Although there are already many strategy titles available for computers, consoles and handhelds, chess remains a constant favorite for genre fans of all ages. For history buffs, chess is a chance to relive old battles and to stand behind their chosen side. The wonderful sets in our list are not only wonderful to display, they are also made to last a lifetime.
Crusades Chess Set
Relive the Crusades with this thematic collection. Against the lustrous sheen of the board, the set's figures stand out in their red and white tabards. They are incredibly detailed, with the knights wearing historically accurate chain mail and standing atop dark, stone-like pedestals. Each piece is made of resin, which is a tough material guaranteed to last a long time. The Crusades set is perfect for history buffs with a fondness for the period. It is great to put in display and is tough enough for both adults and children to use regularly.
The Lord of the Rings Collector's Chess Set from Noble
The Lord of the Rings Collector's Chess Set from Noble lets you relive Frodo's fantastic journey using 32 miniature sculptures of the film's cast. Made of high quality pewter, each likeness is realistic enough to be approved by the actual actors. Underneath the playing field is an accurate map of the Middle-earth and the base is decorated with images taken from the movie trilogy. As far as movie-themed merchandise go, it doesn't get any more authentic than this LOTR chess set by Noble.
Arabian Vs Christian Crusade Chess Pieces
Featuring colorful pieces such as horses rearing back, tall towers and chessmen properly dressed for the Crusade period, these pieces let you live out one of the most notable religious conflicts in history, with style. The figures are made of durable resin and they truly shine on top of pale colored pedestals. Combined with a suitable chess board, these will make a wonderful addition to any history enthusiast or chess fan's collection.
Richard The Lionheart Chess Set
A must-have for history buffs, the Richard the Lionheart chess set lets you relive the events of the Third Crusade. Side with Richard I's forces or choose to command the Saracens. Each resin figure is finely crafted and the details, painted in bright hues. The playing field of the RTL Chess set is rather majestic with its fine wood grain patterns in maple and Sapele, framed by a narrow strip in a dark wood finish. Its traditional look and durability makes it an excellent choice for both daily use and display.
Camelot Busts Acrylic Padauk Chess Set
For a classic look that deserves a spot in your study, the Camelot Busts Acrylic Padauk chess set is a charming choice. It features horse headed knights, armored soldiers and towers in brilliant hues. The figures are atop marble-like acrylic bases in vibrant blue and red. Complementing the chessmen is a beautiful Padauk board with a slender inlaid frame around the battlefield. The board is nicely finished to accentuate the natural wood grain and the pieces are realistically detailed, wearing gorgeous period clothing.
Camelot Gold & Silver Cherry Chess Set
If you're looking for something with class, the Camelot Gold & Silver Cherry Chess Set certainly fits the bill. It is stunning, be it out in display or kept in its cherry stained chest. As its name suggests, the resin chessmen are eye-catching. Painted in gold and silver, the pieces stand out handsomely against the brown and ivory-colored chess board. The tiles are inlaid directly into the lid too, so you'll always be ready for a match -- truly convenience and class rolled into one.
Lord of the Rings Chess Collection
Now, for movie buffs and die-hard Lord of the Rings fans, there's a wonderful alternative to the more traditional history-themed chess sets. The Lord of the Rings Chess Collection features individually crafted play pieces which depict the Academy Award winning motion picture's colorful cast of characters. The pieces are made of lead, ensuring that they would last a life time of regular use and they are hand-painted beautifully. There are three sets included in this fantastic LOTR chess collection.
Legend of King Arthur Chess Pieces
Recreate epic battles between knights with the Legend of King Arthur Chess Pieces. This thematic set allows you to lead legends like King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Guinevere even Merlin against the likes of Morgan Le Fay, Mordred, Melehan and more. The pieces are made of poly-resin, expertly hand painted using lead-free paint to showcase exquisite details such as clothing trim and folds. Each piece stands atop pedestals which display their names and look as if they are made of stone.
Extra Large Crusades III Medieval Chess Pieces
Stage campaigns set during the time of the Crusades with this finely crafted chess set. There are a total of 32 pieces in this medieval-themed chess set. As its name suggests, the chessmen are 6 5/8 inches tall -- double the size of regular chessmen. The bigger the size, the more eye-catching the details. Each one is made with poly-resin and painted by hand using brilliant, lead-free paint in brown, gold and purple. They stand proud, on top of stone-like bases, ready for glorious battle.
3D Dragon Chess Set
Who doesn't like dragons? As far as creatures go, these are a staple in both history and fantasy. Now, if you're a chess player with a soft spot for fantasy, then the 3D Dragon Chess Set may just be your cup of tea. This fantastic set features 32 dragons over an exquisite glass board. Beneath the playing field is a base depicting the bones of two dragons while the top is filled with handsome metal dragons lined with felted bottoms.
Medieval Knights 3D Chess Set
Play out battles in a fantastic medieval world and play in style with this beautiful 3D chess set. Filled with stately kings and valiant knights alike, the playing area lies on top of an intricate scene depicting a realistic battlefield complete with broken shields and damaged walls. Four stone watch towers serve to support the glass board which is 15 inches in size. Made of tough metal, the whole set weighs about 25 lbs. in total.
The Lord of the Rings Chess Pieces - SAC Hand Painted
A masterpiece from Studio Anne Carlton, these figures are sure to be a treasure for any true blue fan of The Lord of the Rings. They are made out of polyresin, a tough stone composite, this set is perfect for daily play -- even long time display. Join Frodo Baggins as he goes in an epic journey through Middle-earth with friends such as Sam, Aragorn and Lady Arwen. Every character included in this set is hand painted to the highest standard.
Robin Hood Chess Set
Play as Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men in this finely crafted Robin Hood Chess Set. Consisting of 1.75 inch squares, the board is made of maple and Sapele veneer. Choose to side with the heroes or, if you so choose, fight alongside the Sheriff of Nottingham. Each and every figure is created out of durable resin, painted to perfection in order to bring each iconic character to life. The wooden board is accented by a narrow frame, trimmed with a black border. With its detailed, thematic elements, this handsome set is sure to fit in quite nicely in any study, library or office.
LEGO Kingdoms Set Chess Set
Do you know of a budding chess master or are you a kid at heart? If so, then the LEGO Kingdoms Set Chess Set may be just the perfect gift to get. Instead of figures in traditional resin or pewter, these are LEGO pieces to the core. There are 28 minifigures all in all, each with their own accessories and weapons. From knights to jesters, this set is sure to be a great addition for anyone who loves the LEGO Kingdoms building sets. And, to keep all of the minifigures neat and tidy, it even comes with its own storage box.
With so many thematic sets available, chess is definitely the game choice for anyone who is a fan of medieval war games. From hand painted wood to LEGO, the variety of sets available encourage both the young and old to enjoy this classic game of strategy. It does not matter whether you play it daily or intend to keep it on display, the sets included in this list are unlikely to disappoint.