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Knightmare Chess
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Knightmare Chess

second edition

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Product Description

Chess will never be the same! Knightmare Chess is chess played with cards - and what cards! Each card breaks the rules in a wild and unpredictable way, giving the game more twists and turns than a roller coaster.

Some Knightmare Chess cards affect a single move, while some change the entire game! Each card is assigned a point value, so you can build custom decks based on an agreed point total, or handicap the match so the better player has fewer powerful cards. The possibilities are endless - and so is the fun!

A translation of the popular French game Tempete sur l'Echequier by Pierre Clequin and Bruno Faidutti, Knightmare Chess has 80 big, beautiful cards - each with an individual color painting by Brazilian artist Rogerio Vilela.

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.1 in 7 reviews

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Knightmare Chess is an entirely new way of playing chess
October 13, 2003

Most chess variants make some little modification to the rules, but it's still basically a perfect information game. My thoughts on this are that if you want to play a game like this, play standard chess. Standard chess is a great game.

Knightmare Chess destroys this basis of the game and throws it out the window. It replaces it with whole new strategies. In Knightmare Chess, you can't move whimsically and survive. Instead, the planning involves around setting up situations in which your cards can be put to the most use. You can plan and execute combinations around your cards. Like any card game there is luck, but also, knowing what to play and what to discard takes a lot of skill and practice.

I think this is the best game to come along in a long time. It's not just one chess variant, it's a hundred rolled into one.

Really Makes You Think
March 31, 2003

Are you ready for a whole new game of chess??

Ever wanted those chess pieces to have strange and unusual powers?

Then these are the games for you.

Not only do these cards have beautiful artwork, but also the abilities they give your chess pieces make it a whole new game.

We have found that it helps if you have 2 or 3 different chess sets, that way you can easily identify the special pieces that are created by the cards.

Players in my area interested in playing, please send me an e-mail.

by Joel
It's not really Chess, it's better!
July 07, 2000

Chess can be fun if you train a lot and become good at it. But most of us don't have the time to do that, since there are so many good games you want to play and gaming takes time. These cards turn Chess into something fast and very fun. So if you don't feel like learning different Chess strategies and still want to stand a chance against a friend who has been training for years I would definitely recommend this game. It takes away some of the tactics from basic Chess, but that doesn't mean you have to rely entirely on luck to win the game. The cards have added a new type of strategic thinking. If you don't play your cards right you will lose.

Liven up the classic game with these cards
February 07, 1999

Assuming you don't mind tinkering with the grandest of games, this Steve Jackson card game will make playing chess a wild and crazy experience! Nevertheless, the game is chess, and the goal is the same: to checkmate your opponent's king. How you get from beginning to end, though, cannot be anticipated.

The deck consists of 80 cards with stunning artwork and design. Each card has a large, dark, spooky image, as well as the name of the card, its cost and an explanation of how to use it.

Most cards are used to modify or replace one's normal move of a piece (e.g., Blessing, allowing one of your pieces to move like a bishop). Other cards represent special attacks, such as Fireball (all pieces adjacent to the moved piece are destroyed) and Riposte (your opponent's piece is captured instead when he tries to capture one of yours). There also are cards with continuing effects, like Confabulation (allows you to merge two pieces) and Doomsayer (whoever next pronounces the name of a piece loses a piece of that type). Yet more cards are Chaos (cancel your opponent's move), Legacy (choose a card from the discard pile) and Resurrection (return a captured piece to play).

Players may play a card on their turn as well as their opponent's turn, filling their hand to five cards after each play. The cards can be drawn from a common face-down deck or selected decks 'bought' (using cards' costs) at the beginning of a game. Each player could bring his own deck to use, too.

My only complaint about Knightmare Chess is that some of the cards seem quite useless, which is not a problem if you are buying your cards: Just don't buy them. But they are a nuisance if you are drawing from a common deck. The only consolation is that your opponent is just as likely to draw them as you are!

Add Chipolte to Your chess nite.
March 26, 2002

The totally spices up chess, or if you are playing against someone MUCH better than you this can level the playing field.

We have played this with four way chess and had an absolute blast. It adds a little luck to the draw to an otherwise strategy only game.

Its cheap and alot of fun

Great game LOOSELY based on chess
December 05, 2001

This is a game LOOSELY based on the rules of chess. I give you this warning because I know a few chess purists who havent enjoyed this game. This game uses cards which change the rules. Each player draws five cards to start the game, and other than that, the game begins the same. You can only play one card on your turn and one card on your opponents turn. You replenish you hand up to five cards at the beginning of your turn only, from either a common deck or your own deck. (The game can be played where both players draw from a common deck, or where each player makes up their own deck of a specific point value. I would recommend the common deck, especially if you only own one set.) In addition, you may discard one card on your turn if you didnt play a card. This is helpful because most cards only affect specific pieces, and if a card in your hand only affect knights and both of yours are captured, then it is only taking up space.

The cards make predicting your opponents moves nearly impossible, so planning several moves in advance is even harder, which is where the chess purists are turned off. This unpredictability leads to quick moves because you must play in the here and now. Moves that do the most damage point-wise tend to happen because each player always has an ace up their sleeves. Another thing to keep in mind when playing is not to be lured in by the cards. Sometimes you will pick up a card and be so excited to use it that you pass up an even better ordinary move. Even though the cards can drastically change the rules, both players still need to know some elementary chess strategy. The cards can level the field between an all right player and a good player. But it cannot level the field between a poor player and an all right player.

This game is great. The cards increase the rates at which moves are made but not necessarily the time the game takes to play, due to the many 'get out of check' cards. The artwork on the cards is really nice. The cards themselves can quickly change the balance of power in the game, so it is never clear who will come out on top. I would strongly recommend picking up the expansion as well.

Utter chaos is entertaining, but little strategy...
February 26, 2003

Let me preface this review by saying that I'm far from a chess purist. I've dabbled with the game for years, and I've never been anything more than an adequate player.

Thus, when my friend Justin asked me to play this variant, I was interested, anything which can add a new wrinkle is worthy of a try right?

Well, not really. I'm a big fan of Steve Jackson games in general, but Knightmare Chess is a big strike out.

Chess, as most people are aware, is one of the great pure strategy games of perfect information, perfect information meaning that you know exactly as much as your opponent does about the game state, and thus, it's entirely up to skill to see who can take advantage.

Knightmare Chess destroys this basis of the game, and it takes the one hallmark of chess, pure strategy and planning, and throws it out the window.

Without knowing how your opponent's pieces can legally move you can't form any viable strategy, and you're best off moving with almost uttery whimsy, as trying to set up a combination, or a winning mate is nigh impossible while there are still cards in their hand.

If you want to play an entirely new game with your old chess board, and you like playing games almost entirely for fun, with no concerns about strategy carrying the day, then pick this up and give it a try. Others are advised to stay away.

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