Since a large part of my original intent with YIORA was to make it a customizable and adaptable game, I’ve already devised a number of different variations. But the main rule set is known as ‘Primary Basic’. Here’s the latest revision of the rule set that I started with over twenty years ago:


Primary Basic Yiora is a strategy game for two players.

Setting up the Game

The Board

The Board

The board consists of five concentric rings around a black center circle, divided into thirty-six columns of alternating black-and-white squares. The five rings are labeled Y, I, O, R, and A, starting with the innermost ring and moving outward, while the columns are labeled with numbers, from 1 to 36. Any position on the board can be described with the ring-and-column combination, such as A-19.

Only the black squares on the board are used in Primary Basic Yiora. The center circle is traditionally used as a ‘graveyard’ for fallen pieces.

The Pieces
Each player has three kinds of pieces. 4 Pawns, the smallest of the three; 4 Mages, middle-sized pieces; and one Overlord, the tallest piece.

Back row, l-r: Pawn, Mage, Overlord, handmade pieces from original YIORA set. Front row, l-r: Pawn, Mage, Overlord, planned pieces for GameCrafter boxed edition.

Back row, l-r: Pawn, Mage, Overlord, handmade pieces from original YIORA set.
Front row, l-r: Pawn, Mage, Overlord, planned pieces for GameCrafter boxed edition.

At the start of the game, the White Overlord is placed in square A-1, and the Black Overlord is placed in square A-19, with Pawns and Mages in rank as shown in (figure to come later).

Pawns move along diagonal lines, up to five squares per move, and may not change directions during a move, unless the pawn’s move carries it to the innermost or outermost ring, in which case the move can be continued in the other direction.

Mages move along rings or columns only in straight lines for a maximum of 5 black squares along a ring, or 2 black squares along a column, or they may move 1 square diagonally.

The Overlord, probably the worst piece to use offensively, can only move one square diagonally.

Players alternate turns, capturing each others’ pieces and maneuvering their pawns into a position where checkmate can be achieved. To capture another player’s piece, your piece must be legally able to land on the square being occupied by the opponent’s piece.

Ending the Game
The goal of Primary Basic Yiora is to achieve Checkmate. This happens when the opponent’s Overlord must move to avoid being captured, but is unable to move without being captured.

Variations

Secondary Basic Yiora is a four-player variation, with Black and White players playing on the black squares, and two other players playing with the same rules on the white squares. The two games are played separately, and do not interact with each other at all.

Secondary Complex Yiora is similar in setup to Secondary Basic, with four sets of pieces on the board. It may be played either by two players (each controlling one set of pieces in each independent game), or by two teams which may confer to control two sets of pieces each.



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