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Jetan Sarang

by James Killian Spratt

JETAN SARANG is a large chess-type variant of Edgar Rice Burrough's (ERB) original game of JETAN, invented in 1922 and published in his great science fiction novel CHESSMEN OF MARS.  Jetan Sarang is played on a 12 x 12-square board, using three rows of 12 pieces each.  The twenty-six different playing pieces contain the original eight pieces from Jetan and additional pieces representing other characters and creatures from Burroughs' series of eleven Martian books.  Some of the thirty-six pieces per side move in novel ways, in character with their identities in the exciting Martian tales, and the playing pieces are represented by pictorial icons designed to fit their descriptions.

Setup: 

Played on a 12 by 12 board:


                                  

Pieces: The below list includes the names, move descriptions, letter designations for Game Courier, and graphics for each piece. This list is also a hierarchy for the purposes of promotion and squad moves.

Piece Description Moves Blue Red
Jeddak  

 

A King or Emperor, ruler of one of the many warring nations of Mars. Moves as the Queen in chess (k) (K)
Jeddara,

Dejah Thoris

A Queen or Empress; Dejah Thoris was the beauty of a world and the love of John Carter's life, whom he rescued from the wild green hordes of monstrous Tharks of the dead sea bottoms of Mars. Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Does not kill. Wins the game upon crossing the board; see win rules. When either a friendly Male or Female Slave is present anywhere on the board, the Jeddara may make a one-time 10-space move, called the "escape", in any direction or combination of directions into the friendly half of the board. (b) (B)
Jed  

 

A Chieftain of a tribe or village of Mars.
Moves any 3 spaces, in any combination. May not enter the same space twice in the same turn. (j) (J)
Jedda,

Princess Thuvia

The wife of a Jed, or tribal Chieftain; Thuvia, whom John Carter rescued from the evil priests who had kept her for years as a plaything, had a mysterious power over the huge wild Martian lions, or Banths.  Thuvia later wed the son of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, Carthoris. Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Does not kill. Wins the game upon crossing the board; see win rules.    (t) (T)
Jedda,

Princess Janai

A Princess of Amhor and a prisoner of Ras Thavas, at his sinister medical research facility at the island of Morbus in the Toonoolian swamps, who fell in love with Vor Daj, a Padwar in the Navy of Helium, and helped him escape with John Carter, despite the fact that his brain had been transferred to the huge, deformed body of one of Ras Thavas synthetic men, the Hormads. Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Does not kill. Wins the game upon crossing the board; see win rules.  (n) (N)
Armed Consort,

Princess Tara

The daughter of  John Carter and Dejah Thoris, an adventurous and willful beauty, was saved by her rejected suitor, Gahan of Gathol, from the Kaldanes and from the deadly live chess game of Manator, whose pieces fought to the death. Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Can kill. Her promotion generates any piece at that spot; see promotion rules. Can escort other females. (c) (C)
Armed Consort,

Princess Tavia

Boyish orphan slave-girl of Tjanath, rescued and loved by Hadron, and rescued and reunited with her noble father, who recognized her by her likeness to her beloved mother. Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Can kill. Promotes any piece from Jeddak down; see promotion rules. Can escort females. (i) (I)
Thark, 

Tars Tarkas

The giant green Chieftain of the hordes of Warhoon, who befriended John Carter for his fighting prowess, a rare just and sincere savage. Leaps any one square and two diagonal spaces, in any combination. Can escort females. (e) (E)
Thark, 

