Over the past few weeks I have been playing Shuuro: Wrath of the Elements, Legendary Games’ online version of Alessio Cavatore’s chess variant.
In WotE you pick one of four factions:
The Prithvi: The Earth-Kingdom
The Agni: The Lands of Fire
The Jala: The Frozen Waters
The Vayu: Aerial home to the Wind-Kin
It really matters little which faction you pick as quite often you will find yourself fighting an opponent from your faction and it seems to have little bearing to the games.
Now onto the game itself.
It has been described as a chess variant for one reason: it uses standard chess pieces that move as chess pieces would, but to liken this to chess would be like saying Cluedo and Hero Quest are the same because you roll dice and move named characters around a tiled board. No, the playing pieces of Shuuro is the only similarities to chess – after that, all chess likenesses gets thrown on their head. Ok, i’m getting away from myself.
In WotE the players start with a set number of points to buy their chess pieces for each game, as you loose pieces during play they need replacing using mana to build up your army. Mana is earned by playing and mostly winning games.
After a challenge has been issued by you or you have excepted an opponent’s challenge the game brings you to the above screen where you will buy your forces.
In this Skirmish battle each player only gets 250 points – in the larger game types the points are increased, but these games are only available if you have enough of an army.
There are three main game types in WotE, but so far I have only played two of them.
Type one (above) is called Skirmish due to its 6×6 board and low points (250).
This is type two, Flank where each player gets 500 points (I have no screen shot of type three as I’m not there yet lol).
The pieces or set up in order each time.
Queen (if you have one)
For each 6×6 board section there are 4 plinths randomly placed which block all movement apart from knights. After setup the pieces are moved just like their chess cousins and the aim remains the same: to capture the enemy king.
I have found this game incredibly enjoyable and very refreshing and unique, possible changes may make the factions more important which would bring a bigger picture to each game.
The two game types I’ve played, although they seem little different on paper are actually totally different.
In Skirmish the tight confines leave things claustrophobic for each army and each move has to be thought out or else you will find you have blocked in some of your own pieces.
In Flank Attack the wider board gives more maneuverability but with the larger points watch out for those queens as a opponent may have more than one.
In conclusion, Shuuro WotE is not a perfect game but it’s highly entertaining and I for one plan to keep playing for a long time…