Zugzwang Evolved: The Real Version

Halo Chess Set

Bungie probably thought their board game-themed April Fool’s prank (which they gave the appropriate name of Zugzwang Evolved) was a good one, but little did they know the joke was eventually going to be on them. A project that’s been in development since last Fall, this custom Halo chess set features a silver metallic United Nations Space Command team facing off against a grouping of bronze-colored Covenant enemies. The entire set was made by sculptor extraordinaire Rowland for one of his undoubtedly now ecstatic customers. The Halo lineup, along with their chess counterparts, are detailed after the jump where some delightfully larger images are also awaiting your arrival. There is bad news though. Pictures of the queen getting pinned are oddly absent. I guess no pawnography today.

Halo Chess Set
Halo Chess Set

Halo Chess Set

Halo Chess Set

Halo Chess Set

*Images posted with permission.

30 Responses to Zugzwang Evolved: The Real Version

  1. UoS EDit says:

    LOL at pawnography. I see what you did there Angel, and it was good.

    • suicidalkanoka says:

      That fun was punny!

  2. They look awsome! Would love to get some.

  3. cardo8 says:

    Wow, I’m very impressed with your zugzwang-making skills, Rowland.

    Still think Halo chess would be great DLC for reach in a year or two! I don’t want to actually have to move my arms when I’m playing chess with a real set – that would be too much movement.

  4. If we’re talking about the covenant side, I think it might be the queen doing the pinning. >.>

    Anyway, pretty neat. I wish I knew how to play chess, but this kind of makes me want to learn.

  5. soulofaqua says:

    I’m not exactly satisfied by the line up on either sides..

    • bs angel says:

      You can’t say something like that without elaborating! How would you have done the lineup?

      • Chronicler 177 says:

        I would have had- Captain Keyes/Miranda Keyes= King, MC=queen, Johnson=Knights, Marine Snipers=Bishops, Halo Wars Base Turrets=Rooks, Marines=Pawns

        Prophet=King, Arbiter=Queen, Brute=Knights, Elites=Bishops, Jackals=Rooks, Grunts=Pawns

      • Sangheilioz says:

        I’m not soulofaqua, but I have to agree. The grunt bishops were a nice touch, but I don’t really see how the gravemind would be on the covenant’s side. I’m also not too thrilled about skulls being the pawns. Makes the set look more like a gothic collection than halo-themed.

        Character choice criticism aside, the craftsmanship here is fantastic.

  6. ReverendTiki says:

    Why aren’t grunts and Marines the Pawns? And where are the Jackals?

    • Mizzy says:

      And Arbiter?

      • Otaka says:

        arbiter is an elite, so theres elite already.
        jackals got eaten by grunts :P

        i would prefer covenant side gravityhammers instead of ring worlds.

        But thats pretty much the layout after Halo 3.

        now we know, grunt bishop will die first!

  7. JLtheking says:

    SInce when was Gravemind on the Covenant side?

    • Otaka says:

      almost all covenant are infected by now…prophets and such :S

  8. CyanDeadEye says:

    The only bug I have is that Master Chief is the piece that always needs to be protected.

    • xLAS3RP01NT3Rx says:

      Switch Cortana and Chief and that would be an epic chess match.

  9. triptup says:

    the prophet should be the bitch!

    • That Geek says:

      Remind me, where on the board does that start?

  10. Abed says:

    I would seriously buy this. How much do you want for it?

  11. cyborgg says:


  12. hongoasdf says:

    Wait… Gravemind and Halo Ring Worlds on the same side? There’s something that doesn’t add up there…

    WAIT… Gravemind is the female? scratch the last one, this is the one that doesn’t add up.

  13. porge says:

    OH MY GOD HALO CHESS, DO WANT. DO WANT VERY MUCH. My old Star Wars chess set was… well nobody could distinguish what was what (except me)

  14. Durpmonger says:

    A lot of the pieces don’t make sense. Here:

    Pawns: grunts
    Rooks: Jackels
    Knights: Choppers
    Bishops: Brute Honor Guards
    Queen: Chieftain
    King: prophet


    Pawns: marines
    Rooks: ODST
    Knights: Warthogs
    Bishops: Elites
    Queen: Spartan
    King: Captain Keyes, baby!

    • Brandon says:

      In my opinion, should be as follows

      Pawns: grunts
      Rooks: Hunters (due to their tendency to charge straight in)
      Knights: Brutes (just kind of the basic cavalry, not really any similarity to the knight’s character)
      Bishops: Jackals (have to move slanted because of shields)
      Queen: Scarab (long distance in any direction, the most powerful piece)
      King: prophet

      UNSC: Note, they use vehicles because humans don’t really have different types of troops, also, lets keep it all human
      Pawns: marines
      Rooks: Warthog
      Knights: Spartans (maneuverable, impossible to kill if used right)
      Bishops: Mongoose
      Queen: Cortana (you know she won the war)
      King: Captain Keyes/Admiral hood

  15. Durpmonger says:

    pieces on the board are defined by what they do, not their sex.

    just because the chieftain and spartans are the queen piece doesn’t mean they’re female. they’re game pieces.

  16. Xdreamist says:

    First off, very good job.

    But, if I were to commision:

    Pawns: Grunts
    Rooks: Jackels
    Knights: Brutes
    Bishops: Hunters
    Queen: Tartarus
    King: Prophet

    Pawns: Marines
    Rooks: ODSTs
    Knights: Spartan III’s
    Bishops: Elites
    Queen: Master Chief
    King: Fleet Admiral Hood

  17. Dust Storm says:

    That is awesome. I guess the fools is on Bungie now.

  18. BlazingBobby says:

    Someone obviously didnt do there homework!

    UNSC has Elites?!?! Guilty Spark?!? Energy swords?!?! ALL NOT COVENANT

    Should have been more like this

    Pawns: suicide grunts
    Rooks: Brutes
    Knights: Elites (the original protectors of the covenant)
    Bishops: Jackals
    Queen: Tartarus
    King: prophet

    Pawns: marines
    Rooks: ODSTs (Cause you KNOW they’re always dropping in)
    Knights: Spartan III’s
    Bishops: Captain Keys w/ pistol / Sergeant Johnson w/ snipes
    Queen: Cortana
    King: Master Cheif

  19. MAST3R1X says:

    THat’s always cool how they make chess peices for a game/book. If it does go on EBAY I will be like >_< YES!

  20. stanleycr4 says:

    hi i would like to see the price of that chess set also if anyone wants to go against me at chess got to redhotpawn.com

    email me at stanleycr4@yahoo.com

    i would like to know how many are in stock also.

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