Sola

John Carter's female custodian while he and Dejah Thoris were prisoners among the Tharks, a kind and gentle green maiden, who, lamenting the brutality of her kind, helped them escape. Slides one square and two diagonal spaces in any combination; may not enter the same space twice in the same turn. Must land on an empty space only. Kills pieces occupying both of the spaces square left and right, simultaneously. Can Escort other females. (s) (S)
Jedwar 

with Banth

A high-ranking officer, equivalent to a 3- or 4-star General, and just below a Chieftain, or Jed, in rank;  the Banth is symbolic of his power, and is a ferocious 10-legged Martian lion. 6 feathers. Moves as the Chess Rook. (o) (O)
Odwar  

or Flyer

A high-ranking officer, similar to a Colonel or Brigadier General;  the Odwar is one of the original eight figures in Jetan, represented by a 3-bladed aircraft propeller. 5 feathers; leaps any 3 diagonals. Can escort females. (f)   (F)
Teedwar Equivalent to a Lieutenant Colonel commanding 10,000 troops. 4 feathers; moves as the Chess Bishop. (q) (Q)
Gorthan 

or Assassin,

Gor Hajus

Known and feared as the Assassin of Toonol, Gor Hajus followed a strict code of honor--he would not kill women or the innocent--and was betrayed and executed.  Ras Thavas brought him back to life in another body, and he helped Ulysses Paxton find his beloved Valla Dia and restore her to her former beauty. Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Can kill. Does not kill females. (a) (A)
Armed Consort,

Princess Phao

Lost Princess of Jahar, a slave in Tjanath, Phao helped and escaped with Hadron of Hastor and Princess Tavia of Tjanath.
Moves any 2 spaces; may not return to original space in the same turn. Can kill. Promotes any piece from Jeddak down; see promotion rules. Can escort females. (g) (G)
Dwar 

with Calot

A Dwar is the same as a Captain, and he is teamed with a trained, ferocious 10-legged 'dog' of Mars, the Calot, whose 3 rows of tusks, incredible speed, and Shetland-pony size made it a formidable ally. Moves up to 3 in a straight line, square or diagonal. (v) (V)
Dwar  

or Captain

Equivalent to a Captain in military service, below Teedwar and above Padwar. Moves any 3 squares. May not enter the same square twice in the same turn. (d) (D)
Thoat,  

or Cavalryman

The Thoat is the 8-legged 'horse' of Mars.  The Tharks rode one variety of these bad-tempered, half-wild beasts, 10 feet high at the shoulder and weighing possibly 5 tons, and the red men, or civilized nations rode a smaller version about the size of our horses.
Leaps one square and one diagonal, in any direction; can escort females. (h) (H)
Padwar  

 

A young officer, equivalent to a Lieutenant in military service. Moves any 2 diagonals. May not return to original space in the same turn. (l) (L)
Than. 

or Warrior

A Non-Commissioned Officer, or Sergeant, just below a Padwar in rank, responsible for the direction of Panthans, or mercenary soldiers;  the Than was dedicated to his country and in line for higher rank. Moves any 2 square moves. May not return to original space in the same turn. (w) (W)
Tha  

or Warrior

A Female of the Than, or Warrior; a pastiche character like the Padwa and Dwa.  One might imagine her to be a single woman who had lost her mate, with no children, and rather submit to the doubtful future of another man, had chosen to serve her country. Moves one or two square moves. May not enter the same space twice in the same turn. Promotes from Than down; see promotion rules. (x) (X)
Panthan A fighting man of no country--a wanderer whose blade was for hire to any nation who would give him a meal and a bed--or a private soldier of his own nation.  The Panthans were the ruffians, the front-line troops who lived hard and died hard for the joy of battle. Moves one move in any direction except straight backward. (m) (M)
Pantha A Female Panthan; a pastiche character like Padwa, Dwa and Tha, a female who, for her own reasons, had chosen to follow the sword.  One might imagine some would be rough wenches, ready for anything and not to be crossed, with pasts they choose to keep to themselves, and secrets best left unspoken. Moves one move in any direction except diagonally backward. Promotes to Panthan; returns home
(p) (P)
Consort,

