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Complete Cyvasse Rules

Cyvasse Game of thrones rules

310 replies to this topic

#1 Zuberi

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 01:56 AM

I don't think I'm alone in desiring an actual rule book so that I can play Cyvasse like some of my favorite characters. Since one doesn't exist, I created my own. In addition to the information provided from the books, I took the following creative liberties:
  • Decided on a 91 space hexagonal board (see below for reasoning)
  • Assigned methods of movement to pieces
  • Assigned strength ratings to pieces similar to stratego
  • Developed rules for flanking to allow weaker pieces the ability to capture stronger ones
  • Decided Mountains count as a piece (it's not clear in the books)
Full Rules


Setup
The game is played on a checkered hexagonal board with 6 spaces per side, adding up to 91 spaces total. Before the game begins, a curtain is placed in the middle of the board to prevent players from seeing their opponent's side of the board (draw a line from one corner to it's opposite to find the middle). You then place your pieces on your side of the curtain in secret. You may not make an impassable mountain chain. Mountain chains must have at least 1 gap.

Pieces
(For help visualizing movement, refere to http://www.chessvari.../hexagonal.html ) Each player starts with the following pieces

9 Mountains: Stationary, Impassable by most pieces

1 King: Strength 1; Can move one space either orthogonally or diagonally.

1 Dragon: Strength 5; Can move any distance in any direction in a straight line (like a queen); May fly over mountains but not other pieces.

2 Elephant: Strength 4; Moves Orthogonally any distance in a straight line (like a rook)

2 Heavy Horse: Strength 3; Moves Diagonally any distance in a straight line (like a bishop)

2 Light Horse: Strength 2; Moves up to 2 spaces Orthogonally.

2 Trebuchet: Strength 1; Moves Orthogonally any distance in a straight line; Trumps Dragon; May fly over a single piece (including mountain) when capturing.

4 Spearman: Strength 1; Moves one space Orthogonally; Trumps Light Horse and Heavy Horse

6 Crossbowman: Strength 1; Moves one space Orthogonally; May capture things 2 spaces away in a straight line, may fly over a non-mountain piece when capturing.

10 Rabble: Strength 1; Moves one space Orthogonally
Capturing Pieces
You may only capture a piece by using a piece with equal or higher strength, except in the case of Trumps. Any piece capable of trumping another may capture that piece without aid regardless of strength and can't itself be captured by that piece. For example, a spearman can always capture a light horse. A light horse can never capture a spearman.

Flanking
You may add the strength of any pieces you have orthogonally adjacent to an opponent's to the Strength of the piece you use to try and capture it. For example: If a light horse has 2 Rabble adjacent to it, one of the rabble may capture the light horse because it adds the strength of the other adjacent rabble to it's own. 1+1=2

Winning
You win the game by capturing the opponent's King. You must declare anytime your pieces threaten your opponent's King, giving them a chance to prevent capture.

You also win the game if you are able to capture all of your opponent's pieces other than their King, leaving them defenseless and without a kingdom.

The books clearly mention squares so why a Hexagonal board?
There are two reasons why I decided on a hexagonal board.

First, there is justification in the games that inspired Cyvasse, one of which is a game called Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg uses a hexagonal map yet referes to the individual hexes as "squares". This justifies the characters in the books refering to Cyvasse hexes as squares. Rules for Blitzkrieg can be found at http://www.vassaleng..._1965_Rules.zip . Refere to section 1.0 the mapboard for describing the hexes as squares officially.

Second, the books mention that Cyvasse makes use of three different colors of squares. A checkered square board only uses two colors, but a checkered hexagonal board uses three colors. Granted, I don't think there is ever mention that the board is actually checkered, but I believe it is a fair assumption.

In the end though, there's not enough information provided from the books to acurately describe the board, so I made a decission.

Edited by Zuberi, 03 November 2011 - 11:30 PM.


#2 cripples and broken things

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:25 AM

I want to play this. Not sure I would have been able to come up with all of this , but I can picture it being played this way.

#3 Cotter_Pyke

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:48 AM

Dragons get hungry flying above men and they don't care which side they're on.


What does this do??

#4 Zuberi

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:23 AM


Dragons get hungry flying above men and they don't care which side they're on.

What does this do??


lol, that's just flavor text explaining why dragons can only fly over mountains. Allowing them to fly over every piece just seemed like too much mobility to me.

Edited by Zuberi, 17 October 2011 - 08:24 AM.


#5 The Red Lion

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:13 PM

awesome, i'm making a small version of this in paper to see if it works right.

#6 Bad Dog

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:22 PM

I guess the crown of geekery goes to you. Awesome!

#7 Most Excellent

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:27 PM

I made an account just so I could compliment you for your work here. I too have been thinking of rules to Cyvasse. I will definitely be playing this and will let you know how it goes.

