Played on a 14x14 board. (We made ours out of a checkered plastic-clothbacked tablecloth.)
Objective: Capture your opponent's Emperor.
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Pieces and Movement
Emperor (E) - Moves as standard King.
Marshall (M)- Moves as standard Queen, but can only capture like the standard King.
Guard Infantry (GI)- Moves as a two space Queen.
Guard Cavalry (GC)- Moves as standard Bishop.
Heavy Cavalry (HC)- Moves as the Knightrider.
Light Cavalry (LC)- Moves as the Camel.
Grenadiers (g)- Moves as a 4-direction pawn, or Steward. (elite infantry)
Dragoons (D)- Combines movement of standard Knight and Grenadier. (mounted infantry)
Heavy Infantry (hi)- Moves as the standard Pawn.
Light Infantry (li)- Moves as the Berolina Pawn.
Horse Artillery (HA)- Moves as the standard rook.
Foot Artillery (FA)- Moves as the Chinese Cannon.
Infantry promoted to Guard Infantry, or Dragoons. There is no castling and no en passant rule.
Armies during the Napoleonic wars were highly organized into a variety of specific fighting units. This was particularly true of the French Army. Below is a further subdivision of the French Army into specific types of units, with an associated Napoleonic Chess piece movement. Also is listed an approximately corresponding British (or other allied) unit. An interesting variation on Standard Napoleonic Chess, is to allow the generic units used there, to be replaced by any of the specific types of subunits listed below. The players agree as to which subunits are going to be used at the beginning of the game. I am particularly fond of the Mameluke that makes two knight moves, and I prefer to use that instead of the Bishop for the Guard Cavalry. Let's call this variant Free Choice Napoleonic Chess.
It should be noticed that Engineer units, Fortresses, Rivers, and Bridges are included in the list. We believed that these added some interesting possible variations. With the assortment of units available, even larger chess variants could be devised. This also allows the recreation of various real battle encounters, for those interested more in wargaming. This also allows the playing of standard chess with Napoleonic units. For example:
FIDE Napoleonic Chess
Eight by Eight board.
Use standard chess rules, played with
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Napoleon and the Ottomans
Ten by ten board
Use the rules for Turkish Great Chess
E - Emperor (King) Ge- General (Queen+Knight)) ED- Empress Dragoons (Bishop+Knight) Ca- Carabiniers (Queen) AV- Artillerie Volante (Rook+Knight) GC- Guard Cavalry (Bishop) D - Dragoon (Knight) FA- Field Artillery (Rook) Hi- Heavy Infantry (Pawn) __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |FA|_D|GC|ED|_E|Ge|Ca|GC|_D|FA| |hi|hi|hi|hi|AV|AV|hi|hi|hi|hi| |__|__|__|__|hi|hi|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| |__|__|__|__|hi|hi|__|__|__|__| |hi|hi|hi|hi|AV|AV|hi|hi|hi|hi| |FA|_D|GC|ED|_E|Ge|Ca|GC|_D|FA|
Listing of Napoleonic Chess Units, their appreviation, their movement, and the corresponding British/allied unit.
French Great Britian (and allies) Heavy Cavalry (HC)- (2,1)KtR Heavy Cavalry Cuirassiers (Cu)- (2,1)KtR Scots Greys Carabiniers (Ca)- Queen Dragoon Guards-Carabinier Light Cavalry (LC)-(3,1)Camel Light Cavalry Hussars (H)- (3,1)Camel Hussars Lancers (La)- 3spaceQueen Light Dragoons Chasseurs a cheval (Cc)-(3,2) (Mounted Jager) Dragoons (D)- (2,1)Kt+4wayPawn Dragoons Guard Cavalry (GC)- Bishop (B) Guard Cavalry Grenadiers a cheval (gc)- g+B Life Guards Empress Dragoons (ED)- B+Kt Royal Horse Guards Mamelukes (M)- 2Kt Asian cavalry, cossacks, tartars,lancers,... Kalmuks,tartars,Bosniaks, Guard Infantry (GI)- 2spaceQueen Guard Infantry - Foot Guards Heavy Infantry (HI)- P Heavy Infantry Grenadiers (g)- 4way P Grenadiers (Janissaries) Fusiliers (f)- P Line (Musketeers) Light Infantry (LI)- Berolina(BP) Light Infantry Voltageurs (v)- BP+jump2 Cacadores (Portugal) Tirailleurs (t)- BP+(x2ahead) Rifles (Jagers) Chasseurs a pied (cp)- BP Light Infantry Carabiniers a pied (cb)-4wayBP Highlanders Artillery (A)- Rook Artillery Artillerie a pied (FA)-Ch.Cannon Field Artillery Artillerie a cheval (HA)- Rook Royal Horse Artillery Artillerie volante (AV)- R+Kt Marshall (M)- mQ+xK General General (Ge)- Q+Kt Emperor (E)- K Duke of Wellington Engineers create/destroy fort.-K Engineers Fortification (we use a poker chip) Protects inhabitants from any attack. Created on a square occupied by engineers as 1 turn destroyed by engineers being adjacent as 1 turn or destroyed by surrounding on 4 sides + or x as as 1 turn or destroyed upon evacuation if desired, but the evacuating piece cannot capture if it destroys fortification. No pieces may leap over an occupied fortification.
If a river is placed on the board, all units must stop in a river square before emerging in a later turn. Leaping units must actually land in the river on a natural turn. Bridges are created by engineers occupying the river square as 1 turn. It then effectively becomes a land square. It can be destroyed by any unit that occupies it as 1 turn.
Light Infantry & Fusiliers promoted to Guard Infantry, Dragoons, or Engineers.
NAPOLEONIC Grande CHESS
(after all, it was the Grande Armee)
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A very short glossary.
Heavy Cavalry Cuirassiers - Larger men on large horses, each wearing a cuirass, or body armor. Carabiniers - Similar to Cuirassiers, but carrying a carbine. Light Cavalry Hussars - Light cavalry adorned in the Hungarian cavalry style, very flashy and cavalier. Lancers - Light cavalry armed with lances. Chasseurs a cheval - Standard light cavalry. Dragoons - Originally designed as mounted infantry. Guard Cavalry Grenadiers a cheval - Larger men on larger horses. Empress Dragoons - Special group of Guard Cavalry. Mamelukes - Flashy Egyptian cavalry that went into battle carrying multiple weapons, and changing them at will. There were many different types of Asiatic cavalry including cossacks, tartars, kalmuks, etc.. Guard Infantry - Special distinguished infantry usually kept in reserve. Heavy Infantry Grenadiers - Infantry originally armed with grenades. Evolved into elite infantry units containing the largest men, at least 5 feet 8 inches tall. Fusiliers - Standard line infantry Light Infantry Voltageurs - Light infantry used as skirmishers that could keep up with light cavalry. Tirailleurs - These were sharpshooters deployed ahead of the main army to harass the enemy. Chasseurs a pied - Standard light infantry, often used as a skirmishing screen for the main army. Carabiniers a pied - Elite units of the Chasseurs a pied. Artillery Artillerie a pied - Standard field, or foot artillery. Artillerie a cheval - Horse artillery. Artillerie volante - Horse artillery where even the gunners were mounted. Officers Marshall - The elite of the generals. General - Leaders of large numbers of units. Emperor - Napoleon, of course.
This variant is an entry in the 1999 Large Variant contest.
Written by Tom Hartley.
WWW page created: April 30, 1999.