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Black Swan. Pieces are replaced by Black Swans with unpredictable outcomes. (8x8, Cells: 64)
💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Thu, Feb 22 11:00 AM UTC:

People might not appreciate how great this game is until they start calculating the Setup permutations. I tried that with ChatGPT but the AI would crash every time.

Here is my humble attempt.

There are five possible outcomes for each player.

1) Zero Black Swans

2) One Black Swan

3) Two Black Swans

4) Three Black Swans

5) Four Black Swans

In the case of Zero Black Swans for each player we have 30 factorial = 2.65e+32.

If we calculate for the Black Swans we might get a number bigger than the total chess permutations.

This is incredible!

Also, remember that there are eight Black Swans in the game, four for each player.

🔔Notification on Thu, Feb 22 10:58 AM UTC:

Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Feb 14 11:56 AM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from Mon Feb 12 07:21 PM:

You have a typo at the beginning of the 3rd paragraph in the rules section. You have written "wite: instead of "white".

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Mon, Feb 12 07:21 PM UTC in reply to Ben Reiniger from 07:04 PM:

This was spot on. Great analysis. Thank you so much.

I just removed the last rule. Now this should be ready.

Ben Reiniger wrote on Mon, Feb 12 07:04 PM UTC in reply to A. M. DeWitt from 06:47 PM:
• Clarifying the rules on the Pawn's double step that Reiniger mentioned
• Does the double step for Pawns also apply to White Swans?

This has already been clarified in the page.

• A distinctive piece image for the Black Swan
• The movement of the Black Swan

Black Swans aren't pieces, but one possible outcome (specifically, any outcome with multiple pieces) when revealing a White Swan.

If a White Swan coming from the first rank gets flipped over on the second rank, it can be subject to capturing.

This should be in the Rules section in my opinion, if it is meant as a rule. You may want to be careful with this though, as you may encounter a problem with having to keep track of which White Swan started where, and thus which ones are able to be captured.

Actually, this seems to be nonsense and could just as well be removed. A white swan moving from anywhere immediately gets replaced; since it no longer exists, there's no point in saying anything about its being subject to capture.

A. M. DeWitt wrote on Mon, Feb 12 06:47 PM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from Sat Feb 10 04:26 PM:

This looks significantly better in terms of covering all possible situations, save for the following:

• Clarifying the rules on the Pawn's double step that Reiniger mentioned
• Does the double step for Pawns also apply to White Swans?
• A distinctive piece image for the Black Swan
• The movement of the Black Swan

There are other improvements that could be made as well, but these shouldn't really be a blocker to publication.

If a White Swan coming from the first rank gets flipped over on the second rank, it can be subject to capturing.

This should be in the Rules section in my opinion, if it is meant as a rule. You may want to be careful with this though, as you may encounter a problem with having to keep track of which White Swan started where, and thus which ones are able to be captured.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Sat, Feb 10 04:26 PM UTC in reply to Ben Reiniger from Fri Feb 9 02:08 AM:

It's nice to see someone who understands the mathematical concept behind this game. Even though this game looks scarry at a first glance, it might actually be fun to play.

I have updated the rules as you suggested. Please let me know if there is anything else to consider.

Ben Reiniger wrote on Fri, Feb 9 02:08 AM UTC:

I think the rules are nearly complete now, with one exception: pawns' two-step. Since they only appear later in the game, do they get one, or no? If they do, does it depend on their location and/or limited to their first move, and does en passant exist?

A White Swan coming from the first rank can be flipped over on the second rank, provided there is an empty square to land on. In that case, any White Swan landing on the second rank can be subject to capturing, but only after being flipped over and replaced by the corresponding pieces.

If an enemy piece lands on a square on the second rank, the White Swans from the first rank can capture that piece by a Pawn like move. If this happens, the White Swan will also have to be flipped over and replaced by the piece/pieces they represent, counting as a single move.

These paragraphs don't seem needed anymore; they're natural consequences of the main rule, right?

A. M. DeWitt wrote on Wed, Feb 7 04:39 PM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from Mon Feb 5 03:22 PM:

I have revised all the rules and they look fine to me. I don't know what else to add. Please let me know if there is anything else. I know, the rules of this game seem to be out of this world, but please give it a chance.

