I always wonder if AZAD is played with the same rules in all cases. I am referring to the rules that we are reading or better “deducting” from the novel. In this case we are talking about the imperial tournament of the six years great cycle. Due to the importance of the tournament (don’t forget that we decide the future of the empire and the emperor himself) is quite probably that the rules are played at their full extent, with every possible most minute details and exceptions, known only by the adjudicators and the most able and experienced players. This mean that You need a vast knowledge of the game himself and of the previous tournaments [39.27], in case You want to appeal for a negative judge decision.
But in the daily life ? Don’t forget that AZAD is used also to settle disputes before a judge for example for slaves and possessions. This suggest that the game is used by ordinary citizens [72.09] to negotiate in commerce and common affairs. But to decide on a small dispute, for example the purchase price of an asset, or the compensation for damage, what rules must be followed? And the rules are the same at every social level? In any organizational context (the church, the army, the administration, etc …)? I think no! Can you imagine a tournament just to set a fine for having wrongly sorted waste (or having spilled plasma of your airship on the ground)?
The resolution times would be far too long.
That’s why I believe that there are different versions of the AZAD “Rules set”, with variants, special rules and optional rules. Let’s start from the army, where AZAD is used to define the career advancement of the military ranks [06.10], but also to psychological evaluate a cadet and verify the best use of his skills [108.19] or to verify the possible strategic evolution of a skirmish with an enemy, the usage are endless. Here we need rules specifically “oriented” to a war situation and not general civil rules. The same is true in the religious sector where it is necessary to evaluate the real belief of a devotee who decides to take the vows, as well as the possible direction that the church will have to take in response to the Empire faith problems or to guide it.
The same reasoning can be applied in all sectors, civil, industrial, state, school, health, etc … Probably these rules are just a “sub set” of the “Global Rules Set” of AZAD if we consider that AZAD is “it is as precise and comprehensive a model of life as it is possible to construct”, meaning that should cover all the possible situations. Supporting to this thesis there is also the “Game of Elements” played in the “Hole” [89.18], the vast complex of artificial caves now refuge for outcasts and criminals. This is a two dimensional and reduced version of the elemental die matching game played on the “Board of Becoming” [97.10].
This leads me to a painful choice. At the end of my journey on the development of the rules for the “Great Tournament”, I’ll must define the rules for a playable board game. One of the basic constraints that differentiate our board game from the “real one” is the number of players. In the imperial tournament games are played with ten players but in our real world probably four/five is the most suitable number. The mere choice of the number of players leads to great consequences, like the number of game turns and pieces in play.
And what do You think about the chessboard physical dimension ?
Should we maintain the dimensions of the 10 players chess board even if we play with fewer ? And what kind of “Sub Set” of the rules to use ?
I think in the future I will do a survey to find out your opinion.