot just charge into the Stages.

Spewing ideas, I seem to be doing that at the moment.

Athviaro
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« Reply #10 on: 17 October 2010, 04:40:10 »

Edits in Red. I don't think there are any further problems or objections to a blarrow?
« Last Edit: 17 October 2010, 04:54:36 by Valan Nonesuch » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: 18 October 2010, 21:23:49 »

Right then. Self Blarrow
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« Reply #12 on: 18 October 2010, 21:39:07 »

Whoops. Sorry to be a killjoy; two questions about capturing. Well, one. Do the Shield and the Archmage have to move into the square of the piece they take? You never specify for those two.

Also (I know I said one :P) how about the archer? Sorry. Still one (ish)

Anyway.
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« Reply #13 on: 19 October 2010, 02:39:23 »

Quote
Regardless of whether the piece would have moved differently, the slain piece is removed from the field and the victorious piece takes the place of the vanquished.
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« Reply #14 on: 19 October 2010, 02:57:59 »

Sorry, I was confused because the way you describe it sometimes implies something else, esp. if you skimmed over the entrya bit too fast!

Apologies.

Athviaro
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"I don't care what you did as a boy."
"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
Kalta'hnk - My ramblings on anything to do with the Glandorians - The Glandorian Men (Proposal)
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