#8 Zuberi

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 11:14 PM

If anyone would be interested in actually playing against me, there's a program called map tools we could use. It's a virtual table top program meant for rpg's, but it will suffice. Let me know and we'll set up a time. I'd love an opponent other than myself, lol

#9 Zuberi

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:01 PM

Updated the rules to make use of a hexagonal board. After reading the rules for blitzkrieg and rereading all the references in the books to cyvasse, I decided that a hex board made more sense (to me at least) for the reasons described in the updated rules. I also increased the number of pieces to completely fill up your starting area, such as happens in stratego.

#10 Wolfheart

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:37 PM

The "Curtain" doesnt really simulate battle though on a large or small scale. In my mind. No one historical battle did both sides set up their forces in complete secrecy. One or both of the armies will always know the opposing side is coming.

What you should do is choose who gets to lay down first. The person who gets to lay down his pieces first gets to move first. The advantage of placing your pieces second is you get to see whats coming and prepare. Much like in the Art of War. George's game obviously is use to be an analogy to whats going on in his world. So I see it from a wider scope for the battle. Instead of just a small battlefield its an entire kingdom. A kingdom full of scounts, spys.

What is the point of having 3 colors of checkered squares if there isnt three armies or a third player? You didn't explain that choice. I'm an avid board gamer and modify rules and come up with my own games also. But this I'm foggy on why you would include that. You can make a checkered hexagonal board with just two colors.

By chance have you ever played or heard of the 1967 board game called Feudal. I own it and its much like how Cyvasse seems to play and it even includes that "set up in secrecy wall" at the start that I have removed from the rules. I find it more challenging to remove the false shroud like in battleship, where in such a game like that it makes sense, as thats a game of half luck. And with my onset obsession with the new evolution of chess in Arimaa. I saw some useful mechanics in Arimaa that could translate into Cyvasse.

All the rest is sounding great. I can picture this being made on a nice circular slab of wood with all the "hex squares" lines carved in. Painted. It could even be a hinged board. With compartments under the board to house the pieces. And be able to fold up into a half moon shape. for carrying.

Edited by Wolfheart, 28 November 2011 - 09:53 PM.


#11 Reynes-of-Castermere

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

Firstly, Thank you for trawling through and finding the information... I am hoping that Martin himself will one day clarify the rules but until then this allows a version to be played.

However I believe you may have missed something but I can only find one reference to it and it is not in the Wiki reference to Cyvasse either...

Dance With Dragons, Pg 630... Tyrion and Plumm are battling each other ... "...his fortress in ruins..." I am wondering if in addition to the mountains you should have a Fortress?

This could be used in many ways but a good depiction of it is in a game I played as a child called Battle Masters (1992 MB Hasbro)... In fact this game reminds me a lot of Cyvasse... The players have crossbow-men, archers, cavalry, a cannon / an ogre. The mat played on contains hexagonal "squares" and each battle can be different by moving tiles on the board containing cliffs and swamps. Also a Tower is provided that allows refuge from attack (until it is destroyed) and gives bonuses to archers / crossbows as within the Tower they are higher up and can shoot further.

Just an idea ...

#12 Bastard of Boston

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:46 PM

How do you guys pronounce the name? I've been using "sivahs."

#13 Reynes-of-Castermere

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:34 PM

Si-Vas is what I have been going with...

Though I guess it could also be Si-Vas-Ee...

#14 HeirophantX

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:06 PM

This sounds great! PDF these rules and I'll take them to my FLGS and get some playtesting!

#15 Ecglaf

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:50 AM

I know this thread is fairly old, but I'm also really interested in playing. You mentioned doing something online- is that still an option?

#16 Jaehaerys Sand

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 06:40 PM

Nice work. I'm trying to come up with my own version of this game, and I was trying to get some ideas. Couple of questions:
  • Do you know where in the book it mentions the 'rabble' as a piece? Because I couldn't find it.
  • The book mentions the 'catapault' as an individual piece. Granted, they could just be using different names for the 'trebchet', but the wiki lists them as seperate pieces (although it doesn't mention mountains at all, so go figure).
  • Don't you need rules for placing mountatins so a player can't just seal his king behind mountains and cut it of from other pieces, or create choke points along the middle of the board?


#17 siggijg

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

A lot of people have claimed they wanted to try this but has anyone done it? What about the creator? I am really interested to hear if this is working out.

#18 Silver Spearwife

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

Oh, this looks wonderful!

I'm absolute garbage at chess, though, and this looks a hell of a lot harder.

I downloaded that Map Tool program. It'll take probably til the end of the weekend since I'm not familiar with the program, and I'm pretty busy the next few days, but I hope to get something up and running soon (if someone can put it together earlier, that'd be great).

@Wolfheart Your criticisms are of things that are explicit in the book. Changing them would start to derail the game from "as close to cyvasse as we can make it" to "something that was sort of inspired by cyvasse". You'll have to take up your complaints with Martin.

#19 MikeL

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:09 PM

I also remember something about a fortress. I had thought from the books that rather than having a king you protect from being captured, you have a fortress that you protect from being claimed.

