The Chess Variant Pages




Siege Chess

by Ross Durossette

Introduction

Siege Chess was thought up by Ross Durossette one day when the game of Chess was still young to him. He and two of his friends were playing, and he had just been beaten. While waiting to play again, he wondered if there was a way for all three of them to play.

Concept

The concept of Siege Chess was to be very close in play to normal chess, except with three players. But, I wanted to incorporate some optional ideas that would make this a completely new game. Finally, I tried to struggle against the tendency that all three-man strategy games have, "Petty Diplomacy".

Objective

The object of the games is to take the opponent's kings while protecting your own. When a player's king is taken, that player is removed from the game and his pieces become "dead". The last player on the board wins.

Optional Play Annotations

All sections marked with a tilde (~) are rules for 9 piece set-ups. This includes the new piece, the pope. If you don't want to use the pope, use the set-up for 8 pieces. All sections marked with a caret (^) are Siege rules designed to try to prevent "Petty Diplomacy". This text is written for both of these rules to be in place, but either may be dropped if the players wish.

Colors

The traditional colors for three-man chess games will be used: white, red, and black. They are that same order clock-wise around the board clock-wise. Each player will have a different color.

Turns

The white player goes first, followed by the red and then the black. Play continues in a clock-wise fashion.

Board

The board is made of 192 hexagons, called "hexes", fitted together to form a larger hexagon shape pattern with alternating sides of 8 and 9 hexes. The colors of the hexes reflect the colors of the players and are set up so that no hex touches another hex of the same color.

Note: The lower-left handed hexes of the 9-hexed sides should proceed around clock-wise in this order: white hex, red hex, and black hex.

                                 ___
                             ___/+++\___            " " = White
                         ___/   \+++/   \___        "+" = Red
   Red's Side        ___/***\___/***\___/***\___    "*" = Black
                 ___/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\___
             ___/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \___
         ___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___
     ___/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\___
 ___/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \
/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/
\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\
/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   B
\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\   l
/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/   a
\+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \   c
/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/   k
\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\   '
/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   s
\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\
/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/   S
\+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \   i
/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/   d
\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\   e
/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/
\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\
    \***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/
        \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/
            \___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/***\___/
                \***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/+++\***/
  White's Side      \+++/   \+++/   \+++/   \+++/
                        \___/***\___/***\___/
                            \***/+++\***/
                                \+++/

Hexagonal Board Description of Moves

There are three categories of "moves". The first category is the types of standard moves that each of the pieces can make. The second category is the type of moves that your pieces cannot make. And the third category is a list of special moves.

Category 1

Basic Moves for Pieces Adjacent Moves

The adjacent moves are those moves which occur when a piece slides along a line of hexes that are touching each other. The pieces that normally do this are the pawns, rooks, queen, and king.

Note: The adjacent lines that are parallel to your opening side are called "ranks" and are numbered as to how far they are away from your edge (i.e. "rank 16" is at the other end of the board).

                             ___
                         ___/ ^ \___
                     ___/   \_*_/   \___
                 ___/   \___/ * \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \_*_/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___
        /<  \___/   \___/   \_*_/   \___/   \___/  >\
        \__*/*  \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/  *\*__/
        /   \__*/*  \___/   \_*_/   \___/  *\*__/   \
        \___/   \__*/*  \___/ * \___/  *\*__/   \___/
        /   \___/   \__*/*  \_*_/  *\*__/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \__*/*X*\*__/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/  *\*_*/*  \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/  *\*__/ * \__*/*  \___/   \___/
        /   \___/  *\*__/   \_*_/   \__*/*  \___/   \
        \___/  *\*__/   \___/ * \___/   \__*/*  \___/
        /  *\*__/   \___/   \_*_/   \___/   \__*/*  \
        \<__/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \__>/
            \___/   \___/   \_*_/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \_*_/   \___/
                        \___/ * \___/
                            \_v_/

Adjacent Moves from "X"

         /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\
        |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | <- White's 3rd Rank
         \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/
          |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | <- White's 2nd Rank
          \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /
           |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  <- White's 1st Rank
            \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/
                  White's Side

How Ranks are Computed Diagonal Moves

The diagonal moves are those moves which occur along non-adjacent hexes in a straight line. These moves will always be along the same colored hexes. The pieces that normally do this are the capturing pawn, bishop, queen, and king.

