• PM To Join • Mate and checkmate

The crystal city of Uleuda is accessed from the minds of the Yludih. A safe haven from the persecution suffered in Idalos, Uleuda provides a place for Yludih to learn about their people from the Ancients, congregate together about the light bringing crystal Yldria, and begin the process of unlocking their 'gates' to eternal life.

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Sintih
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Mate and checkmate

Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:11 pm

5th of Cylus, 717th Arc
Night
Kinteh and Oniguhr's house

o many questions... It's just a game, mother. And before you ask, yes, we together, yes, she takes care me and yes, we being careful." Sin chimed, probably a little louder than he should have but his mother always seemed to know how to push his buttons. He turned to look at his father, standing near the door, several large crystal slates under his arm. He was still, just glowing and smiling at his son. No use then. "If I promise introduce her to you later can go now?" Beira, his mother, looked at him, weighing his words. Well, she was Kinteh now. She did still look like Beira but he could see the crystal influence on her appearance quite clearly. As an ancient, her form was full of detail and precision so Sin could tell much from just looking at her.

"Invite her over tonight then..." She chimed softly, smiling lightly. At least the dragon of house Beira wasn't in today. "I can't believe you want your father to meet her but not your mother." Her eyes flashed from Sin to Rudi and his smile faltered for a moment which in turn brought a smile to Sin's lips, even though he didn't have any yet. "No choice. He's the only one who knows the rules..." For the first time since his mother had stopped them from leaving the house, Oniguhr opened his mouth. "Hey..." He chimed in a painful manner, glowing a little yellow, something Sin had come to associate with his father feeling hurt or stung when talked about. Sin turned from his father to his mother and back. He was about to say something else but Sin interrupted him. "Tell me honestly you introduced mom to father-father you started dating and I go and get her right now." The silence after his chimes was loaded with answers.

About ten bits later, Sin and his father, Rudi, or in Uleuda Oniguhr, were walking towards one of the meditation areas. Both were carrying different things. His father was carrying the flat slates from earlier, five to be exact, while Sin carried two small purses in one hand and a larger pack in the other. The big one jiggled like a purse full of coins with every step he took. "So? How long have you know this girl?" His father chimed casually. Sin turned his head and sighed, which came out as more of a sharp whistle. "Long time.Just not..." He hesitated. Just not what exactly? "Not sure... You know?" He chimed, sharper than he had intended. Since he had started taking lessons from Yana he had made some progress but he still needed focus to prevent himself from making mistakes. The subject didn't really lend itself to focus.

"Of course I know. I said the same thing to my father once he found out. He told me the same thing I'm telling you now. It's not such a stretch, you know." Sin nodded. He wasn't really sure why he'd never mentioned it up until now. Maybe he just liked keeping the secret for the sake of keeping it? With that, both men were satisfied their answers and they continued to walk on in silence. Sin had to admit that he was quite excited. Partly because he was meeting Yana again, although this time his father was present so nothing of that sort of excitement would happen, but mostly because he was able to share something with her that he'd spend a long time working on.

They set up on the floor of the room. The first time Sin had been in this room, he and Yana had shared an intimate moment that had been cut short by a young Yludih and her Ancient teacher. Since then, they had only used the room for proper learning. Sin pulled some of the pillows aside in the middle of the room. Oniguhr put three crystal plates down on the ground, each one next to the other and then divided them up with the remaining two plates, blocking vision from one end to the other. The plates lying down had light grooves in them, dividing them up in small squares, about fifty on each side. Sin carefully poured the contents out of the large bag he had with him onto one of the pillows. Crystals in carious shapes and sizes fell onto the pillow. Some were rough and random while others were clearly carved or shaped to match each other. He quickly sorted them before pushing the pillow over to his father. "Did you have anything specific in mind?" Sin shook his head, one of the few uses of body language he had at his disposal here. "alright."

While Sin opened the two purses and poured their contents out on two separate pillows, Oniguhr began placing the crystal pieces on the middle board, seemingly randomly picking them and putting them down. Both pillows contained crystals in very basic shapes. There were squares, triangles, rectangles and circles. They were all flat and looked like a kid's collection of some sort. The ones on the left pillow were obviously used and some of their coarseness had been shaved down simply from being handled so much. Sin picked one up from the right pillow and let it flick through his fingers. Where the left ones had been handled a lot, these were totally smooth pieces, almost game like in their appearance. The corners of each piece had been rounded from use and it was quite clear that this set of crystals had been used for several dozens arcs.

