Welters is a game played by Magicians. Described as chess for magicians, welters is played on a large board of squares that players must capture to win. It was invented as an alternative option to dueling between and is played between magical universities in the annual Welters Championship.
Welters is half strategy, half spell-casting. Players start by picking a square using a large stone called the globe, which is thrown onto the board and determines which square that player must capture. Each square is about a yard wide, though the entire board is longer than it is wide, and the squares are made of different materials: water, stone, sand, grass, and two metal squares made of silver and palladium. If the globe is thrown directly into the water square, the game is considered forfeit and the opposing team wins.
After throwing the globe onto a square, players can attempt to capture the square by casting according to it's Circumstances, protect the square from being captured by the opposing team, or recapture the square by superseding an earlier spell. Water squares are the easiest to capture, while metal squares are the hardest, being reserved for summonings and other exotic enchantments.
Eventually a player must step bodily onto the board, effectively becoming a playing piece in the game, and as such they become vulnerable to direct, personal attacks if the opposing team targets their square. When entering the board, the world outside seems to shrink while the board grows larger due to an enchantment on the game.
Like chess, there are many numbers of conventional openings that have been worked out and optimized long ago by previous welters champions. In early rounds, both sides capture uncontested squares in a free-for-all land grab, and once the free squares were gone the players must target contested squares in a head to head battle. It is legal for players to transmute squares into different materials, thereby making them easier or harder to capture, as well as move squares to different spots on the board.
To be added
- In the SYFY adaptation, the welters board is no longer made of different materials and instead made of wooden squares that are transformed into different materials when successfully captured. The board also no longer features two metal squares, but a singular black square in the middle of the board that requires an exotic spell to capture.