Note: The adjacent hexes which are on both sides of a diagonal move does not interact with the move, even if they adjacent hexes are occupied.

                             ___
                         ___/   \___
                     ___/   \___/   \___
                 ___/   \___/   \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/^  \___/   \___/  ^\___/   \___
        /   \___/   \__*/   \___/   \*__/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/*  \___/  *\___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \__*/   \*__/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ B \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/<**\___/***\___/*X*\___/***\___/**>\___/
        /   \___/ B \___/   \*_*/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/  *\___/*  \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \*__/   \__*/ A \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/ A \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/  *\___/   \___/*  \___/   \___/
            \___/   \v__/   \___/   \__v/   \___/
                \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/   \___/
                            \___/

Diagonal Moves from "X" (Pieces in positions "A" and "B" don't prevent the Diagonal Moves) Jumps

Jumps are the only moves that do not slide. They will move from one hex to another hex no matter what may be in the way. The only pieces that jump are the knight and the ~pope.

                             ___
                         ___/   \___
                     ___/   \___/   \___
                 ___/   \___/   \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
        /   \___/   \___/ Y \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ B \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ B \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ X \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ A \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ Y \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/   \___/
                            \___/

Jump Moves from "X" to "Y" (Pieces in positions "A" and "B" don't prevent the Jump Moves) Capturing

Capturing is the removal of one of the opponent's pieces and the replacement of your own when your piece can move into their position. Your piece their place on the hex and their piece is removed from the board. There are certain situations in which capturing is not allowed. Read below.

Category 2

Prevented Moves Moving into Check

The king may never move into "check", a situation in which the king will be taken. You want to protect your king, remember? (see below for more details on "checks" and "mates")

Note: This also prevents "kings standing off" each other, or trying to capture a king with a king.

Pawn's Run

During the course of the game, the pawn may hit another piece head-on or end up on the opposite side of the board (see below for more details on the pawn's move). Because of the pawn's unique move, the pawn cannot proceed any further under it's own power. The pawn is then considered "frozen", that is, the pawn may not be moved but may still be captured by an opponent.

Dead Pieces

When a player's king is taken out of the game, the rest of the player's pieces become "dead". They cannot move and they cannot be captured. They become, in effect, obstacles.

Note: Although rare, the dead pieces may prevent a king from being taken. In this case, the king may take the dead pieces until the situation no longer exists.

^Fortification

When the Siege rules are used, a player under siege may call "fortification" at the beginning of his turn. This doesn't count as a turn and the player may move as normal with these changes: For the next three turns (counting the one fortification was called on) the fortified player may not capture any opponent pieces and an opponent may not capture the fortified player's piece. Special moves are still allowed under fortification, but no other siege rules may be used. This gives the sieged player time to regroup. This may be used once per player per game.

Category 3

Special Moves Castling

Once during the course of the game, each player may "castle", that is, move the king beside a rook on the player's first rank. In order to do this, neither the king or the rook your castling with may have been moved. Nor can there be any pieces in between the king and the rook. And finally, the King cannot be in check when performing this move. To execute a castling move, move the king two hexes towards the rook and move the rook on the other side of the king.

|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | 9        |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | 8
\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /           \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /
 |R |  | <+--+K |  |  |  |r |   P         |r |  |  |  |K-+--+> |R |   P
  \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/    i          \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/    i
  |        ^                    e                         ^     |     e
  v _______|                    c                         |_____v     c
                                e                                     e 
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | s        |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | s
\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /           \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /
 |  |  |K |R |  |  |  |  |r |             |r |  |  |  |  |R |K |  |
  \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/               \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/

The Castling Move (The King may castle with either Rook in both 8 and 9 piece set-up) Pawn's Opening Move and En Passé

On its beginning move, the pawns that sit on your third rank may move two hexes in the same direction. That's great, but if an opponent wishes, they may perform "en passé" before your next turn. En passé allows an attacking opponent to take your pawn as if it had just moved one hex. The capturing piece would move to the hex your pawn would be in if it had moved normally, and your pawn is removed from the game. If no opponent performs en passé before it's your turn again, en passé is forfeited and pawn is treated no differently from now on.

