ACCEPTED Sha Mat - Korsian Strategy Game (Chess ToB Style, and how to PLAY in game)


Lore Team
Staff member
Lore Team
Jul 11, 2019
The Korsian Board Game of Shahan
A Game of Strategists, Warlords, and Generals
A detailed aristocratic explanation
By Ali of House Vespin three times title holder of ShamShahlah
As title says: Chess in ToB Style. A Note block can be used Roleplay-wise to roleplay Shah Mat. Skip to the bottom on how to play it for real

[An ancient painting of an early version of Shah-Mat, starring two sitting titleholders]
"Shahan Mat! The Shah is Dead!" That's what I said to my opponent after I finally beat him to a full hour match. The final match that would make me the holder of my honorary game title "Shahanshah", meaning "King of Kings" or "Grand King", for the third time in my life! For nine years I have proven myself a master strategist in all of Korsia, but my father would never let me lead an army to battle. The irony...

You might be thinking if this is some noble's game to dabble in someone else's politics, or if you just came across this game, where a youngster is beaten by the local elder, while you ordered your third cup of wine last week. Don't think about it. Shahan is the game of games, and the game for the thinking man, played at both court and in the back-alley hostels in the damned Emirate of Milah, may the sunburn me for it.

No matter if you are the smartest boy in the community, an old scientist, a king, general, or a master thief. Shahan is for everyone with the smarts. While the basics are easy to explain, the essence of Shahan is a thing to master. You need to learn to think at least three steps ahead of your enemy and prepare for the fact that every mistake will be double the burn when your enemy strikes a counter-attack.

In this tome, I will teach you the true, official way how we Korsian Nobles do it because I believe this game is meant for all. Yallah-Yallah, let's go!

[A female Shahanshu, sitting, defending her local
gained title from a Male challenger, standing]​

The First Basics
As the name suggests, the main goal is to eliminate the Shah, meaning "King" in the language of the Korsian peoples. To defeat the king, simply attack him with one of your remaining soldiers, or strategically corner him so he is unable to make any move without getting killed. By tradition, the titleholder, or previous winner, receives the "Shah Mahar", "The King's seat", while the challenger stands on the opposite, having to win both the title and the Shah Mahar. If you are a smart local player, you will often have warm cheeks, since the seat will be all night yours. By the same tradition it is ALWAYS AND IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE forbidden to place bets or gamble on a winner, both as participant and spectator. This is absolutely not-done, nor should you question it.

The Board, and Starting the Game
The game is divided into 8 rows with 8 squares and units are placed as illustrated below before the battle starts. Every unit has its own move set and attacking a unit of an enemy is very simple, once one of your units moves into his square, you simply knock him violently of the board. The only way for your enemy to strike back is to move with one of his units into the square just occupied by your shortly-victorious unit.

To close off this chapter, the challenger salutes the Shahanshah with "Shahanshah ter mah!", roughly meaning "King, bow before me!", receiving a reply from the title holder: "Ter yah Shahanshah!", roughly meaning "Bow before your King". The crowd yells "Yallah-Yallah!", and the game has started.

Unit Types
To keep this chapter simple, every unit type will be written in plain Norvian:

Shah (King)
Can move exactly one square in any direction. Cornering or taking this unit down end the game, making the living Khan ShamShala.

Shuh (Queen)
Can move any number of vacant squares forward, backward, left, or right, AND diagonally. This is your strongest unit.

Can move any number of vacant squares forward, backward, left, or right.

Can move any number of vacant squares diagonally.

A tough one, the knight can move into hooks of one steps forward by two steps left or right, or vice versa.

When first moving this unit, you can move two steps forward. Afterwards, you can move but one step. It may attack both forward and diagonally.

[King of the Hill - A South Oserian variant of Sha Mat]​

This is my guide to the basics of Shahan. I believe you will find joy in this game that's maybe as hard as planning strategy in a real war. Be sure to master your tactics and create a personal strategy that will vanquish all others. And if this ever, EVER, grows bored, try the Oserian variant of Shahan: King of the Hill. I heard from my father, Saveiro, that it's quite the thing in the southern parts of that wicked place.

In Consideration: First, find yourself a game board in any public or private building and invite someone according to the rules. After that, set up the game by creating it at This site does not need an account. If you want to, you can share the game through discord voice channels, or keep it private. Just don't spoil any meta-sensitive stuff.

Tale of Banners does not endorse any use of this website, it is purely for your own enjoyment.
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