Périnôc Board Game
During the Middle Ages, there existed many variations on the board game we know as chess. Périnôc is an extrapolation of one such game, or rather the way I imagine that the Japanese chess variant, Shogi, could have entered the Western noble courts.

On the special 9x9 board (chess is an unsymmetric 8x8), pieces penetrating the enemy line gain certain additional moves, similar to the way pieces are "kinged" in checkers, except that field promotions are more complicated and follow rigorous rules. Some aspects are voluntary, some are mandatory and, for some pieces, dependent on the degree to which the piece has penetrated enemy lines. The little red platforms indicate men which have been promoted and so have gained enhanced capabilities.

The unfamiliar pieces are Archers, Heralds, and Squires. The other pieces generally behave as they do in chess, some with reduced powers (e.g. the knight can only move one-ahead-one-diagonal and must accept promotion to move backwards.) There are no queens--a commentary on Medieval sexism?

An additional degree of complexity is added by the ability of pieces, once captured, to be resurrected by the opponent and dropped back into play at will. For this reason, all men are two-sided: the white side of each piece faces the player, while the opponent sees only the black side.

How fitting that each player sees his army in "white as right", and the opposition as the "bad guys in black"... and yet such a Taoist ideal that within each man is a perfect balance of black and white--of yin and yang.

-- Brian Zegarski
Click on a thumbnail for a larger view...
Marble top Just some of the pieces
Wrought iron base

Copyright © 2004 - 2011 Brian Zegarski, all rights reserved.

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