#20 MikeL

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:20 AM

I find myself thinking more about this far more than I intended, so I've registered both here and at Reddit to find out more about what people think the rules should be. From what I've seen of George RR Martin's responses, he does not want to set the rules in stone - so hopefully any future books won't contradict rules made up by the fan community too badly.
 I have taken a few liberties here that I think fit with the spirit of the books, so please let me know what you think.

I like Zuberi's rules for the most part (especially the ideas about flanking play, that's brilliant), but it seems to me that there are a few too many rules that are arbitrary (why 4 spearman and 6 crossbowman for instance?). Also, I've not played Stratego, and perhaps I'm missing the appeal of having numerical point values, but it seems like just another thing to remember, so I've simplified that as much as possible too. As I mentioned in my comment about the fortress above, I had thought the element that Martin took from Stratego was the "capture the flag" element, so I've added the fortress as a space (but not a piece) and the capture of this is what ends the game. Below follows my variation on Zuberi's rules:

Playing surface remains the 91 space hexagonal board (6 spaces to a side). One element I would like to add is that the edge of the board represents the sea, and to designate each of the 6 corners as "sea ports" - any piece on a corner space can move to an adjacent corner on their next move, beating any piece of lower (but not equal) strength already occupying the corner. Also, if a fortress is placed on the edge of the board, it too counts as a port. This is intended to discourage people from putting their fortresses on the edge of the board and surround them by mountains, although that could still be one way of playing the game. The fortress is a space that can be occupied by pieces of its own side, but must be attacked by the opposition. These choices mean that having the curtain up at the beginning would be crucial to the strategy of the game.

The moves of each of the pieces I'm keeping as specified by Zuberi, but the relative numbers I've changed around to make it easy to remember. ASoIaF puts an emphasis on the number 7, so I've gone with that (also the board won't be quite so crowded this way).

Terrain Pieces
7x Mountains (stationary): impassable by most pieces

Low strength pieces
7x Rabble: Moves one space orthogonally.
1x King*: Moves one space either orthogonally or diagonally.

Medium strength pieces (total of 7 – chosen during set up, max 3 of any piece):
Light Horse: Moves up to 2 spaces Orthogonally.
Spearman: Moves one space Orthogonally; Trumps Light Horse and Heavy Horse
Archers: Moves one space Orthogonally; May capture things 2 spaces away in a straight line, may fly over a non-mountain piece when capturing.

High strength pieces (total of 7 chosen during set up, max 3 of any piece):
Heavy Horse: Moves Diagonally any distance in a straight line (like a bishop)
Elephant: Moves Orthogonally any distance in a straight line (like a rook)
Trebuchet: Moves Orthogonally any distance in a straight line; Trumps Dragon; May fly over a single piece (including mountain) when capturing.

1x Dragon: Can move any distance in any direction in a straight line (like a queen); May fly over mountains but not other pieces. Can beat everything except Trebuchet.

As in Zuberi’s rules, you can only capture a piece with another of equal or higher strength. The way flanking plays would work is that two adjacent pieces of a certain level would be able to take one piece of the next level up (trumps excepted). So two rabble would be able to outflank a single light horse, spearman or archers, two spearmen are able to outflank heavy horse, and elephants, and trebuchet, and two heavy horse or two elephants would be able to outflank a dragon. Trebuchet is the only thing that trumps dragon, but several other things can beat a trebuchet in 1:1 combat.

*The one exception to this rule is the king, which by itself is a low strength piece but when used in a flanking play, acts as another piece of the same level as the attacker. So rabble+king can outflank a single light horse, spearman or archers, a spearman+king can outflank heavy horse, and elephants, and trebuchet, and heavy horse+king or elephant+king can outflank a dragon.

Any piece occupying the home fortress has its strength increased by a level (as if in a flanking play): A medium strength piece (or two low strength) is required to beat a low strength piece in the fortress. A high strength piece (or two medium strength) is required to beat a medium strength piece in the fortress. A dragon (or two high strength) is required to beat a high strength piece in the fortress. When the King is in its fortress it is regarded as a high strength piece. Dragons are not allowed to occupy their home fortress. An unguarded fortress can be taken by rabble.

The game is decided** by the capture of the opposing the fortress; so losing a King is not fatal, but still devastating. If the king is taken, the player loses all rabble pieces from the board, and the opposing player takes control of one piece from either medium or high strength categories at the start of their next turn. At the start of that turn they must state which piece they are taking and replace that piece with an equivalent one of their own, but they are not required to move that piece on that turn.

**To win, a player must have a live king. To recover from losing a king, the player who has lost their king must move one of their remaining medium or high strength pieces to their home fortress, whereupon it becomes the new king (that piece is replaced with the king piece). At this point the player does not gain back either rabble or pieces converted by the opponent. If they have already captured and still hold the opposing fortress, the crowning of a new king in their home fortress wins the game.

I think this would work really well, and I do think the idea of corners of the board being ports will encourage people to use the whole board. Let me know what you think. Cheers

Edited by MikeL, 04 June 2012 - 09:34 AM.




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