You may have heard of a Chess 2: The Sequel and wondered ‘Huh?’ Well, so did we, and we were also desperate to know more.
How does it all work? We’ve tried to give you the rules in the easiest way possible. There’s a lot to take in.
So the first big change in Chess 2 is that, if you cross over the midline with your King, you win the game. Naturally, that is going to make moves much more tactical and speed the game up pretty considerably. As normal, you can also still lose the game if it’s checkmate
Also, as normal in Chess, if you move a piece to an enemy on the square it occupies then you capture them. However, before the defender is captured, they can start a duel. In fact, the defender can actually attack the piece trying to capture them by spending stones. The player is given three stones at the start of every game, and every time a pawn is captured, an additional stone is added. The player can have up to six.
If a duel occurs, both attacker and defender choose how many of their stones to bid (between 0-2). Regardless of the outcome, the defending piece will be captured, but the point of a duel is that the defending piece can take their attacker along with them.
If a defender bids one stone, it is considered a bluff and will inconvenience the opponent by making them waste stones. However, the opposer can also call their opponent’s bluff by also bidding 0 stones, then they can claim a stone or destroy one of the defenders stones.
Duels are free if the rank of the pieces is the same or lower than the piece being captured. However, if the rank of the piece capturing the defender is higher and the defender wants to duel, they will have to pay a stone for the privilege. Kings have immunity and cannot initiate or be involved in a duel at any point.
There are different sets of armies you can use in the game. Each army offers a significantly different gametype.
Classic is the standard chess set and is the only one capable of ‘castling’.
An Empowered army features high mobility but only when the team is working together. Any empowered knight, bishop or rook can assume the movement powers of their neighbor when the pieces are horizontally or vertically adjacent to another. The elegant queen is also different in that she moves in exactly the same way as a King.
The Two King Army features Warrior Kings that move quicker in battle. The Warrior King can perform a Whirlwind Attack, destroying all touching friendly and enemy pieces. With this army, Midline Invasion can only be won if both Warrior Kings cross the midline. However, if you move one Warrior King, you make an extra move with the other. Neither king is allowed to be in check after either the first move or the extra move. If that happens, it’s an instant game over.
Then there’s The Reaper Army. Each army includes a Reaper piece that can teleport all over the board and capture everywhere, except the enemy’s back row and the enemy’s king. There’s also a Ghost piece. The ghost can teleport to any open square but cannot capture or be captured. Quite what the point of the piece is, i’m not sure…
The animal army is for short range attacks . The Wild horse is like a knight but can also capture friendly pieces. The tiger can move 2 squares diagonally, and when a tiger captures, it immediately returns to the square it attacked from. The jungle queen moves like both a rook and a knight. Finally, the Elephant is like a rook but can only move 3 squares. Like the Wild Horse, the elephant can capture friendly pieces, but when it does, it enters rampage mode and must move 3 spaces, capturing everything in its path. If your piece is more than 2 squares away, it cannot capture an elephant.
Finally, the nemesis army includes a nemesis piece which moves like a queen but cannot capture or be captured, except by an enemy king. There are also nemesis pawns in the pack which move as normal, but can make a non-capturing nemesis move which brings them one space closer to a king. Nemesis pawns, unlike their more familiar relatives, cannot move two spaces on their first move.
Games can also end in a draw
Yep, another big rule change. Instead of a stalemate where you both mutually ‘give up’, Chess 2 can actually leave players into a draw.
If two kings are on the midline and are about to cross, but can’t because they’re blocking one another then a Threefold Repetition can occur and the game ends in a draw. The Threefold Repetition is when pieces move opposite one another three times and never place themselves in a position to attack or be attacked. Also, if fifty moves are made with no captures or pawn moves, the game is written off as a draw. Finally, there are no stalemates in Chess 2. If you cannot make a move, you automatically checkmate and lose the game.
That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? To be honest, we’re not sure if any of this is really necessary, and it’s actually given us more of an incentive to forget all about this and play original chess instead. How odd.
Still, if you want to know what we thought? Why not check our As We Play…