Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



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"Bosworth - The Game You Already Know How To Play". Already the subtitle of the game suggest that the "Bosworth"-game makes use of a classical game. In Bosworth, the authors of the game have taken the classical chess rules and created a new boardgame on the base of chess. The most striking fact is that not only 2 players may participate, but instead the game is designed for up to 4 players.

Each player has a set of the 16 classsical chess gaming-pieces (represented by playing cards), and to these basically the same movement and capture rules as in chess apply. A major difference to chess is the setup of the game at the beginning. Each player has a Field Camp consisting of 4 spaces, and he may freely distribute four of his 16 gaming pieces among the spaces of his Field Camp. The 12 cards not used in the beginngig are mixed into a random pile from which the player draws a hand of four cards. Then the game starts with a random player, and from now on the players take turns clockwise. Just like in chess, a player may move one of his figures in his turn following the traditional chess rules. If he lands on a figure of an opposite player, that figure is considered captured and removed from play. After a player has moved, he must look whether he has any free spaces in his Field Camp. If this should be the case, he must fill these free space(s) with figures from his hand. After he has placed these, he refills his hand to a size of four by drawing from the random deck and play proceeds with the next player. If a player should run of pieces, any space in the Field Camp that cannot be filled with a new figure is "closed up" with an already captured figure, which means that the players are not allowed to use this space anymore.

Itīs the aim of the game to have the last King on the board, and by removing enemy Kings players get the Queenīs of these players as an addition to their own army.

Especially if played with four players, Bothworth offers much more fun than the traditional chess game. Even before the game starts, players have to think about their starting setup and hope that the neighbours left and right wonīt place any figures with better movement abilities. At the beginning, the game normally becomes a big melee with everybody trying to remove pieces of all the other players. But even at this phase many strategical optins become available for the players: Should they bring in their strong figures early, or should they allow enemy units to occupy spaces of their Field Camp, just making it sometimes impossible to reinforce for rounds, allowing to keep cards on the hand for later ? The more figures are removed from the game, the more the classical chess elements will breack through since now the players have more freedom to move and put their figures in strategic positions.

To my mind, "Bosworth" is much more easy going and delighting than a classical game of chess. Due to the higher number of players, there is much more interaction and bluffing on the gameboard. A new strategic task not available at chess becomes a favourite sport: moving pieces into positions where they can threat pieces of different players or into positions where they might provoke a battle of other players. I think the game is highly enjoyable, and itīs certainly the best variant of chess I have played so far.

For chess fanatics - rules not used in Bosworth

Almost all rules from chess are uses, only some minor exceptions not used in Bosworth are :

  • Check
  • En Passant capture
  • Castling
  • Pawn Promotion

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany