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Cardinal. Moves as Bishop or as Knight.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-05-22 UTC

Does this piece and king mate a lone king? How? Is it similar to KNB vs K? Does it work on any rectangular board?


Eight-Stone Chess. Players can move neutral stones as well as pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-05-22 UTC

This game is very interesting and it makes an interesting candidate for the interactive diagram. Probably the stones may be somehow implemented by holes. I'm not sure how neutral would be implemented in XBetza, though!


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-22 UTC

H.G.Miller //

Umm, so,

"The rest is the same as Shogi"

Do you mean to explain this sentence in more detail?


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-22 UTC

For example, I don't think Shogi has an "impasse" rule. 

It actually does have such a rule. See for instance the Wikipedia article, which devotes an entire paragraph to it. Like 3-fold repetition impasse (= jishogi in Japanese) is both a game situation and a rule made to specify consequences for when that situation occurs.

It does not make much sense to have detailed explanation of rules that the variant at had does not have. One can doubt the wisdom of using Shogi as a reference. Many articles on CVP of course use orthodox Chess as a reference, and only describe how the variant they discuss deviates from it. But I think 95+% of the visitors of CVP will be quite familiar with orthodox Chess, while to most Shogi would be something as alien as Courier Chess or Metamachy. Even for Fergus, who must know 100 times more about chess variants than the average reader, the current description was not sufficiently clear.

So I would suggest to make a full rather than an incremental description of Parahouse in the Rules section. The current comparison with Shogi is then more suitable for the Notes section. This gets rid of the need to mention Pawn-drop mate and impasse, as Parahouse does not have those rules. It would have to mention that:

  • Pieces mandatorily promote when their move starts or ends within the zone
  • Pieces that are captured demote, change side, and get into the hand of the player that captures them
  • Unpromoted pieces can be dropped from the hand on an empty square, instead of a normal move.
  • Pawns cannot be dropped in a file that already contains one of the same color.
  • The game is won by checkmating or stalemating the opponent.
  • Perpetual checking is a loss for the checking player. (?)
  • Other (?) 3-fold repetitions are a loss for the player that last moved.

All in all that is not much longer than what you there is now.

 


Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-22 UTC

Black can also be defeated by threefold repetition. So it's not like Minishogi.

Threefold repetition simply puts, 'Neither White nor Black can repeat the same situation three times.' Even if it is not repeated in succession, if the same situation is repeated twice in one game, no one can repeat the situation again.

(I have annotated the rules)


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

Perhaps it is a bit confusing that the Rules section actually doesn't give the rules, but the difference between the rules of regular Shogi and this variant.

No, that much was clear. It's that some rules are not spelled out, or the rules section includes some consequences of rules that are not themselves rules. For example, I don't think Shogi has an "impasse" rule. So saying "no impasse" doesn't tell me how this game has a different rule than Shogi.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

Perhaps it is a bit confusing that the Rules section actually doesn't give the rules, but the difference between the rules of regular Shogi and this variant. While that becomes only clear from the last remark. It could be better to start with stating "The rules are the same as for Shogi, except:", and than mention the other 5 points.

A consequence of the rules of regular Shogi is that a game where both Kings reach the enemy camp is usually impossible to win by checkmate for eithher player. It therefore has a special rule to decide the game in that case. The campmate rule here is an alternative way of deciding the game in this case.

It is still not clear to me what "3-fold repetition is impossible" means. Is it forbidden to make a move that repeats an earlier position? Does white lose (as in mini-Shogi)? Such rule are usually very unsatisfactory, even when perpetual checking is made an exception where the checker loses. Because you can often force a large material gain by chasing a piece until it is no longer allowed to repeat.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

I am unfamiliar with the word campmate. Did you coin it or get it from someplace else?

Since your rules still say "No Impasse(=Jishogi)", I should point out that there is a difference between a rule and a consequence of your rules. For example, Metamorphin' Fusion Chess has rules that allow players to promote simple pieces and to split apart compound pieces, and one consequence of these rules is that reproduction of pieces is possible. Generally, a rule should be written out as a complete sentence, and it should concern itself with specific actions a player may or may not take. A consequence of the rules is not itself a rule, and to avoid confusion, consequences of the rules should be covered in the Notes section, not in the Rules section.


Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

This is also the same as Dobutsu Shogi's special victory conditions


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

OK, clear. That is what I would call a delayed winning condition (like King baring in Shatranj): it only wins if it is certain you would survive the following move of the opponent. A more compact way of saying that is: " The player whose King reaches 9th rank without stepping into check first wins. "


Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

At any time, the King cannot move to a square attacked by his opponent's piece. So the King should only move legally. For example, if your opponent's Rook is holding the last rank, your King cannot Campmate unless you capture that Rook or block the Rook's attack. (Because King cannot reach last rank by Rook.)


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

You have not written that in your article, and it is not obvious. Because a King can usually 'commit suicide' when that ends the game. If I capture the opponent King, I don't have to worry whether that leaves my own King in check. If that was not the case it would be legal to step with your King next to the opponent's King when you are protected. Because he would not be allowed to capture you with that King, so you would not be in check. You cannot be in check after the game has ended. It would also be legal to step your King into the range of an enemy piece that is pinned to its own King. As that piece would not attack you, since it is pinned.

It always has to be specified explicitly whether a game-terminating condition must be fulfilled by a legal move, or whether a pseudo-legal move suffices.


Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

A King cannot commit suicide. (i.e. the King cannot move to a square attacked by an opponent's piece.)

Therefore, Campmate is only established when the king is not attacked by an opponent's piece.

The player who made the Campmate first wins.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

You should specify whether this is an immediate winning condition (like capturing a King), or a delayed one (which could still be trumped by capturing that King on the last rank, in an 'after-move'). Or, in other words, whether the move to last rank must be legal (= avoid stepping into check). This is especially important since regular Shogi does not really have a checking rule like Chess; exposing your King to capture just loses the game, rather than qualifying as an illegal move that has to be retracted to continue the game from there.


Decimaka (revised). Game where pieces promote on making a capture. (10x10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

I now also upgraded the general Diagram script to get more realistic piece values for this variant. It had a rather complex algorithm for determining the contribution of promotability to the piece value. Which would determine the ease of promotion based on counting the fraction of moves that would enter the promotion zone in (randomly generated) test positions, and assume the product of this ease and the promotion gain would determine the probability that this piece would indeed promote during the game. (Assuming that pieces with a less attractive promotion prospects would have to be traded away to clear the way for that.) This of course gave rather non-sensical results if there was no promotion zone at all. In that case the Diagram now assumes promotion on capture for promotable pieces (as specified by maxPromote). It then adds 50% of the promotion gain if this is positive, and subtracts 10% of the devaluation if it is a demotion (assuming there are ways to avoid it, but that this avoidance does make the piece less useful).


Pandemonium (Surajang修羅場). Capablanca chess + Crazyhouse.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

I added 'Campmate'.


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-21 UTC

H.G.Miller // I added Campmate. and there is still no Impasse(=Jishogi).

Campmate : The player who moved his king on the last rank wins.


ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

@Daniel,

Now there's an interesting idea!


Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

The suggested changes to the summoning rule seem overly complicated to me. I would suggest instead making the summoned pieces switch sides when captured, like shogi pieces. Then the players would want to be careful about losing the demon, since that would allow the opponent to summon it later. If you want losing a summoner to be more consequential, a captured demon could only switch sides if the capturing player still has the right piece to summon it back.


Samuel Trenholme wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Summoning looks really overpowered, and we’re trying to figure out if we can keep the mechanic without it ruining the game.

Some ideas:

  • Summoning just puts a piece on the board once in the game, akin to Seirawan (Sharper) chess.
  • My proposal to give the other player an extra move after a summoning is done.

I mentioned Zillions, but, of course, Fairy Max might be able to implement the summoning mechanic to playtest just what compensation we need to give the other player when invoked (unrestricted extra move, restricted extra move, etc.).


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

There is nothing wrong with the mechanism of summoning itself. What wrecks things is that you automatically get the Demon back in hand when it gets captured.

Compared to how other pieces normally put themselves at risk when capturing a piece, this is like giving one piece a WMD. So, I would propose putting some kind of restriction or limitation on this.

Giving the opponent two moves, knowing that he has those, is too costly, though.

Where does this come in? Summoning is a full move, and I didn't see any mention of lettings players move twice in a turn.

Nevermind. I see it is a cost to summoning that Sam proposed. It's not in the creator's description of the game.


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.


Bn Em wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Giving the opponent two moves, knowing that he has those, is too costly, though. In the opening you might get away with it, but in a typical middle-game position the opponent would use those to make a hit-and-run capture.

To be fair, Fergus' solution to that issue is quite elegant imo, and even just restricting two consecutive moves by a single piece alleviates hit‐and‐runs per se. It may be getting away from the intended point of this variant to introduce a whole nother idea but it seems like a usable way of introducing multi‐moves into a mostly‐single‐move game without breaking things too much


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

I don't think that would help enough to prevent the impasse. The defending pieces also don't go mostly forward. When you build a fortress of Tokins in the opponent's camp in Shogi, the Tokins are looking away from the direction that the attack is coming from.

But you have a point; it should be established by play testing whether impasse in this variant would be a problem that begs for a rule to solve it.


ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

There is nothing wrong with the mechanism of summoning itself. What wrecks things is that you automatically get the Demon back in hand when it gets captured. That effectively makes it an 'iron piece'. Giving the opponent two moves, knowing that he has those, is too costly, though. In the opening you might get away with it, but in a typical middle-game position the opponent would use those to make a hit-and-run capture.

Furthermore, summoning a Demon for free seems too easy; in horror stories one typically has to make some sacrifice as part of a summoning ritual. Using this concept the following might work: to summon a Demon, the Mage should first capture a friendly piece. That will then 'activate' him for summoning a Demon in the next turn. But depending on what the opponent does in his turn, you might pass on the opportunity to summon, and do something else. That would waste the opportunity to summon, and you would only regain it by capturing another friendly piece.


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

HG, But in this game pieces don't go "mostly forward", so dropping jishogi makes sense.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Jishogi is the rule that when both Kings have reached the opponent camp, the games is a draw (or decided by material count).

But abolishing that rule is similar to abolishing the rule that 3-fold repetition is a draw in Chess. The latter won't make perpetuals less common in games, and continuing those forever achieves nothing. Likewise, abolishing the jishogi rule won't make the problem go away that it is very easy to defend a King once it is the enemy camp.


Decimaka (revised). Game where pieces promote on making a capture. (10x10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

This is looking better now, and I have unhid it.


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Impasse means 'Jishohi' in Shogi

What does Jishohi mean? I do not speak Japanese, nor do most of our readers. Please spell out the rule of no impasse in practical details.


DrZ's Chess. Chess with a 3rd row added behind and new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

I don't like either using Man. I agree for Prince.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Yes, I misinterpreted the pseudo-archbishop given here. It could be a compound of Bishop+Bion ("Korean Vao"), but the description is still ambiguous. Maybe it is the "Bion" only. Bion is the name that problemists gave to the diagonal piece that must jump once for moving with or without capturing. (pB in Betza's)

Concerning Man, of course I know how to spell Man in English and I even know that Mann is German. I have some instruction :=) . But some prefer to use Mann with the German spelling to distinguish the chess fairy piece from the human man. Mann is the choice made on Wikipedia for example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mann_(chess). Dickins used Man. The Oxford Companion to CHess (Hooper & Whyld) used Mann. I would say that there is no consensus.


ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Samuel Trenholme wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

“I am starting to suspect that this summoning business will sort of spoil the game. Because you get the Demons back whenever you lose them, at the cost of only a tempo.”

One thought I have been having is to make a summon cost two tempo: You can summon a piece, but when you do, your opponent gets an extra move.

Let’s imagine, for the sake of simplicity, a Seirawan Chess variant where instead of the “add the piece when moving a piece in the back rank” rule, the knight can summon the Elephant (Seirawan’s nomenclature for the R+N Cardinal/Marshal) next to it, and a bishop can summon a hawk (B+N, i.e. Archbishop), but each time a summoning is done it costs two tempo.

Here’s how a game could start out:

  1. Nf3 d5
  2. E@g3 e5,Nf6

We could write the score like this too, if preferred:

  1. Nf3 d5
  2. E@g3 e5
  3. (Tempo lost after summoning) Nf6

Here, White opens with Nf3, Black responds d5

Next, White summons an Elephant on to g3 (I’m using Crazyhouse notation, which is fitting because Seirawan himself frequently plays Crazyhouse on Lichess). Because White has performed a summoning, Black now gets a bonus move, so Black moves e5 then Nf6.