He pushed the left pillow towards one side of the slates and the right one to the opposite side. He sat himself down next to the more heavily used ones and started sorting them on his board, handling each one with care. How many games had he played with these ones? He couldn't remember even if he tried. Sin smiled softly as he remembered some of the moves he'd made with these. "There, done." His father suddenly piped up. Sin glanced over the crystal board cutting him off from the middle board. It was filled with the crystals from the larger bag now. "Interesting choice." Oniguhr smiled and nodded. "Purely random." Sin sat back down and finished sorting his own pieces. He held up a square one, so worn down by use and handling that it started looking like a circle.

"You think I make new ones?" Oniguhr turned to look at him, surprise on his face. "Again? You've only had these for four arcs now. That's your second set already..." Sin shrugged, another piece of body language he could use. "Worn out. I guess not necessary yet." He put the piece back down and got up from his seat. There would be plenty of sitting down once they got started. "Does you girl-..." His father begun asking when the door chimed open.
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Yanahalqah
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Mate and checkmate

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:03 pm

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From time to time, coming to Uleuda was odd. Not the coming itself, that was just the same as always. The feeling of being here was, where she could meet Rathaan face to face, despite being an ocean or two away. It was weird to come here just like always, even now she had temporarily left the service of the Hand, and was hunting down a group of Ne’haerian scumbags. To be honest, she had intended to get off the grid for a little while, but every night she wound up in the crystal city anyway.

It felt like she had ran away from home, only to sheepishly come back later. She felt she needed to be somewhere else than Uleuda during her quest, and had intentionally avoided the people she knew as best as she was able. She didn’t want them to ask where she was and why. Or maybe she did, but she didn’t like that she felt that way. To her, that would be trying to catch attention of others, something she really didn’t care for.

Naturally, she couldn’t always evade detection, and sometimes she ran into her mother. That wasn’t too bad as Yana had already visited her in Etzos, and Risahalqah knew what she was up to. Sometimes she ran into the Pink Girl, who didn’t know anything about Yana’s Idalos life, so that wasn’t a problem either. Rathaan… well, that was where the weirdness began. In truth, she wanted to see him. Since he’d been serving as Tristan’s bodyguard, he’d gone to the Colonies, while Yana had remained in Andaris. To Yludih, distance wasn’t a problem; they had Uleuda.

Now though? She wanted to see him, but she also didn’t. She worried that if he were to ask what exactly she was doing, she would answer. She knew she probably would. And she wasn’t really sure what he would think of that. Would he approve? Would he be disappointed? Would he not care one way or the other? For some reason she thought that if they would have this conversation on Idalos, she wouldn’t be too bothered. Uleuda had a way of changing her though; a way of making her feel vulnerable and anxious.

She didn’t like it.

The Yludih turned a corner and found herself in the meditation complex already, unable to recall what she’d come across on the way there, or even the route she’d taken. The same room as the last couple meet-ups, Rathaan had said excitedly when she’d agreed to come by again. She was probably going soft if she had allowed the thin Yludih to get her to say yes so many times while she’d actually wanted to say no. Another language lesson the next trial? Sure. Another one three trials from now? Why not. Come hang out someplace he’d found he kind of liked? All right. Come play this strategy game? Sounds Interesting.

Thinking back, she most definitely was going soft.

Still, there was no denying that he had captured her interest the moment he spoke the magic words. “Strategy game.” Curiosity had always been a weakness of hers.

Her feet had brought her to the room, and she pushed open the door without thinking, catching the tail end of a conversation. Perhaps she should have waited a bit? Or knocked? Probably knocked.

“Good trial,” she spoke a little formally to the Ancient, always a bit intimidated when meeting new ones. Especially when they turned out to be her special one’s parents. Even though Rathaan had said his father would come, Yana realized she wasn’t mentally prepared for this. At least the Ancient looked friendly enough. “I am Yanahalqah,” she introduced herself, bowing slightly, then giving an awkward nod to Rathaan after she straightened back up.

