The gaming craze that’s sweeping Daendroc! It’s Orcish Chess! A simple twist on classic chess, it’s fairly easy to setup, easy to learn, yet takes years to master. Wanting to try a new challenge? Wanting to test your wrestling roleplay skills? Just have that burn to throw anvils above your head? Then Orcish Chess is for you.
Orcish Chess, or Cheukuk in the true tongue of the Orcs, was originally created by the Orcs as a means of learning strategy and tactics. Most Orcish storykeepers would claim Mulgnak Steelbiter as the original creator. Mulgnak created the game as a way to both test his new strategies, as well as train his orcs. The game as it is known today has changed only slightly from the original, taking more of a shape after the Ailor game “chess” when an Orc saw the benefit of having a square board, as the the original board was hexagonal.
The game is generally played the same from Maala to Maala, with aesthetic differences in the pieces. Most Maalas have some sort of themed set which displays their emblem/crest. Other races who attempt to play often replace the anvil with something a bit easier to lift. There have also been cases where the wrestling was replaced with Dressolini Fencing, as it is considered ‘more civilized than rolling in the mud like savages’.
Items Needed for Orcish Chess:
The benches (preferably sturdy ones) are so that your wrestlers have a place to rest in between rounds. They should be long enough to hold 4 full sized Orcs, though if a different race is participating, the benches can be smaller.
One Large Anvil
The anvil/weight (can be replaced with lighter weight if non-Orcs are playing) is used when a player uses the Anvil piece in game. When the piece is moved, the Raid Chief (person making the moves) must lift the anvil off the ground and throw it above their head.
A 12 ft x 12 ft Board
Consisting of a 12 x 12 grid of squares, this will act as the game board. The board is large, as often the pieces are rather large to match an Orc. It helps build strategic knowledge as if one is controlling actual troops.
Orcish Chess also requires two matching sets of the following pieces, (one set painted green, one set painted red):
- The Whelps - Pawn (x8): Whelps are the basic pawn, they can move forward two spaces on their first turn, and then one space forward on all following turns. They eliminate other pieces diagonally.
- The Spike - Rook (x2): The Spikes are the rook unit of standard chess. They can move in a straight line as many as they want, and eliminate units in the same fashion.
- The Warrior - Knight (x2): The Warriors are the knights of standard chess. They can move in an L-shape, either two forwards and one to the side, or one forwards and two to the side. They pass over any unit in their path, and can eliminate units by landing on them.
- The Shaman - Bishop (x2): The Shamans are the bishops of standard chess. They move diagonally as many as they want, and eliminate units in a similar fashion.
- The Broodmother - Queen: The Broodmother is the queen of standard chess. They can move straight or diagonal as many tiles as they wish and they eliminate units in a similar fashion.
- The Chief - King: The Chief is similar to the king of standard chess. Like standard chess, they can one tile in any direction, but in Cheukuk, they have the added benefit of immunity from Whelps (Whelps cannot eliminate a chief), and the Chief can never be put into ‘check’ (because no such thing exists).
- The Bird (x2): The Bird is a new piece. It acts like a long-distance warrior, moving either five forwards and three sideways, or three forwards and five sideways. They also pass over any unit in their path and eliminate units by landing on them. They are placed in front of the Battleship on the board (first row, one column in from the edge).
- The Hunter (x2): The Hunter is a new piece. They can move 1-2 tiles forwards or diagonally forwards. They do so until they hit the other side of the board, where they turn around and go back again. They do this until they are eliminated. They eliminate units by running into them, and are placed in front of the Anvil unit on the board (first row, on the edge).
- The Anvil (x2): The Anvil is a new piece. They move one space diagonally. Once moved, the Raid Chief must throw the actual anvil over their heads. If they fail to do so, the anvil piece moves back to where it started.
- The Battleship (x2): The Battleship is a new piece. They move forwards twelve spaces (straight across the board), killing everything in its path (friend and foe alike). If you hit at least three pieces, a wrestler from each side must have a match. If your wrestler wins, you keep your battleship and it goes back to where it starts. If you lose the match, your opponent gains the battleship and places it on their field. This is why you have a bench of wrestlers.
- The Vine (x2): The Vine is a new piece. You start with two vines, and place them wherever you want on the board. They cannot be eliminated, nor can they eliminate. It basically acts as a wall. Battleships will ignore vines, and pass through them.
How to Play
The standard chess rules apply when playing this game. A game begins with both sides shaking hands. Then green starts, as is tradition amongst the green skinned orcs. The Green Raid Chief moves a piece. Then the Red Raid Chief moves a piece. Play continues until one of the victory conditions are met.
There are three ways to win Orcish Chess:
- Defeat all of your enemy's units. There is no checkmate/check in Orcish Chess; you defeat your opponent and give them an honorable death. This stems from tradition of dying in the name of Vakgar.
- Win 10 wrestling matches through pinning. These matches come from moving the Battleship, and is often the strategy of more aggressive orcs who wish to see their opponent defeated quickly.
- Throw the anvil so high that you lose it. It takes great strength to send an anvil airborne.
- Orcish chess combines a basic knowledge of chess, and utilizing combat RP to win. The board is fairly easy to make, as it only involves a 12 x 12 grid. Make the pieces however you want, just know that you’ll have to move them again as you play.
- It is also recommended that you keep the rule sheet somewhere nearby, as the new pieces may cause confusion at first.
- If you wish to speed up the wrestling portion, you can use the /roll command to see who would win. This is personal preference, but can cut significant time out of an already long game.
- As for the Anvil portion, it is recommended to just use rolling to see if you make it. Determine a number one must reach in order to successfully throw it. If they meet or surpass that number, they succeed.
- Most Orcs would claim that the Ailor actually stole the modern game of chess from Cheukuk and did not bother to give credit, hence the similarities between the two games.
- There is only one recorded example of the third victory condition being met (throwing the anvil so high that you lose it), which was in 254 AC. The game was being played on a cliff, and the anvil happened to fly over the edge without the participants noticing.
- Legend states that there is an even more complex variation of the game with twice as many pieces involved and actual orcs replacing the pieces, but no records of this style of gameplay exist.
- A skilled game of Cheukuk often involves less wrestling than imagined, as the Raid Chiefs utilize other units to crush their enemies. A truly great Raid Chief will end the game with an anvil on the far side of the board.