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Platform Chess

By Robert Price

Introduction

I'm hoping to make a Zillions implementation of Star Trek Tridimensional Chess. That game features movable 2x2 attack platforms that the current owner can place to best advantage (but only if occupied by a pawn or less). I was curious whether or not it was actually possible to implement a mobile platform in Zillions, so I made a 2D variant using them. The game turned out to be rather interesting in its own right.

The Void

The board is an 8x8 checkered square, hereafter referred to as the Void. No pieces may ever stand on the Void. Rooks, Queens, and Bishops may not cross the void. Instead, pieces are required to stand on and move over any of twelve 2x2 platforms that roam the Void.

The Platforms

Each player starts the game with control of six platforms, four of them full. Ownership of these platforms will not change through the course of the game.

The turn

During your turn, you may take one of two actions:

  • Chess Move: move one of your Chess pieces according to the rules of Chess, with the aditional restriction that no piece may land where there is no platform, and no piece (with the possible exception of the Knight) may jump over empty Void.
  • Platform Move: move one of your Platforms to a horizontally or vertically adjacent 2x2 region of empty Void. Pieces on the platform move with it (but, for purposes of future castling, are considered not to have moved). If one or two pawns reach their back rank in this way, they become Queens.

The setup

The Chess pieces are set up as in Chess. Each player controls four platforms that hold his initial army, and two empty ones forward and to the side. The 4x4 central region begins devoid of platforms.

Variant

In 8-Platform Chess, the empty platforms in the starting setup are omitted. Each player starts with just enough platforms to hold his army.

Zillions

The aforementioned Zillions implementation is available here. Zillions v1.3.1p or later is required!

Sample game

A sample game with running commentary by the author can be found below:


Robert Price (email removed contact us for address) il.uc.edu
Written by Robert Price.
WWW page created: October 27th, 2001.