I think the problem here isn't so much that the game is bad. I think it's a brilliant concept that mixes the randomness of something like Banqi with the rules of Chess.

The main problem I have with this submission, more than anything else, is that at least some of the rules are poorly communicated. From what I have seen, this is easily the number one reason new submissions don't get approved.

To (hopefully) make your life easier, I will give you the following advice:

• Make use of the Help menu at the top of the page. It is there for a reason!
• Listen to the Editors. The Editors have a lot of experience with Chess variants, oftentimes much more so than the average author. Its the reason Fergus gives the Editors these powers in the first place - he trusts us to use them as well as our expertise to help other authors get their pages published, and not abuse them in the process. So please, don't discount an Editor's opinion just because you think it is wrong.
• Study published pages made other authors. This will give you a benchmark to work from, so you have a better idea of what your submissions should do, which will be helpful not just for this submission, but for all your future submissions as well.
• Learning the basics of technical writing helps. That's technical, not creative writing.
• Keep it simple, where possible. If you complicate your description of rules too much, you will eventually hit a tipping point where the act of understanding the rules becomes more trouble than its worth. I'm not really sure what to say to fix this...just stop trying so hard.
• Keep your terminology consistent. This allows players to quickly refer to something they need help with. If there is any deviations, these should be hammered out.
• Make use of graphics. There's a reason the best pages on this site make use of graphics all over the place. For piece graphics, you should have at least one distinct image for each distinct piece that appears in the game somewhere on the page.
• A good idea would be to add an image of a solid white or black circle for the Black Swan on this page, so players have an idea of what it looks like.
• Learn some HTML/CSS/JS. Even a basic understanding of the way HTML works will benefit you greatly here, as it will give you way more control over how your page looks. There are guidelines on what you should do when using HTML, see HTML Dos and Don'ts for more details on this.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Mon, Feb 5 03:22 PM UTC:

I have revised all the rules and they look fine to me. I don't know what else to add. Please let me know if there is anything else. I know, the rules of this game seem to be out of this world, but please give it a chance.

A. M. DeWitt wrote on Fri, Feb 2 04:12 PM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from 07:35 AM:

If it helps any, try looking at Fergus Duniho's On Designing Good Chess Variants page.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Fri, Feb 2 07:35 AM UTC in reply to Ben Reiniger from Thu Feb 1 11:29 PM:

You were right, so I have replaced Black Swan pieces with White Swans in order to avoid confusion. I also made some modifications on the rules following your suggestions. Later on, I will have another look at the rules and make the necessary adjustments.

Ben Reiniger wrote on Thu, Feb 1 11:29 PM UTC:

The rules are not clear, and in a similar fashion to mathematichess: you assume too much of the reader to understand what you mean instead of what you write.

As in mathematichess, it would probably help to group the rules into logical clusters, instead of the more-narrative style that's here now.

On to specifics:

1. (Not a rule question) Fisher Random was "unsuccessful" at randomizing chess?? Arimaa is random!?
2. Using "Black Swan" as both piece and event is just asking for confusion; the thematic gain is not worth it IMO.
3. When multiple pieces are revealed, the owner gets to choose their placement?
4. Do swans flip/reveal immediately after any move, or do you get to choose??
1. If the latter, do you have to on the 8th rank?
2. If the latter, with multiple pieces revealing on 7th/8th rank, can you place a pawn on 8th? If so, does it promote immediately?

Since Black Swans are flipped over one by one, there is not the risk that the board might be jammed, considering that the occurence of Black Swans (events) is only 4 out of 20.

It might be extraordinarily unlikely, but I think it is possible. Might as well say what to do.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Thu, Feb 1 06:45 PM UTC in reply to A. M. DeWitt from 04:44 PM:

Thank you again for your suggestions.

I believe that the rules are complete, or almost.

This chess variant, like Mathematichess falls in the category of mathematical chess variants, that are quite difficult to understand at first, but have great concepts behind them.

It is true, Mathematichess took almost 8 months until it was published because the rules seemed so out of this world.

Similarly, this chess variant called Black Swan might be difficult to understand at first, but I have all the patience in the world.

I believe it's a great and original game, which deserves its own place.

