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George R. R. Martin's Cyvasse (unofficial game)

by dutchmogul, published

George R. R. Martin's Cyvasse (unofficial game) by dutchmogul May 22, 2013

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Description

This is my attempt to translate the chess-like game featured in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels (Game of Thrones). Being a huge fan of the man and his work, I wanted to try and give his game the best translation I could. Working with my good friend (and studious Martin scholar) Nate Stephens, I adapted the game to include everything mentioned in the book into a rules set I found believable for a game made during the emulated time period, while also keeping the games in mind that Martin has mentioned as inspiration during interviews. So, Let me know if you get to printing/playing it, and if you have any suggestions for rules adjustments, variants, etc, post in the comments below and let's get a dialogue going. The rules PDF is with the other downloads, and its a light read (2 pages). Game on!

Recent Comments

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Hey, thanks, Whystler! That's especially high praise coming from you. Actually, I just sculpted them in Sculptris and imported them to TinkerCAD for sizing, etc.I really like working in this style, and I need to do some chess sets one of these days.

Great art on these pieces! I am wondering how you got this lovely carved style? Did you use a program with sculpting tools, or did you use a more technical program like sketchup or even tinkercad and then render them by melting somehow? It's a great effect for this particular kind of thing.

OMG..OMG..OMG I have been trying to justify the need to buy a 3D printer, having never done anything like 3D printing before and this would be the first thing I would attempt. ABSOFREAKINLUTLEY EPIC !!!!! Now if some whiz could just drum up a 3D map of the entire 7 kingdoms, I reckon that would look great under a glass top coffee table .. wink wink

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Instructions

With the current rules configurations, you'll need to print the following:

Each side (Onyx and Alabaster) has
Rabble x3, Spearmen x3, Crossbowmen x3, Light Horses x3,
Heavy Horses x2, Elephants x2, Catapult x1, Trebuchet x1,
Dragon x1, King x1, Keep x1

All of the pieces are grouped to reflect the distribution, so you only need to print each STL once. Of course, if you'e feeling brave, you can print the full plate, That has all the pieces one side will need.

In addition, you'll need 6 mountains (three per player), four board sections (two per player), a pair of screen braces (both are in the same STL) and the two halves of the screen.

I printed mine in black ABS and painted the pieces with acrylic model paints though the pieces would be great printed in black and white ABS, and wouldn't really require painting (that's just how I roll). I also painted the board in a checker-pattern. It wasn't necessary, but it makes movements (especially diagonal ones) a little easier to track.

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Whystler on Mar 18, 2014 said:

Great art on these pieces! I am wondering how you got this lovely carved style? Did you use a program with sculpting tools, or did you use a more technical program like sketchup or even tinkercad and then render them by melting somehow? It's a great effect for this particular kind of thing.

dutchmogul on Mar 18, 2014 said:

Hey, thanks, Whystler! That's especially high praise coming from you. Actually, I just sculpted them in Sculptris and imported them to TinkerCAD for sizing, etc.I really like working in this style, and I need to do some chess sets one of these days.

woot on Feb 6, 2014 said:

OMG..OMG..OMG I have been trying to justify the need to buy a 3D printer, having never done anything like 3D printing before and this would be the first thing I would attempt. ABSOFREAKINLUTLEY EPIC !!!!! Now if some whiz could just drum up a 3D map of the entire 7 kingdoms, I reckon that would look great under a glass top coffee table .. wink wink

mtschalamon on Dec 27, 2013 said:

So I am printing these out and am having issues with the Heavy Horse piece, has anyone else printed these with any luck? The left piece seems to have pieces missing and it messes up when I slice it with Slic3r. Otherwise the pieces look amazing and are coming together well. I've already had 3 people that want to buy sets... I can't print fast enough... (only selling for material costs and time spent btw)

dutchmogul on Dec 27, 2013 said:

Yeah, the holes in the wings are unintentional, but I kind of like them. Haven't had any trouble with the heavy horse, but if you import it to a program (Blender or TinkerCAD should work just fine) and rearrange it (or get ride of the second piece and print one at a time) it should fix your problem.

