The Chess Variant Pages

Gridlock Chapter 5

 

Setting up Gridlock’s Castle

The Castle is several things in one. First it’s a wall. Second it’s a resource of pieces. The other game promised you up to nine Queens did it ever deliver? In Gridlock I give you three (Crystal, Queen and Tonk) However I’ve never computed just how many artificial Queens you could build in Gridlock by combing pieces. Anyway I digress we are supposed to be looking at Gridlock Castle Formations. The above Formation is called the Straight Wall, if you placed the wall diagonal then that’s Diagonal Wall. These walls are always place evenly in the middle. Did you notice the introduction of the Jump Gate? Its job for now is to Pivot on Gridlock’s command. He owns this piece and puts it in his Castle.

A Bigger Wall Must Fall

This is a four way Castle and also can be strung across the board in the formation we call the Great Diagonal Wall. You simply take your Footstools and move in and takeover the pieces. The Jump Gate serves as a barrier that you may or may not want. If not just blow it out of your way. If it doesn’t bother you all that much jump over it with your Knight or move around it. The Jump Gates pivot whenever a Queen is eliminated. Gridlock’s Sweeps can sweep armor. The Two-Way Game Jump Gate is strategically placed so that you might think twice before eliminating a Queen, you’ll see.

Holding a Star

Big Stars are stashed in certain places. You need to hold a Big Star in order to pivot the pieces called the Ruins. It’s all just one fortress and foothold after another with the Ruins. The only thing that can take out your Ruins is the Devisive Pawn. The only thing the Personal Ruins can’t take out is Armor, but Armor can’t move through them so what’s the difference? Remember this: for every big Star you hold every time it’s your turn you can use one of your big Stars to Pivot a Personal Ruins (not the Jump Gate)

You use the sweeps when somebody leaves a man off guard next to your Ruins. You also use the Pivots to reset your walls and open your Doors. With effective use of your Ruins you can fortify holdings control corners and block off passage through the Outer Row. Knights of course can just jump right over but not on a locked Four Way. Opening and closing your Gridlock Ruins is as simple as opening and closing a Door. However you do need to hold a Big Star for the privilege

Visiting the Ruins

What we want to remember about the Ruins are the Pivot Points. You need to always set up the Ruins so they pivot from where the two or four squares intersect.

Next you want to consider if you want the Ruins to be opened or closed. The Four way in the scene is closed and holding four squares, could even be holding Power Squares instead of tying up valuable manpower to hold the squares. The Three-way bottom center is open and not holding squares. I hate to show you yet one more piece that we are not using this round ah but I must It’s called the Posted Four Way. This piece is just the beginning of a large family. Doors as with the Three and Four Way we can leave the Doors either open or shut, we can use them as single units or use them in pairs.

We only have one Triggered Castle Function for now and that’s the pivot of the Jump Gate when a Queen is eliminated. Hey I can’t even say kill the queen in fear of what’s to come so expect more Triggered Castle Functions as the rounds Progress. Keep reading, you’ll be entering the cold war phase.

Two’s a Crowd

This is the actual Two Way Board so we can forget about the Briefing Boards for the moment while we break this one down. Little Stars, Big Stars, red ones, blue ones, Hearts, Letters and numbers. It’s all good. They are called your Holdings and in some ways this part of the game can resemble Monopoly. I want you to look at the different groups of the Little Stars. These are key to the first round you play in the Ruins called Cold War. You have set up a timer or somebody watching the clock to the very second. Choose from ten minutes to thirty. Let’s say you chose a fifteen-minute Cold War. Your stars are the Little Gold ones. Bzzzzz, that’s the timer. Cold war is over now you play Extreme Multi Level Gridlock Chess.

It’s hard I’ll be the first to admit it (I haven’t won a game yet and I invented it) I was considered a master on the old eight by eight by some. To my research team I’m just a punching bag but I’ll see ya out on the net anyway.

A home Away From Home

Starting the timer would start the Cold War. Take your pieces and put them on your stars as strategic as possible all the time watching what your opponent is up to and make your changes until the fifteen minutes are up. I am going to personally challenge Fritz (when he gets with the program) or let my researchers do it. They’ve got a way with last minute gambits that’s taught me a thing or two. In this pic I’m showing that the Home Grids are the bigger group of smaller stars and the smaller groups of four are the Outposts in the Two Way Ruins. Cold War is a chance to build it your way.

Royalty Does Have its Privileges

Here we see the two Power Squares called Kings Grace and Queens Wrap

If you hold QW and have access to the Outer Row you can move the Queen off one side of the board and enter on the opposing side as long as the path is clear. In video games it’s called wrap around. The Queen could locate there first, and then do her duty to an Elimination Piece if it’s armor is not superior. You however may find this a pivotal moment in her mobility, talk about the back door. If you hold the square called KG your elimination pieces have to be warned of check and can’t be taken by Queens Wrap

Life is Full of Choices

In this case the choice is black or white, blue or purples, whatever. If you hold this square you have the right to move your bishop one step any direction allowing it to change the color it’s playing on. This is not a free move, this is your move, one space. You can use the option to climb or capture but not eliminate. Never again should you be stuck with a useless Bishop stuck on the wrong colored square or you just might if you don’t have the BP Holdings to rectify the situation. Land on BP and stay there.

Don’t confuse this with Bishops Work. Bishops Work is the bishops main resouce.

Team Work or Lone Wolf

Bishops Work can push all friendly Rooks diagonally It can push Armor and protects the Bishops themselves against the Armor. You can get this Field Strength one of two ways. Use any member of your team including the Ruins game pieces to hold the square or keep any two bishops locked in their own check. With Bishops Work your Foot Soldier Bishops are invulnerable to elimination from armored personnel. With the Bishops Work engaged your Bishop Foot Soldiers are able to push things that are armored. You can use two Footsoldier Bishops to play Leapfrog for climbing. They can use each other as Footstools. In later rounds you will learn how to move whole colonies and Castle Rooks with Bishops Work engaged. It has always been my plan to introduce new levels to the game of Chess other than just stacking up boards. The only limitation to Gridlock Chess will be that of your own imagination

Reaching the Outer Limits

By now you have heard me mention the Outer Row once or twice, it’s that special place with streets paved of gold and you do need the permit to go there. Hold this OR Square and you have access to that outer portion of the game board that might help you with a plan or two. Having to many pieces on the Outer Row is risky. Let’s say you have the OR square in your holdings and your enjoying the privileges the square provides. Your out there with three men and someone captures your OR square, well you just got your eviction notice and you only have one move to vacate the Outer Row. Those pieces that don’t make it off the Outer Row in time are eliminated. My advice is "if you’re going to use it don’t lose it. The Hearts and Double Hearts are one more piece of the future Grid. These Hearts will help you resurrect needed pieces.

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Written by Paul Leno.
WWW page created: February 23, 2004.