A. M. DeWitt wrote on Thu, Feb 1 04:44 PM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from Sun Jan 28 06:32 AM:

@Florin Lupusoru,

Please read this Comment all the way through, and wait until the end before judging.

Maybe it's just me, but I am struggling to see much of a difference between the last version and this one. While I do see a few improvements, the page largely looks unchanged.

The concept itself looks very promising, but the way the actual rules are worded makes them very unclear to me. Ideally, a Game page should be made so that the rules are easy to learn.

I think it would be highly beneficial for you to look at and study some of the published articles on this site to get a better idea of the standards that we have for our pages. The pages I have authored are a good place to start (e.g. Hectochess or Yangsi), as I have a good idea of what an approvable submission should look like in general, at least as far as Game pages and Preset pages are concerned. Your pages don't necessarily have to meet my level of quality to be approved. Your submission SPQR is already close to eligible, albeit still with a few kinks to work out in its current form, which I will eventually touch on in that thread. However, they need to do their job effectively and have at least some quality to them. This is something that all Editors on this site will generally agree on, so having a benchmark to follow will help.

P.S. I probably need to refine my review process as I just got Editor status last month. However, my points still stand.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Sun, Jan 28 06:32 AM UTC in reply to A. M. DeWitt from Sat Jan 27 04:33 PM:

I hope the updated rules have answered all your points. Please let me know if there is anything else to consider.

A. M. DeWitt wrote on Sat, Jan 27 04:33 PM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from 06:48 AM:

The Intro, Setup and most of the Pieces sections are fine. Overall, the concept looks promising. However, the Rules section still leaves out many crucial details, such as the following:

• Does the Black Swan Event refer specifically to a group of pieces resulting from turning into Black Swans or Pawn promotions?
• If not, you can call any group of one, two, or three non-King pieces a Black Swan Event.
• Does "it cannot be placed on the board on the Black Swans' starting position, in order to avoid capturing" mean that Black Swans can only be placed on the third or fourth ranks?
• This should be in the Rules section.
• Can Black Swans make a double step on their first move?
• If so, if a Black Swan from the first rank turns into a Black Swan after moving to the second rank, does the new Black Swan:
• have the ability to make a double step?
• If not, then a problem arises from having to keep track of which Black Swans started where.
• have immunity from capture?
• Same questions apply to Black Swans being dropped on the board due to Black Swan Events, if they can be dropped on the first or second ranks.
• How am I supposed to determine the number of pieces that results from a Black Swan Event, such as:
• a Black Swan turning into another Black Swan?
• do the probabilities from Pawn promotions apply here as well?
• promoting a Pawn?
• Are pieces that are dropped on the board always Black Swans, or can the player choose which piece appears?
• Does "nearby empty squares" mean anything in particular? If not, this phrase should be omitted or replaced with "square(s) on own half of board".
• What happens if all pieces are on the board, or all available drop spaces for extra pieces are filled up?

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Sat, Jan 27 06:48 AM UTC in reply to A. M. DeWitt from Fri Jan 26 05:26 PM:

Thank you for your comment. I have made the necessary modification as suggested. The promotion of Pawns should be very clear from the description.

A. M. DeWitt wrote on Fri, Jan 26 05:26 PM UTC in reply to Florin Lupusoru from Wed Jan 24 06:22 AM:

I'm not sure why some of the sentences are broken up into fragments. This is unneccessary.

It is unclear what the rules for the number of pieces are, both when a Black Swan turns into another Black Swan and in terms of Pawn promotion (What types are brought out, rules for deciding number of pieces, etc.). Also, does the term "nearby empty square(s)" mean anything? If not, it can be omitted and/or replaced with "square(s) on own half of board" each time it appears.

If a Black Swan moves and turns into another Black Swan and ends up on a starting square of another Black Swan, is it still unable to be captured?

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Wed, Jan 24 06:22 AM UTC:

Could someone have a look at this page when you get a chance? Thanks.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Sat, Jan 13 08:26 AM UTC:

I see everyone is quite busy right now, but when you get a chance please have a look at this page. Thanks.

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Tue, Jan 9 06:16 AM UTC:

💡📝Florin Lupusoru wrote on Sun, Jan 7 09:54 AM UTC: