December 31, 2012

Chess and the Armada, Part II

In my last chess post, I started making half-minded chess analogies based on Kane and his Court. In the end, however, I started to wrap my head around the fact that there were more than clockworks following the chess trend.
Let's start with a quick history lesson, just to get you moving. Says directly in the Wikipedia article (see citations):

"The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y FelicĂ­sima Armada or Armada Invencible, literally "Great and Most Fortunate Navy" or "Invincible Fleet") was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England and putting an end to her involvement in the Spanish Netherlands and in privateering in the Atlantic and Pacific.

The Armada reached and anchored outside Gravelines, but, while awaiting communications from Parma's army, it was driven out by an English fire ship attack. In the ensuing battle, the Spanish fleet was forced to abandon its rendezvous. The Armada managed to regroup and withdraw north, with the English fleet harrying it for some distance up the east coast of England. It was then decided that the fleet should return to Spain and the fleet sailed around Scotland and Ireland, but severe storms disrupted it. More than 24 vessels were wrecked on the coasts of Ireland. Of the fleet's initial 130 ships, about fifty never returned to Spain.
The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604). The following year England organised a similar large-scale campaign against Spain, the Drake-Norris Expedition, also known as the Counter Armada of 1589."
You just read about the Spanish Armada, and you probably have questions about why you read it. Among them,
What does this have to do with chess?
Hey, it's the...Armada?
What does this have to do with chess?
Alright, maybe history isn't my forte, but whaaaat?
What does this have to do with chess?

Alright, I'll explain the entire history of Spanish maritime operations and catch you up a bit.

I'm sorry, your face was priceless. Anyhow, it seems like you want to know what it has to do with chess. Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, there is a chess set called The Spanish Armada Chess Set. There are many things to touch on this topic, so I'll start right away. Please compare the following two pictures:

Deacon and Rooke are a knight and rook in this one, even though
Deacon is technically an archbishop.
 See any similarities? Personally, I think that P101 Deacon resembles the...alright, which one is a bishop, and which one did I forget? First to the right of king, or the third? Ehm, besides that, the similarities are so close that there's no doubt that the Armada was fashioned after the Spanish Armada from 1588. (Hey, could there just possibly be a P101 time-period reference there? I'm getting attacked by post ideas...) In my previous post, I went over the importance of the pieces on the Clockwork Armada's side, but I wanted to make a very quick touch on what I supposed we would be, and what I would put in, personally. As you know, the SI characters were mainly named after pirates of note, though I'm liking this idea to organize my characters...sounds like a new page. I think of the rooks as the next tanks, next to the queen. I don't organize names by genders, just by importance and playable moves.

King - Avery
Queen - You (or, if I'm back editing, me..)
Bishops - Frogfather's Syndicate
Knights - Boochbeard/Gandry, jumping around.
Rooks - The Class Teachers (varies)

With that in thought, you'd be one of the most powerful pieces involved in taking the Armada out. Of course, you have gotten many of your necessary operations and travel papers from Captain Avery, and it's supposed that it Avery gets taken out, you'd be rendered supply-less and Skull Island would fall on top of it. The Frogfather's Syndicate has powered your journey everywhere, and the Frogfather was a wise ally to make. As I mentioned above, Boochbeard and Gandry are characters that jump in and out of trouble a lot. The rooks, when I played chess, really saved me grief, and I can say the same about the teachers! I have gained talents, weapons, and a lot of interesting dialogue from the trainers in SI, and the game wouldn't be anything like it is now without them.

Now that we have the different sides, let's get to what we need to play - the board! A chessboard is an 8x8 typically thin board that is checkered in alternating dark and light colors. Sometimes I see plastic black and white squares, other times cedar and cherry squares, which are beautiful. One day, I'll saw and glue up my own chessboard. While we're used to this kind of chessboard in Wizard101 via furniture or IRL via...chess..., but in Pirate101, the chessboard is slightly different. Take a look at it!

It was a commonly shared idea that the P101 battleboard resembled a chessboard, and only now do I realize that there's actually more to it! In ship battles, and oftentimes in normal battles, each opponent starts on their designated side, oftentimes aided by others. Sometimes, in Pirate101, when the goal is to defeat a certain opponent without getting killed yourself, it's more like real chess. Also, think about the ranged opponents like Witchdoctors and Musketeers. They can shoot, in some instances, in only a straight, or a diagonal like, which resembles a position similar to rooks and bishops.

Now, I can really conclude that P101 is really like chess, from the pieces to the board. Wait, if there are pieces, rules, and a board, then how do you -

DO you "win" SI vs Armada chess?

TO BE CONCLUDED....(and, uh, happy account-a-versary to me!)


The Spanish Armada


  1. I'm not surprised at all that P101 is a lot like chess, but you went into soooo much detail explaining the how of it, which (honestly) I doubt most of us who thought the same did *cough cough*
    KI uses a lot of IRL similarities, this motivates me to research the one I've been thinking about: how Dragonspyre is a lot like Rome/Italy...

  2. Hey Emma,

    That's a great idea! Feel free to use any information that I wrote here in Feb.

    Happy writing!


  3. Well, when KingsIsle said that they're straying from cards and trying to create more of a chess type of game, they weren't kidding. :)

  4. Destiny, are you still doing Malistaire runs?

  5. Cass,

    I no longer have a sub to W101, so currently, no. Sorry 'bout that! Check crowded realms for anyone going in.



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