Fortunately, there were ways to divert attention away from the awkwardness of first meetings, and this time, it came in the form of a board and pieces. She eyed them thoroughly, intrigued by the separation between what she assumed were the playing fields, as well as the different shapes the pieces had. “I don’t think I have ever seen a game like this before,” she commented, “except maybe battleships.” She wanted to know how to play though, she was dying to hear the rules and gain an understanding of the game, but didn’t want to rush the two others. She refrained from asking, figuring they would tell in due time. Rathaan probably noticed, though.
word count: 776
"Speaking" - Thinking - "Others speaking"
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Sintih
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Mate and checkmate

Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:42 pm

oth men turned to look at the door as it opened fully. There was a trill of silence in the room as everyone looked at everyone and then Yana spoke up, greeting the Ancient in front of her as stiffly and professional as he was used from Saeri. Her voice brought a smile to his face, although nobody could see it. His father, on the other hand, was incapable of being so perfectly unreadable. As she chimed her greeting, he smiled and when she introduced herself with a bow, he turned to look at Sin, eyebrows up in question. Sin gave him a slight nod, just the tiniest of affirmations he could muster. "You'd think I'd be used to all these Ancient formalities after so many arcs..." Oniguhr absently rubbed his chin, looking at Yana. "Welcome, Yana. I am Oniguhr, Sin's father. But don't worry, I'm just here to oversee the game, not to chaperone you two."

Sin groaned, quite audibly, as he pushed himself up from his seated position. He crossed the distance between him and Yana and stood in front of her. He had intended to greet her but the closer he got the more his father's presence became clear in the situation. So instead Sintih just stood in front of her, his mind stuck between choosing to kiss her on the lips, just give her a peck on the cheek, hug her or shake her hand. In the end he got nowhere and simply turned away a little, waving his hand into the room. "Come in, come in. Excited." It wasn't really clear whether he meant that he was excited to play or that he was asking if she was excited about playing.

Yana looking over the board and pieces didn't pass either of the men. Before Sin could mention anything, Oniguhr spoke up. "I'd be more surprised if you actually had seen this before. Sin made it himself when he was younger. I'm pretty sure it combines elements from everything, ranging from battleships to reality." Sin found the words, chimed while glowing in an orange-red of pride, to be annoying. His father sounded like he was trying to sell his prized turnip or something. "Ugh..." The eye roll upwards went unseen but it was quite clear how Sin felt about the praise. "What?" His father chimed back, the hint of his amusement clear from the tone of his voice. "It's really good. You'll see." He turned to Yana for the second sentence. "Anyway, take a seat over there." Oniguhr pointed to the opposite side of the board constructions where Sin had prepared one set of crystals.

Sin closed the door and sat himself back down where he'd been sitting before. Oniguhr waited for Yana to take a seat before he sat down as well, right in between them, able to see all three of the horizontal boards, his vision unimpeded by the vertically placed ones between them. Sin grabbed one of each shape from his pillow and put them in one hand, holding them out so Yana could see his small collection. "These are the pieces, your military pieces." He held them up in turn, the square one first, followed by the triangle, rectangle and circle. "Basic infantry... Cavalry... Spearmen... Archers." Then he leaned forward to look over the board between his and the middle one, which was filled with various other crystals now that Oniguhr was finished with setting it up. He pointed at a few circles on the map. "Hills and small mountains." His finger shifted to a few cubes spread across the board. "Forests." His finger stopped on a bunch of flat squares placed together in the left corner closest to Yana. "Water."

He then glanced from the board to his father and back. "There are towns, forts and mountains but... not on the map we'll be using this trial." Sin sat back down and pointed at the three boards divided by the screens. "This is command map, you can't see mine and I can't see yours. This is the world. We can both see it. You'll place your units on your board in a bit and start moving them around. Father will tell if we see each other's units or if anything else happens. Basically, he'll be the referee and the world at the same time." Sin went back to his four unit pieces. "Movement is squares, for now, they can only move one at a time." He pointed to the square, rectangle and circle. "Cavalry can move double that. Turns will be simp-..." Sin stopped as his father put his hand up a little. "Try not to overwhelm your friend before the game starts, yes? Did you get all that?" Oniguhr turned his attention to Yana to see if she was following so far.

