The Chess Variant Pages




Warrior Chess

For Two or Four Players

By Justin Bridges

Objective

  • To capture your opponent's King.

Equipment

  • A standard chessboard is used for Warrior Chess.
  • Chess Pieces: each set or army consists of 8 Warriors (unarmed chessmen) and 1 King. The pieces are colored to represent different armies: Red, Blue, Green, or Yellow. (Note: Poker chips make good Warrior pieces.)
  • Weapons: used to arm the Warriors and increase their movement and attack options (Note: you can construct homemade sets by using poker chips cut in half and pasting chess piece images on them or use small sets of chessmen - 1/2" base is a good size or take a cheap chess set and cut each piece except the King in two. Traditional Warriors can be modified and used for Swords pieces):
    • Rooks (3 per army @ $6 apiece "new" and $12 "reissued")
    • Knights (2 per army @ $5 apiece "new" and $10 "reissued")
    • Bishops (3 per army @ $4 apiece "new" and $8 "reissued")
    • Swords (4 per army @ $2 apiece "new" and $4 "reissued")
  • Dollars "$" are the currency used by all players (poker chips or substitute with pennies and nickels):
    • Silver pieces, each equal to $1 (need 8 for two players or 16 for doubles games)
    • Gold pieces, each equal to $5 (need 4 for two players and 8 for doubles)

Time

  • Games usually take about 60 minutes for a two- player game and slightly longer for doubles games. To speed up the game, players may agree upon a maximum time limit allowed per turn (i.e. 2 minutes/turn).

Game Play

  • Before play begins, one player is designated the Banker. The Banker is in charge of distributing/collecting money, Warriors and weapons in the course of play. All Warriors and weapons held by the Bank must be placed in open view.
  • Players flip a coin to determine who goes first. The player winning the flip moves first.
  • The winner of the toss, places his King on E1 and his opponent places his King on D8 (if there are four players, see Additional Rules for Doubles). At the beginning of play, the Kings are the only pieces on the board. The other pieces will be dropped onto the board throughout the game. The player moving first starts with no money, but the second player starts with $1 to offset the first player advantage. The Bank holds all other money and pieces. The first player then starts the game by collecting his money ($1, because his King occupies one square, see Collecting Money rules) and then makes his first move by either moving his King or dropping one of his Warriors (see Drop rules).

Movement of Kings and Warriors

  • Kings move and capture as in Usual Chess: One square in any direction, horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Kings are only pieces on the board at the start of the game.
  • Warriors move as Kings, but cannot capture. To make a Warrior capable of capture, it needs to be armed with a weapon. Once equipped with a weapon, a Warrior loses its "King's movement" and adopts its weapon's movement. Warriors are the only pieces that can be dropped. A Warrior dropped during a normal move only costs $1, but if purchased for a player's Reserve they cost $5 apiece.

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.

  • Swords give a piece a slightly modified "traditional pawn" move. With Swords, a Warrior now can make a non-capturing move one square horizontally or vertically and can capture opponent pieces if they occupy either of the two adjacent diagonal squares that the Swords piece faces (each Swords piece should have two pointers on it to show which two squares it can attack). When placing Swords on a Warrior, a player must face the Swords toward the squares he wishes it to attack. Also, when moving a Warrior with Swords, a player needs to place the Warrior so that the Swords face toward the two squares he wishes it to attack. A Warrior with Swords can only change the direction the Swords face when moving to a new square (no swiveling in place). Each Swords piece cost $2 when "new" and $4 if "reissued".
  • Bishops move and capture as in usual Chess: In straight diagonal lines. Each Bishop costs $4 when "new" and $8 if "reissued".
  • Knights move and capture as in usual chess: One square horizontally or vertically and then one square diagonally in an outward direction. The Knight is the only weapon that has the ability to jump over other pieces. Each Knight costs $5 when "new" and $10 if "reissued".
  • Rooks move and capture as in usual chess: In straight lines, horizontally and vertically. Each Rook costs $6 when "new" and $12 if "reissued".

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.

