Shuuro is a game for two players by designer Alessio Cavatore. It merges the precision and rigour of chess with the creativity and variety of war-gaming.
It does so by attaching a points value to each traditional chess piece and allowing the players to spend a predetermined amount of these points (say, a total of 800 points) to select the chess army that they think makes the best use of the points. This creates a feeling of ownership towards the particular combination the player thinks is the most effective.
The battle will then take place on a large chess board of twelve by twelve squares. This board, however, also introduces a new and unique element to the game. Each of the four six-by-six quadrants of the board contains two plinths that block the movement of the pieces. These plinths are placed randomly at the beginning of every game with the help of a dice, ensuring that every game will be different and present unique challenges. The plinths also help in balancing the game, restricting the movement of Queens, Bishops and Rooks, while at the same time allowing Knights to land onto them and using them as defensive positions (as only an enemy Knight can take them while they're there).
The plinths are set-up randomly, two per quadrant, by using a dice and a system of coordinates. The armies are deployed by the two players one piece at a time, alternating, with the following restrictions:
- The King is deployed first, in the six central squares of the first row.
- All other pieces, except pawns, are then deployed to fill the first row and then in the second row.
- Pawns are deployed last, starting from the second row and possibly reaching the third row.
PiecesOrthodox Chess pieces are used exclusively.
RulesOrthodox Chess rules apply with the exception of the following two rules:
- Castling is not allowed.
- No pieces other than the Knight can enter or move through the squares occupied by the plinths.
NotesFull rules can be downloaded at Shuuro Rules in English.
The box includes a normal chessboard and rules for normal chess, as well as a smaller and faster variant: mini-Shuuro, played on a single quadrant.
The main philosophy of the game is that choosing a balanced army should allow to deal with any type of battlefield that the plinths will determine and with any type of army the enemy may deploy.
The use of a chess clock is recommended, but not vital.
Not available, but do check the Shuuro video review.
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Author: Alberto Giusti. Inventor: Alessio Cavatore.
Web page created: 2009-05-25. Web page last updated: 2009-05-25