The Chess Variant Pages




Random Pawns Chess

By Gavin King

Introduction

I got to thinking about Pawns and Berolina Pawns, and I decided to make a Fischer's Random Chess-like game with a generalized pawn setup.

Setup

Same as FIDE Chess, but the pawns are different.

Pieces

Same as FIDE-chess for the K, Q, B, R, & N.

Before the game, roll a 20-sided die (available from RPG stores) for each pawn. (Well, just use one die, and roll it 16 times. Cheaper that way.) You can, of course, use any suitable random number generator. The number that a particular pawn receives describes how that pawn moves, per the table.


The three characters in the movement description are the three squares in front of the pawn. The letters indicate if a pawn can move or capture to that space. X= Cannot move there. M= Move only. C= Capture only. O= Move or capture.


For example, the chess Pawn is CMC (6) and the Berolina Pawn is MCM (3).

Number Rolled
Movement
Number Rolled
Movement
1
MMM
11
OMX
2
MMC
12
OCX
3
MCM
13
XOM
4
MCC
14
XOC
5
CMM
15
MOX
6
CMC
16
COX
7
CCM
17
MXO
8
CCC
18
CXO
9
OXM
19
XMO
10
OXC
20
XCO

A pawn may, on its first move, move 1 or 2 spaces in any direction in which it could move, with or w/o capturing.

Rules

En passant is the same: if a pawn goes 2 spaces, an enemy pawn can capture it on the space it moved over.
Promotion is the same as in FIDE.

Notes

The notion of "Pawn Chain" is totally exploded, and you have to be very careful to pay attention to the way your and your opponents' pawns move. MMM is the BFG, pacifistic but difficult to block. CCC is Cerberus, three toothy heads but no brain. Anything with an O in it is asymmetrical. Also, you may get an XCO in front of your right Rook, and the O part would be unusable.


Notation: You could probably notate it the same way as normal, but to keep an accurate record of the game, you have to describe what movement abilities the pawns were given. You could do this like a2=MCC, b2=COX, etc. at the beginning.

Playing Tips

The only tip is to keep good track of the abilities of all the Pawns. Some Pawns are mobile, like the BFG, and some are "toothy", like Cerberus. Oh, and if you get all CCC's, don't come running to me with your poor lonely Knights.

Variants

A few variants on this. First, you could, as a turn, "flip" one of your pawns, that is, O->O, C->M, M->C, X->X. This might help if your pawns are too toothy or too pacifistic. Also, you could hand-pick your army out of the pool of chosen pawns. (i.e., you pick all the movement abilities, and then Black picks one and puts it on their second row, White does the same, then Black, then White, etc.) Or, even better, combine these two!

Contact

My E-mail if you have any questions or comments.



WWW page created: March 23, 2003.