If the other player responds to the summoning with a summoning as their first move, they don’t get the second bonus move. If they respond to the summoning with a summoning on their bonus move, the other player gets a bonus move, e.g.:

  1. Nf3 Nc6
  2. E@g3 E@b6

or

  1. Nf3 Nc6
  2. E@g3 d5,E@b6
  3. e4,d4

I think the summoning mechanic is very unique and creative, but it might give White a won game, but maybe we can hobble it to keep it usable.


DrZ's Chess. Chess with a 3rd row added behind and new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Since this archbishop is a compound of a Bishop and an Arrow/Vao, perhaps Arrow Bishop. Or maybe Archer?

Also, General and Commoner are also fairly common names for the Man/Guard/Prince. I only like Prince if it has the potential to become royal (like a backup king.) And I don't like "Man" at all, personally. The others are all fine.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Note that the 'Archbishop' here according to the description is not a common Vao. It says it can jump, and not that it must jump, and it nowhere mentions that it is divergent. I interpret that as the compound of a normal Bishop and a 'Korean Vao'.

Man is spelled with a single n in English.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Like other comments, I would recommend changing the name of non-standard pieces to names which more usual in chess variants and also because the names which are used now are well known to play differently.

Archbishop > Vao. If Vao is not appreciated there is Arrow, Bow. I use Crocodile in all my variants for some criticisable reasons.

Chancellor > Guard or Mann or Prince

Elephant > Camel

Hawk > Dragon King or Admiral or Sailor

Archbishop is widely used for Bishop+Knight, Elephant for Ferz+Alfil, Chancellor for Rook+Knight, Hawk for ADGH.

This is just an opinion and a suggestion, the author is free to decide of course.


ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

I am starting to suspect that this summoning business will sort of spoil the game. Because you get the Demons back whenever you lose them, at the cost of only a tempo. The most effective strategy thus seems to simply keep summonig them in a developed location, and immediately send them on a kamikaze mission against whatever opponent is in their path. Even a Pawn is usually worth more than a tempo. You would not even care whether the square you summon them on is in a location that the opponent attacks once, as when the Demon(ess) gets captured you recapture with the Mage or Sorceress, and would still have traded the indestructible Demon for some opponent material.


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Then I'll modify the rule


Decimaka (revised). Game where pieces promote on making a capture. (10x10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

The Pieces section is slightly awkward to read since the promoted forms sometimes show up before the unpromoted pieces and they aren't arranged in any obvious pattern.

OK, I cured this by sorting the piece descriptions from weak to strong, and by putting the promoted versions near the end. For each unpromoted piece it now also mentions what it promotes to.


Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

The rules are clear to me. The Pieces section is slightly awkward to read since the promoted forms sometimes show up before the unpromoted pieces and they aren't arranged in any obvious pattern.


DrZ's Chess. Chess with a 3rd row added behind and new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC
files=8 ranks=10 promoZone=1 promoChoice=NBRQEHAC graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ squareSize=50 graphicsType=png lightShade=#FFF0A0 darkShade=#A05000 rimColor=#8080FF coordColor=#FF8000 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 pawn::ifmnDfmWfceF:pawn:a3,b3,c3,d3,e3,f3,g3,h3,,a8,b8,c8,d8,e8,f8,g8,h8 elephant::C:camel:b1,g1,,b10,g10 knight:N:N:knight:b2,g2,,b9,g9 chancellor::K:guard:d1,e1,,d10,e10 bishop::B:bishop:c2,f2,,c9,f9 rook::R:rook:a2,h2,,a9,h9 archbishop::BpB:cannonpawn:c1,f1,,c10,f10 hawk::RF:promotedrook:a1,h1,,a10,h10 queen::Q:queen:d2,,d9 king:K:KisO2:king:e2,,e9

This article seems unfinished; there is no Rules or Notes section, and it doesn't explicitly mention which of the rules of orthodox Chess apply, what the depth of the promotion zone is on this extra-deep board, and whether the unorthodox pieces are also available as promotion choice.

As to the initial setup: this would seem more convenient if the Chancellors and Elephants were swapped. As it is, the Elephants compete with the Knights for the same squares during development.


Decimaka (revised). Game where pieces promote on making a capture. (10x10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

It's not clear what the rules of promotion are in this game.

Since about three quarters of the article's text is devoted to explaining just that, this is a bit disappointing. The Rules section is almost entirely devoted to explaining when you must promote, and explains contageon; and both the Pieces and the Notes section both mention what promotes to what. So what exactly is not clear about them? Is it that it should be stated explicitly that there never is any choice what to promote to?


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

From the rules it seems to me like there will be an impasse in this game, when both Kings reach the enemy camp. In the sense that the game becomes unwinnable because the players will surround their Kings with an impenetrable fortress of promoted Pawn protecting each other multiple times. You just dropped the rule for handling this situation satisfactorily. I doubt that this is a good thing.


Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Thanks

I'm making SVG piece images

Impasse means 'Jishohi' in Shogi


DrZ's Chess. Chess with a 3rd row added behind and new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

This could use a graphical diagram. You may use the Diagram Designer to create one. Concerning your piece names, Archbishop, Chancellor, and Elephant are very common names for different pieces than you described them as, your Hawk is more commonly known as a Dragon King, and your Elephant is more commonly known as a Camel.


Parahouse. (Updated!) Shogi + Strong pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

I copied the interactive diagram to the setup section. The rules section could use some more elaboration. What does "No impasse" mean?


Ironhouse. Full tamerlane chess + Makruk + Shogi Pawns and Cannons. (11x10, Cells: 110) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

It would be better if you represented pieces with pictures instead of letters and if you entered text as text, not as graphic images.


Decimaka (revised). Game where pieces promote on making a capture. (10x10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

It's not clear what the rules of promotion are in this game.


Horizons. (Updated!) Game with 5 new pieces on 12x12 board. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

I corrected some of the formatting of this page. However, the graphics need to be fixed. The setup diagram appears to be incomplete, and it looks like you tried to paste graphic images onto the page. This will not work. What you need to do is upload each of your images and add proper links to them. There is a link for this in the Edit menu when you are logged in.


Glinski's Hexagonal Chess. Chess on a board made out of hexagons. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

That should be fixed now. There was a typo that may have been due to copying and pasting code without making all the appropriate changes.


ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

The Diagram below implements summoning for entering user moves. (The AI doesn't understand it yet.) It appears I had already built in some provisions to promote a piece on a locust square through the user-supplied WeirdPromotion routine: if the '256' bit of the promotion piece that is returned by the function was set, it doesn't promote the piece on the destination, but the piece on the locust square. I still had to fix some bugs in relation to handling of the pieces in hand, though. (Swapping with a piece increased the number of pieces in hand, and promoting at the locust square did not decrease it.) So refresh your browser cache!

satellite=summon squareSize=50 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ graphicsType=png symmetry=mirror holdingsType=1 promoChoice=B*R*Q* pawn::::a2-h2 knight:N:::b1,g1 bishop::::c1,f1 rook::::a1,h1 lady::RabuKudR:guard:d1 queen:::::1,1 king::::e1

In this Diagram there is one unorthodox piece, the Lady. It moves and captures like a Rook, but it can also swap with friendly pieces that are a Rook move away. In addition it can summon a Queen on an adjacent square, if you have one in hand. (And initially you do have one!) To do that just move the piece to such a square, and then back. A second click on an adjacent square would move the the piece there, rather than summoning.


Greg Strong wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

I will also note that some people would have religious objections to pieces with demonic names. When Hans was running this site, he would not allow some Shogi variants that included demon pieces. While I don't share his religious beliefs, and I assume Japanese demons are not quite the same thing as Christian demons, I see more of a problem with a game that allows for summoning demons in the more usual western sense. I will also point out that the pieces called Demon and Demoness are more commonly known as Dragon King and Dragon Horse, these being the names they have in Shogi.

I am a Christian but I see no real problem with these names.  I do think Dragon King and Dragon Horse are better names, both because they are established and because they are less likely to offend, but if the author wants to stay with Demon and Demoness, I don't personally think that is a sufficient issue to veto publication.  It is, after all, a game.  (And one of my own inventions would be problematic!  I now notice that page doesn't have the introduction where I described the origin of the name and the theme of the game -- an M. C. Escher drawing called Circle Limit IV -- I was working on that game and apparently never finished the rewrite...)


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

While H. G. Muller and Jean-Louis Cazaux have qualified their criticisms by saying they are not editors, they are among the regular contributors who are most qualified to be editors, and their criticisms are valid. This page needs to be fixed up a lot, and I will wait for appropriate changes to be made before publishing it.

I will also note that some people would have religious objections to pieces with demonic names. When Hans was running this site, he would not allow some Shogi variants that included demon pieces. While I don't share his religious beliefs, and I assume Japanese demons are not quite the same thing as Christian demons, I see more of a problem with a game that allows for summoning demons in the more usual western sense. I will also point out that the pieces called Demon and Demoness are more commonly known as Dragon King and Dragon Horse, these being the names they have in Shogi.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-19 UTC

Zillions of Games is a commercial program, and not everyone has it. It is a pity the AI of the Interactive Diagram doesn't do drop moves yet. In general variants with drop moves (such as Shogi) are very hard for a computer, because of the huge branching factor. In this case drops (for summoning Demons) are limited to just a few squares adjacent to the Mages, while most of the time there wouldn't be anything to drop because the Demons are already in play. Implementing the Demon summoning as a regular drop, which would try any square, and rely on a user-supplied BadZone routine to reject any drop that doesn't land adjacent to a Mage would still be a very inefficient implementation, though.

I guess it would be possible to abuse the XBetza 'unload' modifier u for summoning. Currently this is defined as putting the piece that was captured by the move at the origin square of the leg that it labels. But a back-and-forth move where the second leg unloads (e.g. abuK) would never capture anything, as it would end where the piece itself was (and the first leg per default has m mode). But if the Diagram's AI would simply ignore the u in such a case, effectively making it a turn pass, a user-supplied routine WeirdPromotion could be used to specify a new piece for the unload square rather than the overall destination of the move. Promotion choices are automatically taken from the 'hand' already (to implement promotion-to-captured-only). This would then selectively generate drops on squares adjacent to the pieces capable of summoning (which have the abuK move component specified on them).


Samuel Trenholme wrote on 2022-05-19 UTCGood ★★★★

I think one thing the author may do until when and if this variant gets formally published here is to make a Zillions of Games implementation of it, then send an email to Ed van Zon to get the implementation published. There can be a long delay before a submission and its publication here, but Ed’s pretty good about publishing a submission within a week of its submission.

The hard part is taking all these rules and converting them in to Zillions’ quirky language. I enjoy doing it myself; it converts rules in to unambiguous machine-readable rules, and it allows people to play the variant themselves.

I would also change the name of the summoned pieces in to something like, oh, Dragon Horse and Dragon King, the Anglicized form of these pieces’ names in Shogi. I like the summoning tactic, but it’s an open question whether having it makes the White advantage overwhelming. People seem to enjoy Crazyhouse a lot over at Lichess, so I think this summoning mechanic can be very usable.

(I should also point out that Betza called what is the Jester here the “Waffle”)


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-18 UTC

I'm not an editor either but I fully agree with H.G.'s comments. I think they are good advices if the author is open to modify, and thus improve, his page. I also thank him for referring to my own work.

Concerning the very annoying issue of names, I also agree with H.G. @ Aurelian, with a smile I would say that nobody has never seen a fight between a gryphon and a dragon to be sure which one is the strongest. After all, who knows, the gryphon is maybe x5 times bigger in scale than a dragon. We are biased by Hollywood movies.

Seriously, H.G. is right. There is too much confusion already. I admit that I am guilty to have contributed to the confusion too much. But we shall do all what is possible to convince new creators to change their mind. Of course the creator has the freedom to do what he wants. But even for him, if he wants some success to his invention, he will increase his chance by trying to respect legacy and heritage of those who invented CVs before him. One valid exception I see is if you need some specific names to fit with the theme or the consistency of your game. But if you have no precise reasons or constraints what is the interest to call Dragon a Gryphon and Gryphon a Manticore? You are just confusing your potential followers.

There are plenty of sources that can be consulted. The Wikipedia page on Fairy Chess Pieces. The Piececlopedia here. Or this page from 2001, https://www.chessvariants.com/piececlopedia.dir/whos-who-on-8x8.html where Derzhanski was calling F-then-R a Gryphon and W-then-B a Dragon!!!

The Jester (WA) is the Phoenix (from chu shogi).

The Warrior Prince (KAND) is the Lion (Metamachy) or Lioness (A.King).

The Princess is the Amazon. Princess is often a BN.

The Minotaur is the Centaur (is it really needed to change a Greek's monster by another one?)