  • Rook/Bishop: Combined piece gives a traditional Queen's movement. Can move and capture either as a Rook or as a Bishop.
  • Rook /Knight: Combined piece gives a Chancellor's movement. Can move and capture as either a Rook or a Knight.
  • Bishop/ Knight: Combined piece gives a Cardinal's movement. Can move and capture as either a Bishop or a Knight.
  • Rook /Swords: Combined piece can move and capture as either a Rook or a Warrior with Swords.
  • Bishop/Swords: Combined piece can move and capture as either a Bishop or a Warrior with Swords.
  • Knight /Swords: Combined piece can move and capture as either a Knight or a Warrior with Swords.
  • Swords /Swords: When a player arms a Warrior with two Swords pieces, that combined piece has an ability to capture an opponent piece occupying any of the 4 adjacent diagonal squares and can make a non-capturing move 1 or 2 squares either horizontally or vertically (doubling the attack and movement options of a pawn with a single Swords piece).

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

  • Beginning each turn a player receives from the Bank:
    • One Dollar ($1) for each square occupied by one of his pieces.
    • If a player's piece contains captured Warriors stacked underneath it (see "Capture" rules), the player also receives money for each Warrior in the stack ($1 per capture).
      Example: A player has on the board his King and one Warrior piece with two captured Warriors stacked under it. At the beginning of his turn, he will receive $1 for the King plus $1 for his Warrior piece and $2 for the two captured Warriors under his piece for a total of $4.

  • Players must place their Dollars in open view.
  • The maximum amount of dollars ($) that any player can hold at a time is $12. Once a player holds $12, he cannot collect any additional money until he gets below the $12 amount.
    Example: A player starts a turn with $3 and collects $5 at the beginning of his turn and then captures an opponent's piece armed with a Rook. Although he would normally collect $6 for the Rook, since he already has $8 he can only collect an additional $4, so that his holdings do not exceed the $12 limit.

Movement (Drop, Move or Capture)

  • One movement per turn (except when using an optional Bonus Drop with Reserve Warriors, see below).
  • For movement, a player must do one of the following:

    • Drop one of his Warriors held by the Bank on to an empty square on the board or
    • Move one of his pieces already on the board to an empty square or
    • Capture an opponent on an occupied square using one of his armed pieces or his King.

  • When dropping a Warrior onto the board, certain rules and fees apply:

    • A Warrior must always be dropped on an empty square.
    • A Warrior, when first dropped, cannot be immediately armed. A player when dropping a Warrior must wait until a future turn before adding any weapons to the dropped Warrior.
    • A player must pay a $1 to the Bank to drop a Warrior onto the board during a normal turn, but dropping a Warrior in Reserve during a Bonus Drop is free because a Warrior in Reserve is considered pre-paid (see Bonus Drop rules below).
  • To capture an opponent's piece:

    • An attacking piece moves to the defending piece's square and stacks his piece on top of the captured Warrior piece (or stack of Warriors if the captured piece includes previous captures under it).
    • If a player captures a piece with weapons, the weapons are removed and the player is paid by the Bank a bonus equal to the weapons' "new" cost: $6 for a Rook, $5 for a Knight, $4 for a Bishop and $2 for each Swords piece.
    • The money received by a player for any captured weapon can be used on that turn or a later turn to buy weapons/Warriors for his own Reserve (see Buying Weapons and Warriors below).
    • When a weapon is captured it is taken off the board and held by the Bank with other captured or weapons available for "reissue", separately from the "new" weapons.
  • To use a "Warrior in Reserve" for an optional Bonus Drop:

    • A player must have a Warrior in his Reserve (Warriors bought for $5 apiece on a previous turn, see Buying Weapons and Warriors).
    • After taking his normal movement first (drop, move or capture), a player has an option to drop onto the board any Warrior(s) held in his Reserve.
    • All drop rules apply to Bonus Drops (see above).

Placing Weapons (Arming Warriors with Weapons in Reserve)

  • The third phase of a turn allows a player the option to arm his chessmen. A player can only arm his own pieces on the board. To arm a Warrior, a player takes a weapon from his Reserve and places it on top of a Warrior.
  • Any Warrior a player has on the board is allowed weapons with these restrictions:

    • A Warrior dropped during a turn cannot be armed until a future turn.
    • A player can place various weapons on different Warriors during his turn, but the maximum number of weapons allowed on any single Warrior is two.
    • Once a player places a weapon on a Warrior, it is permanent. The player cannot switch or remove a weapon.

Buying Weapons and Warriors

  • The last phase during a turn gives a player the option to buy from the Bank weapons and/or Warriors to add to his Reserve.

  • A player can buy multiple weapons/Warriors on his turn, but can only buy weapons/Warriors of his own color. All purchased weapons and Warriors held in a player's Reserve must be placed in open view.

  • A player can buy "new" or "reissued" weapons during this phase and pay for the weapons according to their respective costs.

  • The cost to buy a Warrior to place in Reserve for a "Bonus Drop" is $5 per Warrior.

  • A weapon purchased during a turn can be placed on any future turn and a Warrior purchased during a turn can be dropped on any future turn.

  • After buying weapons/Warriors (or opting not to) a player passes his turn to the next player.

Winning the Game

  • When a player captures his opponent's King he wins and the game is over. There are no check, checkmate or stalemate rules.

  • A player with no hope of winning can resign during play on his turn. A player resigning gives his opponent an automatic win. Note: Players should be careful not to resign too early in a game, because it is easier to comeback in Warrior Chess relative to Chess.

  • Although draws are extremely rare in Warrior Chess, in the case where the players move 50 times each without dropping a Warrior or making a capture the game can be considered a draw.

Additional Rules for Doubles Games

  • By adding two more armies you can play a doubles game. Players make teams and each person sits across the board from their teammate (still using the clockwise turn sequence and starting their Kings on E1, D8, A4 and H5). Players flip to see who starts and then play proceeds clockwise. The first player and his partner start the game with no money and their opponents start the game with $1 each.

  • The object in a doubles game is to capture just one of the opposite team's Kings. Teammates must work together to attack and defend, but they can only move their own pieces and cannot lend or borrow any money, weapons or Warriors to each other. All other rules of Warrior Chess still apply.

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:

  • Most action will occur near the middle. Later in a typical game, the action may shift to the sides as players attack and counter-attack each other's Kings. The best place to have the majority of your pieces is where the action is, which means most of the time they should be near the center.

  • A player that can control the middle of the board will have an advantage over other players. Try to control the middle of the board as best you can.

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:

  • Get as many Warriors on the board as you can as early as you can. The reason is twofold:

    • More Warriors mean more angles of attack and defense you have when you eventually arm your Warriors with weapons.
    • More Warriors also mean that on every turn you will receive more money that you will need for buying weapons.

  • One of the best uses of a Warrior is to drop them to block an opponent's long-range attacks from Rooks and Bishops that are two or more squares away. When blocking an attack, make sure that the Warrior you are dropping is protected by at least one of your other pieces.

    • A Warrior can easily thwart a long-range attack on your King. This is accomplished by dropping the Warrior adjacent to the King in a blocking position (the King protecting the newly dropped Warrior).
    • When blocking an attack with a Warrior, look at placing the Warrior on a protected square that might later allow it to be used in a counterattack.

  • Remember that an unarmed Warrior moves one square in any direction (like the King). Use this to your advantage to position a Warrior prior to arming it with a weapon. Also, remember that once a Warrior is armed, it loses its King's movement.

  • Warriors are sometimes better left unarmed. When a Warrior is in a strategic position to attack and you have the right weapons in your Reserve to make an attack, just the threat of your arming the Warrior can influence your opponent. Bluffing an attack is often a good strategy to use to pin your opponents defending pieces.

  • Do not be careless in sacrificing your Warriors or placing them in non-strategic areas of the board. You only have 8 Warriors available to you and they are irreplaceable. As the game progresses the remaining Warriors not yet played will increase in value to you. Many a game has turned against a player who has run out of the Warriors to drop.

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:

  • Buy Warriors for your Reserve only after you have acquired some weapons to protect your existing army and King.

  • A Reserve Warrior is a very powerful piece to own. Why? Having a Warrior in Reserve will allow you to make two moves at once. You make your regular move first and then drop the Reserve Warrior.

  • Using a Reserve Warrior for defense is helpful because it does not allow an opponent's attack to disrupt your strategy. Dropping a Reserve Warrior can effectively neutralize any long-range attack, while allowing you to continue with the original movement you planned to make (your opponent will be unable to force a reaction). Here are some specific defensive uses for your Reserve Warriors:

    • If you own a Reserve Warrior and your opponent attacks your King with a short-range attack (one square away) that is protected by a long-range piece, you can take the short-range attacker with your King and then block his long-range protecting piece with your Reserve Warrior. This effective combination move can be used to turn away attacks on other pieces as well.
    • Just having a Warrior in your Reserve can be an effective deterrent to an opponent's potential attack. The fact that you don't actually have to play a Reserve Warrior to benefit from it makes it very strong.

  • To use a Reserve Warrior for an attack takes a little more pre-planning but can be very effective. It requires three turns, played in this sequence:

    • Turn 1: Normal turn, then buy a Warrior for your Reserve (if you already own a Reserve Warrior you can skip this step).
    • Turn 2: Normal turn, making sure that the Reserve Warrior you are placing will be protected (short-range protection is preferable). Drop the Reserve Warrior on the square from which you plan to launch your attack. Buy any additional Weapon(s) you plan to place on the dropped Warrior and other support pieces on your next turn.
    • Turn 3: Normal turn, then place your weapons for the attack.

  • In a doubles game buying and holding Reserve Warriors can be even more critical. The reason for this is that your chances for being attacked are doubled. With so much more at risk, a Warrior in Reserve provides you some measure of insurance. Depending upon your exposure, you should also consider holding multiple Reserve Warriors.

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:

  • Keep your King out of the corners and be careful when your King is on the edge of the board. This doesn't mean that Kings should not stay on the edges, but a King that remains there is more vulnerable, especially from attacks of a combination pieces (Knight/Bishop, Rook/Swords, etc.) which have the potential to attack several squares at once.

  • Another good reason to keep your King off the edges is that it will not need as much protection from other pieces when it has more open space in which to retreat. A King off the edge of the board can move to 8 potential squares, on the edge he has just 5 squares available and in the corner only 3 squares. Also, a King can better protect the majority of his men when he is closer to the middle.

  • Before each turn, double check to make sure there are no attacks on your King. Warrior Chess does not require players to call "Check", so it is your responsibility to make sure you don't miss an attack. If you do miss one, it will cost you the game, so get in the habit of giving your King a quick check.

  • Exposing your King while you still have an un-dropped Warrior available is not a huge threat, because you do not to worry as much about long-range attacks on your King from your opponent's Bishops and Rooks.

  • If you don't want a long-range attack to disrupt your own strategy you should buy a Warrior for your Reserve to preempt the attack on your King.

  • Think about using your King offensively when possible. Because it is easier to protect your King in Warrior Chess and because the game is more open, you can use your King more aggressively. Early in a game, your King can provide some protection to its nearby army. Later in the game your King can also be used effectively to make some squares unavailable to your opponent's King.

  • A King's biggest threat often comes from enemy Knights. Knights are very disruptive because they cannot be blocked. Always be ready to counter when an opponent drops a Warrior a Knight's move away from your King.

  • Avoid placing too many of your own pieces adjacent to your King. When a King gets closed in by several of his own pieces, it is all too easy for your opponent to "suffocate your King". Always have a few avenues of escape available to your King and make sure that they don't get clogged.

  • When your King comes under an attack that cannot be blocked and you must move him, look to disrupt your opponent's next move by counter-attacking his King on that turn. The counter-attack must occur in the "Placing Weapons Phase" of your turn, by arming a pre-positioned Warrior with a weapon attacking your opponent's King. This tactic can be very effective in taking some heat off your own King and putting it on your opponent.

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?

