Chaturanga is a war simulation game. Elements of loyalty, betrayal, trust, “ransom” and power escalations are intricately woven into the playing rules. A true simulation of a conflict, of war. Not only a simulation of power and strategy, Chaturanga also includes elements of chance and alliances. It is based on the following four beliefs:
- 4 sides are needed to start a war.
- War must have the element of chance.
- War predominantly involves the elements of partnership, risk of betrayal, and a need for strategy around all these.
- The army is always loyal to the king. Even after being defeated, it fights for it’s own king.
The games pieces started getting associated with money and was frequently played in gambling settings. As “Dice” games became a taboo in some societies, the game started seeing a decline in popular patronage.
The game was re-discovered / evangelized into modern day Chess in Persia. However, Chess lost the element of chance with the loss of dice. Also, it came down to a battle between two from four; thus completely ignoring the element of alliance and politics.
As the few remaining fans of this game say, “Once you play Chaturanga, you will rediscover chess in its most complex form”. The complexity coming from the added elements of alliance, betrayal and strategy depending on chance. The piece you move will be decided one move at a time according to the number that falls on your dice roll [ so you cannot plan in advance the next move unlike chess ], and you have the option to choose which kingdom to attack [ you have three choices ]!