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Game Reviews by John Smith

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Revenge of the King. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2010-02-13 UTCGood ★★★★
I'm not sure how much of a 'revenge' the Mounted King is. The King as Knight is more difficult to maneuver for players used to the regular move. On the other hand, the King is more difficult to checkmate when it is now a Knight, though Chess variantists generally consider the Knight to be slightly weaker than the Commoner which moves like a King. Also, players may not want their King to become a Mounted King if the regular move is more strategically viable for them.

Despite the fact that new variants often do not fulfill their intentions, I think this King transformation is something to be considered for other games and as a fun rule variant on boring old Chess.

Monkey King Chess. Monkey King fights Goblin King on 44 squares board in game with oriental influences. (5x8, Cells: 44) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2010-01-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Excellent page for this game. I like how it goes in depth about the design influences and has notes on play. The hand-painted pieces are a nice touch as well, where the chart is an easy reference during play.

Trampoline Chess. Each player has a Trampoline that allows friendly pieces to make a second move. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-12-10 UTCGood ★★★★
Could the Trampoline be perceived as a piece that allows bifurcation? What other possibilities of pieces are there that allow pieces to bifurcate by them? Excellent piece idea.

Huntsman Chess. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-11-15 UTCGood ★★★★
In the rules, there is a 'Mirror Rhino' that should be a 'King'. Also, does the Lion let Stones capture without moving, or do they have to move to capture? The reason I ask is because there is a Lion in Chu Shogi that can capture without moving.

Mathewson's Hexagonal ChessA game information page
. Glinski Hexagonal chess, but with different layout.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-05-12 UTCBelowAverage ★★
What is the advantage of this setup?

Ganeshan Chess. Introducing a new Elephant piece known as (the) Ganapati. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-05-12 UTCGood ★★★★
Oh, you are correct. It is quite confusing having two games played on a 10x10 board with pieces called Elephants.

Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-03-14 UTCPoor ★
I agree that it is strange that an unscrupulous variant be recognized. What game exactly is this? We should recognize also 'Chootooroonkoo', which is the truly original form of Chess from ancient Goobleland, which is played on a board with squares and with pieces that move, other details unknown.

Ludus Magus. Missing description (8x8x2, Cells: 145) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-02-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Nevermind; I understand now. I had a terrible headache last night, and the octagonal thing (why not diagonal?) threw me off. I don't understand the purpose of summoning, it just moving a piece around its Magus. Question: Does Aether negate friendlies and enemies or only enemies?

John Smith wrote on 2009-02-23 UTCPoor ★
This might be a good game, but it's too complex to understand. Reminds me of Rithmomachia...

Yoto. Variant with heavy Xiang Qi influences marks Year of the Ox. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-02-02 UTCPoor ★
Don't take the rating personally, but it is well known that a game with Buffaloes is destined to be bad. Your XQ variant also has Castling, which is not in Xiang Qi or Shogi, not because it is impossible, but because the players just didn't decide to put it in.

Grand Chess. Christian Freeling's popular large chess variant on 10 by 10 board. Rules and links. (10x10, Cells: 100) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-31 UTCPoor ★
Too large size, Rook connection, tired compounds and strange promotion rules make this a bad game.

Beyond Omega. Large abstract variant with radial and oblique pieces requiring rotation. (15x15, Cells: 225) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-25 UTCGood ★★★★
Nicely geometric, as Omega, but not as minimalist and a bit harder to visualize. I don't see the difference between an Alpha and Lambda and wonder if there are opposition rules.

Shatranji. A hybrid of Shatranj and Chessgi. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-22 UTCPoor ★
I am sad to say that I agree, Fergus. A better game would be Sittuyingi.

Hitchhiker Chess. Get your Hitchhiker to the Restaurant at the other End of the Board; inspired by Douglas Adams' books. (Cells: 42) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An unusual mix of pieces and an unusual goal; never heard of a win by kidnapping! Hopefully George will enlighten me on some previous instance.

Typhoon (Revised). Missing description (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-21 UTCAverage ★★★
I've been wanting to do a collaboration. Are you up for it, Adrian?

John Smith wrote on 2009-01-21 UTCPoor ★
I was refering to how many Chu Shogi pieces are in here. This game is excellent once you learn to play, but the learning curve is too steep for most.

Oblong Chess 44. Variant of Oblong Chess on board with 44 squares. (4x11, Cells: 44) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-21 UTCGood ★★★★
I nominate this game for closest resemblance to the logo of The Chess Variant Pages!

Typhoon (Revised). Missing description (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-21 UTCGood ★★★★
This game is inferior to Scirocco in that it incorporates a large number of pieces already present in the game it was inspired by. It also does not follow the principle from Scirocco that all pieces except Pawns should have symmetrical moves.

Burmese Traditional Chess. An article that discusses chess as it was played in Burma. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This page is extremely informative. I did not know about the history of the game and the appearance of the pieces. I think that the flexible setup reduces White's advantage, especially when White sets up all of his pieces before Black. Perhaps by too much...

Aieirping Chess. Missing description (29x14, Cells: 406) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-20 UTCPoor ★
This game is very uncoordinated and has very nonstandard pieces. A better attempt to use all letters of the alphabet would be Charles Gilman's Missing Ox Chess.

Chess Variant. Taking the two most famous Fairies into Capablanca. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-19 UTCAverage ★★★
Variant revised, though not the description...

Pillars of Medusa. A variation of Turkish Great Chess plus two additional pieces, the Morph and the Medusa. (11x11, Cells: 121) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I meant that the Bishops are colourbound as a pair. It doesn't matter if play can be assymmetrical. Assymmetry evens out. I don't care if some new pieces already in Turkish Great Chess, and I didn't say that the Morph was powerful. You also have an advantage because you're an excellent player.

John Smith wrote on 2009-01-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The Bishops are colourbound, the board is too big, discriminating the weak pieces, White has an advantage with symmetrical Sword play, and the new pieces are ridiculously powerful, especially the Medusa.

Omega Chess (Maura). Players have many pieces that can only move in the direction they point at. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Interesting! I think the reason that the 9x9 variants are so good is that their creators seek something more beautifully geometrical, and not some progression of Chess or any hodge-podge or half-bake of a game.

Birds and Ninjas. Strategically rich chess-like game with powerful dual range orthogonal flying pieces, and short-range diagonal leapers. (10x10, Cells: 104) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on 2009-01-10 UTCGood ★★★★
I now view this game as Good. I ask why the Ninja Guard is not the diagonal counterpart to the Flying Bomber, and comment that most of your games incorporate these now stale pieces.

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