- TRENCH- strategy vs. tactics -
- TRENCH- profile & synopsis -
- GAME BOARD- absctract algorithm -
- GALLERY- prototype version -
- GALLERY- normal version -
- GALLERY- memorial -
“Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plans.” (III. 3)
“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, tr. Lionel Giles
In order to help develop the gaming skills as well as the interest of the general public towards culture, leisure and entertainment, a new game concept with playful, social and intellectual attributes is born –
Original, innovative and revolutionary, with irresistible dynamics, it will undoubtedly generate passion and have mass-appeal.
The algorithm on which it is based fully respects the mathematical and geometrical rules previously stated. These rules are clear and concise, making possible a whole universe of different strategies.
A considerable amount of cleverness and sharp strategy are required to achieve victory on the field.
Being an erudite and seductive game, is an excellent educational as well as pedagogical tool.
It has the potential to help develop intellectual and psychological skills, as well as concentration and memory abilities. It may also help develop many other cognitive and spacial skills: imagination and abstraction, space and peripheral vision, planning and decision making, calculation and logical reasoning, organizational and mental discipline, courage and desire to win, emotional control and patience, self-confidence and emancipation, recognition of responsibility for one’s mistakes and one’s successes.
Given its singular nature, honors its mission and discharges its duty.
“Gloria Victis!” *
*(latin proverb) Glory to the Vanquished!
, the thematic and abstract new “Strategy versus Tactics” Game, adds an extra concept to the ancient and traditional board game playing.
Presented attractively with a modern design, captivating and contagious in its singular gameplay, is humorous, spellbinding and every challenge always produces a winner.
The board is in the shape of a lozenge, all black and white, showing a clear contrast between the playing sides with an emphasis on the two horizontal lines in its center, suggesting the trenches. Its playing pieces, of a unique artistic and aesthetic beauty, consist of geometric figures in the purest Cubist style, symbolizing the soldiers’ classic confrontation in real battlefields, from the lowly soldier to the general at the top of the pyramid of power. A set of basic, practical and well-defined rules transforms this abstract game into a unique and unforgettable moment – “Everything you can imagine is real”. (Pablo Picasso)
The principles of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” are recalled as they are applied to the algorithm of the game, thus melding Western and Eastern cultures.
More than a military compendium, The Art of War is also considered to be an outstanding philosophical work. The principles therein may be applied not only to war tactics but to almost every branch of human activity as well.
’s topic and timeless character give the game the ability and versatility to adapt easily to historic and regional variations, yet to adhere to principles which are widespread all over the world.
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War principles
DESIGNER ARTIST: Rui Alípio Monteiro
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 players
PLAYING TIME: 45-60 minutes
PLAYERS’ RECOMMENDED AGES: 10 and up
LANGUAGE DEPENDENCE: Game not dependent on language skills
CATEGORY: Abstract Strategy
MECHANICS: Point to point movement (not dependent on luck)
PUBLISHER: WiseGames, Lda.
strictly respects, with all the rigour and utmost criteria, the various ranks of the military positions existing in the infantry, as well as the universally accepted chains of command. The official ranks are represented by the number of stars: from the foot soldier, who has one star (a merit badge), to the five star general at the top of the pyramid of power (who has an honorific title).
It is also inspired by the classical strategy board map used by the higher military ranks to define the methodology and to test, with realism, the warfare tactics to be implemented in an action plan.
The placing of the playing pieces in conforms to the natural positioning of the different divisions or brigades of an army on the theatre of operations and suggests, in their spatial positioning, a typical diamond-shaped Roman formation.
The algorithm of the game accurately describes the scenario of the “Great War” and its realistic mechanics reflects the two main periods or phases into which this conventional war is commonly divided:
1) MANEUVER WARFARE: the most remarkable feature was the mobilization of the armies and the strategic movement of the troops, determined to move forward progressively on the field using constant tactical maneuvers, following a systematic war logic.
2) TRENCH WARFARE: being the reflection of a situation of balance of power, the trenches were in actuality the stage for many battles during this conflict, some of which decisive. The armies were forced to guarantee their positions while preparing for new land conquests.
From its very inception, evokes the memory of the “Great War“ through Art!
“Hold out baits to entice the enemy (…)” (I. 19)
“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, tr. Lionel Giles
THE BOARD (Normal Version):
DIMENSIONS: 35cm Length x 35cm Width x 1cm Height.
COMPOSITION: 64 (8×8) squares divided into two horizontally opposite territories.
The horizontal division of the diamond-shaped board illustrates well the frontline of the battlefield, represented by its trenches.
BOARD: with its black and white squares in stark contrast, it creates an absolute, overlapped, and deceptive, abstractionist view – a geometrically shaped abstract vision of reality, – providing a visual effect that creates an intentional optical illusion of the enemy‘s territory and an intended perfect camouflage of friendly territory.
“All warfare is based on deception.” (I. 17) - “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, tr. Lionel Giles
The placing of the 32 (16 + 16) game pieces obeys the natural combat positions of an army’s infantry in the theater of operations (taking inspiration from the disposition of a typical diamond-shaped Roman formation), according to the visual plan printed on the instructions sheet accompanying the game.
TURNS: The player with the black pieces starts the game. The players move alternately 1 piece at a time.
A turn consists of picking up a piece and placing it on a new square, respecting the movements’ rules.
Example – the General’s piece can be moved to any adjacent diamond in any direction, covering a maximum of 5 squares at a time, aiming at annihilating his adversaries along the way. This autonomy allows for capturing pieces from unexpected angles, making the game so much more exciting.
is a direct and latent conflict game between opponents, to which are added the tactics of the positioning, the movement of the armies (the pieces) and the issuing battles between them.
Victory doesn’t happen at random. Luck is factored in the theatre of operations and within the command decisions.
The players’ main weapon is the forced mistake or the opponent’s momentary distraction, which requires quite intricate movements.
The game (the battle) lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The assaults happen quickly and aggressively, so that any one player doesn’t have to wait too long for his turn (short downtime).
“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.” (II. 6) - “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, tr. Lionel Giles
is a game of pure tactics and strong strategy.
To each military rank is attributed a specific score.
Both winner and loser of each battle receive their respective points and are entitled to take them to the next battle.
A Revenge is possible – Losing a battle doesn’t mean losing the war!
The game is disputed in two battles, at a minimum. The players will have to switch colors (territories and armies), in their attempt to win the war.
After each battle, the scores are added up. When the battles are over, the player with the most accumulated points wins the war.
In case of a technical tie after two consecutive battles, a third battle will be fought, or more, until there is a clear winner.
What is really special about this game is that there will always be a winner. After each contest the score will differentiate the opponents and will obligatorily designate the victor.
is an intellectual game, because what really counts is the expertise and the intelligence of the player. The player aims to eliminate the adversary by demonstrating that he has the quicker reflexes and acuteness.
The primordial, essential and final goal of the game is to find out who’s the best!
However, quite obviously, this is only a relative, not an absolute, “finding”… Once a battle is over, another one begins and the loser has now the chance to have his or her revenge and be the new winner…
“All glory is ephemeral!”
Sentence that used to be whispered by slaves in the Roman Generals’ ears during the parades.