 /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
 \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/
  |  |  |  |  |* |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | "p" = Pawn      "R" = Rook
  \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /
   |  |  |  |  |x<+--+--+--+--+R |  |  |   "*" = The two hexes rule
    \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/          for the pawns of the 
     |  |  |  |  |p |  |  |  |  |  |  |          3rd rank
     \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /     
      |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |   "x" = The hex where the Rook
      \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /          will capture the pawn as
       |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |           if it had only moved one
        \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/              
                                                

En Passé Pawn Promotions

When a pawn reaches the first rank of an opponent's side, who is still playing, the pawn may be instantly promoted to another piece. "Promotions" remove the promoted piece and replaces it with another piece. This replacing piece may be any piece that the player may have lost.

^Field Promotions

Field promotions occur when a player is sieged. At the beginning of a sieged player's move, the player may field promote a single piece. This ends his turn. This is the "order" in which pieces may be promoted: A pawn may be promoted into a knight or a bishop. A knight or a bishop may be promoted into a rook or a pope. A rook or a pope may be promoted into a queen. This can occur only if two conditions are meet: One, that the piece is promoting to a previous captured piece (you cannot have two queens!), and Two, that there is at least one of the other piece that belong on the same level before you promote (you cannot promote a knight if both bishops are captured).

Examples

you cannot promote a bishop to a rook if both rooks are on the board and you cannot promote a rook to a queen if the pope has been captured but you can promote a bishop to a pope even if there is only one knight. If the pope is not being used, this is the following order: pawns promote to a knight, which promotes to a bishop or a rook, which promotes to a queen. In this case, both knights have to be on the board to promote either of them.

^Traitors

When a player is sieged, on his turn he may, in lieu of a move, "replace" one of the opponent's pieces with one of his pieces that was captured earlier. This piece has to be the same type as the piece that is being replaced. For example: you may replace an opponent's rook with one of your rooks that was captured. After performing this "traitor" move, the player may recalculate to see if he is still being sieged. If the player is, he may, during the same move, "traitor" one of the pieces from the other opponent (providing that their pieces are not dead). This move may only be used twice per player per game.

Note: If the "traitor" move is allowed to be used twice on one move, this is considered two "traitor" moves.

^Touch of Death

If a player is currently being sieged, he may wish to employ the "Touch of Death". During one of the opponent's turn, they may try to capture one of the sieged player's pieces. After the capture and when the opponent is done with their turn, the siege player may say that he is invoking the Touch of Death and return his captured piece back to where it was and removes the capturing piece from the board. The opponent does not get to replay their turn. The sieged player is now considered no longer sieged and the siege cannot be recomputed for that player until after his next three turns.

^Notes on bishops and popes: The above siege moves allow some captured pieces to be returned to the board. When the piece is a bishop, no two bishops of the same player can be on the same colored hex. When the piece is a pope, no two popes between any player may be on the same color hex.

The Set-up

There are two set-ups for the beginning depending if the players are playing with the pope or not. If you're playing with the pope, use the 9 piece set-up. If not, use the 8 piece set-up. In either set-ups, the color of the lower-left most hex and the hex that the queen sits on should be the same as your color.

~9 Piece Set-up

Using the sides of the board that have 9 hexes in the first rank, set-up the pieces accordingly: Rank 1: rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, pope, bishop, knight, rook. Rank 2: 10 pawns all the way across. Rank 3: skip a hex, 9 pawns, and skip a hex.

