Friday, March 1, 2013
The Kotra Project
So, what about kotra? There have been discussions online, on and off, for a few years, driven by a few people that wanted to set up a rules for play, but nothing was ever finalized, and all the projects were ultimately abandoned.
Well, not this time! With the encouragement of my fellow Cardassians, I've been researching kotra. Here is the scene which features Garak and Nog playing kotra, taken from the script:
10 INT. RUNABOUT
CLOSE ON a Cardassian board game we'll come to know as
Kotra. It's a cross between chess and Stratego, where
all the pieces are identical in shape, though each
player's pieces are of a different color. A hand moves
one of the pieces back, "retreating."
What are you doing?
WIDEN TO SEE the two players, Garak and Nog.
O'Brien is nearby, at a side console, doing some recreational
reading off a PADD. Boq'ta is piloting the runabout.
But you're losing.
That's why I have to protect my
This isn't a financial
transaction. Protecting your
"assets" is what got you into
trouble in the first place. You
have to go on the offensive -- you
have to attack.
But Nog is committed to his own strategy.
This is maddening. Asking a
Ferengi to play a Cardassian game
is like asking a Klingon to chew
with his mouth closed.
Garak, exasperated, takes the octagonal dice and rolls.
Garak moves a series of pieces brazenly as he speaks:
DEEP SPACE NINE: "Empok Nor" - REV. 04/07/97 - ACT ONE 10A.
Kotra isn't about "regrouping" and
hoarding "assets" -- it's about
bold strategy and decisive action.
Garak has "taken" two of Nog's pieces, placing them in
his "captured" tray.
You can watch the full episode here.
From the scene, I determined a few things -
-movement is determined by rolling a pair of dice
-pieces can be captured
-pieces have no fixed movement (like chess pieces, for example), so one of the dice must determine how many spaces you can move
So, I've been working out how the game would work, given the clues from the episode and researching other games. I have the basic gameplay figured out, I just need to figure out how the symbols on all the individual spaces affect play, draw up some diagrams so I can illustrate the different aspects of the board, and then put it all together! I'm actually pretty close to finishing up, so I'll be posting the final rules and gameplay article very soon.
Of course, once I have the rules figured out, I'm going to build a gameboard so I can start playing with others. I'll post pics of that here, too, once I get underway.