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Urbac-1

A halfway-finished game of Simple Urbac.

Urbac, sometimes called Star Chess, is a popular high-stakes game invented by the Ravenrii in the year 1700, F.A., in the galaxy of Xanthrus Spiral. Over the billions of years of its existence, Urbac has become an elaborate and extremely complex game, played only by the most skilled and thoughtful beings, usually only Ravenrii. The game is a mix of military strategy and positional thinking, requiring the players to move one of his pieces to the galaxy's center in the middle of the board to win, though there are many factors that affect play. There are two versions of the game; the first, called Basic or Simple Urbac, is the two-player version; and Complex Urbac, the original six-player version.

OverviewEdit

The game was invented by the Ravenrii as entertainment in the First Age by upper classes of society, though it quickly spread from the nobility and became their most popular game. The original version was played by six, and the one that developed shortly later by two, though the game cannot be played by more or less than those exact players in either version.

Rules and PiecesEdit

Simple UrbacEdit

Urbac-2

An Urbac board as seen before the game begins, in it's basic form (when playing Complex Urbac, the cornerpieces move to different points and change into six colors.

The game consists of two players, each of which is given two opposite ends of the board and 18 pieces; three groups of 5 Glores (simple pieces) and three Ures (leader pieces), each of which leads one group of Glores. The players can move both Glores and Ures, three pieces by turn (which at the game's start are in groups on either of the player's two corners), in any direction, but must get one of the Ures to the center of the board with at least 5 glores remaining to win. If there are not enough Glores left in a player's collection to win, he can sacrifice one Ure to get five Glores. This can also be done at any stage in the game if the player wishes so, in order to get more Glores. However, if the player has no Ures left he loses by default. Glores can get rid of other Glores by moving onto their spaces from any direction but their backs, but Ures can only move around, and have to be protected as they are the game's most important pieces. When a piece is eliminated, the game removes it from the board.

As one of the player's Ures must get to the center of the board to win, their corresponding Glores move around to protect them from harm while also trying to eliminate as many of the other player's pieces as possible. There are three rings in the board's main floor, surrounding the center. To reach the center, pieces must pass through these rings; in order to pass through, Glores have to be accompained by their Ure. Every time an Ure passes through a ring for the first time, its Glores and itself are transported randomly to one of the Board's three upper levels, where Glores have to eliminate enemy pieces and be placed the level's exit, the side farthest from the board's center, in order to block enemy pieces' from following the same route, while also exiting and thus traveling back down, eventually arriving at the main floor again. If enemy pieces meet in the same upper floor, the pieces can face off one by one; because of this, the player has to operate several battles at the same time. Ures can leave one Glore behind when they cross the transporting rings, which can only move once every time most pieces in an upper upper level are on the Glore's side (though this changes once a Ure is able to come back down and accompany the Glore). pieces left behind in upper levels can fight by themselves.

The pieces transported to the upper levels must quickly get one Ure to exit down onto the next level and eventually the main floor, so that the left-behind Glores there can also move towards the center without restrictions. Once an Ure has already been to an upper level of the board, he can pass through a ring in the main floor and anchor accompanying Glores to him, do not have to pass through all of the upper levels when they pass through that ring. This procedures happen every time a Ure passess through a new ring, leaving many Glores behind on all of the levels. This causes the players to have to block the other player's paths to the center, while at the same time trying to get rid of their pieces, and keeping at least the required pieces alive in order to get to the center and win.

Complex UrbacEdit

Complex Urbac follows the same procedures than Simple Urbacc. It is the original version of the game, albeit much more rarely seen than the other in modern times. Instead of having two players, however, this version of the game has six, each of which is given a starting point in front of each of the galaxy in the center's five arms. The players still have 18 pieces each, and have the same objective. However, Complex Urbac differs in that its upper levels are larger, allowing for much larger clashes and expanded exits from the levels onto those below. Games of complex Urbac are commonly played by the Ravenrii's nobility, as well as their most educated populace. One of the few foreigners known to have correctly played the game and won (at least once) is ex-president of the Capricorn Sector Alliance, Fleur Inviere, who is currently a teacher at the University of Concentron in the Core Federation's vice capital.

Boards and VariationsEdit

Urbac-3

A chronium-and-steel version of a Urbac board.

Urbac boards have existed for millions of years along with the game, with the finest valued at millions of Federation Coronas, along with their pieces. They can be made from the most costly materials, such as gold and chronium to the most basic, such as steel and rubber. The most elaborate boards also the first made, intended for the royalty of the Core Federation, though almost every Ravenrii now possesses at least one set. There are also special and unique sets, such as a 50-meter-tall set in Core World Carina, or virtual and holographic versions that can be played on most Ravenrii entertainment software.

There are extremely few variations of the game, primarily due to its complex structure, but they have been known to exist within the Ravenrii's realms, as mostly regional or local versions of the game, which might be called, for example, Koryzean Urbac if the version sprouted in planet Korytaze. However, there the only official versions are Complex and Basic Urbac.

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