         /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\  "p" = Pawn
        |  |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |  | "R" = Rook
         \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/  "N" = Knight
          |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |  "B" = Bishop
          \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /   "Q" = Queen
           |R |N |B |Q |K |O |B |N |R |    "K" = King
            \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/     "O" = Pope

9 Piece Set-Up

8 Piece Set-up

Using the sides of the board that have 8 hexes in the first rank, set-up the pieces accordingly: Rank 1: rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook. Rank 2: 9 pawns all the way across. Rank 3: skip a hex, 8 pawns, and skip a hex.

         /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\  "p" = Pawn
        |  |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |  | "R" = Rook
         \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/  "N" = Knight
          |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |p |  "B" = Bishop
          \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /   "Q" = Queen
           |R |N |B |Q |K |B |N |R |    "K" = King
            \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/

8 Piece Set-Up

The Moves of the Pieces

There are 7 different pieces, each with their own unique moves.

Pawn's Moves (p)

The pawn is unique in that is has two separate moves, one for standard moving and one for capturing an opponent's piece. It is also the most difficult to learn, because, unlike the other pieces, the pawn has a built-in sense of direction.

Standard Move

The pawn may advance to one of two adjacent hexes that are next to the hex the pawn is on. These hexes are the ones closest to the opposite side of the board from your perspective. The pawn may never move sideways or backwards from your perspective of the board. The pawn may only move to the "forward" most adjacent hexes. The pawn may *not* capture any piece in this manner. If it meets something it cannot go around, it is "frozen" in place until the obstacle is removed or the pawn is captured. Look at the below diagram for a better understanding.

        The Opposite Side to White  
 Towards            ^           Towards      "p1" can move to
Red's Side          |          Black's Side       either of the

     ^              |                 ^           "*" but no
      \                              /            other hexes
  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /   "p2" is blocked by 
   |  |  |  |  |* |* |  |  |R |R |  |  |         the Rooks and
    \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/          cannot move. 
     |  |  |  |  |p1|  |  |  |p2|  |  |          This pawn is
     \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /           "frozen".
                White's Side

Pawn's Standard Moves Capture Move

The pawn may capture a piece that is in one of the three diagonal hexes next to the hex the pawn is on. These hexes are the ones closest to the opposite side of the board from your perspective. The pawn may never capture backwards from your perspective of the board. The pawn may only capture to the "forward" most diagonal hexes. Look at the below diagram for a better understanding.

        The Opposite Side to White  
 Towards            ^           Towards
Red's Side          |          Black's Side
  ^                 |                    ^
   \                                    /
 /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\   The pawn may
|  |  |  |  |* |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  capture any 
 \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/   piece that is
  |  |  |* |  |  |* |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |   on one of the
  \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /    "*".
   |  |  |  |p |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ 
             White's Side

                       Pawn's Capture Move

Rook's Moves (R)

The rook may move on the board by sliding along adjacent hexes in a straight line. The rook may slide as far as the player wants, stopping when ever he likes or until he runs out of board or can capture a piece.

                             ___
                         ___/ * \___
                     ___/   \___/   \___
                 ___/   \___/ * \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___
        / * \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ * \
        \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/
        /   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ R \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \
        \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/
        / * \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ * \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/ * \___/
                            \___/

                       The Rook's Moves

Knight's Moves (N)

The knight is a very special piece in that it not only jumps over other pieces instead of sliding, it's the only piece that does not move in a straight line. Because of that, it's move is difficult to explain, but can be thought of as going two adjacent hexes in a straight line, and then landing in one the adjacent hexes that is off to the side of that line. It is much easy to show than to explain it:

                             ___
The Knight may           ___/   \___
jump to any          ___/   \___/   \___
of the "#"       ___/   \___/   \___/   \___
positions    ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
        /   \___/   \___/ # \___/ # \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ # \___/   \___/ # \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ # \___/   \___/   \___/ # \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ N \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ # \___/   \___/   \___/ # \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ # \___/   \___/ # \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ # \___/ # \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/   \___/
                            \___/

                       The Knight's Moves

Bishop's Moves (B)

The bishop may move on the board by sliding along diagonal hexes in a straight line. The bishop may slide as far as the player wants, stopping when ever he likes or until he runs out of board or can capture a piece.

