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Grail

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Note: this game requires at least one other person to play and there's no one playing it right now. You may want to invite a friend to come play it with you.

Description
A new twist on an old classic, this 2-5 player version of Chess is played on an enormous 15x15 board and incorporates elements of Checkers, Chess and Go with a medieval theme.

Instructions

Game Basics

Grail is a turn-based board game. The Red player moves first, then the Green, Blue, Yellow and Black (if applicable). When it is your turn, you will see a message to that effect in the chat window and the border of the piece you are hovering the mouse cursor over will change color to indicate that you can pick up a piece.

Moving a Piece

When it is your turn, you may either move one of your pieces (that is, pieces of the same color as your cursor) or one of the neutral pieces in the central "Castle" area except for in a 5-player game where only the Black player can move the Neutral pieces.

To select a piece, left click on it. To drop the selected piece, right click anywhere empty on the board. To swap the currently selected piece for another one of your pieces, simply click on the new piece.

Building a Move

While you have a piece selected, your next available step squares will always be highlighted in cyan.

Clicking once will append that Step/Jump to the current Move, and highlight the square green to indicate that this has happened. You may then append further Step/Jumps (by left clicking again) or just click on the same square again to submit the Move to the server and end your turn. Note that not all moves which can be entered can actually be submitted to the server; in this event, the border of the cursor square will turn Red and if you attempt to submit the move anyway, a message will explain why it's not possible.

Right clicking anywhere on the path will cancel any moves after the square that's been clicked on. Right clicking off the path will drop the currently selected piece.

Valid Moves

  • Dragon - Moves 1 step in any of the 8 directions OR any number of consecutive Jumps. Can't jump Maidens or Towers. Attacks by moving onto an occupied square.
  • Pikeman - Moves 1 or 2 horizontal or vertical steps, Attacks by 1 diagonal step.
  • Wizard - Moves any number of open steps in any of the 8 directions, attacks by moving onto an occupied square (like a Queen in chess).
  • Archer - Like wizard, but only moves in Diagonals (like a Bishop in Chess)
  • Knight - Moves must be two Steps: First step horizontal or vertical, second step forward-diagonal. Attacks by moving onto an occupied square.

  • Tower - Does not move. Can not attack or be attacked. Can not be jumped.
  • Maiden - Moves one step in any of the 8 directions, but can not leave Castle. Can not attack or be attacked.
  • Grail - Same as Dragon, but can never at any point during it's move be in check and can jump Maiden.

Check

A check occurs when a player makes a move that results in any player's piece being able to capture the Grail on a subsequent turn.

In the even of a check, gameplay order reverses and the previous player is assigned to become the defender of the Grail (unless there is a player already dedicated to the Grail's protection). The defending player must move either one of the Maidens or the Grail such that the Grail is safe, and can do nothing else during this turn.

Winning

There are two ways to win: Capture the Grail, or Defend the Grail. The choice is yours.

In the event of a Check which has no defense, the attacking player is said to have Captured the grail (it need not actually happen) and is immediately declared the winner. This is the direct approach to winning.

On the other hand, the first player to lose all of their pieces (becuase they were captured by other players, or perhaps because the player captured their own pieces using the Grail) becomes the Grail's Defender.

They then have 10 turns (actual turns; responses to checks do NOT count) to escape capture. If they succeed, they are declared the winner.

In a >2 player game, if a second player loses all of their pieces while the Grail already has a Defender (or a player leaves the board at any time), that player is simply eliminated from the game and loses.

Special Areas

There are 3 types of special areas on the board:

Castle - The area in the middle of the board containing the neutral pieces is called the Castle. To land in the Castle with one of your pieces, you must first slay an opponent's Dragon .. but you may go through the castle at any time. All Dragons can always land in the Castle.

Portals - 4 squares adjacent to the corners of the castle. If a valid move ends in a portal, you make one additional Step to any other portal. If a piece starts from a portal, you may instead of your usual move Step to any other portal. While on a Portal, a piece can not be attacked.

Havens - 4 squares at the center of each of the board edges. Landing the Grail on a Haven causes the Grail and Maidens to reset to their original positions, and any piece currently inside the castle to be removed from play.

Credits
Game Development by Mikahil Ravkine
Game Concept by Mike Cramer
Art by ???

Revision History

August 3rd:
* FEATURE: Implemented 5 Player Games (only Black player may move neutral Pieces)
* BUGFIX: Knights can use Portals now
* CHANGE: When you checkmate the Grail, you always win.
* Updated text above.

August 2nd (BETA2):
* RULE #13: Post-Elimination wins (see "Winning" above)
* RULE #8: Pieces may move through the castle at any time, but they can only land in the castle if they're a dragon slayer.
* FEATURE: Right-clicking on a part of the path will back the piece up to that square.
* FEATURE: Moves that are not submittable will no longer be auto-suggested.

August 1st (BETA1.5):
* FEATURE: When you pick up a piece, the source square lights up
* FEATURE: Move auto-helper will highlight all available moves.
* FEATURE: The grail can now be checked and checkmated!
* RULE #12: Attacking your own pieces with the Grail is now possible

Created: Jul 18, 2008
Last updated: Aug 3, 2008

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