Spell Chess

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View the Rules of Spell Chess.


Enter the world of Spell Chess! A deck of spell cards to use while playing a normal game of Chess

Spell Chess is an exciting addition to your Chess playing experience. It consists of a deck of cards that modify and change the normal rules of chess as you play. It creates exciting new challenges to the existing game, as well as opens up new emergent strategies and tactics.

Spell chess is a two player game consisting of your chess set and the Spell Chess expansion. The pieces are still the same but, by drawing cards from the spell deck you will change the game with an ever twisting chain of spells.

How it works:

Spell Chess is a deck of cards used to spice up a normal game of Chess. When you play Spell Chess, the game starts as normal, but as soon as you take a piece you put the top card of the deck in front of you. This card will modify the rules of the game.

As an example, you may reveal a card that allows your Bishops to jump pieces, however they must end their turn on an open square. When your opponent takes one of your pieces, she will reveal a card that affects her pieces, for example she may reveal a card that allows her Knights to move an additional space over the course of their move.

Once a player takes another piece, they can either force their opponent to lose their card and replace it with the top card of the deck, or they may choose to discard their card and replace it with the top card of the deck. As the game progresses many different cards will come into play, changing the rules in thousands of combinations.

We have designed the game to impact in a minimal way the normal rules of Chess, so that if you are familiar with that game, all you need to know to play Spell Chess, are the mechanics for when cards into and out of play. All the other rules will be on the cards, meaning it will be very easy to teach and learn.

What you’ll get in the box

We are still developing certain specifics of Spell Chess to make sure it is well balanced and has a great mix of cards. The nature of the game requires it to be a minimum of 32 cards, but due to specifics of printing, its more likely to be 54 or more. We are more focused on an excellent play experience as opposed to meeting a specific printing goal. As we finalize the cards we will be able to give you more specifics.

Play testing is happening now, and will continue for a set period of time after this project has funded. All backers at the 5$ and above pledge level will have access to the current PDFs being play tested, and have access to a special set of forums to give us direct feedback on the game and future expansions.

cardexampleWhy Spell Chess?

Chess is a great game, why does it need this expansion?

Chess is a great hard strategy, perfect information game. This means that every event in the game can be considered and be predicted. Games like this are wonderful for people who like puzzles, but they tend to strongly favor players who have a lot of skill and experience with the game.

That’s good right?

That’s great if you are looking for some serious high level competition. That’s not so great if you have a bunch of people who want to play Chess, but have varying levels of skill and experience. If the outcome of a game can be determined before the game starts, its not as fun for anyone (even the person who will probably win).

So skill and experience don’t matter?

Not so fast! Skill and experience with regular Chess still matter, they just have less of an impact on this game. Like Fischer Random Chess, Spell Chess has so many potential rules combinations, its not possible to memorize what to do in all of them. Thinking many moves ahead is still useful, as is experience with particular piece configurations, but because things can change with the next flip of the card – being able to think on your feet and understand how the pieces move matter more.

Also, Spell Chess is just fun! Having to react to new rules and new ways to move your pieces help get you engaged in the game. The way the game changes through the course of the game gives it a different type of depth that is refreshing. Every game being a little bit different is exciting, and trying to utilize the effects of the cards in play even helps with some analysis paralysis that can be seen in a lot of Chess games.

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