Sin nodded towards Yana, giving her a moment to ask questions or anything else she might want to say. He was getting really into it now. For the past eight trials, Sin had played with only one other person and over time he'd learned so much about him that he could predict most of the matches before they'd even started. It hadn't been too difficult to craft most of the things himself. Loose pieces of crystal from all over Uleuda in combination with some basic tools and a lot of free time on his hands had given Sin everything he needed. He had to admit that the many games he'd played had been good to set up the rules. He wondered if his father was glad to sit this one out for once.
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Mate and checkmate

Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:34 pm

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The greetings were just as awkward as Yana had imagined. With his father present, neither Rathaan or Yana seemed to be able to act in their usual way. Truth to be told though, Yana still wasn’t sure how to greet Rathaan in Uleuda. Or on Idalos for that matter. Sure, in private—scratch that, even in private she wasn’t sure how to act. If he instigated things, as he had a tendency to do, she’d noted, Yana was willing to join in and even take the lead when possible. However, she was never sure of what Rathaan wanted out of this relationship. Hell, she didn’t even knew what SHE wanted out of it. She wasn’t the clingy type, nor the type to be intimate all the time, and she wondered what Rathaan thought of it.

Fortunately, the game itself was more than enough distraction, and soon Rathaan was happily explaining all the rules and showing off the pieces while she listened attentively. The squares resembled shields if one used enough imagination. they were normal units, the footfolk. Triangles were the riders on horseback, probably armed with lances, hence the triangle. Spearmen were rectangles, which kind of resembled the polearm if one squinted hard enough, excluding the point. The circles were archers, and except for linking them to the targets, Yana couldn’t use any other association to memorize them better. If she forgot she could always get it right by elimination.

She nodded slightly as Rathaan explained the movement, and her head slowly turned towards the Ancient when he interrupted. While she did not doubt the good intent of his interjection, it was a bit annoying to be treated like this was a lot of information to take in. “I got all of that,” she said, perhaps a bit too flatly, though in no way actually impolite. She gestured to Rathaan to continue, and focused her eye back on the board.

Of course, Yana did have some questions already, but she was planning to wait until Rathaan was done with his explanation before voicing them. He’d not gotten the chance to go in detail over many aspects of the game yet, and it was very likely that by the time they were going to start playing all her questions would already have been answered without her ever asking them. And if not, she could still tell them so. For now it was too early to say whether she understood or not, without seeing the complete picture.
word count: 429
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Sintih
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Mate and checkmate

Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:58 am

e smiled across the battlefield to Yana as she responded. Of course she'd understood all of it. His father didn't know how good she was, he didn't know she was exactly right for him. "Good, so... Turns simple. We go together, you move as you like but only one turn. You move everything or one or nothing, you choose. Turn ends when we both finish, then we go again. If our units can see each other father will stop game. Units we've seen move here..." He pointed to the board in the middle. "...and we continue. Fighting easy. Unit has three life. No life, no unit. Dead." He picked up his four unit tiles and placed them on the ground near the middle so she could see them. He pointed the archers towards the basic infantry, the basic infantry towards the spearmen who were in turn pointing towards the cavalry. The cavalry completed the circle by pointing at the archers.

"If unit fight same unit, one life each. If unit attack like this..." His finger moved along the circle, from archer to infantry to spearman to cavalry and back to archers. "...they deal two life and take none. Archer attack one tile away, deal one life take none. Cavalry attack archer, deal two life, take none also. More rule, more detail. Later." Sin moved his hand next to his face, fingers pointing up, palm towards his cheek and then moved his hand forward in a small upward arc, the common sign for future. "Winning..."He hesitated here, trying to find the right words. His eyes glanced quickly towards his father who shrugged lightly. Sin's eyes focused back on Yana. "Winning not... kill everything. Maybe same same. Maybe winning run away. Maybe..." He hesitated again. "Maybe time, hold place, target... Different game, different winning. Today, kill everything." He smiled at that, his face a bunch of motionless crystals.

He took a trill here to see if he'd forgotten anything, his eyes scanning the unit pieces he'd laid out and then the map. "Ah, forgot seeing." He put his finger on the middle map, one of the squares with nothing on it. "Seeing here four squares." He moved his finger to a forest. "Seeing in here only one square, seeing out here, four squares." He shifted to the lake in the corner. "On water, seeing one more, five squares but water only. Seeing from water to land only four." The last shift led him to the circles depicting hills. "Seeing here one more, five squares but only normal tile. Seeing from hill to hill same forest, one square." He glanced at Yana to see if she'd understood all that. He was quite sure she would have as they'd spend a lot of time together working on his speech. By now she would have picked up on quite a few of his vocal quirks and vocabulary.

