A few years ago I was interested in David Pritchard's account of an original
French game (Tempête sur l'échiquier) in his book of chess variants. I found
the artwork a delight, and was curious recently to try and discover what had
been made of it since - in particular, if there is now an English version.
Indeed there is, released by Steve Jackson games:
And it has a fan page:
The team at Chess Variants led by the indefatigable Hans Bodlaender give
it a bit of space, but they hated the new artwork:
I think the fan is not reading right the reaction of the CV team
Hans said he finds the artwork 'disturbing' (a word he may have used),
but the Knightmare fan doesn't take this at face value, and suggests that
Hans is a chess purist who takes exception to the deviation offered by
Knightmare - perhaps because you have to throw away conventional chess
Of course, I can imagine a chess 'purist', by definition, not liking any
variation on chess, but most chess players know and enjoy several
variations of the orthodox game. That's certainly true for me, and I use
a lot of chess variants with my junior chess club. Some of these
variants do require you to re-think strategy from scratch, so I don't
think that is going to be a problem for most people and certainly not
for Hans, or whoever wrote the review for Chess Variants, who devote
a lot of time and energy celebrating the diversity of such variants.
The description of the original French game on the chessvariants.org
site is actually sympathetic ('hilarious') and elsewhere describes it as
'lots of fun'.
So if Hans says he finds the new Knightmare artwork 'disturbing', I
would take his comment at face value.
I found the original French artwork to be very engaging - so much so, I
resolved to track down a pack. Naturally, I wondered what beef Hans had
with the Knightmare version. It took me precisely four clicks from the
Knightmare fan website to find I had exactly the same reaction as Hans
to the new SJ artwork:
That combination of over-the-top sexuality and realistic violence really
isn't anything I want to put under the noses of anyone at my club, young
or old, male or female. So I think my best hope to wait for a re-release
of the European version.