Tomes in Amber
The Game of Security
“Security is no game; Security is the means by which order shall rule and chaos be banished”
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Security in the empire. Watching others play is the primary means of entertainment and the local Specularis is the centre for all doings in a settlement. Children are taught to play at an early age, but the best among them are soon selected for further training while the rest largely stop playing by their mid-teens and instead appreciate the play of their betters. Every parent dreams that one day their child may compete in the Specularis of Thron and entire towns will journey to see someone from their region compete in that place.
Security appeared at approximately the same time as the Towers began being built and it is widely accepted that its genesis was closely related to the end of the Unity Wars. The constant violence of this time had slaked man’s thirst for violent spectacles (as are still popular among the less civilized nations) and what was desired instead was an entertainment that relied upon the reason of its players, not their brawn.
The game is derived from an earlier game where players alternated putting stones on a board and attempted to surround, and thus capture, their opponent’s pieces. Security deviated from this game by first moving to a board made up of hexagonal spaces instead of squares; as a result six pieces are required to completely surround a space instead of the eight previously needed. The second major change was the introduction of Towers. Whenever six pieces from one side surround an empty hex or one occupied by their opponent, that player can place a Tower in the centre of the six. This Tower will then secure all spaces adjacent to the six which originally formed it; the player can remove any enemy stones located within them and these spaces count as occupied (both for the purpose of surrounding other pieces and for final scoring). Once placed Towers can never be destroyed. The game ends when one player can no longer place a stone on the board—at this point the game is over and the player who controls the most spaces wins.