"For now, simple, rules simple, move simple, life simple. No fort, no city, nothing. Easy. We play, you like, we try more hard later." Again, his hand came up to sign the future. "First, you try, practice. Later has..." Again, the hesitation in Sin's voice was clear but he shook his head. "No, later. More hard, more real." He nodded then and looked to Yana again. "To start.." He pointed at the middle board, running his finger along the tiles on each of the sides. "Board fifty by fifty. Place units only first ten." He pointed to the first ten rows of squares, closest to Yana. "But place on your board, not middle one. When done, we start. Ok? Everything clear?" He gave her a moment to ask any questions she might have or simply tell him to continue on.

While he listened he was getting ready to put down his first units when he realized he had forgotten an important part. "Wait, wait. You choose how many units each. Starting army." Sin chimed the last two words with difficulty. It sounded more along the lines of beginning or starting slayers or killers. "First game, I think small better. You choose each one. Not have to be same each." He held out his hand with the four pieces in it. "How many each?" He was excited to play and it had been clear from his voice this entire explanation but now, as he was holding the pieces out for Yana to decide on their numbers, his hand was steady and his eyes were looking at her like she was becoming the enemy. They had done little in the way of strategy training in their time together but he remembered a few games of chess a few seasons ago.
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Yanahalqah
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Mate and checkmate

Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:20 pm

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The game, though looking complicated when only taking into account the set-up, wasn’t something with odd and complex rules. It was easy to understand the basics (though when explained by Rathaan and his lacking Ulehi, it became harder) and it reminded Yana a bit of chess in that regard. Though the basics weren’t difficult to get a grasp on, the game itself was anything but simple, and could become a very challenging match when played against a decent opponent. Rathaan was more than just decent at that game, and each victory or loss had been extremely close before.

Yana wondered if this game would prove to play out much the same. Perhaps he would use the same strategies and playstyle he’d used before, which might help her come up with ways to counter him. However, she did not doubt that she too was probably going to use what was familiar to her, which in turn was something Rathaan was familiar with too.

The Yludih focused her thoughts on the problem at hand when prompted, giving the question the attention it deserved. The size of the armies was an important aspect of the battle, as was the choice of units to integrate in it. Choosing a number dividable by four would allow to have an equal amount of each unit, which brought balance if so desired. However, limiting the usable pieces would force the army to specialize in one or two types of attack, and if you could correctly anticipate the build your opponent was going for, it could be countered from the start. That is not to say that victory would be guaranteed, but they had an advantage nonetheless. Besides, limiting the resources would allow her to study the way Rathaan played when forced to pick one unit over the other, and if he was going for such a strategy from the start, well, the same opportunity still existed.

“How about ten units per player?” she responded, figuring that that wasn’t too few nor too many for a practice run.

She began setting up then, grabbing a handful of random pieces so she could make her choices in peace. Strategically, the archers and the cavalry seemed to have the most use. Not only could the archers move the same distance as infantry or spearmen, they could also attack from afar. The cavalry had the benefit of moving double the distance of the other units, but the other pieces had no distinct advantages except for dealing more damage to one other unit type.

Now that she was thinking instead of listening though, she came across something she needed to see clarified. “Archers can attack other pieces that are right next to them as well, right? Or are they purely limited to attacking from one square away?”

Perhaps it was but a minor rule that hadn’t been clear to her, but her strategy and thus the make-up of her army would depend on the answer.
word count: 507
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Sintih
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Mate and checkmate

Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:42 pm

en units each. A solid choice, not enough to evenly spread the units, two or three of each, making sure that they could learn a little about each other's preferences when it came to units. Not too big of a number either so they wouldn't get bogged down in an extensive game but enough for her to get a feel of the rules and the game in general. He shifted to a light orange-red hue for a moment as he regarded Yana with his expressionless face. The color shifted back to a normal white as he pulled his hand back. There was no room for this on the battlefield. Oniguhr watched his son explain the game and smiled as he pulled his hand back. He couldn't read anything from his son's face but he knew him well enough to know what went through Sin's mind at this moment.

Sin quickly put his pieces aside, one of each, making up four of ten units. Then he added two more archers, a unit of pikemen and topped up with all cavalry. He put the rest of his pieces aside and started placing his units at his end of the battlefield. "Hmm?" Sin chimed, questioningly, as Yana's voice pulled him from the beginnings of his battle plan. "Yes, archers can attack both close and far. Also, I forget, units can only move or attack, not both. Only cavalry can if they move one tile, not two." Sin quickly went over the rules, most of which existed nowhere but in his own head. Any other rules he'd bring up as they applied or he'd left out in favor of a simpler introduction to the game. He nodded twice, smiled an unseen smile and looked back down at his own board.

His strategy was simple. The battlefield his father had set up was relatively open, except for the two clumps of forest around the middle of the map. He placed his units together near the middle of his end of the battlefield. The normal troops were the middle of the front line, with the pikemen flanking them on each side. Behind each of them the archers were positioned. A basic formation that provided an all around response to attacks. His four cavalry he placed to their left, some five or six tiles away from them. The cavalry would make for the outer side of the forest, skirt around it to spot any ambushes on the edge of the forest and try and hit Yana's troops in the back while they were grinding down on his other units. All in all, a standard tactic, which was always a good opener when playing against new people.

Sin was excited to play, for various different reasons. He hadn't played this with anyone but his father so the new blood, or light, at the board excited him. Through the game he was also hoping to learn a few more things about the person he was sharing most of his life with now. The game itself always made him like this as well. He smiled and chimed a little hum as he looked up from his setup. "Ready." He chimed at his father, who was now the referee for the game. Oniguhr nodded and turned to look at Yana, both men waiting for her to finish her set up and any questions she may still have had while preparing for her first game.

The first few turns of the game would go by quick, both of them moving one set of movement and then waiting for Oniguhr to tell them they could continue. He constantly checked their movements to make sure he could let them know when a unit came into view of an enemy unit. According to his strategy, Sin moved his main unit straight forward towards the open ground in between the two forest. They were clearly visible from anywhere, except the few forest tiles in the middle of each forest area, where the trees would block their view. His cavalry was making haste to the left most forest, going in at a bit of an angle to try and stay out of sight from where he thought Yana's main army was.
Board
Yana's side

OOPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
OOPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPFFFPPFFFPPPPH
PPPPFFFPPFFFPPPHH
PPPPFFFPPFFFPPPPP
HPPPPPPPPPPPPPHH
HHPPPPPPPPPPPPHH

Sin's side

O=Ocean/Water
P=Plains
F=Forest
H=Hills
Army setup
CC------PSP
CC------AAA

A= Archers
C= Cavalry
P= Pikemen
S= Swordsmen
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Yanahalqah
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Mate and checkmate

Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:27 pm

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The reply Rathaan gave her was enough to make her rethink her strategy and army set-up. Yana had been thinking to use archer predominantly, mostly because of their range and aptitude for ambushes. Anyone who had played chess against her more than once was probably aware that the Yludih enjoyed setting traps for her opponent. In fact, the surprise attack was one of her favorite, if not her absolute favorite tactic to employ in combat.

However, cavalry turned out to be very versatile, even more so than before now a new snippet of information was revealed. Being able to move twice the distance of a normal unit was already a pretty good trait, but if the could attack and move in the same turn? Even better.

Once again did the female Yludih let her gaze sweep over the battlefield, taking in the environment Rathaan’s father had prepared for them. The forests were wide enough to hide in, but since the visibility was reduced to melee range, the troops couldn’t be stationed in the middle if one wanted to plan an ambush. Placing archers on the edge of the forest would allow for a sneak attack, yes, but the enemy would be able to see them easily, rendering the ambush inefficient. There were ways around that though. If she so desired, she could play that way…

However, Yana decided her priority was to get a feel for the game first, and opted for a more balanced approach. She removed her previous set-up from her board, gathered two of each piece from the pile on her side of the board, and added an extra cavalry and archery unit. The horsemen’s mobility would serve her well, and the range of the archers would most likely come in handy too.

With the make-up of her army decided, the placement on the board remained. She had two rows at her disposal, each one consisting of sixteen available spaces. The terrain itself would, if one wanted to avoid the parts with low visibility, create a funneling effect on the army. It really was perfect for an ambush strategy, and it almost pained Yana to ignore that approach.

Instead she divided her army into three groups, where the ones on the sides were made up of one cavalier, one spearman, and one archer each. The middle group consisted of the leftover two cavaliers, and the two infantry units. In hindsight, Yana should perhaps have asked for twelve pieces instead of ten, as this basic “equal parts” approach would have been a tad bit more effective. Well, too late to change it now.

