Comics: Once Upon a Trope

Battle Strategy


A general stands on the battlefield next to a king and queen.

General to Queen: Your Majesty, only you can defeat their knight!

King: She isn’t a soldier!

General: You may not be, sire, but Her Majesty is very formidable. I wouldn’t put her in harm’s way without good reason.

Queen: Don’t worry, dear, she’s the most brilliant tactician in the land.

The queen races into battle. The general speaks to a nearby knight.

General: Now you must position yourself to threaten their king.

Knight: But, General, their soldiers are blocking the way.

General: So jump over them!

The king looks on. He stands next to a bishop who appears terrified to be there.

King to Bishop: Do you think it was a bad idea to use a chess competition to pick our next general?



  1. Cay Reet

    It was a very bad idea to use a chess competition, I dare say.

    Yet, it’s long before games where you command real troops were invented.

  2. A.R.

    The bishop does very much think that, thanks for asking.

    Although….the queen seems to be doing pretty well. Do you think she took martial arts when she was a little princess?

    One question: What do you think the general would have done if the king was married to a man? Arbitrarily picked some girl and said, “Your Majesty, this is your new queen. Now she’s gonna beat up the other side for you”?

    • Cay Reet

      Since we’re talking about the queen in the sense of the chessboard, the partner of the king, standing next to him, will meet the definition of ‘Queen’ and be used accordingly, I’d say.

      • Erynus

        Any pawn can be crowned queen if it reach the oposite side (actually you can crown into any piece but the king, but the queen is so powerful that it is the obvious choice, i know cases where a knight crowned pawn decided the game)

      • A.R.

        Works for me!

    • Oren Ashkenazi

      Editor’s note: I’ve removed a comment for bringing homophobia into a fun chat about comics, part of a pattern of malicious behavior.

  3. LeeEsq

    A chess competition doesn’t seem any more ridiculous than relying on prophecy. At least chess players need to demonstrate some tactical thinking, Now if they used a backgammon competition, that would be a bad idea.

    • Cay Reet

      Would it be? Backgammon might have less different pieces, but it has an added difficulty: the dice. With chess, you can, once you’re experienced enough, judge all the moves that would make sense for your adversary when you make this move or that and plan accordingly. With backgammon, your best-laid plans can be nul and void in a moment, because the other one gets the better dice, can move his pieces faster than you, and you’re left to lose because of a factor you can’t influence, unless you can change your plans on the go.

      From the level of strategy involved, chess, backgammon, and poker are relatively close together.

      • LeeEsq

        It was just a joke. I was picking a random game.

  4. Kenneth Mackay

    Have you heard of ‘(k)nightmare chess’? It uses a deck of cards, each of which allows the player to do something outside the normal rules of chess. For example, a low card might allow the player to move a pawn an extra square, or sideways rather than forward, a medium-powered card might let them make one move with a knight as though it was a bishop, and the most powerful cards allow for actions such as taking two consecutive turns, or moving one of your opponent’s pieces rather than your own.
    It makes chess far less predictable…!

    • Cay Reet

      Haven’t heard of it before, but it sounds interesting.

  5. Cip

    Snakes and ladders would be best I think

  6. Recursive Rabbit

    Move that castle to hem in their king!

  7. Dernhelm

    Interesting enough, the original name for the queen piece was the Vizier or the prime minister, and making the piece so OP was likely a comment on how many kings often let their ministers make all the tough work ruling the country while the king lazed about.

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