The Chess Variant Pages





Outback Chess

Introduction

G'day, mate! I'm not exactly a chess fan, but when my brother, Andrew, and Dad, Paul, entered their variant, Wizard Chess, and I helped Dad with Arabian Nights Chess, I discovered Chess's strategic possibilities and fun variants. My variant has mixed moves and whole new pieces to create fun for all ages. I hope that you will enjoy playing it. So ready or not, here comes my second 84 squares variant, Outback Chess!

Setup

The game board is a 6x6 square field, and has a rectangular 2x6 area added on each side. The board is not checkered. The squares on the sides of the board have no special significance except for the top and bottom sections, which serve as home rows. The home rows are the first two rows where the pieces are initially placed (rows A, B, I and J). The standard initial setup of the pieces is as follows:
      A     P S E K S P 
      B     R B B B B R
      C - - - B B B B - - -
      D - - - - - - - - - -
      E - - - - - - - - - -
      F - - - - - - - - - -
      G - - - - - - - - - -
      H - - - B B B B - - -
      I     R B B B B R
      J     P S K E S P

        1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Pieces

In the movement diagrams below: x=capture square, m=movement only, o=other piece, *= Kill only.

E - Echidna: The Echidna is the King piece. The Echidna moves like a King in European Chess, one square in any direction. The Echidna captures on the diagonal, and he can only move to the second orthogonal space if he is capturing a piece, he cannot capture on the first orthogonal space. The Echidna cannot jump over other pieces.

         x
       x m x
     - o E m x
       x m x
         x

K - Kangaroo: The Kangaroo moves and captures by leaping to the second diagonal square and also moves like a knight. It never occupies the squares touching it.

          x x - x x
          x o - - x
          - - K - -
          x - - o x
          x x - x x  

P - Platypus: The Platypus moves and captures like a rook in Orthodox chess, but it only moves three to the front, two to either side, and has no backwards movement.

        x
        x
        x
    x x P x x

B - Bushman: The Bushman moves and captures like a Berolini pawn, with the addition of an capture-only move one space to the left or the right orthogonally.

        m x m
        x B x 

S - Spearsman: The Spearsman has three choices. He may move one square any orthogonal direction, he may move one forward, then kill one diagonally without moving, or he may move two forward and then kill one diagonally without moving. He cannot kill backwards.

                        *   *
        m       *   *     m
      m s m       m       m
        m         S       S

R - Ranger: The Ranger combines the wide forward and narrow backward moves of a knight with the moves of a limited bishop, who only moves one or two in any diagonal direction.

	x - - - -
	x x - o x
	- - R - -
	- x - x -
	x x - x x

Rules

1) The object of the game is to kill the opponent's Echidna.

2) Black always goes first.

3) Bushmen are permitted an initial two step move.

4) There is no en passant capture.

5) There is no castling option.

6) Promotion: Bushmen arriving at the enemy "camp" (the last two ranks) gain the ability to move backwards in the same pattern of movement and killing as their forward movement.

	mxm
	xBx
	mxm
Platypuses arriving at the enemy "camp" always become normal Rooks with unlimited movement in any orthogonal direction. There is no other promotion.

7) There is no check or checkmate.

8) Two bare Echidnas count as a draw.

Computer Play

I would like to have a Zillions of Games format version of Outback Chess, but I have not been able to figure out how to implement it in time to submit a Zillions file for the 84 Spaces Contest.

Equipment

I made a board out of paper with 1 and 1/2 inch squares. For the playing pieces I used Normal Chess pieces to represent my own.

Contact

This game was invented by Timothy R. Newton. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions on any aspect of the game you can e-mail me. us. (Find the email address via this link; editor.)
Written by Timothy R. Newton.