Any reader of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time is familiar with the game stones. Popular in all countries in the Westlands as well as overseas in Seanchan, stones is valued by generals, rulers, and civilians, for it was said that all of the intrigues and all of life's pleasures could be found within this game. Skilled players of stones are known possess skill at both the Game of Houses and/or battlefield tactics, and vice versa. Thom is exemplary at Daes Dae'mar yet is hardly a military commander, while good ol' Mat is the opposite. Sounds like a fun game, right? I agree utterly, yet sadly Jordan never specified the any save the most basic of the basic rules, those being that each player is assigned one of two colors of army, each player alternating placing a stone on the board with the overall intention being to capture the stones of the opponent's army.
|A Go board|
So for those The Wheel of Time fans who want to try their hands at stones, as well as all others who, like me, finds chess tactics rather limited, here is the nearest thing. See this link for the rules. (Why do I find chess limited? I am accustomed to playing Fire Emblem and other turn-based strategy games which, as a general rule, I find far more challenging and emotionally engaging. I am no chess master, far from it by any and all definitions, but the impersonal and unchanging nature of chess makes it feel quite limited compared to Fire Emblem. Let's face it, one never begins a chess match outnumbered and on uncertain terrain that favors the enemy more than yourself with the possibility of enemy reinforcements looming in the background, much less wondering how a simple pawn could realistically defeat a mounted knight even if it was in the position to make an attempt, or taking the wounds sustained by your loyal troops into consideration. Fire Emblem, however, does all this and more as a matter of course and, in addition, has a basic troop component every medieval-style army worth the name had yet which chess lacks an equivalent of: archers.)