The Chess Variant Pages




Assimilation Chess

by Fergus Duniho

Assimilation Chess is inspired by Fusion Chess and Shogi. Unlike Fusion Chessgi, which just combines the rules of Fusion Chess and Chessgi (a popular Shogi-inspired Chess variant), Assimilation Chess combines ideas from these games in a more subtle way. Basically, it adapts the rules of Fusion Chess into an alternate way of replenishing your forces with captured pieces. Instead of appropriating captured pieces and later dropping them back on the board as your own, as you do in Chessgi or Shogi, captured pieces are sometimes assimilated into the capturing piece, transforming it into a more powerful compound piece. The difference between Assimilation Chess and Fusion Chess is that you combine your own pieces together in Fusion Chess, but you can combine your pieces only with enemy pieces in Assimilation Chess. The name is inspired by the Borg from Star Trek, who increase their own numbers by assimilating their enemies.

Setup

The initial setup for Assimilation Chess is exactly the same as for regular Chess. So there is no need for a diagram.

Rules

Assimilation Chess is played like FIDE Chess with the following exceptions:

  • When a simple piece (King, Knight, Bishop, or Rook) captures an enemy simple piece, it combines with it.
    • The combined piece is the compound piece which moves as either of the two pieces just combined.
      • King + Bishop = Pope
      • King + Rook = Dragon King
      • King + Knight = Eques Rex
      • Bishop + Rook = Queen
      • Bishop + Knight = Paladin
      • Rook + Knight = Marshall
    • A piece may not combine with another piece of the same type.
      • Knight + Knight = Rook + Rook = Bishop + Bishop = Illegal.
    • Pawns and compound pieces may not combine with other pieces.
    • The combined piece belongs to the player who made the capture.
  • A compound piece may split into its components by moving one of its components, under its own powers of movement, to an empty square.
    • A Rook which separates from a piece must move away as a Rook moves.
    • A Bishop which separates from a piece must move away as a Bishop moves.
    • A Knight which separates from a piece must move away as a Knight moves.
    • A King which separates from a piece must move away as a King moves.
    • The compound piece is replaced by the component which doesn't move away.
  • Pawns may promote to Rook, Bishop, or Knight, but not to any compound piece.
  • The object is to checkmate your opponent's current royal piece, which may be a King, Pope, Dragon King, or Eques Rex.

Pieces


King
The King moves one space in any direction, but may not move into check. The King is one of four possible royal pieces which a player may have. A King may merge with a Bishop to form a Pope, with a Rook to form a Dragon King, or with a Knight to form an Eques Rex. If any one of these pieces gets checkmated, you lose.

Pope
The Pope moves as a King or Bishop, but may not move into check. The Pope is a royal piece and is formed when a King merges with a neighboring Bishop. When the Pope is on the board, it is the player's only royal piece, and the game is lost if it is checkmated. The Pope may split into its components by making a non-capturing move with one of them.

Dragon King
The Dragon King moves as a King or Rook, but may not move into check. The Dragon King is a royal piece and is formed when a King merges with a neighboring Rook. When the Dragon King is on the board, it is the player's only royal piece, and the game is lost if it is checkmated. The Dragon King may split into its components by making a non-capturing move with one of them. The name for this piece is borrowed from Shogi.

Eques Rex
The Eques Rex moves as a King or Knight, but may not move into check. The Eques Rex is a royal piece and is formed when a King merges with a neighboring Knight. When the Eques Rex is on the board, it is the player's only royal piece, and the game is lost if it is checkmated. The Eques Rex may split into its components by making a non-capturing move with one of them. The name is Latin for Cavalier King.

Knight
The Knight moves as the Knight in Chess, jumping in an L shape, two spaces forward and one to the side. A Knight may merge with a Rook to form a Marshall or with a Bishop to form a Paladin.

Rook
The Rook moves as the Rook in Chess, any number of spaces orthogonally. A Rook may merge with a Knight to form a Marshall or with a Bishop to form a Queen.

Bishop
The Bishop moves as the Bishop in Chess, any number of spaces diagonally. A Bishop may merge with a Knight to form a Paladin or with a Rook to form a Queen.

Queen
The Queen moves as the Queen in Chess, any number of spaces in any single direction. The Queen is a combination of Rook and Bishop. It may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.

Marshall
The Marshall moves as a Rook or Knight. The Marshall is a combination of Rook and Knight, and it may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.

Paladin
The Paladin moves as a Bishop or Knight. The Paladin is a combination of Bishop and Knight, and it may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.

Pawn
The Pawn moves as the Pawn in Chess. It moves forward one space, but is allowed a double move on its first move. A Pawn captures by moving one space diagonally forward. If a Pawn makes a double move to a space alongside an enemy Pawn on its fifth rank, the enemy Pawn may capture it by en passant. Upon reaching the last rank, a Pawn may promote to a Rook, Bishop, or Knight. It may not promote to a Queen, Marshall, or Paladin.

Notation

Use algebraic notation as you would for Chess. Use P to denote Paladin and M to denote Marshall. Denote Pawn moves without the use of any letter to identify it. When a piece merges with another piece, follow the move with = and the abbreviation for the new piece. For example, R a4 - d4 = M indicates that a Rook moved from a4 to d4 and merged with a Knight on d4 to form a Marshall. When a piece separates from a compound piece, identify the move as belonging to the piece which moves away from the compound piece. Follow its move with a semicolon and identify what piece is left behind. For example, R a4 - d4; a4 = N indicates that a Rook moved to d4, separated from a Marshall at a4, and left a Knight behind at a4.

Equipment

You can play this game with the pieces from a regular Chess set, a Gothic Chess set, or a Grand Chess set. If you use a regular Chess set, you should use a pair of pieces to represent each compound piece. One regular Chess set will have all the pieces you need for this. Sets for Gothic Chess and Grand Chess come with additional pieces that represent all the non-royal compound pieces in this game. But you would still have to use pairs of pieces for the royal compound pieces.

Software

Zillions of Games

You may play Assimilation Chess on your computer with Zillions of Games. In April 2001, the board was updated to the one shown on your left. This board is made from computer generated textures. Sound effects were also updated, there was a slight rule change, and the code was optimized a bit.

Download assimilation.zip



Written by Fergus Duniho
WWW Page Created: Sat Mar 11, 2001.