In Spain, one drinks Fino, the driest variety of sherry, but elsewhere it may be hard to find; and so I happened to be gazing at a bottle (alas, not a cask) of Amontillado when it occurred to me that "amontillado" sounded a bit like "augmented" (no, it doesn't mean that), and my mind wandered.
Experience has shown the Rook and KnightRider to be of roughly equal value on the 8x8 board, and so it is strange that nobody (as far as I can remember) has pointed out that a piece combining the powers of Bishop and KnightRider must be as strong as a Queen.
On a 16x16 board, the KnightRider must be significantly more powerful than the Rook; conversely, on a 2x2 board, the Rook is infinitely more powerful than the Knight.
In general, the value of a halfling piece is half the value of the corresponding normal piece; however a Halfling KnightRider is obviously worth much more than half a normal KnightRider, and the reason is obvious: the 8x8 board is a bit too small for the KnightRider, and it often cannot move more than one Knight-move in a given direction; and therefore the KnightRider is not worth as much more than a Knight as it would be on a larger board.
The Halfling KnightRider can always make any move a Knight could, and so it suffers relatively little loss of mobility from being a Halfling. It is worth more than a Knight, and less than a KnightRider; in fact, it is very much in the range of being worth half as much as a Queen.
However, there is more than one way to make a half Knight, and therefore there is more than one way to make a half-KnightRider.
The CrabRider moves like a Crab, and then if the square it reached was empty it can continue in the same direction, just as the KnightRider which we discussed a few paragraphs ago.
The Crab is worth half a Knight, the CrabRider is worth half a KnightRider, and since a KnightRider is worth a Rook, a CrabRider is worth half a Rook.
However, a CrabRider on a1 attacks the square d7, and can capture an enemy Pawn on the first move of the game. I don't like this.
A BarcRider moves like a Barc, then if the square it landed on was empty it can continue in the same direction, just the same way that a Bishop makes one Ferz move and then mat be able to continue in the same direction.
Transparently, the BarcRider is worth half a Rook, even though it is worth slightly less than a CrabRider; they both fall within an acceptable margin of error.
Therefore, a piece that combines the powers of the Halfling Rook with the BarcRider is worth as much as the standard FIDE Rook. I have chosen to name it the Hasdrubal, in honor of Hasdrubal Barca; it seems appropriate that any piece that includes the Barc or the BarcRider in its composition should be named after some member of the Barca family.
A note to those who are ignorant of Chess history: the Bishops are the elephants, and the depiction of Rooks as elephants is incorrect.Notice that the BarcRider part of the Hasdrubal is not a Halfling. This may seem a bit off, but we are, after all, looking for a slightly nutty flavor.
It is named after Hamilcar Barca.
Amontillado Chess allows you to play Chess with different armies, and the Amontillado armies are each as strong as the standard boring FIDE Chess army. In fact, the rules are exactly the same as in FIDE Chess, except that the game uses different pieces, and there are more possible pieces than you would use in one game.
Therefore, before starting the game, each player chooses an army from the list below.
During the game, any Pawn that is promoted can choose to be promoted to any non-royal piece that was on the board at the start of the game (this rule is also true in FIDE Chess).
And here is the list of Amontillado pieces:
The Amontillado armies are easy to learn to use, easy to become accustomed to (except perhaps the nutty bit that the BarcaRider is not halfling in nature), move in familiar directions, with no fantastic or exotic rules; and thus, Amontillado Chess is an augmented chess that is at once sweet, and dry, and slightly nutty.