  • Swords: Swords pieces although moving and capturing similar to a Chess pawn are substantially stronger and more versatile than their Chess cousins. Swords are relatively more valuable for two reasons:

    1. Swords movement takes one-step horizontally or vertically vs. one-step forward only for a Chess pawn (a quadrupling of movement options). Also, a player dictates which two diagonal squares his Swords may attack, giving a player better attack options;

    2. Because a Warrior is dropped and then armed, when you arm it with a Swords weapon it is already positioned where you want it. You waste no turns in moving the piece one square at a time into a position where you can use it. Here are some quick tips on using your Swords:

      • Since a Swords piece is the cheapest weapon, it is often the most efficient weapon to use to protect your pieces and attack your opponent's pieces.
      • Swords are short-range weapons. They can attack and defend only pieces adjacent to them and therefore they are best used when they are close to the action.
      • Swords are great weapons to attack more expensive pieces. It is wise to trade a Swords piece for an opponent's more expensive pieces, because you receive more money in the exchange and because Swords are the most plentiful of the weapon types.
      • Swords are excellent in forming chains to protect each other (similar to pawn chains in traditional Chess, although the Swords chains have more potential and can be made much stronger).

  • Bishops: Bishops move exactly like their chess counterparts, but their relative value is diminished slightly relative to other weapons. The reason for this valuation shift is due to the Warrior. Since a Warrior can easily block a long-range attack, the effectiveness of a Bishop is reduced. On the plus side, a more open board makes movement easier for the Bishop and its potential to combine with Rooks, Knights and Swords pieces eliminates its negative attribute of colorboundness.

  • Knights: While still moving like their chess counterparts, the Knights relative value is increased because it can take advantage of a Warrior's drop. A lone Knight attacking an opponents King always forces that King to move (assuming the Knight's own square is not under any attack). No other weapon has this ability (at least not while your opponent still has a Warrior available to drop and block your long-range attacks). Since they cannot be blocked, Knights also make good defenders (although they are better attackers than defenders). Knights are a scarce resource (only two per player), and therefore you must be very careful when placing them. Knights, like in Chess, work very well together, especially when attacking a King. One weakness of the Knights is that if not coupled to a Bishop or a Rook, they can easily be left out in the cold if the action shifts away from them.

  • Rooks: Rooks move exactly like their chess counterparts, but their relative value is also slightly diminished relative to the Knight and Swords pieces due to the Warriors. Still a Rook should be considered the strongest, most versatile weapon you can buy. A Rook should also be considered the best weapon to combine with other weapons. The biggest weakness of a Rook is that it can easily be blocked on a long-range attack (when your opponent has a Warrior available). Its raw value also makes it a likely target for opposition attacks.

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:

  • Knight/Rook: This piece is the probably the most powerful piece you can place on the board. It has the highest combined mobility and capturing ability of any available combination making it a great long and short-range attacker. The fact that it cannot be blocked when making its Knight move, makes it the most formidable attack piece. On the negative side, it has a very high reward attraction ($11 if captured) to the enemy, so it will be the object of attack for that reason. Another weakness is that it can't defend itself against an attack from a Swords piece (the cheapest weapon) or a Bishop (the next cheapest weapon).

  • Bishop/Rook: The traditional Queen is the best long-range piece you can buy. Great in both distance and directional values. Once your opponent has run out of Warriors available to drop, your Bishop/Rook actually becomes more powerful than a Knight/Rook. The Bishop/Rook is vulnerable to attacks from Knights and is also susceptible to blocks from Warriors when making its long-range attacks.

  • Knight/Bishop: Slightly less mobile than the Knight/Rook, it is still a great attack piece. In fact, it is the only piece on the board capable of capturing a King without help (hint: the attacked King needs to be in one of the corners). It is weak only against attacks from Rooks.

  • Rook/Swords: This piece is better at attacking than it is at maneuvering, because the only thing the Swords piece adds to the combination is a forking attack against the chosen adjacent diagonal squares that the Swords face. Still it is a good defender; note that it controls the three adjacent squares its Swords face. Weak against Knights, long-range Bishops and Swords and Bishops attacking from its rear flanks (the adjacent diagonals that the Swords weapon faces away from).