                             ___
                         ___/   \___
                     ___/   \___/   \___
                 ___/   \___/   \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/ * \___/ * \___/ B \___/ * \___/ * \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/   \___/
                            \___/

                     The Bishop's Moves

Queen's Moves (Q)

The queen's moves are those of the rook and the bishop. The queen may move like either of them.

                             ___
                         ___/ * \___
                     ___/   \___/   \___
                 ___/   \___/ * \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___
        / * \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ * \
        \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/
        /   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/ * \___/ * \___/ Q \___/ * \___/ * \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \
        \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/ * \___/
        / * \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/ * \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/ * \___/
                            \___/

                     The Queen's Moves

King's Moves (K)

Like the queen, his moves are those if the rook and the bishop, but the king may only move hex at a time. The king may move to the next adjacent hex or the next diagonal hex, that's all!

                             ___
                         ___/   \___
                     ___/   \___/   \___
                 ___/   \___/   \___/   \___
             ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ * \___/ K \___/ * \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ * \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/ * \___/ * \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/   \___/
                            \___/

                      The King's Moves

~Pope's Moves (O)

I always wanted to play a piece that jumped like a knight, but had the "same-color" move that a bishop has. I figured that any cross in between a bishop and a knight would have to be a holy one, and the pope seemed to fit (although if it causes to much trouble, the piece could always be called the "Cardinal"). The easiest way to describe the moves of the pope is that it can jump in any direction and lands on the next hex that is the same color that it jumped from. Simplified, it can move one hex diagonally and jump three hexes adjacently.

                             ___
The Pope may             ___/   \___
jump to any          ___/   \___/   \___
of the "#"       ___/   \___/   \___/   \___
positions    ___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___
         ___/   \___/   \___/ # \___/   \___/   \___
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ # \___/ # \___/ # \___/ # \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/ # \___/ O \___/ # \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/ # \___/ # \___/ # \___/ # \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
        /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
        \___/   \___/   \___/ # \___/   \___/   \___/
            \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/
                    \___/   \___/   \___/
                        \___/   \___/
                            \___/

                       The Pope's Moves

~Note on the Pope's Symbol

As with new pieces, you must have a new pictographic symbol to represent it. It has be suggested that a sideways bishop be used, but I believed it's been used for another piece. Below is a representation of what the pope's new symbol may look like.

                *
               ***
                *
               ***              It is patterned of the pope's
              *   *             tiara, the triple crown wore
             *  *  *            by the real Popes.  To the left
            *  ***  *           is a bit-by-bit composite of
           *    *    *          the symbol.
          *     *     *
        *****************                   _+_
         **           **                  _/_+_\_
          *     *     *                   _|_+_|_
          *    ***    *                    \_+_/
          *     *     *
          *     *     *
        *****************     Although very hard to represent
         **           **      the pope's new symbol with just
          *     *     *       text, above is an idea what I 
          *    ***    *       envision it to be like.
           *    *    *
           *    *    *
            *********

Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate

These are declared by the players usually during the endgame, when a king is about to be taken or no kings can be taken.

Check

"Check" is called by a player who can take an opponent's king in the next turn. It is known by the player who is "checking" that the king can escape the check by either moving a piece or capturing the attacking piece. As a rule, you can never take someone's king unless you have declared "check" the previous turn.

Checkmate

"Checkmate" is called by a player who can take an opponent's king in the next turn and there is nothing the opponent can do to stop it. If all three players are still playing when someone is "checkmated", the checkmated player may still move on his last turn. This "last blow" may severely hurt one of the other two players.