Thanks, by the way! This has been a popular item. I would print it more often if it didn't take so long.

mtschalamon on Dec 27, 2013 said:

Also, the dragon seems to have holes in the wings, not sure if this is on purpose or not...

PatrickFTW on Dec 3, 2013 said:

Hi , the rules look balanced and the pieces are really awesome . There is any change to pay someone of you guys in order to print the pieces and sent me ? I dont have o 3d printer but I would be reallt graceful if any of you could do that . Of course we can discuss the price . My email is [email protected]

gregsmith_to on Nov 24, 2013 said:

This is very well done. The pieces are wonderful. I have some ideas about the rules, but having not played it yet I'll just mention one, since it's the only one that affects the form of the pieces. The 'gameofcyvasse' website has rules which allow the dragons to stop on a mountain - which seems reasonable - if the dragon piece had a suitable concavity on the bottom then it could be perched on there. At least then you have the option of allowing a dragon on a mountain.
I wouldn't be too concerned about the three colors - especially that they could imply a hex board. Another way to have 3 colors is to use one pair of colors on the black side, and another pair on the white side - if there were some rules that applied differently according to which side of the board you were on, that would be helpful.
I like that the keep can hold a piece - perhaps that's where you put the king when at home - or perhaps the projectile attacks - like spearmen, crossbow, trebuchet - can be there. Of course such a piece is midway between ranks which may create some issues.

And I agree that a 8x8 board seems too small for all this equipment.

jmfowler on Jul 31, 2013 said:

printing the pieces now on my Ultimaker at 0.06mm height step - looking GREAT!!
Thanks a lot.
Jonathan.

dutchmogul on Aug 7, 2013 said:

Awesome! Post pics!!

jasonp2009 on Jul 31, 2013 said:

what .06mm holy shit, 60 micros is damn fine

hyla on Jul 28, 2013 said:

Hi,

like Your stuff very much, as usual and I'm just printing it: not a small task I may say :).

I also started reading the "book to the game". To my shame I must admit that to date I hadn't heard of, let alone read Mr.

Martin's books. I've got about two thirds now, no minor task as well :)

Anyway, some thoughts. The game You are presenting is of course not a reconstruction of something existent but of some

rather sketchy detail of a fictional text. I tend to forget that at times. One cannot "simply ask Mr. Martin" how it's

supposed to be because the poor guy wouldn't know himself. So all one can do is to create a game which is fun to play and

on the other hand try to stick to the book as closely as possible. Now, I do see some inconsistencies here in Your design

and I wonder whether they were wanted/needed.

Next to one of the first mentions of cryvasse it says "Ornate pieces across squares of jade and carnelian and lapis

lazuli" (meaning green, red and blue fields) which somehow contradicts Your chess board design?
Concerning the heavy horse: there are several mentions of it which give me the impression there's just one of those per player (For example: "He moved his heavy horse", "She touched one of the cyvasse pieces, the heavy horse", "arrayed his army for attack, with dragon, elephants, and heavy horse").
Another line implies that for the light horse as well: "Qavo replied with his light horse". On the other hand, in the book itself there are inconsistencies (in another line it says: "heavy horse circling round his rear" (how does one horse "circle"? :) ).
Also, I'm not entirely sure about something else: are there really 10 different types of pieces or are there 10 pieces alltogether per player? 20 pieces per player plus keep and mountains seem to make for a rather crowded board...

Which brings me to the trebuchet/catapult problem someone else in this thread mentioned. I've found exactly one mention of either piece in the whole book, no help there. And while trebuchets are "a type of catapult" or maybe the "technological successor to catapults" (Wikipedia) it does seem that Mr. Martin uses these terms separately from each other so maybe there should indeed be both pieces in the game... who knows :)

Maybe I'll just go on printing the figures and see how it goes ;)

B.t.w.: how do You pronounce "cryvasse"?

