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George Duke wrote on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 10:38 PM UTC:
Hoplit is a bifurcation piece dependent on having a screen. Winther's comment here is he changed it last year, which links to the detailed rules' explanation. Hoplit and Hoplite are alternate spellings across languages, where so many, or a few, languages other than English must drop, or never added, the 'e'. Hey, it is a rare word most college professors would flunk. Winther describes the etymological Greek origin. Unlike some of several dozen bifurcators, Hoplit cannot move without a screen.* Hoplit moves and captures the same in the sense of displacement or stopping upon empty ground. There are always two legs, first diagonal then orthogonal after the hop. Each bifurcator takes special getting used to. Hoplomach would be his closest counterpart, or opposite, who also cannot move without a screen; but Hoplomach travels straight/orthogonal then hops on the second diagonal 45-degree-changed leg to move with or without capturing. Winther usually estimates a piece value saying 3.0 or 4.0. There may not have been tests to refine the ballpark estimates. If the board has greater than 50% density, as on the Gustavian 68, the values should go up all things considered. Differently, if there are more Pawns and fewer pieces than common 50-50, the values would also go up of Hoplit, Hoplomach and the rest. Whereas oppositely, your generic Carreras, RN and BN used ad nauseum or increasingly over 400 years, will not keep value as Pawns relatively increase in numbers; instead Centaur and Champion do tend to dilute. (In another set of trade-offs, often stated is that having several Centaurs and/or Champions inherently lowers their unit values.) These would be all rather small increments described up or down, if implementing 1 or 2 extra pawns/pieces by type, and so far we do not know whether the starting points are 3.0 or 4.0. The hypothetical case of Pawn density growing higher than 50% boils down to Pawns' being effective screens too, giving Bifurcators more opportunity to get about. (*The prototypical Winther bifurcator now requires screen to move at all, but there are quite a few still called Bifurcator who move without capture without having any screen, just like Bishop or Rook, for example Helmsman, who is not dead in the water for lack of piece -- to jump, bounce, deflect, or collide -- adjacent along a given diagonal away. Note with Helmsman it is bounce, bounce-capture.)

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