1) What is Fantasy Chess?
It is a chess variant. A game which alters the mechanics or pieces of chess, but still keeps the feel of a chess game.
2) How is it different than traditional chess?
a) In Traditional Chess, you have one piece per square. In Fantasy Chess, you can have up to three of your own color in a square. You can move your back row through your front row or your king through the back row.
b) In Traditional Chess, when you enter an enemy square, you remove the piece from the board. In Fantasy Chess, you actually fight for the square using stats and dice.
c) The above are the core rules. There are also four additional rules that make up Fantasy Chess.
3) Does it play like chess?
All the moves and piece are the traditional chess pieces (shape of piece can vary.) Pawns move forward one square (optional 2 on the first move), attack diagonally, etc. You even check and checkmate in the traditional way. Think of it as chess with an additional set of rules laid on top.
4) Chess is a game of logic. How come you added luck to it?
When you fight for the square, you use dice to determine the outcome of each swing the piece takes and the amount of damage it does. Dice adds to the excitement because you don't know if your iron clad tactics will win your battle. This makes your strategic game very different indeed.
5) How can I know how all my pieces are doing at the same time?
The value of each piece is recorded on the statistic sheet that contains health, dexterity (to hit) and armor of each piece. Each piece is identified on the base by its call sign (P#1 is the first pawn on the left.) All pieces are easily seen on the statistic sheet.
6) How do you take a square with three enemy pieces in it?
Each piece in a Combat Square gets a swing on an opponent. So if you move your white pawn #1 into a square with a black knight #2, black pawn #7 and black rook #2, white gets one swing and black gets three swings. You take an enemy when you drive his hit points to zero. You take the square when there are no enemy pieces left in it.
7) Can you still checkmate?
Yes. You can get the king into a position where he cannot get out of check. But you can also enter the King's square and bludgeon him to death! Actually, all the traditional moves still apply. You can use end runs and control the center of the board and the like, but these old moves don't always work the way they used to.
8) Does it take longer than Traditional Chess?
There is a learning curve to any new game and that will make it longer. However, once familiar with play, it lasts about as long as a 'serious' game of chess. Sorry, no Speed Fantasy Chess...Yet.
9) Is it difficult to learn?
No. At game conventions and swap meets, 8 to 10 year olds have been taught to play in 15 minutes (and some of the kids were trying to remember traditional moves at the start of the training.) A basis of chess will help tremendously, but is not mandatory. Traditional Chess moves (in the first chapter) are so simple, it can be taught to raw recruits at the start of the game. The rulebook has many photographic examples demonstrating the rules and is laid out for easy absorbtion of each concepts.
10) I'm a chess purist. Will I like this game?
Anything is possible and there are chess purists that enjoy both the Traditional game and Fantasy Chess. If you like your chess straight with no variations, it is doubtful you'd like one with luck involved. However, if you like chess variants, you'll love this game!
11) Are there any magic rules?
We tried to keep the standard Fantasy Chess game as conservative as possible while still allowing carrying, withdrawal and expulsion from squares. This attempt was to keep the values of each piece similar to the relative values of traditional chess pieces. Therefore there is little magic in the standard Fantasy Chess Version.
Magic falls in the realm of expansion sets and optional rules. And there are lots of them.
12) Can I play this with other chess variants?
Yes. The Fantasy Chess concept will work with Chinese Chess and the newer chess variant designs. Since these games usually alter only the board, the Fantasy Chess rules for movement and combat can still be used. It will work for chess variants that use different pieces than traditional chess, but you will have to work out your own statistics for each new piece. It should even work with card playing chess games. It won't work well with speed chess as the rolling and calculating of the dice slows that aspect down.
13) Can I use my own chess set or do I need a special chess set?
You may use your own chessboard and set for Fantasy Chess. The only requirement is that you need to be able to place six pieces in a square. So you either need to get small pieces, a bigger chess board or make your own larger chess board.
Shadow Hex Games has designed chess boards and pieces to standardize tournament sizes and 4 Player Games. These chess sets will come out in the near future.
14) Do you sell Fantasy Chess Sets?
Yes. Go to Buy Now and you can order. We are currently selling the Full Game Fantasy Chess set with both armies without miniatures and Fantasy Chess Army sets with one army base. These sets allow you to mount your own miniatures to them and build your own armies.
15) I'm blown out by this game! How can I help?
Right now (2010) as it is a new game, there is no "culture" for Fantasy Chess. It is the players who will create this "culture" by making their own optional rules, forming Orc/Goblin or Dwarf/Human (etc.) teams and campaigning, making comments in the future Newsletters, playing in tournaments.
If you think this is too good of a game to let it wither on the vine of new games unknown, please play Fantasy Chess with your friends and get others to play it too.
Or place a review on BoardGameGeeks or other websites.
16) When will the computer version be out?
Not for a while. It is under development.
17) This game reminds me of ____________ (fill in name; usually Dungeons and Dragons, Battle Chess, Arcon, etc.)
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