Among themselves, the Hoister Family Proper play three-dimensional chess based on modified boards ten squares on a side, stacked ten deep, with two additional pieces. It is two-, three-, or four-player game (the third and fourth players work perpendicularly to the first and second players. First player starts on the bottom board, second player on the top, third on the fifth from bottom, and fourth on the fifth from top.) Each player controls a "Family" of 20 pieces: First Speaker (King), Commander (Queen), 2 Advisors (Bishops), 2 Battleships (new piece), 2 Cruisers (Knights), 2 Planets (Rooks), 2 Starboats (new piece), and 8 Defectives (Pawns).
The added complexities of extra players, boards, and pieces kept the Family Proper's interest for the first thousand years or so, then the game began to get predictable and dull. About 15,000 H.E., the X-Group introduced a new wrinkle: Predictive Chess. In the ideal form of this system, which is based on opponents knowing each other intimately, players individually record all of their moves before the game begins . . . and without any interaction with their opponents. The game is then played out according to each player's pre-recorded moves. Players drop out as their predicted moves fail to match reality, and the last player remaining wins the game. (A perfect game, of course, would play through to a legal conclusion.)
When they first started to play Predictive Chess, a limit was placed on the number of predicted moves -- say, five or ten moves were predicted, and the subsequent game was played to a conclusion. By 20,000 H.E., though, the Family Proper was playing true Predictive Chess, in which the entire game was mapped out in advance.
The Hoister Family Chess Set was constructed by Jonelle Hoister-Tenny in 14,921 H.E. The boards (ten squares on each side, ten boards stacked) are constructed of black and white marble from Ye Dragora, inlaid with tachyon vesicles (which also serve to support the boards by antigrav.) Individual pieces are carved from gold (Family 1), platinum (Family 2), silver (Family 3), and diamond (Family 4), inlaid with precious stones. The silver is pure Silver-107, the platinum pure Platinum-190, and the diamond mixed carbon 12, 13, and 14 because it is of natural origin.
The particular pieces are perfect replicas of:
Since 18,133 H.E., the figure of Ursula/Ulrica has been covered with black silk.
The Battleship and Starboat are two new pieces in the game. The Battleship moves 3 spaces in any direction or combination of directions; the Starboat moves one space either forward, up/down, or to the side. In the initial layout, the two Starboats flank the eight Defectives (Pawns); the two Battleships come between the Advisors (Bishops) and the Cruisers (Knights).