“Ready as well,” she responded a couple bits after Rathaan had finished setting up his pieces. She stared at him, trying to figure out what was going through his head right now. It was rather difficult when there was no face to read.

During the first few turns, Yana angled her side armies to the edges of the board, staying out on the plains rather than the hills or the forests. Despite the speed difference between the cavalry and the other pieces, Yana made sure that the horsemen were never more than two squares in front of the rest of their unit. The middle unit when straight into the clearing between the two patches of forest, the cavalier choosing to stay closest to the right forest –when seen from her side. Again, the slower pieces lagged two squares behind, but never more than that. The infantry pieces marched side by side through the clearing, while the archer had been moved into the forest. It was too hard to resist, and since she figured Rathaan would probably enter the forests at one point or another, it was a good idea to be prepared for it. Naturally, the archer did not move at the edge of the forest, but through the middle of it.
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Sintih
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Mate and checkmate

Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:27 pm

is machinations came to a halt when his father suddenly broke through their moves, putting the game to a halt. "You've spotted the enemy." That was all he chimed at the two younger Yludih sitting near him. He leaned over to Sin's side and removed his center pieces from their march down the middle of the two forest, moving them to the middle board that both of them could see. They were positioned as they had been on Sin's board before Oniguhr leaned over to Yana and the same with her middle unit which had gone straight down the middle. Their armies were six tiles removed from each other, facing off in the middle of the open space between the forests. Six of Sin's units and four of Yana's units were now openly visible.

Sin smiled and remembered nobody could see it so he nodded to Yana as well. "The obvious move." He chimed, sounding a little less shrill than usual. He shifted his army on the middle board one tile forward and then returned to his own board, moving his remaining units up as well. His cavalry unit had gone down the side of the forest and was riding into it now, sticking to the tile on the edge of the forest, keeping his vision on the plains but making them invisible to anyone not standing next to them.

Now that he knew where four of Yana's units were, Sin began working out where the rest of her army might be. It was obvious she had split them up but in how many pieces? If she had one big unit of six somewhere out there, he had to find it and keep away from it. On the other hand, if she had multiple units out there he would need to rush them if they were far enough removed from each other. If he could collapse on one third of her army at a time he'd have no problem taking them out one by one. As he worked through the possible paths, his fingers drifted over his own board, tracing the possibilities.

As Yana finished her move, his father interrupted once more. "You've spotted the enemy." Again he leaned in and moved some of Sin's pieces. Two of his four cavalry units had been spotted in the forest as Yana's archer was moved from her board to the middle, suddenly in a melee with two cavalry units. Finding this new information on his warboard, Sin quickly shifted his tactic slightly, turning his remaining two invisible cavalry units away from the archer before they could be seen and towards the outside of the forest. "You've spotted the enemy." His father chimed in again and moved Sin's final two pieces to the middle board as he put them right up against one of Yana's cavalry units and a pikeman just two tiles deeper into Yana's side of the board.

All of Sin's units were now visible on the middle board and they would remain so until they'd manage to take out the enemies that were seeing them or hide in the forests or hills once more. The archer with the two cavalry units attacking it was dead, no matter what Yana did with it. It would survive perhaps one more round but the cavalry would outrun them before they would leave the forest. The pikeman on the full left of the map would be problematic since he had only cavalry on that flank. They'd still win the fight as he had more numbers there but Yana still had three units somewhere on the map and he hadn't spotted them yet. They were probably in the other forest, where he had no units to scout.

In the center, his forces kept moving up towards Yana's, keeping an eye on her moves. When they got within three tiles from each other, Sin suddenly stopped advancing and shifted his units internally. The pikemen shifted to the middle, swapping places with the swordsman, focusing his pikes on the same side of the fight as Yana's singular cavalry unit there. When he finished his move, he turned his attention to the shared flank and started counting damage for the next round.
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Mate and checkmate

Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:56 pm

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Each turn was an opportunity to further a preconceived plan, revise it, alter it, or think of a new one, a plan B. Each turn was an opportunity to consider how the enemy would approach this battle, to take countermeasures accordingly, to attempt planning for each and every possible outcome. For guessing, second-guessing, third-guessing, etc.