Stalemate

"Stalemate" occurs when none of the players can take the other's king. This happens in situations where the only pieces on the board are kings, or when the players are too skilled to capture each other. A good rule of thumb is that after 20 moves and no one is able to capture a piece, then the players should declare the game a stalemate.

^Siege Rules

I have been trying to think of a way to combat the natural tendency that, in three-man strategy games, two players will gang up on one. This is, of course, strategically sound, but is not very fun, and definitely not chess-like. This "Petty Diplomacy", where two players have a silent agreement not to attack each other while they clobber the third, is also very hard to determine that it is occurring in definite terms. The only way to combat this was to define when a player is being ganged up on (or under "siege") and then make that player more powerful. This would either discourage the players from sieging one player or encourage them to stay together after they have started. I want to keep the "1 against 2" balance and feel without giving too much power to the sieged player. After all, a novice should not be able to defeat two grand masters! These Siege rules are very untested and has been intentionally left open so that they may be modified later. I have thought of different solutions to both the problem of determining if a player is being sieged and what can be done about it. These are some that I present to you now.

Determining Siege

This is perhaps the most difficult problem: when are the other players sieging you? This is pretty much uncharted territory here, and I will present three methods. Please feel free to write to me about a better way to calculate siege.

Note: All of these methods allow for each player to have a "handicap", you may change the number that is required for siege to occur in order to even the balance between three unbalance players.

Method #1 (3-capture Rule)

If the last three pieces that were captured off the board belonged to you, then you are "sieged", and remain so until one of the opponent's pieces are captured.

Method #2 (sum of points Rule)

Each player gives each of their pieces on the board one point, except for the pawns. These are given a collective point if more than half are on the board. Also, the queen and the pope get two points instead of one. To calculate, add up the points of the opponents and divide it by two, rounding up. Add up your points and if their sum is greater then yours by more than four, then you are being sieged. If two players can call siege, it belongs to the player that gets to move first.

Method #3 (moved vs. non-moved pieces Rule)

Each player adds up all of their pieces that are still on the board. Then the players add to this how many pieces have moved from their opening set-up. Then they the players subtract all the pieces that have been captured away from this. Add up the opponent's points and divide by two, rounding up. If their score is greater than yours by more than 18, then you are being sieged.

Calculating Siege for Two Players

One of the questions that is going to be asked is: Can siege rules still be used when only two players are left? If the players wish, yes they can still be used, but in methods 2 & 3, the opponent's score is still divided by two, making it very hard to obtain.

Siege Moves

These moves allow a sieged player to even the odds a little. This is done by either preventing the other player's from attacking you, force them to attack each other, severely weaken either of them, or to become very powerful yourself. Below are some moves to cover three of four ways I have listed (how do you force two people to attack each other?!?). As these are still untested, the players should decide which, if not all, siege moves they will be playing with. Please write to me any comments on these moves or any new ones you may think of.

Fortification

This prevents the other players from attacking you. Although it does no real harm and can only be used once, it allows you to regroup and move pieces. And it does last for three of your turns.

Touch of Death

This is a move that weakens your opponents. This is a very powerful move which kills any piece that tries to attack you when you're sieged. In order to balance this power, after the move the sieged player may not become sieged again until after three of their turns.

Traitor

This weakens one of your opponents and strengthen you by exchanging one of their pieces for one of your captured pieces. This move can be done only twice per player.

Field Promotions

This is a move that strengthens your side. It is also the hardest move to try to figure out how to be done, and is rather uncompleted at the time of this writing. My goal was to create a promotion system that allowed you power at a cost, to try to regain the balance of the "1 against 2" feel, while just using the pieces and moves at hand. This siege rule, which was explained earlier, is a good start but not exactly what I want. You are welcome to try to search with me for a better system.

