The Chess Variant Pages

Warrior Chess

For Two or Four Players

By Justin Bridges

Objective

Equipment

Time

Game Play

Movement of Kings and Warriors

Weapons

Weapons are used to modify the movement of the Warriors. Without weapons, the Warriors can move around the board, but they cannot capture any opponent pieces. Once a Warrior is equipped with a weapon (by placing the weapon on the Warrior), it now moves and captures according to the weapon's abilities.

Combined Weapons

Each Warrior that is dropped on the board is allowed to carry up to two weapons. When this occurs the Warrior is now able to move and capture as either weapon.

Phases to Each Turn

There are four phases to each turn and the phases must be played in sequence: 1) Collect Money; 2) Movement; 3) Placing Weapons; and 4) Buying Weapons.

Collecting Money

Movement (Drop, Move or Capture)

Placing Weapons (Arming Warriors with Weapons in Reserve)

Buying Weapons and Warriors

Winning the Game

Additional Rules for Doubles Games


Strategy Guide for Warrior Chess

Tactics and strategy learned in Chess are not wasted on players new to Warrior Chess. A good Chess player with a little practice will become a good Warrior Chess player. The games share common piece movements with the exception of the "Swords pieces" and "Warriors", but since the Warriors are first dropped and later armed, certain tactics and strategies must be employed to take advantage of the new movements.

Warrior Chess emphasizes positional strategy much more than tactics, presenting its players a puzzle on almost every turn. The traditional Chess "opening" has been replaced by a "building" phase in which each player stakes his positions and assembles a customized chess army. The "middlegame" is similar to traditional chess, but oftentimes there is no "end game" in Warrior Chess because the end can come so quickly. Instead of whittling down each side to just a couple weak pieces, both players in Warrior Chess will frequently end a game still holding several powerful pieces.

The aim to this Strategy Guide is to give you a good introduction to the nuances of Warrior Chess and help you best use the new tools and movements in this variant of chess. There are many great chess books that can teach you tactics and strategies that will help you immensely with Warrior Chess, but this guide will not rehash that information here except to say that that learning basic chess tactics (forks, pins, skewers, suffocating your opponents King, etc.) will give you a big advantage.

The Board

Although Chess and Warrior Chess share the same board, players will find that Warrior Chess plays larger and more open because at the beginning of the game it is empty except for the Kings and rarely do the players get more than 5 or 6 pieces each on the board at any one time. Since the game is more open there a certain tactics to keep in mind to take advantage of this:

Using the Warriors

Since Warriors have no ability to capture other pieces, one would initially think of them as defensive in nature, but they should be considered adept in setting up an offensive. Here are some quick tips on using your Warriors:

Using Warriors in Reserve

Warriors bought for your Reserve should be used to strengthen your position where it is weak or to bring extra punch to an attack. Here are some quick tips on using your Warriors from your Reserve:

Kings

In traditional chess, the King is rarely used until the endgame. Typically it is castled early in the game and then hides out until attacked or with only a few pieces left it is used to help chase down an opponent's King. In Warrior Chess, a well-used King remains active throughout the entire game. Because the Kings are the only pieces on the board when the game begins, they are exposed from the start. They also can act as the initial protection for the army as it is built. Here are some tips on using your King effectively:

Individual Weapons

With the exception of the Swords piece, anyone familiar with Chess will recognize the weapons used in Warrior Chess. So what is different? Because you can drop the Warriors and subsequently arm those Warriors with Rook, Bishop, Knight and Swords movements, each weapon's relative value has changed somewhat from traditional Chess. The raw values for each weapon are very close approximations to their relative values. The real value to you of a given piece will depend on your individual situation at different points in the game. The key considerations in determining each individual weapon's real value are: what weapons do you want for future moves, what's still available to you and how much money will it cost to carry out your strategy?

Combination Weapons

One of the best options that Warrior Chess provides players is the ability to combine any two weapons together on the same piece. While everyone is familiar with the Queen's movement (combined Rook/Bishop), other combinations will take some time to master. Each combination has some unique abilities and a good player will learn how and when to best take advantage of them. Draws are very rare in Warrior Chess precisely because of the strength of some of these combinations. Listed below are the seven possible combinations ranked from the most valuable to the least valuable along with some of their strengths and weaknesses:

Managing Your Resources

Resource management can make or break you. Because you cannot buy everything you want (sorry...this might be too much real world for some players), you have to make tough choices on almost every turn. You also must pay close attention to what weapons your opponent has available to buy and how much he can spend each turn. Each game will present an entirely new set of choices. Here is a small list to help you be more efficient with your resources:

Special Tips for Attacks

Chess tactics like pins, forks, etc. are still essential, but some new tactics will also yield you good results:


Written by Justin Bridges
WWW page created: October 12th, 2002