Now here’s a historical twist to gaming. Two Mumbaikars have designed a boardgame, aptly called Kurukshetra that allows people to relive the 18 days of the Mahabharata. Taking on imposing Indian mythological figures like Bhishma, Duryodhana and Karna, the game gives players an opportunity to be a part of the Kurukshetra by playing a Pandava general, whose objective is to win the epic war without straying from the path of dharma (righteousness). Arijit Lahiri and Kamalika Bhattacharya of the Andheri-based Ptotem Learning Projects developed the game that is suited children aged 11 and above.
“I have been very interested in mythology and the Mahabharata. I saw how big a series like Percy Jackson had become and wanted to try something like it in the Indian context,” says Lahiri, who spent a lot of time going through the original epic to ensure that the game played true to the original setting. But designed the graphics of the game to suit the PS3 generation.
Kurukshetra depends heavily on shrewd strategy and can be played by four players. Spread over the 18 days of the Mahabharata, players don the role of the Pandava general looking for victory by defeating the Kaurava army. In keeping with the original war, none of the great warriors like Bhishma and Dhuryodhana can be killed in the initial nine days. “And to defeat a warrior, you need a combination of the right Pandava card, role of the die and Krishna’s advice. One also has to be careful not to waste a card on the wrong warrior, as this can impact the final outcome,” says Bhattacharya.
The game takes about an hour to complete and is a bit complex at first go. But players can pick up the rules while playing. Also, it helps to have a little bit of knowledge of the Mahabharata to ensure that you pick the right card to play the enemy warrior. So to ease the process, the boardgame comes with a small write-up on the actual war and the story that precedes it. “We’ve explained the characters and their motivations for going to war. For instance, not many know that the reason Duryodhana didn’t want Yudhishter to have the throne was because he was not the son of Pandu and had a God for a father. Therefore, Duryodhana felt he wasn’t part of the bloodline and shouldn’t be king,” explains Lahiri.
So, what are you waiting for? Let the games begin.
How to play:
The game set includes a game board, warrior cards, Kaurava army units, Krishna advice cards, dice and tokens.
There are 18 turns representing 18 days of the war. The battlefield is in the center of the board, rimmed by the day-by-day fight schedule.
Players take turns playing and the final score to determine the winner is based on soldiers left on the board, victory tokens, and unused
Krishna advice cards
The player to reach the end first wins