Though the game Cyvasse was never entirely explained in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, that didn’t stop board game designer Michael LePage from trying to design a playable version of the game. He started by working out the rules based on hints from the books:
“There’s not a lot in the books to go off — GRRM himself never tried to define the rules — but he did say it was a mix of Chess, Stratego and Blitzkrieg (which is based on a hex grid), and we have a list of quotes that say things like that the pieces are made of ‘onyx and ivory’, Dragons can be taken by Trebuchets and that Heavy Horses were ‘circling around his rear’,” Le Page said of his process.
“There’s also one quote that says Myrcella and Trystane were moving pieces over squares of Jade, Carnelian and Lapis Lazuli, which if you think about how you do a checkered grid with three colours, suggests a hex grid. The rest was basically trying to make something which played well and felt like it had the gravitas of Chess.”
The 3D design process had him further altering the rules to accommodate the actual game board:
“The 3D printing process did change the design a little: I had imagined it in my previous video as a hex grid of squares, the way a lot of footpaths are tiled with concrete squares in a hex grid. Anyway, it turns out it was just easier to make the 3D printed version with hexagons, not squares (with holes in them, so they’re cheaper to print).”
The end result is a very beautiful and playable game, and you can even buy one. It’ll cost you about $304, but you’ve got to admit it would be worth it to have this sitting on the table at your next game night.
See the video after the break.