The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Cyrus Arturas.

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Samuel Trenholme wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Since I didn’t make this clear: The opponent wouldn’t get to keep their extra move “in pocket”. When a summoning is done, the opponent then makes two moves immediately afterwards.

It’s true an extra move is very powerful, but having a replaceable piece which is only fully removed from the game when the summoner is captured is very powerful too. [1] If the two moves end up being too much compensation for the summoned piece, we can hobble that too (the extra move can not capture, one piece can not move twice, etc.)

I agree we need some playtesting to here to find out how much compensation we give the other player for the summoned piece getting placed on the board. It’s like changing the king’s move or how the pawns move: It changes the nature of the game enough that extensive playtesting is needed to see if it unbalances the game to the point it’s a forced win for the first player, or (especially if making the king too powerful) if it makes the game an easy draw.

This is also why I still like Zillions, some two decades after the program was last updated: Zillions is a relatively easy way to playtest game mechanics like this one.

[1] A game with summoning and drops can make the summoning less unbalanced too, since we can come up with some way of combining those mechanics to balance the summoning. Another option is to go the Seirawan route and only allow a summoning of a piece to be done precisely once.

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