That all came to a halt when the pieces were removed from the players’ boards and placed in the middle. Then there was no time for planning, but for action. Analysis, prediction, action, reaction. Six pieces of his army –one unit, perhaps—versus four of hers. One infantry, two spearmen, three archers against two infantry, one archer and one cavalry piece. All in all not too bad a matchup. Her infantry had an edge against his spearmen, but the line of archers behind those pieces made it tricky.

“Figuring out how things work,” she responded, pensive.

He bent towards the middle board to move a piece, and Yana’s frown went unseen.

“Can I interrupt for a moment? I thought the pieces on the middle board would only be moved by the referee,” she said. “For us to do it, when we move our pieces simultaneously, makes no sense to me.” Yana gestured to the upright boards in between their personal fields. “Strategy is the point of the game, yes? You don’t see what the opponent is doing, so you need to plan for what they could do. Why change that when the units are within the field of vision? I just deliberately waited for you to finish your move, busying myself with other things. I can now react to this play you made, instead of having to guess what your next move would be.” She underlined her point by altering the positions of her middle unit to counter his play to the best of her ability. “Or, I can do this.” She placed them back in the position Onihgur had given them, then made the pieces retreat.

A shrug. “In essence, I have seen the future. I know what moves you made before I made mine. It’s not fair. If we stick to our own boards, and your father places--” she glanced around to confirm they had enough extra pieces “other pieces on the middle board. Only he moves the pieces around. That way we have time to think and act without fear of putting ourselves at a disadvantage.” She gave the both of them a questioning look.

The battle continued after that, Yana shifted the middle unit to accommodate her plans to eradicate Rathaan’s front line. Her cavalry unit retreated, to the back line while the archer and the two swordsmen covered now the front. Her archer hidden in the woods was exposed, and would be soon taken out of the action by a duo of cavalry units. Retreat was impossible, but she could delay the death of the piece by one turn. One turn was all she needed to place in in position to Rathaan’s middle infantry piece.

More of Rathaan’s units were revealed. More cavalry. Two more of Yana’s were also placed on the middle board: a spearman and a cavalier. She had three units left for Rathaan to try and find, whereas she was now aware of the position of all his pieces. All in all not a bad situation… though the sheer numbers present would make things difficult.

The exposed pieces on the side of the map were… problematic. Her sole spearman couldn’t win from four cavaliers. Even if he could deal damage to one of them (which couldn’t damage the spearman), the others were free to attack it from the other sides. With the right position, it’d last one turn after engaging the four horsemen, as the fourth would have to move too much to be able to attack alongside the others. However, that was only if she forced his hand. She took note of the positions of his units during each turn, maneuvering her spearman closer so it could attack one of the cavaliers. The next round, it would attack another cavalier, doing as much damage as it could manage.

Her own cavalier meanwhile, was trying to get out of seeing range of Rathaan’s troops. The plan was to move around the edge of the map to strike Rathaan’s archers from behind. Of course, for that to work she first needed to be “invisible” once more, and until she’d managed that, she wouldn’t tip her hand.

The remaining unit was now also changing gears. The cavalier had left its companions to do the exact same thing as the other cavaliers, minus the getting-out-of-range part. However, she remained cautious to keep the horseman out of sight. The plan was to hit the backline of Rathaan’s army hard, and with just one cavalier her ability to attack was limited. So when it was more or less in place, she would only touch upon it to keep where it couldn’t be seen. At least until another cavalier could join it.

Spearman the second and archer the third were cutting through the forest to strike where needed, with the spearman taking position to take out the enemy cavalier when possible, the archer standing directly behind it to provide covering fire. It would allow them to take out the cavalier in one turn, though to lure it close they’d need to make a sacrifice. The female Yludih shifted her middle archer so Rathaan could pursue if desired, though took care not to make it too obvious. Instead she tried making it look as if it was supposed to back up the infantry pieces. Still, without any spearmen in Yana’s middle unit, and her infantry held at bay by archers, Rathaan’s cavalier was, in theory, untouchable.

At three tiles from each other, Yana’s middle unit stepped forward so her archer got in range to attack the enemy swordsman from afar. She couldn’t attack the enemy spearmen with her infantry without stepping into the range of his archers. However, due to the rules, his spearmen couldn’t attack her infantry; they’d take damage, but deal none. Unfortunately, due to Rathaan’s scrambling, she hit another unit with the attack. One point of damage instead of an enemy piece removed from the battlefield. No matter, her archer was where it should be.
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