  • Knight/Swords: This piece is great for attacking and defending, but if the action shifts away from the piece, it can become nearly useless. Best used in a crowded section of the board and near the center, the Knight/Swords piece when placed away from the edge of the board can attack 10 squares at once and cannot be blocked. Weak against Rooks, long-range Bishops and Swords and Bishops attacking from its rear flanks.

  • Bishop/Swords: This piece is better at maneuvering for position than it is at attacking, because the Swords piece only adds to the combination the ability to move one square horizontally or vertically while the Swords ability for diagonal attacks adds nothing to what the Bishop can accomplish alone. Since the combination has overlapping attack options, buying it is not the most effective use of your resources, but certain situations may arise to make it a great combination and on the positive side, the movement options will remove the Bishop's negative colorboundness attribute. The combined piece is weak against attacks from both Rooks and Knights.

  • Swords/Swords: Although it is the weakest combined piece that you can field, the Doubled Swords piece can still be effective given the right situation. The cost of buying two Swords pieces is equal to one Bishop and on the surface this looks like a dumb combination and for pure attack purposes it would be, but because the Doubled Swords piece can move one or two steps either horizontally of vertically and can attack all adjacent diagonals, it still can be effective in crowded sections of the board. Usually the decision to add another Swords piece to an existing one is not pre-planned, but rather that a particular situation arises and it becomes your best play to do so. Realize that the resulting piece is relatively weak in a short-range attack plan and will have no worth whatsoever in a long-range attack plan. Given these attributes, it is best used to defend one of your important pieces or attack an important piece of your opponent. This piece is weak against Rooks, Knights and long-range Bishops.

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:

  • Get your Warriors out on the board early and start making some money ($$$).

  • Have a strategy for what weapons you want and when and where you want to place them, but be flexible. Your needs may change from turn to turn depending on your opponent's strategy. Always try to predict what your opponent's resource strategy is and then preempt or deflect it.

  • Because strategy shifts so often, some items entering your Reserve must be repurposed. When buying weapons for your Warriors, think of multiple Warriors that might benefit from the purchased weapon.

  • Some resources are very valuable to have in your Reserve because they can force your opponent to change his strategy without even playing them. Some of the best items to buy and hold are Knights and Warriors in Reserve.

  • Since each Warrior is only allowed the maximum of two weapons, you need to be more careful about adding the second weapon to each Warrior than the first weapon. Once placed on the Warriors, the weapons cannot be changed.

  • If you only have a few Warriors left to arm, make sure that they get the strongest weapons possible, even if you have to wait a couple turns while you save up the money to buy a "reissued" Rook, Knight or Bishop.

  • While you would like to win more money when trading pieces with an opponent, it is not the primary goal. The real goals of a trade are: 1) to get money to buy weapons/Warriors you really need thus reallocating your resources and 2) to disrupt your opponent's economic and/or positional strategies.

  • Be careful not to overpay when buying "reissued" weapons. While it is nice to be able to bring back a captured Rook, Bishop or Knight to your Reserve, they are relatively expensive. Think about accomplishing your strategic goals buying cheaper "new" weapons and/or Warriors for your Reserve instead.

Special Tips for Attacks

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

  • Attack with several pieces at once. It is all too simple to block or deflect one attack at a time (look at any Bruce Lee movie). Combine your forces for more effective attacks. Warrior Chess helps you accomplish this more easily, because even though each turn you can only move one piece into an attack position, you can arm multiple pieces for the attack.

  • The more surprise elements in an attack, the better the attack. Although your opponent can see what weapons you have in your Reserve, he cannot predict every possible use of the weapons. Make sure that you have your unarmed and half-armed Warriors on or near good positions from which to make attacks with the weapons you have in your Reserve.

  • Make good use of drops to flank your enemy. With drops, you can get to the side or behind your enemy very quickly.

  • Take precautions when attacking an opponent that has a Warrior in his Reserve. An opponent's Warrior in Reserve will make some attacks very difficult and painful, so plan accordingly.


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