Sharu, 

the slave dancer

A good-hearted slave and concubine of the wicked Jed Ghron of Ghasta, who helped Hadron and his companion Nur An escape by giving them a needle and dagger to fashion a hot air balloon. Moves any 2; may not enter the same space twice in the same turn. Does not kill. Promotes from Jed down; see promotion rules. Immobilizes any enemy male to whom she is adjacent; see immobilization rules. (r) (R) 
Consort,

Sanoma Tora,

the faithless one

An ambitious, beautiful-but-spoiled girl who spurned the love of poor Padwar Hadron, and betrayed him to the evil Jeddak Tul Axtar, even after he'd risked his life to rescue her. Moves any 2; may not enter the same space twice in the same turn. Does not kill. Does not promote. Is controlled by the player with the most pieces on the board. Immobilizes adjacent males; see immobilization rules. Cannot be taken by males. (u) (U)
Female Slave, 

Uthia

Dejah Thoris' handmaiden, who refused her freedom, frequently offered, to serve her beloved mistress. Moves one diagonal only. Promotes to Panthan; see promotion rules. Enables Jeddara's escape, a one-time escape of ten squares, when present on the board anywhere. (y) (Y)
Male Slave A captive man of low esteem, put into forced labor.
Moves one square only; enables Jeddara's escape, a one-time escape of ten squares, when present on the board anywhere. (z) (Z)

Graphics by James Spratt, © 2004. Graphics colored by Pat Toner.

Rules:

TURN ORDER: Either player goes first, by mutual agreement.

TO WIN:     A.  Capture all enemy royal females--Jeddara, Jedda(s), and Princess Tara.

                    B.  Any Jeddara or Jedda to cross the board wins, upon reaching the 12th rank.

                    C.  Capture all enemy males.

PROMOTION:  Any female to reach the opponent's back row may be replaced at that point with any lost piece, according to her promotion ability as listed in her piece description.  She returns to her original starting position on the board. If that position is occupied, behind it, or as close next to it as possible, but not in front of it.

SLAVES may only be captured by armed pieces of their own gender.

ASSASSINS do not capture unarmed opponents, or females, armed or not.

ESCORT:  Any female may be escorted by any armed companion of either gender, if she begins the move behind, beside or before the escorting piece. If the escorted piece is armed, she too may capture at the end of the move, and must land in the same position relative to the escort as at the beginning of the move.

SQUAD MOVE:  Military armed pieces (in descending order:  Jeddak, Jed, Thark Tars Tarkas, Jedwar, Odwar, Teedwar, Calot Dwar, Dwar, Thoat, Padwar, Than, Tha, Panthan and Pantha) may institute a Squad, or group movement, wherein it may take along with it up to three other lower-ranking pieces than itself, from within 4 adjacent squares, in one of which it sits.  All pieces must move as the highest-ranking piece moves, and must land in the same relative position to the leader.  They may make concurrent captures of opponent pieces upon landing on enemy-occupied squares.

IMMOBILIZATION: Immobilization by the charming, unarmed females does NOT include the following pieces:

1.  ASSASSIN
2.  JEDDAK
3. THARK SOLA
4. THARK TARS TARKAS
or any Female.

Optional Rules: (used by mutual agreement only)

RAPID DEPLOYMENT:  Any unbroken rank may advance one rank forward as a normal turn, whether it is in its original configuration of pieces or not.  If any particular piece in the rank is blocked from forward movement, the rank still moves, leaving the blocked piece(s) behind.

THE CHARGE: When a player has no fewer than six of his men within one move of direct threat position, he may call a "Charge", wherein he may move one of his pieces from each of his twelve rows.

Sample Game: Click on the below link to see a game of Jetan Sarang being played in Game Courier.

Links:

See this link to James Spratt's web page on Jetan Sarang.

See this link to James Spratt's EBRzine's article on Jetan Sarang.

See this link to ERBzine's article on James Spratt and the creation of Jetan Sarang.

See this link to ERBzine's article on James Spratt and his sculptures.


Note that we have no connection to, or bear responsibility for the linked sites.