Chessatya Solitaire

Chessatya Solitaire by Simon Jepps
Chessatya Solitaire by Simon Jepps
Aye, the game of Chessatya is not merely a pastime of spiritual recreation between friends, but is also a pastime of spiritual recreation with God.

Whilst the philosophical history behind Chessatya’s creation is one of peace, reconciliation and understanding, Chessatya Solitaire is in fact also a unique philosophical practise completely in and of itself.

As the name suggests, Chessatya Solitaire is indeed a game played solitary. Yet whence thine solitude is one spent meditating with God, thence Chessatya Solitaire is a game shared also with God.

Whilst it is not unusual for Western Chess players to partake in ‘solitaire’ games by themselves, these are in all rationality, only for Opening and positional studies.

For in Western Chess your only opponent is either a real living person or an artificial intelligence simulation.

Chessatya Solitaire is on the other hand a much more sentimentally intimate encapsulation of a “virtual” companion.

That is to say, Chessatya Solitaire embraces through the Dice, the abstract concept of a supernatural opponent. You could call this opponent ‘Karma’, ‘Chaos’ or even ‘God’. Yet for the passionate dedication and purpose for which this game was designed, we will call our companion ‘God’.

Thus the spiritual practise of Chessatya Solitaire is the assertion, proclamation and ascension unto complete honesty and adherence unto God.

This is a game then, of intellectual honesty and an exercise of solitary morale.

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Wxyzaerds ~ A Pastime Of Wordcraftery

Wxyzaerds Diceword Game By Simon Jepps
Wxyzaerds
A Pastime Of Wordcraftery
Assemble ye good Wizards, for ’tis time.

If my earlier creation, Ghost, wasn’t quite to your ghoulish fancy, then why not have a little dabble in the art of spells, with my next… Wxyzaerds.

There are actually so many different kinds of dice on the market, from 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 24, 30, 60 or even 100 sided dice, to divination, tarot or psychic dice, all kinds of creative, abstract, magical or humorous dice… but, most favourably in my book… letter dice.

Letter or “word” dice are generally six sided with letters of the alphabet printed on their faces. There are various kinds available, but ones which also display a letter value are harder to find.

I will leave a reference at the end of this article to a few such letter scoring dice, but for Wxyzaerds we will be using the nine dice set from the game Dicewords by Graham Lipscomb.

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Unto The Dice Tray…

Circular Dice Tray Rubberwood
13″ Circular Dice Tray made from Rubberwood
I love dice. Nowadays I am truly becoming more and more drawn to them than even Chess.

Yet, as a man who has played Chess passionately his entire life, whence taking away the board and pieces to make way for a handful of mere dice, something is profoundly missing.

For ages I couldn’t work it out. I kept asking myself, why, if I can get just as much strategic nutrition out of dice as I can from Chess, then why is there something missing?

Then it struck me. Aesthetics.

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Ghost ~ Dice For Two & Who?

Ghost ~ A Yahtzee type game by Simon Jepps
Ghost
A spooky kind of Yahtzee game, by Simon Jepps
Prepare thine self for a challenge of ghouls,
Hence a hand by chance worthy only of fools,
For this ancient game art greater than its host,
Play not one or two, but three, play the Ghost!

The heart beckons, aye, yet again I was drawn to the simplicity of the dice and the myriad of labyrinths kept hidden within their faces.

Simple and yet beautiful aren’t they? How many games have been invented with only a handful of dice? Only the roaring oceans of sailors gone before could possibly know.

Here then is another game of my own.

This game dawned on me in a kind of “eureka” moment. I was thinking very deeply about the game of Yahtzee and pondering over its limitations.

I wanted to somehow bring an extra dimension of strategy to what is quite simply a game of mere dice.

Whence the moment of realisation struck I was actually quite awestruck to have worked it out. Perhaps it was a premonition, perhaps it was divination, or perhaps… it was my Ghost.

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Siomega’n Openings & Pawnspace

Siomega Chess by Simon Jepps
Black plays 14… h6.
As discussed often regarding one hundred square board variants, Opening play about this much larger arena is often observed to weaken the collective strength of Pawns, since vast spaces will grow between them reducing their ability to form defensive communities.

Yet perhaps what is more often overlooked, is the remedy within the individual player’s ability to adjust and adapt to a different style of play.

In actual fact, whence playing a 100sq variant such as Siomega, the most experienced players of such an arena will tell you, the secrets of defensive agility reside in the ability to play offensively yet at arms reach ~ recumbently so to speak, yet with a long distance catapult.

Indeed scholars of “Hedgehog” systems may find this article of particular interest.

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10×10 Checkered Boards & Pieces

Siomega Chess by Simon Jepps
Siomega Chess by Simon Jepps featuring Masters Games Jester Chess pieces
Siomega is played on a larger 100 square checkered board featuring two Wizard pieces and two extra Pawns. A traditional Chess set features a board of only 64 squares and there are no Wizard pieces or extra Pawns.

Thus in order to play Siomega one will have to acquire suitable equipment.

Luckily for us, a Wizard figurine does not have to actually feature a “Crescent Moon” in its physical design, for a Wizard may appear however a Wizard desires.