Thanks for the great stuff! And I'm still looking forward to the painting tutorial ;)

Christoph

dutchmogul on Jul 28, 2013 said:

Hey, thanks for the words! Yeah, this was quite an undertaking, and I hope I got a good portion of it right. I was working off of several compilations of quotes and looking at other attempts to translate the game. The colored tiles is something I never came accross. Do you have a link to that quote? It would be a really easy adaptation, just require painting (or multi-color printing) the tiles in an alternating pattern, though, that could honestly be interpreted as an aesthetic design (the board they were playing with was colored that way) and not an actual game rule, especially as there are no terrain-based rules mentioned save keeps and mountains. So, as per your other questions:

Heavy Horse: I decided to make multiple heavy horses (2) as it was likely to be a unit lesser than the elephants (who are mentioned as having multiple entries). The text references moving a single heavy horse, but doesn't elude to the number of heavy horses present. As for circling, that could just be used to describe moving the heavy horse to the opponents side or back line, a task easy to accomplish considering that the heavy horse is able to bypass your own pieces, freeing it up for nuanced movement.

Number of Pieces: So, We know there are 10 separate kinds of pieces eluded to/or mentioned. We also know there are multiples of some of these pieces. So, I went with 20 total to give the distribution some symmetry based on piece power. The reserves rule ensures that the board doesn't get to crowded and, if it does, the challenge only increases. In our games, we've seen that pieces get captured rather quickly, though dealing with a crowded board becomes a really intriguing tactical consideration, and the way you set up your pieces (a feature noted in the books) can determine whether your own pieces will become a hindrance.

Trebuchet vs Catapult: As for the trebuchet/catapult, these are both referenced separately. As for whether they were supposed to be the same thing, I know that Martin is a pretty studious historian, so I played it safe and assumed he knew the difference and intended both. In medieval siege warfare, both were used and had different uses. That's reflected in the game as well, as they're similar enough (both move diagonally) but both provide their own special moves.

Hope that was helpful, and yeah, I know the print takes a while :-P Literally took me close to 40 hours.

-Arian

nickp96 on Jul 11, 2013 said:

This game is awesome, can't stop playing it ever since I printed it! Just one question, when the keep is destroyed does it stay on the game board or is it removed as a capture?

dutchmogul on Jul 11, 2013 said:

Hey, god to hear! Yes, the keep is removed when its destroyed, along with anything left in reserves (which may include the king = victory). I might need to clarify that better in the rules sheet. I've found that its pretty cool how the board opens up and tactics change once the keep ( a rather dominating piece) is gone. Oh, and one kind of fun way to remember that the king is in there is to place him on top of the keep as long as he's in reserves. We've been doing that in our games lately.

mikelepage on Jun 16, 2013 said:

Wow! I'm so blown away by how good those pieces look - well done!
Sorry for the length of this post too!

Full disclosure :) I'm one of the guys who has spent a fair amount of time working on the ruleset for Cyvasse on westros.org (http://asoiaf.westeros.org/ind... so I can't claim to be unbiased, but the three main criteria I have been rating my ruleset against are 1) Does the complexity of the game arise from rules that are arbitrary or does every single rule have a justification? Is it a compelling game even if you had no idea it came from ASOIAF? 2) Is it unique? or is it a derivation of Chess or something else? 3) Does it correspond well to the books?

I really appreciate what you guys have done with keeping the ruleset ultra simple - I want to try it - but I personally think you've gone too far. I never had the impression from the books that the majority of ones pieces start in reserve - I always thought it was just the dragon, but I guess that's a matter of interpretation. I accept the criticism of my version that it's gone too far to the complex - but it can still be explained in 15 minutes and becomes pretty addictive after a game so I think it's within the bounds of reason.

