In the Song of Ice and Fire series there’s a game called Cyvasse, basically a fantasy quasi version of chess that author George RR Martin uniquely created for this universe. The rules aren’t explained in detail, but it’s played by smart characters in the series and seems pretty entertaining. Well a bunch of fans got together and created an online version of the game with formal rules speculated from the books. Now I’ve never wanted to step a foot in Westeros, but I always wanted to play the game. You can read my personal account on how long it took me to win a game off a computer, or you can just go play the game!
You have to create an account to play, they still haven’t sent me an email so it’s no big deal.
I go with Samgood Tarly as my username because I’m funny and this name is the easiest to parody in Game of Thrones.
I’m going in blind, I’ve read the books enough to guess how to play.
Before each game you have to set up your formation on your side of the hexagonal board, it feels more like Stratego in that sense, but once the game starts you see everything.
I click random set up, trial by fire. The computer difficulty is unknown.
I use my pawn looking guy to kill one of the enemy pawns. This game is easy.
His dragon kills my dragon from across the board. Apparently they can move as far as they want and over all other pieces. This is bullshit.
I try sending my pieces to kill this dragon, but nothing’s happening. Maybe dragons can only kill other dragons? Good thing he killed my only dragon turn one! I keep pressing a send button and it isn’t until writing this recap that I realize it was a message send button…so I was sending blank messages to a computer. I send a cute elephant piece to kill one of his elephant pieces. Yeah that’ll show him.
Game over. I didn’t even notice the king character, he looks like a pawn with a gold headband. Dragons are overpowered, this is bullshit.
Who goes first seems random, but besides the first game the computer goes first the rest of the way. I still refuse to read the rules, but random set up fucked me over last game so I do it manually this time.
Some things I learned this game.
- The dragon piece moves like a bishop but is so much stronger and can only be killed by another dragon or a trebuchet, beat the other team’s dragon and you pretty much win.
- Horses can move twice, meaning they can attack twice.
- Mountains are just walls and 2 you start with aren’t enough to defend the king.
- You cannot move and then attack with your distance units, 1 trebuchet and 1 catapult. It’s still chess, not a RPG game, and pieces must be taken by taking their space.
- Pawns are useless.
I lose on turn 69 after screwing around with the pieces and figuring things out. The game plays like a combination of Stratego and Chess with unique rules sprinkled in. I lost my dragon by accidentally moving it in front of the one unit that could kill it…
I set up my pieces focusing on protecting my dragon and king.
The computer’s dragon flies across the board and kills me. Game over.
What?! I had a mountain and a bunch of peons blocking me! This has to be a glitch! I’ve somehow gotten worse after 2 games.
I cave and read the rules, but here’s a more detailed explanation here. My strategy remains the same, kill his dragon and then win with my dragon, but now I know how each piece works.
I win pretty easily because the computer sends in their dragon as soon as they can and I can kill it after sacrificing one of my pawns with range attack that dragons can’t fly over…even though it can fly over freaking mountains. The game is still fun, but it gets old quick only playing a computer.
There are other uses on the site you can challenge, something I didn’t do, but I feel like it would take too long to play a random player, there’s no time limit for moves. The site isn’t the best and crashed a couple of times while playing a game and me looking at some of the features. The game is very dependent on one piece, but I highly recommend playing a few games. I’d be down to play a quick game with anyone.