Coordinates System

All chess games have a way of recording, in a form, of what moves were made. On regular chess, this is done by recording the squares where a piece moved from and moved to, while annotating events like capturing or special moves. I have tried to modify that system so that it could be done on a three-man, hexagonal board. Each of the players turns are recorded in coordinates which represent their moves. each coordinate is broken into 5 basic fields and looks something like this:

     W14dx16d(C)  <-- Siege Chess Coordinates 
     ^ ^ ^ ^  ^
     | | | |  |
     +-+-+-+--+------ Player Identifier (optional)
       +-+-+--+------ Coordinate that the piece was on
         +-+--+------ Type of move it was (standard, capture, etc.)
           +--+------ Coordinate that the piece landed on
              +------ Special information about the move (check, etc.)

Player Identifier

This is an optional field and is used only to help keep track of which moves belong to each player. It is common to use uppercase for these letters.

W White
R Red
B Black

Beginning Coordinates

Each coordinate for the turn being recorded is taken for that player's perspective. The way you determine where each hex is to count up what number of ranks it is and then, using the alphabet, count from the left side to the right how may hexes it is. So the left-most hex of the first rank is 1a, while the right-most hex of the rank on the opposite side of the board is 16i. Just remember: While your king starts on 1e for you, to the opponent on your left, it's on 12l! It is common to use lowercase for the letters. For castling moves, use "00" and put the letter q, k, or o to denote on who's side in the special information field.

^For field promotions, use the coordinate of the promoting piece.

^For traitor moves, use the coordinate of the traitoring piece.

Types of Moves

This field is symbols to represent the types of move that was made.

"-" A standard move that didn't capture an opponent's piece.
"x" A standard move that captured an opponent's piece.
"+" En Passé was performed.
"%" ^A traitor move was performed.
"@" ^A piece was field promoted.

Ending Coordinates

This is the same format as the beginning coordinates. Some moves do not require an ending coordinate. These are: castling, ^field promotions, and ^traitor (unless both traitor moves was done on the same turn, then list here the other coordinate). If it would break the continuity of the system to leave out the ending coordinates, just repeat the beginning coordinates.

Special Information

This is a field that tells special information about the turn, like what a piece was promoted to, what side the king castled on, or if someone was put in check. There can be more than one character in this field and is common to be enclosed in parenthesis "()".

C(W,R,B) Check was called. (CR means player put red in check)
M(W,R,B) Checkmate was called the opposing player.
Y The player "yields" and quits the game.
S Stalemate was called.
? A questionable move by the player.
! A very good move by the player.
Q Castling took place with the rook on the queen's side.
K Castling took place with the rook on the king's side.
O ~Castling took place with the rook on the pope's side.
F ^Fortification was called.
T ^Touch of Death was called after the move.
r,n,b,q,o denotes what a piece was promoted to. (is assumed to be a pawn promotion without the "@")

Points to be Made by the Author

This game has just undergone a major "upgrading". When if first thought up this game, I wanted a three-man chess game, but it seemed to me that the Petty Diplomacy issue could never be solved. So I decided to wait until I could figure it out before showing it to anyone. In that time, a couple of three-man chess games have come and gone (one was suspiciously similar to my idea, but coincidences do occur) without addressing the problem. Then, I decide to quit waiting for a revelation, and thought up the concept of "Siege". The addition of the Siege rules dramatically changes the game play, and alters the game greatly from the simple "three-man, hexagonal chess" I first thought up. These rules are very different from the feel of "normal" chess, and seem sometimes not to belong to the game at all. They are also untested. That is why I bring it to the public. I do envision a day when there are standard Siege Chess rules, but until then I would like you to look over this game, especially the new Siege rules.

Have fun with the game. I tried to make it fun, and easy to learn. If these rules seem a bit too detailed, I apologise, but most of the rules and moves in here are new and I would rather be boringly specific than to be vaguely general. If you think you might see a way to may this game better, please feel free to send by a letter. I will try to answer all worthy letters, with a worthy response. And if you have a better idea than I do about something, and you let me incorporate it, I'll make sure that it is marked as so. It's my goal just to make a very good three-man chess game. Thanks for your reading, I hope you enjoy it.


Written by Ross Durosette, (email removed contact us for address) ranet.net.
WWW page created: December 6, 1996.