Since I think the differences between our two versions are mostly a matter of interpretation/taste, I'll just repost the list of book quotes I've been working from. It's from these that I've come to think that each player has both pieces and tiles to place in the beginning, and most of the complexity of my version comes from trying to work out how that can make sense.

I will also point out that I've always made the argument that GRRM meant Catapults and Trebuchets to be the same piece - he always uses the terms crossbowmen and spearmen in the passages where he mentions catapults, and crossbows and spears when talking about trebuchets. Since crossbowmen and crossbows, and spearmen and spears are obviously the same pieces, I believe trebuchets and catapults are also meant to be the same piece. I could certainly never figure out a good way to differentiate them as pieces, and I think what you guys have done may cause confusion.

It's all splitting hairs though. Good luck with your version!

Book Quotes

A ?Feast for Crows
"There were ten different pieces, each with its own attributes and
powers, and the board would change from game to game, depending on how the players arrayed their home squares." pg 226
Myrcella vs. Prince
"He always sets his squares up the same way, with all the mountains in
the front and his elephants in the passes...So I send my dragon through to eat
his elephants." pg 373
Arianne and Prince Doran
"She touched one of the cyvasse pieces, the heavy horse." pg 719

?A Dance with Dragons
Tyrion vs. Haldon
"as they arranged their tiles on either side of a carved wooden
screen...Tyrion almost grabbed his dragon but thought better of it. Last game
he had brought her out too soon and lost her to a trebuchet...He moved his light
horse toward Haldon's mountains...The Halfmaester moved his spears." pg 105
Tyrion vs. Griff
"Young Griff arrayed his army for attack, with dragon, elephants, and
heavy horse up front...Tyrion moved his elephants." pg 151
"He picked up his heavy horse...Tyrion moved his crossbows...The dwarf
pushed his black dragon across a range of mountains..." pg 152
"Smiling he seized his dragon, flew it across the board...Your king is
trapped. Death in four." pg 153
Qavo Nogarys vs. Big Man
"onyx elephant...alabaster army...He moved his heavy horse." pg 155
Qavo Nogarys vs. Tyrion
Tyrion advanced his spearmen. Qavo replied with his light horse. Tyrion
moved his crossbowmen up a square...toying with his rabble...plucking up his
dragon. 'The most powerful piece in the game," he announced, as he removed
one of Qavo's elephants...He moved his catapult again, closed his hand around
Tyrion's alabaster dragon, removed it from the board." pg 156
"Near the end of that final contest, with his fortress in ruins, his
dragon dead, elephants before him and heavy horse circling around his
rear..." pg 325

The Winds of Winter (anecdotal from GRRM chapter reading)
“Tyrion moved his crossbows to a hill tile.”

Greenwire on Jun 13, 2013 said:

This looks fantastic. I think the game was actually featured in one of last season's episodes. Quick question; did you print these models with support structure or just as is? Thanks again!

makeplace on May 30, 2013 said:

Nice DutchMogul! Printing now! Will do the board and screen out of MDF otherwise it's just wasting plastic really..
Btw.. Did you accidently mess up the painting of your board or is that one square painted brown on purpose? ;)

dutchmogul on May 30, 2013 said:

Thanks! Haha, no, totally an oversight, and I've since painted the square. I actually took this before the whole set was printed as well, so I'll take a new round of pics soon.

noahss2054 on May 27, 2013 said:

These are actually beautiful.

PieterBos on May 27, 2013 said:

Respect !!! amazing work !!!

dutchmogul on May 27, 2013 said:

Thank you!

brianthebald on May 25, 2013 said:

If you have a moment, would you mind uploading the three mountains as a separate STL? If I have time later this weekend I may carve them out of the full plate model myself, and I'll upload them if I get to it first. Many thanks for this amazing set!

dutchmogul on May 25, 2013 said:

Wow, I totally forgot about the mountains. They're kind of integral to the whole experience too :-P Just uploaded the stl, should be good to go! Sorry about that, and thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous on May 23, 2013 said:

Tafl. *cough*

dutchmogul on May 23, 2013 said:

I know, I know! I'm working on it! Honestly, this exercise taught me a lot in regard to my tafl-based pursuits. Jeremy and I are talking Tafl now.

