Shogi- A great Japanese game to teach strategy and offense and troop placement. I(Saito) have made about 5 different shogi boards with everything from painted beads, painted rocks, painted wood, and even Japanese samurai painted figurines(my favorite set). I like the game alot. And what is weird is I dont like Chess but I do like this. I describe Shogi to new players as Zombie Paratrooper chess. Since one of the neater features is that pieces you take from your opponent become your own pieces and can be dropped back into play almost anywhere on the board.
SHOGI is a game enjoyed by over 20 million people in Japan. It is a game of mental skill between two players, with the ultimate objective of trapping the opponent's King; it may be simply described as the Japanese variation of chess.
SHOGI is believed to have derived from "Chaturanga," a game played in ancient India around 3000 B.C., modified and brought to Japan from China in about the 8th century. It was sometime in the 14th century that SHOGI took its present form.
SHOGI is a game that usually ends decisively with one player winning; drawn games are relatively rare. Statistically, both players have about equal chances of victory. The most distinctive feature of the game is that a player can re-use the pieces which he has captured from his opponent. This feature is unique, and makes the game much more interesting.
For Rules to shogi go check out this web page http://www.chessvariants.com/shogi.html
For a computer version of shogi check out here. I highly recommend Winshogi
This year I got to play Tai-Shogi for the 2nd time. I made a Tai-Shogi set a while back. Took us forever to setup all the pieces. Tai-shogi is alot bigger than shogi and was played by the Imperial court. It has a 25 squares by 25 squares board. And 177 pieces per side. It took Hawkel and I 12 hours to play 1 complete game. This game was interesting because it teaches large troop movement and counter movement.