There are many Chess manufacturers selling “fairy” Chess pieces or sets, such as House Of Staunton, any of these can be used as a Wizard.

A good search of House Of Staunton website, for terms such as “variant” or “musketeer” often returns interesting results.

However, if you are looking for something more exquisitely crafted, you can’t afford not to browse Masters Games website, to see their beautiful Jester Chess sets.

These beautiful burnt wood Jester pieces are my all time favourite Wizard set and will always remain so.

With regards to checkered playing boards, of course 100 square checkered boards are not easy to find, but a good dedicated search of the interweb will often return at least some fruitful results.

Once again, our friends at Masters Games often have something suitable in that respect, such as this good selection and also various independent online artisans sometimes have such items for sale.

If you feel up to the challenge, design and make a Chess set yourself… even painted potatoes would serve their duty!

Of course a Chess board is much easier to make than actual Chess pieces, so why not make one to match? You do not need to be a carpenter to apply a bit of die to some marked out squares… so give it a try!

Good luck with your Chess hunting and if you know of a good source yourself, then feel free to post a link or two in the comments below.

» Blogroll : Siomega

Jeppscotch Chalkboards

Jeppscotch ChalkboardsI personally find the portable chalkboard to be the perfect accompaniment to Jeppscotch.

Whilst one may always have their dice and chalk to hand, there is not always an ideal location or environment in which to play matches.

Besides there is so much more one can create with a chalkboard than say for example, a Chess board, and it is for this reason I will always favour Jeppscotch over any other game.

There are numerous companies manufacturing and selling chalkboards of various sizes and these can be found all over the world wide web.

Most of these companies have a storefront within the Amazon network, so get over there and grab one today!

Jeppscotch ~ The Roll & Scratch Dice Game

Jeppscotch Roll & Scratch Dice Game
Jeppscotch Roll & Scratch Dice Game
Jeppscotch is a mesmerizing strategical dice game for 2-3 players, best played with three.

There are traditionally two kinds of modern standalone strategic dice games and they are:

  • Roll & Write
  • Roll & Draw

These kinds of games require the basic equipment of some dice, some paper or marking cards and some coloured pens or pencils.

Jeppscotch is a new third kind I have developed for this particular genre and it is known as:

  • Roll & Scratch

This third kind, Roll & Scratch, is actually the oldest of all dice genres, yet bizarrely it has never yet been awarded true status. So hereby, it is my duty to enthrone the oldest of pastimes with this, my monumental debut game, Jeppscotch.

Roll & Scratch does not use pens or paper, but:

  • Chalk and a chalkable surface, or;
  • Sticks and a scratchable surface

So for example, you could play this in a playground, on a beach or even in the streets.

If keeping score is awkward given your particular environment, then a pencil and paper may be used for this one element. The game in proper however, should still nevertheless be played with either chalks or sticks.

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Time Lords

Time Lords Dice Game By Simon JeppsA strategy dice game for 2-4 players, by Simon Edward Jepps.

Hitherto my good peacekeepers and sacred guardians of all cronospace, prepare ye selves for righteous battle!

The game of Time Lords is not purely a game, but an adventure in time and space. To undertake this quest, you will need a heart of gold, an undying determined spirit and a very special fondness for all that is wondrous and infinite.

You will also need the following equipment.

  • Four 20 sided dice.
  • A multi coloured pen.
  • A pad of paper.
  • A calculator.
  • A table clock.

Different coloured individual pens may be used instead, these are to distinguish each player’s markings on the board.

The board can easily be drawn onto a piece of paper. Thus, these here listed items are all your necessary equipment.

You will require one RED, one GREEN, one BLACK and one WHITE twenty sided die.

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Cobra Paw Dragon

cobra paw dragon by simon jeppsA variation of Cobra Paw by Simon Jepps.

The game of Cobra Paw Dragon is played in very much the same way as classic Cobra Paw, except the following.

  • A maximum of two players assume their places about the arena.
  • Each player chooses one of two symbols as his own, suggested by the roll of both dice.
  • All tiles are snatched and scored as per usual except whence you snatch your opponent’s symbol by mistake.
  • For any tile snatched carrying your opponent’s symbol is surrendered to the opponent and thence… turned upside down.
  • The upside down tile scores double, or 2 points and may not be snatched again ~ so look out!
  • The tile carrying the symbol of both opponents scores thrice, or 3 points and can be claimed by either player.
  • BEWARE, if a player rolls a double of his own symbol, that tile also scores double, or 2 points AND if snatched by mistake, is turned upside down scoring quadruple, or 4 points.
  • “No touchy” law applies throughout.

NB:~ There are two styles of Dragon…

  • Dynamic: The player chooses a different symbol each round, from the two suggested by the dice, in order to increase confusion.
  • Straight: The player keeps the same symbol every round, but only if the dice permit, reducing confusion but receiving an extra 5 points at the end of the game.

The dice must suggest a symbol to choose or keep. If the dice do not suggest the same symbol thrice, the player cannot thrice keep it.

A pen and paper is required to keep score and to mark down each player’s symbol for each round.

Kudos to Karen Arnold for the Dragon.