A-man on May 23, 2013 said:

?????, ?? ??? ?????!

Preezerk on May 26, 2013 said:

Um...Menya....goverille....poRooskie....nyet Xopowo.

EricYoung on May 23, 2013 said:

Always love your work and I think this one looks especially spectacular. The rules make it sound really fun and this is the first time in years that I've had the urge to play a board game. I hope George R. R. Martin gets wind of this and releases a public statement that "dutchmogul is rad".

dutchmogul on May 23, 2013 said:

Dude... have you been reading my dream journal?? Man, that's high praise, and its very much appreciated! I hope you play the game!

phreshman on May 23, 2013 said:

Please for the love of god Kickstart this. I would buy this a thousand times over.

Maverick1729 on May 23, 2013 said:

This is amazing, Dutchmogul. Good work. Will lookup the rules.

dutchmogul on May 23, 2013 said:

Many thanks! The rules are in PDF form with the other downloads.

TearsOfLys on May 23, 2013 said:

To really use the novelty of 3D printers, it would be cool to see a variety of Keep styles you could download. Then you could print the one for your favorite House!

gmquinto on Nov 5, 2013 said:

Yeah, this is an awesome idea. Maybe even altering the dragon to be a wolf, lion, etc. to represent other houses. Wouldn't really work with the whole bypassing mountains rule, but still cool.

LiquidBeef on May 26, 2013 said:

Awesome idea.

dutchmogul on May 23, 2013 said:

Totally! I would love to see some regional variants.

TearsOfLys on May 23, 2013 said:

Can you clarify the catapult's special power? How could it capture 2 pieces in one move? Is this almost like it is moving through one piece to capture a second, adjacent one?

dutchmogul on May 23, 2013 said:

Yeah, that's right. It can capture one piece to get to another in the same move. I'll think on some ways to reword that.

Garin on May 22, 2013 said:

I cannot properly express how fantastic this is.

dutchmogul on May 22, 2013 said:

I believe you just did. Thanks for the words!

Ssh1990 on May 22, 2013 said:

Looks great, but the keep on its own isn't in the downloads.

dutchmogul on May 22, 2013 said:

Holy crow, you're right! I knew I was forgetting something. Just uploaded the stl. Thanks for the heads up!

GreenyRepublic on May 22, 2013 said:

As a big fan of board games and medieval history (as well as Game of Thrones, of course), this is the most convincing pitch for buying a 3D Printer I have come across.

Out of curiosity, what software did you use for modelling the components? Was it 3ds Max or something similar?

dutchmogul on May 22, 2013 said:

Thank you, that's some high praise!

Actually, I used a combination of Blender, Sculptris, and TinkerCAD. All free programs, and I highly recommend looking into them.

damienb on May 22, 2013 said:

Nice set, the rules seems to be missing a part though, the first page is not complete.

Also there's dice pips under each piece, what are these used for?
Thanks!

dutchmogul on May 22, 2013 said:

Thank you :-) I just checked the rules and it doesn't look like anything is missing. You sure?

The pips are for an alternate play style which I'll post pretty soon. I wouldn't consider that the "true" version, but it opens up room for some variants.

cerberus333 on May 22, 2013 said:

Really nice models!
Very well designed.
Well done!

dutchmogul on May 22, 2013 said:

Thanks, Perry! This was a labor of love. I've been plotting this out for a long time now, and I just decided it was time.

Kyoxilbuzz on May 22, 2013 said:

awesome!!!i am also a big big fan and can not wait for the next book. do you jave a set of rule already?

dutchmogul on May 22, 2013 said:

Thanks! Yeah, the rules PDF is with the downloads. Subject to change, though for now its playing really well. Let me know what you think.

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