The Pegasus is the Buffalo. Pegasus is often used for something else.

And Griffon, Dragon, have been commented enough.

Kindly, I believe that the author will be well inspired to follow the advices of the veterans who are dwelling here.


Aurelian Florea wrote on 2022-05-18 UTC

I, too think Dragon and Gryphon are better names than Gryphon and Manticore. That is because of strength of pieces first (it is logical for the dragon to be stronger than the gryphon). Also the dragon it is a well established fantasy creature, where the manticore is a creature used in fantasy works to a lesser extent. That is for a fantasy setting at least. The usage of eagle and rhino is fine, too though! Those being the names Jean-Louis uses! But your argument is historical, and for that it carries some weight. I'm not sure what to say about that. In my Grand Apothecary Chess variants I have changed the names presented here for the bent riders to fit Fergus's proposal, which is more widely accepted. And by the way there is also a natural selection process at hand here. Maybe people would like more the dragon/gryphon style names. We cannot know for sure.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-05-18 UTC

I am not an editor here, so my words carry no official weight. But I think the article is annoyingly verbose and digressing. E.g. the introduction section contains no information related to the variant at hand other than the e-mail address of the author (which people can already get from the author's profile) and two external links. The remaining 85% discusses the history of Chess, what other chess variants the author likes etc. I don't think an article about a specific chess variant is the proper place for that.

Dwelling on the obvious, such as "The unique units seen in chess variants are called fairy pieces" is just diluting the information one would be interested in. OTOH, in the Setup section it would be more useful to write the coordinates of the starting squares of the pieces, rather than their number. Most readers will likely be able to count, but it would be nice if they could unambigously associate the names with the images at that point. Although I admit that (perhaps with the exception of Prince / Princess) most images speak for themselves. But if the image is supposed to be selfexplanatory, why waste words on the fact that the pieces of a player occupy 3 ranks?

There doesn't seem any need to explain what e.p. capture is, and why it was introduced during the evolution of chess to its current orthodox form. Scrolling through pages and pages of diagrams containing only information everyone knows is pretty annoying. Most articles on CVP would simply state "King, Queen, Rook, Bishop and Pawn move as in orthodox Chess, including the initial 2-step move for the Pawn and e.p. capture". The same applies to castling, where if you want to be truly elaborate you could still mention that the King moves 2 squares towards the Rook, if you think "moves the same as in orthodox Chess" was too difficult to understand. This would get rid of 17(!) diagrams, and gets the reader to the interesting stuff immediately.

There isn't any need to explain what checkmate or stalemate means. Spending a diagram (3 times!)  for illustrating what you mean by "adjacent square" also seems overdoing it.

Typographically, the article now uses headers for the descriptions of the individual pieces of the same 'level' as those used site-wide for the article's main sections (Introduction, Setup, Pieces, ...). While they are all supposed to be sub-sections of the Pieces section. There is an extra redundant header "Unit Moves and Captures", which repeats what "Pieces" is already supposed to convey. Rules and Notes sections seem to be missing entirely; one would have expected description of the check / checkmate / stalemate (if it would have to be given at all) to appear in the Rules section, not in the description of the King's moves. Other draw conditions than stalemate (repetition, 50-move) are now not mentioned at all. It would probably suffice just to mention that all these rules are the same as in orthodox Chess.

As to the variant itself: it always saddens me when people use a well-established piece name (such as Griffon) for another piece. As if there isn't already enough confusion.

When a Sorceress, Mage or Archmage swap a Pawn to last rank, does that Pawn promote? Does the swapped Pawn count as having moved? Would a Pawn swapped back to 3rd rank regain its two-step move? BTW, it also seems a bit superfluous to have practically the same diagram for illustrating the swapping in 3 places. It would be better to discuss the swapping once (e.g. in the rules section), and then just refer to that from the descriptions of the pieces that can do this. It is not clear to me why the description of the swap has two side-by-side diagrams. On supposes that the second diagram shows the position after the swap, but then it is illogical that it still has an arrow in it. I would think that a single diagram with a two-way arrow would suffice. In general people can be expected to know what 'swap' means, so devoting a diagram is already quite generous.


Cyrus Arturas wrote on 2022-05-18 UTC

My submission for the rules of ArchMage Chess are ready for review and publication. Please let me know if there are any changes to the page you would like me to make.


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